Ten Reasons to Take the Online PDC: Get Permaculture Certified Online

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    Now is the time to re-connect with the planet. To slow down to earth-speed. Learning is virtual now, but it can truly bring about new connection to nature and the land. The Atitlan Organics Online Permaculture Design Certification Course is the premier online PDC, blending cutting edge software with decades of Permaculture education. In just 8 weeks, we have over 25 hours of live facilitation and completed the full 80 hour Permaculture Design Certification curriculum, and professional student design project. Watch the video or read on to learn more.

    Greetings I’m shad coming at you from Atitlan Organics here in Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. I’m going to be going over some of the reasons why we think the online permaculture design certification course that we’re offering is just really top notch, just super awesome thing that you can do to take your homestead to the next level, to bring your dream to a reality, or just to connect with earth, start growing some food and get yourself a little bit more independence, which is really important, I think, in this current climate. So yeah, I want to kick it off. I got 10 points for you. I’m just going to run through them. 

    The first reason why I just think I’m super excited about this online learning platform is that we’ve been spent. We’ve been spending a lot of time, like almost a year now, really just diving into the process of learning online as a permaculture designer.

    I’m anxious to really like dive deep into the systems aspect of learning online and taking all this content that used to be,uin, in in-person and in-person lectures and group dynamics and, and in the field, how do we bring it in and not only make it equally good, but actually take advantage of the opportunities that digital mediums offer us and really like make it even better experience. And so we’ve been really going deep into this. Ume started with the simple software. We’ve been just slowly like upping the game and we’re bringing in amazing features. Just making it way more interactive interactions, meet videos, exercises, you’re doing your own garden tours, that sort of thing. Umhis is really designed to allow people to have fun while they go through the information and also just retain loads of it is designed to meet bite sized chunks.

    It’s gamified as super exciting. So we have just, the whole system is really coming now into like an awesome state. It’s really top-notch cutting edge stuff that we’re doing there. 

    So that’s one of the reasons going onto the second reason why I think the online PDC is just super awesome,uis just the team of facilitators that we have on board. One of the benefits of teaching online is that people can be anywhere in the world and tune in on his live zoom call or give it some pre recorded material that brings their wisdom right into your homestead. So whether you’re in Canada in the really cold areas or you’re in the tropics by the equator, we actually have facilitators. We’re giving both live and prerecorded material that would definitely be related to whatever part of the world you might be designing. And, we have an amazing team.

    It’s super diverse. I myself bringing over 15 years of permaculture education to the table and also Ashley MacDonald bringing natural building experience. She’s our resident natural builder. She is really amazing experience over the past seven or eight years in her and her knowledge and wisdom of the Northwest of the United States. So we’re covering that climate. We have Rinaldo lek who is a indigenous Mayan man here in Guatemala from San Lucas, totally Mon the founder of the first permaculture site here in Guatemala. The first permaculture Institute called IMAP he’s come tuning in actually now from Canada. So bringing some cold-weather climate, as well as his background and indigenous knowledge and tropics. We have a ton of guest facilitators coming in from Louisiana covering the Southern parts of the United States. We have people coming from Ireland and the UK. So we’re really got this awesome team that really rounds out all the different climatic differences.

    So it doesn’t matter where you are. We have, we have an amazing team that definitely has things to share that are relevant to your project. 

    Going on to the third point is just Atilano organics. We’ve been doing permaculture education now for over a decade. We’ve certified over a thousand students at permaculture design and we’ve trained over 3000. It’s incredible to see the network of global earth workers that we send out over the past decade to really go and just reconnect with the land, live a different lifestyle, slow down to earth speed and, and make a living doing something that heals the ecosystem and empowers individuals. And so just our experience of creating, learning, learning environments and knowing the best ways to cover permit cultures that people need capacitated and trained, but also inspired. And so we bring that experience is a super important part of what we do here at Atilano organics.

    The fourth one I want to talk about is that you get actual lifetime access to a lot of this content, all the prerecorded material over 50 hours of permaculture, theoretical and practical video library is yours for the rest of your life. There’s lifetime access to everything that we have on there. So as your learning journey evolves, you can constantly revisit this material. Uand with our cutting edge kind of learning platform, we have an integrated notebook that you build throughout the course. So at the end, you have your notes that are tied to the digital lectures that you then have lifetime access to. So it’s like you got it. And so if you don’t have to design your wetland right now, because that’s three years out and your design three years later, when you’re getting ready to do that, you check back into your, your own customized notebook.

