Hope, Knowledge and a Plan to Thrive!

Create a Future of Healthy, Safe Food, Water, and Land
With Training, Tools, and Support
from Verge’s Permaculture Design Certification Course


What is the PDC?

This 72-hour program offers practical, real-world principles and practices for designing and building a self-sustaining, productive home and property that supply all the essentials of a comfortable life…

….for a fraction of what you’d pay for a conventional environmental degree!

The PDC is the international standard for permaculture certification…and the standardized PDC curriculum is just the bare beginning of what you’ll receive in this course. 

You’ll discover how to create self-sustaining food and water supplies, lower your electrical and fuel bills with renewable energy, gain the keys to a new, sustainable livelihood, and so much more. Learn practical preparedness, with a focus on cold and temperate climates, 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 to face a changed future with confidence.

Whether you are looking to ensure that you and your family enjoy more and better food and water while you pay less for utilities, or whether you’re seeking a new business or career that will make a positive difference in the changing times ahead– this is the course to take.

Don’t spend another day in frustration and outrage at the dire headlines.

Click below to see how you can create a safer, healthier, and more abundant life.


From wildfires to hurricanes, rising seas, drought, and now a pandemic, we’ve all been facing frightening changes lately. We’re being forced to realize that the systems that support our society – food, water, economy, healthcare – are a lot more fragile than we think. And that they’re connected to natural systems over which we have little to no control, that can’t be fixed by quick solutions.

So…how can we respond, productively?

Here’s the key: The planet isn’t a machine…it’s a complex web of interdependent living systems, and far more than the sum of its parts. So we need to collaborate with, not control or combat, the natural order…

(As the saying goes, nature always bats last.)

And that is what the Permaculture Design Certificate will teach you to do…

  • observe and understand natural patterns and processes…
  • design and support sustainable, self-regenerating systems.…
  • intervene when something goes wrong…

You’ll learn to create a household…a neighbourhood…a community…a local economy…and a culture that exists in harmony with the natural world, with abundant food, water, and energy.

And that’s when you can make really profound changes happen!

This is the holistic approach you’ll begin to learn in Verge’s Permaculture Design Course. For a tiny fraction of what it would cost to earn a conventional environmental degree elsewhere, you’ll discover the secrets that keep a healthy homestead, ecosystem, and society thriving. 

You’ll learn how to use those secrets to create food and water security for yourself and your family…build a successful, regenerative business… empower your community and “green” your world in ways you never imagined!


Real-World Experience

We’re established engineers and consultants, and we mean business! Our teaching style draws from our years of practice, and we’ve mentored hundreds of graduates in starting their own successful ventures in farming, consulting, design, education, and more! See the Faculty tab to meet our instructors…

Two Levels of Engagement Plus Online Option to Fit Your Goals and Budget

We offer three levels of engagement for our PDC – Basic, Premium and Pro. Depending on your goals one is bound to be a good fit for you.  See the Packages tab for more info…

Bonus intro course

When you register, you can start learning immediately with our 3.5 hour video intro course! So you start the main program ready to hit the ground running and we have more time to discuss and apply the more advanced concepts.

Check out the first 30 minutes of the course here:

Practical design applications

With extra classroom time devoted to real-world design application, you’ll leave with the confidence to launch your own permaculture projects and careers (plus infinite ideas for what those future plans might be).

PDC roadmap

Yes, the PDC is a super-intensive program! So we’ve distilled that dense web of concepts and techniques into a simple, step-by-step design process that you can take away and apply to just about any permaculture problem. Talk about getting a head start!

And so much more

See the tabs above to learn how our PDC stands apart from the crowd.

How Permaculture Changed My Life

In this newest blog series, we feature personal stories from past alumni about how how permaculture changed the direction of their outlooks and careers.


Introducing The 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 is included in the premium course package.

Here’s just a quick spin through the core curriculum as Verge offers it…

Introduction to PermacultureThis section and the next lay the foundation with the core principles on which permaculture is based.

Concepts and Themes in Design  You might call this portion How Does an Ecosystem Work? We look at the ecological building blocks that every permaculture design replicates.

