Great Lakes Permaculture

Past Classes

Permaculture Designer Certificate Class to be offered September 21-28, 2013

The course covers sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates. It includes the application of permaculture principles to food production, home design & construction, energy conservation and generation, and explores the social and economic structures that support a culture that cares for the planet and all its inhabitants.

Standard PDC Eight Day Training:

Because of time constraints for most folks (a twelve day course stretches out over two weeks), this training runs Saturday through Saturday (one week) and includes required pre-course study materials that must be completed prior to attending classes at the educational site.

Topics that we will cover include.

Permaculture principles
Concepts and themes in design
The local ecosystem
Forms of eco-gardening and farming
Broad scale site design
The application of specific methods, laws and principles to design
Pattern understanding
Climatic factors
Plants and trees and their energy interactions
Water, soils, earth-working and earth resources
Food forests and small animal husbandry
Zone and sector analysis
Harvest and natural forests
Planning the homestead
Craftwork and chores
Equipment, tools and vehicles
Renewable energy and energy conservation
Waste management and recycling
Permaculture strategies for different climates
Urban and suburban Permaculture
Small farm and garden management and marketing
Strategies of an alternative global nation
Practical work on design

Who Could Benefit from a Permaculture Design Certificate Course?

Just about everyone! If you’re interested in learning about sustainable design, green architecture, abundant gardening, alternative building, organic agriculture, generating renewable energy, creating authentic relationships and community, learning new skills, or considering a new career or way of living, then you will get much from this course.

What you can expect during the week of training.

Start and End Times – And Very Full Days
The on-site portion of our Tiffin courses typically begin on a Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and ends the following Saturday at noon. Even though students will have already completed up to 20-hours of certification studies through the pre-course work, there are still 52+ hours of training ahead. To fit the balance of the curriculum into only 8 days we start each morning 8:30 and run all the way through 9 p.m. There are long breaks for lunch and dinner, but students need to come prepared for a very full week of learning, designing, and fun.

Group and Personal Design projects

For all PDC trainings, students work on various design exercises and projects, individually and in small groups. This is a requirement of certification and important to help anchor the learning experience.

Personal Design Project Invitation:

If one of the reasons you as a student might be taking a PDC Course with us is to learn the skills necessary to create a Permaculture design for your own home or property, we invite you to bring information about your site to the training. For example, bring a sketch or map of your property in fairly accurate proportions and/or an aerial view, a plant list of what is on your property now (does not have to be exhaustive – what are the dominant species – place them on the sketch), note the sunny and shady parts of the property and what direction is south, and what your current dreams or visions for the property might be. There will be some time over the 8-days where individual/personal projects can be explored.


All meals, snacks, coffee, tea and water will be provided as part of the course tuition and will be served beginning with dinner on the first Saturday evening through lunch a week later. Meals will be prepared from mostly local and organic foods when possible. For other dietary needs or preferences, we most often can accommodate but we do need to know well before the course begins and students may be asked to supply some of their own specialty items.


Free Camping: As part of the price of tuition, free camping space is provided with toilets and showers nearby in heated spaces. Remember, students will only be sleeping in their tents. The rest of the time will be spent in the classroom or community dining room so elaborate camping set-ups are not required.

Rooms in Tiffin – $150 for the Week
Some of our fellow residents in Tiffin are delighted to rent out their guest rooms for this modest fee for the whole week. All are within walking distance or short drive from the classroom. Students can reserve a room when they register for a training.

If you feel so inclined, additional lodging will be provided by the Sisters of St. Francis (on-site) for a sum of $40 a night.

What to Pack & Other Details: About 3-4 weeks before a training begins, students receive more information concerning what to expect, arrival details, what to pack, access to maps, etc.

Students who complete this design course will receive a “Certificate of Completion” from Great Lakes Permaculture which in the permaculture tradition, allows one to use the word “permaculture” in the promotion of their work or business. Graduates may offer workshops, lectures and design services.

Training Costs: The standard course which includes the pre-course materials, all books and handouts, meals, and guest speakers. Costs for the class are as follows.

Early registration costs $700 (registration must be made by June 30, 2013)
Standard Course $750
Senior Discount $700 (Age 62 or older)
Family Discount – $750 for the first applicant, $650 for the second, $500 for each remaining family member.
Additional discounts may be applied if you have a skill or ability to offer during the course of the class, contact me directly to discuss this. A deposit of $200 will hold your place in class, but all training must be paid for by the class start date. Payments may be made by check, money order, or Paypal.

Location – Franciscan Earth Literacy Center (FELC) –

FELC located at 194 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin Ohio 44883 has become home to many environmental projects which include a zero energy straw bale house project, organic gardens, wild flower and wetland projects, walking paths, and the FELC training center with it’s Permaculture renovations.

26 Schonhardt Street
Tiffin, Ohio 44883
Phone: 419-937-5978

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