Hello there! It's so great to be here (I'm new)! I was wondering what you folks think the BEST ONLINE PDC is out there? I'd like to be certified... but I'm also wondering if this is even necessary at all to achieve my dreams, i.e., get off the grid... making some money on the side before the SHTF would be nice as well.
The only reason you need a PDC certification is if you want to do professional design work where you advertise yourself as Permaculture. Otherwise, I would just get learning! There are so many awesome free resources out there (thanks Paul!), that spending money for something online seems unnecessary to me. From my experience, if you do want to spend some money on your personal permaculture education, so that you are better equipped for success in permacultural homesteading, I would attend a top notch conference where you can make personal connections and ask specific questions of the experts.
The upcoming Permaculture Voices Conference would be high on my list if I were new to the game.
Stick around here a bit, search the forums, ask some questions as things perk your interest. You can learn everything under the sun in this way.
Sorry this info might be too late. The Nashville Permaculture Guild at PermacultureEducation.com has an online PDC. If getting your PDC is the way you're leaning I would recommend this course. The instructors are Alan and Jessica Enzo. I had informally educated myself for years before taking this PDC and they brought out a new complexity to my thinking on permaculture. They were extremely helpful and will allow you to have a much, or as little help and extra instruction as you need. Of course the disadvantage of an online PDC is you have to get your practical learning at home without direct guidance...but such is life.
Here is a free online college course called Welcome To Permaculture
http://mediasite.online.ncsu.edu/online/Catalog/Full/1ec0688b568a4a47a8ca8926e7b4ef1b21 Also if you had your choice attending a PDC is much better than doing one online as you will suck up tons more info being out of your daily routine and into a intense 72 hour course with many other people whom all bring something to the table. It makes a huge difference and its worth the extra cost. If you think about the whole package it doesnt cost much extra as most places include a couple meals a day. Just my 2 cents worth.
I was introduced to permaculture in 2007 and took a local PDC that same year from a very qualified local teacher, Don Titmus. I spent the next 5 years working not only on my own urban property, but building up local permaculture groups (increased membership from 250 to 1700+ in 8 months and organized over 120 classes and tours), founding another action-based group that designed and installed permaculture projects to benefit local non profits (orchards and community gardens, a training program and demo site for autistic adults to learn green landscaping skills, a neighborhood revitalization program, and on an on). So a lot of work on the ground and building community (which is the backbone of urban permaculture).
Then this summer, I did Geoff Lawton's online PDC - it blew my socks off. I think I was just primed and ready for the additional indepth information he provided. It was a huge class and there was a community forum where one could toss around ideas with others in similar situations. So many new teachers, designers, websites, courses etc have already come out of that class. Jack Spirko was one of my fellow classmates. I know he's already released teaching vids. It was AWESOME.
That being said, I would also tout Andrew Millison's online course - he did a write up of it here and showed some student projects - it looks very in depth - I was impressed.
Whichever way you go - a lot of people take the PDC more than once - I really liked the way my PDCs built on each other. I feel like I got really good value for my money from each of them.
Subtropical desert (Köppen: BWh)
Elevation: 1090 ft Annual rainfall: 7"
I took Geoff Lawton's online course last year. I feel that my money was well spent. He does a great job of answering question, and the veterans were a great help too. One of the best parts is that the alumni still have contact with each other and we are bouncing ideas off of eachother.
Add my name to the list of extremely satisfied students of Geoff Lawton's online PDC. An amazing depth of knowledge presented there.
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir
I never even considered the possibility that there could be an online PDC, how cool!
I know a big stopper for some people to go to certified PDCs is that it's not just the tuition you have to worry about covering, the travel expenses can and often do exceed the cost of the course itself. Add to it that for many of us Americans, so many PRI certified courses seem to be happening primarily overseas. It's a daunting expense.
With the PRI certified PDC that's happening at Wheaton Labs this summer, I know they're talking about maybe offering it in some sort of digital context for purchase, but there are a shocking number of logistics to work out with an undertaking like that, so it's still unclear on whether they'll be able to put something together for folks that can't physically attend the course.
I'm hoping we can figure something out though - this is going to be such a great course, and in the US no less - it would be great to make it digitally available to folks if we can get the details ironed out in time.
Here's the link to that PDC Wiki - who knows, maybe we can pull it off!
The Noosa Forest Retreat is a vegetarian Permaculture Community & Education Center from the Noosa Hinterland, Australia, Sunshine Coast. The Noosa Forest Retreat is surrounded by National Park, is registered Land for Wildlife and officially nominated ambassador for a unique area awarded Biosphere status by the United Nations.
With the help of some crowdfunding and the first bunch of early bird students we could build a kick-ass online course platform!
Ian Trew, your principal teacher at the Permaculture Online Course - is a sought after public speaker and known to set you on fire with new ideas. Ian met the co-founders of Permaculture David Holmgren and Bill Mollison at university in late 80s and became inspired to pursue an integrated approach to health of individual, soil, planet and community. He has now worked for over 25 years in areas of permaculture and integrated natural health for both government and private practice and has worked on a range of long term permaculture projects.
Previous students have now gone on to design and implement their own sustainable systems, be involved in third world aid work, teach permaculture and recently winning the prestigious Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC) Award.
We already got great feedback from first students and can't wait to see you on board too!
You can connect with your classmates online, write in forums, send private messages etc
You will get personal support in the forums and you have a whole year to finish the course.
Small personal crew, direct support from Ian and me, ... and co-teacher Christina, environmental scientist from Australia.
Ah yes and me, that's Konrad, I am the web developer and doing the video editing
I signed up for one with Permaculturevisions.com. I would NOT recommend it; for around $700 you get course notes in a PDF, no textbook, and very limited response from the instructor. She has had my final project for over two weeks, and I haven't heard a peep from her, other than "yes, I have it" when I emailed to check after a week had passed. I finally got an email response yesterday, which basically said "well, I'm just really busy." If you go the online route, take time to thoroughly research before you pay.
Also, a great book I'm reading is the textbook oregon state uses for it's class; it's called "Practical Permaculture for home landscapes, your community, and the Whole Earth" by Bloom & Boehnlein, available through amazon.