Permaculture Design Certificate Course, February-May 2022

Live in Person Permaculture Design Course

Earth Activist Training’s Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC) is our longest running and most requested course– we’ve been teaching it for 20 years. This is our foundational permaculture course where your learning about resilient land management and climate adaptation begins.

We are so excited to welcome you home to Earth Activist Training!


Permaculture is a system of ecological design that takes nature as our model, so we can meet human needs while regenerating the world around us


In this PDC, we will explore an internationally recognized permaculture curriculum with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism. Learn how it is possible to design human systems that mimic natural systems, using a minimum of energy and resources and creating real abundance and social justice. Mornings are spent in the classroom learning theory of restoration and design. In the afternoon theory is put into practice with hands on activities. Evening are spent exploring social and global permaculture tools.  


  • Location: Black Mountain Retreat Center, Cazadero, California
  • Dates: January 7 – 21 (2 weeks).
  • A certificate  will be awarded upon successful completion of this course
  • Proof of vaccination required

    Typical Daily Schedule

    7:30-9:00 Breakfast
    9-9:30—Morning circle
    9:30-12:30—Morning session: Classroom instruction
    2:00-4:30—Afternoon session:
    7:30—10:00 Evening session


    • We offer sliding scale tuition and payment plans to make our courses as accessible as possible 
    • Abundant Tuition: $3,200
    • Standard Tuition: $2,900
    • Resilient Tuition: $2,600
    • Work Trade Tuition $1,500 (limited spaces)
    • Alumni Tuition: $1,500 to retake this course if you have already taken it before
    • All amounts are in US dollars
    • Discounts and Diversity Scholarships available? Yes! Keep reading below 


    We follow all current local health and CDC guidelines regarding vaccination, testing and masking. Due to the rapidaly changing nature of COVID-19 we ask that all participants be willing to abide by the conditions set by the teachers and staff.


    We are here for you. Please reach out at:


    Explore the resilient living, solutions to climate change

    and the strategies and tools to put them in place

    Artist’s Credit: Jessica Perlstein, designed for Starhawk’s book, The Fifth Sacred Thing. ..

    Do you feel called as an Earth Healer? This course is for you. 



    We firmly believe that everyone can benefit from learning how to apply  the tools and insights of permaculture toward the broad goal of earth regeneration. Permaculture has solutions not just for landscapes and agricultural systems, but also for social design, public policy, and survival strategies for these challenging times.


    • This two week intensive is an immersive permaculture experience.
    • Each day combines classroom theory with practical hands on experience.
    • The two weeks culminates with the creation of an integrated permaculture design.
    • Upon completion of the course participants will be invited to join Earth Activists Trainings private community and gain access to online resources.


    In this course, you will learn how to design human systems that mimic natural systems using renewable resources. We will cover principles and practices that teach how to read the landscape, heal soil,  cleanse and harvest water, drought-proof land, make compost and biochar, sequester carbon, and bioremediate toxins.


    Hands-on projects that you will practice during your learning journey include:

    • Site mapping,
    • Water harvesting ,
    • Graywater and roof catchment,
    • Creating compost,
    • Sheet mulching,
    • Seed starting and plant propagation,
    • Natural building concepts (cob, straw-clay, and plastering),
    • Creation of collaborative design project. 


    Please reach out to our Student Support Team at:



    Grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism

    Exploring solutions for climate change– and the strategies and organizing tools to implement them

    Creating strength and abundance through biomimicry– human systems that learn from natural systems

    Learning principles and practices for how to read the landscape, build healthy soil, clean water, and design integrated and sustainable food systems


    Social Permaculture = RESILIENCE 

    Social permaculture is the Earth Activist Training difference. It teaches us how to organize our human communities, resolve conflicts, make decisions, and work together effectively to maintain our spirits.

    We are continuously looking to enhance our current online trainings with the magic of our in person gatherings which are taught interactively including songs, ceremony, and a variety of practical, hands-on, outdoor projects.


    We are:

      • Young people looking for a career oriented around sustainability
      • People in mid-life looking for a new direction for existing or new work
      • Established professionals wanting to broaden and deepen their knowledge of sustainable alternatives
      • Retirees wanting new fields to explore
      • Teachers, environmental educators, and youth workers
      • Anyone involved in gardening, especially school gardens and community gardens
      • Architects and landscape designers
      • People involved with intentional communities, co-housing and ecovillages, or those who want to start or join one
      • Gardeners, farmers, ranchers, and land stewards of all kinds
      • Green business entrepreneurs who want to have a broader understanding of the possibilities
      • Artists, musicians, poets, writers and dancers, and anyone who collaborates creatively
      • Community organizers and activists from many movements, including environmental justice, food justice, global justice, anti-oppression, human rights workers, and others
      • Dreamers, visionaries, and more

    International Certification


    Graduates of Earth Activist Training’s courses are recognized for their excellence by the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) .   Permaculture Design Course graduates are acknowledged by and registered with PINA .