    You dive into the relevant lectures and there you have it. So that lifetime access is the fourth important point. Number five is that we actually have found an awesome, an elegant design for our PDC. That includes a full third of the hours live facilitation. I’ve seen a lot of permaculture courses that are out there. They don’t really include much live hours at all. And if they do, it’s really smaller, like a one-on-one little console, but we actually have one full third of our 80 hour curriculum is live zoom calls they’re recorded. So if you miss it, it’s okay. You can watch them within a day or two, they’re uploaded to our learning platform and the, and the live calls you have access to all the way through to the end of the course. Umo yeah, the, the, hhe, the live sessions are really, it’s just amazing to get a guest lecture or one of our, our main facilitators to really come on right in your house.

    You have time to ask questions to them. They’re right there. You can show them things in your homestead. You can talk to them. So the live facilitation really brings it. And not only do we do a third of live, that’s mostly groups, we do have to set sessions of one-on-one breakout. So you can pick which facilitator you want to spend your time with. And you get a time twice during the course to explain your design, get feedback and all this sort of stuff. So that live session is really a really key point for us that really brings the connection between the facilitator and the students. Also the students amongst themselves, we use breakout groups and student presentations. It’s super, super interactive, and really adds to the whole journey of getting your certification in permaculture. 

    The sixth one that is also related to the schedule which is, that this is an eight week course.

    So in eight weeks, start to finish. You cover 80 hours of permaculture design curriculum, and you walk away with the internationally recognized permaculture design certification. So this eight week program with a third of its time being dedicated to live hours is really, it’s the sweet spot. We believe we’ve done the research. We know other educators who’ve taken their permaculture trainings online. We know them personally, we all support each other. But one of the things that we found was really missing was that people either had these really long courses. Like once a week, you have a little session that’s pre-recorded and a teeny bit alive, but it takes like six months or eight months. And it’s like, kind of way too long. We felt, and we’ve heard that feedback. But then on the other side, you have ones that are really intense and kind of like almost like an in-person two month, two week one kind of jamming everything in there.

    The most common one we see is really this sort of like no time limited extends forever. There’s no real live. And that presents other challenges that I’ll talk about. But for us, it feels like we found the sweet spot. Our eight week online permaculture design certification only requires 10 hours of work each week. And, and of those 10, three of them are live. Our live sessions are on Saturdays. And,the rest of the work is self guided through our learning platform, but dedicating 10 hours a week for eight weeks, you have your PDC at the end of it, and you have lifetime access to all that content. So that really,that really is awesome. We find that that scheduling really works for people. You get it done as a great thing to do in the winter. Basically, any season you can do it,you run through it and then, and, and because you’re doing it at your own home, you can put these things into practice as you’re learning them.\

    So that’s the sixth one number seven. I would love to just talk about,your learning platform, again, just that really have all your resources in one place. So you log into your online permaculture course without lot organics, and you have everything there. It’s all the same style. It’s all organized. It’s bite-sized chunks, it’s easy to maneuver and we’ve designed it so you can balance wherever you need to go. And it’s really clear. The whole layout is so such a different experience than like trying to put this information together via YouTube or via like whatever different things it’s so dispersed. So we don’t have obviously no ads, everything is there and organized and clean. Uhhe, the presentation is across the board all similar and super user-friendly. So to just have all your permaculture resources in one place is super awesome.

    And then we also have all the functionality where you’re uploading stuff. So you’re uploading pictures of your garden in the winter, in the spring, you’re uploading your designs. And so even as your homestead or your design project grows, this becomes a platform that manages the knowledge base that you have for your homestead. So it’s super awesome. So right, embedded in the, in the lectures and the practical that you learned from you then drop in your own information and you have your own customized course that tracks you our learning journey. Super awesome. Number eight mentioning the live hours, going back to that. One of the other reasons why it’s super awesome that we have this course is that basically we create a container of accountability. I don’t know if anyone’s experienced this before, but it’s kinda like, Oh, I have really wanted to learn,how to do grafting.

    And, and so I watch YouTube videos and I have a grafting knife, and I try it once or twice, but then I don’t really stick with it. But then I get the opportunity to go to a class spend $20 or $50 or whatever it might be and learn how to graft. And then I have now this motivation and the network of people in that class, and they’re checking in how it’s going. And so that creates a container of accountability. And I’ve found when I invest something in myself and then I have people that know I’m doing it. It really makes me want to go through the information. And that’s, I think a big thing, self guided online learning really is challenging. Like, let’s be real. It’s not always the most exciting thing to dive deep into contour lines and earthworks,uwhen you could be maybe watching Netflix.

