Urban Permaculture Design Course 2019

Urban Permaculture Design Course starting weekend January 5, 2019

This is Grow Permaculture’s 22nd internationally recognized Permaculture Design Course, based on Bill Mollison’s work. This course will unfold on the first weekend of each month over six months, Jan 5 through June 2, held at Moccasin Lake Nature Preserve in Clearwater, FL and other nearby locations. Carpools and housing may be available if you are coming from other parts of Florida, please check with us.

By cooperating with nature and her energies, we are able to design our lives, from backyard gardens and food forests to neighborhoods, farms or even cities to be more abundant, more sustainable, healthier, and more enjoyable. It is a cutting edge approach to living that helps both people and the environment. This course is life changing for many people.

The course is designed to offer multiple opportunities including career mentoring and pathways, community building opportunities, resource networking, and skill building. It is extended over five months to give students maximum time to absorb the information and put it into practice. This schedule also allows people with busy schedules to take the course. It is also possible to make up classes if one cannot make every weekend. The course will meet the first weekend of every month.

There are volumes of material on permaculture on the internet. Our course offers focused and relevant written material, hands on practice, and interactive learning that will aid students to master key concepts. Materials are designed to guide students in continuing their education after the course, and we also offer apprenticeship opportunities. Instructors are veteran, professional designers and educators who have a wide range of on-the-ground design experience; this experience can help you shorten your learning curve, time, and expense significantly.

Instructors: Koreen Brennan, others to be announced.

We continue to refine and expand our curriculum based on feedback from dozens of students regarding what helps them learn best. We incorporate multiple learning styles including hands on, visual aids, immersion, lecture, interaction, and more. Our choice of materials, videos, expert speakers, field trips, focused hands on activities (that give you step by step useful skill sets), Florida-specific information, written materials, networking and career opportunities, and design tools are the result of this feedback. We live in this community and care about its future and we continue to work with graduates in the community to create something better, together.

Homes, work places, gardens, farms, ranches, communities, businesses, local economies, or cities that are designed with permaculture principles and techniques are more resilient; they use resources in a regenerative way, ensuring that we, our children and our grandchildren will have access to all the resources we need. By incorporating people care into the equation, this process becomes deeply enjoyable too.

This course attracts students from all over Florida and beyond. Carpooling is often available, and housing can usually be arranged (in a graduate’s home in the area usually). Students meet others who think like they do, and often make life long friendships during the course; some find new career or lifestyle opportunities. Be the change you would like to see, and be effective at it, by designing that change!


Some of the subjects covered include:

  • Permaculture design ethics and principles.
  • Creating abundance with natural patterns.
  • Nutrient dense “beyond organic” gardening and farming.
  • Grow more food with less work by working with nature.
  • Edible landscaping, food in small spaces.
  • Building rich, live soils.
  • Designing sustainable water use.
  • Greywater and rainwater catchment.
  • Building food forests.
  • Agroforestry and ecoagriculture, regenerative farming.
  • Aquaculture.
  • Composting and vermicomposting.
  • Alternative pest management.
  • Natural building, regenerative building technology.
  • Reducing energy costs in your home.
  • Best forms of sustainable energy.
  • Appropriate technology.
  • Boosting your career with permaculture.
  • Sustainable economics.
  • Increasing quality of life through “placemaking” design.
  • Community revitalization and rebuilding.
  • Successful intentional communities, ecovillages and cohousing, urban and rural.


Take advantage of the early bird rate of $1,095 until Sep 30th. The full rate is $1,295. This cost covers course materials, field trips, snacks and when visiting the farm – lunch, mentoring and all classes. Our courses are an investment in yourself and your future – you will make and save far more than the course cost, to the degree you use the information in the course. A non refundable deposit of $400 will hold your spot.

Payment plans, work study and scholarships may be available, please ask.

Location:  Moccasin Lake Nature Preserve, Clearwater, FL, and other nearby locations. First weekend of each month Sat & Sun 9am – 5pm.

To register for the course, pay via our PayPal button on the right side of this web page. For questions or to register outside of PayPal, contact Steve at: 727-495-6145 or courseinfo@growpermaculture.com.

Who Takes This Permaculture Design Course?

  • Artists.
  • Do it yourselfers.
  • Educators – homeschool, teachers, professors.
  • Gardeners.
  • Green architects/builders.
  • Green businesses.
  • Green consultants.
  • Homesteaders.
  • Landscapers.
  • Natural health practitioners.
  • Non-profit/community organizers.
  • People seeking a career change.
  • People who care about the earth and each other.
  • People who love healthy food.
  • Permaculturists.
  • Policy makers.
  • Professionals (of many types).
  • Recent college graduates.
  • Religious leaders.
  • Students.
  • Urban and rural farmers.
  • Vegan, raw food, slow food, and/or local food.
  • Yoga practitioners.


