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Permaculture Design Cert. Course

March 15, 2015 - March 29, 2015

Finca Tierra

Fundamentals of Ecological Design

Permaculture is a conscious integrated design system based on ecology and sustainability principles to create resource efficient and productive human environments and reduce our footprint on the earth.  Permaculture provides a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature that provide diversity, stability, and resilience.  These systems yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food for the provision of local needs. Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest gardening, and agroforestry.

Our course offers the standard 72 hour permaculture curriculum for certification recognized internationally by the permaculture movement with a special emphasis on forest gardening in the tropics.  Although we will be in a tropical setting, many of the techniques will transfer directly to any climate.

Finca Tierra is a 9-acre permaculture site and has become an important center for education and community development. Infrastructural systems contain: natural buildings built with local materials ( bamboo, leaf thatch and onsite timber), terraced & medicinal plant gardens, a nursery, seed bank, developing fruit and nut orchards, food forests, native timber forestry, timber bamboo plantings, water-catchment, renewable energy systems, and composting and biological flush toilets.


  • Principles and Ethics of Permaculture Design
  • Site analysis and design, from the tropics to temperate regions
  • Landscape master planning and microclimate design
  • Reading the landscape and pattern recognition
  • Design for climate change
  • Regenerative Land Management and Stewardship
  • Water catchment, storage, filtration, and distribution
  • Biologically based treatment of greywater and blackwater
  • Using greywater in the landscape
  • Natural building techniques and vernacular architecture
  • Plant propagation and grafting
  • Organic horticulture
  • Medicinal plant propagation, usage and preparations
  • Biointensive gardening and seed saving
  • Soil rehabilitation and fertility strategies
  • Orchard design and maintenance
  • Renewable energies
  • Local and Regenerative economics
  • Urban and suburban permaculture strategies
  • Ecovillage design and community building strategies
  • Networking within the permaculture community and beyond



Courses are held Monday through Saturday. Sunday is free for rest or exploring the area. Breakfast is at 7 lunch at 12 and dinner at 6. We cover 12 chapters, approximately one chapter a day, mornings are usually devoted to practical application and afternoons filled with course lecture.

The beginning of the second week usually includes a field trip to an indigenous subsistence farm. Where we overnight in hand built wooden cabins on the edge of a river. A camp fire, swimming and indigenous wisdom and stories are common. We also stop by a mature food forest and taste unusual fruits and spices and get a view of panama. To round it out we also tour a 300 acre eco village looking at animal integration, bamboo building and community scale permaculture.

*We cant guarantee the trip because of weather and other variables (uncrossable rivers, horrendous road conditions) but its never stoped us so far so be prepared for an off site trip.

Program Includes:

72 hour Permaculture Design Course & Certificate


Three daily meals

Internet access

Included field trips

-A trip to the largest system of Coral Reefs in Costa Rica, including 6 species of coral, a wide range of colorful tropical fishes and the occasional encounter of a harmless ref shark or sting ray.

-A visit to a developing 300 acre self sufficient ecovillage.

Program Info: 

– Please register early as the course can and does fill quickly – Course price does not include airfare – $400 USD non-refundable deposit required, Course fees are refundable up until one month before the course – Meals will include traditional cuisine and farm foods – Academic credits are often available to undergraduate and graduate students (inquire with your professor) – Program is taught in English.

$1,300 Tuition

$1,450 (Late registration fee (10% extra) for bookings made less than two weeks before course start date)

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Additional Course Dates:

Summer A   Sunday, May 31, 2015 – Sunday June 14, 2015

Summer B   Sunday, August 2, 2015 –Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fall A   Sunday, September 6, 2015 – Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fall B   Sunday, November 15,2015 – Sunday, November 29, 2015

* Check in is on Sunday at 2pm followed by a brief orientation and dinner, course starts on Monday at 8am.                     Check out is on Sunday at 11 am following breakfast, all course work ends on Saturday.



March 15, 2015
March 29, 2015
Event Category:


Finca Tierra
Play Colces, Puerto Viejo, Limon Costa Rica
View Venue Website

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