You Want a Meaningful Lifestyle That Restores the Planet…

We Want to Show you How!

Connect with a Positive, Proactive Community

… And Learn to Create Sanity, Security, and Abundance with Training, Tools, and Support to

(dare we say it) Thrive, Here on Planet Earth!

Registration Has Now Closed for the 2022 Course.

Stay Tuned For Our Next 4-Month Long Course Beginning Fall 2023! 

Get all the information you need to implement a comprehensive plan for an abundant life with food, water security and much, much more…

Our internationally-recognized permaculture instructors along with a stellar lineup of coaches will guide you in moving past fear and uncertainty, toward finding a new, sustainable, meaningful life. 


(and change the World while you’re at it.)


For the Verge Permaculture Design Certification course.


From the leading experts.


Design your dream property and life!


Your thriving property, home & community!

Find 2022 class dates, schedule, course content HERE 

Hope, Knowledge and a Plan to Thrive!

Verge’s Permaculture Design Certification Course  |  Live Online

Course Begins October 20, 2022


As permaculture practitioners and entrepreneurs, we’ve lived every lesson we teach.  From planning and growing a food forest, to building a passive solar greenhouse, to rehydrating an eroded field and stream bed, even to creating a rainwater harvesting system in our home. From creating Verge’s startup vision and mission, to marketing and attracting clients, even to transforming local natural disasters into teachable moments with permaculture solutions!

Our lessons are rich with real-life experiences and an absolute passion for sharing this earth-healing, world-changing information. And our #1 goal in offering our Permaculture Design Course is to empower you to step from being a fearful consumer, dependent on fragile social systems, to a confident producer of your own food, water, energy…

…and a secure, sustainable livelihood helping the earth and your community as a successful permaculture entrepreneur!

And here are just some of the ways we set you up for success from the very beginning… 

Internationally-Recognized Guest Instructors …


Past special guests include Geoff Lawton (Permaculture Research Institute), David Holmgren (co-founder of permaculture) and Peter Bane (Author, The Permaculture Handbook). Confirmed special guests for this year include Stefan Sobkowiak (Miracle Farms) and Dan Chiras, author of 38 books on natural and green building technology.

Learn from recognized experts in the field…


Verge’s own home-grown crop of permaculture experts forms the nucleus of our faculty: Carmen Lamoureux takes the lead instructor’s role with Jen Nobel as the program manager. Supporting us in teaching the standardized PDC topics is a diverse faculty of successful permaculture professionals, authors and entrepreneurs (see below for names & bios!). With more than 10 members on our teaching team, we strive to cover every possible need and deliver as supportive an experience as possible.

Real time answer to your questions in interactive live webinars ...

read more....

This is a live course, not pre-recorded! You’ll interact with our teaching team, guest instructors, and your classmates during more than 30 lively webinars or 24/7 through our student dashboard over 38 weeks. Ask questions, and get them answered in real time. If you can’t make it to a live class you can post questions in the course dashboard and one of our instructors will answer it.

Share resources and network with classmates in a private student group ...


Nearly every PDC graduate knows the bond that springs up among classmates. We’ve experienced it, witnessed it…and now we’re leveraging it using social learning! Our new student portal (launching August 2022) will allow you to join an exclusive online student social network, where you can chat about the course content, kibitz, share resources, perspectives, and plans, network, ask questions, and collaborate. It’s the first step toward the lifelong connections you will form among the worldwide network of over 2000 Verge grads!

Course content is yours Forever - no expiry date!


Did you accidentally miss a class? No worries – catch up with the recording! After the course is over, do you want to refresh your memory? No worries then either – you will have full access to all of the recordings and bonus course content, as well as the student knowledge exchange and the online student community, Forever! 

The only exception is Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual – and we have a solution for that, too…read on!

And then there are the discounts ...


As comprehensive as this course is, there’s so much great supplementary info out there! So, we’ve arranged for you to get all sorts of special student discounts…

  • 25% off  Tagari’s Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual
  • 30% off ALL books from our sponsor, New Society Publishers
  • …PLUS 30% off our Verge Merchandise (to show your permie-pride!)



