Online Permaculture Design Certification Course

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started

Online Permaculture Design Certification Course

with Kym Chi

Featuring special guests;

Mark Lakeman, Julie Parrell, Lori Snyder and Hazel Bell Koski

Because you know there has to be a better way!

Learn to live in a meaningful way that you, your community and the earth all thrive – together!
It is actually possible…

“Now is the time to stop dreaming the dream and have something materialize from it. Kym Chi is gifted in facilitating and providing gracious inspiration for a resilient lifestyle. She showed me the DOOR of practicality and empowered me to STEP IN to the possibilities awaiting me on the other side.”
– Dharlyn Gomez – program graduate.

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” Robin Wall Kimmerer – Braiding Sweetgrass

We are living in a time where the impact we make truly matters. Everyone is a designer of their life. Whether on a small or large scale, the choices we make and the way we design, creates the world around us.

Ultimately, we get to choose how our designs will impact our existence. Will they degenerate and degrade or will they regenerate and advance?

Design on the side of life!

Become the generator of an empowered, connected and regenerative life with Permaculture!

What is Permaculture?

In essence it is:

  • A new way of living – with natures wellbeing at the core.
  • practical framework, based on nature’s operating system, that offers solutionary strategies for designing and creating resilient and regenerative lives.
  • A design approach grounded in Traditional Practices, adding in relevant new scientific technologies.  

I invite you to equip yourself through this interactive, low cost, 19 week online program.

“Kym teaches with high integrity and so much grace. The online Permaculture Design Course was the best online course I’ve done so far. It was interactive and engaging.”
– Kelly Gordon – Somatic Movement Educator

Join with like minded people online to learn about how nature designs itself. Discover how to become more grounded and connected with yourself, your community and the natural world. We will discover how to map and design our land and lives, plan for emergencies and grow food naturally.  Discover new ways to build community and develop a more resilient, positively impactful life.

Whats Included in the Course?
  • Access to 19 Live Online Classes (over 60 hours)
  • 20 hours of pre-recorded content including multiple sessions with Mark Lakeman
  • 3 Live Q&A sessions with Mark Lakeman
  • 3 Live Sessions with Indigenous Facilitators – Julie Parrell, Lori Snyder and Hazel Bell-Koski
  • Develop a Permaculture map and design for a project of your choice with peer to peer and instructor mentorship
  • Ongoing access to a user friendly platform with over 300 lessons, applied homework, demonstrations, course projects and other resources.
  • Digital information sheets that create an over 400 page book.
  • Dynamic discussions, breakout groups and interactive activities.
  • Interactive virtual community space for dialogue with other participants.

Kym Chi is a creative facilitator and this class caters to anyone wanting to learn regenerative design in a dynamic way and in a safe, inclusive environment.

It is a flexible course that considers the busyness of modern life. The class schedule is ideal for creatives, parents, healers, holistic practitioners, entrepreneurs, students and those with dynamic routines.

All live classes will be recorded for participants to rewatch at their convenience. Please read requirements for certification details.

We review many exciting course topics that include Foundational concepts, Design Methods, Pattern Literacy, Soils & Composting, Water, Trees & Vegetation, Animals, Design for cool/tropical/arid climates, Social systems, Native food and medicine plants and more.

This is a unique course with an exciting teaching tool kit that transforms lectures into games and group discussions and focusses on multi dimensional learning. Apply your learnings to the focus project for the program which is to start a map and design for where you live, an area or project of your choice.

Successful completion of this course offers graduates a legitimate and formal certificate through Permaculture Institute (

Investment –

This program is valued at $888.
Special accessible rates in effect to reflect our current times!

I have decided to lower my program rates due to the current recession we are in. Requests for scholarships are also increasing due to financial crisis. If you have financial means (you are able to easefully pay for shelter, healthy food, proper clothing and transportation then also have “fun” money), please consider the pay it forward option to support those without means to access a scholarship.

Alternate payment plans available on request.

Additional discounts available for Indigenous folks from Turtle Island. Please inquire via email for details.

