PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE (PDC)
This course reflects about 20 years of our experience in teaching the
Permaculture Design Course worldwide. Along the way, we adapted many of the
details in this course incorporating what we learned from student groups. We
strive for a version of the one-room school house in which students learn
from students as well as from the teacher. This is consistent with the
permaculture principle of fully utilizing all available resources that suit a
PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE CERTIFICATION
Students must complete all requirements and assignments in this course to receive Elfin Permaculture Design Course Certification as an entry-level
permaculturist. Not everyone needs certification. You can take the course
not for certification if you wish, however certification students have first
priority if we are at the enrollment limit. If you do not wish
certification, obviously you can adjust your participation to suit your
personal needs and choices. Major certification requirements are listed below.
Elfin Permaculture has adapted its three-week live permaculture
design course to serve as a correspondence course with an email classroom.
The program follows almost the same outline as our three week standard
Permaculture Design Course, except we have added a module for "Design for
Health". From time to time, we revise the course somewhat to keep pace with
revisions in the live design course or to adapt to the special circumstances
of interment communication. You may get a good idea of course content by
ordering Yankee Permaculture Paper #24e from our regular order form. That is
the email version of the course outline. The current price and handling
charge are listed in the Yankee Permaculture Order Form. Paper 24e is sent
free to all registered students and monitors of the online course.
For people with scheduling problems, or with a need to spread out
payments, it is possible to enroll in one section at a time. The total cost
is higher than prepaying for the entire course at one time. The best
sequence is the one we have designed (below). However, any sequence that
suits the student may be taken except that Section I of the course is
required for enrolling in the design project.
Section 1: Introduction and Basic Principles
World ecological problems and interrelationships.
Principles of natural design.
Permaculture design concepts.
Patterning, edges, edge effects.
The Permaculture Design Report
Principles of transformation (Unique to Elfin Permaculture courses.)
Section 2: Appropriate Technologies in Permaculture Design (Special feature of Elfin Permaculture Courses)
Water--impoundments, aquaculture, conservation, etc.
Design for Health (NEW)
Section 3: Social permaculture. Design Report.
Design for catastrophe.
Final design reports and critiques.
PDC--DESIGN REPORT REQUIREMENT
Each certificate student completes a design or contributes significantly to a team of students that submits a single design. Designs must be based on a real place to which the student has frequent access. We expect most
students to design their own homes. There must be a strong possibility that a
good design will be implemented by the site residents. We are not interested
in theoretical exercise here. At a minimum, the permaculture design will
address provision of food, water, energy, shelter, fiber, and income for the
residents, protection and enrichment of the ecosystem, and practicable step
by step recommendations for implementation over at least a three-year time
frame. Designs must be practical, affordable by residents, safe, legal, and
within the cultural constraints of the residents and community. The design is
exceedingly site specific, and frequent access to the design site is
Two acres, or about a hectare, are approximately the upper limit of what
a student should attempt in a beginning design. These can be part of larger
properties, in which case the ways in which they integrate with the larger
property will be included in a design project.
We encourage students who live near one another to work together on a
single design. There is a tuition discount if they do. (See below.)
Enrollment in or completion of Section I is required for the design
project. Students may, of course, begin a design project at any time.
However, we will not support the process until after completion of Section I
where the design report requirements are taught.
A student unable to complete his/her report within the 6 month course
period may request permission to submit a report in Section I of the next
course without late fees. (We may need to limit the number of carry-over
designs.) Thereafter, the student must request permission reregister for the
design report portion of the course. Exact terms for reregistered students
are at the discussion of the instructor. Additional provisions are posted to
registered students with the requirements for the design project in Section I
of the course. Students must complete ALL OTHER REQUIREMENTS of their initial
course to carry their design project to future courses. If a student fails to
meet the extended deadline for completing approval of his/her design report,
the student must re-enroll in the design practicum to continue.
Graduates of this or another Elfin Permaculture certificate course may
achieve ADVANCED CERTIFICATION by taking the design practicum for additional
design projects, provided that these are submitted in Section I of a course.
(This allows the students to see some design work and discussion before they
start on their own designs.) Again, this must be arranged in advance with
the instructor. We may make additional arrangements or requirements on a case
by case basis.. Graduates of courses taught by other instructors should
consult us if they wish to seek advanced certification in this way. We will
limit the number of designs considered in Section I at the instructor's
ALTERNATE ARRANGEMENTS for fulfilling the design requirement for
certification are detailed in "PDC Costs" below.
DEADLINES for proposing the design project, requesting permission to
extend the design process, to submit design drafts, and for the final design
report submission are posted at the beginning of each course. Deadlines for
designs to be presented in the following course cycle are at set the
discretion of the instructor.