Our PDC comes with so much more than just the course content! Just for starters, you get exclusive access to copies of all class slides, detailed handouts and supporting materials. Then, add on a half-dozen hours of riveting bonus lectures from our teachers and guest instructors. And then, there’s our ever-growing student knowledge-exchanges with over 15 hours (and counting) of peer-led sessions on a wild range of topics from wind turbines, permaculture software and small-scale project management, to composting toilets and more! Plus, for the entire course you’ll have online access to a copy of the classic textbook Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual.

Small Group Support, Personalized Feedback and and a Certificate in Permaculture Design, recognized by PINA ...


Our support doesn’t end when the course is over! You’ll have access to one full month of office hours (Feb 2022) with a small group of students and a dedicated teacher to get direct support for your final design project…PLUS a library of past student projects to inspire you. And when it’s all over, you’ll receive a personalized feedback video from one of our instructors about your submission.

With your certificate in hand, you’ll find that a Verge PDC is a respected credential worldwide – even more so as we are now endorsed by the Permaculture Institute of North America.

Select your level of engagement based on your budget, schedule, and vision ...


Whether you’re looking to practice permaculture in your own backyard, or whether you’re looking to become a permaculture consultant, this program is set up to suit your vision. With three levels of engagement, we can support the simplest makeover of your backyard or community commons, all the way up to your most ambitious business plan.

Is your dream bigger than your budget? We can help with early bird pricing, payment plans, and more than $3000 in partial scholarships! To help young people get started in permaculture, we give full scholarships to high-school students and secondary-school groups in Canada and abroad. Just ask us!

Have fun while learning at the same time …


We believe whole-heartedly that if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s not worth doing! So our team strives to combine serious learning with a lot of fun throughout this course, with weekly themed events, interactive activities, competitions, awful jokes, and other silliness. When you complete our optional assignments and quizzes, you’ll be included in exciting weekly draws totaling over $1,200 of value in book giveaways from our PDC sponsor and book publisher, New Society Publishers. You can hobnob with your teachers and classmates in numerous online social gatherings…and then there’s a final blow-out party featuring a private concert with the ukulele-strumming ecological troubadour, Charlie McGee!

Whether you choose to transform your property and community privately, or build a permaculture consulting career, your PDC will give you a solid foundation for your regenerative life!



  • The international standard permaculture curriculum taught in live webinars,
  • plus bonus recorded content,
  • plus live Q&A with one of our internationally-recognized instructors,
  • plus office hours to review your final assignment,
  • and so much more…


Value $1,349


  • All the content from the Foundational PDC,
  • plus our Essential Rainwater Harvesting course,
  • and our Passive Solar Greenhouses course,
  • plus all their related materials,
  • and the lost lectures by Toby Hemenway on Building Gaia’s Garden…


Value $2,232


  • All of the Foundational and Premium content,
  • plus literally every other online book, tool, and course that we offer!
  • plus six months access post completion of your PDC to our all new Academy – Insider Level
  • and you can come back and audit the Online PDC anytime!


Value $4,178

Don’t hesitate… We only offer this course once a year!

  • 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, and business and marketing mentors – all successful entrepreneurs.
  • With a special focus on cold and temperate-climate permaculture, our PDC starts with an international standardized curriculum while adding fresh expert content designed to help you position yourself for facing a changing future with confidence.

Have Questions?

Want to connect on-on-one with someone from our Team? Please feel free to book a “Ask Me Anything” conversation with Jen, our Permaculture Design Course Coordinator using the booking link here.

What difference will this course make in your life?

We’ve seen it over and over: students enter full of fears for the future…and within weeks, replace their fears with dawning hope and vision! By the end of the course, they walk out of the door with a plan and the resources to create positive change and security for themselves and their communities…

Isn’t that how you’d like to navigate the coming years?


What Our Students Are Saying…

  • Rob and Michelle Avis lead an inspired, organized and informed two week adventure into a refreshingly positive view of sustainability. Rob shines as an instructor, delivering easily understood and detailed explanations of permaculture design principles and it’s practical tools. We left with an excellent understanding of subjects and ideas that were new to us.

    Valerie Andrews & Peter Piasecki, Ontario
    Valerie Andrews & Peter Piasecki, Ontario The Harvest Pantry
  • These two weeks of permaculture have been the most useful and constructive education I have experienced. The practical skills, hopeful perspective and focus on solutions feel empowering.  