Methods of Design Now we start getting into the nitty-gritty tools and techniques for replicating natural, self-sustaining ecosystems!

Pattern Understanding – Circles, spirals, waves, branches…we see certain patterns over and over again in nature and human designs, but why? What purposes do they serve, and which should be used in X situation?

Climatic Factors – These days, when we hear about climate, the first word that probably comes to mind is “change” – but here we’ll be looking at more basic questions (do you know which climate you live in, and how that affects the ecosystems surrounding you?)  

Trees and Their Energy Transactions – You probably know about the roles that trees play as fuel, raw material, and carbon storage, but are you aware of the many other functions they serve in living forests?

Water – While Earth is called “the watery planet,” humans have tended to mismanage our fresh water supply, threatening the availability of our most precious resource. Here you’ll learn about how humans have intervened in regional water systems, and how we can repair them.

Soils – Yes, that’s right – soils in the plural! We have so much to say here – where most people see soil as dirt, permaculturists see it as a living ecosystem in itself.

Earthworking and Earth Resources – One common remedy for runoff and erosion is earthworking: building berms and digging swales.

Dryland Strategies – As erosion steadily sweeps topsoil into the sea and desertification advances across steadily broader regions, dryland tactics will become increasingly necessary! 

Special Considerations for Temperate and Continental Climates (Special Focus) – If you live somewhere with cool or cold winters, this segment is for you. Living in Canada, we’ve honed our craft as permaculturalists in this ecosystem. And you’ll reap the benefit, with extensive added information from our tried-and-true toolbox.

Strategies for Communities and Societies – Long before we reach the end of the course, you’ll realize that permaculture offers a whole new guiding vision for human society…and agriculture is just one tiny facet of this vision.

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed?

We’re not surprised! This is a high-intensity course, designed to help you hit the ground running as a permaculture designer! But don’t worry – we’ve taken pioneering steps and added learning tools to help you put all the pieces into perspective and anchor in the information, as well as building in extra practice time for you to work on the concepts and processes.

We want to ensure that you get the greatest possible value from your time with us by giving you the high-end design and consulting knowledge we’ve gleaned through our years of practice!

Of course, there’s always a trade-off. An online program can’t take you on a real-time day-trip to one of the many local thriving permaculture sites. And we can’t physically go outside with you and get muddy teaching how to dig swales, harvest rainwater, or build cob ovens and spiral gardens. 

That’s why we recommend a wealth of supplemental DIY videos, and offer the rich online/real-time community of our international student network. We urge you to go out and practice in your backyard…volunteer in a community garden…or, if you’re nearby, come and learn and practice your technique on one of our permablitz weekends!


What Makes Us Unique?

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, to weathering business mistakes and triumphs, 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 PDC 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 six of the ways we set you up for success from the very beginning…

  • Get started early and learn at your leisure.

    With class after class of students clamouring for more hands-on time to practice the advanced concepts and tools we offer, we were left with the question – how do we squeeze all this content into 72 hours, and still have time to practice it?

    So now, the Verge PDC course begins with six online video sessions that you can view and review at your leisure, from the moment you register!

    Imagine coming into your first lesson already primed with the program’s first two units, Introduction to Permaculture and Concepts and Themes in Design. Imagine arriving with an understanding of the core concepts, ready to apply them with the help of in-person coaching and hands-on practice. And that’s not all…

  • Follow a clear roadmap that puts all of the PDC’s massive content in context.

    When you look at all of the topics covered by the PDC, the sheer breadth of information can be overwhelming! We remember the feeling during our own PDC training – “Egads, how are we ever going to put all of this to use in a meaningful fashion?” – and we’ve seen it in the dazed eyes of our students.

    Fact is, it’s hard to find a PDC graduate who hasn’t finished with a certificate in one hand, a lengthy reading list in the other, and absolutely no realistic idea of how to apply the information he or she has just gained. And that doesn’t work.

