Permaculture uses a whole-systems design strategy to turn problems into solutions.

This flexible, multimedia, online permaculture design course was created to help busy women get the skills you need to not only provide healthy homegrown food for your family, but also to navigate the big issues like climate change, social justice, and long-term ecological sustainability.

Winter Sale is on NOW!!! Save $150

Learn to work with nature, rather than against it.

Everything you need to know about how to live in harmony with nature is free and available every time you put your hands in the soil. ​But for many of us, the language of the natural world is something we were never taught. Whole-system design thinking empowers us to make resilient, regenerative choices for the mind, body, community, and planet.

​Permaculture is about patterns and systems and flows, about learning the language of nature, and about using this language to design a future that we can be proud to pass on, starting with our gardens and spiraling out into every aspect of our lives.

Why is this the best online permaculture design course for you?

If these are true for you, you’re in the right place:

  • You want to help heal the planet.
  • You enjoy learning and interacting with a community of smart, creative women.
  • You love seeing how systems work, and want to learn how to use ecological principles in your own home, garden, and livelihood.
  • You would enjoy the support of an expert mentor.
  • You want to study on your own schedule, in your own space, with plenty of time to think, explore, and apply what you’re learning.
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Our Permaculture Design Course curriculum is focused on helping you create your personalized, ecological, home and garden design, AND an actionable plan for making it happen.

We use a three-ethics educational approach, tailored for multiple learning styles.

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Earth Care

  • Water
  • Soil Building
  • Companion Planting
  • Aquaculture
  • ​Food Forests
  • Urban Farming
  • Earthworks
  • Passive Solar
  • Seed Saving
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People Care

  • Self Care
  • Communication
  • Boundaries
  • Group Process
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Social Justice 
  • Organic Food
  • Economics
  • Teaching
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Future Care & Fair Share

  • Bioremediation
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Children’s Gardening
  • Placemaking
  • Decolonization
  • Zero Waste​
  • Appropriate Technology​
  • Activism

Our Winter Sale is on now, and everything is included!

Here’s what you get for only $600:

  • Lifetime access to all classes, forums, digital assets, and future updates. (And no, our course is NOT just a bunch of videos!)


  • Lifetime access to our unique Permaculture Design Studio, to walk you through each step of your personal whole-system design project.

  • 3 full hours of one-on-one consultation with one of our expert faculty.

  • Complete your design project and receive the 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate.

  • Option to earn the Advanced Social Systems Design Certificate.

Here´s what students are saying about this course

Want to see what it’s like in there? >>Try a free guest pass here

This online, whole-system design course is a transformative learning experience that will change your life…at a pace that works for you.

Most permaculture courses focus on landscape design but gloss over the people-care and future-care ethics that make permaculture design so powerful. This is usually because 2 weeks, or even 10, simply isn’t enough time to understand these complex issues, in the context of your actual life.


​In our course, we give you the time and space to really dig in to the complexities of creating truly whole-system design projects that will stand the test of time.You can navigate real challenges, as they arise, and all within the specific context of your own home, garden, and community.

Winter Sale Pricing $600 (only 42 seats left at this price)

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A tiny sample from one of our students’ designs

Warning! Side Effects of Learning Permaculture

Becoming a permaculture designer could lead to the following results…

Food Security

Permaculture garden design teaches a host of skills that will help you cultivate low-maintenance, highly productive perennial food forests that mimic nature and last generations. Translation: free food everywhere!

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Healthier Relationships

Relationships are the core of every permaculture design project, and our permaculture course devotes an equal balance to the oft-overlooked aspects of social systems and community organizing.

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Beautiful Surroundings

The permaculture transformation reverberates positive changes across every aspect of your life; this means your garden gets more beautiful, your body gets more healthy, and your lifestyle shifts toward nature, sunshine, and bliss. 

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An Ecological Legacy

Even a small project can transform the lives of not just the humans in your vicinity, but other species too. What better legacy than lush, abundant gardens and sustainable, healthy communities? 

