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Online Permaculture Design Course

While Your Job is on Hold and
You are in Quarantine –
Reboot Your Life!

Create a Future of Healthy,
Safe Food, Water, and Land
With Training, Tools, and Support
from Verge’s First Online (Live & Interactive)
Permaculture Design Certification Course

BREAKING NEWS!

Friends, all our lives have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. And for some of you, the quarantine has made it impossible to attend our in-person programs.

So in response to this immediate need (and your many requests over the years), we are thrilled to offer our FIRST ONLINE PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE, starting Sunday, 4/19! 

We’ve added new content specially targeted to the challenges people are facing at this time, when access to food and economic security have been threatened as never before. And in addition to a stellar lineup of permaculture instructors, we are also presenting internationally-recognized business coaches to guide you in moving past fear and uncertainty, toward finding a new, sustainable calling for your own career. 

And to make it all as accessible as we possibly could, we’re offering it at 50% (yes, you read that right) the cost of our In-Person PDCs! 

Although registration is now open, we’re working very hard to polish the final details – so stay tuned, and watch this page!

Sunday, April 19, 2020 – Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 5 pm Mountain Time. (Convert to your time zone here)

Live webinars combined with access to our student dashboard including all recordings, bonus materials, ability to post questions, and more!

What are you doing with your quarantine?

If you’re wondering how you’ll feed your family if grocery shelves stay bare – how you’ll heat your home or keep the lights on for the long term – if you’ll have a job to return to, or whether you can restart your business when this storm is over – we have the solution you’re looking for: Verge Permaculture’s first online, live & interactive Permaculture Design Certification course, starting April 19 wherever you are!

Discover how to create food and water security, lower electrical and fuel bills with renewable energy, gain the keys to a new, sustainable livelihood, and so much more. Learn practical preparedness from a team of urban and rural permaculture designer/consultants, ecological engineers, business and marketing mentors – all successful entrepreneurs. This PDC starts with an international standard curriculum and adds fresh expert content designed to help you position yourself for facing a changed future with confidence.

If you’re looking to come out of this quarantine with the skills, knowledge, tools and network to create a secure future for yourself, your loved ones, and your community, you need this course!

$699 CAD + tax, if applicable
(or 3 payments of $267 CAD + tax)

Wow! Thanks for your interest in our online permaculture design course. We’ve now closed registration so that we can focus on executing an amazing course for our registered students. If you want to be notified of future courses, please sign up for our newsletter.

For any questions pertaining to the course, content, outline, why Verge, value, and/or the faculty, please visit the Main PDC Listing page. 

You’ll….

Ask and get your questions answered in over thirty lively, interactive webinars with the teaching team….

Anchor your learning with assignments and a final design project

Interact with your classmates through our student dashboard or through a private student-only facebook page

Re-watch or re-listen to all recorded sessions, at your own pace.

And the groundbreaking content doesn’t stop with the live webinars!

You’ll receive…

200+ page e-notepack

…Seven years in the making, our Verge PDC Notepack contains nearly 200 pages of content. Designed for students taking our Permaculture Design Course, this Notepack allows students to follow along and take notes during the course.

More info

Permaculture Primer E-Course

…The Permaculture Primer E-Course (Interactive Level) is a 3.5 hour online video course included in your tuition. 

More info

Supplemental materials, downloads and resources

…And our digital resource library includes copies of all slides, detailed handouts and support materials to deepen your understanding…

More info

And then there’s the BONUS material…

Marketing For Hippies E-Course

Learn the marketing secrets of North America’s most successful green, holistic, community-minded entrepreneurs and attract more of the clients you want (without ever sacrificing your integrity or spending a fortune) in Tad Hargrave’s two-and-a-half hour Marketing for Hippies 101 video on how to grow your green, local and holistic business ($80 Value).