NOTE ON DESIGN REPORT
Included in the reading package is Yankee Permaculture Paper 27, Special Order Catalog. In addition to many resources of value in preparing certain permaculture
design reports, #27 lists sample designs, both those by students and some by the instructor. We HIGHLY recommend that students purchase two or three of these design reports to act as models. We hope to have a book of designs available sometime in the
future, but this has not yet been started. It is the student's responsibility
to select designs most applicable to his/her project and study them. This is
not required, but reports from students in previous online classes suggest
that this may be essential to getting your design report approved. As part
of the class, we do post an outline of one design and selected portions of
design reports by way of examples. Sometimes we have design reports from
students in the previous class to post in Section I or II.
PDC--STUDENT CLASS REPORT
Each student will prepare a report of some sort to the class. We
encourage each student to report on a subject that is his/her special
interest or that reflects particular personal experience. For example, one
student reported on how she raised two daughters carrying only a gallon of
water per day to her teepee. It was a humbling lesson in water
conservation. Another student reported on degradation of Long Island Sound, a
problem he had fought for years as a grass-roots activist. Another, a retired
herbal toxicologist, reported on the value and dangers of certain plants. Two
purposes of this requirement are to validate that everyone has an important
perspective to share and for other students to benefit from the special
experience of each. For people who do not feel that written narrative is
their strong point, they may submit tapes, artwork, databases, etc. However,
a report must be of substance; entertainment alone is not enough. If a report
is submitted in a form that cannot be accessed by simple email, the student
submitting the report must send it to all students, monitors and instructors
in a timely manner. If some participants in your particular course cannot
access a specific item, e.g. a videotape, then another format is necessary.
Students who do not wish certification may waive this requirement, though
we will be happy if they too share their special knowledge and/or viewpoints
with the class.
At registration, students received the standard course schedule that
includes the reading assignments. (On request, we will send a free copy to
people who order the reading package but are not yet registered.) The
schedule can vary. We may extend time for pressing reasons, so that two
calendar weeks can be allowed for one week's material. We will not extend the
course beyond 26 elapsed weeks under any circumstance. This gives us four
weeks to use to extend discussions. If not used, they are helpful for
completing final approval of design projects at the end of the course.
The instructor will, about weekly, transmit the "lecture notes" to
supplement reading assignments as appropriate. We may also send by real mail
disks and hard copy. We may also share details of other design projects or
consultations in which we become involved if they fit with the topics under
discussion. The instructor is plugged into a great deal of interment
communication relating to permaculture. We routinely forward such
communications to the class, obtaining copyright permission where appropriate.
The first online course coincided with our purchase of land for our
permanent permaculture center. We will continue to share our design process
with our classes until the design is formalized. This is a unique opportunity.
course materials and online "lectures" supplied by the instructor via
email discussion of course materials, designs, and related subjects,
reports by students,
student design projects
related online resources provided by the instructor from time to time
at least four reports submitted to the entire class by each student,
including a design report, two teaching reports and a special report unique
to the student's circumstances.
comments on the development and implementation of Elfin Permaculture's
own permaculture design and Barking Frogs Farm in Florida (optional).
reports for discussion of other permaculture designs outside the class
(optional), including projects in which the instructor is serving as designer
or has been asked to review or oversee in some capacity.
As mentioned below, students may arrange for add-ons to increase the
quality of their training and evaluation. Any student may at any time arrange
a discussion with classmates, of course. Due to the work involved in course
preparation, the instructor may or may not participate in such sessions at
The reading assignments handle the core of information in the course. We
presently offer all of the texts in a discounted package. When we ship the
reading package, we often include "extras," additional material that we
decide is useful. The extras vary from class to class.
Where he feels that the reading assignments need to be supplemented
and/or interpreted, the instructor will send "lecture notes" for the upcoming
week. At least once a week, he will download email from students and answer
as required. Each topic will be on the course agenda for two weeks, one week
when students respond with comments and questions to the week's materials and
then when they and the instructor comment on the response. Therefore two
subjects, a new topic and an old one, will be under consideration at once.
This is necessary to complete the course in a manageable time. The schedule
also includes review sessions, in which we can go back to material about
which a student has a question, discuss designs, etc., so that no question or
comment need go unexpressed.
Each student may be assigned to a study group with several other
students, depending on course size and other logistics. Students raise
questions within their study groups and help one another. Where students
form design teams, the design team will be the study group. Study groups
enable unlimited discussion to go on without overloading the class process.
Study groups can bring questions and issues before the entire class for
further discussion, of course.
Each student is responsible to email all classroom comments (as opposed
to study group discussion) to the entire class + any monitors. (Monitors do
not normally engage in class discussion.)
If a student falls behind in reading, s/he should not participate in
discussions on those topics. If a student misses a substantial portion of the
course, s/he may be required to certify that s/he has completely caught up in
order to receive the design certificate. The instructor may choose to
require additional reports. If a student experiences serious difficulty in
reading materials, s/he should notify the instructor even if the student has
not finished the reading. Obviously there is no point in reading materials
that are incomprehensible, and trying to do so might make eventual
understanding more difficult.
