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 is open now!

Secure your spot here

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 maintain physical distancing as required by current health guidelines.

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

Registration and Tuition

2022 PDC: Register here!

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

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

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 (included for PDC students and available to anyone interested on a sliding scale of $15-$50/class)

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

    • Permaculture 101: Patterns & Principles

  • Permaculture 101: Soil, Water & Plants

    • Restoring the Sleep Well: Parallels Between Sleep and Water

  • Guilds and Community

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