Sat & Sun Course Dates (2019):

  • Jan 5-6.
  • Feb 2-3.
  • Mar 2-3.
  • April 6-7.
  • May 4-5.
  • June 1-2.

There will be additional opportunities for field trips and apprenticeship actions, to be announced.


Here’s what our graduates say:

 “This course changed my life forever. It changed the way I look at everything, and gave me tools to address problems I thought had no solutions. It reinvigorated my connection to, respect for and love of the natural world and increased my understanding of it tremendously. It made me feel powerful and able to change things rather than helpless or apathetic. It gave me hope again, a renewed purpose for life and so many tools that I never dreamed existed! It brought back magic to my life, lightness, and fun! GH

This course is the most exciting one I’ve ever attended because it’s all about finding solutions and connecting people together. JJ

 “I’ve had my permaculture friends tell me this course changed their life. I never understood why, or what the fuss was about, until I did the course myself. It is a paradigm shift to a much nicer and better paradigm. Don’t hesitate to do this course! DM

I really enjoyed the whole PDC experience. I knew I would, but it was even better than I had thought. I loved the detailed theoretical classes in which I learned how to build soil, how to make it faster than it would happen naturally, how plants benefit each other. I also liked the hands on experiences a lot, it made many concepts so much clearer. I enjoyed the teacher’s methods, and the warmth of the teachers’ helpers. It was a learning experience in every single level not to mention a great opportunity to meet nice people and grow.  Thanks!!! MM

 “I am so grateful for your instruction Koreen, truly a wonderful and transformational experience. I will treasure and put in practice the permaculture ethics & principles every day, integrating them in my immediate environment and eventually reach out to my community. Thanks again for the excellent course, honored to have your friendship and be a part of the Grow Permaculture tribe. MO

 “After participating in Grow Permaculture’s PDC, I feel confident that I can accurately evaluate a variety of sites and come up with integrated, sustainable designs. LB

 “The instructors have a wealth of knowledge and it’s clear they really want to share. I feel confident, after attending their PDC course, that I could make basic designs that would work well for any potential client. Knowing that they will review any plans encourages me to jump right in and design! MN

 “The unity of the group was awesome. The shared knowledge very inspiring. Learning this way with the hands on demonstration, I could understand more of the school. And thank you so much for all your teachings and welcoming of my son in the class.  Very grateful, DM

 “I would highly recommend this course, taught by Koreen and her associates to anyone who has great concern for the future of this planet and the destructive path it is on. Permaculture is the solution we have all been waiting for. As permaculturists, “We are the ones we have been waiting for” to save ourselves from ourselves. Koreen is incredibly knowledgeable and has experienced many areas of the world first hand. If you have been feeling at a loss and discouraged this is your last chance to educate yourself as if the earth herself were revealing her deepest secrets on how you can help her. This is what permaculture is. Grow Permaculture far exceeded my expectations, even after years of experience working with organic gardening methods already. This is just the tip of the iceberg on how much is available for you to learn as you will find out. The depth of how very differently agriculture and water managment and land useage really need to be can’t be stressed enough. SK

 “Thank you very much for this amazing course. The setting was ideal. The fact of being able to practice on real ground was invaluable. The presentation was very lively and instructive and really opened my eyes on how good design takes care of both the earth, the people and creates a surplus without waste. I love permaculture principles and how thoroughly and thoughful they are and how caring. JB

 “I am Graduate of Grow Permaculture’s Permaculture Design Course. I am very impressed with the quality and professionalism that I experienced during the course. I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It was a great balance of theory and practical training. I feel very prepared and confident going forward with the new knowledge I have. I have made some very big improvements in the way my company conducts business. Our business is all about tree preservation & creating a healthier planet. I acquired the knowledge and ability to create a “truly” regenerative company. I am very grateful for the expert knowledge, compassion and competence of my teacher & Mentor, Koreen. Thank you for creating a better planet one student at a time. NN

 “The value of this course is worth far more than its cost. The knowledge gained is really priceless. There is so much information provided that is life changing and really valuable. I was told that I can save more than the cost of the course if I use only a portion of the information provided. This was true, but what wasn’t said is that I got something from it that is really hard to put a price on which is life long friends, and a new, creative view about life. CS

Course Outline for Six Weekend PDC

Many Topics covered! Read more


Our non-profit volunteer work at Grow Permaculture is focused on assisting some of the highest poverty and most oppressed areas on the planet, which are also very culturally rich with much to offer. We focus on projects that regenerate degraded lands and devastated economies so these communities can become self-sufficient and experience resilient abundance. Our methods are focused on connecting resources and knowledge and putting them in the hands of the people at grass roots level so they can create their own destinies within their own cultural context.

