Permaculture Design Certificate Course - grant funds available!

  • June 9, 2013 · 9:00 AM
  • Kimberton Waldorf School Garden Building

Join us for our Summer session of the Full Permaculture Design Course!

Earn an Internationally recognized Certificate in Permaculture Design this summer in our Flexible Weekend format course, located in Chester County PA (~ 25 min. from Philadelphia).

LIMITED AMOUNT OF GRANT FUNDING AVAILABLE TO PA RESIDENTS! SE Ag Partnership can fund 7 attendees at 65%, so the participant pay only $340.20 for the full course. Please see below (3 links to files on Dropbox with additional information and the forms to apply for the funding).

Course work includes the 72 hours of Instruction in Permaculture based on the material in the Permaculture Designer's Manual (Mollison): theory, hands-on practicum, team design exercises, final presentation (the infamous Talent Show and celebration) and so much more.  We will be implementing some projects on the campus this summer so there will be opportunities to "get your hands dirty" with this course!

Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to learn:
-Beekeeping basics
-Biodynamic Farming, Natural Farming
-Small Plot (Intensive) Farming/Gardening
-Edible Forest Gardening ("Food Forests" - perennial polycultures)
-Coppice/pollard agroforestry & coppice crafts/uses
-wild foods/edible & medicinal weeds - id and prep.
-food storage techniques & food fermentation
-Mycoremediation (Mycotechnology) techniques- using mushrooms to regenerate degraded urban sites & conventionally farmed ag land
-Ecological Restoration: project design, maintenance
-Forest stewardship and best management practices for forested areas
-Trail design/building/maintenance
-Limnology (in-land water systems) management of ponds/lakes, streams...
-Water harvesting techniques -- rain gardens, bioswales ("keyline design")
-Designing a Children's Permaculture Garden
-Organic vegetable/fruit production
-Compost and Compost Tea
-Bokashi (indoor) composting techniques
-Harnessing the power of effective microbes (DYI E.M.s!)
Making and using low cost Effective Microorganisms
-Building Equitable Communities & Social Permaculture
-school gardens
-Appropriate Technology (rocket stoves/rocket mass heaters, biodigestors, tractorinos, passive solar design) & computer tools useful in Permaculture Design
-Creating 'closed-loop' systems
- Modern homesteading
- Aquaculture
-Urban Permaculture design
-Choosing a property, Siting a building
-Eco-village design
-Chickens, goats and other animals in a Permaculture System
-Vermiculture and more!

Note: This course may also be attended for less rigorous non-certification (see FEE Section below for more information). A minimum of 72 hours of course time is required to complete the certificate. Participants are urged to attend all sessions but, in the event of a scheduling conflict, illness, or emergency, etc. we can arrange for additional assignments to make up for ONE missed session.

The 450 + acres biodynamically farmed campus of the Kimberton Waldorf School - Chester Co. PA (approx. 25 miles outside the city of Philadelphia)

June 9
June 30
July 7
July 21
Aug 4
Aug 11
Aug 18
Sept 1

TIME 9:00 am to approx. 5:30 pm each session

Certificates are issued after satisfactory completion of the Permaculture Design Course requirements - certificate is conferred through the Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild teachers. (cost for additional Certificate = $20.00) Requirements include: * Attendance & Participation is design team exercises, presentations * Participation in the Talent Show (it's a lot of fun anyway - you will be glad you did!) * Satisfactory completion of the final design project * All Payment Agreements met in full... (please refer to our refund policy).

* SLIDING SCALE $900.00 - $[masked] for full course!


$200 non-refundable deposit required to hold your space in the course, due before May 10, 2013 (to receive a $50 discount on the course fees). Please see "PAYMENTS", below.

After May 10, 2013:  $250.00, non-refundable deposit, due before June 5, 2103

(all options require payment of the non-refundable deposit with your registration, please contact us if you have questions)

Option 1: Pay the full balance of course fees (less deposit), before the start of the course June 9

if you require a more flexible payment schedule:

Option 2: Pay 1/2 of course fees (less deposit) by June 9, 2013 with the balance of course fees payable on/before August 1, 2013

(Note: Meals, Lodging & Transportation not included)

PAYMENT IN CASH, CHECK or MONEY ORDER- once you have registered here on the meetup, please send payment to (checks payable to Permanent Future Institute):
Permanent Future Institute
1233 S. Broad St
Lansdale PA 19446

In the spirit of the Permaculture commitment to the ethic of People Care, we offer a sliding fee scale - You decide what amount within the sliding scale you can pay. This is an honor system - please honor it:) Remember that those with the ability to pay the full fee are helping to fund others who cannot- even more people care!

