2024 Verge Advanced Permaculture Planning and Design

Course Details


Course Schedule

The Advanced Permaculture Planning and Design Course starting in May 2024 is hosted over the course of 2 months. We meet two times per week live-online:

Tuesday (Interactive) ⇒ 5:00pm – 6:30pm MT, 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET, 4:00pm – 5:30pm PT

Thursday (Live Lecture with Post-Live Recording Available) ⇒ 12:00pm – 1:30pm MT, 2:00pm – 3:30pm ET

Module High-Level Topics Covered

Module 1

Welcome, Course Overview

How to use the 5-Step Process to Develop Land

Module 2

Clarify Your Vision & Values

Module 3

Document and Rank Your Existing Resources

Module 4

Diagnose Your Property for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats

Module 5

Design Your Resources to Meet Your Vision and Values

Module 6

Implement the Right Design That Will Most Improve Your Weakest Resource

Module 7

Monitor Your Resources for Indicators of Well-being or Suffering

Module 8

Preparation for Final Presentation: Workshop on creating engaging and informative presentations.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

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

July 23, 2024 at 5:00PM MT | 7:00PM ET | 4:00PM PT

Final Presentations Due
  • Live peer-to-peer presentations of projects with constructive feedback from both peers and facilitators.
  • Collaborative Activity: Each student presents their Google Earth Pro base map and receives feedback.

Have Questions?

Want to connect on-on-one with someone from our Team? Send Customer Care an email with any questions you have and/or request a time to connect with our Advanced Permaculture Planning and Design Specialist.

Turn your advanced permaculture ideas into reaility!

Just like the Verge Permaculture Design Certification, this course takes a process-oriented, engineer’s approach, leveraging technology for accurate planning and teaching practical solutions for the road ahead.

Verge’s Advanced Permaculture Planning & Design Course Teaching Team 

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Luke Rosewood
    Luke Rosewood 5W Consulting Manager

    Luke Rosewood is deeply inspired by the idea that we can create paradise-like, resilient human habitats that exist in harmony with natural ecosystems.

    He has dedicated his career to translating this inspiration into action. Luke has worked as a design/build contractor with a focus on land regeneration projects for more than 12 years. During this time, he was a partner in Leaf Ninjas Inc. (2010-2015) and reGenerate Design Ltd. (2015-2020).

    His experience includes the design and installation of 60+ projects ranging from small and large urban residences to schoolyard naturalizations, community gardens, public parks, farms, homesteads, and acreages in Alberta and British Columbia.

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

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

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


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

To Login Or Create An Account

To login, click on the Portal menu item and select LOGIN if you already have an account, or CREATE AN ACCOUNT if you need to create one:


Lost your password?

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


How does Verge’s online Portal enhance my learning experience in this course?

Our online Portal serves as the hub for our diverse range of courses and student community and plays a crucial role in the Passive Solar Greenhouse Design Course. Here’s how:

  1. Centralized Course Materials: For the Passive Solar Greenhouse Design Course, the Portal provides easy access to all essential materials. This includes lecture recordings, reading materials, assignments, and supplementary resources. Having everything centralized aids in efficient learning and resource management.
  2. Connection to a Broader Learning Community: While focused on your course, you also get the advantage of being part of a larger student community. This access enables you to engage with peers from various courses, offering a wider perspective and networking opportunities.
  3. Live Event Coordination: The Portal is where we update and manage all live events related to your course and beyond. This includes schedules for upcoming lectures, workshops, and Q&A sessions, ensuring you stay informed and engaged with every aspect of the course.
  4. Interactive Community Platform: Within the Portal, the community platform specific to the Passive Solar Greenhouse Design Course allows for interaction with fellow students and instructors. It’s a space for collaborative learning, discussion, and sharing insights related to your course topics.
  5. Access to a Wealth of Additional Resources: While primarily focused on your course, you can also explore additional learning materials and resources available on the Portal. This access broadens your learning scope and provides supplemental information that can enhance your understanding of the course material.
  6. User-Friendly Experience: The Portal is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, making it straightforward for you to find and utilize the resources for the Passive Solar Greenhouse Design Course, as well as to participate in the community discussions and activities.

By housing the Passive Solar Greenhouse Design Course on our comprehensive online Portal, we offer you a focused yet expansive educational experience. You benefit not only from the specific resources and community of your course but also from the broader educational and networking opportunities available through our long-established community of designers and builders.

What are the technical requirements to participate in the live online sessions via Zoom?

