“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” Robin Wall Kimmerer - Braiding Sweetgrass
Image: Charlie Durrant
We are living in a time where the impact we make truly matters. Everyone is a designer. Whether on a small or large scale, the choices we make and the way we design, creates the world around us.
Ultimately, we get to choose how our designs will impact our existence. Will they degenerate and degrade or will they regenerate and advance?
Many existing design practices are depleting life, stripping resources, dominating land and culture and degenerating our world as we know it. This can create fear and scarcity, stress, overwhelm, anger, grief and a sense of hopelessness. This can be especially challenging for people who want to make positive change and who seek to live in a world that thinks and acts differently.
THERE IS HOPE!!!
There are practices that design in collaboration with nature and that sees our place within the natural world and that help to generate abundance, joy, connection, respect and appreciation for existence.
One of these design practices is Permaculture!
Permaculture, is a framework offering tools, techniques and strategies for creating a more resilient, sustainable and regenerative life. Grounding itself in teachings from the natural world and Traditional Peoples from around the world, it cares about the wellbeing of the Earth, ALL People and future generations to come.
Become the designer of a connected and regenerative life with Permaculture!
Empower yourself through this 18 week program with like minded people online to learn about how nature designs itself and how to become more grounded and connected with yourself, your community and the natural world. We will learn how to map and design our land and lives, plan for emergencies, grow and preserve food naturally, build community and work to build a more resilient and positively impactful life.
This online course is flexible and comprehensive and includes:
- 18 live classes with over 60 hours of content
- +2 live appearances by the inspiring Mark Lakeman (founder of City Repair Portland), plus multiple pre-recorded lessons including sessions on Design and Media, Water, Energy, Natural building, Village Design and Legal & pre-legal approaches.
- Dynamic discussions, break out groups, demonstrations and integrative activities.
- Access to a user friendly course platform with space for interactive dialogue with other participants, over 145 lessons with additional videos, applied homework, course projects and other resources that makes the course well over 72 hours.
- Information sheets that will be released with each class and when put together will create a 400+ pg digital course book.
To add a layer of mulch to the soil, participants will receive these registration bonuses:
- Free access to the Indigenous Voices speaker series
- Free access to the Herbal Preparations and Plant Allies pre recorded program.
- This equates to an additional 6 plus hours of live online instruction and supplementary course materials plus 30 hours pre recorded course material that you will have lifetime access to and can watch at your leisure.
Kym Chi is a dynamic facilitator so this class caters to anyone wanting to learn regenerative design in a creative way and in a safe, inclusive environment. It is a flexible course that considers the busyness of modern life. The class schedule is ideal for parents, workers, entrepreneurs, students or those with dynamic routines.
All live classes will be recorded for participants to rewatch at their convenience.
The certification from The Permaculture Institute granted upon completion of the course, empowers participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers. Graduates can use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education certificate is a practical path for upgrading your life, resume and portfolio. There is no time limit to complete the certification.
Working toward certification is not a requirement. Students may attend the course without completing the material required to attain the certificates. It’s a fun way to journey with likeminded people with experiential education.
We review many exciting course topics that include Foundational concepts, Design Methods, Pattern Literacy, Soils & Composting, Water, Trees & Vegetation, Animals, Design for cool/tropical/arid climates, Social systems, Native food and medicine plants and more.
This is a unique course with an exciting teaching tool kit that transforms lectures into games and group discussions and focusses on multi dimensional learning. Apply your learnings to the focus project for the program which is to start a map and design for where you live or an area of your choice.
Successful completion of this course offers graduates their choice of legitimate and formal certificate through Permaculture Institute (www.permaculture.org).
Low cost in effect to reflect our current times!
- Full Pay - $555
- Payment plans available - 3x monthly payments of $185.
- Pay it Forward - $655 (this supports a person in need to attend at a substantially discounted rate)
Classes will run Saturday Mornings from 10am - 1pm PST
with optional classes on some Thursday evenings.
Full detailed schedule can be found below.
