Permaculture Design Certification Spring 2014

Doug Crouch teaching the basics of plant propagation before the hands on session in Malaysia (2009)- a topic that will also be covered in this course
Doug Crouch teaching the basics of plant propagation before the hands on session in Malaysia (2009)- a topic that will also be covered in this course

This-Land’s 7th Annual Spring Weekend Permaculture Design Certification will teach you how to design and begin to implement the creation of a regenerative culture, the path of the next millenium, starting at your back door.

We will cover the following of Permaculture design:

•  principles and methods of design as well as the process
• ecology and its synthesis with agriculture
• regenerative building , foundations of renewable energy
• roof to river water management
•  resilient community design and much more.

In collaboration with the Cincinnati Permaculture Guild, this five weekend course is lead by Doug Crouch of TreeYo Permaculture. Doug is an internationally accomplished permaculture teacher, having facilitated PDCs (Permaculture Design Certifications) throughout the Caribbean, Eastern and Western Europe, East Asia, South America, and the US. Back home in the Midwest, he is involved in design work, site development, and local economy.

The course will also include a great variety core teachers from the greater Cincinnati area including Grailville, Enright Urban Ecovillage, Wind Dance Farm, Greensleeves farm and much more. This course is a life changing event and has inspired and impacted the lives of 80 plus students in the Cincinnati Region.

The five weekend format allows for ample time for students to digest the material, get hands-on experience and work on the final design project and presentation, all the while fitting into a busy lifestyle. Between the urban and the rural sites we will observe and learn directly from a blend of established systems and exploratory projects. The course will be both a great example of regenerative broad-acre practices and small-scale intensive Permaculture; Urban and rural.

The Course: Format and Content


The course will be a certified  through TreeYo Permaculture and This Land Inc. as we are guided by Bill Mollison’s curriculum that comprises the 14 chapters of his book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual”. Our schedule reflects this commitment and has a strong emphasis on how the design principles and process influence site develop and systems management. We will cover the following topics throughout the course:

▪ Ethics, Principles, and Methods of Permaculture Design
▪ Pattern Understanding: Interpretation and Application
▪ Climatic Factors: Broad Climatic Zones and Microclimate – Effects on Landscape and Design
▪ Water: Harvesting, Conservation, Purification, and Revitalization
▪ Trees and their Energy Transactions: SoilWaterTrees
▪ Soils: Classification, Food Web, and Restoration
▪ Aquaculture: Food Web, Aquatic Plants, Chinampas, Tyre Ponds, Water Quality Parameters
▪ Animal Systems: Integrate worms, chickens, goats, and many other animals in your design
▪ Strategies for Tropical, Dry-land, and Temperate Climates: Influences on Vegetation, Housing, and Earthworks
▪ Introduction to Natural Building: Earth as a Building Material
▪ Fermentation and Nutrition: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Sourdough Bread and Pickles
▪ Local Food Systems:  CSA-Community Supported Agriculture,  Cooperatives, Food-Coops
▪ Social and Economic Permaculture: Bio-Regional Organisation, Living in Communities, Transition Towns and Local Resiliency
▪ And last but not least: A journey into our local ecosystem that is incredibly biodiverse and a unique food forest in its natural structure.

Final Design Projects

Students will iteratively prototype designs in class that will be critiqued and learned from by all.
Students will iteratively prototype designs in class that will be critiqued and learned from by all.

The course will end with the required student design projects that will utilize a local landscape somewhere around town.  The sites often come from the students themselves or apart of our local network. By using an actual physical site for the design projects, students will gain the experience of completing a full design from walking the land during the initial assessment to mapping and measuring to client interviews and final presentations. It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the local permaculture scene as often the projects are carried onward.

The design project process increases learner retention by allowing for immediate application and direct practice of learned skills while offering a means to evaluates students’ comprehension of the theory and lecture sections of the course. All of which are necessary to become successful, effective, and certified Permaculture designers.
The final design project is also considered to be a direct hands-on project because students will be engaged in a process that will yield a viable design proposal. Our commitment to practicing the design principles throughout the course process itself reinforces the theory and lecture sessions. To bring the material alive we engage in facilitating the course so that numerous learning styles are supported. One of our teaching techniques is through design exercises that compliment the lecture material and add an element of fun to the atmosphere.

For more information visit the following page: Previous Courses by Doug Crouch and TreeYo Permaculture.

The Hands-On Segment

Rain garden installation from a previous course taught by Doug Crouch.
Rain garden installation from a previous course taught by Doug Crouch.

