"Interested in taking a PDC (Permaculture Design Course)?
Can't decide between online or local?
I've done both and I can tell you that online is no substitute for a local, hands on PDC.
I took my first PDC in 2011 with local instructors Don Titmus and Cris Franco of Four Directions PermaCulture. The course was held on weekends spread out over a few months. Each weekend was held at a different host site where class began with a tour of the site as a demonstration of Permaculture in practice. The classes were often visited by past students and guest speakers to aid in learning. There were many hands on demonstrations and activities during the course that coincided with that weekend's lesson. We visited many different local examples of Permaculture in practice, most of which I never knew existed here in my own "backyard". By the time my PDC came to an end, I was looking at my surroundings in a whole new way. The network that was created through my experience has helped me as I continue to learn about and practice Permaculture.
In 2013 I came across a series of Permaculture videos produced by a well known Permaculture Designer. After a few weeks of videos it was announced that they would offer an online PDC. I thought it would be a good refresher so I signed up for the course. Although the online course covered many different climate regions the overall course was exactly what I learned in my local PDC. The course was set up with an online Q&A forum which was a bit difficult to navigate given the number of students (in the hundreds if not thousands) and unlike my local PDC, answers were not always quick to come by. Overall the course was well done and as a means to spread the word of Permaculture to the masses... A good idea but, in no way a substitute for a local more intimate (usually 20 or less students), hands on PDC."
Spring PDC 2011
"My name is Matt Jones. I am 14 years old. In the Spring of 2013 I received a scholarship from Rio Salado Permaculture Guild for their Permaculture Design Course. In this course I learned the permaculture principles, how to use them and implement them into my daily life.
Recently my family moved on to an irrigated acre. One of the requirements of the course was to plan and implement a permaculture design of our home site. We are currently in the implementation phase. A few of my favorite things about the course are visiting other home sites to see/hear what is/isn't working for them, and the community that is formed; helping others implement ideas.
Most importantly though, this experience changed the way I think and learned how to apply permaculture to my life, something that couldn't have been done just by reading about it. I highly recommend this course to anyone, especially teens."
Spring PDC 2013
"Several months have passed since I completed the Permaculture Design Course with Don Titmus. Since then, I often find myself sharing things I learned in the course with others. There are so many individual lessons that I have implemented in my everyday life. And I continue to have those moments where "the light comes on" for a particular concept that I didn't fully grasp at the time. But for me, the most important aspect of the course was the way Don guided students to connect all the lessons within our individual ways of life. Keep an open mind, have a little patience, and this course comes together in a way that can turn your life in an unexpectedly positive direction."
Spring PDC 2011
"I didn’t quite know what to expect when I first signed up for the Spring PDC. At this point, I had only been to a few PPG events, like the "Urban Farm Tour" and the "Fruit tree Day", both of which sparked my interest. I have always regarded nature with a sense of awe, and have enjoyed being outside, gardening, supporting CSA’s and natural/organic companies, and then sharing all of this with my kids. Reading the PDC description, it sounded right up my alley! In taking the course, I was able to take my interests to a new level, and begin to incorporate permaculture practices into my own space. However, even if you’ve never picked up a shovel, or heard of "rainwater harvesting", this course has something for everyone. You will learn to observe your surroundings in a whole new way! I enjoyed all of the classes, the potlucks, home visits, and movie nights. The best part of taking the PDC was getting to know my fellow classmates, a fun and diverse group of people, and of course the PDC teachers who are extremely talented, generous, and passionate. The only thing I regret about taking the course, is that it had to end. Is there a "PDC- PART 2" in the near future?? A HUGE thanks to all of the Work Day Hosts, Home Hosts, and Teachers (especially Don, Ryan, and Jay)."
Spring PDC 2010
"I came to Permaculture quite by accident. I had heard news cast on NPR about how the city of Tucson was mandating that all new developments utilize grey water and rainwater harvesting principles in the construction of all new landscapes. Since I am a landscaper by trade it occurred to me that this was something I had better start learning about. A few weeks later I found out that this group called the Phoenix Permaculture Guild was hosting Brad Lancaster, the Tucson Rainwater harvesting point man, as a speaker.
Of course I went and of course I was blown away….not only by Brads talk but by the folks I met there who were members of the Guild. I promptly signed up for the PDC Fall 2009 course, again, primarily to learn more about rainwater harvesting.
What a bargain the PDC class was! I was taught not just about rainwater harvesting but a multitude of other skills and strategies useful in caring for our Mother Earth. Mulching, organic gardening, re-cycling resources, chickens and so much more were on the menu.
The kicker though, the real take away, was none of the above. The 2 gems that will stay with me for the rest of my life are the Ethics and design principles of Permaculture. This is a philosophy…one that was part of my life in a limited way 20 years ago that I had pretty much abandoned in the dust-cloud that had become my life in pursuit of the ‘American dream’. For this I will remain eternally grateful to Don, Ryan, Doris, Greg and untold other ‘Permies’ who through their generosity and skills removed the scales from my eyes that I might once again see."
Fall PDC 2009
"I took the PDC course because I wanted to learn why my favorite kumquat tree's leaves were yellowing. Sounds rather arcane, I know, but that was the pivotal impetus, the last straw, as it were; I just couldn't stand not knowing why anymore. I'd met Don Titmus years before and been delightfully intrigued with what he had to offer, both as a teacher and as a human being. I wanted more of it, of what he is, of how he lives, and mostly the Why's and Wherefore's. What I learned opened up new worlds for me: old vistas with a new twist, several of them: Life, it's breadth and scope, its cycles and seasons, its meanings and reasons in expanded form. The constant curiosity of the fellow students, the ethics and principles of permaculture, the fundamentals of design, the ever-engaging and welcoming energy of Don's teaching, his precious acceptance of every part of life, from rocks to humans, from dirt to dance--all served to enrich my own life in deliciously provocative ways. Learn the simple secrets of sweet success through nurturing nature. Come grow with us!"
Spring PDC 2009
"I decided to take the PDC in hopes of meeting like-minded people. I was already well educated in natural family living and alternative health, and so was intrigued by the idea of learning more about the interrelationships of systems. I had been involved with the Phoenix Permaculture Guild for about a year before signing up for the PDC, but the classes and web involvement does not compare to finally taking the course.
I appreciate how it has enhanced my way of looking at the world, but most of all I appreciate the human relationships that have come into my life."
Spring PDC 2008
"After numerous years of failed gardening attempts, Ericka and I discovered the Bee Oasis (Don Titmus) and the Urban Farm (Greg Peterson), which inspired and gave us hope. Although we didn't really know what Permaculture was, we agreed that I should take the Permaculture Design Certification course being offered by the Phoenix Permaculture Guild to learn all I could to fix our gardening woes!
The PDC wasn't a step-by-step how to garden in the desert course, but an introduction to a lifestyle that involved numerous facets. Permaculture is about observing relationships in nature and using those relationships to create a holistic design. After each weekend, I found the Permaculture Ethics and Principles starting to sink in. The course taught me how to stop and observe the relationships that are occurring in our backyard with the soil, animals, insects, plants, sun/shade patterns, where water flows, and how we move about the yard. One of the most surprising things I took away from the course was learning about myself, Zone 00. How could I create a holistic design without first knowing myself and what relationships I have with all that surrounds me?
The PDC was just the beginning of a new and exciting journey that continues to this day."
Spring PDC 2008