- October 30th - Intro to Design - 10am - 1pm pst
- November 13th - Foundational Concepts - 10am - 1pm pst
- November 20th - Design Methods- 10am - 1pm pst
- November 27th - Pattern Literacy - 10am - 1pm pst
- December 4th - Design for Soil - 10:00am - 1:00pm pst
- December 11th- Design for Trees - 10am - 1pm pst
- December 18th - Design for Animals - 10am - 1pm pst
- No class December 25th & January 1st
- January 8th - Design for Water Pt 1. -10am - 1pm pst
- January 15th - Design for Water Pt 2 - 10am - 1pm pst
- Thursday January 20th - Map check ins in breakouts and Q&A session with Mark Lakeman 6:30pm - 8pm pst
- January 22nd - Design for Climate- 10am - 1pm pst
- January 29th - Design for Cool Climate - 10am - 1pm pst
- February 5th - Design for Tropics - 10am - 1pm pst
- February 12th - Design for Drylands - 10am - 1pm pst
- February 19th - Social Permaculture Pt. 1 - 10am - 1pm pst
- February 26th- Social Permaculture Pt. 2 - 10am - 1pm pst
- Thursday March 3rd - Q&A with Mark Lakeman and map and design check in’s in break out groups - 6:30pm - 8pm pst
- March 5th - Social Permaculture Pt. 3 - 10am - 1pm pst
- March 12th - Design Presentations - 10am - 4pm pst
- March 19th - Design Futures - 10am - 1pm pst
This program is for you if you:
- Want to create more resilience in all areas of your life.
- Would like to learn how to observe, design and maintain a garden and grow your own food.
- Desire to better understand the natural world around you.
- Are looking for ways to save time, energy and money while also conserving the environment.
- Want to apply Permaculture to your existing profession, create a Permaculture business or gain employment in regenerative/Permaculture design.
- Would like to build more community where you live.
- Are seeking new ways of living that are more in alignment with your values.
- Enjoy learning in an inclusive and creative environment that honours many learning styles.
- Dream of a better world that you believe is possible.
- Are hoping to meet like minded people and contribute to positive change.
- Want to become more empowered as a designer of your life, livelihood, garden and community!
- Are new to or experienced in Permaculture strategies and techniques (all levels are welcomed!)
"This course was very enjoyable and informative. Kym is a supportive and engaging teacher. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in permaculture." - Meg
"Even if you have all the knowledge in the world, there is a profound learning to be gained from this quietly impactful facilitator. Kym Chi offers more than just a Permaculture Design Course, it is an experience that will leave you seeing new colour in everything you look at."
"I feel so lucky that I was able to take this class! It opened up so many ideas for me to integrate into different facets of my life."
"I loved this course and would recommend it to everyone interested in making a difference. Kym is so knowledgable and shares what she knows in an inspiring way. Permaculture is now within me and I will follow is path always." - Teresa
"Kym Chi is an excellent teacher, her coursework is very thorough and draws from a variety of experts and methodologies in the field of Permaculture. Kym is compassionate and brings out the best in her students. I highly recommend her Permaculture course."