Some Partial & Full Scholarships are available for those in true financial need. Please email for details.


The program starts on Thursday May 4th and runs until Saturday September 23rd, 2023

Classes will run weekly on Thursday evenings 5pm – 7pm PDT and Saturday Mornings from 10am – 11:30am PDT
with optional classes on some Tuesday evenings.

Full detailed schedule can be found below.

Core Facilitators

Kym Chi

“My name is Kym Chi! I am of Scottish, English and German decent, and now gratefully settled on the unceded and stolen lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, neighbouring with the shíshálh Nation. I am consistently working to decolonize myself and develop meaningful, respectful relationships and the land wherever I am.

I am the main facilitator of the Permaculture program.

I see myself as a dedicated healer, grounding myself in service through earth stewardship, people care and regenerative action. As many women are, I am dynamic with many interests. My main focuses are on life and land connection through Permaculture design and Herbalism. I am a creative force and also offer group facilitation, visual art, intuitive healing.

I love learning and have spent alot of time taking courses and classes. To date, I have received 3 certificates in Permaculture Design, completed multiple teacher trainings, taken a variety of advanced trainings, completed a Diploma in Permaculture Education and have over 2000 hours facilitation experience. I have been blessed to have studied and taught with Permaculture Visionaries like Rosemary Morrow, Robin Clayfield, Starhawk, Robina McCurdy, Mark Lakeman, Michael Becker, Toby Hemenway, Larry Santoyo and Scott Pitman.

Many years ago, I developed a love of plant medicine and became a chartered Herbalist. Since, I have completed advanced herbal studies with Susun Weed, Dina Falconi, Barbara Cotgrave, Robert A. Bartlett and Matthew Wood. With a love of learning, I continues to take courses that grow my understanding of the natural world.

Beyond my more formal studies, I have done an immense amount of self study and have spent a large amount of time heightening my intuitive skills, learning to connect with myself and the world around me to develop a deeper trust in my own inner knowing and guidance system.

Through the stewardship and a deepened connection with the environment, my hope is to inspire connection with the natural environment, oneself and the greater community to invoke creative self expression and value centred living, encouraging a more empowered and regenerative culture.

I am happy to spend most of my days playing in the garden, connecting with plants, making medicine and preserving food. You will often find me in the forest, the creek or swimming the ocean. I loves doing sound journeys with my husband Chris and my dear friend Laura. In the solitude of winter, I enjoy working on creative projects. Throughout the year, I travel regularly to teach and am currently the Dean of the School of Permaculture Design at Pacific Rim College.

I hope to meet you in the programs I offer and look forward to sharing my love of the natural world with you!”

Mark Lakeman

Mark Lakeman teaches multiple pre recorded sessions in the Online Permaculture Program and also offers multiple live Q&A sessions.

Mark is the co-founder of the non-profit placemaking organization The City Repair Project, and principal of the community architecture and planning firm Communitecture. He is the founder of The Planet Repair Institute’s Urban Permaculture Design Course in Portland which has run annually since 2011. The program was adopted by City Repair in 2019. Mark was the lead instructor of the program until 2020.

With City Repair, in 2003 Mark was awarded the National Lewis Mumford Award by the international organization Architects & Planners for Social Responsibility for his work with Dignity Village, one of the United States’ first self-developed, permanent communities by and for previously homeless people.

Guest Facilitators

Julie Parrell

Julie Parrell teaches the Indigenous Perspectives – Decolonizing Permaculture class in the Online Permaculture Program. She is a Queer Métis facilitator and healer who was raised on her traditional lands in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lori Snyder

Lori Snyder teaches the Wild Weeds, Native and Medicinal Plants Class in the Online Permaculture Program.

Lori is an Indigenous Metis herbalist and educator with a deep knowledge of wild, medicinal and edible plants that grow in everyday spaces.

Hazel Bell-Koski

Hazel Bell-Koski facilitates the Radical Interconnection class in the Online Permaculture Program.

Hazel is a self-directed multidisciplinary artist and a storyteller. She is a woman of mixed Anishinaabe, Finnish, Irish, and English heritage.