More info

Tomato Growing For Northern Gardeners

This 2.5 hour workshop, from Urban Farm School, was recorded in March 2020. In addition to being our lead PDC instructor, Carmen Lamoureux is an expert tomato grower. In this workshop she shares her top growing tips and tried-and-true tactics to maximize your tomato-growing (and tasting!) experience. ($30 Value)

More info

ORGANS, BONES AND FAT: RECIPES AND SKILLS FOR NUTRIENT-DENSE MEALS

A two-hour recorded presentation with regenerative farmer and Weston A. Price Foundation Edmonton Chapter Leader, Takota Coen where he teaches simple, delicious, affordable, and ethical ways you can start nourishing you and your family with the nose to tail superfoods. Includes a twenty page recipe book from Coen Farm. ($40 Value)

More info

…Stay tuned as we announce more!

DETAILED SCHEDULE

Sunday, April 19, 2020 – Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Live webinars hosted on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 5 pm Mountain Time. (Convert to your time zone here).

All webinars are recorded and posted to the student dashboard where you can watch or (re-watch) at your own pace.

WEEK Dates & times High-Level Topics Covered
Week #1
(Lectures 1,2,3)
Sunday April 19, Tuesday April 21, Thursday April 23
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Introduction to Permaculture
Week #2
(Lectures 4,5,6)
Sunday April 26, Tuesday April 28, Thursday April 30
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Methods of Design
Week #3
(Lectures 7,8,9)
Sunday May 3, Tuesday May 5, Thursday May 7
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Climatic Factors
Week #4
(Lectures 10,11,12)
Sunday May 10, Tuesday May 12, Thursday May 14
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Water, Earthworking and Earth Resources
Week #5
(Lectures 13,14,15)
Sunday May 17, Tuesday May 19, Thursday May 21
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Water
Week #6
(Lectures 16,17,18)
Sunday May 24, Tuesday May 26, Thursday May 28
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Soils
Week #7
(Lectures 19,20,21)
Sunday May 31, Tuesday June 2, Thursday June 4
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Trees and Their Energy Transactions
Week #8
(Lectures 22,23,24)
Sunday June 7, Tuesday June 9, Thursday June 11
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Animal Systems
Week #9
(Lectures 25,26,27)
Sunday June 14, Tuesday, June 16, Thursday June 18
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Renewable Energy, Community Organizing and Land Access
Week #10
(Lectures 28,29,30)
Sunday June 21, Tuesday, June 23, Thursday June 25
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Design Case Studies and Strategies for Communities & Society
Week #11
(Lectures 31,32)
Sunday June 25, Tuesday June 28
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Project Presentations

Verge’s Online PDC Teaching Team …

  • Carmen Lamoureux
    Carmen Lamoureux PDC Lead Instructor

    The lead instructor for the Verge PDC, Carmen has had a varied career, working for the Alberta government in the fields of sustainable resource management, forestry and privately in silviculture, soils and horticulture. As founder and owner of Calgary’s URBAN FARM SCHOOL, as well as the Urban Farm Permaculture Project, she is dedicated to helping emerging gardeners and permaculture enthusiasts gain the freedom, confidence and skills they need to live more abundant, sustainable and resilient lives. Having grown food organically for over 4 decades, Carmen gets excited about helping others cultivate great food, and in turn, great selves.  (Verge PDC Grad 2013)

  • Rob Avis Owner / Lead Instructor / Engineer

    After pursuing international training and certifications in renewable energy and regenerative design I, along with my wife and business partner Michelle, began Verge Permaculture, now a globally-recognized and award-winning design, consulting, and education company. Since then, we’ve helped more than 1000 students and a growing number of clients to design and/or create integrated systems for shelter, energy, water, waste and food, all while supporting local economy and regenerating the land.

    Our consulting firm, Adaptive Habitat is a property design & project management firm that creates resilient homes, acreages and farms for landowners, preserving tangible and enduring wealth by integrating innovative technology, engineered solutions and ecological design.

  • Jen Nobel
    Jen Nobel PDC Teaching Assistant

    Initially an architectural graduate, Jen first heard of permaculture on a trip to Sierra Leone with Earthship Biotecture in 2011, but wasn’t formally introduced to it until she took a few introductory workshops with Jardins sans Frontières in Montreal. Everything seemed new yet was so basic; permaculture struck such a chord with Jen that she felt like her brain was being rewired. After taking the Verge’s Professional Development PDC with 1-on-1 mentoring, Jen moved away from architecture and interior design to launch her own company so she can merge her love for design, technical skills, and health. (Verge PDC Grad 2017).