    And so it’s easy for people to have a really ambitious goal and sign up for some online learning platform, but then there’s no real accountability. And oftentimes the attrition rate or the drop-off rate of online learning is really, really high. And, and going back to our attention to systems and design, we design or program that, that doesn’t happen. We do our best to make sure that that completion rate is super high, because that means you’re getting everything you came for. And so by us having this container of accountability, we’re giving you exercises that you’ll submit, we’re giving you final design projects. There’s this certification path you’re meeting with your peers and with your facilitators once a week for live sessions, there’s Q and a. And so just knowing you have now this network, it’s like, Whoa, it’s like, now I’m committed.

    I have to get through these lectures because I have to do this design. And I don’t want to miss out on that. I want to learn that really drives you to do it. And I think that’s an underestimated, like point that’s often a drawback for us unguided online, learning that we’ve really tackled head on and said, Hey, this is when you fix this. The experience becomes a lot more powerful and we’ve done that. That’s super exciting. 

    We got two more left. I got two more, 

    Number nine, I mentioned it already, but just the fact that you can have, you have a final design project. So we actually have some open source software, real basic stuff. We’re going to encourage you to do it by hand, first on paper, and then using tracing paper. And we’re basically going to walk you through how to do a garden design or landscape design, or a homestead design.

    You could also design something non land base. We always give that option, but we really do encourage people to get out there in the land. Even if it’s not yours, just to go through the process of a design. So we really take it from start to finish your base map with the legal boundaries and what is North and the, and the scale. And then from there, we do all these overlays and we apply all the permaculture techniques. So we do a zone and sector analysis. We do a contour map. We do a vegetation map. We do an access and paths map. We do a fencing map. We do a building map. We do all this different stuff, and you do it for your project. You’ll be doing it by hand and experimenting with some open source software that gives you even more powerful tools for making designs.

    And so when you walk away from your eight weeks, if you have a garden, you’ll walk away with a map and it is designed kind of like a five-year plan for your garden. And that’s super exciting. You work with you on the one-on-one sessions and also in the live groups and in your peer groups to create flow charts of energy time charts of, of, of, of how far along things will go and how long they’ll take before you start. The next thing, all that stuff is part of your design. And the more attention you give to it the more the more you’ll get out of it. And so that piece is really exciting. And you walk away with a professional design that you did yourself, and you had people, facilitators, experts, and your peers that are holding your hand, guiding you, learning and sharing with you along the way.

    Super awesome. And then the last one to wrap this all up, honestly, just that we are passionate about this stuff, like, like I’m the founder of argillite organics. I found permaculture about 16 years ago. It just blew my mind. I just couldn’t understand that this thing existed and the whole world wasn’t talking about this, it still blows my mind. It’s like, really you telling me that we have the opportunity that capability, the skills, the tools to recreate the garden of Eden, whether you believe that existed or not, that we can make a garden of Eden right around us, and we’re not doing it. Like, it just still blows my mind. So, yeah, like 16, 17 years ago, I learned about permaculture. I had already been into gardening a little bit and it just like grabbed me. And it was like, wow. And I really kind of dedicated my life to, to practicing it, to growing food and learning natural systems, to seeing patterns in nature and applying them in my own designs.

    I’m really passionate about it. And again, about 10, 11 years ago, we started teaching it. And that journey of, of engaging in permaculture education it just really excites me having trained over 3000 people that leave inspired and just excited to go out there and live a different life than what the mainstream is teaching you is just so exciting. We can live in harmony with the, with the earth the PR the story that permaculture gave me that I hope it gives you is that humans are not bad for the planet. We are actually really, really good for the planet, even if we’d acted poorly in the past, that does not mean we are innately bad. And I think it’s a scary, scary thing that our dominant cultural belief is that humans are bad for the planet. And that we challenge that we challenge that directly.