    Sara Renner, Canmore, AB
    Sara Renner, Canmore, AB Owner of Paintbox Lodge and Olympic Medalist
  • This course is an invaluable for the amount of practical life-supporting skills, entrepreneur ideas and social empowerment shared. Permaculture is the logical way to restoring and regenerating our planet’s ecology. I hope to take some of these new skills, develop them through local practice and global study and eventually do aide work in a suffering country.  

    Brianna Lyon, Walnut California 
    Brianna Lyon, Walnut California  Califia Eco Design

Verge 2020 Online PDC Alumni Experiences

There are plenty of PDCs out there - so what makes the Verge OPDC special? Lately we’ve been hearing fewer people asking “What is permaculture?” and more asking “Which PDC is right for me?” Students are asking specific questions: Will this course fit into my lifestyle? Will it give value for the money I pay? Will it balance theory with practical solutions to the unique problems of my property? Will I have access to expert instructors? Do you talk about building resilient communities as well as food security, water security, and energy security? What about if I live in the city, or don’t have any land yet? So we recently had one of our current interns interview a dozen alumni from our summer online PDC to gather their thoughts, opinions, and experiences to share with you! If you’re debating whether Verge’s upcoming OPDC is the course for you, you’ll want to see today’s video. And to sign up for or learn more about the verge Online PDC starting November 24th click here: Highlights: 00:47 Nola Marion - OPDC during covid... Hope, community, quality resources 03:49 Geoff Watson - Benefits of the live online format 05:55 Aasha Williams-Blanco - Degrading soils, forests, general state of the world, finding value a way to give back 07:34 Maurice O'Connor - Well organized, well delivered course 08:20 Avanthi Williams-Blanco - Finding her people, community 08:56 Alvise Doglioni Majer - The knowledge and skills are well worth the money.. Not something you can get from a book 10:39 Geoff Watson - Value of a certificate 11:30 Brendan Scherling - Approaching problems in a new way... The knowledge is applicable in so many aspects of life 12:03 Nola Marion - What she gained: empowerment, control, values & vision ----- About Rob Avis and Verge Permaculture: In less than 10 years, Rob & Michelle Avis left Calgary’s oil fields and retooled his engineering career to help clients and students design integrated systems for shelter, energy, water, waste and food, all while supporting local economy and regenerating the land. He’s now leading the next wave of permaculture education, teaching career-changing professionals to become eco-entrepreneurs with successful regenerative businesses. Learn more and connect with Rob & Michelle at FREE RESOURCES: As a special gift when you subscribe to our newsletter is that we’ll send you the link to download our drop-dead-gorgeous Blog Book: 50 breathtaking magazine-style pages of our most popular blog posts and articles over the past five years, from permaculture ABCs to property-buying, home design, eco-investing, and community retrofitting. Sign-up: Why should you reserve a place in your bulging in-box for Verge’s newsletters? One reason: because we challenge the headlines and cultural paradigms with a whole different kind of alternative fact: Permaculture-inspired businesses can succeed – and restore the planet. And we’ll show you how to do it. Music:




Live webinars hosted on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 5 pm Mountain Time with a one hour Q&A from 5 – 6pm. (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
Welcome Thursday October 20
3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Week #1
(Lectures 1,2,3)
Sunday Oct 23, Tuesday Oct 25, Thursday Oct 27
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Introduction to Permaculture
Week #2
(Lectures 4,5,6)
Sunday Oct 30, Tuesday Nov 1, Thursday Nov 3
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Methods of Design + Pattern + Mapping
Week #3
(Lectures 7,8,9)
Sunday Nov 6, Tuesday Nov 8, Thursday Nov 10
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Climatic Factors
Week #4
(Lectures 10,11, 12)
Sunday Nov 13, Tuesday Nov 15, Thursday Nov 17
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Trees, Rainwater, Wastewater
Week #5
(Lectures 13,14, 15)
Sunday Nov 20, Tuesday Nov 22, Thursday Nov 24
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Week #6
(Lectures 16,17, 18)
Sunday Nov 27, Tuesday Nov 29, Thursday Dec 1
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Soil + Compost
Week #7
(Lectures 19,20, 21)
Sunday Dec 4, Tuesday Dec 6, Thursday Dec 8
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Cold Climate Forest Gardens + Agroforestry
Week #8
(Lectures 22,23, 24)
Sunday Dec 11, Tuesday Dec 13, Thursday Dec 15
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Permaculture Gardening, Livestock, Aquaculture
Week #9
(Lectures 25,26, 27)
Sunday Dec 18, Tuesday Dec 20, Thursday Dec 22
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Structures and Energy, Case Studies, Values and Vision
BREAK Friday, Dec 23 – Saturday, Jan 7 BREAK
Week #10
(Lectures 28,29, 30)
Sunday Jan 8, Tuesday Jan 10, Thursday Jan 12
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Community Design, Alternative Strategies, The Permaculture Orchard
Week #11
(Lecture 31,32, 33)
Sunday Jan 15, Tuesday Jan 17, Thursday Jan 19
Lectures from 3pm – 5 pm MT, Extra Q&A from 5 pm – 6pm MT.
Q&A Catch-up + Design Project + Wrap Party
Office Hours
(Mid Jan to Mid Feb)
Once per week for 4 weeks. Specific dates + times will depend on which instructor is assigned to mark your final project. More details will be released to students in January 2023. Office Hours/Design Mentorship with a PDC Instructor
Final Project Due Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 11:59 pm MT