BECAUSE THE COURSE IS BASED ON EVERYONE READING THE SAME MATERIALS AT
THE SAME TIME, IT IS IMPERATIVE TO ORDER READING MATERIALS PROMPTLY. This is
particularly important for students outside North America, due to the
shipping delays. We routinely ship by surface mail--air shipment will
approximately double the cost of reading matter. We do try to transmit
electronically some material where the student could not order material in
advance (as in waiting for a grant, registering late, etc.) This requires a
computer and email program capable of receiving and downloading large files.
It is helpful if Macintosh owners have StuffIt utility for decompressing
files. Because transmitting materials in this way can be time consuming,
often requiring several attempts before success, we keep this service to a
minimum. Moreover, electronic transmission of any reading materials is
solely at our discretion and no one is "entitled" to it.
NOTE ON READINGS; The reading assignments for the course are quite heavy at
times. If you do not think you can keep up with a heavy reading assignment,
you can monitor the course or just read on your own. Either way, you can take
the course after you have done enough reading to feel comfortable that you
can complete the course reading assignments. If you order the entire reading
package from us, and request a copy of the reading assignments with your
order, we will send it to you at no additional charge. Otherwise, you may
purchase the schedule of reading assignments for $US10.00 + P&H. Of course
the reading schedule is free to registered students and monitors in the
course in any case.
The schedule provides special times to review materials. Students can
nominate subjects for review up to a week before each session. Students
should check with others in their study groups before bringing such questions
to the whole class.
Each posting by the instructor or any student will be confined to only
one exact topic. In this way, everyone may organize "course notes" readily. A
special email address will be reserved for the course and must be used. We
try to label forwarded material for the section of the course to which it
pertains. Use course email address ONLY for course business. Observing this
rule is a requirement of the course. When the subject of a discussion thread
changes, it is imperative to change the title of the post to reflect the
content. Otherwise, valuable viewpoints and information may be misfiled or
Students are required to provide feedback at specified intervals and at
the completion of the course. In addition, feedback of any kind is always in
order at any point in the course, the sooner the better.
USING CONVENTIONAL MAIL
From time to time, it may be important to use conventional mail to
supplement the email communications. Not every student can receive
attachments or send and receive images. Students should check on the ability
of classmates to receive the sorts of material that they are likely to send.
If another student cannot receive material as you send it, you must have it
ready in time to deliver by conventional mail at the same time that everyone
else gets it as an email attachment. There is nothing sacred about using the
interment for all communications. When it is convenient, we use it. If
another method becomes more convenient, we use that.
Everything sent during the course is copyrighted. In fact, everything
written, drawn or otherwise created is copyrighted at the moment of creation.
Students and monitors sign an agreement to honor copyright of all material
received in connection with the course. This means that you do not
distribute anything from the course to other people nor do you distribute
the work of others to the class without permission before, during or after
the course. In particular, it is not acceptable to forward material from
newsgroup or email list discussions without consent of the AUTHOR. The name
and email address of the author must be included, with a statement that the
material is forwarded with permission. Upholding this policy 100 percent of
the time is a requirement of certification and repeat violations will result
transfer of a student to monitor status without rebate. We are serious about
We recognize a limitation in evaluating designs for
sites that we have not seen. While can recognize most or all problems in a
written design, we may not see if you missed opportunities that the site
offers. We encourage students to organize design intensive workshops for us
to lead in their home area. Workshop participants design the site. Students
get the added benefit of some of our extensive slide collection, and on-site
work with the instructors. This is especially helpful for students who
benefit from face-to-face contact the concreteness of on site work.
To meet the design requirement with a 10-day workshop, students must post
the design to one of our online courses. This usually requires some
modification and upgrading of the design work, but should be far less work
than a full design. The instructor usually will indicate the main tasks
after the live workshop is concluded. The finished design should meet the
same high standards as required for all designs in the course. Any number of
students attending a specific workshop may receive practicum credit this way,
polishing and finishing the design report as a team. A partial refund of the
online course tuition is available to students who meet the design
requirement through our live design intensive. Elfin Permaculture teaches
We offer one online course per year. The next course begins in September 10, 2000, subject to other demands on our time. We recommend early
registration. If in doubt, you may wish to order the reading materials, which
will help with your interest in permaculture even if you do not take the
course. It is well to have them in hand as we commence readings immediately.
(The first week reading assignments are heavy and you should have most done
before the course starts.) You can use the course outline (Permaculture Paper
24E) as a self-study guide if you decide not to take the course.
Students who register late may not comment on material that has been covered before they registered. Students may register at any time. See
PDC--LATE REGISTRATION, below, for more details.
