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2014 Maine Permaculture Design Certification Course - Weekend Format

Be part of creating a better future.

A one-weekend-per-month format for the internationally-recognized full Permaculture Design Certificate Course, running May through September 2014 in Unity, Maine.  Co-sponsored by MOFGA and held at the Common Ground Education Center. This course is recommended for home-owners and renters, farmers and gardeners, landscape professionals, planners, architects, engineers, tradespeople, community activists and anyone interested in charting a new course for themselves and their communities.

Co-sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Expected Outcomes:

Gain a thorough understanding of permaculture origins, ethics, principles and design methodologies.

Enhance your ability to build soil, capture water, reduce energy consumption, generate energy, grow and store food, read the landscape and create edible perennial ecosystems.

Become a resource for your family and neighborhood, building resilience at the personal, household, enterprise and community levels.

Be able to approach any property and apply a permaculture design methodology and set of applied techniques to achieve increased resilience and true sustainability.

Learn how to start transforming even challenging properties into healthy, high-yielding systems of abundance that require little to no fossil fuels.

Change the way you view the challenges around you.

Past students are recommending the Permaculture Design Certificate Course course because...

"This entire experience has been phenomenal. Not only would I recommend this course, I already have. I am so grateful to have found the meetup and this class. I learned tremendous amounts about permaculture, the dynamics of the universe, and teaching. So many things from the class resonate with me on a daily basis, and I am sure they will continue to do so into the future. The learning environment, first hand experience, diverse group and yummy food all contributed to a learning experience that I looked forward to every month. Thank you." (Sarah Bryan)

"This course was a metamorphic experience. I now look at the world through green-colored glasses, seeing opportunity for permaculture-inspired resilience wherever I go. I expected to learn permaculture principles and techniques through the instructor(s), and did, far above and beyond what I anticipated. Lisa also included many moments of focus on our individuality and our group, grounding us within the permaculture knowledge flow. I learned so much from the other students as well and was inspired by the broad range of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and potluck options (!) that were brought to the circles. I'm sad to see it end, but am excited at the same time, knowing I have a fully stocked permaculture knowledge base for things like making swales this weekend! Life changing. World changing." - Melanie Wehrwein

"I would recommend this course because not only does it expose those who participate to the philosophy, principles, and techniques of Permaculture, but also you will learn in a nurturing and joyful environment." (Rael G.)

"It is tremendous and life altering and revolutionarily simple in it's brilliance and because you discover the tools within you to create the change that you know must happen in this great big beautiful injured world."(Sarah Bostick)

"It game me a much deeper appreciation of permaculture principles and some really valuable hands on practical skills that I could implement immediately. The material was always clear, well-organized, and relevant. Overall, it was a great experience." (Tom Beckley)

"This course has offered me more than I could've imagined. I went into this course thinking I was going to learn about landscapes and design as though they were elements separate from myself. But what I've come to understand is that the landscape starts from within ourselves, our zone "zero zero". In order for us to be effective units of change on the outside we need to understand what is happening on the inside. And this course has allowed me to reach in and acquire the tools I need, in order to lead a life with a clear path and a directed intention, in which my outside landscape will inevitably feel the positive ripple. Truly 'whole systems thinking.'" - Dave Schroeder

"It was the perfect combination of the social and economic concepts of permaculture, the actual design process, and permaculture planting, landscaping and building techniques. So much information was presented through a nice variety of formats, and there was plenty of time for getting to know the other students and soak in the knowledge and experience each person was bringing to class. My time in this course was filled with unexpected "aha!" moments and so much of what I learned and was exposed to has impacted my life in ways I never could have expected. This course has changed the way I see the world and how I want to spend my time in it. Not to mention all of the concrete skills I've acquired. I started this class with very little knowledge of gardening, building, or landscaping, and now I feel equipped to design, plant and implement permaculture systems on my own property as well as others." - Kate Bathras

"Permaculture is an amazing skill set to have as we move forward into a world where fossil fuels will be more scarce, where we need to re-learn to rely on each other and work together as a community, where we can come together to teach each other skills old and new, and where we will need to be growing more of our own food close to home and relying more on earth's natural abundances rather than borrowing from our children's and grandchildren's futures. Lisa is an amazing, eloquent, incredibly knowledgeable, and skilled teacher, as well as a wonderful resource. Her passion for working together as a community instead of approaching our uncertain future from a fear-based attitude of lack is inspiring, and something we can all learn from. I can't recommend this course more highly. I feel like it was worth many times what we paid for it, and I am so incredibly grateful to have had this experience, grown my permaculture community, and to have a new skill set to put into practice so that I can go on to help others myself. A thousand thank-you's- It was truly phenomenal!!!"  (Hannah Fogg, Pownal, ME PDC member Winter[masked])

Permaculture Design Certificate Course Details

Where: This course will take place at the spacious Common Ground Education Center in Unity Maine; the site will also be base camp from which we'll make several field trips to sites relevant to permaculture.