Verge’s Permaculture Design Course Teaching Team 

  • Carmen Lamoureux
    Carmen Lamoureux 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
    Rob Avis Lead Instructor / Engineer

    After pursuing international training and certifications in renewable energy and regenerative design Rob, along with his wife and business partner Michelle, began Verge Permaculture, now a globally-recognized and award-winning design, consulting, and education company. In the last decade, he has helped more than 3000 students and hundreds 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.

  • Jen Nobel
    Jen Nobel PDC Coordinator / Design Mentor

    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 Verge’s Professional Development PDC with 1-on-1 mentoring, Jen moved away from architecture and interior design to launch Northbound Bloom where she designs edible and naturalized landscapes and acreages (Verge PDC Grad 2017).

With Special Guests

  • John Derksen
    John Derksen Guest Instructor

    John has worked for the provincial fisheries government in Ontario for several years conducting field work in places like Wawa and Ignace. Following this, John worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans controlling sea lamprey in the great lakes. Once back at school, John acquired his fish culture training and appreciation of fish pathology while employed, teaching and earning his master’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. Upon completion of his degree, John accepted his teaching role at Lethbridge College and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Up to now, John has over 30 years’ experience in the fisheries and aquatic field, working for both provincial and federal governments, academia and the private sector. He is currently chair of the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) and half time faculty and researcher.

  • Nick Savidov
    Nick Savidov Guest Instructor

    He’s been referred to as the Yoda of aquaponics, and with good reason. Senior research scientist Nick Savidov has been involved in aquaponics research for more than a decade and a half and has been a pioneer in the field, placing Alberta at the forefront of this developing industry.

    Nick was the first researcher to suggest using carbonized agricultural by-products known as “biochar” as a soilless medium for the production of greenhouse vegetables. His work has stimulated the aquaponics industry and initiated commercialization of the technology. One of his most notable contributions has been the development of a fully automated zero-waste aquaponics system – the first in the world.

  • Becky Doherty
    Becky Doherty Guest Instructor / Design Mentor

    Becky is the co-owner of Stone Post Farms in Wildwood, Alberta where they farm ethically, to produce nutrient dense food using ethical and regenerative farming practices that are both economically viable and sustainable for future generations.

    Becky comes from southeastern B.C., where she was raised in a small rural community and was heavily involved in the family trail riding business. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in geography and GIS. She has a diverse work portfolio including experience in precision agriculture, soil surveying, sampling and reclamation, rural municipal, wellsite and pipeline survey and drafting, and pipeline risk assessment. She currently works full time as a resource analyst doing modeling and analytics in the natural resource analyst, primarily in the forestry industry.

  • Alain D’Aoust
    Alain D’Aoust Verge Academy Director

    Alain has spent the last decade working on local food projects, delivering school garden programs and developing community-based permaculture in the Seaway Valley of Eastern Ontario.

    He and his family have since settled on a new rural homestead where they have designed and built a simple home and are developing their 10-acre parcel using the Building Your Permaculture Property process.

    When he isn’t farming or collaborating on projects, he can usually be found in the kitchen preparing nutrient dense meals or paddling down a river somewhere. 