Who is This Course For?

This program is for you if you:

  • Want to create more resilience and abundance in all areas of your life.
  • Are new to or experienced in Permaculture strategies and techniques (all levels are welcomed!)
  • Are seeking positive change for yourself and the world.
  • Looking for new ways of living that are more in alignment with your values and with the natural world.
  • Want to become more empowered as a designer of your life, livelihood, garden and community!
  • Would like to learn how to observe, design and maintain a garden and grow your own food.
  • Desire to better understand the natural world around you.
  • Are looking for ways to save time, energy and money while also conserving the environment.
  • Want to apply Permaculture to your existing profession, create a regenerative business or gain employment in regenerative design.
  • Would like to build a more  connected and resilient community.
  • Enjoy learning in a dynamic, inclusive and creative environment that honours people for who they are.
  • Dream of a better world that you believe is possible and desire to move away from degenerative ways of life.
  • Are hoping to meet like minded people and contribute to positive change.
  • Seek a , high quality and unique program.

Course Schedule

All dates take place in 2023.

  • Thurs May 4 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Introduction to Design
  • Sat May 6  – 10am – 11:30am PDT- Introduction to Design
  • Date TBA –  Decolonizing Permaculture – Indigenous Perspectives with Julie Parrell (OPTIONAL)
  • Thurs May 11 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Foundational Concepts
  • Sat May 13 –  10am – 11:30am PDT- Foundational Concepts
  • Thurs May 18 –  5pm – 7pm PDT – Design Methods
  • Sat May 20 –  10am – 11:30am PDT- Design Methods
  • Date TBA – Wild Weeds, Native and Medicinal Plants (OPTIONAL)
  • Thurs May 25 –  5pm – 7pm PDT – Patterns
  • Sat May 27 – 9:30am – 1pm PDT – Patterns
  • Thurs June 1 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Soil
  • Sat June 3 – 10am – 11:30am PDT – Soil
  • Date TBA – Radical Interconnection with Hazel Bell Koski (OPTIONAL)
  • Thurs June 8 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Trees
  • Sat June 10 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Trees
  • Thurs June 15 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Animals
  • Sat June 17 –   10am – 11:30am PDT – Animals
  • Date TBA – Q&A with Mark Lakeman  (OPTIONAL)
  • Thurs July 6 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Water
  • Sat July 8 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Water
  • Thurs July 13 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Water
  • Sat July 15 – 10am – 11:30am PDT – Water
  • Thurs July 20 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Climate
  • Sat July 22 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Climate
  • Thurs July 27 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Cool Climate Design
  • Sat July 29 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Cool Climate Design
  • Thurs Aug 3 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Tropics Design
  • Sat Aug 5 –  10am -11:30am – Tropics Design
  • Date TBA – Q&A with Mark Lakeman (OPTIONAL)
  • Thurs Aug 10 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Dryland Design
  • Sat Aug 12 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Dryland Design
  • Thurs Aug 17- 5pm – 7pm – Social Design
  • Sat Aug 19 –  9:30am – 1pm PDT – Social Design
  • Thurs Aug 24 – 5pm – 7pm – Social Design
  • Sat Aug 25 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Social Design
  • Date TBA- Q&A with Mark Lakeman (OPTIONAL)
  • Thurs Aug 31 – 5pm – 7pm – Social Design
  • Sat Sept 2 – 10am – 11:30am PDT Social Design
  • Thurs Sept 7 – 5pm – 7pm – Design  Presentations (part 1)
  • Sat Sept 9 –  10am – 1:30pm PDT – Design Presentations (part 2)
  • Thurs Sept 14 – 5pm – 7pm PDT – Design Futures
  • Sat Sept 16 –  10am – 11:30am PDT – Graduation


“Kym shares so much knowledge and heart in this PDC, It is impossible not to fall for Permaculture. I found so many ways to integrate Permaculture into my life on a small scale immediately, and plan and dream of Permaculture possibilities for the future. I am eternally grateful”

Paige Inglis

“I feel so lucky that I was able to take this class! It opened up so many ideas for me to integrate into different facets of my life.”


