Join Beck Lowe, Brenna Quinlan, Nick Ritar + guests for a special two weeks of Permaculture design training – you’ll leave this course ready to create abundance in a world out of balance, with solid design skills and techniques.
A Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate teaches you the skills and knowledge to design and implement fundamental and life-changing resilience into your everyday home, community and beyond.
Permaculture is set of principles that result in sustainable and productive systems. Systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community.
No chemicals and no excuses. Just good, thoughtful, innovative and effective design for the needs of our species.
By observing nature we can use natural patterning to design and implement ideas and systems that build on natural processes with energy efficient, low cost and high yielding results.
“I love the whole design process that these guys go through. Really thorough – they know their stuff”
“I can’t think of a better stepping stone for making a positive change in your life towards something more sustainable, more healthy, more satisfying and more connected. Don’t think about it. Do it. You won’t regret it.”
“After just two weeks, I am armed with a ridiculous amount of knowledge that will enable us to build a sustainable house, with a bountiful garden.”
“Absolutely inspirational! I feel so proud to have been able to take part in this”
“What an incredible 2 weeks of life changing inspiration and good times. Thank you Milkwood for providing this platform for provocative and progressive thought and practical applications.”
What you will learn at a Milkwood PDC
Our Permaculture Design Certificate is steadfastly dedicated to turning you into a better holistic designer. The learning outcomes of this intensive course have been built around a powerful design frameworks to realise this goal.
By the end of our course you will be able to:
- Design human habitats for abundance while improving ecosystem health
- Explain the origins of the permaculture concept and appreciate permaculture ethics and principles in a whole new light
- Implement the permaculture design process and integrate systems thinking and design theory into your design approach
- Analyse the strengths, resources, boundaries and limitations of the people involved in your project and produce an inspiring goal statement to get everybody on board
- Create an accurate base map of any site
- Complete a thorough Site Analysis and Assessment taking into account climate, legal framework, land form, wind & sun, water, access & energy flows, biology, micro-climates, soils & aesthetics
- Build functional connections between elements of your design to reduce labour and eliminate pollution
- See the underlying patterns in our ecosystems, understand their meaning and how to apply patterning to achieve harmony with the natural world
- Design for different climatic conditions and adapt to our climate future
- Design water into landscapes to drought-proof your designs
- Build the structure, fertility and biological diversity of your soils
- Enhance the soil food web to bring your soils to life
- Harness the power of trees to modify climate, build habitat and produce food with a minimum effort
- Understand the strengths and weakness of using each food producing ecosystem
- Use annual gardens to produce food quickly and reliably
- Design stable, abundant forest gardens
- Design animals into ecosystems for the benefit of all species
- Use aquaculture and aquaponics to enhance your designs
- Make use appropriate technology for power generation, energy efficiency, food preservation and comfortable homes
- Enhance local communities and local economies through permaculture design
- Open up new career pathways while making the world a better place
Designing your future
A Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate can lead anywhere – we’ve had students use it as a springboard into new careers of all types, from farming to conscious accounting, school garden enterprises, and design services.
Completing a Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate gives you the accreditation to teach and design with permaculture commercially – supported of course by your ongoing learning + doing! This course can also be recognised as relevant prior learning for the nationally accredited VET Certificate IV in Permaculture and also the Graduate Certificate in Permaculture.
You will leave this immersive experience with the confidence and ability to create exceptional permaculture designs for any situation.
A full blown agricultural enterprise, an apartment balcony, a quarter acre farm, an intentional community, a company structure whatever human habitat that needs designing.
Why do your PDC with Milkwood Permaculture?
We are unique in the permaculture design learning space. Our ‘people care’ is exceptional, our teachers are both incredibly experienced AND excellent communicators, and we run our PDC’s in a way that no other organisation does. Our most frequent PDC student feedback is that we offer the best organised, best value and most inspirational course that the student has ever done.
We work with a world-class teaching team who are not only deeply involved in the theory and practice of Permaculture on a daily basis, but who passionate about passing their knowledge on to you. We know from experience that there is no ‘one way’ to design a system with Permaculture, so we encourage a principles-based approach.
We teach principle-based permaculture design, so that students emerge confident to design regenerative systems all over the planet, not just where certain bioregion-specific techniques for water harvesting, food production etc will work.
Our PDC focuses on best-practice design process – to enable you to gain the skills to apply permaculture design to a multitude of contexts. This is not a ‘learn to make gardens and swales’ PDC. We teach you solid design skills, with a principles-based approach that takes you through an effective design process – from start to finish. By the time you leave this course you will Get It. You will be able to effectively design, with permaculture.
We offer a pragmatic and down to earth attitude to permaculture as a design science; metaphysics and ideologies are not included in our curriculum. Students of all backgrounds and religions are respected, and welcome.