  • Dan Chiras
    Dan Chiras

    Dan Chiras is a long-time practitioner of self-sufficiency and sustainability. He lives on a 60-acre, solar- and wind-powered farm where he and his wife have dedicated their lives to living by the principles and practices of Permaculture. Dan has published 40 books and hundreds of articles that cover a wide range of topics focused largely on self-sufficiency and sustainability. Dan’s most popular books are The Solar House, The Natural House, The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy, Power from the Sun, and Solar Electricity Basics. His most recent titles are The Chinese Greenhouse and Grow Beets in Your Bedroom, a guide on indoor LED gardening.

  • Mark Krawczyk
    Mark Krawczyk Guest Instructor / Design Mentor

    Mark Krawczyk is an applied ecologist, educator, and grower with a background in permaculture design, agroforestry, natural building, traditional woodworking, and small-scale forestry. He co-owns and operates Keyline Vermont LLC, teaching, designing, and consulting for farmers, homeowners, and homesteaders.  Since 2008, Mark has taught over 30 Permaculture Design Courses and been a specialist guest instructor in dozens more.  He holds Diplomas in Permaculture Design and Education from the Permaculture Institute of North America.  He and his wife also co-manage Valley Clayplain Forest Farm – 52 acres of field and forest in New Haven, Vermont, USA.

  • Charlie McGee
    Charlie McGee Formidable Vegetable Sound System

    The ukulele-strumming ecological troubadour Charlie Mgee, is the frontman of the band Formidable Vegetable Sound System and performer for our course wrap-up party. Formidable Vegetable Sound System grew their organic, yet dedicated following over the years on a mission to inspire local action for global issues and now find themselves firmly planted in the fertile soils of the growing regenerative movements worldwide.

  • Stefan Sobkowiak
    Stefan Sobkowiak

    Biologist, landscape architect, educator, Film Maker, farm manager, husband, father of 3. Sobkowiak wears many hats and is a highly influential Permaculturalist in his region as a past lecturer with McGill University and the current director of Miracle Farms: the renowned Permaculture Orchard in Quebec.

  • Mitch Rawlyk
    Mitch Rawlyk R&D Lead / Design Mentor

    Mitch comes to us with a BSc. in physical geography with a concentration in Earth Systems from the University of Victoria (BC, Canada), and an MSc. in physical geography (applied meteorology) from the University of Otago in New Zealand where he researched the utilization of machine learning for frost prediction in complex terrain, and the controlling meteorological variables of frost events.

    Mitch helps out with the Essential Rainwater Harvesting Course, Passive Solar Greenhouse Course, is the product manager of Contour Map Generator, teaches the climate & mapping section of our Online Permaculture Design Course, and leading the event planning for our summits & conferences.

    In his spare time you can catch him working on the endless amounts projects at Moose’s Groovy Grove, reading, developing frost forecasting models (amongst other data science projects), running around or cycling, dipping in some cold water, going for walks with his and Madi’s growing family of animals, or working on his latest funky sauerkraut recipe (Verge PDC Grad 2021)

…And Design Mentors and Support team that help us pull this off!

  • Lindsay Brandon
    Lindsay Brandon Design Mentor

    Lindsay Brandon is a permaculture designer and farmer located in southern Alberta.  She is co-founder of Conjunction Gardens and owner of Food Forest Canada.  At Conjunction her and her partner farm 2 acres vegetable garden and are currently doing research and development with hemp fibre and grain.

    After her studies with Verge Permaculture, he career in food forest design was instantly catapulted working with Food Forest Abundance out of the USA where she currently manages a team of designers and designs food forests all over the US and Canada. She is currently studying soil microbiology to have a greater understanding of the foundation of where life begins and how we can amend and harmonize our relationship to the earth and ultimately ourselves.

  • Tatiana Pratt
    Tatiana Pratt Marketing Coordinator/Tree-Hugger

    Tatiana is our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator. With a BA in Environmental Studies (Carleton University), her educational background focused on how we can better understand the earth and heal our relationship with it. Through her studies, Tatiana learned about permaculture and became interested in food forests, regenerative design, biomimicry and more. She’s passionate about ecoliteracy, nature education, and helping others reconnect to their roots and lead healthy, happy lives. With years of customer service, she also loves building genuine connections, and brings her empathetic people-skills into marketing and community outreach.