“Co-create, Open heartedly, Vision, Inspired, Do-ocracy.  This course has a wealth of information and practical ideas for retooling our culture so we can collectively heal and regenerate ourselves, our communities and our common Earth home. Kym masterfully facilitates a learning, inclusive class space. Through the evolving lens of permaculture , all our neighbourhoods can be revitalized and enriched. Thanks to Kym and all my classmates, I carry a seed of hope growing deeper roots. “

Denise Legasse

“This is a great course, Kym Chi is an inspiring teacher who cares passionately about the course content and about engaging her students to learn and absorb the material. She makes it fun on many different levels.”


“This course was very enjoyable and informative. Kym is a supportive and engaging teacher. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in permaculture.” 


“I loved this course and would recommend it to everyone interested in making a difference. Kym is so knowledgable and shares what she knows in an inspiring way. Permaculture is now within me and I will follow is path always.”


“I can’t think of a more versatile and empowering course for our current times. Learning specific regenerative skills and strategies with a like-minded group, clear and empathic instruction and above all, a hopeful outlook was invaluable to my life right now.”


“Kym was such an open-hearted teacher. I felt like everyone in the course was made to feel comfortable and heard. The content of the course was presented in a very approachable way and while it was a large volume of information, it never felt like the class moved too quickly. Everything was given the time it needed to be spoken about. So many of the lessons in this program felt applicable to a variety of aspects of my life and I feel like I am more capable in both my abilities as a gardener and a person.”


“Even if you have all the knowledge in the world, there is a profound learning to be gained from this quietly impactful facilitator. Kym Chi offers more than just a Permaculture Design Course, it is an experience that will leave you seeing new colour in everything you look at.”


“Kym Chi is an excellent teacher, her coursework is very thorough and draws from a variety of experts and methodologies in the field of Permaculture. Kym is compassionate and brings out the best in her students. I highly recommend her Permaculture course.”


“What a wonderful class and wonderful people to share, learn and grow with. Opened my eyes to a new way of living!”


“Kym teaches with high integrity and so much grace. The online Permaculture Design Course was the best online course I’ve done so far. It was interactive and engaging. The materials provided on the course platform helped my learning and I appreciate how I can review the recordings from our class anytime. Kym helped me feel safe, seen and acknowledged. She kept on time and respected the space. As well, her knowledge of Permaculture is clearly extensive and deep. I learned so much! Thank you Kym! I’m sure I will study with you again!”


Program Content​

Module 1: Introduction to Design

  • Group introductions
  • Course orientation & requirements
  • Group goals and guidelines
  • Communication (NVC and conflict resolution)
  • Indigenous learning principles, learning styles & multiple intelligences

    Learning Goals
  • Set a course culture of safety, respect and organization
  • Create a positive & effective learning environment
  • Encourage active listening in groups
  • Value different ways of communicating
  • Orient participants to course content

Module 2: Foundations of Permaculture

  • Definitions
  • History of Permaculture
  • Ethics
  • Principles

    Learning Goals:
  • Know the Permaculture ethics and the Transition ethic and how to apply them to conscious decision making
  • Gain a strong understanding of nature’s principles and how they are at the foundation of design decisions and application
  • Provide awareness of the world’s problems and the current situation
  • Shift from a place of problems to positive solution based thinking
  • Feel confident in defining Permaculture clearly to others

Module 3a: Design Methods

  • Needs, Functions and Outputs
  • Zones
  • Sectors
  • Mapping

    Learning Goals:
  • Understand how to do a needs & yields analysis
  • Gain a base understanding of closed loop systems
  • Observe a site, document and recognize available resources and design constraints based on analysis.
  • Identify energies or influences that effect a design site
  • Be able to create a base map including zones & sector analysis for a site
  • Know the basic elements included in mapping a site

Module 3b: Design, Media & Participatory Design Presentation with Mark Lakeman 

This presentation will walk through numerous examples of design process media. Each example will be presented as a case study, with the images shown in sequence in terms of the evolution of the design. Design project examples will range in scale from modest homesteads, to larger regenerative farm projects, to urban ecovillages and cohousing as well as numerous activist projects.

