Sunshine Coast Permaculture Design Certificate Course

The only limit to yield is the designers imagination
– Bill Mollison

Gaiacraft Presents : Southern British Columbia Urban-Rural
Permaculture Design Certification Course

Gather together a conscious and creative ring of learners to grow with plants and animals, gardens and farms to 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 in all four seasons and work to build a more regenerative future.

The certification 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 eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. Working toward certification is not a requirement. Students may attend the course without completing the material required to attain the certificates, its a fun way to journey with like minded people in an experiential, outdoor adventure in education.

This low cost class caters to anyone wanting to learn permaculture in a creative way while engaging with working systems.

Join this adventure in learning as it journeys to farms, forests, gardens and eco-locations.
March 11, 2018 – June 9, 2019

Sunshine Coast locations include Brookbank Farm, Rolling Earth, Eden Forest, Halfmoon Herbals, Roberts Creek Co-housing as well as waterfalls and ancient trees in the rainforest.

Course Topics include:

*principles *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 of the Coastal First Peoples and much much more. We have worksheets, permaculture design gaming tools, an online social networking and educational support platform, as well as hundreds of gardens as our living classroom.

Dates and Times

11 am – 5:30 pm Sundays

The program will happen on Sundays on the Sunshine Coast. Greater Vancouver participants will carpool or bus over on the 9:30 am ferry and back on the 6:30 pm ferry.


March 11th – Introduction to Design
April 8th – Foundational Concepts
May 13th – Design for Soil

June 10th – Design methods
July 22nd – Design with Patterns
August 12th – Design for Trees
September 16th – Design for Animals
October 7th – Design for Water
November 11th – Design for Climate


January 13th – Cool Climate Design
February 10th – Tropical Design
March 10th – Dryland Design
April 7th – Social Permaculture
May 5 – OS Permaculture
June 9 – Graduation

Gaiacraft’s Permaculture Design Certification Program is co-taught by a dynamic male – female teaching team. These low cost, ultra flexible courses cater 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.

The program has been developed over the course of two Diplomas and a Masters Degree in Permaculture Education and continually upgraded over the 15 years it has been offered. This 27th Gaiacraft Permaculture Design Course is the culmination of studying with permaculture elders at key sites all over the planet. We have an exciting teaching tool kit that transforms lectures into games and together we travel to many different permaculture farms, gardens and forest locations while sharing in a uniquely creative learning journey. The year long focus project is a map and design for where you live or an area of your choice. Completion of this course offers graduates their choice of legitimate and formal certificates through Permaculture Institute, Permaculture Association and Permaculture Research Institute.

Sunshine Coast based course $777.
payment plans accepted
$77 early bird discount for full payment registrations by December 31st, 2017.

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

Delvin Solkinson is community gardener and plant poet dedicated to bringing creativity to the permaculture movement by creating free open source learning and teaching tools. He has completed a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and done advanced teacher trainings with Rosemary Morrow, Toby Hemenway, Larry Santoyo, Looby Macnamara, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Patricia Michael, Robyn Francis, the Bullock Brothers, Tom Ward, Jude Hobbs, Scott Pittman, Michael Becker, Robin Wheeler, Starhawk, Robina McCurdy and Robin Clayfield. He is an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute (Australia), Permaculture Academy (UK) and a Field Mentor through the Permaculture Institute (USA). Recently he completed a PDC in Portland with Toby Hemenway, one in Greece with Rosemary Morrow and a second Diploma through the Permaculture Institute. Currently he is doing graduate work under the mentorship of Larry Santoyo and Looby Macnamara.

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 practice.

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 –
– Utilize tools of conflict resolution
– Orient participants to course content

Session 2: Foundations of Permaculture
– Definitions
– History of Permaculture
– Ethics
– Principles
– 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
– Zones
– Sectors
– Mapping
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
– Guilds
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
– Biodynamics
– Soil remediation
– Composting
– 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
– Succession
– Polycultures
– 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
– Earthworks
– Aquaculture
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 Zones
– Climatic factors
– Microclimate
– Design for Climate
Learning Goals:
– Understand climate on a global scale and how we may design to moderate climatic factors
– Be able to identify, create and design microclimates
– Learn how to understand climate and its elements (light, wind, water)

Session 10: Cool Climate
– Cool climate characteristics
– Cool climate design challenges and strategies
– Cool climate design elements and techniques
Learning Goals:
– Be able to identify characteristics of cool climate and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.

Session 11: Tropics
– Tropical climate characteristics
– Tropical climate design challenges and strategies
– Tropical climate design elements and techniques
Learning Goals:
– Be able to identify characteristics of wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.

Session 12: Drylands
– Dryland climate characteristics
– Dryland climate design challenges and strategies
– Dryland climate design elements and techniques
Learning Goals:
– Be able to identify characteristics of drylands and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.

Session 13: Social Permaculture
– Client interview & designer checklist
– Community building (group processes and asset mapping)
– Governance (sociocracy and consensus decision making)
– Land access
– Right livelihood
– Legal structures
– Bioregionalism
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 local economy
– Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.

Session 14: OS Permaculture
– Resiliency
– Permaculture economics
– Urban renewal strategies and design
Learning Goals:
– Able to identify risks and mitigate disaster using Permaculture design tools and techniques
– Know the steps in building a 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
– Certificates
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