From Blank Slate to Abundance

HOW TO DESIGN A PERMACULTURE FARM THAT PRODUCES AN ABUNDANCE OF FOOD, REGENERATES THE LAND AND BUILDS SELF-SUFFICIENCY

(Without endlessly searching the Internet, feeling overwhelmed and getting stuck in analysis paralysis)

Are you currently staring at your bare land, overwhelmed by the endless possibilities? Feeling stuck on step 0: where do you even start?

You’ve heard about all these cool permaculture features: swales, ponds, keyline, food forests…You’ve seen all the videos, read all the books and articles about all these permaculture farms working in harmony with nature, stacking functions, producing an abundance of food with almost no work…

And now you’re wondering how to create that permaculture abundance on your own land…

Well, as you know (and as everyone is going to tell you), fundamentally, everything in permaculture starts with a good land design and a plan. Without it you can’t really know how to start setting up your farm and what to put and where. Essentially, you don’t know how your farm will look and operate!

So it seems like all you need to do is put your permaculture designer hat on and design your property with permaculture principles in mind.

Easier said than done, right?

Permaculture design is this mysterious concept that everyone keeps talking about but it’s hard to convey. Hey, it’s a complex science, as many would like you to believe.

PUZZLED BY PERMACULTURE DESIGN? NO WONDER!

There are more than a million resources on permaculture design on the Internet. A simple Google search reveals about 14 million results pointing to a huge variety of pages, forums, articles, videos, podcasts…

There are 854 books on Amazon that are related to the topic of permaculture design, from Zen and the Art of Permaculture Design to A Designers Manual, but even the holy bible of permaculture design, Bill Mollison’s A Designers Manual can easily overwhelm you with information, as anyone who’s read it and lived to tell the tale can confirm.

Then there are PDCs, sometimes months long, involving thousands of dollars of investment, which frequently transform lives but just as often leave you in the dark when it comes to the exact design process.

So it’s not like the information on permaculture design is not out there, it’s just that there is too much information, it can quickly get costly, and it’s not structured in a way that makes the design process easy to follow.

With all the glut of vague information available, it’s easy to get stuck and then feel frustrated by the lack of progress and lost time.

And time is something we can’t afford to lose…

THE WORLD IS CHANGING AT AN ACCELERATED PACE, HERE IS WHY YOU NEED TO START PLANNING YOUR FARM TODAY

​​Climate extremes, supply chain disruptions, economic shocks, geopolitical conflicts…

Unless you already have your permaculture property set up and are self-reliant enough to not ‘sweat’ about it, you may have noticed that since 2020, we’ve been hit with crisis after crisis. 

It may have all started with the pandemic and the extraordinary response to it by the governments around the world, but then it all quickly translated to supply chain issues, material shortages, rising fuel costs, and as of recently, runaway inflation. 

In this short period of 2 years, the world has been destabilized so much that full-scale military war between world powers seems more plausible than at any time in the last 75 years.

A lot is happening, and given the inertia of current trends, we could very much still be in the early days of “the great unraveling” that lays ahead. 

The ordinary people are getting pressed left, right and center, and there is a build-up of resentment, anger, and frustration toward the ruling elite. People are increasingly showing dissatisfaction by protesting on the streets, while governments are accelerating their efforts to control the populace under the justification of safety and climate change.

This decade will be pivotal in our fight to set things straight for humanity as a whole and the planet we live on. 

Because here is the thing:

Although this current crisis is not desirable, it is in some ways necessary to allow us to create a new system that’s not exploitative of nature or people and goes even beyond being sustainable into a truly regenerative process to heal the planet.

So right now, this is our moment; it’s time for us permaculturists to be the guiding light we need in the world and lead by example. First, we need to prepare to weather this storm and provide for our needs, and then, as the dust finally settles, we need to showcase a better way of living, producing food, and working with the environment.

As day to day life for most people becomes more challenging, they’ll start to look for alternatives, and we’ll be able to show them with our example how they should proceed.

This is the time to act decisively and start building that better future, but…

THE DANGERS OF DESIGNING YOUR FARM WRONG

Designing a property according to permaculture principles is challenging. 

That’s why most people tend to avoid it and then randomly implement things around their property, having no idea how it all connects…

Or

They try to Google and DIY it, and then fall short on key ideas that make a design – a permaculture design.

In both cases, without a well-thought-out plan, they are unknowingly sentencing themselves to years of unnecessary hard manual labor, stress and uncertainty, and money down the drain.

You see, on a permaculture farm you need to have all these different farm elements working in harmony together, you need to have dedicated growing zones, fencing enclosing these zones and following roads, roads following water lines, water lines following geography…Yep, ensuring that these elements work in synergy sounds complex, all right!

The reality is, without taking the time to properly design your farm, you could be planting things in the wrong location and then watching them die, putting the roads on the wrong spot and then pouring away money maintaining them year after year, doing swales to sink the water when the soil was already oversaturated…

This can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars spent in vain, irreversibly lost time and even broken relationships. Scary… and all you want is to do the right thing for yourself, your family and the environment.

But you know what’s even worse?

Being so afraid of getting it wrong that you get paralysed. Trying to find the “perfect” design, and getting nothing done… 

I’ve helped over a thousand students design permaculture farms and homesteads in the last 6 years, and I’ve seen this happen over and over again. 

Let’s look at two farms I know to see how it plays out in practice.

THE DANGERS OF OVERWHELM:
Why People Run from PDC to PDC But Never Complete a Design They Actually Implement

During the pandemic when everyone’s movement was restricted, reality sank in for Dan … 

Like many houses there, Dan’s was small with no yard of its own. They had a balcony where his wife grew plants and vegetables but she could only do so much given the limited space. 

So Dan bought some land and decided to develop it using permaculture principles and techniques. Around the same time Sarah did the same. 

They were similar in many ways:

  • Both had watched YouTube videos and read some of the classic permaculture books, but still couldn’t figure out where to start. They had too much information but were unable to design the farm in terms of where to put what to make the best use of their land
  • Both were overwhelmed by the endless possibilities of a blank slate. Had ideas for parts of it but struggled to organize them, put them on paper, and describe them to others. 
  • Neither was a “spring chicken” anymore with a lifetime in front of them like folks in their 20’s… They needed to get work implemented on their properties while they were still able.

But within a fortnight, those similarities disappeared.

Dan was still going through his PDC’s “introduction to permaculture” module and learning about big scale permaculture systems. Great to know for a professional designer – but, frankly, not relevant to Dan’s situation as a homestead owner 

Sarah, on the other hand, had already finished her design. She had a masterplan for her site that told her exactly where to put things to maximise the potential of her land in accordance with permaculture principles.

Best part? It was a design that could be implemented in phases so that she could pay for it as she went rather than taking out any loans. 

Now, 5 years later, Sarah doesn’t just have a design. She has a farm. She implemented the design and built out a fully-functioning permaculture property that provides for her family’s needs while doing the right thing for the Earth. 

Dan has a pretty certificate that costs $1500+. No design. No farm

After taking two PDC’s that were amazing and life-changing, he felt overwhelmed and intimidated with all of the information. While he understood most of the concepts, when it came down to actually applying them, he still had no clue where or how to start.

​​Blank Slate to Finished Design in 2 Weeks vs Still Stuck After 5 Years:
What Made The Difference

Have you ever wondered what makes this kind of difference in people’s progress? I know I have.

It isn’t that Sarah is a professional designer who can draw in Illustrator, Autocad and Land Architect, and Dan isn’t. (Neither of them had any drawing skills.)

It isn’t that Sarah had a huge plot, while Dan’s land was too small for permaculture techniques to be applicable. (Both had quite modestly sized plots.)

It isn’t that Sarah is young and at her physical/mental peak, while Dan is cresting 60. (They are roughly the same age.)

The difference is actually much simpler: 

Sarah learned a step-by-step process with practical design tips (“You put your house here because it’s in a sheltered microclimate protected from the winds”) instead of getting lost in unactionable principles (“Energy efficient planning”). 

Let’s look at how that played out over 5 years

​​Time-Lapse: 5 Years of Overwhelm & Analysis Paralysis

YEARS 1-3. Dan has been reading and loosely researching permaculture over the past 3 years.

While he feels it is in alignment with how he wanted to manage the farm, he is by no means an expert, has not had any formal training, and often feels lost as to how to incorporate the different aspects all together

He read multiple books and watched too many videos on YouTube that convinced him to go this route, but none of the books actually helped him make a plan and get feedback on his plan.

Dan wants to make the best use of his land. Knowing what to plant and build where so he’s not fighting the land or spending a bunch of time preparing to plant a particular crop in a certain area when there is already a good space for it that needs less preparation is just using good sense, after all!

He truly believes in the principles of permaculture but is kinda frustrated that no-one tells you how to start.

And now that he has bought some land, it has left him with a blank slate. He has ideas for parts of it but he struggles to organise them, put them on paper, and describe them to others.

Lots of design issues to work through, and it seems a bit overwhelming.

So he decides to take an online PDC, thinking: 

“I need a step by step plan. What exactly I should focus on, in what order. And which of the myriad tools will work best in my context.”

YEAR 4. PDC starts. After 7 months of permaculture theory, Dan finally gets to the design exercise. 

“Oh my gosh, all this information, where do I even start?! And how exactly do I DO these steps?”

He has too much information but is still unable to design the farm in terms of where to put what. He is getting bogged down in details.

And quite frankly he doesn’t get the kind of personal feedback he was expecting to get to solve site-specific issues, because he had to wait for office hours, weekly Q&A sessions, and talk to team members instead of the expert he signed up to talk to. 

Year 4: Month 9. Post-PDC, Dan does not feel like he took away enough practical knowledge of how to design/implement his vision. He does not feel like he has the tools necessary to assess a site and make a good design. 

Meanwhile, Sarah has long since finished her design, got 1:1 feedback on it, and is implementing it with confidence.

​​Time-Lapse: 5 Years of Overwhelm & Analysis Paralysis

Like Dan, Sarah is confronted with the proverbial ‘blank canvas’ and wants to make as few mistakes as possible.

She is buying a new property and doesn’t want to lose any time getting it set up.  She wants to go into the property with a master plan: that is,  an overall design for water (as in ponds/swales etc), road, utilities, house location, and a better idea of what she can grow on the land for personal consumption as well as possible sale. 

She wants and needs to hit the ground running.

So she signs up to work with me.

YEAR 1. MONTH 1. WEEKS 1-2. Sarah’s goal is to create a well-thought-out plan in 2 weeks without sacrificing quality so that she can start implementing and setting up the farm as soon as possible. And that’s exactly what she does:

-> She goes through clear, methodical steps for designing a permaculture property, and discovers exactly where and how to get her information for site assessment.

Unlike Dan’s PDC, it’s a training that is easily translated into actual actions that can be implemented in her small holding: A step by step process laid out in worksheets, with a focus on implementation, and the support to pull her head out of the detail which had been holding her up without her really realising it. 

-> She identifies the strengths and weaknesses of her land, so that she can mitigate the less desirable aspects of the property and put her energies towards the most beneficial projects first. 

-> She determines the best spaces for future buildings, trees, animals, and symbiotic planting areas. The course provides the framework she need to move forward and showed him how to put the pieces together.

-> ​​She learns how to transfer her ideas on paper for her husband to see (with his technical mind). 

-> She maps out a step by step plan: what exactly to focus on, in what order. And which of the myriad tools would work best in her context.

-> She runs the design past a professional (me) for feedback and I make sure she doesn’t overlook anything significant. This gives her the confidence to implement the design.

By the end of Week 2, she has a design and a layout of her permaculture farm: something tangible to go implement on the property. 

Ultimately, that design also functions as a permaculture plan she can execute on over the years of owning her property: 

A roadmap that describes the way forward so she has an idea what to do and when. What to put where (and why); how to care for the soil; what to watch for and be attentive toward… 

Best part? 

