Permaculture Design Course

with David Holmgren, Beck Lowe & Guests

October 2022 - March 2023

Invite David Holmgren into your home

Access a wealth of information to build resilience in your own patch.

Build community, expand your knowledge, design your life and land with guidance from permaculture co-originator David Holmgren, Beck Lowe and a team of inspiring permie practitioners.

The Course

A Permaculture Design Course has the power to change your life.

Learn from experienced and enthusiastic permaculture tutors, including David Holmgren and Beck Lowe, from the comfort of your own home.

The PDC is capped at 26 students with live sessions each week, so there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to participate, be involved in discussions and get to know one another.

Participants will work on a design project of their own choice throughout the course – a great chance to design or re-design where you live, or another site of interest.

This PDC allows those who would not be able to attend our residential PDC, due to distance or other factors, to have a learning experience with permaculture co-originator David Holmgren. 

The live online sessions start on Friday 28th October and continue until 10th March 2023 (with a three-week break: 23rd & 30th December and 6th January).

This course goes beyond land-based design, bringing permaculture to all aspects of human living.

The learning will be structured around Holmgren’s 12 permaculture principles, as detailed in Permaculture: principles and pathways beyond sustainability.

Live a more sustainable life

Retrofit your house, your community and yourself.

Design a resilient system in the face of growing uncertainties.

Join a growing community of like-minded people.

Dates and times

28th October 2022 - 10th March 2023

9:00 am – 1:00 pm (AEDT) / 3:00 pm – 1:00 pm (PDT)

Classes will be held every Friday from 9:00am – 1:00pm (AEDT), starting 28th October until 10th March 2023 (with a three-week break: 23rd & 30th December and 6th January).

This time zone should work for those in eastern Australia and some of the Americas.

This adds up to the standard 72 hours of PDC content, all live online.

Each week bonus material will be provided, to be viewed and/or read in the participants’ own time, and participants will work on their design project throughout.


Learn from our experienced team, including permaculture co-originator.

You will learn from the co-originator of permaculture, David Holmgren, experienced permaculture educator, Beck Lowe, and a team of excellent permaculture practitioners and tutors.

The team has a depth of practical and theoretical knowledge to cover the myriad facets of permaculture.

Guest tutors include:

Su Dennett (Melliodora)
Meg Ulman and Patrick Jones (Artist as Family)
Joel Meadows (Greenhand Permaculture)

Course structure

Live weekly interactive classes on a wide range of permaculture topics.

Students will have pre-recorded viewing, or sometimes reading, material to watch or read during the week.

The first part of the evening session will generally consist of a live Q&A with a tutor or guest discussing this pre-recorded material. This format allows participants to have more interactive time with the presenters, to go into more detail on the topics discussed, and to tailor questions according to their interests.

The second part of the evening session will generally be a live presentation or activity with a tutor.

The weekend sessions will be similar, but will also include live, virtual visits to some of our favourite permaculture sites.

Beck Lowe will be facilitating all classes.

Much of the pre-recorded viewing is based around the online tour of Melliodora with David Holmgren and Su Dennett, giving an insight into this long-running, productive permaculture property. You will have lots of opportunities to ask them both further questions live online.’

Learn how to integrate permaculture into every aspect of your life.

Course content​

You will learn permaculture ethics, principles and design, and their application across the domains, so you can integrate them into all aspects of your life.

This course will equip you with the foundations of permaculture.

Topics include:​

  • permaculture ethics and principles
  • ecology and natural cycles
  • weather and climates
  • soils
  • permaculture food growing
  • energy literacy
  • reading the landscape
  • appropriate technology
  • built environment
  • design processes and practices
  • animals in permaculture
  • health and spiritual wellbeing
  • urban retrofitting
  • finance and economics
  • community strategies


There are no prerequisites for this course, but please read the Essence of Permaculture if you have not yet done so.  We will send you a link to the free PDF download.

All other titles and writings by David Holmgren are highly recommended. Please have a look through our online store or visit your local library.

With permaculture, you can design the world you want to live in.

Online PDC


Payment plans now available. See details.

Payment Plan Details:

50% paid up front.

25% on 25 November 2022.

25% on 20 January 2023.

Registrations are currently closed.
Join our Wait List to be notified about new dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

PDC stands for Permaculture Design Course. This has been the standard format for permaculture training since the 1980s.

If you undertake this course you will be joining a body of many thousands of PDC graduates around the globe. The traditional PDC is 72 hours and covers various aspects of permaculture design. Holmgren Design PDCs also focus on exploring how permaculture principles can be applied to all areas of life – not just a block of land.

David Holmgren, the co-originator of the permaculture concept, is a major tutor on this PDC, leading about one third of the sessions. One of the advantages of undertaking this PDC is the amount of time you will get to interact with David, both through his formal presentations, and his informal Q&A sessions. The remainder of the sessions will be led by Beck Lowe or one of our talented guest tutors.

