Serving the permaculture network in Austin, Texas

‘6 Weekends’ Fall 2017 PDC

The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) signifies completion of the 72-hour curriculum set forth by Bill Mollison in ‘Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual.’ This design course is equal to the courses taught domestically and globally as the basis for advanced training for permaculture internships & apprenticeships. Graduates can also use this course as their jumping off point to begin teaching permaculture modules, creating a portfolio of permaculture designs, and establishing a permaculture consulting practice. It is a life and world-view altering event for most students – living more kindly on their land, creating & caring for their community, conserving & renewing precious resources, respecting all beings, and designing & living in sustainable human settlements that work with and use Nature as the grand designer.

Caroline Riley teaching in the Dome at WLLC in the Fall of 2016. Photo Credit: Scott David Gordon



Our Fall 2017 Permaculture Design Certificate Course is currently open for registration. It is a ‘6 Weekends’ format course, spread out over the course of 6 months-1 weekend per month. This format is preferred by many people because it can fit snugly into a busy schedule. We provide a sliding scale tuition format, to make this course more accessible to a wider audience. YOU choose the highest amount within the range provided that works with your budget. We trust your judgement and do not set your tuition price for you.

Tuition is set as sliding scale, with the tuition ranging from $600-$1,000. A $300 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your seat in the course. The second tuition installment of $200 is due 2 weeks before class starts, on Friday, October 27th. The last tuition installment is due on your first day of class, where you will pay $100-$500.

This course is currently CLOSED for registration. If you are very serious about wanting to join our course please click here to be added to our waiting list. There are often cancellations, so there is a good chance you will be able to snag a spot! A $300 non-refundable deposit will be required once you are admitted to the course.

See the course schedule and other essential information below. If, after reading this page, you have any questions, contact the course registrar/web admin, Taelor Monroe at taelor AT austinperm DOT com .


This course includes classroom instruction from lead instructors Caroline Riley and Taelor Monroe. It features hands-on projects (including your final site design project), presentations by guest instructors, and field trips. Final design projects are chosen for real live properties presented by the students of the course. Do you have land that you need to figure out the best way to manage it?

For more details about the content and schedule, scroll down this page. We look forward to having you in our class!

Students relaxing by the pond at the Whole Life Learning Center. Photo Credit: Scott David Gordon

Weekend 1:

November 11 – Day 1: Introduction to Permaculture, State of the World, Tour & Explore, Permaculture Ethics & Principles

November 12 – Day 2: Methods of Design, Patterns in Nature, Climate

Weekend 2:

December 9 – Day 3: Trees and their Energy Transactions, Soil Biology and Science, Hands-on soil activity, Guest Speaker Daniel Reyes of MycoAlliance

December 10 – Day 4: Earthworks, Ponds, Keyline Design, & Hands-on activity with Theron Beaudreau of Integrated Acres

Weekend 3:

January 13 – Day 5:  Climate Based Home Design, Natural Building Techniques and Hands-on cob building activity with Kindra Welch and John Curry of Clay, Sand, Straw

January 14 – Day 6: Zone I Gardens Strategies for each Climate, Plant Families, Garden Techniques and Strategies, Companion Planting, Propagation, Hands-on Propagation activity, Garden Design Activity

Weekend 4:

February 10 – Day 7: Perennial Forest Gardens by Climate, Medicinal Forest Gardening, Forest Garden Hands-on planting and design activity

February 11 – Day 8: Drafting and Design Workshop, Urban Design Activity

Weekend 5:

March 10 – Day 9 : Holistic Management, Sylvo-Pasture, Wild Spaces, Design Activity

March 11 – Day 10 : Zone Zero, Invisible Structures, Appropriate Technology, Community, Hands-on design time for final design projects

Weekend 6:

April 7 – Day 11: Design Presentation Breakdown, Potluck Lunch, Skill Share (not optional!)

April 8 – Day 12: Final Design Project Presentations, Graduation & Design Certificates


The Fall 2017 Course will be will be held at the Whole Life Learning Center (WLLC), a living example of permaculture design. Over the past 5 years this site has been completely transformed! WLLC has on site a 4 year old food forest, pond, ducks, chickens, goats, a 10,000 gallon rain water catchment system, greenhouse, grey water system, 2 yurts, schoolhouse, and a geodesic dome classroom. In between your permaculture design course weekends, the space serves as a learning center for children ages 3-13, drawing from Waldorf, Montessori, and nature based learning curriculum. Camping on site is encouraged for both the Friday evening before and the Saturday evening of each of the 6 weekends.

A student holding one of the goats at WLLC! Photo Credit: Scott David Gordon

This is a commuter course. Along with classroom instruction, we have hands-on projects (including your site design project), presentations by guest instructors, and field trips. DRESS FOR THE WEATHER. Always come prepared to spend at least some time outdoors. Lunches are BYO/potluck.