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Design Studio, Mentorship, Classes: the Components of this Course

Our course has been peer-reviewed and certified through the Permaculture Association. ​ We offer two certificate options: you can earn the traditional Permaculture Design Course certificate OR do the extra work and earn a double certificate that recognizes your advanced training in Social Systems Design.


All certificate candidates are required to present a multilayered permaculture design project that could be implemented in their home, garden, and/or community. To help you achieve this, our course has three parts: 

  • Studio
  • Mentorship
  • Classes
Studio

The Permaculture Design Studio

The primary product a permaculture student creates for certification is your whole system design project.​

As you learn your new skill-set, you will work 1:1 with your faculty mentor to develop a site-specific, whole-system design that embraces the unique challenges and opportunities in your own home, garden, and interconnected relationships. ​

The Design Studio has case studies, design samples, and opportunities to give and receive feedback with other students and faculty. It also contains a series of step-by-step classes to walk you through from start to finish on your personalized permaculture design.

Mentorship

Your Dedicated Faculty Mentor

Your tuition includes three hours of 1:1 consultation from one of our expert faculty, to help you develop your student design project and presentation. ​

One of the best things about an online permaculture design course is that you can study with teachers from around the world, all offering real life examples from their own homesteads, gardens, and communities. What makes our course the best online permaculture course in the world is the fact that we include so many different teachers. Our course includes content from more than 100 female experts, and our active faculty, present to answer questions and support your progress, includes 20+ women from around the world, all of whom are recognized authors, teachers, and leaders in the permaculture community.


​Read more about our team here.

Classes

Multimedia Classes

In addition to the lessons in the Design Studio, our course includes more than 30 topical classes, created by our expert faculty, with video, writing, assignments, and case studies from around the world.

Here’s a detailed overview:


TRADITIONAL PERMACULTURE CERTIFICATE

To help develop their design project, students seeking the 72-hour Permaculture Designer Certification complete the following classes and a design project.


Introduction to Permaculture 

What is permaculture? Why is it important? What does permaculture offer our current ecological, agricultural, financial, cultural and emotional situation? Join us as we discuss its origin, tools, and philosophy, and discover why choosing to become a permaculture designer is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make! We will investigate your personal reasons for becoming a permaculture designer and explore the many ways permaculture can be used.​


Regenerative Foundations: Permaculture Ethics & Principles 

That is the perennial question in the permaculture worldview. This class will lay the conceptual foundation for your permaculture design work. Ethics and principles in permaculture provide structures that support the choices we will make. They provide a sense of what information is needed at different steps in the process, and what ecological systems we can integrate into our design. 


Patterns, Biomimicry & Cultural Emergence 

This class aims to deepen our understanding of patterns and biomimicry in order to provide useful tools for permaculture design. It also introduces Cultural Emergence, a toolkit for positive change towards a regenerative future. As part of developing our pattern of consciousness, you are invited to try some pattern disruption to bring the possibility of change into our lives.


The Home System 

The goals for this class are to give you the tools necessary to see your home and site as a whole permaculture system that has ever evolving and interrelating sub-systems and components. You’ll learn about zone and sector analysis, and why these are such important parts of a permaculture design process. 

Design for Invisible Structures & the Inner Landscape 

Why is it that so many permaculture projects don’t stand the test of time? It’s almost never because of the visible techniques and systems not functioning well. More often than not, problems in a permaculture project are caused by social, financial or legal issues that weren’t addressed in the design stage. In this class we will have a look at how these “invisible structures” influence you as a person, and consequently, how they impact the web of relationships that our society, as a system, is based upon.


Big Land 

Learn the importance of scale, the challenges of rural regeneration and how to design income from acres. This class will give students an opportunity to research, learn and get inspired to design their own big land permaculture project, and will also demonstrate important design considerations in projects of different scale.

The Built Environment 

People often look to the garden when thinking of permaculture, but so much of the environmental impact we make is through the design of the buildings in which we live and work. This class looks at the dynamics of incorporating permaculture ethics and principles into the creation and redesign of structures, buildings, and outdoor living areas. We’ll focus on passive solar design, multi-function design and earthen building techniques, retrofitting, and using local and recycled resources.  


