Transition Whatcom

Anybody interested in a Permaculture Study group following the online class at:

I saw it here a while ago and have been following the free introduction lessons.  They are about to start the Permaculture Course at the end of this month.  A very flexible and reasonable way to get your Permaculture Design Certificate. (or to just learn more about it)

If interested, please contact me!

Thank you,

Monica Sjursen

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Great!  Let me know what you think!

Jennifer C Fredricksen said:
I am interested in learning more about the online option! Thank you Monica :)
Just to let everyone know from what I have seen posted in the permaculture community, on-line permaculture design certification courses (PDCs), have been very controversial and generally frowned upon. There are many affordable PDCs taught by very experienced and knowledgeable teachees offered in Cascadia, where one gets not only the curriculum, but hands-on experience and the comraderie of learning with like-minded students. My gist: LEARN LOCALLY!

Thanks for the feedback.  I am curious as to what the controversy of online classes is. This online class is only a quarter of the program.  The rest is action learning, where you are expected to go out and work in your local area.  (Think globally, act locally?)


I would love to take a permaculture class locally, however, being a working mom it is difficult to get the 3 weeks off to do such a study (and nobody is offering PDC weekend classes locally). Having the flexibility to do it around my own schedule is what lead me to the online class.  I would think this situation might apply to other people here also.


It is my impression that several of the permaculture principles apply to any geographical location. Take ethics, resiliency, efficiency, utilization of edges,  just to mention a few. It might also be useful to note that there are many climates around the world that are similar to ours, and may have plants/resourses/ideas that can be applied here.  Not to forget that some of those offering permaculture design classes locally, took their classes in a different environment, and was taught by an Australian. (The Bullock's)


Of course, it is important to learn the local knowledge, what grows best here, what works here etc.  However, one of the permaculture principles is Diversity.  Diversity is vital to resilience, so why not apply that to learning also.  This online class is an international group of students and teachers, a cornucopia of ideas - whatever I can learn from them, I'll take it!  


In the meantime I will be fitting in as many local garden- and permaculture classes as my schedule allows.

I think it is true that the comraderie and hands in the dirt experience of an "in the flesh" Permaculture Design Course is pretty hard to beat.  However, I've also seen it as a barrier of entry for many folks who can't get the time or money to experience the PDC. 


I think Permaculture needs more diversity in the ways in which it is taught, the audiences it is taught to, and the applications that are emphasized.  I personally think David Holmgren's "Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability" is a brilliant book that deserves to be digested and applied to our entire culture (which is what Hopkins did with the Transition Handbook), and we need more courses for those that don't want to start in the dirt...even though soil is what it all needs to come back to.


I'm thinking of offering a class on Holmgren's principles at the Whatcom Folk School.

Hi Monica! I'm willing to host having you or your permaculture study group to come out to our garden site twice a month on a weekday afternoon.. I'm a long time student of permaculture (& certified designer), and can offer working together in the garden while we discuss what you're learning through your online studies.  Send me a personal message if your interested and want to schedule a time.  If you're a member of fourthcornerexchange I can share what offerings I have posted there.
The social permaculture design aspects can best be learned working & learning with others!
 It would be great to have a study group for the book David mentioned - “Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability” by David Holmgren.
I can highly recommend the 3 wk PDC course that is offered locally on Orcas Island at the Bullock Brothers Homestead, for you to consider for the future, when you desire to take a 2nd course that is onsite & includes the social permaculture aspects & an experience of living lightly on the earth.  They also offer a concurrent summer camp program for youth.
You might find some of the online links & videos I've posted on our Earth Gardens network useful. There is a talk there with David Holmgren too-
I remember seeing the link to the online pdc course you posted, earlier, but have not been able to access who the instructors are and what the quality of the course is. Let us know what you think as the weeks go by!
(I met you & your family at Travis's home).

Hi Heather!  Thank you so much for your offering!  I would love to have a study group meet up at your garden site - great idea!  And David, please do offer the class on Holmgren's principles. I would love to attend!  

I've been spending some time looking at the online course mentioned above at  I came away very impressed by content/curriculum of what they are offering, as it aligns very closely with my interests and ways of thinking. 


Monica, I'm interested in being updated on the quality of this online learning experience.


They call this PDC+++, or Integral Permaculture.  I resonate strongly with both Permaculture and Integral thinking, and I've often thought, and shared with others, that an integrally informed permaculture approach, and a permaculturally informed integral approach would really help both disciplines...and now someone is attempting to integrate them, which is good news.


This "Integral Permaculture" is an innovation for teaching permaculture, incorporating Ken Wilber's 4 quadrants (interior of the individual, exterior of the individual, interior of the collective, and exterior of the collective) and Spiral Dynamics (recognizing and honoring levels of development) for a more comprehensive application of permaculture than is normally emphasized.  Permaculture began with a focus on ecological agriculture (permanent agriculture), and then began to include the built environment, and has continued to evolve to include an application to all culture (permanent culture).   Adding the integral approach is a logical evolutionary step.

I also resonate with other aspects of this PDC+++ course:

* Recognition of Transition Initiatives as the leading edge of social permaculture.

* Curriculum includes important contribution of Howard Odum to Systems Ecology and Permaculture of EMERGY accounting (embodied energy), thermodynamics, and the Maximum Power Principle: all very important if we are to engage with peak oil/energy descent in a meaningful way.


Thanks for the endorsement David. And thank you for elaborating on the class. Being new to the subject I wouldn't necessarily know the difference from a "traditional" course to this one. I have been impressed so far about the leading edge information they are including from so many sources.
The first official class was centered around the question "Why are we (as humans) so slow in learning about Sustainability?", learning to use mind-mapping and questioning the conventional linear approach to studying. Fascinating stuff... Looking forward to getting together to discuss further :)

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