We do Permaculture full time, as a livelihood. You will not find a more committed crew of people actively being the change they want to see in this world. We are growers, teachers, writers, designers, mechanics, educators and more, who have successfully used Permaculture to create right livelihoods. We’re here to share what we’ve learned with you, so that you can forge your own path towards a regenerative and resilient future.
We support our students after they leave with complimentary registration to Permaculture Australia, as well as the ongoing support you’ll receive from the Milkwood Permaculture alumni network – it’s growing into an amazing collection of folks from all over the world, many of whom have gone on to implement permaculture effectively at many levels of home, community and beyond.
About your teachers
Beck Lowe has a science degree in zoology & a masters in sustainable agriculture – she has been teaching permaculture in various forms since 2003. She is also delivers Accredited Permaculture Training (APT), the nationally accredited suite of Certificate and Diploma courses in permaculture. More recently she has been the editor of Retrosuburbia and the author its ongoing educational framework. Oh and she manages a small farm, too – More about Beck…
Brenna Quinlan has a background in community building and design in a permaculture context, from South America to the south coast of NSW. She divides her time between permaculture teaching, permaculture design and illustration, and growing good food. More about Brenna.
With special guests for select sessions…
Nick Ritar is co-founder of Milkwood and a permaculture designer, consultant and educator who works extensively across a wide range of bioregions, farms, watersheds and city environments. When he’s not teaching, he’s growing mushrooms and keeping bees at Melliodora, David Holmgren + Su Dennett’s iconic permaculture farm in Victoria. More about Nick…
Kat Lavers is a garden farmer, permaculture designer and facilitator. Her award-winning urban permaculture system, ‘The Plummery’, produces almost all the household’s vegies, herbs, fruit and eggs (more than 350kg in 2016!) on a 1/14th acre, while using only 46L mains water per person and 3.9kWh electricity per day. Kat also works with local councils and communities to design urban agriculture projects, and is a volunteer coordinator of Permablitz Melbourne. More about Kat.
We also support students through their learning + design process with extra teachers and staff who are all experienced in permaculture design, group facilitation, and diverse learning methods.
Our exceptional level of ‘people care’ during this two week intensive is yet another major factor of what makes Milkwood courses unique, and which we pride ourselves on.
As part of this course we’ll take you out and about to visit an excellent variety of examples of permaculture design being used to create different types of resilient, abundant systems – from backyard food forests to community organic farms.
We’ll also explore the surrounding rainforest, to learn and consider how diversity and biomimicry can be used in permaculture design.
While you’re on this course:
Course hours are 8:45am – 5pm each day. In addition, we offer extra workshops + film screenings most evenings, and as the course progresses many students choose to spend their evenings working on their designs. There is a full rest day on the 7th day of the course. We wrap up by 3pm on the last day.
If you need to take a break, this course’s beautiful venue Govinda Valley has a variety of rainforest trails to explore, as well as swimming holes and a riverside fire circle (which we’ll be sure to fire up). There’s also the beach and the coastline cliffs 10 minutes away.
“Just all round bloody fantastic.” – Milkwood PDC graduate
Included in your course fee
Your course fee includes:
- A campsite within the rainforest campground, with access to communal laundry and bathrooms with hot showers. (BYO tent, towel & bedding)
- Full catering (breakfast, lunch, dinner + snacks) each day. The catering at Govinda Valley is vegetarian, delicious and sourced as locally as possible. Catering and accommodation begins the evening before the course.
- Visits to inspiring examples of Permaculture projects in the local area
- A practical kit of resources to help you succeed in designing:
- A copy of ‘Permaculture Design – a step by step guide’ by Aranya
- Permaculture Guide + The Essence of Permaculture reference texts
- Paper scale rulers to help with your design work + an eco pencil
- Extensive digital resources + downloads on all subjects covered including access to all presentations
If you’d like to upgrade your stay at Govinda Valley Retreat from camping to a single bed in a room, your options for the 14 nights are:
|A campsite in the rainforest campground, with access to communal laundry and bathrooms (BYO tent, bedding & towel)||Included|
|Dorm-style room with access to shared bathrooms, includes bedding (BYO towel)||$31 per night|
Max 4 occupants
|$67 per night|
|Ensuite room, includes bedding & towels||$67 per night|
Max 2 occupants
|$124 per night|
Beds in shared rooms can be added to your ticket in the shopping cart before checking out.
Limited numbers of rooms are available for private use. Please get in touch if you would like to book this option.
If you prefer to stay offsite, that’s fine too – full catering is included in your course price, so feel free to join us for breakfast and dinner. We are unable to offer discounts for those who choose to stay off site for all or part of the course.