It’s a design that can be implented in stages, without having to take out any loans. So it removes the ‘it’s too big for us to start right now’ – ‘it’s going to be too expensive’ thoughts from her mind.

She walks out of the programme with a sense of “yes, I can do this!”

… with the motivation and confidence to move forward with the practical work on the site 

… and the self-esteem that she could do it on her own and have the flexibility and skill to alter her initial designs as life requires, because she finally understands the Why of things and can adapt the design with time or need. 

She proposes the plan to her family, and illuminates a better way for present and future generations.

REST OF YEAR 1. She digs out swales to harvest rainwater runoff and rehydrate the land, seeds cover crops to improve the soil, and plants trees and shrubs to start her food forest.

She is excited to heal the land, making some parts a natural sanctuary, and creating a lower maintenance permaculture farm. Her daughter and grandchildren will be enjoying the fruits of her labours long into the future…

YEARS 2-5. Over the years, she gives back to the community by creating a sustainable farm and gardens for others to learn and to enjoy. She teaches children about where their food comes from, how to farm/garden sustainably and how to be self-sufficient.

By the end of Year 5, she is no longer a woman with a dream. She is the woman who made her dream come true. An inspiration to others. 

Now imagine if you could emulate Sarah’s success instead of Dan’s mistakes. Wouldn’t that be great?

As it turns out, there is a simple framework you can use to design your permaculture property without spending thousands of dollars, feeling overwhelmed, and losing years of your life on internet research or PDCs… 

… and today I’m going to share with you what that is.

But first, you may be wondering, “How’d you figure all this out William?”

HOW I TURNED MY PROBLEM INTO A SOLUTION AND CAME UP WITH AN EASY DESIGN PROCESS THAT WORKS

Hi, I’m William Horvath, a permaculture designer, farmer and creator of Permaculture Apprentice.

I’ve helped hundreds of people seeking to live a more sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle go from analysis paralysis to designing the permaculture property of their dreams.

Like many of you I’ve long dreamed of having my permaculture farm and creating my own permaculture paradise.

This dream became my obsession during my career as a geologist. At the time I had many positive experiences, and I earned a good wage in doing it. Still, overall my work was contributing to environmental destruction, and for a nature-oriented person like myself, that fact was morally tortuous.

So in 2016, I decided to leave my engineering job and take over my grandparents’ farm. This was an amazing opportunity, only – as many of you have also experienced – it turned out not to be as easy as I hoped. I was suddenly overwhelmed by what to do first and how to set things up correctly.

What I was missing was a plan that outlines a clear set of goals…

Not long after, I decided to take a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and, although this was a fantastic experience and helped me to start thinking in the right direction, I was actually hoping to get a step-by-step process for creating a design for my farm, yet instead all I got was vague guidelines. I felt out of my depth…

As a result of this, I was forced to clarify and come up with that design process myself. So, I dove into the permaculture literature, and read many books and countless blog posts. I listened to innumerable permaculture podcasts covering all aspects of permaculture design. Since I started my website, I’ve consulted with experts in the field and learned from them about permaculture design and their methodology.

Many of the permaculture gurus, such as David Holmgren, Mark Shepard, Stefan Sobkowiak, Richard Perkins were happy to share information with me about how they organized and designed their farms, and today I share that wisdom with my subscribers and students.

Over 160,000 people read my website every year (1 million+ website visitors in the last 6 years), and more than 28,000 have signed up for my newsletter. This shows how sought-after this type of information is by novice permaculture farmers and homesteaders.

All of the research I’ve conducted over the years has led me to develop a simple process that I used to design and plan the layout of my farm and one that I use today in my consultation work. It builds on the previous work of great permaculture designers but it’s tailored, simplified and adapted to the needs of a land-owner designer.

So every time I’m faced with designing a piece of land, I have a framework and set of instructions on what precisely I need to do. I don’t have to constantly think about what my next step should be. I can relax knowing that the process works, and today I want to share this framework and this design process with you.

There are a lot of voices in Permacultre and sustainable agriculture these days, but I’ve never found one more reliable, insightful and useful as William Horvath and Permaculture Apprentice. The way that he connects the dots from a wide variety of progressive practices such as holistic grazing, food forestry, keyline earthworks and many more, can only come from someone who has put them into practice through experimentation and constant observation.

Oliver Goshey

Author, Consultant, Natural Builder, Abundant Edge, LLC

Williams content is a “go to” resource for anyone wanting to build freedom for themselves by establishing their own self reliant systems. In my opinion, he is overly generous with his all inclusive, hands on, step by step instructional material. Any contribution whether it be time, money and/or energy for his information will certainly yield 10-100Xs your investment.que.

Justin Rhodes

Film producer, author and teacher, Abundant Permaculture

WHY EXISTING PERMACULTURE RESOURCES OFTEN LEAVE YOU WITH UNFINISHED (OR IMPRACTICAL) DESIGNS

After working with 28,000 email subscribers and over a thousand students, I’ve come to the conclusion that existing permaculture resources are simply not designed in a way that makes the design process easy to follow.

#1. They show you examples of huge farms with unrealistic resources (paid labour, fat checkbooks etc)

These are some of the best permaculture properties on the planet:

They are absolute masterpieces of smart design.

But look at your own plot: Do you really have access to 100 acres , paid staff and volunteers each season, and a multimillion dollar budget for building commercial farm infrastructure (greenhouses, roads, house, drainage network…) from scratch?

Probably not.

Modeling your design after celebrity farms is an expensive mistake. Those properties are often manageable only because they have hundreds of unpaid interns helping out behind-the-curtain.

Please don’t buy into the myth that you’ll use free unpaid labor when developing your permaculture property. Like you have probably seen permaculture celebrities do.

It might help you to kickstart things, but in the long term it’s not sustainable and it’s potentially dangerous for a solo farmer/homesteader to establish systems that depend on so much outside free labor.

What are you going to do when for some reason (such as…let’s say a pandemic) people stop coming, and you can’t find volunteers or interns?

Let’s be honest, then you’d have a huge management and maintenance issue on your hands and your dream farm could turn into a nightmare.

And at any rate, as subscriber Naomi points out:

“The reality for most of us is that we don’t have access to loads of volunteer labour and get paid like a superstar for our books and teaching.”

That’s why you need a permaculture design that you can implement as a one-person show with finite funds.

Let’s explore how these unrealistic teaching examples hobble you:

First, because you are mimicking these massive designs, you are more likely to force a design on land that can’t support it.

For example, long swales across the whole property rehydrating the landscape are a great water harvesting strategy. Unless… the land is too steep, too wet already, has plenty of organic matter, or is covered with a thick forest. In that case, you are working against the natural tendencies of the land – which complicates your life, makes things harder on yourself, and wastes resources.

Second, you run the risk of designing something you cannot manage in your retirement – especially as a solo farmer without unpaid labour.

For example, having vast swaths of property “open” as pasture means that you must actively maintain that pasture, so it remains a pasture. This is fine when you have animals roaming there and the energy and time to manage them. Remove the animals from the equation somewhere down the line, and you potentially have a “vast” liability on your hands, as now you will have to “graze” acres and acres of grass somehow.

Third, it often results in a design you can’t implement incrementally with your existing budget and equipment. So you have to take out huge loans and trap your family in debt. Or you postpone indefinitely because it feels “too big/expensive” to start.

Here is what you should do instead:

First, when you’re designing your property, choose permaculture elements that work for your specific plot size.

For example, if you own only 2 acres of land, you should design your perennial food production systems using food forests or permaculture orchards instead of agroforestry.

Second, make sure that your design can be implemented in stages.

The truth is, those of us who will be implementing our own designs are going to do it incrementally as time and budget allow. We’ll be learning as we go, changing our minds based on feedback from the site and family members and other decision-makers.

Third, conduct site assessment to make sure that your land can indeed support your design/vision. Then do the math and calculate how much you actually need to plant to meet your needs.

For example, a family of four will eat some 180 kg (~395 lbs) of potatoes in a year. To grow this amount of potatoes, you’ll need to plant around 400 seed potatoes, roughly taking out 100 m2 (1000 ft2) of space.

Mind you; this is space required just for the potatoes! So if you’ve only fenced off, for example, 200 m2 (~2000 ft2) for an annual garden in your design, that simply won’t work. Given everything you would need to grow to be self-sufficient in vegetables, especially other staples, you’ll have to double the garden space and cut back from another established system to make room.

Lastly, make sure you can get 1:1 feedback from the expert you actually signed up to learn from (rather than less experienced team members). That expert will alert you if you’ve designed something that will become unmanageable in your retirement and help you scale it down.

“RIGHT, COME TALK TO ME WHEN YOU’RE DOING THIS ALONE! ”

Have to say that is one of the things I love about what you say and do. YOU are doing it. That is very encouraging and inspiring.

There are a lot of educational programs out there. A lot of people are showing how to do things the permaculture way. However many of them also have dozens of younger strong men helping.

I just have to laugh and say right come talk to me when you are doing this alone when you are pushing 60! (…)

Then there is a lack of understanding that for every system or project you complete that then needs to be maintained. No matter the minimal time it may take or how you streamline chores it still takes time. That time takes away from building new systems or projects. So the more you grow the slower growth and progress can happen.

– Danelle R.

“OVERPLANNING ONLY TO BE DISAPPOINTED, AND UNDER-PLANNING ONLY TO END UP WITH A JOB HALF-FINISHED. THIS COURSE SAVED ME FROM BOTH!”

I would say that the course really helps focus your ideas and bring them into the real world. I appreciate the method of doing a large amount of research and planning before you start work, but not so much that you get stuck in the design phase. I can relate to both overplanning only to be disappointed, and under-planning only to end up with a job half-finished. Knowing what to do next is invaluable.

Erin D.

#2. They overwhelm you with theory instead of giving you practical design tips

Most permaculture resources give you principles. They don’t give you the practical design instructions you actually need (such as: put your house here because of x, do y because of z).

For example, I remember reading one of the most recent books on the permaculture design process. In the design section of the book, it kept talking about principles and methods of design, but there were no practical design tips.

I kept thinking, “Ok, but where exactly do I put the road on my property?” I sifted through the whole 30 pages of that section and couldn’t find that one sentence of practical advice I needed: put your roads on the ridges or contours so that they are easy to maintain and require less energy to travel and install.

Now let’s explore how this focus on unactionable principles (instead of practical design tips) hobbles your progress:

First, you get overwhelmed with all the information – especially if you lack permaculture experience and don’t come from a farming family.

Second, you end up with lot of ideas for parts of your property, but you have no idea how to tie it all together.

That’s why you need practical design instructions/tips/recommendations that outline what to put where and why, automatically connecting all the design pieces into a greater whole…

… instead of getting lost in more permaculture theory and unactionable principles.

“GETS STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. PRAGMATIC!”

 A positive aspect of your course, in my view, is how you get straight to the point, a pragmatism that knows where you are going. And you do this through very objective tools, with clear and punctual instructions.

– Bruno N.

“EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR: A MORE SYSTEMATIC, STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE!”

 I’ve been collecting lots of information recently and the reason I took your course is because it already became a mess in my head 🙂 This course is exactly what I was looking for – a more systematic, step-by-step guide.

Stefan V.

“PERFECT FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START!”

Your course is perfect for so many people who are blocked and wanting to design their land into farms but don’t have yet the skills to know where to start, like me. So many ideas but how to put them into reality in a structured manner. So thanks !!!!

Barbara D.