This course is based on our three-week Elfin Permaculture Design Course
that runs 20 days. By allowing a week for each day of the live course, plus
some cushion room, we assure that the course finishes within 6 months. All
course material should be received within 6 months from the course beginning
date, including revision of designs. ALL assignments MUST be completed for
certification. Extensions without extra tuition costs are available ONLY for
the design practicum except in dire circumstances.
Students who are unable to complete their design project in
the six months' time limit may request permission to present their design in
Section I (only) of the next course. This benefits the new students by
orienting them to what we are working toward while they are still getting
background information. There usually is no charge. If the design project
goes beyond Section I of the following course, however, the student is
required to pay the full course fee for each section until the project is
complete, assuming that there is room for another student in the course. (See
fees below.) In addition, the student pays for a new practicum fee. We will
limit the amount of time a student takes to complete the practicum at our
discretion. We want permaculture practitioners, not permanent students.
Any graduate (certificate recipient) of this course may elect to monitor
the course following the one that s/he attends at no charge. In
consideration, the understanding that the instructor may ask the graduate to
participate from time to time. Graduate participation is purely the option of
the instructor We find that a second exposure to the course materials is
profoundly beneficial to our course graduates.
We are happy to work with course graduates in other ways to the limit of
available time. For example, a graduate may organize a course for us to
teach and participate as a trainee. In subsequent programs, the graduate
takes over more and more of the teaching. (This is offered only to graduates
of our own courses.) We are also willing to collaborate with graduates on
design, again gradually stepping back from the process. Dan Hemenway of
Elfin Permaculture is fully qualified to certify people with advanced
diplomas in education, design, etc., on this basis. For additional models
for advanced work, ask for information on our APT (Advanced Permaculture
Enrollment is limited to 20 students. This is only two-thirds of our
limit in the live course. The smaller number ensures that we will be able to
provide enough individual attention, particularly with design reports. (In
the live course, we usually have only one report, done by the whole class.)
There are no enrollment requirements other than completing payment of
tuition and agreeing to honor copyrights. We especially recommend that
persons under the age of 13 first take the course as monitors. (See below.)
(We have had people in ages ranging from 13 to 78 as active participants of
our live courses.) Each participant will complete a personal profile so we
can get to know one another and so each student can be identified as a
resource to the others.
People take the Permaculture Design Course for a variety of reasons. Our
certification requirements indicate that a person has met Elfin Permaculture
standards as someone who might make permaculture a major focus of his/her
life activities. We may have the most stringent standards for certification
worldwide. We have programs for people who simply want to design their own
place, and we have integrated them so that work done in one program supports a
nother. Anyone can take this course on a "Not-for-certification" basis and
customize his/her participation accordingly.
The equivalent of one full-scholarship (or 2 half scholarships, etc.) is
usually available in each course, if it fills. This is much lower than in
"live" courses because it is harder to imagine that someone with computer
access is disadvantaged and because each student in this course adds a much
larger work load than in the live design course where more students can
actually mean less work. Any scholarship student in this course must show
that s/he will use the knowledge gained to help a large number of people in
difficult circumstances. Scholarship students must truly be unable to pay.
While we applaud people who choose a simple lifestyle, and we understand the
difficulties of college students, we will not underwrite these choices with
scholarships, except if other, qualifying circumstances also apply. We only
grant scholarships to people genuinely unable to pay and who have not chosen
that condition. We make exceptions on a case by case basis for people on a
path of service, e.g. a spiritual person who has taken a vow of poverty and
does works related to permaculture. In such cases, payment has been made in
All scholarships are based on the Maori koha principle. For more
information on this, send a SASE to Elfin Permaculture or request our
scholarship document by email.
We strongly encourage students to seek scholarships from other sources.
Of the chief instructors, Dan took the Permaculture Design Course on a
scholarship from the Massachusetts Society for the Advancement of Agriculture
and Cynthia attended as a representative of a land based group. (She gave
them more than their money's worth and brought back the instructor as well as
We maintain a fund for scholarship donations. If you
need a US tax contribution, donate funds to Permaculture, PREP Project and 95
percent of the funds will be used for scholarships. If you do not need a US
tax deduction, donate funds to Permaculture, PEP Project, and 100 percent of
your contribution will be used for scholarships. Scholarships target, more
or less in order of priority: indigenous peoples where displaced and/or
oppressed, women (particularly single mothers) with little money, people in
societies with little cash or US$ exchange (usually for a class there),
suppressed minorities, teenagers. elderly people, and others unable to pay.
We will accept targeted donations: e.g. single mothers, Native American
youth, etc. All recipients will meet our requirements for need and potential
for outreach. There is one scholarship fund for all our programs, both online
and live. Most people who need scholarships do not have access to computers.