    So we have taken a pioneering step in our PDC program and created an organizing matrix that puts this dizzying breadth of content into a practical, immediately-usable perspective. Each unit of information is placed within this matrix…and once you have grasped the larger context, you will be able to fit later learning within it.

    This is the only PDC program to offer such a context, giving you the head start that every new PDC graduate needs!

  • Have more time to build and practice your permaculture design skills.

     So what are we going to do with the extra time you gain from this pioneering PDC setup? We’re investing it where it matters: adding time for hands-on practice in applying the core design concepts and processes. We’re setting up larger and richer design projects for you to hone your new skills, and offering interactive learning activities designed to get you started thinking like a permaculture practitioner.

  •  Ask questions, share resources, and network with classmates in a private online forum.

    Nearly every PDC graduate knows the bond that springs up among classmates. We’ve experienced it, witnessed it...and now we’re leveraging it before, during and after the classes. From the day you receive your access to the pre-course material, you’ll also have access to an exclusive online group, where you can chat about the course content, kibitz, share dreams, perspectives, and plans, network, ask questions, and collaborate. We will also created a map with city locations for all of our interested students so you can connect and possibly collaborate with other students in your community. It’s the first step toward the lifelong connections you will form among the worldwide network of permaculturists!

  • Learn from recognized experts in the field.

     Naturally, Verge’s own home-grown crop of permaculture experts forms the nucleus of our faculty, with Rob Avis  and Carmen Lamoureux taking the lead instructor’s roles and experienced Verge PDC grads Jen Nobel and Ben Dunn as program coordinators. Supporting us in teaching the standardized PDC units is a diverse faculty of successful permaculture entrepreneurs. Check out our Faculty tab to meet our full teaching team!


So you may be wondering – I’m not a farmer, I’m a (fill in the blank) with no experience in making a living by healing the earth.

Can this course really help me to make a living by making a difference?

We think that Jullilyn Gilles of Rancho Relaxo Resort in Western Canada summed it up best when she wrote:

“Taking the Verge Permaculture courses helped give me the knowledge, connections, and confidence to make real changes in my life.  I was able to start my own business, change my lifestyle, and meet an amazing group of people that helped me every step of the way.”

Like all of our students, Jullilyn shifted from being a mainstream consumer – helpless and dependent on fragile economic and supply systems – to becoming permaculture producer, creating natural systems for an abundance of food, water, and energy.. It’s a stunning, life-transforming shift!

And that’s the difference this course can make in your life…especially if you’re looking to change your lifestyle by building your own business. No experience with gardening, building, etc. is necessary – only an honest desire to learn! 

 So you’ll fit right in if you’re…

  • chafing at every bill you pay to the electric or heating oil company while you visualize solar panels on your roof or a woodstove in your living room…
  • thinking it’s crazy to irrigate your garden with processed municipal water…
  • shopping at farmers’ markets and independent local businesses instead of big-box franchises…
  • thinking “what a waste of land” while you mow your lawn for the umpteenth time…
  • trying to co-create a sustainable urban community where you live…
  • agitating for a recycling program in your neighborhood…
  • worrying about the tar sands, fracking, and dwindling fresh water supplies…
  • feeling like a misfit in this fragile, tied-to-the-grid consumer culture, and wondering what the alternative could be…
  • or dreaming of living in an off-grid strawbale house with a flock of chickens and a goat or two in the backyard! 

Of course, it’s not just about what you do for a living! While our students come from a wide range of backgrounds, they share all sorts of common struggles and goals.

Starting where you are, you’ll learn about permaculture principles and business-building principles and how to apply them. You’ll share struggles and goals with your classmates as you build a cohesive online community and discover that you’re not alone in your fears, questions, hopes and dreams. 

And you’ll come away with the inspiration, motivation, and connections for getting further training in the areas that interest you…and the essential tools for building a sustainable, right livelihood in those areas.

Our grads have discovered their missions in repairing the economy, restoring the ecology, creating secure and sustainable food and/or water systems, building healthy communities, and more. Their businesses range from corporate consulting, public policy, and small-business farming, to community organizing, education, the arts, and wellness…to name only a few.