    If you need to reach her: jen@vergepermaculture.ca.

Confirmed Guest Instructors …

  • Sara Dent
    Sara Dent

    Sara Dent is the Executive Director of a farmer2farmer resource network for new and young ecological, organic and regenerative farmers called Young Agrarians.  She is also a health coach, organizational consultant, public speaker and photographer. She has 20 years of experience working in the charitable sector developing programs, fundraising, building community, and acting as an agent for change and over 15 years of experience in ecological agriculture and food systems.

  • Tad Hargrave
    Tad Hargrave

    Tad is a hippy who developed a knack for marketing (and then learned how to be a hippy again.) For almost a decade, he has been touring his marketing workshops around Canada, bringing refreshing and unorthodox ideas to conscious entrepreneurs and green businesses that help them grow their organizations and businesses (without selling their souls). Learn more about Tad at Marketing For Hippies.

  • Tom Jackman
    Tom Jackman

    Tom Jackman is the owner of Simple Solar. Simple Solar has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing solar energy systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications for over a decade. Founded in 2006 by Canada’s leading solar experts, they have developed a reputation for excellent products and quality services.

  • Shauna Fidler
    Shauna Fidler

    Shauna is the owner, business consultant and creative designer at Design Farm. Not only is Shauna a foodie and grower, but she has over a decade of food business acumen that she draws on to support clients working in all areas of food  production and processing. From Farm-to-Table and everything in between. Shauna knows what it’s like to run a food business; she has pounded the pavement in the natural food sector across the country, crafted recipes by the hundreds, packaged dozens and dozens of unique products, spent many a day with my back to the sun tending to tender greens, raised farm animals from birth and has hunted for the queen bee in buzzing hives. (Verge PDC Grad 2013)

  • Mike Dorion
    Mike Dorion

    Mike is the owner / operator of Calgary-based Living Soil Solutions. Starting with a Gardening class put on by the Calgary Horticulture Society, Mike became immersed. He continued on with his Permaculture Design Certificate, SPIN Farming, Greenhouse Design, Compost Facility Operators Certificate, and mentoring in Soil and Soil Microbiology and he is currently working on his Soil Food Web Advisor role with the Life in the Soil program put on by Elaine Ingham. (Verge PDC Grad 2012)

  • Takota Coen

    Takota is a 4th generation farmer who helps steward Coen Farm, a 250 acre award winning organic farm in Central Alberta that produces nutrient dense milk fed pork, grass fed beef, and forest garden fruits. In addition to farming, Takota works with famers, ranchers, and acreage owners across Canada to help them design for healthier land, healthier profits and the time to enjoy both. He holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from The Permaculture Research Institute, a Holistic Management Certificate from Holistic Management International, and a Red Seal Journeyman Certificate for Carpentry. (Verge PDC Grad 2016)

$699 + tax, if applicable
(or 3 payments of $267 + tax)

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What payment methods do you accept?

You can pay online with your credit card.

If you’d prefer to pay using another methods (we accept cash, cheque, email money transfer or credit card over the phone), select that option during checkout and you’ll receive instructions on how to do so.

Your spot is not saved in the course until payment is received.

We can also accept payment plans for some of our Permaculture Design Courses. More info.

*Please note that registrations paid by email money transfer are processed manually. Because we are not in the office everyday, be prepared to wait 24 hours during weekdays before your registration being approved. If you are registering with short notice before an event, we recommend that you pay online using a credit card.

Is the PDC course eligible for tax credit? Do you issue tax receipts?

We are not considered a designated educational institution (i.e. university or college) that qualifies for the purposes of the education tax credit claimed on the tax return. Therefore, our course cannot be claimed under tuition fees on your tax return and we cannot issue T2202A slips.