Send contributions to the appropriate fund at Permaculture, P.O. Box 52,
Sparr FL 32192-0052 USA. Please indicate if you require a receipt. Make
checks payable to 'Permaculture' and the appropriate fund. If no fund is
designated, we decide where the money will best serve others.
To register, a student should complete the registration form and pay
tuition. Early registration guarantees a place in the course. We will not
increase enrollment beyond 20. In case of excess registration, early
registrants generally have priority, except as noted above. However, we may
also select students to achieve a balanced participation of women and men in
the course. We find that such balance improves the quality of the
one-room-schoolhouse aspect of the live course. You may request a
registration form at Permacltur@aol.com
Monitors may join the course at any stage, but the fee will be the same
as for the entire course.
Students may join the course at any stage, with the understanding that
catching up is his/her responsibility. A student who pays for the entire
course may have to take-over the current section. Missed sections will be
picked up in the next course and are covered by the course fee already paid.
It appears that late registration is a fact of life in the online course.
Late registrants have two problems. First they cannot discuss in class
material that they have missed, although they can of course privately take
questions to other (willing) students. Second, they are seriously behind in
their reading and have great difficulty catching up. Again, until they have
read assignments, they cannot discuss them. The first week's reading is
particularly heavy as we expect students to start reading before the 26 week
discussion period begins. Remember, it takes time for books to arrive. Only
people who have the time for make-up reading should attempt to make up lost
time. Instead, the student can take section(s) of the course missed over
again for the package fee or else by registering for each section
When we register a person for the entire course, we start them
immediately even if they "officially" begin in the next session. For example,
if someone signs on in the middle of Section I, we begin them immediately,
even though they will take Section I over the next time that it is offered.
There is no advantage to making them wait under these circumstances.
Reading materials are priced to be sent book-rate or book-rate-surface,
depending on destination. Sending them priority (US) or Air Mail (foreign)
could double the price. It is impossible to overstress the importance of
ordering reading materials as soon as you are seriously considering the
course. If you then decide to wait on the course, you can begin studying the
reading materials anyway. Again, remember to ask for the assignment schedule
if you order the discounted package.
It is possible that the standards for our courses are most the rigorous
worldwide. We offer other programs for people who do not need a professional
Our certification requirements include:
The student must submit a signed statement that s/he has completed all reading assignments.
The student's completed design project must be approved by the
instructor within the course interval.
The student must complete his/her classroom report to the
satisfaction of the instructor.
Tuition must be paid in full.
The student must complete the course.
The student shall have completed both the course registration form
and the trainee registration form completely and in typewritten form. The
student shall complete the course registration form and deliver it to the
instructor before beginning in the course. S/he must complete the trainee
registration form and deliver it to the instructor before the course ends.
To receive a certificate, the student must deliver the trainee registration
form by the deadline specified during the course.
Students must complete and report for discussion on two experiences
in teaching or explaining permaculture during the course, once near the
middle of the course and again near the end. Deadliness will be assigned.
The student must have completed all assignments made during the
course, individually or to the class as a whole.
Disruptive or uncooperative behavior during the course or in business
matters pertaining to the course can disqualify a student from certification.
Extreme behavior, including flaming anyone in the context of the course, is
cause for dismissal without refund. Passionate disagreement is not considered
extreme unless it is disrespectful.
Any evidence that a student has violated our common law and/or
statutory copyright, or has distributed without appropriate permission in the
context of this course material copyrighted by anyone, can result in
immediate termination without refund. We will be very clear when we supply
information in public domain or otherwise available to be shared. By law,
every item of communication produced is copyrighted unless deliberately
placed in public domain. We are aware that some people may disagree with our
copyright policy. They can choose not to take this course or to set aside th
eir disagreement in this case.
Generally the evaluation of the student design report is the most
important single consideration in certification. We consider a report
acceptable if it represents the best effort than could be made under the
circumstances of the course, and considering the prior experience of the
design course student. All reports must be in a finished, professional form,
however. The second most important consideration is the instructor's
evaluation of the student's growth in abilities and during the course. Not
everyone needs to be a designer. Additional criteria are posted during the
Certification indicates that the student has received the minimum
permaculture training to call him/herself a permaculturist. Advanced
training is available in a variety of formats throughout the permaculture
movement, including from Elfin Permaculture. Besides special advanced
programs, we arrange advanced work for any qualified permaculture design
course graduate within our regular programs. In this way, the other students
get the benefit of an advanced associate and the advanced student has the
convenience of being able to get custom training.
If a student fails to meet achievement requirements for certification, we
will offer to assign follow-up work so that the student can rectify the
matter. Our goal is always to help people meet the standard we have set. In
other words, if a good faith job was submitted on time, but is inadequate, we
will support the student in making another try. If the second try does not
make the grade, we will work out options with the student that may include
supplemental reading fees. In live courses given since 1984, we have only had
three students who failed to meet certification standards.