Local Ecosystems 

This is an introductory class into ecology, ecosystems, energy and nutrient flow. We’ll cover the factors that shape the physical and biological environments of microorganisms, plants, and animals, and how organisms influence the flow of energy and cycling of nutrients within ecosystems. You will learn how to read the biotic and abiotic components of the landscape and how to shape a permaculture design from it.


Climates, Biogeography, Microclimates 

As permaculture designers we need to understand the climate in our region and our specific site, so that we can work with the climate optimally, by choosing the right plants, building materials and designs, etc. This class will give you an understanding of climate and microclimate and what you need to know as a designer for optimum results. Learn about climate in general, the factors that lead to different climates and the different climate zones. We will cover the modification of climate by humans. In particular we will cover local/microclimates and how they can be modified. 


Water 

Water is the most essential element to life on earth. Water is the great connector of all things, and it is where all ecological designs begin. In this class, you will learn how to take care of this precious resource not only in the landscape, but in your personal life as well. 


Earthworks 

Working with the land to meet our needs is a major part of permaculture. In this class we will discuss different techniques and applications of earthworks, the practice of re-shaping the land to make it more productive and interconnected. There are many schools of thought as to how we can do that, however some can be very destructive so it is important to consider our impact on any improvements we want to make. This class will highlight earthworks as it applies to your designs and developing your sites, however big or small they may be.


Soil Basics 

Learn about the history of our relationship with soils, the soil biota interaction with plants, the succession of plant growth, and the succession of soil life that supports different kinds of plants within an ecosystem. Explore weeds as paramedics, soil structure and function, easy soil assessment, pH effect on nutrient availability to plants, soil amendments, many compost recipes, and refractometers for measuring nutrient density in food and the effectiveness of compost.


Forests, Gardens, and Forest Gardens

Permaculture is about so much more than gardening, but plants are at the center of almost everything we do! This class focuses on how plants grow, and how to grow plants together in ways that make best use of your available space and resources.


Aquaculture and Season Extension: Making your own Microclimates 

Aquaculture can be simple, and it can be complex. However it is done, aquaculture should be sustainable. Water is a critical system for all life, and one that permaculture should make an integral part of the design. Season extension can also be simple or complex. The ways to extend your season (early or late) will come in the form of row cover, cloche, or greenhouses. Again the scale must fit the particular design and ideally be sustainable. Season extension allows for more yield, and a more diverse seasonal diet. Part of decolonizing the diet is to eat according to the season, a sort of pre-adaptation to food access. It is important to move away from processed foods and sugar and start eating whole foods grown right outside of your door!


Animals, Birds, and Bees 

Whether it’s livestock or pollinators, humans and their gardens are not complete without animals. We’ll have an overview of best management strategies for livestock management of all sizes, and how essential their services are even if some of us abstain from eating any part of them. We’ll also explore why wildlife are often beneficial (and sometimes not!) and how we can change the balance of ecology in our gardens so it is most resilient.


Holistic Seed Stewardship 

Seed is a precious common heritage, and an essential component to the future sustainability of our food. Our ancestors have faithfully passed us this incredible gift of life over countless generations. Join us as we talk about the creative ways of re-integrating seed stewardship back into our local community food systems, and how we can deepen our understanding of the nourishing cycles of life. Locally adapted seeds are at the foundation of any durable and resilient permaculture food system.


The Waste Cycle

Understanding, redefining, and addressing waste is at the heart of permaculture design and integral to your final design project. Waste can reveal design flaws, and provides an opportunity to better assess and create more efficient resource cycles. Waste can also be transformed into an opportunity resource. In this class we will explore strategies to address waste and ways to redesign systems, in our lives and in a world, where nothing need be seen, or treated, as waste.


Appropriate Technology 

This class will define appropriate technology while giving you various examples. It will teach you how to best apply these technologies in the context of a permaculture design and give you tools to identify when, in what context, and at what scale certain technologies should be used.


Designing for Resilience: Chaos and Catastrophe 

Permaculture’s ethics and principles can help you design a system that is resilient at a general level. By drawing on your sector analysis and considering hazards such as fires, storms or floods, you can develop risk assessments for your site and household. These will help you to strengthen your system design by considering potential extremes and emergencies.