If you are working in a small business and would like to write off the course because it relates to your business, then yes, you may use our proof of enrolment / course receipt when filing your taxes.

Does the PDC course qualify for Educational Assistance Payments (i.e RESP withdrawl)?

A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a contract between an individual (the subscriber) and a person or organization (the promoter). Under the contract, the subscriber names one or more beneficiaries (the future student(s)) and agrees to make contributions for them, and the promoter agrees to pay educational assistance payments (EAPs) to the beneficiaries. For more information about RESPs visit the CRA website.

Our Permaculture Design Course can meet the requirements of “specified educational program” for the purpose of Educational Assistance Payments, as described on the CRA website. Note that a specified educational program is a program at post-secondary school level that lasts at least three consecutive weeks, and that requires a student to spend no less than 12 hours per-month on courses in the program.

However, before assuming that your promoter will provide Educational Assistance Payments we highly recommend that you contact them to find out if they have any additional requirements above those stated on the CRA website. The reason for this is that although we have had numerous students successful in requesting EAPs from the holder of their plan (i.e. the promoter), there has also been some students told by their promoter that we do not qualify.

Do you offer Scholarships for your PDCs?

Yes.

For more information about the Verge Permaculture Scholarship Fund, and how to apply, click here. Note that there are no scholarships for the online PDC.

Would you like to make a donation to our scholarship fund? 100% of donated amounts are directly handed out in the form of tuition reduction to deserving students. Learn more at the link above.

What is the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)?

The PDC is a tested and proven standardized curriculum offered by permaculture institutes and educational centers around the world. Developed by visionary author/educator/naturalist Bill Mollison, it includes all of the topics in his pioneering work, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual…which you will receive as a part of your course package.

Offered in either an intensive 13-day or 3 long-weekend format, our Permaculture Design Certificate, or PDC, is a course for people who want to make permaculture a way of life or create a livelihood doing earth repair. We’ve gone above and beyond the requirements of the standard 72 hour curriculum by incorporating our own expertise from sustainable design projects around the world, additional products and resources, and teaching our own special step-by-step design process.

Is there a pre-requisite for the PDC?

No. All you need is the ability and desire to learn in a fast-paced classroom environment.

How Do I Send An Email Money Transfer?

*Please note that registrations paid by EMT are processed manually. Because we are not in the office everyday, be prepared to wait 24 hours during weekdays before your registration being approved. If you are registering with short notice before an event, we recommend that you pay online using a credit card.

To send an email money transfer you need access to online banking through a participating financial institution (BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotia Bank, or TD Canada Trust, among others).

Step by Step Instructions:

1. Login to your online banking.

2. Locate Interac Email Money Transfer, usually found in the Transfer/Payments menu.

3. Fill in the Interac Email Money Transfer information as follows:

          1. Recipients email address: michelle@vergepermaculture.ca .
          2. Payment Amount: the total amount of your invoice.
          3. Message: Include your name, the course name and if different, the name of the course registrant.

No password is required for your EMT.

If you need more detailed instructions for completing an email money transfer, go to http://www.interac.ca/index.php/en/interac-etransfer/etransfer-faq .Please keep this invoice.

Can You Accept Payment Plans for Your Permaculture Design Courses?

Yes, we have payments plans for our Permaculture Design Courses.

The payment plans is set up as an automatic charge against your credit card (usually 3 – 6 equal payments) spread out over one month intervals. There is an administrative surcharge of $100 for all payment plans.

What can I do with a PDC? How will this training help me?

Many of our students develop businesses or projects leveraging their permaculture training. We think the best way to get an idea of the wide range of possibilities is to peruse the 50+ alumni interviews, profiles and blogs, found here.

I would like to take your Permaculture Design Course, but plan on working in the Tropics. Is your course climate-specific to Canada?

Our Permaculture Design Course follows Bill Mollison’s textbook, Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual, and a copy of this textbook is included in the Premium package tuition.

It is true that a lot of Bill’s examples in his textbook are from the tropics and sub tropic climatic zones, as he is from Australia.