Unlike some other online PDCs, we have a full 72 hours of content delivered live online. We also have about an hour per week of pre-recorded content that participants are expected to watch in their own time. We think this provides a good balance between learning in a group and managing your own study time.

We realise that online study is not for everyone – we’d rather be outside in the garden away from the screen too!

We specifically run this course for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to do a PDC in their local area, or who particularly want the input from permaculture co-originator David Holmgren. We encourage you to look into your options for a local PDC before you enrol in this one.

But that said, we aim to make this PDC as comprehensive and participant-focused as possible with live interactive presentations, classes and tours. Although you won’t get to experience the fieldtrips live, you will be able to see working permaculture properties and meet the people who steward them. And you will be working with a supportive group of likeminded participants throughout.

Before you enrol, please ensure you have the time available for the classes, the required viewing/reading and for working on your designs.

Attendance at all classes is expected, but we understand that sometimes you will have to miss a session due to illness or prior commitments. We may sometimes be able to record classes with prior notice. You must attend at least 75% of classes to receive the certificate at the end.

As is traditional with PDCs, you will also be required to present a permaculture design you have developed towards the end of the course. We are quite flexible about what projects students use for this design, but most participants choose to work on their own property, or the property of someone close to them.

As well as working on your design and attending classes, you will need to find an extra hour or so each week for the required viewing/reading/activities.

We also suggest other resources each week, so if you are really keen, you can spend as long as you like in private study!

Yes, our residential Ashram PDC will be running again in March 2023. To be notified when registrations open, please email [email protected] with an expression of interest.

There are always more expressions of interest than participant spaces for our Ashram PDCs, but unfortunately we don’t have the time or energy for more than one residential PDC per year. This new offering will enable more budding permies to access the wealth of David’s and other tutors’ permaculture knowledge. It also allows those who would not be able to attend our residential PDC, due to distance or other factors, to have the PDC experience.

We understand that the AEST/AEDT time zone will not suit everyone, but we expect participants to be present at each session (with occasional absences for illness etc).

Running future online PDCs in different time zones is a possibility we are actively exploring. If you are in a different time zone and might like to do a future course, please email an EOI with your preferred time zone to [email protected].

We encourage your partner/housemate to enrol with us so you can experience the PDC together. It isn’t appropriate to have people who are not part of the group listening in.

Class material, such as notes and links to resources, will be held in the online Holmgren Design Hub. This is an easy-to-navigate system where everything you require will be set out in weekly sessions. It also allows you to chat with other participants between sessions.

The live classes will be held via Zoom – if you don’t already have it, this is free to download and use.

The faster your internet connection the better for interacting online. If your internet is slow or unreliable we recommend you go to a friend’s place, a local library or community centre for the live classes if possible.

You will need:

  • Latest version of: Google Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, or Safari. Google Chrome often works best.
  • Your browser must have JavaScript enabled.
  • Speakers/ headphones and microphone (built-in is fine) are required.
  • Internet connection with 2.5 Mbps+.
  • To check that firewalls do not block the video content.
All classes will be conducted in English, so your English must be of a standard that you can participate in class discussions in real time.

As this is a new course, we cannot offer a concession price or scholarship, sorry. We may be able to on future courses.

We only accept credit card payments made via Stripe which also includes a small booking fee. Your booking is only complete once the funds have arrived in our account.

Sometimes circumstances change and you are unable to attend a course you have paid for. If you notify us at least 21 days prior to the course commencement, we will refund your course fee minus a $100 admin fee OR you can apply the full amount as credit towards a future course.

If you notify us less than 21 days prior to the course commencement we can only provide a refund if we have someone on the waiting list to do the course. We are happy for you to transfer your place to someone else as a private arrangement. Just let us know.

Holmgren Design reserves the right to cancel or discontinue advertised courses due to unforeseen circumstances. If we are forced to cancel a course, you will receive a full refund.

Need to know something else?

Send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Online Permaculture Series

Join permaculture elder Su Dennett, as she walks you through key homesteading skills and shares her tried-and-tested know how.

Have a sneak peek…

Play Video


What will you do with Su?

Join Su Dennett as she shares her passion for food and nourishment, her wisdom on the household non-monetary economy with a generous dash of frugal hedonism. 

Su has shared this knowledge with family, colleagues and visitors for decades and now it is available to you.

Whether you are at the start of your journey to greater personal, household and collective reliance or are a seasoned manager of household abundance, Do With Su will provide inspiration, strategies and techniques, and even a recipe or two that you can add to your mix.

Season One

Episode 1

Make Tortillas with Su

Learn how to make this Mexican and Central American staple that is also a staple in the Melliodora kitchen.

Episode 2

Su’s Kitchen Tour

A guided tour of the place where all the magic happens – the Melliodora kitchen.

Episode 3

Make Yoghurt with Su

Join Su as she shows you how to make yoghurt in a variety of ways.