#3. Those programmes are designed for professional designers, not farmers/homesteaders like you

Of course they teach you to make complex, unnecessary illustrations in front of your computer using expensive software…

Of course they put you through 8 MONTHS of permaculture theory, ranging from the unsustainability of the current system to soil microbiology, from wet tropics to arctic climates (90% of which, by the way, will be irrelevant to your own property)…

You’ll need it if you are going to charge thousands of dollars to design for other people’s properties in wildly different contexts: deserts, prairies, boreal forests, islands, seashores… 

But if you are just looking to design your own property so that you can start developing it asap, 90% of that is noise not signal. 

And it isn’t just unnecessary; it’s actually counterproductive – especially for someone who is just starting with permaculture. 

First, creating detailed designs can be overwhelming. 

You need to come up with all these minuscule details and connections, usually before you have much practical experience on the site. 

On top of this, you need to express yourself artistically, drawing by hand or using complicated computer software. Just this alone is enough to discourage some people from ever trying to design.

Second, you get bogged down in details and lose sight of the woods for the trees. 

That’s why I’ve seen people go through FOUR (!) PDCs and STILL make “type 1” design errors – like using swales where they are not appropriate, placing a garden in full sun without providing adequate water, placing a driveway on the wrong side of the house – mistakes which are prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to fix later on.

Because they forget the fundamentals. 

Third, it’s unnecessary to go into so many details upfront. The plans we make need to be flexible and tested immediately so we can get feedback from the site as soon as possible.

You see, permaculture involves a lot of learning by doing. So as soon as you break the ground, you might learn something new, such as the soil in this location being too shallow. This real-life feedback might require you to change your beautifully illustrated detailed plan, and you went to all that trouble to ‘paint’ a root cellar right in that location. 

That’s why I’m a big fan, for us land-owner designers, of keeping our designs on a conceptual level without going into overly detailed plans upfront, basically working out those details as we go.

To my mind, this is the best way to establish a property as a landowner/designer…

And this is something I heard David Holmgren, the permaculture co-originator, talk about doing when he was establishing his property. 

Recently in his book Retro Suburbia he even said that the typical permaculture design process needs a retrofit! (Suggesting we need to look at the big patterns before jumping to technical solutions.)

Plus, now you can relax, as you don’t have to worry about creating beautiful illustrations and making ridiculously detailed decisions ahead of time.

That’s why I teach my students a different approach to permaculture design. 

We won’t be inventing anything new, as laws of permaculture design are immutable, but we adapt the process to your needs as land owners/designers and make it easier for you to start taking action on the land… 

…because at the end of day that’s the only thing that matters – practical results in real life. 

With the systematic and practical approach to permaculture design that I outline, you’ll be able to create a layout of your permaculture farm or homestead with all of its essential systems for growing food, managing water, optimising infrastructure.  

Then, with that plan in your hands, you can start implementing immediately and take practical steps towards establishing a resilient and self sufficient property that provides for your needs while helping nature to thrive.

“AFTER TWO PDC’s I FELT OVERWHELMED AND INTIMIDATED WITH ALL THE INFORMATION. THIS COURSE FINALLY GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE TO TAKE ACTION!”

After taking two PDC’s that were amazing and life-changing, I felt overwhelmed and intimidated with all of the information. While I understood most of the concepts, when it came down to actually applying them, I had no clue where or how to start. William’s course breaks everything down in layman’s terms and gives a clear step by step process that will give you the confidence to take action.

– Stephanie M.

“I HAVE TAKEN 4 PDC’s BUT YOURS MADE MUCH MORE SENSE TO ME! IT WAS THE GLUE THAT BROUGHT EVERYTHING TOGETHER!”

Your course is by far the BEST I mean the VERY BEST!! I have ever taken. I have taken 4 PDC courses and yours made much more sense to me. It was the glue that brought everything together. If I had not taken the other courses it would have been fine. Yours gave me everything that I was looking for in a way I can understand and work. You have uniquely combined ALL learning styles in one fast easy simple fully packed course.

Danelle D.

“EXACT INSTRUCTIONS AND STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH. GREAT TO COMPLEMENT A PDC!”

I like your course as an adjunct to Lawton’s, particularly the exact instructions of how to make the base map and all the layers from various websites etc.I’ve never seen anyone else do that, and I very much appreciate it. I also appreciated the step by step approach, and it encouraged me to really think harder about what my goals really are for this property.

Roz K.

“IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD THE TIME OR MONEY FOR A FULL ON 2 WEEK PDC THIS IS DEFINITELY THE COURSE TO TAKE!”

Permaculture Apprentice Farm Design Course by William Horvath – If you can’t afford the time or money for a full on 2 week PDC this is definitely the course to take. He breaks everything down step by step in layman’s terms. Even after I had already taken 2 PDC’s there was still so many things I didn’t understand. Not because they weren’t explained well mind you, but because the information was so massive and overwhelming that I couldn’t absorb all of it at the time. William’s course is organized in a way that makes it manageable so you can apply it to your own land.

Anon.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID THESE DESIGN PITFALLS?

You need an actionable design framework tailored to your needs as a landowner designing your own farm (instead of the needs of a professional designing for other people).

In short, you need a set of practical design instructions that outline exactly what components to put where (water features, roads, fences, growing areas…), and what’s the permaculture reasoning behind each choice.

This greatly simplifies the design process and makes it step-by-step, while still abiding to the overarching permaculture principles of working with nature, making connections, energy efficiency, creating redundancies…

Most importantly, it allows you to hit the ground running, and start implementing your permaculture plans ASAP.

“NO MORE INFORMATION OVERLOAD. A STEP BY STEP ACTION PLAN IN LOGICAL, UNCOMPLICATED LANGUAGE.”

I have done other courses in permaculture and have experienced information overload at times with no idea which foot to put before the other to get started with my own farm.
William’s course gave me a step by step action plan but above all in a logical uncomplicated language that I can follow and I don’t feel lost!

-Brian C.

“PERMACULTURE DOESN’T FEEL LIKE A MYSTERY ANYMORE. I FINALLY FEEL A SENSE OF ‘I CAN DO THIS’! SO EMPOWERING!”

I do feel a sense of “I can do this” finally! I first learned about permaculture 20 years ago, and it has continued to feel like a mystery in many ways–and I have felt like I needed to depend on experts other than myself–to do design. so this is so empowering!

-Patricia M.

“BEST COURSE I HAVE TAKEN! CONNECTED THE DOTS OF ALL OF THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPTS AND ELEMENTS.”

… this was the best course I have taken to help me connect the dots of all of the permaculture concepts and elements. I now have a step by step plan of how to develop my homestead.

-anon..

HERE’S HOW I CAN HELP YOU

You will no longer have to spend your days watching YouTube videos, reading articles or philosophical permaculture books, navigating the sea of complexity, hunting down simple instructions on how to design your land but instead you’ll be working on your permaculture masterplan and know exactly what design steps to take.

You will no longer be anxiously staring at that blank canvas, stuck in trying to decide what to do first. Instead, you’ll finally start executing your plan bit by bit, day by day and making progress towards your goal of healing the Earth, producing an abundance of food, leaving a legacy for your kids and feeling at ease and optimistic about what the future holds.

You will no longer feel like a permaculture amateur, not confident in your knowledge, afraid to implement any significant changes to your land, feeling small and insignificant compared to more established growers. Instead, you’ll be knowledgeable and confident enough to put your plan into action, manage your farm, and share your wisdom with others, and contribute to the growing permaculture movement…

I have a simple system that will help you achieve all of that!

INTRODUCING THE PERMACULTURE FARM DESIGN COURSE

THE SIMPLEST, EASIEST WAY TO DESIGN YOUR PERMACULTURE FARM WITHOUT SPENDING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND LOSING YEARS OF YOUR LIFE ON INTERNET RESEARCH

If you can spare only an hour a day for the next two weeks, I can help you create a design for your permaculture farm so that you can finally make a start on converting your land into a permaculture abundance.

This online course is the culmination of my research into permaculture farm design. To create the material I’ve dissected many permaculture books, videos and study notes from workshops, and systematically laid down the entire design process.

I’ve packaged together everything you need to know about permaculture farm design so you can start planning your property with confidence today. The best thing is, you can achieve this without having to invest thousands of dollars on a PDC, 16-week live coaching, a permaculture consultant or endlessly searching the Internet and winging it on your own.

It’s like A Designer’s Manual but with simple easy-to-follow instructions that clearly lay down the nuts and bolts of the design process so anyone can understand it, regardless of their level of design experience. Even if you have never designed anything in your life, even if you’re just starting out in permaculture, this course will help you to come up with a permaculture design for your farm.

Once you’re in the program, you’ll receive specific and simple actionable material with practical advice guiding you through the entire design process, so you won’t feel overwhelmed. With a plan in hand you’ll finally be ready to move from analysis paralysis to getting your hands dirty creating the permaculture paradise you’ve always dreamed about.

Is Permaculture Farm Design Course Right For You?

Now you might be wondering, “Is this course right for me?”

If you can say “YES” to any of these questions…

… I believe you’re PERFECT for the course:

-> Do you have a piece of farmland that you want to develop and have no idea of how to proceed with it? (You are confronted with the proverbial ‘blank canvas’ and want to make as few mistakes as possible.)

-> Are you buying a property and don’t want to lose any time getting it set up?  (You want to go into the property with a master plan. You want and need to hit the ground running.)

-> You do not own a piece of land right now, but you want to be prepared and get a feel for what you should do in the future? 

->You don’t have a PDC or it’s been many years since your last PDC and you don’t feel like you took away enough practical knowledge of how to design/implement your vision?

-> Are you overwhelmed? (You’ve been reading and researching permaculture over the past X years, and often feel lost as to how to incorporate the different aspects all together.)

-> Do you want to get an idea of how to go about developing your retirement farm the right way, and not turn it into something that you cannot manage on your own in the future?

-> You prefer reality to fantasy. You know you won’t have a massive team to assist or hundreds of young unpaid interns, it will be you. You need the design to reflect that. 

Sounds like you?

Good.

Let me walk you through everything you’ll learn inside the Permaculture Farm Design Course, and what makes it different from other design courses…

“NOT TAKEN A PDC BEFORE? NO PROBLEM”

I was a bit unsure of my current knowledge, not previously taken a Permaculture Design Course. In reading reviews from your past students, the majority of them say they loved your course after having taken one or multiple PDC’s. Your course does well as a permaculture resource without having a PDC under my belt.

– Ashley W.

What makes this course different?

This course is different because you get your design completed in as little as 2 weeks instead of 8 months… click to expand

Usually, a person that wants to create a permaculture design for their land chooses to enroll in a PDC first. A typical PDC, if done in person, can last for two whole weeks. On the other hand, an online PDC can take up to 8 months to complete. 

More often than not, even after those 8 months you still won’t know exactly how to create the design. Not to mention that you’ll have to wait eight months to have something in your hands that you can start implementing! 

This course is different because you get practical design instructions, instead of unactionable theory… click to expand

You’ll get access to practical design recommendations/tips/instructions that outline exactly what to put where and why, automatically connecting all the design pieces into a greater whole.

This course is different because you get personal feedback directly from me about your design and how to solve site-specific issues…click to expand

You get personal feedback from me about your design and how to solve site-specific issues via email and community groups within 24h. Instead of having to wait office hours, weekly q&a sessions, and talking with team members instead of the expert you signed up to talk to.

This course is different because you work out details in action, incrementally, instead of trying to get everything planned in one go, which is overwhelming…click to expand

The course has an action-focused framework where you map the big picture design, and then work out the small overwhelming details and connections as you implement your design on the site. You don’t have to dwell on making complex, unnecessary illustrations in front of your computer using expensive software.

This course is different because you get a design that you can implement in stages within your budget, instead of having to take out loans…click to expand

Everything you plan in this course is anchored in the reality of what’s achievable with your resources and land features. Also, you won’t be encouraged to create unrealistic shopping lists while planning the minuscule details of your project. By default, the course incentivizes you to implement in stages and stay within your budget.

