Do you want to take a

Permaculture Design Certification course?

Please shop around.

Not all of the 72-hour courses offered around the world are alike. Potential students must consider location, cost, venue, teachers, and other learning conditions.

Examine the qualities that have kept our Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course going strong the past eight years.

The Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute’s (FLPCI) summer course offers a curriculum, experienced teaching crew, and hands-on immersion that feels like more than just a class to our many graduates. They talk of a “life-changing” and “paradigm-shifting” event. We agree. It has been for us also!


Our course is long standing. Since 2005, we’ve educated over a thousand students in ecological design at schools and venues including the Cayuga Nature Center, Cayuta Sun Farmstead, Ithaca College and Cornell University.

Our teachers (Michael Burns, Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Rafter Sass, and Steve Gabriel) are experienced both in the classroom and the field. We are professional educators, researchers, and farmers, all with experience working on non-profit projects, demonstration gardens, and design businesses. With ten PDCs taught together, each year has built and improved upon the next. All year  long, meetings between instructors create a high standard for accurate content, up-to-date research, and improved instruction for the diversity of students we teach. Each PDC integrates learning into doing, and we make sure students get a lot of time digging, sketching, inoculating, planting, and observing the gardens, fields and forests of our living demonstration site.


All of our students are part of a learning community, where the life experience of each of us contributes to our learning as a whole. Recognizing the worldwide need and potential of permaculture design we teach a curriculum with integrity. FLPCI teachers are heavily involved with academic institutions and consider research-based information to be an important criteria for the stories and lessons we teach. We want to make sure that the techniques we teach students don’t only sound good, but are tried and true, whether in research, or in reliable field experience.

Our graduates speak

Across the internet and in their communities, FLPCI graduates share what they learned and why they loved the course.  Recently, a student of the Cornell PDC finished his course with a video. The very popular course includes FLPCI instructor Steve Gabriel with Professor Ken Mudge. The video shows some of the field trips we take during the summer course including the Delaware Ave Project, Edible Acres, and The Good Life Farm.



Last year, documentary filmmaker Samantha Mason visited while previous graduates returned to the PDC site to volunteer. Relaxing at a BBQ after just setting up the infrastructure for an upcoming Food Forestry workshop, they describe what they enjoyed about the course. She also interviews instructors.



So, as you shop for your PDC experience, consider ours. It is running in 2014 from July 25 though August 10 in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York.

Learn More…


Please share this information with anybody who might be interested. Thank you.