Permaculture Design Certification - Calgary

“Permaculture gives people a place to be a part of the solution”

– Rosemary Morrow

Join Giggling Chi Tree from November 2018 to September 2019 for the next 4 Season Permaculture Design Certificate Course taught by Kym Chi.  

Gather together bi monthly in over all 4 seasons with a team of positive people on an adventure  to meet with plants and animals, learn about how nature designs itself and how we can become sustainable designers ourselves. Together we will learn how to map and design our land and our lives, plan for emergency, grow organic food year round and work to build a more regenerative future.  Understand how to save time, energy and money while making the world around you better. 

Seize an opportunity to take this low cost, flexible course that caters to the busyness of modern life. If you miss a class you can jump in on the the same module in a different class at no extra cost and there is no time limit to complete the certification.  Courses are offered every other month in Calgary and there are also multiple courses being offered monthly in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.

The program has been developed to include the original teachings of the Permaculture elders woven with dynamic new teaching methods and understandings.  An exciting tool kit is used that transforms lectures into games, activities and discussions. Together we explore permaculture farms, gardens and forest locations while sharing in a creative adventure together. The 10 month long course projects are a map and design for where you live or an area of your choice.

The certification from the Permaculture Institute granted upon completion of the course will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education certificate is a practical path for expanding your life tool kit, resume and portfolio.

Course Topics include:

design methods * patterns in nature * soils and composting * water * trees * animals * design for cool * tropical and arid climates * social permaculture * native food and medicine plants  and much much more.

Participants receive worksheets, learning tools, herbal medicines, and the opportunity to experience many gardens as our living classrooms.

The class caters anyone who wants to learn permaculture in a creative way and who wants to grow with nature while creating the world they know is possible.

Investment: $888

Early bird discount : Register and pay in full by June 21st - $777

payment plans accepted

please email to register or for more details.

All proceeds go towards basic course costs and paying for Kym’s permaculture education.

Course Dates :

Hours :

Fridays 6pm - 9pm

Saturdays and Sundays 10am - 5:30pm

Dates and topics :

November 2 Introduction to Design

November 3 Foundational Permaculture

November 4 Design Methods

January 18 Potluck, Media and Herbal Medicine evening

January 19 Pattern Understanding & Design for Trees

January 20th  Design for Soil & Animals

March 22 Potluck, Media and Herbal Medicine evening & Equinox celebration

March 23 - Design for Water 

March 24 - Design for Climate 

May 24 - Potluck, Media and Herbal Medicine evening

May 25- Design for Cool Climate

May 26 - Design for Tropics

July 19 - Potluck, Media and Herbal Medicine evening

July 20- Design for Drylands

July 21 -  Social Permaculture 

September 13 - Potluck, Media and Herbal Medicine evening

September 14 - OS Permaculture 

September 15 - Graduation

Total class hours : 108

Kym Chi is a dedicated advocate of earth stewardship, people care and regenerative action for future resilience. Her main efforts are as a creative facilitator, artist, healer, medicine woman and community builder.  To date; Kym has received 3 certificates in Permaculture Design, completed multiple teacher trainings, taken a variety of advanced trainings and completed a Diploma in Permaculture Education.  With a love of learning, she continues to take courses that grow her understanding of the natural world. Through her stewardship of a deepened connection with the environment, Kym wishes to inspire creative self expression and value centred living to enrich and create healthy and abundant habitats and communities. With a focus on Social Permaculture,  Kym strives to mentor others on their life path and focusses on ways to support organizations and communities to become more resilient.  She lives on the Sunshine Coast where she teaches and mentors in Permaculture and runs a holistic healing  and life design practice. She currently acts as the Executive Director for the Lower Sunshine Coast through One Straw Society.

Program Content

Session 1: Pretro

Group introductions

Course orientation & requirements

Group goals and guidelines

Communication (NVC and conflict resolution)

Learning styles & multiple intelligences

Learning Goals:

Set a course culture of safety, respect and organization

Create a positive & effective learning environment

Encourage active listening in groups

Value different ways of communicating and have confidence in utilizing tools of conflict resolution

Orient participants to course content

Session 2:  Foundations of Permaculture


History of Permaculture



Learning Goals:

Know the Permaculture ethics and the Transition ethic and how to apply them to conscious decision making

Learn the basis of how the Permaculture movement began, how it has grown, some of its progeny’s and how the lineage links to this course.

Gain a strong understanding of nature’s principles and how they are at the foundation of design decisions and application

Provide awareness of the world’s problems and the current situation

Shift from a place of problems to positive solution based thinking.

Feel confident in defining Permaculture clearly to others

Session 3:  Design Methods

Needs, Functions and Outputs




Learning Goals:

Understand how to do a needs & yields analysis

Gain a base understanding of closed loop systems

Observe a site, document and recognize available resources and design constraints based on analysis.

