A community-based online permaculture course that empowers
you to enact change in your life and communities.

10-week online course
April 12 - June 4, 2021


What is this course?

In this 10-week Permaculture Design Certification Course (PDC), Quail Springs offers you the tools to create meaningful change in yourself and your communities through permaculture design, a system of design for sustainable human settlement based on observation of the natural world and land-based ways of knowing. Guided by the three core permaculture ethics - people care, earth care, and fair share (redistribution of surplus) - this course empowers us to design our lives to create the lasting change that our world needs.

Why this course?

Constant exposure to stories of environmental and social crises can leave us feeling immobilized and unsure of how we can effect positive change in our world. Many of us are left feeling as if our actions towards positive change aren’t enough under the weight of these ongoing crises. This course focuses on providing you with the scalable tools to mobilize for change - whether it’s in your home garden, your neighborhood, or your region.

This online Permaculture Design Certification Course takes students through an integrated curriculum that is self-aware, actionable, and community-based. This course is a 72-hour curriculum that includes a Permaculture Design Certificate through the Permaculture Research Institute upon completion of the course and design project.

" There aren’t words for how this course has impacted me… I know that this has altered the trajectory of my life, both personally and professionally. "
Ciara Butterfield
Former PDC Participant

Why Quail Springs?

Quail Springs has been teaching in-person Permaculture Design Certification Courses for over a decade. More than 1,000 students have gained their Permaculture Design Certification with us and have gone on to do change-making work in their communities and in their own lives.

Our teaching staff are farmers, activists, builders, and thinkers who not only teach, but also advocate at a regional level for policy change from agriculture to building codes. Quail Springs’ teaching staff includes both instructors who are residents at Quail Springs’ site, and instructors who live elsewhere and have contributed their expertise to this virtual course.

" I do not think that I would have had the same experience had I taken the PDC somewhere else. The instructors, their knowledge, and the information was exceptional. "
Nyakio Kaniu-Lake
Former PDC Participant

Together. Online.

It is with excitement that we shift this flagship Permaculture Design Certification Course online, and invite you to join us for the experience. Quail Springs is committed to community-building as a core value of this course even when we are sharing space virtually. This course centers on connecting and uplifting the world's greatest resource: you.

Registration Information

  • Enrollment Opens: February 15, 2021
  • Sliding Scale Cost: $700 – $1000 — What is Sliding Scale?
  • Alternative pricing options available for BlPOC folks, and need-based scholarship opportunities available. Contact us here with any questions.
  • This course will be capped to keep the course connective, and we expect it fill up fast! Mark your calendars, or guarantee your spot by pre-registering below to get exclusive access to early enrollment.

Preview the course curriculum

WEEKS 1 – 4

Introduction to Permaculture

  • Why Permaculture
  • Permaculture Worldview
  • Ethics & Principles
  • Permaculture & Science

Patterns in Permaculture

  • Patterns in Nature
  • Pattern Application in Design
  • Reading the Landscape

Design Methodologies and Process 

  • Design Methods
  • Permaculture Processes in Design
  • Resilient Community Design Methods
  • Design for Catastrophe


  • Hydrology 101
  • Water in the Landscape
  • Regenerative Groundwater Management


  • Earthworks for Rainwater Harvesting and Resilience 
  • Earthworks in the Field


  • Living Soils
  • Exercises for Soil Classification

WEEKS 5 – 6

Trees and Forests 

  • Forests and Food Forest Functions
  • Food Forest Design
  • Food Forests in the Field 

Growing Strategies and Methods 

  • Garden Strategies for Water Conservation and Soil Building  
  • Drylands Strategies
  • Kitchen Gardens
  • Seeds and Seed Saving
  • In the Quail Springs Garden: How-To’s Bundle
  • Urban Agriculture


  • Integrated Animal Systems
  • Animal Ethics
  • Introduction to Quail Springs Animal Systems
  • Introduction to Beekeeping 

Broadscale Landscape Design 

  • Agroforestry
  • Regenerative Grazing as a Broadscale Technique 

What About Waste?

  • Building and Using Greywater Systems
  • Compost and Vermiculture

WEEKS 7 – 10

Appropriate Technology 

  • Introduction to Appropriate Technology
  • Appropriate Technology at Quail Springs
  • Rainwater Harvesting for Home and Growing Systems

The Built Environment 

  • Natural Building Methods and Materials
  • The Built Environment
  • Fire Resilience & Housing Sovereignty
  • Naturally Built Structures
  • Building with Cob

Conscious Social Design 

  • The 8 Forms of Natural Capital
  • Community/Neighborhood Design
  • Permaculture Network & Projects to Watch
  • Advocate for Our Future: Quail Springs How-To Training Guide on Becoming a Regional Groundwater Advocate

Design Projects

Design Submission

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet Your Instructors.

Sasha Rabin - Permaculture Design Certification Course
Sasha Rabin
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Daniel Parra Hensel - Permaculture Design Certification Course
Daniel Parra Hensel
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Lindsay Allen - Permaculture Design Certification Course
Lindsay Allen
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Warren Brush - Permaculture Design Certification Course
Warren Brush
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Natalie Buckley-Medrano - Permaculture Design Certification Course
Natalie Buckley-Medrano
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10-week online course
April 12 - June 4, 2021