This course is different because you get LIFETIME ACCESS to the course (and all future updates for free)...click to expand

PFDC is different from most online permaculture courses because you are set for life once you purchase the course. 

There are no deadlines when you log in or use the material. And, there are no additional charges to keep getting my support and updates to the course. 

So if, for some reason, you can’t start using the course straight away, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to log in and consume the materials weeks, months, or years later, and I’ll be there to support you.

“I HAVE TAKEN 6 DIFFERENT CLASSES AND HOLD 5 PDC’S. I WISH I HAD TAKEN YOURS FIRST!”

I have taken 6 different classes hold 5 PDC’s. Yes they are all good in their own way. Yours did not leave me with more questions than answers. I felt confident and didn’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. Which was common for the other classes.

I wish I had taken yours first. It was the best for giving information in a simple easy fast way to understand. Gave all the information needed to get started with hands on right away. No fluff just straight forward down to business. Even hubby who was a newbie knew very little about permaculture and has learning disabilities with very limited time to put in loved it. He got it. Understood and wanted to continue. He had tried other courses they just didn’t work at all for him. That right there says a lot.

Now add your calendar system with all the step by step info and added instructions that takes all the stress and worry out of things. With these two tools anybody can get up and running very very quickly with confidence.

Sure there are other classes and books that can go into a much deeper microscopic level with mind numbing detail and a much higher price tag. I don’t think we can ever stop learning and that has its place.

In times like these I think it’s much more important to get exactly what you need so you can quickly get hands out in the soil and start working no matter what your experience level is. Up and running in a few months vs yrs is awesome.

For anyone who wants confidence to get up and running save time and money with less stress, hands down your programs and teaching style delivers all of that and more. Both for newbies and someone who has some background. I would highly recommend both this class and the calendar [another product] together.

– Danelle D.

YOUR ‘EXECUTION’-THEMED COURSE IS A GAME CHANGER!

“Much of what I’ve seen and read is theoretical with a few pictures thrown in … as a serial entrepreneur, your ‘execution’-themed course is a game changer.”

– Zack B.

RE: GETTING A DESIGN DONE IN 2 WEEKS VS 8 MONTHS

“I’ve got 40 years of IT experience and the approach you laid out reinforced the approach we’ve used for a long time. Get something in fast and keep working. If it works, great, if not, change it. Your class aligns with what we’d do using Scrum techniques and is easy to apply to this new endeavor.”

– Windrose Farm

RE: PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION FOCUS

I was pretty sure straight away that this was the course I needed. It was the practical implementation focus that drew me in. ”

–  Janine O.

RE: APPLYING PRINCIPLES TO YOUR OWN LAND

There is a ton of information about permaculture design that is presented at a higher level, and a lot less information about how to apply the principles to your own land. You designed this course to fill that gap, and since I found your course “Finding Permaculture Farmland” helpful, I decided to take this one also. And being perfectly honest, setting a deadline on the offering is a good idea, even though this is a self-paced course. I considered waiting until a later date, but nothing in life is guaranteed, so I figured I better get the knowledge while it is available today! And it will help me with my land search. “

– Lee C.

Here’s exactly what’s included in the course:

The course is broken down into four modules with nine video lessons, all of which you will receive immediate access to once you join.

With its systematic and clear two and a half hours of video material, the Permaculture Farm Design Course is designed to be simple and focused – the easiest way to design your permaculture farm.

Video lessons are accompanied with worksheets and detailed step-by-step tutorials where key concepts from the video lessons are explained, with clear and easy-to-follow design instructions.

In addition you’ll get access to a curated library of videos, ebooks, web articles, and book recommendations where you further your knowledge of the design task at hand. 

You can also download the video lessons, and print the worksheets and tutorials if you wish and use them for your study.

“I REALLY LIKE THE LOGICAL AND PRACTICAL WAY THAT THE COURSE IS LAID OUT.”

As a former teacher, I have to say it is very intuitive and I am impressed!

I also really appreciate your very personal investment and concern for the progress of your ‘students’.

– Richard V.B.

“INCREDIBLE VALUE FOR MONEY! WE HAVE COME OUT THE OTHER END WITH A FARM LAYOUT AND CONCEPT THAT WE’RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT.”

Here’s my thoughts on the course. It felt easier to bullet point them but feel free to pull bits and pieces out or whatever you need for testimonial purposes

  • I absolutely loved William’s Permaculture Design course and it’s incredible value for money. It was the first permaculture course I had come across that had a step-by-step process for getting a permaculture design completed. I’ve done other courses before and they’ve been great, but this one has been the best in terms of taking the learnings about permaculture and then applying them to actually complete our plan
  • The course is very comprehensive but the layout is simple and the resources and checklists William has created to complement the teachings are awesome, particularly the site assessment spreadsheet and the implementation plan. We used the implementation guide to prioritise all our ideas at the end – it was brilliant for overcoming the overwhelm we sometimes feel when we look at how much work we have to do to achieve our vision! 
  • Because our property is large and complex, it took me quite a while to work through everything in the course and a smaller property may be quicker, but the time investment has been 100% worth it. I’ve learnt so much about the land and we have come out the other end with a farm layout and concept that we’re very excited about.
  • William has been very generous with his feedback and time. If you commit to working through the course, you can expect to get great advice and ideas back in return.
  • At times it was tempting to skip ahead in the planning because we were so keen to get into the ‘doing’ on the ground. Looking back, we’re really glad we stuck to it because we’ve come up with some great ideas around water systems and access that will save us a lot of time and money in the long run. 

In terms of what we’re going to do this spring William, we’re going to work through our new implementation plan bit by bit. It’s bloody fantastic for keeping us both on track. It’s also useful for clearing the brain fuzz. We don’t need to think about what we need to do anymore, we can just look on the wall and there it is.

– Janine O.

MODULE 1. GOALS AND CONTEXT ARTICULATION

Your Roadmap to Creating a Resilient, Easy to Manage and Productive Permaculture Farm

This is an incredibly important first step in the design process, and one that lays the foundation for your design work because it gives you clarity and guidance.

You see, once you start thinking about designing your permaculture property it’s common to become totally overwhelmed with all the possibilities. There are all these features, functions, elements, tools and techniques that you could utilize on your property and your mind starts buzzing with thoughts of which one you choose and where to start.

For example, should you use a food forest, alley cropping, silvopasture, ponds, dams, tanks, greenhouses, hugelbeds, contour beds… The list goes on.

What you need is a way to sift through the seemingly endless number of possibilities and select the ones that are truly necessary. You do this by going through the process of articulating your context and your goals. This process surfaces out your design goals, and, consequently, what features, functions, tools and strategies to use on your property.

Lesson 1. Goals and context articulation

Once you open the first module of the course, you’ll get an 18-minute video lesson on how to articulate your context and your design goals. This video explains the entire process of quantifying your resources, envisaging your future, and coming up with design goals. 

Then in the attached 11-page worksheet, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on goals and context articulation with multiple exercises for each step of the way.

Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

  • How to quantify available resources for your project using a simplified “RVD (Resource-Vision-Design Goals) Framework” so that you can quickly assess your potential and understand the boundaries around your planning
  • How to identify your vision and goals for the property so that you can select the right features, functions, tools and strategies to use in your design
  • How to extract concrete design goals from your aspirational vision

At the end of Module 1, you’ll have a list of clearly defined resources, a vision for the project, and a set of design goals.

“WITHOUT MODULE 1, I WOULD HAVE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE!”

I did the first module this morning and was stunned to realize I nearly headed in the opposite wrong direction, just because that was the direction most other sources are heading! (market gardening of annuals for direct sale)

– Alexa K.

MODULE 2. SITE ASSESSMENT

Understanding your site: putting everything together and identifying how nature can do the work for you

Once you have clearly articulated your context and your goals, and have a roadmap for the rest of the design steps, you go to the site assessment phase of the design.

Here your main goal is twofold:

–> Create a basemap so that you have the crucial base template on which you’ll create your design and map your observations.

–> Perform a site assessment so that you understand your site’s potentials and limitations.

Lesson 2. Basemapping

Developing a base map: preparing the crucial base template on which you’ll create your design and map your observations

Fundamentally a basemap is a real-life bird’s-eye view of your property, overlaid with topographic contours. In a 17-minute video you’ll get the rundown on how to create one in the easiest possible way using Google Earth. Google Earth already shows satellite photos as your background, you just need to import a topographic map and plot the contours.

You’ll learn about three methods of importing topographic contour lines into Google Earth, ranging from the simplest and less accurate; using the free web tools, to the more complex and extremely accurate; extracting contours from DEMs and doing the survey of the site. For each method there is a comprehensive written step-by-step tutorial that helps you implement what you’ve learned.

Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

  • The two basic components of a base map and the easiest way to find them
  • How to create a simple base map based on your level of expertise (from using free online tools to performing DIY survey of your site)
  • Detailed step-by step tutorials on developing a base map for free in Google Earth

“WELL WORTH THE PRICE AND THE TIME SPENT. YOU HAVE SAVED US A LOT OF MISTAKES AND HEADACHES!”

My husband, Bob, and I have finished your course and were very impressed with the details provided and the amount of materials that was included.  We learned a lot and felt it was well worth the price and the time spent learning the material.

We presently live in Florida and it is too hot to grow much of anything here.  We will be retiring soon and want to be knowledgeable about the kind of farm we want and how to make it self-sustainable.

We had plans to buy a 50 acre ranch in North Carolina in the hill country about 3,000 ft altitude.  We especially appreciated learning how to use the Contour features on Google Earth.  It helped us to identify 4 areas to put new ponds and how to divide up the property for pastures, agroforest, food forest, raised beds, orchards and greenhouse along with residences, roads, and fences.  We also planned all the plants and where they should be planted.  We have already invested in some fruit trees which we have growing in containers right now.

We didn’t realize there was so much that we didn’t know about farming and laying out the proper plans and designs.  We are so thankful for your course.  I’m sure we won’t do everything right but I know you have saved us a lot of mistakes and headaches.  Thanks again.  Your course was a fun project for us and kept us talking and thinking about it for the last couple of months.  It has really helped us clarify our goals, strengths and weaknesses

However, since completing your course, we have had a change of heart about the ranch in NC.  We now have our eyes on a farm in Hawaii.  So now we are back to the planning board with a different set of weather parameters.  We will be reviewing all the materials in our 3″ binder of materials we collected from your course and applying those principles to this new farm.

Thanks again for your course and I’m sure you will be hearing from us again when we acquire our new property.

– Bob & Marie H.

Lesson 3. Site Assessment

Permaculture site analysis and assessment: Identify your site’s limitations and strengths so you can easily create a responsive permaculture design

Then, in the site assessment lesson, you’ll get the tools and instructions on how to do a series of site-specific assessments. 

Some of the site assessment guides you get in this module include:

    • How to find out what are you allowed to do with your property so that you avoid huge fines
    • How to analyse your climate so that you understand your farming context and choose appropriate permaculture techniques
    • How to analyse the topography so that you can understand your site’s terrain and avoid placing elements in the wrong spot 
    • The simple 5 step method to determining the size and extent of your watershed so that you can identify the water harvesting capacity of your property
    • How to identify the basic water parameters of your site so you understand your water resource potential
    • How to map out the movement patterns across your property and identify weak links
    • How to perform a sector and microclimate analysis so that you understand energies influencing your site
    • How to perform an online and on-site soil analysis to get to know your soil 
    • How to do a vegetation and wildlife survey so that you understand your local biome
    • How to identify what off-site resources you’ll have access to for the development of your project

The site assessment essentially ensures that you don’t end up forcing your design on a land that can’t support it. Instead, it guarantees that your design will piggyback onto nature and work with its boundless energy.

In a 18-minute video lesson you’ll get a comprehensive overview of what the site assessment entails and how to perform one. You’ll learn about two different ways to do the site assessment, sector mapping and site assessment by the Scale of Permanence.