* NON-CERTIFICATE OPTION: Those wishing to participate in an individual session/sessions of the course have the option of paying per day @ the rate of $90/day - note: you will NOT receive assignments/NOT qualify for the Certificate

* 10% Discount for teachers
* 10% Discount for 2 or more from the same household registering together (couples, family...)
* in rare circumstances we may consider payment of fees in barter/service, and/or allow installments but please remember there are expenses associated with offering the course which include: venues, teachers, guest teachers, this is not always possible.

SPONSORSHIP Support our Permaculture Scholarship Fund! Gifts-in-kind and scholarship fund donations are welcome and honored. Please Consider sponsoring a Permaculture Design Certificate course participant. Those wishing to participate in the course, but lack available funding are encouraged to seek out sponsors (health food stores, environmental groups, holistic health care professionals - you won't know unless you ask them!). Donations are not tax deductable.

What to Bring/Wear... Water bottle, sun protection, rain-gear (if warranted), appropriate footwear/weather appropriate clothing, a notebook, camera, a packed lunch/snacks and your readiness to learn. Please refrain from wearing perfumes or fragrances, as it may inadvertently attract insects or affect other participants with sensitivities.


Can be found Here:


and, the grant requirements Summary, Here:

About the Primary Course Teacher:

Course Facilitators:
Melissa Miles is a Permaculture Designer, Environmental Biologist and Conservation Planner. Melissa's experience in Natural Resources and Conservation Planning includes > 15 yrs. in restoration ecology, managing nature preserves & conservation easements, providing conservation planning services to municipalities, land owners and farmers and providing conservation related educational programming to the general public and designing permaculture systems (on various scales). Additionally, Melissa has studied Biogeochemistry and Green Building & Sustainable Design at the graduate level, and has worked as an Environmental Engineer, Horse Farm Manager and has been managing Two Miles Micro-Farm (an urban micro-farm located in Montgomery Co. PA, selling organically grown produce at local farm markets/restaurants) for the past several seasons. Melissa teaches & lectures at various locations in and around the region, including Bucks Co. Comm. College's Green Jobs Academy & U of P Morris Arboretum and is currently working toward a PhD in Ecovillage Design and co-authoring a title on the subject of Anaerobic Digestion for Chelsea Green Publishing ("Dragon Husbandry" -- available Spring, 2013).

Additional instructors will be helping to facilitate by sharing with us their particular areas of expertise during the course sessions.

Recommended (not required) texts:
* Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. Toby Hemenway. Chelsea Green, 2001 and 2010

* Permaculture Designer's Manual. Bill Mollison. Tagari Publishing

* Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. David Holmgren. Holmgren Design Services Publishing, 2002.

What other participants of EPPG PDC have said about the course:

Permaculture is changing my life! Not only is it giving me what I need to improve and regenerate landscapes, it is improving and regenerating my life. The principles and ethics, tools and techniques are transferable and applicable to my work as a teacher and to my relationships with others. Permaculture provides a wonderful way of being in the world.

"If you are interested in growing your own food and improving your land, no matter what size land you own, this course is for you. You will come away with a complete mind-shift in how plants grow and interact in our environment and learn more about God's design for life. Melissa is an energetic instructor and willing to answer a hundred questions if that is what you have. I am so glad I made the commitment and did the coursework because now I have a plan for our property and can help others too."

Permaculture is a design for Life!
Food is the essence of life and Permaculture is the essence of being self reliant with a huge accent on self sustaining agriculture. Purpose driven knowledge is one of the best experiences to have. I had such an experience when I took the certificate course in Permaculture with Melissa Miles.

Each and every session, Melissa created a compelling environment for my learning experience. The accent was always on improving the situation at hand. We the class came up with all of the possibilities and was able to implement the improvements. The hands on agriculture section are only one aspect of Permaculture. The in depth course also included aquaculture, biogas, transition towns and oh so much more. Melissa'a references make class a blast of fun!

As an Environmental Biologist, Conservationist and Planner, Melissa Miles has a personal drive to share her wisdom. Wisdom is delivered via Melissa's poignant humor. As director of the Easter Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild, Melissa has managed to grow the Guild to a crazy huge number… meeting her own expectations of what is possible. In my personal experience, after I have picked Melissa's brain about things that confused me, I was able to see the forest for the trees. Forest gardening can be profoundly simple. When concepts and methods are taught by Melissa, Permaculture becomes compelling. I never fail to be amazed by her in-depth answers as her memory and recall are truly amazing. Melissa lives Permaculture. The work/ study are forthright and simple. Reading proceeds field work. Then there is the camaraderie of the class to consider... Sharing of thoughts, food, experiences as well as knowledge is the class culture.