    In her free time, you can find her painting, dancing barefoot in the woods, baking some sweet goodies, spending time with her family, learning about new medicinal herbs to add to her concoctions, or trying to befriend any wildlife creature that crosses her path.

  • Kate Fulmore
    Kate Fulmore Business Systems Junkie

    Kate is a business systems junkie who enjoys supporting Verge’s students and courses by coordinating all the details on the back end as part of her passion for making permaculture education available for everyone. In addition to her work with Verge, she enjoys designing and managing  her many gardens as part of her deep love for sustainable agriculture and healthy living.

  • Jessica Robertson Design Mentor

    Jessica Robertson is Owner, Designer, and Head Grunt at Wild Craft Permaculture and a Lead Designer at United Designers International. 

    Jessica has designed holistic permaculture systems for spaces from 200 sq. ft. to 200-acres and works on residential, commercial and public projects. She is often involved in the implementation of these designs and enjoys sharing her knowledge with clients as they work alongside each other. She brings a background in biology, education, silviculture and urban planning to her work. She enjoys playing outside bare foot with her three children in whatever wild spaces they can find around London, Ontario. (Verge PDC Grad 2010)

  • Michelle Avis
    Michelle Avis Owner / Co-Instructor

    As an engineer, co-owner and mover & shaker at Verge Permaculture, Michelle loves the complexity of working through holistic design challenges to create resilient, eco-sustainable homes, acreages and farms (& businesses!). Coupled with a deep connection to nature and a passion for growing nutrient-dense food, Michelle’s driving goal is to ensure that her work and actions leave this world a better place for future generations to inherit.

Course Content

Expand All


What payment methods do you accept?

You can pay online with your credit card.

If you’d prefer to pay using another method select that option during checkout and you’ll receive instructions on how to do so. Note that we can accept cash, bank-certified cheques, email money transfer (Canadians only) or credit card over the phone.

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

We can also accept payment plans for some of our courses. The payment plan option will be displayed at checkout if that is the case.

*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 is approved. If you are registering with short notice before an event, we recommend that you pay online using a credit card so that your registration is processed and approved automatically by our system.

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 have also been some students told by their promoter that we do not qualify.

Do you offer Scholarships for your PDCs?


For more information about the Verge Permaculture Scholarship Fund, and how to apply, click here.

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 have temporary online access to during class as a part of your course package.

Offered in a 12 week online 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.

What time committment should a PDC student be ready to commit?

Our Permaculture Design Certificate includes a 5-hour Introduction to Permaculture video course (The Permaculture Primer) that all students are expected to watch prior to the first class. It is accessible to students the moment they register.

Throughout the duration of the course (week 1 through to week 11) there are three, three-hour online class sessions per week. In each one of these sessions, two hours are dedicated to lectures from the instructors and one hour is dedicated to Q&A from students. We recommend that you attend live (see the course schedule for dates and times), but you can also watch the recordings if you happen to miss a session (see the FAQ about catching up on missed sessions here). The Q&A portion of each session is optional.

Sometimes our instructors will give you short optional assignments to complete that week, or there may be an optional quiz that you are recommended to complete on your own time. One additional hour per week is more than sufficient to complete the optional tasks / recommending reading / assignments or challenges for that week.

With that, we recommend that students who want to be successful in the course be ready to put in a minimum of six hours a week, and up to ten hours a week throughout the eleven to twelve weeks of the course.

The course finishes with one full month of Office Hours. During this time, there are no lectures but students have access to their Design Mentor for support with their final design project. Students must complete and submit a Final Design Project before the final due date in order to be awarded a certificate in Permaculture Design. For more questions about the Final Design Project go here.

How Do I Send An Email Money Transfer?

We can accept Email Money Transfers from Canadian Bank accounts.

*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 is 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: .
          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

Can You Accept Payment Plans for Your Permaculture Design Courses?

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

The payment plans are 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.

During checkout, look for the following in order to enable a payment plan option:

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. A physical copy of this textbook is not included in the OPDC but is highly recommended, though you will have temporary online access to a digital copy.

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 focus on temperate and cold 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 feel like you aren’t getting your money’s worth, know that we will provide a full refund*, no questions asked, up until the first live webinar. Reach out to someone on our team at to request a refund.