Advanced work in teaching and design is possible in the context of this
course. Tuition costs the same as for beginning students. People interested
in advanced work must register with ample lead time so that we can work out
the details of their program with them. Also, see comments above on using the
design practicum for advanced designer certification. Students are always
encouraged to try to work a bit beyond their entry level.
PDC--COSTS (With Options)
Tuition for the entire course is $1,100. Early registration is discounted to $1000 if fully paid before the first week of classes. This breaks down $600
for the 6 months' program and $500 to evaluate the individual design report.
Alternate option. Students who have expensive email service may wish
to purchase all standard course lectures, announcements, and addenda on disk.
The fee for this is $250 for registered students and $300 for monitors in
addition to the pertinent tuition. (This is a lot of extra work for us.)
Alternate option. Couples who are lifetime partners (so far as you
know) may attend as one student at $1,500. You will receive two
certificates, just in case.
Alternate option. Where more than one student works on a design, the
design evaluation portion of the fee is $500 for the first student and $250
for additional students on the design team, to be divided equally. If 10 or
more people in the same place want a course, we reduce the tuition to $600
per student, total for both components. To qualify, they submit a single
design and pay in full before the course begins. If registering later, add
$100 for each student.
Alternate option. A student may take the course for $500, prepaid, or
$600, late registration, and skip the design project. If the student later
seeks certification, the design project can be taken at any of course for 2
years after the original course for $600.
Alternate option. If a student satisfies the design requirement as a
participant in one of our 10-day design workshops or similar Elfin
Permaculture programs, we will forgive or credit $400 of the design reading
fee, or, on request, give a $500 credit for Yankee Permaculture publications.
The student must tell us at the time of the workshop of his/her intention to
do this. To receive credit, the student must present a portion of the final
design at the end of the live workshop. This includes answering questions
about the design. This discount does not apply if you also submit another
design for us to evaluate during the course. (Note: Understanding our
terminology will make this paragraph easier to understand. We only use the
term "course" to refer to our certification program. Programs in which
students design but do not get certificates, we call "workshops." ) The
student must also polish and present the qualifying design in his/her course
or the next available course, for the benefit of other students. Ask about
Students need to obtain books on the reading list at their own costs.
We offer a reading list package, at substantial cost reduction, that covers
all required reading assignments. We will not make substitutions on the
reading list package. Again, students working in groups can share literature
within limits. We VERY STRONGLY recommend reading as much as possible in
advance. Some of the key materials are available only from us. If you do not
order these materials from us, we assume that you have not completed the
reading assignments. We will work with students in various countries where
some locally published substitutions might save you exchange. A number of
materials on the reading list were first published in Australia. Australians
may find them cheaper there, even with the package discount considered. (If
you work this out, let us know so we can advise others.) THE GREATEST
DIFFICULTY PEOPLE HAVE IN THIS COURSE COMES FROM ORDERING LITERATURE LATE AND HAVING TO CATCH UP.
We do NOT provide free books to scholarship students unless we have
received a donation specifically for that purpose.
Deferred payment. Until further notice, will allow students to split
payments at an increased total cost.
PLAN A: A minimum of $500 is required to begin the course as a whole
and another $600 before we look at any of your design work. More correctly,
there is a discount when you pay for both course components before the course
begins. Beyond this, we will not give credit.
PLAN B: A Student may enroll separately in each of the three sections
of the course at a higher total price. You may take sections in any order.
Students who take more than two years to complete the course may be required
to retake sections or submit extra work.
Prices per section are:
Section 1: $200
Section 2: $300
Section 3: $200
Design Project (Requires Section 1): $600.
It is necessary to re-register for each section if you adopt this plan.
We may not remind you to do this as our responsibility is the teaching of the
course. We avoid the distraction of bookkeeping for individual students.
PLAN C. A student may fulfill the certification requirement by
attending an Elfin Permaculture Design Intensive Workshop of 10-days or
longer. This has the advantages of being on site with the instructor and
working in a design team. Students who intend to use their work at a design
intensive in this way should notify the instructor in advance so he can
evaluate the student's design work with this in mind. The Design Project fee
is then reduced to $100 ($200 if not paid with full tuition), since a
coherent design evaluation has already been done. The student, nevertheless,
needs to present this design work to the class for the benefit of the other
PLAN D - SELF-STUDY. For some people, particularly in remote areas,
the cost of downloading the weekly course material can be prohibitive. We
have decided to make available all the instructor's notes ("lectures") at a
fee of $350, either on disk, or on paper. There is no P&H charge for the
notes on disk. Inquire about P&H for paper copies.
PLAN F--PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. We will accept
students in a private correspondence course at our discretion, provided that
there are strong reasons why the student cannot participate in the regular group
email course. The fee for one-on-one training is $2,500 with the requirement that
all work be completed within one elapsed year. This can be done by
conventional mail, email, or a combination. This fee is provisional. Check
for the latest rate if you are interested.
