Permaculture Design Course

What is a Permaculture Design Certificate Course?

This course lets you develop a broad understanding of permaculture and design that uses whole systems thinking, which looks at how everything works together as a part of a larger whole. This can apply to the environment, our internal state of being and our organizations and social systems. In this PINA-recognized Permaculture Design Certificate course, participants learn a standard 72-hour permaculture curriculum toward certification that is recognized around the world. Participants will also gain hands-on experience in designing and transforming a local landscape using design principles and incorporating the use of captured rainwater and greywater systems.

Sustainable Solano PDC 2021 with Lydia Neilsen and Anne Freiwald

Registration is now open! Register here

The 2021 PDC program will combine online Zoom classes with four hands-on weekends in Benicia. Participants will work in small groups of no more than 10 people and maintain physical distancing as required by current guidelines. For this reason, registration is limited to 20 people for the 2021 PDC. Register early to save your spot!

We will continue to work with Solano Public Health and monitor CDC guidelines to make sure the program meets the latest requirements.

Four Friday night online classes will be included for PDC participants and open to the public on a sliding scale. More details to follow.

Join us for two free introductory sessions with PDC instructors Lydia Neilsen and Anne Freiwald of Vital Cycles:


Free Introductory Classes

Oct. 3 (11 am): Permaculture 101: Patterns & Principles
(Online, Register here)

Nov. 7 (11 am): Permaculture 101: Soil, Water & Plants
(Online, Register here)

2021 PDC Schedule

Jan. 29: Friday Focus: Permaculture Patterns and Principles in Design (online)

Jan. 30-31: On-site instruction in Benicia

Feb. 26: Friday Focus: Forests, the Water Cycle and Climate Stability (online)

Feb. 27-28: On-site instruction in Benicia

March 12: Friday Focus: Making the Invisible Visible (online)

March 13-14: On-site instruction in Benicia

March 26: Friday Focus: Ready, Set, Grow: Patterns of Regeneration (online)

March 27-28: On-site instruction in Benicia

April 10: Design Presentations in Benicia

Friday Focus classes will be over Zoom on Friday evenings. Weekend classes will be from 9 am-5 pm Saturdays and Sundays in Benicia. There will be four additional two-hour evening classes that will be added to the schedule in the coming months.

Registration and Tuition

2021 PDC: $1,200 (with $500 deposit at registration and balance due one week before start)

Register now, space is limited!

Benicia residents with proof of residency will receive a 10% discount.

Work/trade agreements may be available for discounted tuition based on enrollment.

Youth who have graduated from Sustainable Solano’s Youth Leadership & Workforce Development programs are eligible for a full scholarship to the PDC program. If you are interested in bringing one of these programs to your school, contact Allison Nagel at

Friday Focus Classes (included for PDC students and available to anyone interested on a sliding scale of $15-$50/class) More details and registration to follow.

  • Friday Focus: Permaculture Patterns and Principles in Design
  • Friday Focus: Forests, the Water Cycle and Climate Stability
  • Friday Focus: Making the Invisible Visible
  • Friday Focus: Ready, Set, Grow: Patterns of Regeneration

Meet the Instructors

About Lydia Neilsen

PINA certified permaculture educator, landscape and habitat designer, specializing in water cycle restoration and passionate polyculture.

About Anne Freiwald, MPH

Passionate personal health and permaculture educator focusing on growing food in small spaces, working for over 25 years with individuals and communities on personal ecology and community resilience.