Module 4: Pattern Literacy

  • Physical patterns, emergent patterns, fractal patterns
  • Functions of patterns
  • Patterns in time
  • Behavioural patterns
  • Application of patterns in design
  • Guilds

    Learning Goals:
  • Pattern recognition in nature and technology
  • Understand the functions of patterns in nature and how to apply that knowledge to effective design
  • Gain Pattern literacy and understand how to replace dysfunctional patterns with functional ones.
  • Know the functions of and feel confident designing guilds
  • Recognize that pattern literacy is fundamental in becoming good designers

Module 5: Design for Soil

  • Soil biology
  • Soil classification and testing
  • Biodynamics
  • Soil remediation
  • Composting
  • Soil indicators

    Learning Goals :
  • Have a base understanding of the components of healthy soil and know the value of building soil.
  • Know different ways to test soil
  • Recognize different plant indicators and what they tell about soil health.
  • Understand a multitude of different ways to remediate and build soil.
  • Apply different composting techniques in appropriate situations.
  • Identify key plants that bring nutrient to the soil.

Module 6: Design for Trees

  • Ecological function of trees in relation to earth, water, air and energy
  • Succession
  • Polycultures
  • Forest gardens and food forests
  • Plants as soil indicators
  • Design for trees

    Learning Goals :
  • Understand the ecological functions of trees and recognize them as a keystone species in the ecosystem
  • Learn the stages of succession and how to intervene at appropriate times.
  • Know the layers in a forest garden and different plants for each layer that grow locally
  • Be able to integrate trees adequately and appropriately in design.

Module 7: Design for Animals

  • Design for wild and domestic animals
  • Animal care
  • Integrated pest management

    Learning Goals :
  • Recognize the intrinsic characteristics, functions and outputs of animals
  • How to meet the needs of animals on site
  • Learn techniques for integrating animal systems
  • Understand effective and healthy ways to handle pests
  • Know how to safely and ethically live with wildlife

Module 8a: Design for Water, Aquaculture & Earthworks

  • Water facts
  • Water conservation
  • Water strategies & techniques
  • Waste water treatment
  • Water harvesting & storage
  • Earthworks
  • Aquaculture

    Learning Goals :
  • Understand how global water issues can affect us on a local level.
  • Be able to do a water audit.
  • Recognize multiple ways in which to conserve water.
  • Feel confident in applying strategies and techniques to capture, store, treat and release water safely and appropriately.
  • Know how to calculate roof water catchment amounts.

Module 8b: Water with Mark Lakeman

This presentation and dialogue will focus on doable, localized systems that reconnect people to their place. We will examine ways that people are typically disconnected from the source and story of their water, and in contrast we will look at easy ways to gather, store, use and reuse water that is simply falling upon us from the sky. Gravity fed systems will be emphasized, including how water related designs are integrated with other permaculture systems.

Module 9a: Climate

  • Climatic factors
  • Microclimate
  • Climate design strategies
  • World climate

    Learning Goals :
  • Understand climate on a global scale 
  • Learn how to design in order to moderate and utilize climatic factors
  • Be able to identify, create and design microclimates

Module 9b: Energy with Mark Lakeman

With a guiding urge to “get back into a groove with the universe”, this presentation and dialogue will focus on passive, carbon negative solutions to meeting needs at the community scale. We will review the forces that we already have free access to in the world, and explore how to design and implement solutions that minimize our impact while maximizing our beneficial contributions.

Module 9c: Natural Building with Mark Lakeman

Module 10: Cool Climate Design

  • Cool climate characteristics
  • Cool climate design challenges and strategies
  • Cool climate design elements, techniques and technologies

    Learning Goals :
  • Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the Cool Climate.