As permaculture consultants and business owner/mentors, our goal is to give you the foundation for creating a sustainable, earth-healing business using permaculture principles, starting wherever you are!



Believe us, we understand – 12-weeks and $799+ is an investment, especially in scary economic times! It’s easy to say, “This course will change your life” – but what does that mean, exactly?

So before we can ask you to commit your time and hard-earned dollars, naturally you need to know how you’ll benefit.

Just for starters:

1. This Certificate Opens Doors…

Our enhanced PDC program includes all the topics, theory, and practice you’ll need to launch a new career as a permaculture designer, teacher and/or entrepreneur. Not only that – it provides the foundation you’ll need to pursue full teacher registration and a Diploma of Permaculture Design with the Permaculture Institute.

2 .You Get A Dozen Courses for the Price of One (and even more if you sign up for the Premium or Pro package!):

Our enhanced PDC program includes all the topics, theory, and practice you’ll need to launch a new career as a permaculture designer, teacher and/or entrepreneur. Not only that – it provides the foundation you’ll need to pursue full teacher registration and a Diploma of Permaculture Design with the Permaculture Institute.

If you were to seek out a degree program covering the information we include in these weekends, you’d need to take between 10-15 individual courses, and pay roughly 10 times as much. This program includes (just for starters):

Permaculture design, technique and practice taught by recognized experts in the field

Water conservation and harvesting

Organic gardening

Renewable energy

Integrative pest control

Project management

Soil restoration


Food Forest design and maintenance

Alternative economic systems

And that’s barely scratching the surface! Some of the most important topics, such as Pattern Observation, simply aren’t taught outside of a PDC program. We assure you, you do get your money’s worth!

3. If Our Teachers Charged by the Hour…

Let’s see….our in-person course is over 72 hours of class time between lectures and practice. That works out to roughly $25/hour… about half the average college professor’s paycheck for teaching just one course! Truth be told, most of our students tell us we’re undercharging: they usually realize the full value of the program by the fourth day, if not earlier.

4. One Program, Many Ways to Save…

Students who take this program find themselves transforming from ordinary folks to committed and capable change agents and entrepreneurs. You’ll learn to identify the problems on a site and design effective, efficient and sustainable solutions to provide food, water, shelter, and energy…all leading to measurable, long-term cost savings. And you’ll find those savings far exceed your one-time course fee.

What do we mean? Well, Rob’s blog posts outlining The Top 8 Basic Home Design Flaws and The Top 10 Bad Home Design Decisions are just two examples of how a trained permaculture eye can spot and avoid serious problems when purchasing property or building a house!

5. One Program, Many Ways to Earn…

Most importantly we have designed our course to produce new Designers and new Teachers…and that’s only the beginning of the career paths that open up! Just check out what these grads have done (and see our Meet Our Grads page for in-depth video & interview profiles of our change agents in the world!)

Verge grad Juli Gillies and her husband Jeff (also a PDC student) are demonstrating a wide array of permaculture homesteading techniques on their 5 acre parcel – an old junkyard near Rocky Mountain House, AB – which they have transformed in just a couple of years into a beautiful and productive garden, complete with food forest and up-cycled raised beds.

Shauna Teare left a commercial career and now blends her skills in business, marketing, and graphic arts with innovative upcycling, organic gardening and community networking to create a thriving permaculture homestead with her family.

Luke Kimmel started his career by founding a clothing company / artist collective / events company, also undertaking ventures in product distribution, business development, and music management… and is now cultivating sustainable human habitats and creating opportunities for meaningful work and community development with his company the Leaf Ninjas, and now with Regenerate Design.

Evonne Smulders is a proud grandmother, gardener, ceramic artist, small business owner and community leader, sitting on the sustainability committee in Black Diamond and working with the municipality to change legislation regarding grey water, rainwater harvesting, and more. Evonne and her husband Rob have founded the sustainability/re-skilling center, Sage Folk School, and organized the 2012 Western Canadian Permaculture Convergence.

