2024 Verge Permaculture Design Certification (PDC)

Course Details

Scroll down to meet the teaching team, for a peek inside our student portal and for FAQs 

What’s Included in Your Package

Foundational Package Practitioner Package Professional Package

24-hour live-online Foundational course

Five on-demand elective modules

Office hours for final project support

Advanced permaculture planning and design course

Live-online Food Forest masterclass

Full year access to course library including 8 on-demand masterclasses

Access to foundational and on-demand course recordings

(1-year access)

(lifetime access)

Permaculture Institute of North America accredited Permaculture Design Certification

PRICE

$499CAD

(est. $369 USD)

$1,799CAD

(est. $1,301 USD)
Regular Price $1,899CAD

$2,799CAD

(est. $2,049 USD)
Regular Price $2,999CAD

*** Early Bird Price Ends May 7 ***

Foundational Course Details & Schedule

We meet two times per week live-online, Mondays and Thursdays ⇒ 2:00 – 5:00 pm PT | 3:00 – 6:00 pm MT | 5:00 – 8:00 pm ET

Dates High-Level Topics Covered

Thursday, May 30

Welcome & Methods of Design

Monday, June 3

Thursday, June 6

Leveraging Climate & Microclimate

Essentials of Landscape Water Management

Monday, June 10

Thursday, June 13

Soil Health and Practical Composting

Cultivating Food Forests & Perennial Gardening

Monday, June 17

Thursday, June 20

Annual Permaculture Gardening Strategies

Integrating Beneficial Animals & Insects

Monday, June 24

Permaculture Mapping Tools

Practitioner & Professional Course Details & Schedule

Module High-Level Topics Covered

May 30-June 24

The complete Foundational Course | Live-online

See full schedule in the table above

June 6-August 5

Five on-demand modules | Learn at your own pace

See full details in the table below

July 22-July 27

On-Site Learning Intensive | Calgary

See full schedule in the table below

August 5, 8, 12, 15,  19 & 22

Office Hours

Drop in office hours and additional group time with your design mentor for Q&A and direct feedback / support with your final project

August 26, 2024

Final Projects Due

Complete your final project and receive personalized feedback from one of your design project mentor.

On-Demand Module Details

Take at your own pace and complete the modules to receive your Permaculture Design Certification.

Designing Alternative Structures and Energy Systems

Explore the benefits of incorporating alternative structures and energy (like passive solar, straw bale, solar, wind, etc) into your permaculture designs. Understand that energy efficiency is achieved through optimizing energy use and production.

Livestock Integration

All ecosystems require animal integration to fully thrive. Explore broad-acre holistic management practices and the methods of integrating different types of livestock to yield maximum land regeneration.

Permaculture Careers

Explore pathways to transitioning your career with a permaculture focus. Understand how to best leverage your existing skills, education and available resources within the evolving permaculture career landscape.

Agroforestry/Keyline

Explore the details and benefits of incorporating agroforestry systems into your permaculture design. Understanding Keyline design basics, how it compares to on-contour design and what contexts this approach is most relevant.

Rainwater Harvesting 101

Explore & debunk the myths around rainwater harvesting. Learn how to calculate your rainwater harvesting budget and best practices for designing your system.

On-Site Learning Intensive Details

Module High-Level Topics Covered
July 22 Morning: Welcome, Vision & Values

Afternoon: Applied Learning – Soil

July 23 Morning: Vision & Values Group Project, Community Design

Afternoon: Applied Learning – Food Forests

July 24 Morning: Community Design Group Project

Afternoon: Applied learning – Annual Gardening

July 25 Morning: Alternative Strategies & Group Project

Afternoon: Permablitz → Work together to implement a local permaculture design

July 26 Morning: Design Case Studies & Design Project Overview

Afternoon: Group project

July 27 All day Permie tour → Local Permaculture Properties Tour

Evening: Wrap-up Party & BBQ

Professional Package Details

The Food Forest Masterclass | September 2024 

Designed to guide homeowners, contractors, and aspiring professionals in converting conventional gardens lawns into productive, low-maintenance food forests. Learn from leading experts in regenerative agriculture and permaculture design, gaining practical skills and insights to create resilient landscapes and nurture biodiversity, enhance your food security, and support ecosystem health. This course is your gateway to not only beautifying your space but also actively contributing to a healthier planet and strengthen your eco-resilience.

  • 6 weeks | Live-online or watch the Recordings at your own pace
  • 24 hours, 6-weeks x 4-hour of lecture and interactive/Q&A sessions

Mature front yard food forest.
aerial view of avis farm

Advanced Permaculture Planning & Design | Late Fall 2024

This course has been built as the essential next step for those who have completed a Permaculture Design Certification Course, addressing the common challenge of feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities post-certification. This live, online course leverages an engineering approach to permaculture, focusing on practical, technology-driven planning and implementation strategies across five key steps: clarifying vision, values, and resources; diagnosing needs; designing or revising projects; implementing improvements; and monitoring progress. Learn more…

*** Dates are subject to change. ***

The Verge Course Library | One-year access starting September 1, 2024

A full year access to the Verge course library through the Verge Permaculture Academy.