New self realizations came with each session. And now I am a lot closer to designing for my life as well as helping clients in my re-design business.
I am sad to see my course end … however I am happy to say I am an active member of the [Eastern] Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild.

Join or login to comment.

  • Leslie

    I would like to connect with others ...have an opportunity to practice what I learned in Vermont here in Philadelphia. Creating a permaculture plan to include a tiny house as a"demonstration" house for a small footprint that I will live in.

    October 13, 2013

    • rachel

      Hey this sounds great I'd love to get involved [masked]

      October 14, 2013

  • Leslie

    I have just moved back to Philadelphia area after starting an organic farm in very interested in the next permaculture course.....will there be one?

    1 · October 13, 2013

  • Katie P.

    Thanks for the photos Jane! Great memories from the summer and feeling very inspired for future permie endeavors thanks to Melissa and our classmates :-)

    2 · September 3, 2013

  • Jane

    Melissa Miles is a goddess! Take this class and the scales will fall from your eyes. Thanks Melissa, and all the smart, funny, creative people who shared themselves and their summer. xoxoxox

    2 · September 2, 2013

  • Danielle N.

    I had a and wonderful experience with this course. Melissa is absolutely amazing with her knowledge and her experience. I am a changed person after taking this course. I couldn't think of a better way to have spent so many Sundays this summer. The group was great and the topics were worthwhile and applicable. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We will be back for the homesteader's course!

    2 · September 1, 2013

    • Melissa M

      You guys are awesome! So glad you decided to join the course, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend the summer with such talented, fun & energetic people :)

      September 3, 2013

  • Nathan Amato J.

    When is the next Permaculture Design Course to sign up for?

    August 7, 2013

    • Melissa M

      We will be announcing the next course soon - the start date will likely be sometime in Oct. Thanks :)

      August 20, 2013

  • Donna N. C.

    Hi Arianna. I live in Media and would gladly drive you to Kimberton. You can get to Media, via Septa, either trolly or train. The weekend schedule can be a bit limited, though.

    June 7, 2013

  • Arianna H.

    Hello! My name is Arianna and I am signed up to participate in the Permaculture Design Course this summer. I can't wait to learn all about permaculture and get my hands dirty.

    I'm hoping to connect with other course participants prior to our first day to set up a rideshare from Philadelphia to the Kimberton Waldorf School. I live in Fishtown and transport myself by bike and public transit, and I'd be happy to meet up wherever is convenient within Philadelphia. If you live in Philadelphia, are planning to drive to the course location, and would like to share the trip and expenses with another friendly, responsible participant please let me know!

    My email address is ariannalhr AT
    Thank you!

    June 3, 2013

  • Susan

    I would like to attend, but wonder, since I am in Philadelphia, if I will be able to apply some, most or all of this course.

    June 2, 2013

  • Tara W.

    we are two art teachers who want to bring permaculture design to our work, life, and urban environment.

    May 28, 2013

  • Lindsey

    ooops - my internet access is a mess! that last message from me was supposed to have been sent weeks ago... no need for an answer!

    May 21, 2013

  • Lindsey

    Does anyone know if any of the scholarships are still available? I looked at the dropbox documents, but didn't see a deadline for applying.I would love to attend but don't have the full $900. Thanks

    May 21, 2013

  • Donna P.

    will this course be offered again? I really want to attend but I can't make one of the dates

    May 20, 2013

  • Alexandra A.

    my husband and i want to sign up!

    May 14, 2013

  • Sue

    Do you know yet which topics will be covered on what days (i.e., is a schedule of the classes available yet)?

    May 14, 2013

  • Melissa M

    Hi Steve,
    We've found that the weekend format best suits the schedule of many (but not all) since it generally doesn't require any time off from work. Also, participants often form carpool groups to reduce wasted travel. You are welcome to post a message here to see if anyone is coming from your area and is interested in doing so :)

    May 6, 2013

  • Donna N. C.

    I will be sending my deposit shortly.

    April 28, 2013

  • steve

    If these classes were offered in a way not so spread out i might consider. to much wasted travel this way.

    April 28, 2013

  • luke

    would love to be able to attend and learn, but not sure if i'm physically able to do what is ask. would not want to hinder a team and be dead weight so to speak. hope someone takes the time for pics and video.

    April 27, 2013

Your organizer's refund policy for Permaculture Design Certificate Course - grant funds available!

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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