Then, you’ll get access to the set of step-by step instructions that will help you gather as much information as you can about your site, collate that information into the pre-made spreadsheet, and make the assessment, identifying your site limitations and its natural tendencies or strengths.

Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

    • The 10 site-specific assessments you need to perform to understand your property’s limitations and advantages
    • How and where to find relevant information about your site online without wasting time on endless internet research
    • How to use Google Earth to analyse various landscape features without complex tools and calculations
    • How to read the landscape and perform the initial site observations without feeling lost on the field
    • The most important things you need to know about doing a site survey (water, microclimate, soils, slope, aspect, wildlife…)

      At the end of Module 2, you’ll have your basemap ready plus a deep understanding of the patterns in your landscape and how to unlock the potential of your land.

      “THE SITE ASSESSMENT SPREADSHEET IS BRILLIANT! MASSIVE TIMESAVER!”

      Loving the course! I’m half way through the site assessment and it’s going great. Your system is fantastic for pulling it all together and plugging the gaps. Love the site assessment spreadsheet it’s brilliant. All the worksheets are fantastic actually and make the process very simple and effective to work through. 

      Also the way you have collated all the tools and resources together for us is a MASSIVE timesaver. I’ve spent hours looking around in the past trying to find the tools we need to get our land info.

      – Janine O.

      MODULE 3. WHOLE FARM LAYOUT

      Designing the foundational components of a permaculture farm and creating a masterplan that you can start implementing right away

      Now you can begin drawing up a design. In the conceptual planning stage, you create the main skeleton, a whole farm layout with a configuration for: 1) water systems, 2) infrastructure, and 3) land use areas. Nailing this macro pattern is the main challenge of the design, and, when coming up with it, it’s more important than understanding all the little tiny details.

      Lesson 4. The permaculture farm design framework

      Foundational tools and methods for designing your permaculture property

      First, in a succinct 10-minute video you’ll learn about the permaculture design framework you’ll use during this design process. This lesson unveils the secrets behind becoming a good designer and coming up with a good permaculture design.

      It outlines the thinking tools and design methods that all your favourite permaculture gurus, and everyone else who calls themselves a permaculture designer, use when designing.

      Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

      • The exact design framework professional permaculture designers use to come up with their designs
      • The three most important design tools for coming up with the permaculture design of your property
      • The permaculture designer’s cheat sheet – a one pager with everything you need to abide by to create a working permaculture design 

      Then, armed with that knowledge you start unfolding your design.

      “FOCUSED ON THE PRIME DESIGN PARAMETERS WITH ACTUAL APPLICATION TO YOUR OWN LAND”

      This was indeed very beneficial for me as it dealt exactly with the type of info and study that I was seeking.

      I saw it primarily for those who wish to develop raw land or close to raw land into a permaculture farm for their own living and growing as the primary purpose. It was not so detailed that one gets caught up the nitty and gritty as it focused on the prime design parameters with actual application of the same on the land. So one actually saw in practice what was being taught in the course.  

      Thank you William for all your help and support. I recommend this course to all those who are struggling with the details as this is the short version of a longer more arduous journey.

      – Arshad M.

      “SO GLAD I PURCHASED THIS! THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS IS SO THOROUGH AND EASY TO FOLLOW.”

      I’m so glad I purchased the Permaculture Farm Design Course. I had taken a college level Intro to Permaculture Design course in the past, read many permaculture books and blog posts, and watched many videos, but I was still really unsure about the design for my own challenging property. I was familiar with William from the excellent free resources he provides on his blog, so I trusted that his course would be worth the investment, and it completely exceeded my expectations! The step-by-step process is so thorough and easy to follow

      I’ve taken a lot of online courses in various fields, and the wealth of information you get in this course is far beyond what many people would have provided for the same price, but that is not even all you get:

      I was blown away by the level of personal support William provided during the whole design process! He always responded to my emails quickly, answered all my questions, and helped me work out the design details that had always held me up in the past. I now feel like I finally have a big picture design that is right for my site, and I can move forward with confidence to start implementing the details.

      – Joni P.

      Lesson 5. Water systems planning

      Calculate your water needs and your water budget so that you can create an optimised water design

      You start your design with the water systems, and first do some planning to clarify your precise water management options.

      In a 12-minute video lesson and the accompanying 8-page worksheet you learn how to assess and quantify your site’s water needs and resources. This then lets you design water systems according to the reality of your site and your needs.

      Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

      • Two different ways of storing water on your property
      • The three step process of planning your water harvesting system to sustain your needs
      • How to calculate the water resources available to the property and what exactly your needs will be

      “GREAT IDEAS AROUND WATER SYSTEMS AND ACCESS THAT WILL SAVE US A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY IN THE LONG RUN!”

      At times it was tempting to skip ahead in the planning because we were so keen to get into the ‘doing’ on the ground. Looking back, we’re really glad we stuck to it because we’ve come up with some great ideas around water systems and access that will save us a lot of time and money in the long run.

      – Janine O.

      Lesson 5. Water systems design

      Smart Water Design: Developing Effective and Extreme Weatherproof Water Systems that Boost the Overall Resilience of your Farm

      Following the water systems planning you create a layout for storing, harvesting and distributing water across your landscape.

      In a 24-minute video lesson you get super-specific instructions on what water management features to use and where exactly to position your ponds/dams, water harvesting and distribution drains, how to connect your water features, how to lay irrigation pipes, and much more…

      This is accompanied by a 21-page step-by-step instructional PDF with design examples that remove any doubt on what to do exactly.

      Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

      • Harvesting: How to capture (or harvest) water by using harvesting drains, existing buildings and diversion from natural sources 
      • Storing: How to identify the best locations for your ponds, dams and tanks so that you can store, harvest, and distribute the maximum amount of water for the least effort 
      • Distributing: How to create a water distribution network across your whole property so that you can hydrate every corner of it

      “BOUGHT THIS COURSE TO AVOID MAKING A HUGE BEGINNER’S MISTAKE AND MAKING OUR WATER PROBLEMS WORSE!”

      I have taken an intro to permaculture course and read many books and blog articles about permaculture design. What has really held me back in designing our homestead is uncertainty about water management. 

      We have a small site (1 acre), with big seasonal flooding issues that can render half of our land a useless bog in the spring, and even through the summer in particularly wet years. Then of course, we also often deal with drought in the late summer. 

      Most of the water management strategies I’ve come across are designed for large sites, or assume that you can intervene high in the landscape, while much of our water tends to enter pretty low in the landscape and move across the property. I’m having a hard time scaling permaculture water management practices down to match my site. I think if I can figure that out, the rest of the design will fall into place much more easily and intuitively. One of the biggest reasons I chose this course, is to avoid type one errors and get feedback on my design so I can implement with confidence. I’m afraid of making a huge beginner’s mistake and making our water problems worse (or creating new problems)!.

      – Joni P.

      “DISCOVERED THAT SWALES ARE NOT REALLY APPROPRIATE TO OUR DESIGN”

      Your assessment is accurate, and it’s a relief to hear that swales are not really appropriate to our design. I’m so used to “swales here, there, and everywhere” in permaculture design, but they’ve just never seemed quite right here. You are right, that pond to the north of us is aquifer fed, and we generally only have to dig 8-12 inches to a few feet, depending on the time of the year, to hit water.

      – Joni P. after she got 1:1 feedback on her water design

      Lesson 6. Infrastructure design

      Figuring out where to put your house, access ways and fences so you don’t end up making costly mistakes

      Then, you design the core infrastructure layer of your property; the main access roads, house and fences. Permaculture planning of infrastructure, in contrast to conventional planning, facilitates or enables the productive use of your land instead of making it a maintenance nightmare and a drain of your resources, so there are certain design rules you’ll need to adhere to.

      In a 22-minute video lesson and the accompanying 22-page step-by-step instructional PDF you’ll learn exactly what the best practices are to position your roads, what the best location for your house would be, and the best way to subdivide your property with fencing.

      Just this information right here can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your property.

      Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

      • The #1 location for your house area that will optimise all potential energy flows
      • Principles and best practices of positioning access ways across your property
      • How to subdivide your property with fencing and which types of fencing to use

      “WE’VE COME UP WITH GREAT IDEAS AROUND ACCESS THAT WILL SAVE US A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY IN THE LONG RUN!”

      At times it was tempting to skip ahead in the planning because we were so keen to get into the ‘doing’ on the ground. Looking back, we’re really glad we stuck to it because we’ve come up with some great ideas around water systems and access that will save us a lot of time and money in the long run.

      – Janine O.

      Lesson 6. Land use design

      Defining land use: determining the placement of permaculture elements so that you can create a healthy farm ecosystem that produces abundance with less work

      As you gradually unfold the infrastructure design, you’ll know precisely where to fit the remaining systems of the property. In designing land use areas you clearly define these areas and determine the specific purpose they’ll fulfil depending on your goals and the land’s capability.

      In a 30-minute video you get a comprehensive overview of all possible ways you can put your land to use and clear instructions on how to decide where to place these systems according to the permaculture zoning concept.

      You’ll learn about different zones of your property and their appropriate growing systems, livestock management, and functional spaces, from gardens, orchards, food forests and smaller livestock in the homestead zone to alley cropping, silvopasture, tree crops and larger livestock in the farming zone. The 27-page step-by-step instructional PDF accompanying the video lesson help you to further deepen your design know-how.

      Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

      • How to use permaculture zones to organize your growing environment and farm activities so that you save time, energy and money
      • The “Simple Zone Framework” for determining planting areas for gardens, food forests, orchards, and farm forestry 
      • What type of food-producing systems and functional spaces to use in your design to maximise the land’s output
      • Where to place various elements of your farm to make the best use of the land and manage the incoming energies in the best possible way
      • How to integrate animals and decide on which types of livestock are best suited for your site

      At the end of Module 3, you’ll have an overall pattern of the whole farm layout, outlining major site features.

      “HELPED ME DETERMINE THE BEST AREAS FOR GROWING FOOD FORESTS AND WHAT CAN BE REGENERATED AS NATURAL WOODLAND AND WILDLIFE CORRIDORS”

      From all of this work you have done I will be better able to determine the best areas for growing food forests and what can be regenerated as natural woodland and wildlife corridors.  I look forward to continuing to work through your permaculture program.  Am very grateful for your open hearted and generous sharing of your knowledge and experience.  It will save me much time, money and headaches.  Thank you, thank you!

      – Kerry C.

      MODULE 4. DETAILED DESIGN

      Designing the foundational components of a permaculture farm and creating a masterplan that you can start implementing right away

      Now you can zoom into different parts or specific areas of interest and work out the details.

      For this step, you’ll get a series of detailed design guides you can use to plan the specifics of water systems, infrastructure, food-growing systems, and so on. You can use these as your point of reference in making detailed designs and implementation.

      Currently, there is a set of “permaculture farm essentials” available, detailed design guides that include instructions for designing the basic layouts of gardens, orchards, food forests, agroforestry systems and homestead infrastructure. More are coming as periodic updates to the permaculture farm design system and you’ll get access to all of them for free.

      Here are some of the insights you’ll discover:

      • How to link all the complex elements together and create an integrated permaculture property
      • The best way to organise the homestead area with the accompanying infrastructure 
      • The precise details of creating food forests with swales, permaculture orchards and farm forestry systems

      Detailed Design Guides

      At this stage of the permaculture farm design you can move forward with your dream in a very practical way; you can hit the ground running and start doing something on the site. You can use the detailed design guides to work out the specifics and then implement and test your ideas in the real world, refining the details based on the feedback, redesigning as necessary. You’ve already nailed the main layout so you have the confidence that the main farm elements are where they’re supposed to be. Now you are just working out the details and for this you need to take action! And taking action is what’s all about if you want to turn your dream into a reality.