Module 11: Tropical Design

  • Tropical climate characteristics
  • Tropical climate design challenges and strategies
  • Tropical climate design elements, techniques and technologies

    Learning Goals :
  • Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics

Module 12: Dryland Design

  • Dryland climate characteristics
  • Dryland climate design challenges and strategies
  • Dryland climate design elements, techniques and technologies

    Learning Goals :
  • Learn how to effectively design homes, gardens, farms and communities in the drylands

Module 13: Social Permaculture

  • Client interview & designer checklist
  • Community building including group processes
  • Governance 
  • Land access
  • Right livelihood
  • Legal structures
  • Bioregionalism

    Learning Goals : 
  • Gain confidence in the consultation and design process for clients.
  • Be able to map assets and resources and identify community needs.
  • Understand different models of decision making and how to apply them.
  • Learn tools to provide for healthy group dynamics and efficient process.
  • Recognize opportunities for land access locally.
  • Become aware of ethical and effective business models and legal structures that support the local economy
  • Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.

Module 14a: OS Permaculture

  • Resiliency
  • Permaculture economics 
  • Urban renewal strategies and design

    Learning Goals :
  • Be able to identify risks and mitigate disaster using Permaculture design tools and techniques
  • Know the steps in building an emergency preparedness plan and engaging local community in the process
  • Learn a variety of different economic strategies and the value of utilizing multiple currencies and tools
  • Feel confident in utilizing place-making tools, techniques and Permaculture strategies in urban environments

Module 14b: Village Design with Mark Lakeman

This presentation will be emphatic on a few core points as we explore numerous exhilarating design examples: That people thrive most when they enjoy interactive relationships within community, and they have access to participation in all systems and scales that affect their own lives. For a point of departure we will review the antithetical systems of colonialism that we presently inhabit, and look at ways that people are retrofitting and revolutionizing the colonial grid in order to find connection and empowerment while they heal themselves and the world.

Module 14c: Legal and Prelegal Approaches with Mark Lakeman

Like Mark’s previous presentations, this subject will be approached from a strong social and economic justice perspective, but especially so this time. Though it has not been officially identified as an issue per se, in fact access to design services, funding, and the where with all to complete projects is of course a huge impediment for most low income and working class families. This list really starts with houseless people. So, in this presentation we will explore the many ways that people work to meet their needs, including people who have the resources to proceed with code-approved and funded projects, people who either need to skirt regulations in order to innovate, or else people who simply must build without authorization in order to survive through the night.

Module 15: Design Futures

  • Next steps (setting up a permaculture practice, further education, community involvement, goal sharing)
  • Education (accessibility, open source, alternative education)
  • Mapping and design presentations
  • Talent show
  • Certificates

Completion Requirements :

The certification from The Permaculture Institute granted upon completion of the course, empowers participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers. Graduates can use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This unique certification is a practical path for upgrading your life, resume and portfolio. There is no time limit to complete the certification. Working toward certification is not a requirement. Students may attend the course without completing the material required to attain the certificates. It’s a fun way to journey with likeminded people with experiential education. 

I don’t require those taking the course to participate in the certification requirements. Many people take the program and do not do the questions and project. No one knows who is doing or not doing this work.

Those wanting the certification will complete:

  • Map and design project
  • 100% attendance (no more than 4 missed live classes and all recordings watched)
  • Watching all pre recorded media and virtual tours
  • Completion of short quizzes on each topic 
  • Contribution to the online forums

Certification Requirements, Graduating and Jobs

Completion Requirements :

The certification from The Permaculture Institute granted upon completion of the course, empowers participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers. Graduates can use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. 

This unique certification is a practical path for upgrading your life, resume and portfolio. There is no time limit to complete the certification. 

Working toward certification is not a requirement. 

Students may attend the course without completing the material required to attain the certificates. It’s a fun way to journey with likeminded people with experiential education. 

Many people take the program and do not do the questions and project. No one knows who is doing or not doing this work. 

Those wanting the certification will complete:

  • Map and design project
  • 100% attendance (no more than 4 missed live classes and all recordings watched).
  • Watching all pre recorded media and virtual tours.
  • Completion of short quizzes or activities on each topic. 

Graduating & Jobs

Having a Permaculture Design Certificate from a recognized training institute will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. You will have a green edge when applying for jobs, grants or school program.