I am evaluating different options for PDC. Anyone have any suggestions about which ones are the most highly respected in the community? I'm located in Rhode Island. I can travel minimally and for short periods of time, would need to do most of the learning remotely from home. I have about 2 acres I'm turning into a food forest, so I can practice some methods here.
Agreed, Geoff Lawton's is the highest quality online PDC. Below that, I would recommend Permaculture Visions because it is one of the oldest and longest running online PDCs; it costs less, and it can be started any time of the year. Another one to look at is Open Permaculture which is more for the visual learner, the other one is reading based, and it costs less than both of them. At the moment, I am taking Permaculture Education Center's PDC, and it follows a reading based course with homework and responses from instructors. So far, I like the course, and even though I've read Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, there are still some things to be learned. Then, for a biggg listing of all the options out there, Permaculture Paths lists many things ranging from online to in-person.
What is the goal? Is it to design your property better or become a PDC teacher or consultant? Very different goals and needs.
Lawton's online PDC was awesome. PermaEthos just started a PDC that sounds cool, but no feedback yet. Both are closed until next year.
Ben Falk may have something close in person. Darin Doherty is going to be in the southeast this fall (virginia or kentucky maybe).
To be a PDC it is 72 hours minimum, and usually run straight through. Having one that met like night school with a few days on the weekend for field work would be neat, but hard to do if you want to actually make money at it.
You can buy Paul's DVD's and get a big chunk of the earthworks parts of it (the part no one else covers online for free) and watch the free stuff on Youtube and from the universities out there and get a pretty good overview if you can learn that way. Find all the books in the library, buy the ones you want to keep--Ben Falk, Bill Mollison, Joel Salatin, etc. You can focus in on what you want for your property--the permaculture orchard, the market gardener, etc..
The courses give you varying amounts of information in varying degrees of organization, and a piece of paper at the end. The actual learning is all on you.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
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"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus