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Permaculture Design Certification Program - Saturdays beginning Sept 15    Sat Sep 15 to Fri Oct 26, 2018, Burnaby, BC

The only limit to yield is the designer's imagination
- Bill Mollison

Burnaby Community & Continuing Education
Permaculture Design Certification Course

Gather together with like minded people 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.
September 15, 2018 - October 26, 2019

Greater Vancouver locations include Yarrow Ecovillage, City Farmer, A Rocha, UBC Farm, Loutet Farm, Sharing Farm, along with many community gardens and forests.

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 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.

The class caters anyone who wants to learn permaculture in a creative way but cannot afford the cost or intensive time commitment of other courses including lower-income families, students, youth and people for who are called permaculture but have been struggling to find a course that fits their life.

Dates and Times

11 am - 5:30 pm

• September 15 Introduction to Design
• October 13 Foundational Concepts
• November 10 Design Methods
• December 1 Design with Patterns

• January 5 Design for Soil
• February 2 Design for Trees
• March 2 Design for Animals
• April 6 Design for Water
• May 4 Design for Climate
• June 1 Cool Climate Design
• July 6 Tropical Design
• August 3 Dryland Design
• August 31 Social Permaculture
• September 28 OS Permaculture
• October 26 Graduation

Our 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 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.

Burnaby based course $777.

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 and has previously acted as the Food Systems Network Coordinator for the Lower Sunshine Coast through One Straw Society.

Program Content

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.
Many people take the program and do not do the readings, questions and project.
No one knows who is doing or not doing this work.
There are no tests.

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 other groups at no extra cost,
or take private make up classes with the instructors at additional 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


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 Zones
Climatic factors
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
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
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
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


For more information:

Contact Name: Delvin Solkinson & Kym Chi
Phone: 6043998733
E-mail: delvin (at)

Additional Contacts & Websites:

Please tell them you saw it at  Especially if travelling from a distance, avoid disappointment by contacting or checking the event organizers' website. Register if appropriate.


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