We offer our courses and services for free to individuals from those impoverished areas and also bring resources into those environments to assist in the process of regeneration.

In 2013, we planted 500 useful trees (including a number of edibles) at Pine Ridge reservation, using permaculture drylands watering techniques to help them to survive. We also fixed up buildings, irrigation systems and a number of other tasks.  In 2014, we plan to complete a build of a specially designed greenhouse – one that will keep plants warm with passive heating techniques and is inexpensive, using mainly materials found on the reservation and sustainably harvested. We need thousands of dollars to accomplish all the things we want to accomplish but can get a lot done for even just $10. We are doing projects that will benefit seven generations hence. Your funds can go a long way toward improving life on the rez for generations. If you donate $25, we will dedicate a tree in your name and if we can, give you the GPS coordinates (our GPS doesn’t access in some places on the rez).  We hope you will consider helping!  Your money goes straight to the project and is used frugally and well.

The money or goods you donate go via our partner 501C3 non-profit Earth Learning, and is fully tax deductible.

You can make a tax-deductible donation in one of two ways:
Send a check made payable to:

Earth Learning

Write ” Haiti Fund” or “Pine Ridge Fund” in the memo and mail it to:

Earth Learning
2103 Coral Way, Suite 202
Miami, FL 33145

Or pay through pay pal right here online…

Pine Ridge – Donate Now…

Haiti – Donate Now…

Miami Earth ‘n Us

Florida Earth Ship PDC


Pine Ridge PDC

These photos are from the Permaculture Design Course that was held at the Pine Ridge Lakota Indian Reservation in August, 2009.

Pine Ridge reflections

Writing from the rez – the course is starting to wrap up with students going off into their own world, working on their design projects.   I’ve been working with OLCERI (Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative) for several years and helped raise funding for their initial projects, but this is the first partnership for Permaculture Guild and OLCERI.

The course was held on an 8000 acre cattle ranch on the rez, run by Bryan Deans.  Bryan also heads a youth organization called Running Strong, which gives Lakota youth experience training and riding horses on the ranch and gaining other traditional skills.

Some of the students who arrived early for the course helped raise the tipis that dot his pasture amidst horses and a round pole shade shelter.

Bryan has many projects ongoing – homemade wind generators, veggie oil biodiesal, straw bale retrofit of flimsy homes, super efficient heating stoves using “waste” fuels to counteract the sometimes brutally cold winds that sweep the rez, and a plan to provide food for the rez on tribal common lands, a return to the wildcraft gathering ways of the Lakota. Bryan’s ranch is an ideal place for permaculture design – so many resources yet so much damage.  Illegal overgrazing by a white rancher on tribal lands has created huge erosion and water catchment problems which permaculture is well-qualified to solve.

Our expert guest permaculture instructor, Warren Brush, has communicated many ideas about how to regenerate rangeland, not only to catch water, but to again grow the tall prairie grasses that have been unable to find a foothold in the denuded landscape.  He has shared knowledge about intensive raising of grass fed cattle and other animals, as well as integrating multiple systems such as aquaculture (fish and water plants), food forests and more.  This is big country, with lots of potential.

adam and child

The students are learning about Lakota ways and perspectives as they absorb knowledge about weather, natural patterns in landscapes and in communities, living soil and water, and the transactions of trees and how all of these relate to designing for abundance in human systems. They are also getting practical hands on knowledge  – how to create a 21 day compost pile, how to do a cold frame graywater system, how to make energy efficient stoves.

Bryan’s vision is large – he wants to regenerate all 2 million acres of the reservation, he wants to use straw bale to retrofit the very energy inefficient housing that dots the rez, for warmth in winter and coolness in summer, he wants to create food forests all over the rez to feed his people and he wants to create a sustainability school where anyone can come to learn about how to live a truly sustainable life.  There are others on the rez who also share large visions – how appropriate for the Lakota to lead the way in teaching sustainable practices.

The Permaculture Guild wants to back up this vision, and in conjunction with OLCERI, we are planning a series of courses on regenerative practices at the rez next year.  One aspect of the program will be a youth component, where youth programs at Pine Ridge will team up with Permaculture Guild to create an apprenticeship program for youth on and off the rez. Skills will include natural building, cattle cutting and herding, native wildcraft and herbs, permaculture design, wilderness survival and tracking, etc.  Career mentoring will be included as a part of this program as well.

Other workshops will include straw bale and super adobe building, water systems, wind turbines, biodiesel production and of course, permaculture design.  Warren Brush has agreed to return next year to bring his wisdom and expertise on permaculture design to a new group of PDC students in September.  More news soon!

Pine Ridge – Donate Now…

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