      “CHANGED THE WAY I LOOK AT NATURE!”

      The course takes you through the whole design process. The videos were well structured and easy to take in. Learned a heap of new stuff. Changed the way I looked at nature. 

      Having videos: Seeing is believing and provides a better understanding. Teacher is extremely knowledgeable , is on call 24/7. New content is always added.

      – Scott M.

      CURATED LIBRARIES OF ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

      I’m committed to helping you better understand the practical side of permaculture farm design. That’s why, instead of bogging you down with ‘permaculture theory of everything,’ this course includes essentials – I teach you exactly what you need to do to get your design done.

      However, suppose you want to delve deeper into any part of the design process? 

      In that case, you can explore curated libraries of additional resources, which contain web articles, videos, podcasts, book recommendations, PDF’s & infographics on the subject.

      I scoured the internet to find these and have arranged everything following the course structure so that you don’t have to waste time doing it yourself. 

      This way, in addition to all the practical stuff – videos, step-by-step instructions, and design examples for each lesson, you’ll have hand-picked resources you can explore and study to expand your permaculture design knowledge.

      “LOVE ALL THE LINKS TO WEBSITES THAT HELP IN THE PROCESS OF DESIGN”

      On another note, I purchased the Permaculture Farm Design Course last spring and I am just now digging into the program.  Wow!  I am very impressed with how you have developed a system to help anyone take their property to the next level.  I love all the links to websites that help in the process of design.  A huge undertaking you’ve embraced and I give it a 5-star rating.  Good job man!!

      God bless and keep up the GREAT work!

      – Rick A.

      BONUS 1: Type 1 Design Errors to Avoid at All Cost

      Certain design mistakes will torment you every day of your life. They are enormously expensive and practically impossible to undo once they are implemented on your site.

      You’ll want to avoid these at all cost, as these are the type 1 errors, the fundamental design flaws that make everything else built on top flawed or ineffective.

      Luckily these are very easy to avoid if you know what they are. I’ve listed eight most common and most expensive ones so you can avoid them and thus free up years of your life on something more productive.

      If there is one piece of paper that can save you literally millions of dollars over the lifetime of your farm and make you live longer, this is it!

      “HELPED ME AVOID TYPE ONE ERRORS AND GET FEEDBACK ON MY DESIGN SO I COULD IMPLEMENT WITH CONFIDENCE”

      One of the biggest reasons I chose this course, is to avoid type one errors and get feedback on my design so I can implement with confidence.  I’m afraid of making a huge beginner’s mistake and making our water problems worse (or creating new problems)!

      – Joni P.

      “I AM CONFRONTED WITH THE PROVERBIAL ‘BLANK CANVAS’ AND WANT TO MAKE AS FEW MISTAKES AS POSSIBLE.”

      I need to establish water systems, level land in parts, plant trees, etc and I need to be better informed on the right way to proceed.

      – Douglas V.Z.

      “MY DREAM ISN’T VERY BIG, BUT IT IS EVERYTHING TO ME. THIS WILL HELP ME ACHIEVE MY GOALS WITH A MINIMUM OF BIG EXPENSIVE MISTAKES.”

      I want a food forest (small) a garden (small) and a small chicken coop. My dream isn’t very big, but it is everything to me. And for the first time in years I’m excited about my future. I feel confident your approach will help me achieve my goals with a minimum of big expensive mistakes.

      – May L.

      “[BECAUSE OF A MISTAKE] I DON’T WANT IT TO TAKE TEN MORE YEARS TO GET IT DEVELOPED BEFORE I GET TO USE IT. I MIGHT NOT LIVE THAT LONG!”

      I hope to get a layout for the farm that works well for my situation so that I don’t make big mistakes with my time, since my time and energy are now limited. I am so hopeful that I get get the planning done so that I can move on to living there and living out the rest of my life there. I don’t want it to take ten more years to get it developed before I get to use it. I might not live that long!

      – Elisabeth P.

      BONUS 2: Implementation Planning Worksheet

      To implement your design in the real world, first, you need to create an implementation plan for what you’ll be doing to guide you.

      In the implementation planning worksheet, you’ll get a template and instructions that will help you identify and prioritize all your major implementation projects.

      This plan will pinpoint in what projects to put your time, money, and energy first.

      Not all tasks and not all design elements are created equal, and knowing what to prioritize first will save you a tremendous amount of money, energy and time.

      BONUS 3: Design Implementation Training plus One-year Pocket Implementation Plan

      Wondering how to implement your design once you’re done planning? How can you start setting up your farm?

      In a 15 min. video tutorial, I will walk you through the implementation steps from planning the earthworks to improving the soil.

      In addition to the video training, you’ll get a pocket-sized spreadsheet that provides you with a one-year plan with all the essential implementation stages and steps.

      With the yearly plan you’ll know WHAT to do and WHEN to do it.

      “WE USED THE IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE TO PRIORITISE ALL OUR IDEAS AT THE END.”

      We used the implementation guide to prioritise all our ideas at the end – it was brilliant for overcoming the overwhelm we sometimes feel when we look at how much work we have to do to achieve our vision!  

      In terms of what we’re going to do this spring William, we’re going to work through our new implementation plan bit by bit. It’s bloody fantastic for keeping us both on track. It’s also useful for clearing the brain fuzz. We don’t need to think about what we need to do anymore, we can just look on the wall and there it is.

      – Janine O.

      If You Have A Question…You’re Only One Click Away From An Answer:
      1:1 Feedback on Your Design + Community

      When you join the course you’re not just getting access to the course materials, you’re getting the personal support from me and from my growing Permaculture Conversion community.

      If at any time you get stuck, or need feedback about your design, in addition to the peer support, I will directly answer your questions via email or community groups.

      There is no need to wait for office hours or weekly q&a sessions, it’s my duty to help you move forward, and I usually respond within 24h. 

      You’re not on your own on this journey, and by investing into this course you will receive personal support from the expert you signed up to talk to (not some random team members) and  you get to leverage the insight and wisdom of others.

      “WILLIAM’S PERSONAL GUIDANCE AND VERY FAST TURNAROUND TIME WHEN ANSWERING EMAILS ARE AMAZING. ALLOWED ME TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING!”

      William has put together a comprehensive course to start a permaculture design from scratch. Many examples, videos, tools and worksheets come with the course that allowed me to hit the ground running. His personal guidance and very fast turnaround time when answering emails are amazing. The amount of time he invests to answer questions personally shows how much he loves what he’s doing.

      – Michael S.

      “WILLIAM WAS ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO HELP”

      The best part of the course was that it was not simply some videos and lectures put online but one had continuous access to the course instructor/course maker who was always available to help one in need. This increased my motivation and in the end I achieved what I had set out to achieve and now I am comfortably placed in the next level of detailed design.

      – Arshad M.

      “YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS!”

      I would tell them that you care about your students!

      I am currently in the process of selling a property and moving. It was supposed to be at the end of the summer, but now. .. it’s NOW! So my permaculture work process is delayed a bit, but I really appreciate your e-mails! Even if I am not taking the time right now to do the work, it keeps me in the project to type an e-mail while having breakfast!

      – Jennica C., responding to a weekly check-in email

      “VERY GENEROUS WITH HIS FEEDBACK AND TIME”

      William has been very generous with his feedback and time. If you commit to working through the course, you can expect to get great advice and ideas back in return.

      – Janine O.

      “THE CLINCHER FOR ME WAS WHEN YOU RESPONDED TO AN EMAIL THAT HAD 2 QUESTIONS. ”

      I knew then that there was someone behind the email. So I look forward to being engaged in a community with similar aspirations.

      – Cheryl A. X.

      “BLOWN AWAY BY THE LEVEL OF PERSONAL SUPPORT! I CAN FINALLY MOVE FORWARD WITH CONFIDENCE TO IMPLEMENT MY DESIGN!”

      I was blown away by the level of personal support William provided during the whole design process! He always responded to my emails quickly, answered all my questions, and helped me work out the design details that had always held me up in the past

      I now feel like I finally have a big picture design that is right for my site, and I can move forward with confidence to start implementing the details.

      – Joni P.

      GET INSTANT, LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE COURSE FOR ONLY $397 $197 (or 5 instalments of $47)

      Videos

      Nine (downloadable) video lessons detailing everything you need to know about designing you permaculture farm.

      Workshets and Step-by-Step Tutorials

      Worksheets and written step-by step instructions accompanying video lesson detailing goals and context articulation, site assessment and the desing of your permaculture farm.

      Special Bonuses:

      • List of type 1 design errors to avoid at all cost
      • Video training on design implementation
      • One-year pocket implementation plan

       

      Feedback on Your Design

      Get 1:1 feedback on your design and site-specific issues directly from me + support from the growing Permaculture Conversion community.

      Design a permaculture farm that produces an abundance of food, regenerates the land, and builds self-sufficiency…

       $USD197

      Pay in full and save 20%

      5 monthly installments of $USD47

      (Just $47 today)

      Enrollment closes in…

      Day(s)

      :

      Hour(s)

      :

      Minute(s)

      :

      Second(s)

      Your dream permaculture farm is 2 clicks away. Buy the Farm Design course now, try it within the next 30 days, and walk out with a design you can start implementing this year. OR I will give you your money back.

      “BEST COURSE EVER! I HAVE TAKEN 4 PDC’s BUT YOURS MADE MUCH MORE SENSE TO ME! IT WAS THE GLUE THAT BROUGHT EVERYTHING TOGETHER!”

      Your course is by far the BEST I mean the VERY BEST!! I have ever taken. I have taken 4 PDC courses and yours made much more sense to me. It was the glue that brought everything together. If I had not taken the other courses it would have been fine. Yours gave me everything that I was looking for in a way I can understand and work. You have uniquely combined ALL learning styles in one fast easy simple fully packed course.

      – Danelle D.

      “I THINK YOU ARE UNDERPRICING THIS, BUT THANK YOU!”

      These are very clear action steps without the fluff and based on that, it is a tremendous value.I think you are underpricing this, William, but thank you!

      – Greg S.

      --- You can try out Permaculture Farm Design Course (risk-free) for 30 days.---

      The promise of this course is simple, it will help you design your permaculture farm. You can join the program and try it for yourself. If it doesn’t help you in 30 days I want you to email me (support@permacultureapprentice.com), show me that you did the work and I’ll give you all your money back. No questions asked.

      What if your land was different? imagine if…

      …instead of that bare hay field, old overgrazed pastures, abused and eroded barren soil, you’ll have food forests and orchards positively teeming with life…

      …instead of your land being decimated by drought, floods and the changing climate you’ll have a network of ponds, dams, tanks and irrigation pipes, all supporting your food forest… making your property a haven of natural beauty which others can only dream about…

      …instead of your non-existent or inefficient infrastructure that cannot support your farm development, you’ll have a system of roads, fences and structures that actually saves you money, time and energy.

      This course can help you get there. After following these simple step-by-step instructions, you’ll have the know-how for how to design the permaculture farm you’ve always wanted. You’ll be confident in your plan and knowledgeable enough to put it into action.

      There’ll be no more wondering about what you should be doing next and whether you’re on the right track. Now you can start managing your farm, contributing to healing the Earth and providing for her needs.

      A LITTLE INSPIRATION…
      Permaculture dreams and mission statements from students

      30 years in the future Bull Gully will be bursting with life…Native canopy trees will be poking their heads up above the bush line, birds and insect life will be abundant. Water will be held in the land, with permaculture systems supporting a lifestyle and community that regenerates rather than depletes. The land will not only be restoring its own biodiversity, but supporting its people too, earning an income that funds the ongoing regeneration of the land and the supporting infrastructure needed by its community. We are living on the land and feeding ourselves and a menagerie of small animals (dogs, ducks, geese) via our food forest and farm forest. Visitors having a holiday in the communal hut, or staying longer term in their tiny home or carava caravan… walk through our large wilderness area, sleeping out overnight if they choose too, spotting all kinds of native flora, fauna and birds, before strolling through the kai ngāhere (food forest) to pick up their kai for dinner. Sam creates art and pots in his workshop and wood fired kiln, sequesters carbon making biochar and spends time restoring waterways in our wider catchment. There are sculptures, kids huts and natural play areas scattered around the tracks through the bush, and a communal space where people come together to eat, workshop, create and hang out. Janine facilitates and spends lots of time in the bush, checking track lines and making connections with newcomers, friends and family who visit🙂

      – Janine O.

