Are you tired of feeling powerless about the world’s problems?
Are you looking for real solutions to address the issues we face today?
Are you ready for an inspiring, life-changing experience?
Using our twenty-year-old ecovillage as a living laboratory, our Permaculture Design Course interweaves the wisdom and knowledge of the permaculture movement with the firsthand learning experiences of an intentional community.
Central to this course are interactive learning experiences around the ecovillage, project-based learning, and opportunities for creative expression, human connection, and celebration. Prepare to be surprised and inspired!
• a focus on climate change solutions—what we can actually do as permaculture practitioners and global citizens;
• learning from community members experienced in gardening, farming, natural building, alternative energy, self-governance, communication skills, cooperation, and conflict resolution;
• exploration of social and financial permaculture, as well as personal “inner sustainability,” so that we can continue taking care of ourselves while we care for the planet.
Our 10-day Permaculture Course covers the full world-renowned PDC curriculum, including:
• Water and Earth Works
• Building Soil Fertility and Growing Food
• Creating Alternative Energy Systems
• Building Sustainable Shelter
• Social and Economic Applications of Permaculture
• The Design Process and Practice Opportunities
• Designing for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Settings
Note that our format is intentionally “intensive”—our time together will be packed full from morning to evening! There will also be some required reading prior to the course.
“I’m sure a PDC offered any ole place is as transforming and educational as this one was, but here [at Dancing Rabbit] it was magical. I laughed, I cried, I ate better than ever, I opened myself up to new experiences and I just really felt the love that exists here.”
— Andrea, past PDC Participant
“Permaculture is about showing up and leaving the world in better shape than when you found it. It’s about caring for people, caring for the earth, and helping everyone get their fair share. What better place to learn the design principles and philosophies of that system than at Dancing Rabbit, an entire community of people living and embodying these principles on a daily-life scale?”
— Brad, past PDC Participant
“Taking the class at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage had to be THE perfect setting for really thinking about permaculture in a deep and expansive way. … It has created chaos in my head, frankly, but also stimulated a new sense of curiosity and creativity. To borrow a famous line from the Dixie Chicks, “it turned my whole world around… and I kind of like it.”
— Gina, past PDC Participant
• Knowledge and hands-on experience in permaculture design and application
• Access to a worldwide movement
• A Permaculture Design Certificate
• Deep connections with classmates and teachers
• Hope, inspiration, and empowerment!
The course will be based in our beautiful Casa de la Cultura. The village, gardens, and agricultural lands of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage will be our laboratory. You’ll have abundant opportunities for hands-on learning!
Although course days are packed full, there will be opportunities to learn about Dancing Rabbit, connect with villagers, and participate in village activities. Please check out the rest of our website to learn more about our ecovillage.
The course fee includes camping accommodations in Dancing Rabbit’s wooded campground. Platforms for tents are provided, along with a composting toilet and access to showers in the Dancing Rabbit Community Building.
Indoor accommodations are available to rent during the course for an additional fee. We have several options: rooms in cabins, private homes, and the bed & breakfast. Email us after you register to see what’s still available.
Dancing Rabbit’s eco-B&B, the Milkweed Mercantile, will be preparing all of the course meals – and really good food is their specialty!
We can work with a range of dietary needs – let us know your particulars when you fill out the registration form. Please note that we do our best to accommodate different dietary needs but cannot guarantee that we will be able to.
The all-inclusive fee covers: instruction, materials, meals, camping platform (bring your own gear), showers, bathrooms, WiFi, and community building access. Indoor accommodations are available at an extra cost.
We have special rates for groups, seniors, and students. Please contact us for more information.
Sharon Bagatell has been studying and practicing permaculture for the past twenty years in both temperate and tropical climates. Building on her extensive background as an environmental educator, she received a design certificate while living at Earthaven Ecovillage, a teaching certificate through Midwest Permaculture in Illinois, an advanced design certificate in Designing for Climate Resilience through Oregon State University, and a Home Horticulture Certification also through Oregon State.
Sharon lived at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage for 10 years where she and her partner built a timberframe straw-bale home with a gardenable roof. Natural building is in her bones and was one of the teachers of their Natural Building Workshops.
Sharon is presently living in Durham, North Carolina, and is passionately involved in citizen advocacy on climate change. She is the author of a permaculture curriculum for children and a step-by-step permaculture manual for low-literacy Malawian farmers.
Olivia Miller Peterson has been studying and working within the sustainability and Permaculture field for 9 years. She earned a degree in Environment, Economics, Development and Sustainability and during her studies contributed to thesis work on deforestation, climate change policy, and the Permaculture movement. After completing her PDC in Athens, Ohio, Olivia and her future husband Erik moved off-grid and began designing Fern Hollow Farm, their own 10-acre Permaculture oasis.
She completed her Permaculture Teacher Training with Midwest Permaculture and returned to Ohio State to complete a Masters in Social Work specializing in Mental Health and Community & Social Justice and enjoys bringing this “people care” lens to her Permaculture design work and teaching. Olivia also works as a therapist in the community specializing in horticulture and nature-based therapy, somatic psychotherapy, and trauma. Permaculture is Olivia’s life work – she is passionate about designing and facilitating intimate connection between people and nature in the hope that we might value each other and this beautiful Earth we all inhabit.
Erik Peterson first encountered Permaculture in 2012 while working at Community Food Initiatives, a 501 (c)3 non-profit focusing on regional food security through community and school gardens, and farmers’ market programs. Erik received his PDC at Solid Ground Farm in Athens, Ohio in Spring of 2014, where he also met Olivia, then went on to earn his Permaculture Teachers Training through Midwest Permaculture (MWP) in the summer of 2015.
After further training in natural building at Cal-Earth, Master Gardener certification, and Pattern Literacy (with Toby Hemenway), Erik accepted an offer to become a Teaching Apprentice with Bill and Becky Wilson of MWP.
Erik has co-taught 15 Permaculture Design Courses with MWP across the US and Canada over the last 3 years, and has facilitated and taught in 3 PDC courses independently. Erik also teaches the Permaculture curriculum locally at Hocking College. Erik splits his time between the educational and social Permaculture centered farm he and his partner Olivia Miller Peterson co-founded in 2015, Fern Hollow Farm, LLC, and Erik’s business by the same name, which focuses on Permaculture and native plant design and installations, rainwater systems, earthworks, masonry, building and more.
“I gave the overall rating a 10 [out of 10]. If I could go higher I would, you exceeded my expectation by a huge amount.”
“I expected a university class. I got a humanizing, spiritual, and engaging experience. Much more than I expected.”
“This was such a wonderful experience. I can’t imagine a better use of my time and money that I had invested in being here. I’m leaving inspired, motivated, excited, and personally fulfilled.”
“I loved the interaction with Dancing Rabbit and their hospitality, in allowing us into their homes and lives. The practical application of the techniques were a bonus – I don’t think it would have been the life-changing experience without DR.”
“You [at Dancing Rabbit] are walking the talk. It is very inspiring and anchors the entire PDC.”