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Course focus: Permaculture Education


PDC: Permaculture Design Certificate *with Starhawk and Penny Livingston!!


Jun 30 to Jul 14, 2024


On-land at OUR EcoVillage

Earth Activist Training’s Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC)with Starhawk, Penny Livingston and Charles Williams (online) is a most needed and ethical choice for learning in these certainly uncertain times of change. Learn how to design human systems that mimic natural systems, explore climate change adaptation strategies (and the IPCC Report), and use a minimum of energy and resources to create real abundance and social justice. 


This course is for you if you are ready to:

– Embark on new environmental design practices

– Find ways of dramatically reducing energy consumption and changing your lifestyle

– Begin land-based ventures & small businesses

– Realize goals towards self-sufficiency, homesteading, and a next level of DYI

– Learn Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and carbon accounting

– Find your way into ‘Resilient Community/Lifestyle Design’

– Understand that we each have an important role to play in co-creating the future

Related courses:

  • Introduction to Permaculture ( 2.5 days) on-land or virtual livestream
  • Permaculture Teaching Assistant Training (for certified permaculture graduates only)
  • Permaculture Design Upgrade (for certified permaculture graduates only) 

O.U.R. Ecovillage has been teaching this course for decades and is privileged to team up with the Earth Activist teaching team and international learning community for the last 10 years.  It is our shared commitment to bring together:

  • The knowledge and resources of regenerative ecological design to communities with the greatest needs and fewest resources
  • Visionary and practical solutions and personal sustainability to social change activists, and to teach practical skills, organizing, and activism to visionaries
  • The political, environmental, and spiritual movements that seek peace, justice, and resilience


Participants who complete this course will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, accredited by P.I.N.A. and globally recognized as the entry portal to the world of permaculture design.

O.U.R. Ecovillage is part of the wider weave of Permaculture Design teachings in the world and are accredited through the Permaculture Institute of North America – P.I.N.A. By completing certification through P.I.N.A. you are joining a global movement which:

  • Elevates the status and impact of Permaculture by influencing public policy and private development to improve the quality of life for all
  • Brings permaculture solutions to bear on the challenges of social justice, land regeneration, and climate cooling
  • Promotes permaculture pathways to professional development
  • Grants diplomas recognizing excellence and achievement
  • Preserves the integrity and quality of the Permaculture Design Course
  • Facilitates networking among permaculturists

  • Evidence for change & the ethics of sustainability
  • Principles of Permaculture
  • Observation & landscape analysis
  • Ecological planning & design methods
  • Organic food production and food security
  • Climatic factors in design
  • Soils: natural soil improvement
  • Integrated animal systems
  • Water: harvesting, conservation, and management
  • Agroforestry & forest gardening
  • Appropriate technologies & renewable energy systems
  • Mapping & design exercises
  • Techniques and design strategies for both urban & rural applications
  • Ecovillages & sustainable human settlements

Permaculture practitioners are involved in projects all over the world—we have more on-the-ground projects in the Developing World  than the United Nations including food which are grown in and around cities.

Participants from over 60 countries in all regions of the world and from all walks of life have called the Permaculture Design Course “ life-changing, transformative, and enormously affirming.” In the lively company of a diverse group of engaged and motivated people with a common interest in the future of humanity, learning is rapid, multidimensional, and long lasting.

Starhawk (Core Teacher)

Starhawk is a permaculture designer, teacher, and founder of Earth Activist Training, which teaches regenerative design with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism.  She is the author of thirteen books on earth based spirituality and activism, including The Spiral DanceThe Earth Path, and The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, on group dynamics and social permaculture, and her permaculture novels, The Fifth Sacred Thing and City of Refuge. Together with director Donna Read Cooper, she has worked on five major documentaries, including the Goddess Trilogy for the National Film Board of Canada and Permaculture: The Growing Edge. 

Starhawk directs and teaches Earth Activist Training and has been recognized by the Permaculture Institute of North America as a leading figure in the permaculture field and has been awarded PINA’s dual diplomas for excellence in education and permaculture site design.

Penny Livingston (Core Teacher)

Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. She holds a MS in Eco-Social Regeneration and a Diploma in Permaculture Design. Penny is a graduate of the Arven School of Herbal Medicine in Germany.

Penny is co-founder and director of Regenerative Design Institute http://www.regenerativedesign.org and has been teaching permaculture and community resiliency internationally as well as working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and permaculture development field for 30 years. She has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. Penny specializes in design and installation of perennial agroforestry systems, biological water purification systems, site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses, and diverse yield perennial farms.