Episode 4

Su’s Food Journey

Meet Su and hear how she began her food journey, and what has inspired her along the way.

Episode 5

Make Bread with Su

From fresh grain & sourdough starter through to wholesome bread. Join Su as she takes you through all the steps.

Episode 6

Lighting the stove with David

Take a peek inside the Melliodora kitchen and learn how Su’s partner David lights the wood stove each morning.

Episode 7

Make Pasta with Su

Join Su as she undertakes this labour of love. Pasta from grain to plate.

Q&A Add-on

Online Q&A session

Here’s your chance to ask Su any questions you still have after watching the Season One episodes.

Meet Su Dennett

And soak up some wisdom from one of the most radical women in permaculture.

Su is a force to be reckoned with, with a wicked sense of humour. She can be seen and heard along side her partner David Holmgren and together they keep the cogs of Melliodora running smoothly.

What Su can’t tell you about frugal living and funky goat cheese just ain’t worth knowing.

In these episodes filmed at Melliodora, Su will walk and talk you through key homesteading skills and tried-and-tested know how.

And you’ll meet some of her expert homesteading and permaculture friends.

Have a sneak peek…

Play Video

What it looks like

Each of the 7 episodes contains video featuring Su Dennett or one of her guests, useful links, further reading, Q&A’s and more.

The first episode will be available immediately.

The following episodes will be released each Monday for the next six weeks, to give you time to digest the information and try your skills at home.

You will also have access to the Hub Do with Su online community, where you can ask questions and share knowledge with like minded folk.

Do with Su – Season One

Season One
+ Live Online Q&A

$ 40
  • 7 episodes + resources
  • One year access
  • Join the live online
    Q&A with Su

Season One
7 episodes

$ 30 1 time payment
  • 7 episodes + resources
  • Access to the Do with Su
    online community forum
  • One year access

Season One
+ Private Q&A with Su

$ 220
  • 7 episodes + resources
  • One year access
  • Private online Q&A with Su
    & invite five friends

How will the Q&A sessions work?

If you purchase the live online Q&A bundle, you will be sent an email with a link to book a date that suits you.

Available dates are:

Tuesday 26th March 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEDT

Tuesday 16th April 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEST

Tuesday 7th May 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEST

Sunday 12th May 2024

9:30am – 10:30am AEST

Sunday 19th May 2024

9:30am – 10:30am AEST

Tuesday 21st May 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEST

Dates and times are listed in Australian Eastern Daylight Time, however we have tried to choose times that will work for our international participants.

Each session will be limited to 30 people, so please book early to ensure you get the date and time that most suits you.

PLEASE NOTE: It is possible that unforeseen events may cause us to cancel, or postpone a session. In this event, you will have the option to book another date.

If you need to cancel or change your booking, please let us know asap. [email protected]

If you purchase the private online Q&A bundle we will get in touch via email to organise a date that suits Su, plus you and your friends.

Note: These sessions are strictly limited to 6 people in total.  You plus 5 of your friends or colleagues.

Tuesday 26th March 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEDT

Tuesday 16th April 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEST

Tuesday 7th May 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEST

Sunday 12th May 2024

9:30am – 10:30am AEST

Sunday 19th May 2024

9:30am – 10:30am AEST

Tuesday 21st May 2024

7:00pm – 8:00pm AEST


Here are a few of our more commonly asked questions.

Once you have signed up, you will have one year from your date of purchase to access the sessions.

On average, each session is between 10 to 15 minutes.

No.  Do with Su sessions are perfect for those who are newly curious, and equally as relevant for those who are already living a permaculture filled life.  

The Holmgren Design website is full of information relating to permaculture and David’s work.

You can read more about the permaculture principles and ethics here.

You can read about Melliodora here.  

If you purchase the full season of videos with the added live online Q&A sessions (with Su) you will have the opportunity to ask your questions then.

We encourage to join our Hub Do with Su Online Community where you can exchange ideas and knowledge with other Do with Su participants.  There are instructions on how to join in the first episode.

The RetroSuburbia Facebook group is also a fabulous resource to ask all kinds of homesteading and permaculture questions.

Currently we do not have subtitles available, however we are investigating this for future courses.

Basic internet and website navigation skills are all you need.  If you have a particularly old computer or very poor internet, you may experience some lag when viewing the video content.

You can use our queries form here.

Or send an email to [email protected]

Someone from the support team will get back to you as soon as they can.

You can use our queries form here.

Or send an email to [email protected]

Someone from the support team will get back to you as soon as they can.

Yes. You can find the gift certificate here.  If you would like to purchase the Q&A bundle or the private Q&A bundle as a gift please contact us: [email protected]  and we’ll see what we can do (depends on availability).

For online courses, a full no-questions-asked refund will be granted upon request within 30 days of your registration.

Contact us by email on [email protected]  before the end of the 30th day.

Refunds will be provided within 5 working days.

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