When: This course will be held over the course of 5 weekends (some 3-day weekends), May through September 2014. Course dates in 2014 will be:  May 16,17,18 | Jun 27,28,29 | Jul 19,20| Aug 23,24 | Sep 5,6,7.  This works well for those who cannot take extensive time off from work or home responsibilities. Class time generally runs 9am to 5pm with films/speakers on the Saturday night of each weekend.  Camping is available on-site for Saturday night.

Cost: $1095 ($995 early registration). Payment plans can be arranged. Course fee includes full course materials and certification, coffee, tea + am/pm snacks and refreshments, handouts, over 20 gigabytes of course reference materials (digital format), access to the 200+ volume physical permaculture library, field trips, guest instructors and camping on-site during course weekends. One evening meal per weekend is provided and lunches potluck/BYO.  $250 Deposit holds your spot in this course.

Want to reduce your fee?

Register and pay in full by March 15th ($100 off)

Hour Exchange (and reciprocal time bank) members can use up to 10 hours toward $200 off tuition (not including the deposit).

For every enrolled student that you refer, receive $50 off your total tuition for this course.

Consider becoming a Community-Supported-Permaculturist by fund raising a portion of your course fee.  Here is a sample fund raising letter that you can modify to suit your needs.

Class Size is limited.  This course typically sells out.

What: This course consists of the traditional 72-hour PDC course + approx 40 additional hours (+ homework and self-directed study) to ensure we cover hands-on activities, regional examples and timely developments. You will participate in this course through a combination of lecture, hands-on exercises, guest speakers, field trips, homework, video, discussion and a group student design project. There will be pre-work before the course and 2-3 hours of "homework" between course weekends. Students must attend all sessions and complete the group design project in order to receive their certificates of completion.

NEW! Permaculture Design Course graduates - beginning in 2013 - gain automatic membership to the Maine Permaculture Designers Guild for one year (at the Apprentice Designer level) at no additional cost!

Use this page to register and make your deposit with a credit/debit/prepaid card or paypal. Alternatively, use this form to send in a check. Remember, $100 off if fully paid by March 15th!

There are two recommended texts and two articles to read before the start of this course. Please visit for details on the prework. Thanks!


Topics Include (but not limited to...)

Permaculture Background & Context

Permaculture Ethics & Principles

Patterns in Nature / Pattern Literacy

Reading the Landscape

Intro to Site Assessment

Living Soils & Soil Health

Sheet Mulching Techniques

Building Your Permaculture Toolkit

"Synergistic Garden" & Fukuoka Methods

Permaculture Design Analysis Methods

Viewing a Property Through a Permaculture Lens

Permaculture Plants for the Northeast

Polycultures, Guilds and Forest Gardening

Keyline Design, Chisel-Plowing and Swales

Coppice Agroforestry

Animals in the Landscape

Water in the Landscape

Biodynamics & Permaculture

Renewable Energy for Home & Farm

Retrofitting Buildings for Resilience

Affordable Green Building/Examples

Retrofitting Existing Neighborhoods

Permaculture & Community "Invisible Structures"

Social & Economic Permaculture

"Broadacre" Permaculture Opportunities for Farms

Becoming Permaculture Resources in Your Community

Design Methodologies and Conventions

Mycelial Permaculture Connections to the World

Design Practicum + Presentations

Carrying Permaculture Forward

Lisa Fernandes will be the lead convenor of this course.  Past facilitators and contributors have included Charles & Julia Yelton, Jesse Watson, Lisa DePiano, Mark Krawczyk and many others  joining along the way to provide a unique learning experience tailored to our bioregion.

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Your organizer's refund policy for 2014 Maine Permaculture Design Certification Course - Weekend Format

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • you can cancel at least 30 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: 50% refunded if withdrawn 30 days before course starts, 75% 60 days prior and 100% (except the $100 non-refundable portion of your deposit) if 90 days prior.

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

Regardless of the refund policy set by the organizer, Meetup may issue refunds on an organizer's behalf if we determine that Meetup's Payment Policies have been violated.

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