What differentiates us is our emphasis on the process of design. We feel strongly that the process is what drives good design. Process is climate indifferent. 

The specific techniques that you might employ in the tropics may differ from the techniques used in a cold climate. In addition the specific plants you may use would also be different. But the fundamental principles and processes are the same.

Lastly, our course has a slight focus on temperate climate given that is the climate here in Canada and the climate that a majority of our students are working in. However, we have students who have taken our Permaculture Design Course and are working in climates around the world.

What is your refund policy for the Online PDC?

If you’ve decided that this course (or this format) is not for you, know that we will provide a full refund, no questions asked, up until midnight Mountain Time on April 21st (the end of the second live webinar). Reach out to Katlin: info@vergepermaculture.ca

How important is it to attend the live webinars? What if I miss a session (or multiple sessions)?

The live webinars are definitely going to be a way for students to interact in real-time with the teaching team, and with each other. We highly recommend that you attend if you can.

However, we understand that it may not be possible for you to attend all thirty plus webinars. And you may have conflicts (or time zone considerations) that prevent you from attending any of them.

As such, we will be recording and uploading all webinars to the student dashboard (please give us ~24 hours). We will timestamp the webinars so that they are easy to navigate and you’ll have access to these recordings indefinitely. We will also provide audio-only files for all webinars.

Our teaching assistants will be monitoring all questions submitted through the student dashboard. They will record your questions and summarize them for our instructors to cover in the live sessions. Getting your questions answered is a huge priority for us. You can help us stay organized by keeping your questions relevant to the topic and posting them under the correct lesson / webinar.

We feel quite confident that even if you are unable to catch the live session you will feel like you are able to participate in the program. There is a caveat though – we ask that you keep up with the content and get your questions to us in a timely fashion and know that we are only monitoring comments until the course ends in June.

How long will I have access to the content from the Online PDC?

You’ll get indefinite access to the course materials (your lifetime or ours).  However the Teaching Team will only be monitoring and answering questions until the official course completion date.

What if I can’t complete the design project before the end of the course? Can I submit at a later date?

Completion of the design project is a requirement to receive your Permaculture Designer’s Certificate. Our Teaching Team has set aside several months at the end of the course to review and provide feedback on student projects as part of your course tuition.

If you do not submit your project before the submission deadline you will have the option to pay a moderate additional fee (~$60 CAD) to have an instructor review your project, provide feedback, and then receive your certification at that time.

Can I share the online content / course with a family member?

We’ve had lots of folks ask us: “Can I share this course with my partner / spouse?”… (or with someone else in your household).

When you register in our online PDC (or other online programs), we create one user account linked to your name and email address. This user account gives you access to our student dashboard and the ability to interact with the course content. We track your progress through the lessons. You can post comments and interact with our teachers and other students both in the lessons pages and in any live webinars.

And although we ask that you do not share your password and username with anyone (that’s just smart, and good practice in general), the reality is that we have no control over who is sitting beside you while you are participating behind your computer screen. And really, we actually really do want you to share this information with your spouse / partner, your children and the other stakeholders involved in making making your project happen! How else are you going to get everyone onboard?

Having said that – we think that there are a few very good reasons that each person might want to have their own unique registration in the course:

  • We will issue only one Permaculture Design Certificate, in the name of the user who enrolled in the course. Same goes with any other online programs that come with certificates of completion.
  • Your unique user account is your own personality and way to engage in the course material, and with the instructors, and with other students in the course. Sharing your user account in this way is similar to sharing your Facebook Account. So, ask yourself: Do you want your own profile?
  • Our learning management system will track your progress throughout the course material (what you’ve watched, what you haven’t) as well record your results on Knowledge Checks (i.e. quizzes). This is a very useful tool to track your own individual completion and progress through the course.

Please also be aware that you can only log into the Student Dashboard from one IP address at a time. That means that if you login from home (and don’t log out) and you try and then login from another location you will be unable to do so. This will also cause problems for you if you share your login credentials with someone.

$699 + tax, if applicable
(or 3 payments of $267 + tax)

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