6. Savings Up Front…

As soon as you sign up you’ll get access to the Permaculture Primer Online Introductory Course, plus access to our extensive resource library and immediate access to our student group, electronic access to the course textbook and so much more. We know of very few PDC programs that offer this!

Not to mention our premium and pro packages where students can choose the level of engagement that’s right for them and save more than 50% off additional courses.

7. And then there’s the discounts

Ou PDC students get 25% off the textbook, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, 25% off all Verge Merchandise and 25% off all books from New Society Publishers.

8. Added value! 

No matter what package you choose we throw in huge value…. you’ll save between $500 and $1,500 depending on the package your choose. If you register during the eearly bird window you’ll save hundred’s more. On some of our packages that’s more than 50% off what you’d pay if you bought everything that’s included individually.

And the best part? All of these benefits are available for everybody, at the most affordable of our PDC packages…

Except for a few tidbits here and there, we’ve barely even mentioned the benefits we’ve designed for professionals-in-the-making with our Premium and Pro package…


So what are you waiting for? Join us, and join the fastest growing movement for positive change on the planet!


Three Packages to Fit Your Needs, Goals, and Budget

Whether you’re looking to practice permaculture in your own backyard, or whether you’re envisioning a farm or a full-time consulting practice, this program is set up to suit your needs. So we offer our online course with three levels of engagement. Find out more HERE.


The Verge Core Teaching Team consists of Carmen Lamoureux, who specializes in urban permaculture, and Takota Coen, who specializes in farm-scale permaculture, along with Verge’s own Rob Avis. Plus many guest teachers each with their own area of specialization. Check out all the instructor bios below.


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)

  • Takota Coen PDC Lead Instructor

    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)

  • Kalista Pruden
    Kalista Pruden PDC Teaching Assistant

    Kalista has a diploma in Renewable Resource Management and has been working in the field as an environmental field technician, environmental educator and environmental program coordinator for more than a decade. She has taken a variety of courses and certificates in topics such as wetland and stream health and restoration, aquaponics, passive solar greenhouse design, sustainable building, beekeeping, fireSmart and more. Through Avalily Permaculture and The EarthSkills Institute she helps people create holistic human habitats that are regenerative for both people and nature, and aims to equip people with the knowledge and tools necessary to be self-sufficient, resilient and healthy. (Verge PDC Grad 2016)

  • Ben Dunn
    Ben Dunn PDC Teaching Assistant / Environmental Technologist

    Ben is a UBC graduate with a B.A. double major in Psychology and Anthropology. Ever curious about our cultural connection to natural environments, he took our online Permaculture Design Course and soon after made the trip out from his home in Toronto to volunteer with and continue learning from us at our new farm. Two months later we brought him on as an Environmental Technologist and he’s been with us ever since! Ben played a big role in planning + executing our BYPP Global Summit, he is one of our OPDC TAs, and he might be the one taking care of you when you reach out via email! (Verge PDC Grad 2020)


  • 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.

    In keeping with Verge’s mission to grow the permaculture groundswell, I am a popular and in-demand public speaker for community events, non-profit groups and businesses. I have been invited to guest lecture at the University of Calgary and Olds College, presented at conferences across the globe (including the International Permaculture Convergence in Jordan 2011, and Permaculture Voices in California 2013), and taught workshops in partnership with non-profits such as Green Calgary and Solar Alberta.

    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.

    I act as a trusted adviser and designer for our clients, collaborating in a highly tailored, creative process that can extend all the way from site evaluation and purchase to design, project implementation & support. We deliver havens that produce their own energy and food, harvest water, cycle nutrients, and restore the surrounding ecosystems, enabling property owners to thrive no matter what.

    With technical expertise in engineering, passive solar building, renewable energy, water harvesting, agroecological design and project management, I simplify complex problems for owner-builders and move them from uncertainty to clarity in determining the best-fit option for their buildings and property layout.

  • Jen Nobel
    Jen Nobel PDC Course Coordinator

    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).

Past Guest Instructors …

  • Alla Guelber
    Alla Guelber Guest Instructor
  • Tad Hargrave
    Tad Hargrave Guest Instructor

Most Commonly Asked Questions

When is your next PDC offered?