She has been featured in the following films: Symphony of the Soil by Lily Films and Deborah Koons Garcia, 2012: A Time for Change by Joao Amorim and Daniel Pinchbeck and Permaculture: The Growing Edge by Belili Films and Starhawk.

Penny is currently working at a Permaculture Instructor with Ecoversity and Earth based, online educational organization. www.ecoversity.org


Charles Williams (Guest Teacher online)

Charles, a certified permaculture designer, comes to EAT through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one’s hands is sacred work.

Over the past two decades he has stewarded many pieces of land throughout the United States. His approach simultaneously promotes both preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic. His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management.


Brandy Gallagher (Core Facilitator)

Brandy Gallagher is a founder and developer of O.U.R. Ecovillage. Her life work has been focused around the development of the ‘Decolonizing of Sustainable Community.’ A designer and educator, she has worked with local and international community builders to create the 25 acres Sustainable Living Demonstration Site and Education Centre.

From ‘Comprehensive Development’ land use re-zoning to incorporating holistic new ownership structures, from governance to building codes, from wastewater to closed-loop systems approval – her commitment has been to ‘Lawful Permaculture’ within the Ecovillage and “re-village” movement.

Elke Cole (Guest Teacher)

Elke Cole is a designer, builder and educator specializing in Natural Building. With a background in architecture she has coordinated Natural Building programs at O.U.R. Ecovillage on Vancouver Island, Canada and runs her consultation and design business Houses That Love You Back.

Elke’s work takes her around the globe with projects in Africa, India, and Costa Rica. Her designs are based in Permaculture and value relationships between owners, builders and the natural environment presented at the site.

Elke is one of Cobworks founders. Working with groups on design and leading workshops on building projects has earned Elke a solid reputation in the Natural Building field.

Elke is available for consultation and to facilitate natural building and placemaking projects.

Mark Lakeman (Guest Teacher)

Mark is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone.

Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and it’s various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project, The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

Leila Darwish (Guest Teacher)

Leila Darwish is a community organizer, urban gardener and permaculturalist with a BSc in Environmental Conservation Sciences. Most of her grassroots organizing has centered on environmental justice issues in communities struggling with either the threat of or the enduring legacy of toxic contamination of their land and drinking water. Her focus on grassroots bioremediation stems from a deep commitment to justice and the passionate desire to empower people by providing them with simple, practical, transformative, and accessible tools for regenerative earth repair.

Commitment to Decolonizing Permaculture and Truth and Reconciliation

Healing of the people MUST include healing of the land. 

What is a land acknowledgment and why do we start each circle doing one?  We begin our gatherings by recognizing the longstanding history of the land where we each reside. We name the Indigenous Peoples who belong to the land and to whom the land belongs, and draw attention to the ongoing reality of occupation and settler colonialism. 

As we begin any process towards healing the land, we must know the history of the land,  and who is part of the land we want to heal.  We do this to aim our efforts and intentions towards supporting Indigenous communities, and to inspire others to do the same.

Learn more about Indigenous Peoples of the land you occupy here

Investment Price



  • Dorm or Camping with no linens $390 (upgrade to an available dorm or private room as available)
  • Dorm with linens $440
  • Three meals per day (with snacks) package $550

Cancellation Policy

Accommodations, Courses, Events and all other services

For cancellation with more than 30 days notice, guest will be fully refunded.

For cancellations with more than 21-29 days notice, guest will be 50% refunded.

For cancellations with less than 21 days notice, guest will be charged full amount.

View full cancellation policy, waiver of liability, and house rules

Health and Safety

O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE adheres to the COVID-19 safety requirements set out by the British Columbia Provincial Health Authority as well as the Canadian Federal Health Authority. There are community/staff members at O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE who are living with health concerns. We ask that you are responsible and respectful with their health needs while onsite. bring masks for your own use as needed, and create a response plan for any case in which you may fall ill.

If there are any additional communicable illness concerns, of any sort, which are specific to your health requirements then you must contact O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE at info@ourecovillage.org to make alternative arrangements at minimum 4 days prior to your visit.

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Land acknowledgment

OUR ECOVILLAGE is situated on unceded Indigenous lands. The Coast Salish Peoples are the guardians of these lands and waters where we live, work, pray, and play. Quw’utsun (Cowichan) is a historical place of gathering and Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun/”one-heart one-mind” for many Indigenous peoples.

OUR ECOVILLAGE is committed to regenerate land and all ecosystems while acknowledging and respecting Indigenous knowledge that ensures thriving for all beings; we call this Permaculture.

OUR ECOVILLAGE is dedicated to continuously educating ourselves and our communities about the history and peoples of OUR bio-region, to assist in decolonization and re-villaging as a path towards peacemaking, from local to global.