Identify energies or influences that effect a design site

Be able to create a base map including zones & sector analysis for a site

Know the basic elements included in mapping a site

Session 4: Pattern Literacy

Physical patterns, emergent patterns, fractal patterns

Functions of patterns

Patterns in time

Behavioural patterns

Application of patterns in design


Learning Goals:

Pattern recognition in nature and technology

Learn the functions of patterns in nature and how to apply that knowledge to effective design

Gain Pattern literacy and understand how to replace dysfunctional patterns with functional ones.

Know the functions of and feel confident designing guilds

Recognize that pattern literacy is fundamental in becoming good designers

Session 5: Soil

Soil biology

Soil classification and testing


Soil remediation


Soil indicators

Learning Goals:

Have a base understanding of the components of healthy soil and know the value of building soil.

Know different ways to test soil

Recognize different plant indicators and what they tell about soil health.

Understand a multitude of different ways to remediate and build soil.

Apply different composting techniques in appropriate situations.

Identify key plants that bring nutrient to the soil.

Session 6:  Trees

Ecological function of trees in relation to earth, water, air and energy



Forest gardens and food forests

Plant and tree identification

Plants as soil indicators

Design for trees

Learning Goals:

Understand the ecological functions of trees and recognize them as a keystone species in the ecosystem.

Learn the stages of succession and how to intervene at appropriate times.

Know the layers in a forest garden and different plants for each layer that grow locally

Identify local plants and trees and see the difference in characteristics between species.

Be able to integrate trees adequately and appropriately in design.

Session 7: Animals

Design for wild and domestic animals

Animal care

Integrated pest management

Learning Goals:

Recognize the intrinsic characteristics, functions and outputs of animals

How to meet the needs of animals on site

Learn techniques for integrating animal systems

Understand effective and healthy ways to handle pests

Know how to safely and ethically live with wildlife

Session 8: Water, Aquaculture & Earthworks

Water facts

Water conservation

Water strategies & techniques

Waste water treatment

Water harvesting & storage



Learning Goals:

Understand how global water issues can affect us on a local level.

Learn how to do a water audit.

Recognize multiple ways in which to conserve water.

Feel confident in applying strategies and techniques to capture, store, treat and release water safely and appropriately.

Know how to calculate roof water catchment amounts.

Session 9:  Climate

Climatic factors


Climate design strategies

World climate

Learning Goals:

Understand climate on a global scale

Learn how to design in order to moderate and utilize climatic factors

Be able to identify, create and design microclimates

Session 10:  Cool Climate

Cool climate characteristics

Cool climate design challenges and strategies

Cool climate design elements, techniques and technologies

Learning Goals:

Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the Cool Climate.

Session 11: Tropics

Tropical climate characteristics

Tropical climate design challenges and strategies

Tropical climate design elements, techniques and technologies

Learning Goals:

Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics

Session 12: Drylands

Dryland climate characteristics

Dryland climate design challenges and strategies

Dryland climate design elements, techniques and technologies

Learning Goals:

Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the drylands

Session 13:  Social Permaculture

Client interview & designer checklist

Community building including group processes


Land access

Right livelihood

Legal structures


Learning Goals:   

Gain confidence in the consultation and design process for clients.

Be able to map assets and resources and identify community needs.

Understand different models of decision making and how to apply them.

Learn tools to provide for healthy group dynamics and efficient process.

Recognize opportunities for land access locally.

Become aware of ethical and effective business models and legal structures that support the local economy

Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.

Session 14:  OS Permaculture


Permaculture economics

Urban renewal strategies and design

Learning Goals:

Be able to identify risks and mitigate disaster using Permaculture design tools and techniques

Know the steps in building an emergency preparedness plan and engaging local community in the process

Learn a variety of different economic strategies and the value of utilizing multiple currencies and tools

Feel confident in utilizing place-making tools, techniques and Permaculture strategies in urban environments

Session 15:  Graduation

Next steps (setting up a permaculture practice, further education, community involvement, goal sharing)

Education (accessibility, open source, alternative education)

Mapping and design presentations

Talent show


Learning Goals:

Think about niches in permaculture and practice effective goal setting

Gain experience presenting to groups and receiving feedback

Understand how to help others share their gifts

Optional hands on activities throughout the course:

Design Charrettes

Earthworks demonstration

Integrative games

Compost building

Soil analysis

Plant & tree identification


Medicine Making


Additional Topics:

Medicinal plants & preparations

Plant Identification


Non-violent communication


Completion Requirements

We don’t require those taking the course to participate in the certification requirements.

Those wanting the certification will complete:

Individual map and design

Questions/ Written work

Course Journal

100% attendance  (students can arrange to make up missed classes with the

instructors, at no extra cost)

Graduating and Jobs

Having a Permaculture Design Certificate from a recognized training institute will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. You will have a green edge when applying for jobs, grants or school programs