Another integral part of the course is the hands-on segment because it integrates the techniques directly to your body. Proposed hands-on segments for the course are:
▪ Hot Compost Pile Making and turning throughout the course to address fertility
▪ Small-scale Earthworks to address rainwater runoff issues and feed associated plantings
▪ Plant Propagation as a way to learn different techniques to quickly fill up a site with useful plants at a low-cost
▪ Food Fermentation as a way to connect food production with culture with health and season extension
▪ Final Design Project for immediate application and direct practice of learned skills

The Teachers

Doug CrouchWith nearly 20 PDC’s facilitated, TreeYo Permaculture facilitator Doug Crouch will be putting on this weekend course that he has been apart of for years in Cincinnati.  Doug will once again act as the main facilitator of this year’s course. His formal background is in the ecology of the local forest type and has been practicing and teaching Permaculture for over seven years in different parts of the world covering all climatic zones. He holds a Diploma in Permaculture Education which demonstrates his commitment to crafting his creative facilitation style. Click on the following link to read more about this facilitation style and the resources we are happy to share.  Furthermore, to view some of the presentation you can expect during the course via PowerPoint, please visit Doug’s slideshare account at the following:

Patrick Sherwin: A local expert on renewable energy will present his enthusiasm on this vastly important topic.

Ande & Lauren Schewe: A farming family in Indiana will share their long running experience with Permaculture as Ande truly is the pioneer of Permaculture in Cincinnati.

Suellen Schupe: A member of the Enright Urban Ecovillage who will lead us through the neighboorhood.

Ryan Doan: Urban Greens founder will share his model of economic development for urban and local foods

Braden Trauth: Cornerstone of the movement here in Cincinnati for many years will share his perspective on what makes a permanent culture.

Patti Walker: Will share her experience with organic gardening.

Ananda: Our catered lunches, featuring local foods, will be prepared by one of our guild members who will bring us delightful tastes from our local region.  On our full days, we will have the chance to congregate around food and share in our fall abundance.

Other guests are sure to stop by and impart their experience with Permaculture in this region and beyond.

The Hosts

Between the urban and the rural sites students will receive a blend of established systems and exploratory projects to learn from. We will see larger scale production of both plant and animal life with rotational grazing helping to steward pastures and alley cropping systems. In the urban areas, water harvesting and the development of biologically diverse landscape in and amongst unique social contexts will be present. With that the course will be both a great example of regenerative broad-acre practices and small-scale intensive Permaculture. The blend of the two produces learning opportunities of various scales, which will enhance the experience beyond just the beauty of our unique and extremely biologically diverse temperate climate and forest type.

A few examples of what can be seen on the sites:

▪ Small scale intensive gardens and burgeoning food forests
▪ Water harvesting earthworks of small and large-scale and tank systems
▪ Alternative habitation techniques to enhance urban communal living
▪ Greenhouse technology for season extension along with other appropriate technology examples
▪ Artistic examples of site development utilizing varying animals, structures, plants, and water features.

The Regional Context

Cincinnati and the tri-state region provides a wonderful backdrop for Permaculture in this unique Midwest context. Its uniqueness is defined by its topography, hilliest city in the Midwest, and the subsequent challenges with landslides because of our high rainfall totals on clay soils. We also are in a fairly conservative market, this isn’t Portland or Burlington where sustainability took off many years ago. Rather we have been pushing the envelope here to increase people’s consciousness around food security, social justice, and rebuilding a skill base that will take us into an abundant city scape. The city is dominated by many Fortune 500 companies but our grassroot organizations within the Cincinnati Permaculture Guild have allowed us to work with these giants and the local councils, not just against them.

It’s a diverse crowd that we engage and are composed of as well as the scopes and scales of projects we work on. Some have production farms, like Andy and Lauren out in Indiana or Gretchen in Kentucky. Some live in eco-villages, Suellen in the urban one and Mary Lu in the rural one. Some of us live in the burbs or the hip parts of town like Northside or OTR. But we are all striving to be producers, and this is what it is about for me now, collaborating with people who resonate with the following quote:

“…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

Many Reasons to Join Us!

The Cincinnati Permaculture Guild and the tri-state region offer a great location and context for learning Permaculture!
▪ Come and be part of a community that is dedicated to forging a local economy through strong interconnectedness around food, water, and shelter at our very basics.
▪ The sites offer a diversity of contexts and ages of development to learn from.
▪ Gain environmental literacy through a University level course. with a diversity of ways to learn
▪ The Design background enhances your ability to join projects, lead community movement, and save money along the way to abundance.
▪ The Confidence to be a Permaculture consultant and practitioner in the future is one of the most valuable qualities that students will develop during the course due to the numerous site applications, international staff, creative solution successes and varied micro-climates. The world needs YOU!
After all, it will be a fun learning experience sure to give a new perspective on everyday surroundings and bring inspired solutions to the table. Let Permaculture be the systematic approach to make change in the world and your local community alike. Learn to turn Problems into Solutions, to Work with Nature not Against, and how Everything…yes every THING…gardens!!!!!


The following weekends (Friday dates are evenings from 6-9 pm):
• Feb. 28, Mar 1, 2
• Mar 7, 8, 9
• Mar 15, 16
• Mar 22 (with an equinox celebration that night and camp out)
• Mar 29, 30


Greensleeves Farm, Home Meadow Song FarmImago at the Enright Urban Ecovillage, and Parkwalk Permaculture

Course Fee



*Due to PayPal’s 3% transaction fee, and our tight budget, an additional $18 have been added to the course fee if paid with credit card. Direct transactions via PayPal are not subject to this transaction fee and can be sent to

*Deposit will be subtracted from course fee due in late February.

Permaculture Design Certification: Spring 2014
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