Advanced Permaculture Design Course (APDC)

When: Sep 10-11, Sep 24-25, Oct 8-9, Oct 22-23, Nov 5-6, & Nov 19-20 
Time: 9 am - 5 pm (every other Sat & Sun)
Cost: $1000 - Early Bird price for registrations on or before July 1, 2022
$1200 - Full Price for registrations after July 1, 2022

Recommended Ages: 18+ 

 

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Course Details

 

Come join us for our first-ever Advanced Permaculture Design Course (APDC)! This course is designed for anyone who already has a strong familiarity with permaculture design to increase their skills and comfort level in more advanced aspects of permaculture design. A permaculture design certificate is a requirement for this course, but in certain circumstances we are willing to waive this requirement if someone already has a strong level of familiarity or experience with permaculture design or related skills. We will not be covering introductory concepts in this course. For that, you should take a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course.

This course will be offered as a weekend course designed for local residents. It will include a mix of classroom-based learning and many hands-on learning sessions. The course curriculum will likely include:

  • a detailed review of the permaculture design process

  • detailed and expert local knowledge on edible and native plants and their functions in designs

  • a deep dive into forest gardening and food forests

  • natural building: in-depth technical knowledge of natural building methods that work well in our area; hands-on experience with a natural building project

  • intensive water management and earthworks design and implementation training

  • advanced soil biology, chemistry, and ecology concepts and how to understand soil tests

  • training in various software used in professional permaculture design such as Google Earth Pro, Inkscape, Illustrator, SketchUp, etc.

  • natural building: learn different methods of how to build beautiful, inexpensive, resilient structures using available natural resources

  • appropriate technology: technical knowledge and hands-on experience in constructing and using different kinds of appropriate technology

  • field trips to existing established permaculture sites in the area

  • detailed knowledge and hands-on experience with multiple plant propagation methods and nursery skills to enable you to create your own nursery side business

  • And more to be determined!

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The final part of the course will focus on a real-world design for a real client in our area. Participants will conduct site visits to their client's site with course instructors and work in groups of 3-4 to create a design that will be presented to a real client.

Course Format

 

Classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday on alternating weekends from 9 am - 5 pm over several months this fall at Hundred Fruit Farm in Buckingham, PA, for a total of six weekends. The dates of the course will be: Sep 10-11, Sep 24-25, Oct 8-9, Oct 22-23, Nov 5-6, and Nov 19-20. Students are expected to eat breakfast and dinner before and after class. Lunches will be potluck style with each person bringing a dish and sharing with the group. Hundred Fruit Farm will also provide provide tea, coffee, and snacks for breaks.

Cost 

The cost of the course is $1000 per person for early bird registrations on or before July 1, 2022 and $1200 for registrations after July 1, 2022. By designing this course for commuters and local residents, we don't need to factor in the cost of housing and meals into the course, which keeps costs down significantly. The costs for this course will go towards snacks, tools, and materials used in the course and for paying our team of experienced professional permaculturists who will be teaching and facilitating the course.

Who is this course for? 

This course is primarily aimed at those who have already completed a permaculture design course and want to increase their skills, knowledge, and experience in permaculture design. People who may want to start or grow their career in a permaculture-related field would be ideally-suited to this course, though you certainly don't need to have professional permaculture aspirations to take part. But this course will be extremely useful to anyone looking to:

  • start your own permaculture design or consultation business 

  • start a business implementing permaculture designs for clients (much needed in our area)

  • integrate permaculture design into an already existing business

  • serve as a permaculture educator or integrate permaculture in meaningful ways into your classroom

  • start your own permaculture farm

  • have a permaculture homestead

  • serve your community in a volunteer capacity as a facilitator or designer for permablitzes

  • start a permaculture and/or native plant nursery

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Course Instructors

Although the course will mostly take place at Hundred Fruit Farm, it will be taught by a team of professional permaculturists who are all based in this region. Each of our instructors has over a decade (or multiple decades) of experience in designing and implementing permaculture systems. Instructor bios will be posted as they are confirmed for the course.

Adam Dusen

Adam is the main teacher and facilitator for the course, and divides his time between running Hundred Fruit Farm and doing professional permaculture designs for clients throughout the mid-Atlantic. Adam previously helped manage the Panya Project, a permaculture educator center in Thailand, and served as the Permaculture Farm Manager and Teacher at The Island School in The Bahamas. Adam has a passion for regenerative farming that combines integrated animal systems with fruit and nut diversity. As a designer, he focuses on creating permaculture systems that maximize agricultural productivity, increase ecological resilience, and revitalize degraded suburban landscapes. Check out Adam's full bio here

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Sara Wuerstle

With over 15 years of experience, Sara has developed a highly integrated understanding of regenerative systems at any scale. A Bucks County native and resident who has worked internationally with leading permaculture practitioners, including facilitating more than two dozen PDC courses and trainings worldwide. She spent 5 years as the lead designer for a Bay Area Permaculture design, installation and maintenance firm, where she fine-tuned her skills in flood, drought and wildfire mitigation. Most recently, she co-founded GUILDA Permaculture with Eunice Neves to tackle broader global challenges through collaboration with policy-makers, community groups and businesses.

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Jason Gerhardt

Jason serves as Director of the Permaculture Institute Inc. and is sought out for his design and education approach that equips people to lead in their own communities. For nearly two decades, Jason has professionally applied ecological design in diverse environments from the hyper-arid US Southwest to underserved neighborhoods in North St. Louis to a refugee community in Central America. Jason’s portfolio includes higher education campus planning, regenerative agriculture site development, organizational strategizing, food justice initiatives, and extensive work with conservation organizations. Jason has taught thousands of students for Naropa University, University of Colorado, and the US EPA, among dozens of other institutions.

What happens if I miss a class or a weekend? Can I still receive my certificate?

This is one of the questions we get asked the most. We understand that everyone lives busy lives and there are going to be times when you will have to miss a day or weekend. Any relevant notes or presentations from each class are uploaded into a google drive folder that everyone from the course will have access to. To receive your certificate, you must attend at least 75% of the sessions and take part in the final design projects and presentations. If a student is unable to be part of the final design presentations, we will work with that student to schedule an online design presentation via zoom. Anyone who drops out or fails to complete the course can re-take any future Advanced PDC course with us again at 50% cost.

 

Do I have to commute?

This course is designed for people who live close enough that they can travel to and from class each day. That being said, almost every year we have students attending our courses who live 2+ hours away. Some people who live a little further may find that it makes more sense for them to stay somewhere locally Friday and Saturday nights to cut down on travel time. We are happy to suggest nearby accommodation for students who wish to do this, but we do not yet have the facilities to host students ourselves on the farm. Usually for winter/spring courses, airbnb is the best option, and for summer/fall courses, camping somewhere off-site may also be a good option.

How far is the farm from Philadelphia and NYC?

Depending on where you're coming from in Philly, our farm is about 50 minutes to 1 hour away. We are about 2 hours away from NYC. Most people who take the course are from Philadelphia, Philly suburbs, and Central NJ, but we have had students coming from as far as NYC, Delaware, and Central PA.

What ages are the students? Am I too old or too young to attend?

Our students are all adults (18+) of all ages. We have had students in our courses as young as 19 and students well in their 70s. It's a very welcoming environment for people of all ages.

I am a vegan and I'm not sure if I should take this course. Is this a vegan-friendly course?

We want to be very clear that we do raise some animals for meat on this farm, always on pasture and as ethically and humanely as possible. Animals are a major component of both indigenous cultures and permaculture systems around the world, and when done properly, animal systems enhance and support the agroecosystem in countless ways. So we want any vegan who takes the course to be fully aware that this is the case for us. That being said, we welcome vegans and vegetarians and people of all dietary choices and always maintain a very respectful atmosphere in the course for different dietary choices. Although we have had some people decide not to take our course because it conflicted with their vegan ethics, every vegan who has taken our course has had a great experience.

Do black lives matter?

You're goddamn right they do! We support Black Lives Matter. For the most part we keep discussions of politics outside the realm of this course except where it pertains to permaculture directly. But we believe there is nothing political about saying that black lives matter, because they do.

Is this a safe space for LGBTQ people?

Absolutely! We welcome all gender expressions and sexual orientations and will not tolerate hate, racism, sexism, or discrimination of any kind at our farm or in the course. 

How do I register?

To register for the course, we ask for a 10% deposit of the course tuition. This deposit will be refundable before July 1, 2022 but after that point no refunds will be given for anyone who drops out of the course at that point. The deposit will also be fully refunded in the event that we can't hold the course for whatever reason. There are two ways to register. You can either email us directly and let us know you want to register (and we can give you the details of how to pay the deposit and answer any questions you have), or you can register through the Eventbrite page below.