PLAN F -- MONITORS. Anyone can monitor the course for $100. The
monitor fee may be applied to the tuition if the student takes the next
course offered as a full student. Such credits always are applied to the
ADVANCED WORK: Persons who have already received the entry level
permaculture certificate can participate in any Elfin Permaculture program at
an advanced level, provided they may arrangements well before the program
starts. The fee is the same for introductory or advanced work in any
program. We will only custom design advanced programs for people who have
earned the Elfin Permaculture Certificate, however.
The cost of the email course is designed to be comparable to or lower
than attending our live course. Tuition for our live course is presently $800
per student with transportation to the site, room, and board the student's
expense. Also, most students forgo at least three weeks' income. By
comparison, we charge a minimum of $2,500 per student for a solitary
correspondence course in which we work with the student one-on-one through
the mail. By using an email classroom, we cut that cost by 60 percent to
All prices subject to revision. These are good at least through
01/01/01. So far, we have never raised the basic fees for this course.
DEPOSITS AND REFUNDS
A deposit of $200 is required to hold a place in the course. Of this,
$100 is non-refundable in any circumstance, except if for extraordinary
reasons we fail to offer the course. After one week before the course begins,
THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS. This is because enrollment is limited. If you can
find someone to take your place within the first three weeks of the course,
you can make the substitution for an administrative fee of $25. If you cannot
find someone, we may be able to refer you to people who wanted to take the
course and may still be interested.
If a student opts to pay for the course in sections, a deposit assures a
place in each section. Expression of intent is not a deposit. This is only an
issue if the course is at maximum enrollment and more people want to come in
at the next segment.
ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF FUNDS
There is a service charge of $25 or whatever the bank charges (which ever
is higher). The bank fee for this has gone up faster than we can keep track
of it. If you want us to contact the bank and verify the deposit, e.g. to
expedite a book shipment, double the service charge. Sometimes the bank
notifies us by mail when it receives a transfer. Sometimes we find out only
when we review the monthly deposit statement. In our view, this is a very
poor means to expedite matters since it can be weeks before we are certain we
have been paid.
All service charges must be included in the original transfer.
Dan Hemenway is the principal instructor and designer of the course. He
received permaculture training from Bill Mollison, permaculture movement
founder, in 1981. Dan previously developed systems similar to permaculture
that he had taught disadvantaged teenagers from 1978-81. After three years
teaching permaculture and sustainable horticulture to prison inmates
(1981-1983), he founded what became The International Permaculture Solutions
Journal (1983). From 1978-83 he was a leader in the Massachusetts food
self-reliance movement. In 1983, Mollison named him one of three North
Americans certified to teach the full Permaculture Design Course.
In 1984, Dan taught the first such course given in Mexico. Since then, he
has conducted hundreds of permaculture programs worldwide, often introducing
permaculture to new regions.
In 1983, he received the Conservation Award from Friends of Nature and in
1984, the Community Service Award from International Permaculture Institute,
which awarded him five advanced diplomas the next year. In 1987 he founded
the Permaculture Education Project and taught permaculture around the world.
In 1991, Dan accepted an invitation to the Roots of the Future NGO conference
in Paris, that contributed suggestions to the Earth Summit later held in
Brazil. In 1996, Permaculture Foundation/Network Kenya, named him honorary
chairman. And, in 1996, he was listed in the 1996-97 edition Who's Who in
Dan has also founded the Forest Ecosystem Rescue Network, published
dozens of permaculture publications, authored many permaculture articles,
served on boards of many related groups, and given talks, courses, and
keynote addresses worldwide.
At present, he teaches a permaculture course on the interment, is
developing his design for a new permaculture center, is studying chinampas by
building some, and working collaborators in Africa.
Cynthia Baxter Hemenway, CNM, is partner in Elfin Permaculture and
Associate Editor of The International Permaculture Solutions Journal. A
founding member and former director and officer of the Planetary Project
Foundation (Kansas, USA), Cynthia is a Certified Nurse Midwife and holistic
health practitioner with particular emphasis in working with women during the
childbearing year. She has taught women's health and reproductive topics to
undergraduate and advanced practice nursing students at the University of
Florida, Gainesville, where she also introduced a course in alternative
therapies. As of May, 2000, Cynthia is focusing on health counseling,
including alternative therapies, calling her practice Design for Health. She
brings experience in leading workshops on health and spiritual matters to
permaculture as well as the intention to expand the practice of permaculture
in these areas. Because of the demands of her other work, Cynthia is
available to co-lead workshops only on an occasional basis. She serves as
Honorary Secretary, Permaculture Foundation - Net_Work - Kenya, Homa Bay,
Kenya. Cynthia will support the course, participating when she can find time
after her other professional responsibilities. She shares most of the current
projects described for Dan. Cynthia monitors all course activity and may post
comments from time to time. She is also backup instructor if Dan's ability to
lead the course is interrupted for any reason. Cynthia has created and
teaches the new module of the course, also called Design for Health.