      I want to do my part for myself, my community, and my environment…

      I want to be less dependent on utilities that are severely overtaxed (Los Angeles)…

      I want to do my part to reduce soil erosion, pollution, and carbon footprint…

      I want to eat fruits and vegetables that have real food value (ever notice that grocery produce doesn’t have a smell?)…

      I want to be healthier, and self-sustaining…

      I want to build a garden/forest that can supply my family and others with wholesome fruits, vegetables, and products such as jams and preserves…

      I want to supplement my income so I can work fewer hours in a high-stress job…

      I want to build something that can sustain itself so that I increase the natural ecosystem…

      And

      I want to build an educational site so I can show others how much food we walk over and dismiss as ‘weeds’ simply because it is wild fare.  So many of our homeless (especially veterans) are unhealthy because they don’t have access to food when they literally sleep next to fields of food!

      – Cynthia M.

      GET INSTANT, LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE COURSE FOR ONLY $397 $197 (or 5 instalments of $47)

      Videos

      Nine (downloadable) video lessons detailing everything you need to know about designing you permaculture farm.

      Workshets and Step-by-Step Tutorials

      Worksheets and written step-by step instructions accompanying video lesson detailing goals and context articulation, site assessment and the desing of your permaculture farm.

      Special Bonuses:

      • List of type 1 design errors to avoid at all cost
      • Video training on design implementation
      • One-year pocket implementation plan

       

      Feedback on Your Design

      Get 1:1 feedback on your design and site-specific issues directly from me + support from the growing Permaculture Conversion community.

      Design a permaculture farm that produces an abundance of food, regenerates the land, and builds self-sufficiency…

       $USD197

      Pay in full and save 20%

      5 monthly installments of $USD47

      (Just $47 today)

      Enrollment closes in…

      Day(s)

      :

      Hour(s)

      :

      Minute(s)

      :

      Second(s)

      Your dream permaculture farm is 2 clicks away. Buy the Farm Design course now, try it within the next 30 days, and walk out with a design you can start implementing this year. OR I will give you your money back.

      “BEST COURSE EVER! I HAVE TAKEN 4 PDC’s BUT YOURS MADE MUCH MORE SENSE TO ME! IT WAS THE GLUE THAT BROUGHT EVERYTHING TOGETHER!”

      Your course is by far the BEST I mean the VERY BEST!! I have ever taken. I have taken 4 PDC courses and yours made much more sense to me. It was the glue that brought everything together. If I had not taken the other courses it would have been fine. Yours gave me everything that I was looking for in a way I can understand and work. You have uniquely combined ALL learning styles in one fast easy simple fully packed course.

      – Danelle D.

      “I THINK YOU ARE UNDERPRICING THIS, BUT THANK YOU!”

      These are very clear action steps without the fluff and based on that, it is a tremendous value.I think you are underpricing this, William, but thank you!

      – Greg S.

      frequently asked questions

      Q. Why should I take the Permaculture Farm Design Course?

      A. I believe that we are entering a period of great unknown, and nobody can say with certainty how long this current situation will last. Given the inertia of the current trends, the only thing that’s certain at this point is that, as a society, we can expect some rough waters ahead.

      Thankfully, we permaculturists are blessed to already have all the tools we need to weather this storm. With permaculture design, we can build our self-reliance and resilience in the face of climate extremes, economic collapse, energy crisis, food shortages, social unrest, and government overreach.

      We can provide for our needs and the needs of our extended community and showcase a better way of living, producing food, and working with the environment.

      To achieve all this and lead by example, we must apply the permaculture design strategies and principles to our land correctly and in due time. 

      This course is all about making this process as straightforward and practical as possible so that you don’t get overwhelmed and fall short of creating your security and abundance.

      Q. Who is this course designed for?

      A. This course is for people who want to develop their permaculture property and know they need a permaculture plan for their site – a masterplan that they can translate into concrete, actionable steps.

      You might already own some land, be in the process of buying, or plan on getting it in the future. Regardless of where you are in your permaculture journey, you want practical knowledge of how to design and eventually execute your vision without getting stuck, feeling overwhelmed, and ultimately creating something you can manage yourself.

      Q. Do I need any previous experience?

      A.It definitely helps if you already have some understanding of permaculture principles or you’re currently going through a PDC, but even without these, you can still follow the system and go through the process of creating an initial design for your farm.

      Q. I HAVE NOT TAKEN A PDC BEFORE, SO I AM UNSURE OF MY CURRENT KNOWLEDGE. WOULD PFDC BE SUITABLE FOR ME?

      A. This course gives you a framework and practical advice on the permaculture design of your property. To follow the guidance in this course, you don’t need to have a PDC under your belt. A basic understanding of permaculture concepts is enough.

      Also, in the course, I’ll provide you with curated libraries of additional resources, which contain web articles, videos, podcasts, book recommendations, PDFs & infographics on the subject.


      These are arranged following the course structure to facilitate a better and faster learning experience. So if you don’t understand something and want to dig deeper into the subject, you don’t have to waste time searching the web for resources.

      Q. What size of land do I need to take the PFDC?

      A. This course is not intended for small backyard permaculture projects. Although in all lessons you would find insights that would help you design smaller permaculture sites, to get the full value from the course, your land would need to be at least half an  acre. There is no upper land size limit to get the benefits from the course.

      Q. How will this course be conducted?

      A.This is an online course that’s accessed via an online website (with login credentials). The video lessons are pre recorded, and all the materials are available immediately. There are no set times you need to show up, you log in to the course platform and consume the materials when you want, how much you want, at a pace you want. You have lifetime access to everything.

      Each module in the course is split into lessons that have a video tutorial describing the design process. The video tutorial is supplemented with an actionable steps and design workbook with instructions and examples. Each lesson also has a list of additional resources to deepen your knowledge about that specific design phase.

      Q. What do I need to take part in this course?

      A. Since this is an online course; all you need is a computer and an Internet connection capable of streaming or downloading course videos. You can use worksheets and written instructions on your computer, or download them and print them out. For your design work, I recommend using Google Earth, but you can use other software programs or make hand-drawn designs, whatever works best for you. Regardless of your choice I’ll give you instructions on how to create a design, but how you choose to do it is entirely your decision.

      Q. I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO A LAPTOP, I WORK AND STORE ALL ON AN IPAD. WOULD YOUR COURSE STILL BE POSSIBLE THAT WAY?

      A. If you have the tools and knowledge to draw a design on your tablet, you could do it that way. However, expect that things won’t flow as quickly and easily as they would if you were using a desktop computer.

      Also, the mobile version of Google Earth won’t have the same features as the desktop one, so you might be limited in what you can import and add as overlays. This might be a limiting factor unless you find other ways to draw your design.

      Q. I can’t draw, is this for me?

      A. I see design as a means to an end, and that end is taking action to transform your land into a permaculture farm. That’s why we want to avoid analysis paralysis and getting stuck at creating overly complex and beautifully illustrated plans by software tools with steep learning curves. Simple design sketches in Google Earth are all you need to know how to draw to create a final design in the course. In case you can’t do that, print out your basemap and draw by hand on top of the printed map.

      Q. How much time will I need to study?

      A. The Permaculture Farm design course has some two and a half hours of video material, several detailed worksheets you’ll need to fill with data, and numerous step-by-step guides. I made this course to be as simple as possible, so that you get to the end result, i.e. the design, as quickly as possible, but that doesn’t mean it will be a piece of cake. You’ll need to put in the work, dedicate time for the course, and make an effort to follow through on what you’ve started.

      Since this is a self-paced course, you can take it as fast or as slow as you want; it’s totally up to you. You’ll have lifetime access to the material, so there is no time limit. That said, on average, if you dedicate a few hours to it weekly, it will take you a few weeks to come up with a design, although depending on how many iterations of the design you want to go through, it might take longer. To create the best possible design, you’ll need feedback on your design as you go, and I’ll be happy to give it to you.

      But don’t take it from me. Check this out, straight from a student: 

      “THE TIME INVESTMENT HAS BEEN 100% WORTH IT!”

      “Because our property is large and complex, it took me quite a while to work through everything in the course and a smaller property may be quicker, but the time investment has been 100% worth it. I’ve learned so much about the land and we have come out the other end with a farm layout and concept that we’re very excited about.” -Janine O.

      Q. How does Permaculture Farm Design Course fit in with other Permaculture Apprentice Courses?

      A. This is a course that’s focused on creating a masterplan. It shows you how to plan the overall layout of your property . 

      If you are actively looking for land or just planning to do so in the future, then the Finding Land course is the right fit for you as it helps you discover where to buy land, how much land you need, and what to look for in a property from a permaculture perspective.

      If you already have a design for your site, check the Permaculture Implementation Program, which guides you on the next step of the permaculture design process – the implementation.

      Q. Will I get a Permaculture Design Certificate?

      A. You will not be certified, nor is this course a substitute for a PDC in any shape or form. PDC is a fundamental permaculture course that everyone should take at least once, if not multiple times, in their life. The benefits of taking one are innumerable, and your life might change drastically due to going through the PDC.

      If you plan on getting a PDC, this course will give you some invaluable supplementary advice and an actionable framework you can follow while creating your final PDC design assignment.

      That said, if you are on the fence about whether to employ PDC or this course to come up with a functional design for your site, consider this:

      1. You don’t need the official seal of certification to be able to design your land. A certificate is there so that graduates can prove they have a PDC under their belt and can become professional designers. If you are not planning on designing properties for other folks and becoming a professional designer, you do not need that official seal of certification (which is included in the price of the PDC)

      2. In-person PDCs usually require you to be away for two weeks somewhere on someone’s property, usually camping. You’ll need to see if you can run away from your obligations for that long.

      3. Conversely, an online PDC can take up to 8 months to finish. If your goal is to come up with a design you can start developing ASAP, you need to think whether you have the time to wait for this long.

      4. There is a wealth of information in PDC, and that’s amazing, but as Bill Mollison postulated in one of his principles, “Everything works both ways” this can lead to overwhelm if you have other engagements in life and don’t have the time to work through it all.

      5. PFDC is priced at a much more affordable price point and is almost 10x cheaper. So compared to investing into a PDC you’ll have money left to implement what you learn on your property rather than needing to immediately go out and find clients to help recoup the cost of a PDC. 

      6. You’ll probably get feedback on your design during a PDC, but in some cases, due to student overload, there might not be any as your design will ‘have’ to pass on the first fly. 

      Either way, once you finish your PDC, you’ll be on your own. You’ll have a plan, but once you start to implement it, unexpected things might arise. You might get stuck if you don’t have anyone to give you feedback or advice on how to proceed.

      Q. I LIVE IN A PARTICULAR TYPE OF CLIMATE, WILL THIS COURSE BE SUITABLE FOR ME?

      A. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what climate you are in. The course gives you a framework for the design and step-by-step instructions. You, as the designer, collect and interpret the information regarding your property conditions and then create a responsive design based on that.

      Q. MY LAND IS NOT A BLANK CANVAS, AND IT ALREADY HAS CERTAIN THINGS GOING FOR IT. WOULD THE COURSE STILL APPLY?

      A. Ideally, you would design your property with permaculture principles in mind from scratch so that you can set up things correctly from the get-go.  However, in real life, you might already have orchards, forests, roads, buildings, or other infrastructure in place.