*Full refund less the cost of consumable products. I.e. E-books or softcover books plus applicable administration fee.

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 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 are confident that even if you can’t catch the live sessions you will still get significant value from our program and you will still feel a part of the live aspect of the course. There is a caveat though – we ask that you keep up with the content and get your questions to us in a timely fashion at we are only monitoring comments until the course ends.

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 we will not be reviewing your final project. Unfortunately, with so many students taking our live courses it becomes too difficult to keep track of everyone’s projects and to coordinate with those individuals who submitted late all those weeks or months after the project was due.

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 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.

Is this course third party accredited or certified?

Rob Avis is a Diplomate in Education from the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) and PINA recognizes and endorses Verge Permaculture’s courses and curriculum.

What’s included in the 2022 PDC Packages?

Whether you’re just beginning to explore permaculture, or you want enhance your permaculture knowledge and create a future of healthy, safe food and water in your own back yard or community commons, or you’re envisioning a career in permaculture, we have three options to suit your vision.

Two Enhanced Packages to Fit Your Needs and Goals.



Every Feature in Our Foundational Permaculture Design Course 

Value of $699

Essential Rainwater Harvesting On Demand Course 

Almost 100 lessons, split in six structured modules. Value of $499.  More info.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting Spreadsheet E-Book and Tool

Pre-built spreadsheet tool for performing rainwater system feasibility analyses. Value of $68.  More info.

Advanced Passive Solar Greenhouse Design On-Demand Course

10 module self-study course. Value of $499. More info.

Creating Gaia’s Garden 

Toby Hemenway’s Last Lectures – includes over 10-hours of content. Value of $149.  More info.

When students ask us to describe our Online PDC Pro package we say this: we’ve taken all of the best online courses that we’ve created over the last ten years which includes several books, exclusive video content and other tools, PLUS you can come back and audit the online PDC again PLUS new this year we are giving you six months of access to our brand new Verge Permaculture Academy program post completion of your PDC. We bundle all of this together, with a value of $4,200, and offer it almost 50% off.

Here are the features included in our Pro package….



Every Feature in Our Foundational Permaculture Design Course 

Value of $899

Essential Rainwater Harvesting E-Book and Spreadsheet Tool

Comprehensive manual for designing, building, and maintaining water harvesting systems. Value of $40.  More info.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting E-Book and Spreadsheet Tool

Comprehensive manual for designing, building, and maintaining water harvesting systems. Value of $40.  More info.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting On Demand Course

Almost 100 lessons, split in six structured modules. Value of $299.  More info.

Resilient Homes & Homesteads

15 part presentation, with over 1.5 hours of content. More info.

Creating Gaia’s Garden 

Toby Hemenway’s Last Lectures – includes over 10-hours of content. Value of $149.  More info.

Urban Farm Bike Trailer Plans, Verge & Green City Acres

Plans, a parts list and photos. More info. 

Water Harvesting 101 with Brad Lancaster & Craig Sponholtz

Exclusive interview with water harvesting experts. More info. 

Beyond Gaia’s Garden with Toby Hemenway

Exclusive interview with Toby Hemenway. More info

Establishing a Food Forest with Geoff Lawton

Exclusive video presentation. More info

Growing Good Business Series

Over 2.5 hours of interviews with successful permaculture entrepreneurs. More info.

Comprehensive Passive Solar Greenhouse Design On Demand Course

10 module self-study course. Value of $299. More info.

Passive Solar Greenhouse Case Study Package

Design tool and 12 step-by-step videos. Value of $50. More info.

Take the Live Online PDC Again!

Join us again live for the online PDC. Value of $399. (does not include submission of a final design project)

Exclusive Access to Open Consultancy with Rob Avis (50% off regular rates)

Get dedicated feedback from Rob on your design by booking an Open Consultancy (where other eager students get to attend as passive listeners). Value of  $150. 

Six month Access to the Verge Permaculture Academy – Insider Level

Our brand new Academy and student learning portal are launching in the Fall of 2022. As a Pro PDC student we will give you six months of unlimited access to our masterclasses and exclusive zoom call-ins with Verge Faculty, post completion of your PDC.  Value of over $500. 

Kick Start Your Permaculture Life Now!



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on our most requested on-demand courses and bundles