- George Thomas
"Co-create, Open heartedly, Vision, Inspired, Do-ocracy. This course has a wealth of information and practical ideas for retooling our culture so we can collectively heal and regenerate ourselves, our communities and our common Earth home. Kym masterfully facilitates a learning, inclusive class space. Through the evolving lens of permaculture , all our neighbourhoods can be revitalized and enriched. Thanks to Kym and all my classmates, I carry a seed of hope growing deeper roots. "
- Denise Lagasse, Xwilkway, Halfmoon Bay, BC
"I can't think of a more versatile and empowering course for our current times. Learning specific regenerative skills and strategies with a like-minded group, clear and empathic instruction and above all, a hopeful outlook was invaluable to my life right now." - Mireille
"What a wonderful class and wonderful people to share, learn and grow with. Opened my eyes to a new way of living!"- Colleen
"Kym teaches with high integrity and so much grace. The online Permaculture Design Course was the best online course I've done so far. It was interactive and engaging. The materials provided on the course platform helped my learning and I appreciate how I can review the recordings from our class anytime. Kym helped me feel safe, seen and acknowledged. She kept on time and respected the space. As well, her knowledge of Permaculture is clearly extensive and deep. I learned so much! Thank you Kym! I'm sure I will study with you again!" - Kelly Gordon
"Kym was such an open-hearted teacher. I felt like everyone in the course was made to feel comfortable and heard. The content of the course was presented in a very approachable way and while it was a large volume of information, it never felt like the class moved too quickly. Everything was given the time it needed to be spoken about. So many of the lessons in this program felt applicable to a variety of aspects of my life and I feel like I am more capable in both my abilities as a gardener and a person." - Katherine
“Now is the time to stop dreaming the dream and have something materialize from it.” Kym Chi, as my teacher is gifted in facilitating and providing gracious inspiration for a resilient lifestyle. She took me and showed me the DOOR of practicality and empowers me, so I can STEP IN to the possibilities awaiting for me to be discovered, explored and realize our potential as positive agent of change individually and collectively.
With all the disruption to our “normal” way of life in 2020, there has never been a better time (and greater need/urgency) to start living the permaculture dream... that’s why we got into permaculture... that’s why we want that ecologically resilient homestead, that self-sufficient permaculture farm, that abundant food forest." - Dharlyn
"This was the second time taking a permaculture course with Kym Chi and from both classes it has been life changing. I highly recommend others taking a permaculture design course during their life time as it is a mind opener and will really help one be more connected within themselves and all living life forms! Thank you Kym Chi!"
"I had been thinking about taking Kym's Permaculture Design Certification Course at a friend's recommendation for quite some time, and this time around, things finally fell into place and it happened. Despite the challenges of teaching and learning virtually, Kym gave an informative, engaging, and meaningful course. She is a welcoming, compassionate, knowledgeable, and kind teacher who is able to draw on her own experiences and ideas as well as others'. This was my first exposure to Permaculture in a formal setting, and I am very fortunate and grateful that it was such a positive one (although, after working with Kym, I'm not at all surprised that was the case). I hope to learn from and work with her again!" - Dave L
"This is a great course, Kym Chi is an inspiring teacher who cares passionately about the course content and about engaging her students to learn and absorb the material. She makes it fun on many different levels." - Jacqueline
"Kym Chi is an exceptional guide in learning Permaculture Design! Permaculture is so much more than gardening principles. Who knew!? This course provides a framework for moving towards positive change, spiritually, emotionally, communally, ecologically. It’s about action that is doable and effects our collective health and future! Kym Chi has lovingly crafted an offering of abundant knowledge that is so nourishing and inclusive. I luv, love, LOVED this course! Thank you!!! - Anna“Kym shares so much knowledge and heart in this PDC, It is impossible not to fall for Permaculture. I found so many ways to integrate Permaculture into my life on a small scale immediately, and plan and dream of Permaculture possibilities for the future. I am eternally grateful” - Paige Inglis
“Kym is a very gifted teacher and facilitator who brings a huge amount of knowledge, skill and experience and mixes in a great dose of love and laughs to the course an amazing experience.” - Donna M“
Kym Chi provided us with an awesome learning experience - teaching us foundational concepts, design principles of Permaculture that we can now use to create a beautiful, productive sustainable life and world. - Margaret R.
“This program goes far beyond simply designing an organic and sustainable landscape. Learning about plant allies, regeneration of the land and building earth- loving social structures is the keystone of an integrated life centred on the principles of Permaculture. Kym Chi is an energetic & passionate steward for the earth and supports rounded learning. “ - Stephanie W“
An excellent course for anyone new or experienced in Permaculture to gain further in depth knowledge and experience. Kym is a beautiful facilitator with a warm heart and so much knowledge to share” - Doug“
This course was quite challenging for me since my English is limited. However, I am glad I took this course. Every topic was eye opening for me, Permaculture is not just about agriculture, it is about making a sustainable lifestyle.” - Satomi S.