    And in the story of permaculture that we are so passionate about is that permaculture gives you the tools to be a net benefit and net diversifier, to the ecosystems that you live in, that you depend on to survive. How can you enhance them? And that’s what we’re talking about. So the 10th reason, most important reason that we have assembled a body of knowledge, a process, a system, and a team of passionate, dedicated individuals from all over the world that believe 100% in personal responsibility, personal action, community integrity, and taking our important systems into our communal hands and doing them in a way that is ecologically regenerative and socially. Just thanks for listening. I hope to see you guys great to spend some time with you, a little launches on a premiere. I’ll see your guys’ comments. I want to hear from you. Let me know. Also reach out. I’m always available. The contact form is right there. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, please subscribe, subscribe to the channel. We drop lots of educational videos. It’s not all marketing pitches, right. But subscribe. And there’s a link to, to learn more about the online permaculture design course click through we’re not accepting enrollment just yet, but put your email in there and we’ll send you updates. Thanks again for listening and much love. Get out there and grow a garden.

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    Nicolas Hernandez Chiyal

    Born and raised in the town of Tzununa, which lies right below Atitlan Organics, Nicholas and Shad have worked since Day 1, helping to craft the this amazing landscape. Nichloas is a supreme ninja farmer with skills beyond explanation. Visitors are endlessly impressed with his resourcefulness, ingenuity, and sheer motivation. Nicholas now owns and operates Las Ensaladas de Atitlan Organics, a business that sells organic produce to over 50 restaurants, hotels, and stores around lake Atitlan.

    Neal Hegarty

    Neal is originally from Ireland. He grew up on a dairy farm and has been around animals all his life. He studied agriculture in Ireland and has worked as a permaculturist for the past 10 years. Neal was the Volunteer Manager at Atitlan Organics for 2 years before co-founding his own Permaculture-based enterprise, Abundant Edge Farm, in Tzununa. He brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and energy into each Intro to Permaculture Course and Permaculture Design Certification Course and we’re happy to continue to collaborate with him!

    Rony Lec

    Rony is one of the world’s leading experts in permaculture and Mayan ancestral knowledge. Rony has spent the last 20 years teaching and implementing permaculture throughout Central, South and North America focusing on promoting food sovereignty and preserving biodiversity for the survival of Indigenous communities.

    Through his extensive work with Indigenous communities on traditional ecological knowledge, seed saving, native plants, local/global food movements, livelihood security, and the interaction between communities and the environment, he has made a key contribution to the empowerment of Indigenous people around the world. Rony is a co-founder of IMAP.

    Zach Loeks

    Hailing from Ottawa, Canada where he and his partner run the 50-acre Kula Permaculture Farm, Zach brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the course. He works as an educator, designer, consultant and farmer, with an emphasis on integrating diversity, conserving soil and maximizing farm ecosystem services while maintaining high productivity.

    Last year Zach published The Permaculture Market Garden, which explores ways that permaculture can be scaled up be a profitable whole-systems enterprise. Zach is a leading figure in permaculture, who brings a new and exciting vision of how it can be integrated into the wider community and marketplace.

    Ashley McDonnell

    Ashley’s work focuses on resurrecting our relationship to the natural world through the development of earth based skills that deepen our connection to place while increasing our sense of sovereignty and resilience. Devoted to the arts of permaculture, natural building, herbalism and birth work as her mediums, Ashley explores with humility the diverse modalities that support us in living in right relationship with the world around us. She views permaculture as a practice that not only creates healthy ecological communities but one that helps to reweave the very fabric of who we are as people. Her work is an offering to the future.

    Holly Mech

    Holly fell in love with yoga because of the sense of connection she felt every time she came to her mat. She began teaching yoga in Chicago in 2011. Her desire to deepen her teaching and personal practice led her to continue her yoga education in California, Bali, Australia and Guatemala. Holly now travels around the world teaching yoga and facilitating yoga teacher trainings. She enjoys helping new teachers sequence yoga classes and incorporate philosophy into their teachings. Her classes are creative and dynamic with an emphasis on making yoga accessible to everyone.

    Holly studied English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and frequently draws inspiration for her classes from literature and poetry. When she’s not on the yoga mat she enjoys exploring nature, singing, dancing and working with textiles.

    Laura Palmieri

    Laura ‘Lala’ Palmieri is a clinical herbalist, a biologist, plant and fungi lover and grower. She offers health consultations to balance body, mind and soul working with medicinal herbs and mushrooms. Her approach to health integrates the knowledge of many ancient traditions and teachers, fusing spirituality with nature, and science with alchemy through the transformation of the elements.