To ensure a smooth and engaging experience in our live online sessions via Zoom, there are several technical requirements that you should be prepared to meet:

  1. Stable Internet Connection: A reliable, high-speed internet connection is crucial for streaming live video and audio without interruption. This ensures that you can participate actively without any connectivity issues.
  2. Compatible Device: You’ll need a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone that is capable of running Zoom. Most modern devices are well-equipped for this purpose.
  3. Zoom Software: If you’re using a computer or laptop, it’s recommended to download the Zoom desktop client for the best experience. For tablets and smartphones, the Zoom app is available in the respective app stores. You can also join sessions directly through your web browser if you prefer.
  4. Webcam and Microphone: As we encourage students to turn on their cameras and participate in verbal conversations, make sure your device has a working webcam and microphone. This not only fosters accountability but also enhances the collaborative learning experience with your peers.
  5. Headphones/Earbuds (Recommended): Using headphones or earbuds can improve your ability to hear the session clearly, especially in noisy environments, and also helps to minimize feedback during verbal interactions.
  6. Adequate Lighting and Quiet Space: To be seen clearly when your camera is on, participate in a well-lit room. Also, try to be in a quiet space to minimize background noise during the session.
  7. Basic Zoom Proficiency: Familiarize yourself with basic Zoom functions such as muting/unmuting your microphone, turning your video on/off, and using the chat feature. This will help you participate more effectively in the sessions.

By meeting these technical requirements, you will be well-prepared to engage fully in our live online sessions, ensuring an enriching and interactive learning experience with both instructors and fellow students.

How is permaculture different from Organic gardening or Regenerative agriculture?

Permaculture is more than just gardening. It’s a system based on relationships supporting communities’ ability to thrive through vulnerability. Permaculture combines permanent + culture + agriculture, so while organic gardening is a good tool, the cyclical nature of permaculture takes it further. It’s a design that integrates all components of nature and beings into one integrated system to support sustainable living.

What’s makes this course ‘Advanced’?

This course is considered ‘Advanced’ because it builds directly on the foundational knowledge acquired through a 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification (PDC). It is specifically designed to reduce the overwhelm by focusing on a structured 5-step process for applying permaculture principles to land design and development. This focus allows for a deeper dive into practical application, enabling students to navigate the multitude of design options with clarity and purpose.

Will I receive a certification upon completion?

Upon completion of this course, participants will not receive an official certification like the one awarded after completing a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC). This advanced course is designed to deepen your understanding and application of permaculture through a focused 5-step process, enriching your existing PDC knowledge without issuing a formal certificate.

How are final projects assessed in this course?

Final projects will be evaluated through a peer review process. Each student will present their project either live to the class or via a recording. Following these presentations, students will participate in reviewing the projects of their peers. This method encourages collaborative learning, critical thinking, and constructive feedback, allowing students to gain insights from different perspectives and enhance their understanding and application of the 5-step process in permaculture design.

What prior knowledge do I need before enrolling?

Enrollment in this course requires a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) or equivalent knowledge. This prerequisite ensures that all participants begin with a foundational understanding of permaculture principles, allowing the course to focus on advanced application through a structured 5-step process. This approach is designed to deepen and refine your permaculture practice, making it more effective and targeted towards your projects.

How much time should I expect to dedicate to this course weekly?

For this course, participants are expected to dedicate 3 hours per week to attending course sessions, which encompass both lectures and interactive components. In addition to this, a minimum of 2-4 hours per week should be allocated to work on their individual property designs. This time commitment allows students to thoroughly engage with course materials, participate in discussions and activities, and apply what they learn to developing and refining their property design projects.

Are there any live session requirements, and can I access recordings if I miss one?

Lectures are recorded live on Thursday afternoons and attendance is optional. For those unable to attend, you must watch the recordings and complete any assignments by the following Tuesday. Interactive sessions occur Tuesday evenings, lasting 1.5 hours, similar to lectures. While both types of sessions are recorded, breakout room activities during interactive sessions are not. To gain the fullest experience, attending interactive sessions is highly recommended, offering a chance for live collaboration, Q&A and immediate feedback.

What materials or tools will I need for this course?

For this course, you’ll need access to a computer with internet connectivity to attend live sessions and view recordings. Familiarity with Zoom and Google Earth Pro is essential, as these will be used for live interactions and final project presentations, respectively. Additionally, materials for note-taking and project planning, such as digital or physical notebooks, may be beneficial. Any specific software or tools required for individual project work will be outlined during the course.

Is this course suitable for someone who’s looking to professionalize their permaculture practice?

This course serves as a valuable stepping stone for those aiming to professionalize their permaculture practice, with a specific focus on personal property design. It’s particularly beneficial as it’s taught by consultants actively working in the field. While the course is centered on personal projects, the skills and methodologies taught are directly applicable to professional contexts, making it well-suited for anyone looking to elevate their permaculture practice to a professional level.

Will there be opportunities for one-on-one feedback from instructors?

Yes, there will be opportunities for one-on-one feedback from instructors. These sessions are designed to provide personalized guidance, address specific questions, and help refine your project. This direct interaction ensures that you receive expert insights tailored to your individual needs, enhancing your learning experience and project outcomes.

Can I apply the skills learned in this course to urban settings, or is it more suited to rural projects?

While there is a greater focus on rural projects, the skills learned in this course are applicable to both urban and rural settings. The principles and techniques covered are designed to be versatile, allowing you to adapt them to the specific challenges and opportunities of your project, whether it’s located in a bustling city environment or a more spacious rural area. The course encourages creativity and adaptability, ensuring that students can tailor their projects to suit any context.


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