“This has been one of the most enjoyable and informative programs I have been a part of. What I learned will serve me well and guide me in better serving others and the earth. I am grateful for the teachings and for the community it introduced me to. Thank you. - Kathy Duncan
“The Permaculture course opened my eyes to how everything is connected and how we all must work together as a community to care for the earth, the people and the future. Kym Chi is a wonderful, passionate teacher who loves and lives what she teaches. She is gentle, yet spicy and keeps the class momentum going strong” - anonymous
“Learning with Kym as a facilitator was one of the most creative, fun, professional and profound experiences. She planted the seed of Permaculture in me and I can’t wait to let it grow. - Elke H.
“I loved the variety of visual aids, cards, medicine making and visiting diverse landscapes with examples of systems. So many inspiring moments and learnings. This was a perfect format to delve in and understand how to overcome my own fears and limitations to find solutions everywhere. - Alison R
“An inspirational journey of an Introduction to Permaculture, wetting the palette to want to dive deeper. Great foundation for self growth and tools to engage community, influence work and relationships”. -Sybrena Albright
“The course is a refreshing break from everyday life. A chance to reflect and inspired about how we can be better.” - Karen Cameron
"This course was so well organized. You inspired me to alter my teaching methods to help keep everyone focussed, energized and thoughtful. I really didnt want the process to end. I really enjoyed the field trips, physically visiting so many permaculture sites and the classroom environment was good also." - Josephine J
"I really enjoyed the open, generous atmosphere on learning days. The multi-faceted focus for each day having various activities which activated core principles or design elements worked really well. I enjoyed the balance between outside and inside time. Your love and commitment to Permaculture shines brightly!" - Larry Popowich
“I am constantly amazed at how much i have learned about everything. I feel I should have already known how it changed my perspective on my gardens, my life, family, nature, the world… I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to open their mind to a beautiful concept or simply broaden their knowledge of what our future will be made of, at least i hope. I do love how it is easy to weave into our own personal busy lives over 4 seasons of observation. It allows us the time to evolve, change, learn, try, fail, succeed and repeat. Thank you for sharing your love, passion and knowledge of something i had never heard of and will never forget. ” - Marie-Eve B.
“Your teaching has changed the way I observe the world. Observing with curiosity rather than judgement. I recommend this course again and again beacuase of the multi faceted teaching style and the dynamic changing venues and continual student involvement and gentle challenges.” - Maureen Witney
“I would recommend this course to any friend interested and committed to leaving this world a better place.” - Sally Holden
"Three years of University and a debt I'm still paying off today and I learnt more about the real world on this course than during that whole time. The majority of my posts, blogs and pub rants have been influenced by this philosophy. If you are interested in the natural world, sustainability, healthy living or just think the current way we do things in society is a little strange I'd recommend checking out Permaculture in some way or another" - Josh Davis www.thechangeiwanttosee.com
"Delvin and Kym are amazing, talented and incredibly honouring and delightful people. Our world is safe and more alive and caring in their hands, thanks to their presence, creativity and commitment." - Robin Clayfield
Module 1: Introduction to Design
- Group introductions
- Course orientation & requirements
- Group goals and guidelines
- Communication (NVC and conflict resolution)
- Indigenous learning principles, learning styles & multiple intelligences
- 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
- Orient participants to course content
Module 2: Foundations of Permaculture
- History of Permaculture
- Know the Permaculture ethics and the Transition ethic and how to apply them to conscious decision making
- 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
Module 3a: Design Methods
- Needs, Functions and Outputs
- 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
Module 3b: Design, Media & Participatory Design Presentation with Mark Lakeman
This presentation will walk through numerous examples of design process media. Each example will be presented as a case study, with the images shown in sequence in terms of the evolution of the design. Design project examples will range in scale from modest homesteads, to larger regenerative farm projects, to urban ecovillages and cohousing as well as numerous activist projects.