    Lala has spent her years in dialogue with Nature, which has fueled her passion to integrate scientific knowledge and the connection with all beings to help humanity. She integrates her practice with cooking, gardening, and exploring ecosystems. She teaches and facilitates herbal clinics and programs in permaculture, herbalism, botany, fermentation, and medicinal mushroom cultivation, with a regenerative earth care approach and techniques that are accessible to most. She and Sarah co-created the Envision and Cosmic Converge Herbal First Aid Clinics, other relief Clinics in Guatemala for the volcano eruption. You will find Lala crafting remedies for her diverse communities in Guatemala and Costa Rica, where she is actively creating a world with integrated healthcare.

    Sarah Wu

    Sarah is a clinical herbalist of 20 years, studying and practicing planetary eclectic, regenerative herbalism with a foundation in Wise Woman Reclaiming philosophies. Influenced by global traditions, Sarah focuses on local food-based healing and ethnobotanical traditions. She leads trainings and workshops in herbal medicine, Permaculture Design Courses, Therapeutic Deep Ecology, Social Permaculture, field-to-the-plate holistic nutrition, herbal first aid and Tarot. She is a passionate mentor and educator, who believes in the teacher’s role in unlocking the innate wisdom of the student. Sarah is the co-founder of the Village Witches project, and is a Co-Founder and Co-producer of Envision Festival.

    Don Fransisco Simon

    Don Fransisco knows the lands and waters of Tzununa deeper than most anyone alive. His intuitive handling of plants makes the whole system glow, and he is an avid duck enthusiast, maintaining the breeding flocks at Duck Willow, along with his own homestead flock. Aside from that, he oversees the establishment of the perennial agroforestry and aquaculture systems on Duck Willow Farms.

    David 'Brock' Barker

    Brock Barker was raised as an outdoorsman in the marshes and forests of south Louisiana, where he developed a passion for all things plants. After studying horticulture at university, Brock has worked in nurseries, landscaping outfits, and in the facilitation of a horticultural therapy program, and more. His primary ‘work’ for the last 12 years has been developing a 10 acre homestead which serves as personal garden of Eden and educational space for volunteers and workshops. Brock’s proficiency in areas such as mushroom cultivation/ foraging, fermentation, and botany, combined with his infectious enthusiasm make him an integral part of our team.

    Jeremy Dexter Fellows

    Jeremy has focused ten years of study, mentorship and implementation of permaculture design systems back home in Massachusetts. With many years of experience in botany and horticulture, he is fascinated by the world of plants. After working many years in Guatemala, Jeremy has dedicated his focus to land and water management systems that lend to ecological acceleration and social integration through food production. Jeremy now runs granja tzikin, works as a designer and consultant with Regenera and teaches in the Atitlan Organics teachers guild.

    Julia Forest

    Julia is an international yoga teacher, birth doula, women’s health advocate, and closet artist who is passionate about health, environmentalism and empowered birth. She is co-creator of the Sacred Birth Yoga & Doula Training, is founding director of Awakened Spirit Yoga and co-founder of the Wellkind Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on community empowerment and wellbeing through the lens of permaculture. She also created the Sacred Earth Yoga Training, the first yoga teacher training program that combines yoga, mindfulness, permaculture and leadership to transform lives and communities.

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    Your Curriculum

    Your curriculum for the Permaculture Design Certificate includes 20 short courses consumed over a period of 7 weeks, with a final design project to be finalised in the 8th week.

    Week 1: The Spirit of Permaculture

    Week 2: Design Methodologies

    Week 3: Water and Earthworks

    Week 4: Soil and Compost

    Week 5: Plant Power

    Week 6: Animals

    Week 7: Permaculture Niches

    Week 8: Final Design Project

    The Final Design Project Course Module becomes available after completing all of the Content for Week 1 and Week 2. The module serves as a guide for your final design project. We suggest that you work on this throughout the course. The 8th call is reserved for students to present their final design projects. Upon completion of the Final Design Project and all of the Course Content, a Permaculture Design Certificate is awarded.

    Shad Qudsi

    Shad Qudsi has over 13 years experience in organic and commercial gardening and farming. He is certified in Permaculture Design and has over 3 years experience in permaculture design consulting. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a double major in Applied Math and Psychology, Shad and his wife, Colleen, moved to Central America with only vague goals of farming at some point in the near future. In January of 2010, Shad and his wife bought and moved onto a very small farm located in the traditional Mayan village of Tzununa, which on the north shore of Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. The farm developed into Atitlan Organics and now mainly focuses on greens and chickens, a large edible and useful plant nursery, a food forest, and training and education.  Shad is an enthusiastic teacher who truly believes in the work he is doing. Human resiliency cannot be erased from the landscape and now, it is coming back with a loving grace.