      This fact doesn’t change how you approach designing your property; the process remains the same. You’ll have to build your design upon what’s already there.

      As you go through the design process, you’ll gain insights into whether these elements are in the right spot or not. You might decide to adjust them if economically viable and physically possible. Otherwise, you work around these potential limitations as with any other that might surface out during the site assessment phase.

      Q. WATER IS A LIMITING FACTOR ON MY PROPERTY. WOULD YOUR COURSE HELP ME WITH DESIGNING MY WATER SYSTEMS?

      A. Of course, water systems are a foundation for your permaculture design in the PFDC. Here’s how we’ll approach the water systems design:

      First, you’ll set for yourself a design goal around your water management concerns in Module 1. Then in Module 2, you’ll make a basemap and assess your property water potential and limitations in relation to those concerns. In Module 3, we’ll plan your water systems. First, we’ll do some calculations on your water budget and expenses, and secondly, develop the water systems of your farm – water storage, harvesting, and distribution network. Then finally, in Module 4, we’ll work out the specifics of water management in specific growing areas like swale in food forests or keyline in agroforestry systems.

      With that, you’ll end up with effective and extreme-weatherproof water systems that boost the overall resilience of your property.

      Q. DO I GET LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE COURSE, OR DO I NEED TO KEEP PAYING TO GET YOUR CONTINUOUS SUPPORT AND COURSE UPDATES?

      A. PFDC is different from most online permaculture courses because you are set for life once you purchase the course. 

      There are no deadlines when you log in or use the material. And, there are no additional charges to keep getting my support and updates to the course. 

      So if, for some reason, you can’t start using the course straight away, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to log in and consume the materials weeks, months, or years later, and I’ll be there to support you.

      Q. HOW DO I ACCESS THE COMMUNITY?

      A. You can access a community of like-minded people and get support from your peers in three ways.

      First, there will be a discussion forum in each lesson where you can discuss the subject and ask specific questions about your design challenge.

      Second, there will be a Facebook group where you interact with others in many ways. You can present your designs and ask for help from a wider community of 500 students. I’ll be facilitating design discussions, offering design challenges, and connecting you with other folks from the region.

      Third, for folks not keen on using Facebook, there will be a Telegram group where you’ll be doing everything we do on Facebook, but more securely, without the privacy concerns and attention-grabbing notifications.

      Q. I’M LOOKING FOR LAND, WILL THIS COURSE HELP ME WITH THAT?

      A. If you are currently looking for land to start with permaculture, then the Finding Land course would be the better course to buy as it is specifically tailored for people like you and will help you better understand what to buy and avoid.

      That said, this course will also complement your land hunt because knowing how to look through a permaculture design lens will make it easier to spot land that will support your vision.

      Q. WILL I GET A PERSONAL FEEDBACK ABOUT MY DESIGN FROM YOU?

      A.Once you enroll in the course, you’ll be able to ask me questions directly and request feedback from me. I give every student personal guidance via email and am easily accessible that way or in the Facebook/Telegram group. 

      If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback requests about your design and piece of land, I’m here to help, and I’ll encourage you to ask for guidance when you need it. You don’t need to figure things out on your own.

      Depending on the workload, I’ll get back to you within one working day. 

      If you need more than what I outlined above, like online in-person meetings, coaching on the design process, accountability, and check-ins on Fridays, you can upgrade to a guided version of the program within the course portal, and that’s an additional $300.

      Q. What if this doesn’t work for me?

      A. Then you can ask for a refund. You have 30 days to try the course and, if you’re not satisfied, I’ll give you a 100% refund. The only thing I will ask you is to let me know how I can make the course better.

      HERE’s WHAT MY STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE COURSE

      If you have never heard of me or the Permaculture Farm Design Course, then please read some of the success stories below.

      All of these people were struggling with the design, and overwhelmed with the information, some of them even had multiple PDCs, but the course helped them to put everything into structured manageable steps and take action.

      No information overload. Step by step action plan in a logical uncomplicated language that I can follow”

      • “I have done other courses in permaculture and have experienced information overload at times with no idea which foot to put before the other to get started with my own farm. William’s course gave me a step by step action plan but above all in a logical uncomplicated language that I can follow and I don’t feel lost!” Brian C.

      “After taking two PDCs, I felt overwhelmed and intimidated with all the information. This course finally gave me the confidence to take action!”

      • “After taking two PDC’s that were amazing and life-changing, I felt overwhelmed and intimidated with all of the information. While I understood most of the concepts, when it came down to actually applying them, I had no clue where or how to start. William’s course breaks everything down in layman’s terms and gives a clear step by step process that will give you the confidence to take action” Stephanie M.

      “Everything is clearly explained.” – “Solid actionable detail!”

      • “I have to praise you for your work; it’s well done. I can see that you’ve made an effort when creating this course; everything is clearly explained.”Tihomir E.
      • “It has solid actionable detail (critical) vs theory (very helpful).” –Rick F.
      • “Hi William, I hope you’re safe and doing good. I wanted to let you know that I am towards the end of the video sessions. Thank you for creating such thoughtful content. It’s very well put together and has practical implications. It is supported by tools and technology as well as prerequisites for a great farm design.” – Amol G.

      “If I were to tell a close friend about this course I would say:”

      • This course seems designed for me and our purposes. It puts together a lot of information and makes sense of techniques which I have researched, it references many of the experts in the field who I have come across in my research on the subject. The course is easy to follow, and well put together by a very passionate individual. The information is logical and useful knowledge applied to the subject of permaculture in a concise and practical way.

        Thank you for putting this course together, I am really enjoying it and it has .already proved massively helpful“ – Julia P.

      • “I would tell them that you care about your students!
        I am currently in the process of selling a property and moving. It was supposed to be at the end of the summer, but now. .. it’s NOW! So my permaculture work process is delayed a bit, but I really appreciate your e-mails! Even if I am not taking the time right now to do the work, it keeps me in the project to type an e-mail while having breakfast!”Jennica C., responding to a weekly check-in email

      “Exactly what I was looking for – a more systematic, step-by-step guide!”

      • I’ve been collecting lots of information recently and the reason I took your course is because it already became a mess in my head 🙂 And from what I saw the course is exactly what I was looking for – a more systematic, step-by-step guide.” – Stefan V.

      “Your course is by far the BEST I mean the VERY BEST!! I have ever taken.”

      • “I have taken 4 PDC courses and yours made much more sense to me. It was the glue that brought everything together. If I had not taken the other courses it would have been fine. Yours gave me everything that I was looking for in a way I can understand and work. You have uniquely combined ALL learning styles in one fast easy simple fully packed course.” – Danelle Downer

        That Said, I Have A Word Of Warning:
        WHO THIS IS NOT FOR

        This is not for you if…

        You live in a city and don’t plan on getting land in the future…

        You believe that climate change and environmental destruction are not real…

        You think there is no need and no hurry to regenerate the human-impacted landscape…

        You are not willing to spend at least an hour a day for the next two weeks to create a design for your farm…

        You want to pay $10,000 to hire Geoff Lawton to design everything FOR you…

        However, if you are someone who has at least ½ acres to work with, is genuinely concerned about the future of our planet, wants to provide for their family’s needs while doing the right thing for the Earth, and wants to FINALLY stop endlessly researching permaculture design, save $10,000 and take advice from someone who went through all of it and knows what works…

        Well, then you are in the right place at JUST the right time.

        You can join the programme for 5 installments of $47 (or pay $197 in full and save 20%)

        If you break down the cost to a year, that’s $0.50 per day, and you get a design that you’ll be using for life. 

        You can either ‘save’ the $197, and risk a house in the wrong spot that can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, or a road in the wrong spot that needs thousands of dollars’ worth of repair yearly, or pond that never fills that cost you thousands of dollars to dig…

        OR

        You can invest $197 and save yourself literally tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your farm, and have that peace of mind that nothing will come to haunt you or your family down the line.

        Your dream permaculture farm is 2 clicks away. Buy the Farm Design course now, try it within the next 30 days, and walk out with a design you can start implementing this year. OR I will give you your money back.

        You currently have three paths diverging in front of you.

        ONE – You can decide to do nothing and wait for the day in the future when you’ll have enough money to buy into an expensive online course or a PDC, or hire a consultant or professional designer to do the design for you.

        This, of course, comes with drawbacks: first, that day of having enough money might never come, and, second, what if you spend all that money, $1000 – $3000 a time, over the course of weeks or months, and realize it didn’t help you at all, you just found yourself even more overwhelmed with the information?

        TWO – You can do as you have done up until now and try to solve this issue on your own. Read, watch, and listen to permaculture gurus, receive vague instructions and explanations and then wonder ‘Am I doing it right?’ and ‘What if I make a mistake I will regret forever?’

        This might work… Honestly, it probably will work eventually as you gain more experience and learn from your mistakes, but it will take a great deal of time, money, and energy as you keep reinventing the wheel.

        THREE – You can get everything you need to help you design your permaculture farm today. Without having to hire an expensive consultant, without having to research the Internet endlessly, without having to take a Permaculture Design Certificate… you’ll be able to create a design and start transforming your land into a permaculture paradise in coming weeks, not months or years.

        Of course, I’m biased, but honestly only the last choice makes any sense at all. Especially because there is no risk on your part; with my 100% money-back guarantee, I’ll take that risk for you.

        I believe that this course will be the best investment you can make in yourself as a farm-owner designer. People who have taken it can confirm that:

        “Your course is by far the BEST, I mean the VERY BEST!! I have ever taken. I have taken 4 PDC courses and yours made much more sense to me. It was the glue that brought everything together. If I had not taken the other courses it alone would have been fine. Yours gave me everything that I was looking for in a way I can understand and work with. You have uniquely combined ALL learning styles in one fast, easy, simple fully packed course.” – Danelle

        So when it comes right down to it, there’s really only one rational thing to do now and we both know it…:-)

        GET INSTANT, LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE COURSE FOR ONLY $397 $197 (or 5 instalments of $47)

        Videos

        Nine (downloadable) video lessons detailing everything you need to know about designing you permaculture farm.

        Workshets and Step-by-Step Tutorials

        Worksheets and written step-by step instructions accompanying video lesson detailing goals and context articulation, site assessment and the desing of your permaculture farm.

        Special Bonuses:

        • List of type 1 design errors to avoid at all cost
        • Video training on design implementation
        • One-year pocket implementation plan

         

        Feedback on Your Design

        Get 1:1 feedback on your design and site-specific issues directly from me + support from the growing Permaculture Conversion community.

        Design a permaculture farm that produces an abundance of food, regenerates the land, and builds self-sufficiency…

         $USD197

        Pay in full and save 20%

        5 monthly installments of $USD47

        (Just $47 today)

        Enrollment closes in…

        Day(s)

        :

        Hour(s)

        :

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        Your dream permaculture farm is 2 clicks away. Buy the Farm Design course now, try it within the next 30 days, and walk out with a design you can start implementing this year. OR I will give you your money back.

        “BEST COURSE EVER! I HAVE TAKEN 4 PDC’s BUT YOURS MADE MUCH MORE SENSE TO ME! IT WAS THE GLUE THAT BROUGHT EVERYTHING TOGETHER!”

        Your course is by far the BEST I mean the VERY BEST!! I have ever taken. I have taken 4 PDC courses and yours made much more sense to me. It was the glue that brought everything together. If I had not taken the other courses it would have been fine. Yours gave me everything that I was looking for in a way I can understand and work. You have uniquely combined ALL learning styles in one fast easy simple fully packed course.

        – Danelle D.

        “I THINK YOU ARE UNDERPRICING THIS, BUT THANK YOU!”

        These are very clear action steps without the fluff and based on that, it is a tremendous value.I think you are underpricing this, William, but thank you!

        – Greg S.

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