  • Over a hundred of hours on-demand lectures, Q&As, webinars and other recordings you can watch at your own pace presented by permaculture experts including Bill Mollison, Toby Hemenway, Mark Krawczyk, Morag Gamble, Starhawk, Dr. Peter Coombes, Stefan Sobkowiak, Michelle Avis, Dan Chiras, Carmen Lamoureux and many more
  • 8 on-demand masterclass recordings including:

resilient garden fundamentals with carmen lamoureux and soil with shovel in background
rainwater storage tanks on the side of a building while featuring michelle avis and dr. peter coombes
renewable home energy solutions with dan chiras on-demand course
building an educational garden program course
perennial plant propagation on-demand course presented by Sean Dembrosky
Garden Design Strategies for Year-Round Nutrition On-Demand Course
advance home orcharding with stefan sobkowiak
2023_creating_gaias_garden_ondmnd-feature

Take your first, foundational step into life as a permaculturist.

The path to becoming a permaculturist is anything but clear. The Verge Permaculture Design Certification course gives you the structure and support you need to make sense of it all and partner with nature to build a more hopeful tomorrow.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions we’d love to hear from you. Book an “Ask Me Anything” to a one-on-one conversation with Amy, our Permaculture Design Course Specialist.

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.

  • Amy Reynolds
    Amy Reynolds PDC Course Specialist
    Permaculture was Amy’s way of being, before she knew the word. She has always viewed nature as our best teacher, demonstrating how connection and cooperation are the keys to creating resiliency. Since completing her online PDC with Verge Permaculture in Fall 2020, she has volunteered on the board of the Permaculture Calgary Guild, at Highfield Regenerative Farm and with a handful of other permaculture groups within the community.
    She loves to grow, both in the garden and her skills! Over the past few years, she has experimented with growing mushrooms (indoors and outside); milking goats and making natural cheeses; maintaining a sourdough culture and making different breads; and most recently, making her own chocolate. Wild foraging and making herbal salves/tinctures are high on her list to try next!

With Special Guests

  • 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)

  • Michelle Avis
    Michelle Avis

    Rob and Michelle left the oil and gas industry in 2008 to launch Verge Permaculture and Adaptive Habitat. Leveraging 20 years of combined experience in engineering, project management, ecological design, and sustainable technologies, Rob and Michelle recently left their urban home in Calgary and are currently developing their dream homestead in Central Alberta.

  • 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.

  • Dan Chiras
    Dan Chiras Guest Instructor

    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.

  • Alain D’Aoust
    Alain D’Aoust Academy Specialist

    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. 

  • 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.

PLUS, Design Mentors and Support team that help us pull this off!

  • 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)

  • 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 Teaching Assistant

    Tatiana is our Teaching Assistant for the Verge PDC – with a BA in Environmental Studies, one of Tatiana’s passions is healing our relationship with the earth. Through interests in nature education, herbalism, holistic health and more, she dreams of helping others reconnect to their natural roots. In her free time, you can find her creating art, dancing barefoot in the woods, spending time with her loved ones, private cheffing, and journeying out to find adventures everywhere.

Find full bios of our core teaching team on our About Page.

Peek inside our student portal in our 2024 PDC on-boarding video.

COURSE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ON-SITE LEARNING INTENSIVE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When is the event?
  • July 22 – 27, 2024
  • Class from 9am – 6pm daily (with regular breaks)
  • Link to detailed class schedule
Where is the event?
  • Event will be hosted in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Venue: (Tentative) Hull Services Campus: 2266 Woodpark Avenue SW
    • Campus Map
    • Featuring Permaculture installations: Passive Solar Greenhouse, market garden, food forest and pond.
  • Site is accessible via public transit. 
What’s included in the package price?
  • 40+ Hours of instruction
  • You will be provided with a light breakfast, lunch & afternoon snack and we will be able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. You will be responsible to provide your own dinner. We will be following up with a survey to gather this detailed information from our registered students before July. 
  • Hands-on experience completing a permaculture project installation (Permablitz)
  • Tour of various permaculture properties/projects in the Calgary area
Where can I stay while I’m there?

Accommodations are not included with your course purchase. There are many options available to accommodate a variety of budgets, including group or individual airbnb rentals; hostels, university dorms, hotels, local hosts, etc. A more detailed list of available & recommended accommodations will be provided as part of your course package.

What should I bring?
  • Bring yourself a writing utensil and a notebook for your notes (or your preferred means of taking notes). 
  • We recommend you also bring a reusable water bottle & coffee mug as well.  
  • If you are coming from out of town, you will want clothing suited for a warm/dry climate (approximately 23 to 26 C or 73 to 79 F).
What if I’m not able to attend the in-person portion of the course, can I still attend this course and complete my certification?

If you are unable to attend the in-person portion of the course, we recommend that you only register for the Foundational package now. We will have upgrade options available in Fall 2024, for you to complete the remaining coursework to receive your certification. 

What is the cancellation policy, if I am unable to attend in person after purchasing?

You’ll find the terms & conditions for our products and services here. Please be sure to read them before you complete your purchase! If you still have questions after reading our policy, send an email with the details of your situation to customercare@5thworld.farm and we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

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