Urban Permaculture 

The permaculture movement began as a re-imagining of agrarian landscapes but it has exciting emancipatory potential in re-imagining how cities might become places in which humans and nature co-create and co-operate. Urban permaculture allows us to create ecologically regenerative spaces in our individual lives and in collective spaces. As we will explore, social and economic permaculture become especially important in urban permaculture design.


Re-Imagining Economic Systems 

In this class, you will learn why the discussion of economic systems is important within a permaculture design certificate course and start to apply permaculture thinking to economics. We will discuss what it means to participate in economic exchange and you will be given some tools and examples of ways this can be done through the wisdom of permaculture ethics and principles. We will explore case studies of community currencies and the de-growth movement in the hopes that these will inspire you to bring more abundance into your life and the lives of those around you.


Community and Client Relationships 

This class helps you to find your community, define your role within it, and to apply the ethics and principles of permaculture to working in community. Building the right relationships and choosing the right structures to allow them to be beneficial supports us in our aims of creating right livelihoods and sharing our skills, talents and knowledge with the permaculture community and the world. We will also share resources for building a positive culture and avoiding and resolving conflict.


Social Justice & Decolonization 

In this class we will be considering some practical and personal implications of taking those “other two” permaculture ethics, People Care and Fair Shares/Future Care/Parity, more seriously in our design work, and giving them equal consideration alongside Earth Care. Through stories and activities we can look at things from different perspectives, and perhaps see ourselves from different perspectives too. By determining how and where we are in a more privileged position than some, we can help to ensure that our dreams, our good intentions and our designs don’t result in negative consequences or injustice for others.


The Pedagogy of Permaculture 

“WHAT THE HECK IS PEDAGOGY, and how is it going to help me grow stuff?” Pedagogy is the science of designing learning experiences and teaching based on the understanding of how people best learn. As such, a Permaculture Pedagogy might be defined as the art and science of being a good teacher guided by permaculture ethics, principles and approaches. Common permaculture pedagogical approaches such as working with multiple learning styles, informal education techniques and using outdoor teaching space can be used to teach many subjects. Teaching permaculture courses is one way in which permaculture pedagogy is applied, yet many of the same skills and approaches are used in design projects, activism, community development, parenting and the workplace.


ADVANCED SOCIAL PERMACULTURE CLASSES


​Our social permaculture curriculum stems from a massive body of collective knowledge and experience, and we are here to help you build regenerative projects and programs that thrive.


Advanced students still have access to the traditional classes, but students seeking advanced certification are also required to complete the following classes and apply them to a social systems design project, either in conjunction with their land-based design, (if pursuing the double certificate) or as a separate project.


Placemaking 

Meld anthropological theory, applied social justice and permaculture design methodology to explore and transmute the intricate workings of injustice. We often think about permaculture as the noble practice of regenerative land management. But as I’ve walked this path, I have also realised that collaborating with land is a source of deep healing for people that is differently accessible to people. For healthy human and ecological communities then, we must look at the barriers of access to land and creative solutions to equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.


Ecovillage and Neighborhood Design 

Whether you live in an apartment or in a suburb, you live within a system. At any scale, you can organize with fellow citizens and local leadership to improve and retrofit existing neighborhoods or plan eco-villages, co-housing and intentional communities. There are many ways to go about this and there are lots of things to think about. In this class, we explore some major themes in designing or evolving your community, village, neighborhood or cul-de-sac.


Working with Children and Youth 

Your permaculture education is a resource! One which can move outward from your interior language, and into the exterior world(s) that surround you. This class focuses on what we can and must share and teach children and youth about developing an ecological identity through a regenerative education that we co-create through a permaculture design process. Of equal importance, it is about what they share and teach us older people, who with all our good intentions and education and experience, may be further away from our connection to nature and forgetful of being a creative, capable creature!


Egalitarian Group Processes 

Learn how compassionate communication and organization can break down walls of hierarchy in many contexts. This work begins with the cultivation of compassion for ourselves, and spirals outward in recognition of the people systems within ecosystems. From inner work to outer work, we will apply this compassion as we explore a diversity of practices that have been employed to facilitate participatory group processes for conflict resolution, idea-generation, and decision-making.


