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Permaculture: the practice of designing sustainable human habitats by following nature’s patterns

Permaculture is being used in cities around the world with inspiring results. Pearlstone is a great place to learn Permaculture because you can see how these principals and process apply to different scales and goals.

Some aspects of Pearlstone work are deeply driven by permaculture principals, while other aspects of the organization are simply influenced by this approach. As such, we can teach from the prospective of an institution, a business, a farm, or a home in ways that resonate in your life.

Here are a few examples, come see for yourself!

Expansive Land Stewardship

We tend to forests, meadows and stream valleys on a 180-acre scale like many parks, campuses, and mid-size businesses or farms. Here we use techniques like prescribed fire, habitat creation, and stream-to-floodplain connectivity.

12 Acres of Organic Agriculture

Permaculture principals deeply inform farming at Pearlstone in ways that can apply directly to other homesteads, small businesses. In this setting we are applying permaculture ethics to compensating our staff fairly, propagate plants, and making compost, and more.

Outdoor Education

We apply permaculture principals in outdoor education spaces that are similar to any school environment, home, or garden. In this case permaculture looks like small food forests and natural building.

Community Sustainability

We use our permaculture skillset to influence the highly professionalized environment of our retreat center business. Here our permaculture approach manifests as renewable energy, LEED, Fitwell, sustainable sourcing, and waste reduction.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Friday July 30 - Sunday August 15, 2021
Our summer 2021 course has recently wrapped. We will announce the 2022 dates shortly.

These certainly are uncertain times! So many are feeling fear about where our food comes from and if it’s safe to go get it. Others are feeling isolation without community connections and access to restorative natural spaces. Many are concerned the global economy will not be able to provide for our needs.

Disruptions and contractions are part of life’s cycle. Let’s learn from the difficulty of this moment and invest in skills that create more resilience and abundance in our lives.

  • How good would it feel right now to have safe, organic foods growing in our gardens?
  • How reassuring would it feel to have pure and renewable water and energy?
  • How enlivening would it feel to have thriving community relationships and vibrant natural spaces?
  • How important would it feel to have plenty to share with those who need it right now?

This is not a conference; it’s a pop-up community organized around learning and practicing regenerative land stewardship together.

What is Permaculture Design?

Permaculture offers solutions for the challenges of our time. Permaculture design is as useful in cities and suburbs as it is in rural and wilderness areas. Just as the challenges we face are pervasive, so to the opportunities for wise response and healing are abundant in each of our life paths and communities. This life-changing experience provides skills and knowledge to live in harmony with the earth - including in times of adaptation and resiliency.

Who is this course for?

We welcome environmental and sustainability professionals, educators, students, designers, farmers, homesteaders, gardeners, artists, activists and others to share their gifts and learn from each other through this inclusive community.

If contributing to ecological and cultural solutions is important in your home, business, or community, this intensive, dawn to dusk, information-loaded experience will empower you to achieve your goals.

How does the course flow?

Pearlstone's 180 acres of forest, meadows, streams, organic farm, educational gardens, and retreat center are a vibrant living classroom. We will start by covering the basic nuts & bolts of permaculture design (principles, process, methods, etc.). We will share examples of how thousands of people around the world use these tools to manifest their vision for a joyful and productive life in greater harmony with each other and this living earth.

What does the curriculum cover?

Through lecture, hands-on projects and design work, together you will learn:

  • Gardening, farming, and agroforestry
  • Soil and forest ecology
  • Regenerative water and energy systems
  • Wilderness skills
  • Integrating animals
  • Aquaculture
  • Plant propagation
  • Ecological waste management
  • Appropriate technology
  • Natural building
  • Social system design
  • Financial strategies
  • and much more.

How much is course tuition?

$1,535, includes delicious, mostly organic meals. Course materials including design supplies, project tools, and our Permaculture research library are provided. Participants stay onsite in our bunkhouse accommodations or bring tents for camping. Tuition also includes a copy of Practical Permaculture by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein. We'll send it to you ahead of the course so you can read up!

More questions?

Contact: Greg Strella, gstrella@pearlstonecenter.org or call 410-500-5382