Module 4: Pattern Literacy
- Physical patterns, emergent patterns, fractal patterns
- Functions of patterns
- Patterns in time
- Behavioural patterns
- Application of patterns in design
- Pattern recognition in nature and technology
- Understand 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
Module 5: Design for 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.
Module 6: Design for Trees
- Ecological function of trees in relation to earth, water, air and energy
- Forest gardens and food forests
- 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
- Be able to integrate trees adequately and appropriately in design.
Module 7: Design for 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
Module 8a: Design for 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.
- Be able 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.
Module 8b: Water with Mark Lakeman
- This presentation and dialogue will focus on doable, localized systems that reconnect people to their place. We will examine ways that people are typically disconnected from the source and story of their water, and in contrast we will look at easy ways to gather, store, use and reuse water that is simply falling upon us from the sky. Gravity fed systems will be emphasized, including how water related designs are integrated with other permaculture systems.
Module 9a: Climate
- Climatic factors
- Climate design strategies
- World climate
Learning Goals :
- Understand climate on a global scale
- Learn how to design in order to moderate and utilize climatic factors
- Be able to identify, create and design microclimates
Module 9b: Energy with Mark Lakeman
- With a guiding urge to "get back into a groove with the universe", this presentation and dialogue will focus on passive, carbon negative solutions to meeting needs at the community scale. We will review the forces that we already have free access to in the world, and explore how to design and implement solutions that minimize our impact while maximizing our beneficial contributions.
Module 9c: Natural Building with Mark Lakeman
Module 10: Cool Climate Design
- Cool climate characteristics
- Cool climate design challenges and strategies
- Cool climate design elements, techniques and technologies
Learning Goals :
- Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the Cool Climate.
Module 11: Tropical Design
- Tropical climate characteristics
- Tropical climate design challenges and strategies
- Tropical climate design elements, techniques and technologies
Learning Goals :
- Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics
Module 12: Dryland Design
- Dryland climate characteristics
- Dryland climate design challenges and strategies
- Dryland climate design elements, techniques and technologies
Learning Goals :
- Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the drylands
Module 13: Social Permaculture
- Client interview & designer checklist
- Community building including group processes
- 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 the local economy
- Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.
Module 14a: OS Permaculture
- Permaculture economics
- Urban renewal strategies and design
Learning Goals :
- Be able to identify risks and mitigate disaster using Permaculture design tools and techniques
- Know the steps in building an 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
Module 14b: Village Design with Mark Lakeman
- This presentation will be emphatic on a few core points as we explore numerous exhilarating design examples: That people thrive most when they enjoy interactive relationships within community, and they have access to participation in all systems and scales that affect their own lives. For a point of departure we will review the antithetical systems of colonialism that we presently inhabit, and look at ways that people are retrofitting and revolutionizing the colonial grid in order to find connection and empowerment while they heal themselves and the world.
Module 14c: Legal and Prelegal Approaches with Mark Lakeman
- Like Mark's previous presentations, this subject will be approached from a strong social and economic justice perspective, but especially so this time. Though it has not been officially identified as an issue per se, in fact access to design services, funding, and the where with all to complete projects is of course a huge impediment for most low income and working class families. This list really starts with houseless people. So, in this presentation we will explore the many ways that people work to meet their needs, including people who have the resources to proceed with code-approved and funded projects, people who either need to skirt regulations in order to innovate, or else people who simply must build without authorization in order to survive through the night.
Module 15: Design Futures
- 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
Demonstrations and optional activities throughout the course:
- Design Charrettes
- Earthworks demonstration
- Integrative games
- Compost building
- Soil analysis
- Medicinal plants & preparations
- Plant Identification
- Non-violent communication
Completion Requirements :
- I don’t require those taking the course to participate in the certification requirements.
- Many people take the program and do not do the questions and project.
- No one knows who is doing or not doing this work.
- Those wanting the certification will complete:
- Map and design project
- 100% attendance (no more than 4 missed live classes and all recordings watched)
- Watching all pre recorded media and virtual tours
- Completion of short quizzes on each topic
- Contribution to the online forums
Graduating & 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 program.