Class meets 9:00am – 6pm each day; arrive anytime after 8:30 to get settled in. (NOTE: If you can’t make all 12 days, don’t worry — you can make up the missed days at any of our future courses for no extra charge.) If you are absent more than 2 days, your certificate will be held until all class days are made-up.

Class starts promptly at 9:00. Arrive by 8:00 on the first day to get settled in, pay your tuition balance, chat over coffee/tea, etc. Bring your own lunch (and some to share with others if you like). There is a full kitchen on site. Please help us achieve zero waste by bringing your own reusable cup/water bottle, etc.

Reading assignment: This course follows the internationally recognized 72-hour curriculum outlined in Bill Mollison’s Permaculture Design Manual. The certificate you receive at the end of this course signifies completion of this curriculum. You aren’t required to buy or read the Manual, but please read Introduction to Permaculture, by Bill Mollison and Reny Slay, ideally before the class starts.

If you’d like to do additional reading, great! Other good introductory books are Gaia’s Garden by, Toby Hemenway; Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by, Rosemary Marrow,The Permaculture Way by Graham Bell and One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.

You may be able to find these books locally. In Austin, Monkey Wrench Books and Brave New Books are good places to start. Brave New Books tries to keep a few copies of Mollison’s Introduction to Permaculture on hand. Keep in mind these books are not always in stock. You can also check your local library or check online.

If you can’t find them locally, we suggest you get them online via Permaculture Activist, which is run by permaculture teacher/designers and offers an excellent selection of book and video titles.


We are providing two diversity scholarship for this design course, reserved for people of color. These full ride scholarships require no payment in exchange for taking the course. If you would like to apply for either of these two available spots please submit a photo of yourself, resume and letter of intention attached in an email addressed to Taelor Monroe, taelor AT austinperm DOT com. The letter of intention should give a brief history of your current work in this world and how you think you can make the biggest impact in your community if you were to receive a permaculture design certificate.

Deadline: Only applications received on or before October 16th, 2017 will be accepted. Responses will be given Friday, October 20, 2017.

Students filling swales and creating the shelves in the pond.
Students filling swales and creating the shelves in the pond at the Whole Life Learning Center.



Caroline Riley is a Texas native who grew up in the garden and free ranging on the Texas coast with her family. She discovered permaculture design while living in Colorado in 2004 and soon incorporated the ethics and principles into her Montessori classroom as a foundation to learn from nature with youth.

Today she owns the Whole Life Learning Center with her husband, which is where she focuses her creative efforts, working to create and maintain a permaculture education center for people of all ages in Austin, Texas.

With a passion for experiential learning and creative design, Caroline instructs Permaculture Design Courses through Austin Community College and the Austin Permaculture Guild.

Caroline founded One World Permaculture in 2010 with the mission to connect and serve people worldwide through the study and practice of permaculture design ethics and principles. OWP collaborates and inspires to create integrated regenerative community, ecology and economy.

Caroline has studied permaculture with many great instructors, including Geoff Lawton, Warren Brush, Judd Hobbs, Andrew Millison, Kirby Fry, Dick Pierce and more. Her goal is to create a unique learning opportunity for her students from her vast experience.

When not at the learning center Caroline can be found searching out cool waters for swimming and enjoying the retreat of her South Austin home with her family. Contact Caroline at caroline DOT riley DOT carberry AT, 512-217-0661

Your Instructor Caroline Riley
Taelor Monroe is the Executive Director for the Austin Permaculture Guild and organizes and teaches at the permaculture design courses and workshops advertised here. She has been organizing and teaching PDCs since 2013.
    She received her permaculture teacher training certificate from Theron Beaudreau in Fall of 2014. In the Summer of 2015 she traveled to India and Thailand where she worked on two different permaculture farms learning about the natural way of farming and building with adobe bricks. She worked with Caroline Riley at the Whole Life Learning Center from Jan. 2014-June 2015 to transform the space into a full functioning permaculture design. She supported Kirby Fry in creating the community Permablitz events in Central Texas starting in January 2013 and continues to offer help promoting these informational workshops and volunteer events.
She previously created a Permaculture centered intentional community titled Sacred Roots in San Marcos, TX from 2011-2013. She has studied Permaculture design under Kirby Fry, Caroline Riley, Theron Beaudreau and Dick Pierce.
    When she’s not teaching with APG, she teaches Gardening to high school students at the Austin Waldorf School. Her life goals and passions are to create community, provide education and resources to marginalized communities, and a focus on holistic nutrition, natural medicine and fermentation. You can contact Taelor at (214) 448-6428 or taelor AT austinperm DOT com
Your Instructor and Organizer Taelor Monroe.


NEW Nonprofit Status: Support the Guild!

Become a friend of APG today. **Monthly payment unless noted**

Thank you to our Sponsors!