All current PDCs open for registration can be found on the PDC Listing Page. The best way to find out about new PDC announcements is by signing up for our mailing list.

What is your cancellation policy?

You can view our cancellation policy here.

Once I’ve registered, can I switch my registration into a different Verge course?

For in-person courses, we do allow changes to registration, however, due to the administrative time required, registration changes are subject to a 10% administrative fee. See our cancellation policy for more details.

Registration switches are not permitted for online courses.

What payment methods do you accept?

You can pay online with your credit card.

If you’d prefer to pay using another methods select that option during checkout and you’ll receive instructions on how to do so. Ntoe that we can 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 being 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 has 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 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.

Will I still receive my PDC certificate if I have to miss a class?

A student may miss up to, but no more than 2 full days of the in-person PDC course, and still receive their course certificate. Students in the Premium package are eligible for unlimited refresher courses, and may attend later PDC classes to make up for missed time. Students in the online PDC will have access to all lectures and can watch at a different time. We recommend you watch the class you missed before the next class begins.

Is there homework in your PDC? What is the time commitment outside of class?

Our PDC includes a 5 hour Introduction to Permaculture video course that all students are expected to watch prior to the first class. It is accessible to students as shown as they register.

Students will be given small activities or homework throughout the course as well as readings and videos to watch. There will be time in class for certain assignments, however, to get the most out of the course, expect to spend a few hours a week learning on your own and preparing for the final project.

As this is an adult education course, homework will not be graded – you get what you put in.  Completion of the final design project is required to earn the certificate.

How do I login in to your website and/or re-set my password?

To Login Or Create An Account

To login, hover over the login menu item and select LOGIN if you already have an account, or REGISTER if you need to create one:



Lost your password?

If you’ve lost your password, visit the password reset page.


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 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: .
          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

How Do I Get My Register With A Friend Discount?

Registering with a friend for the same Permaculture Design Course? Great news – we will give you our early bird pricing no matter when you choose to register.

Contact us (info@vergepermaculture) with your name & the name of your friend who will be registering to get discount codes to use during the checkout process.

Also note that you are welcome to register in different PDC packages (Foundational or Premium). We will also retroactively give you a discount should you pay regular price, then convince a friend to join you in the course. Just get in touch with us!

As a PDC Student, where do I find my online materials and extra digital resources, as applicable?

This six minute video provides a comprehensive overview of how to access your Student Dashboard and associated course materials:

The Student Dashboard

Once you are logged into the site, the WELCOME STUDENT! menu item will appear. Hover over the WELCOME STUDENT!  menu item and navigate to the STUDENT DASHBOARD (or simply visit the url:

From there, scroll down and select the tab called ONLINE COURSES & MATERIAL to view any online courses or online material associated with in-person courses, as applicable.

If you are a Permaculture Design Student, and you are looking for course slides, courses resources and other features, head to the item called EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PDC (START HERE).

Hit the expand arrow and you’ll see the item PDC- COURSE RESOURCES & FEATURES ACCESS.  Click there.

Now you’ll see the a table outlining all the features and resources included in each of our Foundational and Premium packages.  Links and/or instructions for delivery are included for every item.

For instance, the access link for the Digital Resource Library, which includes a digital copy of the slides, handouts and 30+ additional resources, is shown below:

Can I upgrade at a later time? When is the last date I can upgrade my package?

If you are registered for the Online PDC you can upgrade until the day that final projects are due. This is generally 4-weeks after the final class but please check the course dashboard for exact dates.

If you register for our In-person Foundational PDC package we ask that you complete the upgrade within ten days of completing your in-person permaculture design course.

How long will I keep access to online materials included with the PDC packages?

All online materials (i.e. videos, recordings and associated resources) are available indefinitely (our lifetime or yours) with the exception of the contour map. PDC Premium students will have access to the contour map for one year.

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 are the price options or packages for your PDC courses? What’s included in each?

