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 2022 with Lydia Neilsen and Anne Freiwald

Registration now closed

The 2022 PDC program (September 2022-February 2023) combines weekly online Zoom classes with five hands-on, two-day weekends and a final presentation. Participants will work in small groups and follow current health guidelines.

This is a great way to build permaculture knowledge for a variety of interests and fields of experience. Past PDC participants included landscaping professionals, educators, sustainability program managers, and community members wanting to bring permaculture practices to their property and permaculture principles to their communities.

Registration and Tuition

2022 PDC

Tuition will be offered on a sliding scale of $950-$1,200

Limited scholarships available. Volunteer/trade agreements may be available for discounted tuition based on enrollment. To learn more, contact Allison Nagel at

Youth who have graduated from Sustainable Solano’s Youth Leadership & Workforce Development programs may be 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 (these Friday night classes will be offered both in-person and over Zoom based on class interest)

Learn more about the basics of permaculture, the interconnection of soil, water, plants and climate, and what you’ll explore in this year’s PDC in the video below.

Watch these introductory permaculture talks with instructors Lydia Neilsen and Anne Freiwald:

    PDC Schedule

    September 2022-February 2023

    Sept. 10-11: On-site weekend: Introduction to Permaculture, Design & Global Context of Permaculture

    Sept. 19: Online Class

    Oct. 7: Friday Focus: Bring Your Soil to Life! (online)

    Oct. 8-9: On-site weekend: Design and Soil

    Oct. 17: Online Class

    Nov. 18: Friday Focus: DIY Water Harvesting (online)

    Nov. 19-20: On-site weekend: Water

    Dec. 2: Friday Focus: Plant it and They will Hum (online)

    Dec. 3-4: On-site weekend: Plants and Agroforestry

    Dec. 19: Online class

    Jan. 13: Friday Focus: Finding the Heart in Your Community (online)

    Jan. 14-15: On-site weekend: Invisible Structures

    Jan. 30: Online Class

    Feb. 11: On-site Design Presentations and Graduation

    Online classes will be over Zoom from 5:30-7:30 pm. Weekend classes will be from 9 am-6 pm Saturdays and 9 am-5 pm Sundays.

    *Participants should expect to spend a significant amount of time out of class hours researching, studying and preparing the final project with their teams.

    Learn more about the 2021 PDC class here, and check out the slideshow below!

     2021 Benicia PDC

    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

    Community health and earth activist, permaculture educator and regenerative life and landscape designer, with 29+ years specializing in human ecology & community resilience.

      This course is offered in partnership with Benicia Adult Education