    Graduation Requirements: 

    • Participation in all classes
    • Complete a final design project

      Earth Activist Training Certification: 

      Earth Activist Training courses are unique among permaculture classes. Our courses go beyond the standard internationally recognized 72 hr curriculum. We also offer additional teachings in social permaculture and earth activism.

    What is a Permaculture Design Certificate

    A Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) is an internationally recognized 72 hr. design course.
    Earth Activist Training’s PDC builds on the basic curriculum by adding a grounding in spirit and community activism
    Certificate acknowledged by the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA)


    Permaculture curriculum

    Graduating students will have completed 72-hours of approved Permaculture Design Certificate curriculum in the following areas


    • Observation
    • Reading the landscape
    • Site analysis
    • Zones and Sectors
    • Mapping
    • Design tools and processes
    • Collaborative design projects
    • Broadacre permaculture
    • Urban permaculture
    • Permaculture for gatherings, mobilizations, and disasters 


    • Creating healthy water cycles in living systems
    • Water harvesting
    • Swales, ponds, and earthworks
    • Keyline systems
    • Erosion control
    • Rain catchment for roofs
    • Greywater and blackwater systems


    • Soil structure
    • Soil biology
    • Soil building
    • Compost
    • Sheet mulch
    • Compost teas and ferments
    • Mushrooms
    • Bioremediation and mycoremediation (mushrooms & fungi)
    • Biochar


    • Plant needs
    • Plant guilds and polycultures
    • Cover crops
    • Agroforestry
    • Food forests
    • Plant propagation
    • Tree care: pruning and planting, choosing varieties
    • Sustainable forestry


    • Animals in our systems
    • Raising and feeding “microherds”—healthy soil microbial communities
    • Beneficial insects
    • Bees
    • Worms
    • Humane treatment of animals
    • Poultry
    • Livestock for the homestead
    • Holistic management grazing systems
    • Role of predators
    • Wildlife habitat
    • Alternatives for vegans


    • Climate change and strategies for adaption and mitigation
    • Microclimates
    • Windbreaks
    • Drylands
    • Tropics
    • Wetlands
    • Cold climates


    • Alternative and renewable energy: evaluating and designing systems
    • Active and passive solar
    • Wind
    • Microhydro
    • Alternative fuels and biogas

    Natural Building:

    • Insulation and thermal mass
    • Sustainable forest products
    • Cob, straw bale, light straw-clay
    • Plasters

    Social permaculture:

    • Personal regeneration and self-care
    • Site design to support social aims
    • Urban redesign
    • Group dynamics
    • Communication tools
    • Governance structures for collaborative groups
    • Ecovillages and community design
    • Meeting processes
    • Meeting facilitation
    • Alternative economics

    Organizing and activism:

    • Strategic organizing
    • Pro-active and pre-figurative movements
    • Campaign planning and organizing
    • Power mapping
    • Organizing in diverse communities


    • Connecting to the spirit in Nature
    • Creating ritual and ceremony
    • Grounding and centering
    • Sensing and shifting energy
    • Drumming, dancing, singing and meditation
    • Daily rituals



    • Our goal is to increase accessibility for our trainings
    • We offer two payment options in order to meet our audience where they are:
      1. One-time sliding scale payment
      2.  Six-part payment plan
    • If you select the payment plan, you will pay an initial deposit of $600 and six monthly installments of $350($2.700 total). Our Student Support Team will assist you in setting up this process

    Every Abundant Tuition helps support a Diversity Scholarship.


    • Groups of 2-5 people – Discount of $500 off each Standard tuition ($2400 total for each person)
    • Cohort of 6-10 people – Discount of $600 off each Standard ($2300 per person)
    • For group discount contact

      We are always here to help:


      • Earth Activist Training is committed to increasing the diversity of global permaculture and regenerative land movements
      • We recognize the history of this land called the United States and Canada and seek to do what we can to rectify the deep injustices and systems of inequity that formed and continue to shape society today

        Supported by your donations, a select number of pay-what-you-can Diversity Scholarships are available for Indigenous Peoples and Peoples of Color working in environmental and food justice.
      • These scholarships are pay-what-you-can with the recommended value of 50% of standard tuition ($1300), but any amount will be accepted and appreciated


      Fill out the from below to register now.


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