How to make the best of an Online PDC


#TogetherWeRise #permaculturewomen

Let’s face it: if you have the chance to do your PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) with an inspiring, caring and experienced team of teachers and have enough time to learn at your own pace, share, ask questions, make connections and work on your design, it really doesn’t matter whether your PDC is in an off the grid farm, in the middle of the city, in a jungle or online…

PDC’s are measured by how much they actually embody permaculture ethics: Care for the Earth, Care for the People, Care for the Future/Fair Share, not the number of pointless swales you dig (even when digging swales may be fun!)

Yes, being with other like-minded people, eating and sleeping under the same roof and living what you’re learning is a powerful experience. But for many, that experience has been oppressive and disempowering, even traumatic: if not checked, permaculture can be yet another place where you feel inappropriate and pressured to perform, ignored, abused or just plain lost.

Even if you have a good time, PDCs are like a gourmet buffet: you are exposed to many amazing options, but it will be up to you to take one and develop it further. The core of a good PDC (in person or online) is to allow you to explore systems, understand nature’s principles and explore strategies that may lead us to a more resilient, sustainable future.

Many PDCs are sadly designed to be afforded only by certain segment of the population and be a huge sacrifice (in many ways) for others. A PDC in a remote and exotic place or an off the grid homestead may be an amazing adventure, but how many will apply what they learn there in their own lives? And how many could afford it?

Add to the list the time away from family and work, the cost of flying and accommodation and the major cost to the Earth in the form of carbon footprint, and you have a recipe for yet another amazing tool hijacked by our capitalistic and colonizing system, which takes even the best solutions and twists them against those in the back seats.

Online, while not as fancy and exotic, provide many benefits:

  • Reduced costs make the PDC more accessible to those who need it most
  • An online PDC can reach areas where there’s no permaculture guild or PDC teachers available
  • Plenty of time to read, watch the videos, interact with caring and experienced instructors and consultants as well as other permaculture learners
  • Enough time to digest the content, apply in your household and/or community and come back with questions
  • Ste-by-step assignments which will guide you through real-life observations and design applications towards your final design
  • A design framework that can be transferred and applied not only to a landscape but to any system: your food, water or energy systems, livelihood and community resilience, just to name a few
  • We stop hurting the Earth further by saving unnecessary trips
  • A PDC that applies where it’s most needed: your life, your local community and your household and not an elitist or faraway dream of going off the land (but you can completely apply it to the design of that future if you want!)
  • The opportunity to meet and engage with local as well as faraway people in meaningful and lasting ways

Here are some tips to make the most of your online PDC:

  • Apply permaculture to the design of your own learning process: project-manage your time, health, energy and screen time along with nature time and hands-on involvement
  • Engage other local people, so you may create a study/work group and design together in your own community
  • Organize your time: separate a few hours a week to try the things you are learning: engage a friend or family member, so both learn together!
  • Participate in the forum, you’ll learn from your peers and the 40+ instructors who can interact with you
  • Create or join a local permaculture Guild or Network and start applying what you learn by sharing and teaching others
  • Contribute to the growing global community: like in any ecosystem, every single one of us has a role (or more) and a gift (or more) and wouldn’t function on her own, reach out to discover and share yours!

Still in doubt?

Explore and join a community of 40+ women permaculture practitioners who designed this course for those who want to make a difference but may not be able to afford an in-person PDC.

Open to women, men, LGTBQ and those from visible and invisible “minorities” that make up the majority of this world.


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