Willem Smuts, assistant instructor, is a South African who has taken
every one of our online courses to date. He is working actively with Elfin
Permaculture to develop cooperative programs between the two continents of
Africa and North America. Willem has deep professional experience in
geology, sound experience in working with indigenous people in Africa, and a
robust sense of humor. Willem's role in the online course increases each
Cassandra Hemenway Brush, Dan's daughter, has lifelong experience with
the teachings of the principal instructor of this course and practical
background at her own home in ultra-rural Northern Vermont. Serving as
assistant instructor, Cassandra supplies the keen practical insights of a
mother of two living with limited resources close to the land. She holds an
advanced degree in journalism and, through her former work as a reporter in
rural Vermont, knows well the social and material conditions of rural
communities. Cassandra received her certificate training from her father,
Dan, in Jacksonville, Florida, and completed advanced work as a permaculture
intern there implementing the permaculture design for the course site in
nearby Orange Park.
People who want quick input for their own design can purchase our
Client Design Survey for $500 + p&h. This is about 20 pages of questions to
answer or consider in the permaculture design process. Purchase of the survey
comes with a review of your answers (if returned within 6 months of purchase)
by Dan Hemenway. Dan will review the resulting answers as part of the service
purchased for the $500 fee. Otherwise, ask about our consulting rates. We
will not design a property ourselves without spending time on the site.
(Absolutely no exceptions.) We may submit interesting design problems to any
class we have going at the time. We forward these discussions to the design
client if s/he has email capability. While a course is in session, we will
only accept two such arrangements.
People who want to extend their study indefinitely can take the course
as a monitor (see below).Later, when they are ready to design their place,
they can buy the survey and get input as above. Or they can take the course
as an active student at that time. There is also some interest in starting a
low-cost discussion/problem solving group. See the discussion of this idea
View our reading list and course schedule and do self-directed study. We strongly recommend that you work with a capable permaculture designer before you design your own place.
LOW COST OPTIONS FOR PERMACULTURE TRAINING
MONITOR the email course for $100. You will get all class email sent
after you register and most group materials. Monitors usually may not
participate in group discussions or ask questions of the group. However, we
may open discussion to monitors at given points in the course where more
opinions are needed. You are permitted one request to the group to see if
any students are willing to discuss questions with you. If you ask a student
a question (related to course material) s/he cannot answer, the next step is
that student's study group. If the study group cannot answer it, then the
question should be brought to the whole class including the instructor. In
that way, we can find areas that may need further work without duplicating
topics already successfully covered. If we have expensive materials to mail,
monitors may be asked to cover those costs. Your monitor fee can be applied
to tuition if you decide to take the very next course. (See above.)
PERMACULTURE DESIGN CLINIC
I have a flexible idea for a permaculture design clinic. It would resemble
an interment mailing list with an admission fee. A person could bring a
design problem to the group for discussion. These would be designs for
their homes, designs that they are working on, etc. While this service is
commonly provided by free discussion groups, the quality of the free
assistance varies greatly. We need someone to organize this project.
If you do not feel involving an experienced permaculturist is important,
you can of course set up such a group on an invitational basis at any time.
Now that we have graduated a several online classes, it should be a good way
to get ideas and learn more about permaculture at no cost to set up and
participate in such groups. If you are interested, contact us. You should
first try some of the existing free mailing lists on the net to see if they
meet your needs. We do not keep a list of these groups here. Try a web
We have openings for two interns in our new center at Barking Frogs
Permaculture Center near Sparr, Florida. We may accept more at a later
date, if we have someone who can take primary responsibility for their
supervision. We prefer people with some permaculture training, but reliability,
honesty, and self-motivation are our main requirements. A couple would be
Internships involve a combination of office and implementation work.
Interns may play a major role in the design process for our own permaculture
center. They also work on some of the design implementation, for example
construction of a network of chinampas.
Interns automatically get scholarships to any email course going at the
time of their internship. Otherwise, we provide no permaculture DESIGN
training except for explanations as to why a particular job is done a
Visit our Intern FAQs for more information on this topic.
View the READING LIST AND REGISTRATION FORM.
Registrations must be sent with tuition by mail. We reserve the right to cancel a
course if we receive less than 10 registrations.
WHAT DID WE MISS? We have tried to cover every issue that we could think of
in this sheet. Please read it carefully. Then, if you still have questions,
please ask them.
TERMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PRICES WILL BE HONORED AT LEAST
THROUGH Jan. 1, 2001.
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now permaculture
training in an email classroom. Copyright, 1996-2000, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway.
P.O. Box 52 Sparr FL 32192-0052 USA. Permacltur@aol.com All rights reserved.