Whether you’re looking to practice permaculture in your own backyard, or whether you’re envisioning a farm or a full-time consulting practice, this program is set up to suit your needs. So we offer our new Online course, our in-person Foundational course, and a deluxe in-person Premium course including added benefits to help launch your personal permaculture projects or career.

Two In-Person Packages and an Online Program
to Fit Your Needs, Goals, and Budget



Permaculture Design Certificate Course

72 hours in class instruction

Permaculture Primer Interactive: Online Course

3.5 hour online video course + 40 page note pack. More info

Note Package

Our own 100 page notepack supplement. More info

Digital Resource Library

Digital copy of all slides, handouts and 30+ additional resources

25% Off Verge Merchandise and Bill Mollison Books

Browse our merchandise catalogue here.

When students ask us to describe our premium PDC package we say this: we’ve taken all of the best content that we’ve created over the last ten years which includes several e-course, books, exclusive video content and other tools, PLUS we’ve added access to our brand new Online Permaculture Design course, PLUS we offer an unlimited refresher course – come back and re-take your in-person PDC anytime. We bundle all of this together, with a value of over $5000, and offer it for more than 50% off. 

Here are the additional features included in our Premium package….



Online Permaculture Design Course

Enjoy unlimited access to the course recordings. Value of $699. More info. 

Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual, Bill Mollison

The definitive permaculture textbook (600 pages). Value of $150.  More info. 

Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollison

160 page soft cover book. Value of $45. More info.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting Softcover Book

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

Essential Rainwater Harvesting Spreadsheet Tool

Pre-built spreadsheet tool for performing rainwater system feasibility analyses. Value of $30.  More info.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting Online Course (Beta Recordings)

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

Resilient Homes & Homesteads

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

Contour Map Generator One Year Subscription

Generate and download unlimited contour map files for one year. Value of $100.  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.

Advanced Passive Solar Greenhouse Design Online Course

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

Passive Solar Greenhouse Case Study Package

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

Refresher Course

Come back anytime to retake the course for FREE. Choose from either the in-person or audit the online course (limit one retake of either the in-person or online PDC).

If you are looking for advanced permaculture design training, we highly recommend that you combine our Permaculture Design Course with our Adaptive Habitat Land Design Program.

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.

Do you have an Online PDC?

In April 2020 we will launch our first online PDC. After the live program has ended you can purchase the recorded version. Get more info…

I’m coming from out-of-town to take your in-person PDC. Do you have recommendations for me to keep my costs down?

Many of our students travel some distance to attend our courses. Although travel, food and accommodation expenses are not covered in our course tuition, we do a few things to help you keep your expenses down.

Once registered, you will receive access to the PDC Student Forum. On the forum page you can connect with classmates to coordinate carpooling and shared accommodation rental. We also provide access to a local billet list that we maintain. This list contains contact information for alumni and friends who are keen to host our permaculture design students. Each billet sets their own terms (there may be a small financial or volunteer commitment), and some are quite happy to let you couch surf or camp at no cost. Note that there are a limited number of billets, and the sooner you register in the course and arrange your accommodation, the better your chances of getting the best option for you!

Also, many students have also successfully connected with the local permaculture community, and found a billet, through the Verge Permaculture Students and Friends Facebook Group.

Lastly, once registered, we also provide detailed suggestions for camping, hostels, budget hotels and more.

I’m coming from out of town to take your in-person PDC. Do you have suggestions for accommodations and transportation?

Once registered we will provide you with some information on how to get to the course location, as well as some recommendations for camping and accomodation. We also provide a forum for registered students to connect and coordinate shared accommodation and carpooling between themselves, as well we maintain a small billet list that we share with you.

Many past students have also successfully connected with the local permaculture community through the Verge Permaculture Students and Friends Facebook Group.

Here’s a quick overview of how registered students can find this information:

Is this course third party accredited or certified?

Rob Avis has been recognized as a Diplomate in Education from the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA). As such, PINA recognizes and endorses Verge Permaculture’s courses and curriculum.


Check out our comprehensive FAQ or email our student liaison


Our Students Say…

  • 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


We are happy to chat…request a call back here.

PDC primer


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