Social Permaculture: The Art of Hosting 

Social permaculture includes how we “host” ourselves and others, how we face challenges, make decisions and govern ourselves in non-hierarchical, non-oppressive ways. It shares the systems’ view of life that is central to permaculture design and includes ever evolving practices, methodologies and ways of thinking that will stretch your edges and expand your sense of connection, compassion and belonging.


Working with Volunteers and Effective Mentoring 

In a permaculture project, people are a key component, how we activate and engage those people is critical to the efficacy and success of the project. From years of working with volunteers and mentoring people of various backgrounds and ages, Sarah has learned many lessons in what it takes to create a healthy program where each participant mutually benefits from the experience.


Advanced Design Theory: Emergent Design

Learn how landscape design translates to social systems design, and how to tap the highest potential of your designer’s mind. Explore multiple modes of inquiry and experiment with applying varied design models to problem-solving scenarios.


​Design Your Regenerative Right Livelihood 

A PDC is transformative because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for our lives and work. However, too often, after a PDC, folks require a long time to figure out their calling and how to earn a living with it. This class will outline some of the main obstacles on your path and speed up your “Pathfinding”… because the world needs you and the solutions only you can provide!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How exactly does the course work? Is it just videos? Do I have to commit to a schedule?

No, and no. Our course is not video-heavy, and we have worked hard to cater to multiple learning styles.


​You’ll find learning resources in a variety of media, and you’ll work at your own pace, in your own time and space, and build your Design Project as it goes along, while corresponding with your mentor and interacting in the student forum.


Scroll down to the bottom for a detailed overview of our full course curriculum.

What if I don’t own land? Will this course still be worth it for me?

Being a homeowner is not at all a prerequisite! Renters can do permaculture too. If you don’t own property, you will get as much (or perhaps more) out of this course as a homeowner would.


Even if you’re just in a temporary place, this course could be super helpful, for a few reasons: 


  1. You have a full year to complete the course, so you could easily spend the first few months working through the theoretical parts, and getting the small stuff worked out, then evolve the bigger project when you settle.
  2. The design process will give you a chance to dream and imagine your options.
  3. ​We encourage students to recognize that the design course trains you in the process and opens your eyes to the resources available to you, but the actual design you create, on paper, is just a practice design. It doesn’t need to be perfect nor permanent. We do encourage you to design where you live, but you don’t even have to choose a site until you’ve been deep in the course for some time.

How is an online landscape design course going to be relevant to my local climate and geographical area?

Permaculture is about learning how to design in ANY climate, based on understanding what Nature is trying to tell you. Our course has students and teachers from every climate, all over the world.


​We will pair you with somebody from a similar climate, if at all possible, but please know that you will learn whole-system strategies that can be applied across the globe.

So I get lifetime access but have a year to finish? What does that mean?

If you want to earn the certificate(s), you will need to complete a design project (just on paper–not the implementation part) within a year of enrolling. After that, you retain lifetime access to all materials and future updates.

What if I sign up and then change my mind. Do you offer a refund guarantee?

Yes, of course. If you aren’t completely satisfied, you have up to 30 days to ask for a full refund (minus the CC processing fee of 2.5%)

Do you offer a payment plan?

We don’t have a payment plan, since it’s an online course and all payments are made via credit card or Paypal, and they offer payment plans already. Meanwhile, we do offer many free classes, so if the tuition is too much for you, go here.

What’s the difference between this course and the free yearlong course?

All of our online permaculture design courses emphasize real-life experimentation in your own home, garden, and community. Permaculture is about living with nature, and about designing systems that work, and our mission is to make sure ALL of our students are empowered, not just the paying ones.

However, investing in the certificate program comes with significant perks:

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Optimized for every device and platform

Take your studies anywhere with you, collect notes in the field, and access the included collection of digital assets to help you create and share your design project.

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Ready to Design Your Permaculture Garden, Life, and Legacy?

This course will change your landscape and your life.

And with our 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee, it’s a no-risk no-brainer!

Need to get in touch?

Send an email to guild@permaculturewomen.com