PDC at Lunasi Land Trust, Pennsylvania, USA 15-28th of August 2015

Join us at Lunasi Land Trust in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania for a certified 15-day Permaculture Design Course (PDC) taught by Nick Tittle, Gregory Crawford and Brecht Deriemaeker of Surplus Permaculture Design (www.surpluspermaculture.org) and supported by Luke Smith & Lily Hollister of Endless Mountains Permaculture. The course will cover a broad range of topics and skills applicable to regenerative living anywhere on this planet. Participants will explore in depth designs for real world projects, including such Permaculture elements as food forests, perennial gardens, natural building, mushroom cultivation, water catchment, animal systems, earthworks and much more.
Everyone will have an opportunity to take part in the existing Permaculture activities on the hosting land and the instruction will be tailored to the needs of the students present. The 72 hours of coursework required to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate will be covered over a two-week period, mixing hands-on activities with group work,walk-and-talks, and plenty of study both in and
outside the classroom. All participants wishing to become certified Permaculture designers are required to be present for the full two weeks. The curriculum will adhere to the internationally-accepted standards, but will go far beyond the scope of many PDC’s. The teaching team for this PDC has incredibly diverse experiences and skillsets. Having been involved in many other PDC’s we can assure you this one will be very unique in that it combines Permaculture with life coaching, ecophilosophy, and a new opportunity to get pre-PDC support in collaboration with Gaia University. Our experience is that by creating a supportive learning community where trust, compassion, support and connection are built among participants, we can work wonders and have tons fun, too.


A diverse range of topics will be discussed in this PDC, including:

  • Philosophies and core ethics underlying Permaculture
  • Basic Permaculture principles
  • Patterns in Nature and how to use them in holistic design
  • Design Methodology: Learn how to apply Permaculture tools and strategies to your design challenges and increase your chances of success by following a well-defined, tried and true design methodology.
  • Climatic factors and strategies: Exploration of the major climate zones and how to work effectively within them.
  • Trees, forests and forest gardening: Learn how to mimic natural forest systems to obtain abundant food, fiber, fuel, fodder & medicines.
  • Water: catchment, usage, importance, and conservation – swales, dams, irrigation; waste and waste-water management
  • Soil structure: Learn to work with the soil food web to create a health yecosystem and regenerate degraded land; improve mineral content and beneficial microorganisms; build new soil; and prevent erosion.
  • Alternative Energy – wind, solar, micro-hydroelectric, biogas etc


  • Earthworks: Learn how to shape the land to help it achieve the goals we are aiming for; keyline
  • Animal systems: chicken tractors, bee-keeping, holistic grazing
  • Aquaculture: Discover the amazing potential of aquaculture.
  • Natural Building: Learn how to build beautiful and sturdy structures with locally-available, low-cost materials.
  • Alternative socio-economic systems: Co-vision possibilities for your community to live in ways that benefit people and the planet without stealing from future generations. We will explore topics such as bioregional organization, community development, alternative economic systems, and Permaculture as aid/disaster relief.
  • Life Coaching for your Permaculture niche. Holistic goal setting to determine your zones of brilliance & interest and how to design the life you really want.
  • Optional Evening Sessions: Mushroom growing, world cafes; open space technology; skill shares; dragon dreaming; and so much more


 Who is this course for?

  • Anyone interested in living a regenerative lifestyle, creating health and well-being for their community, and working towards an abundant, ecologically responsible future
  • Homeowners who want to invest in the long-term productivity of their property
  • Landscape designers seeking a more holistic approach to their work
  • Community organizers and actionists
  • Environmental Studies students
  • School garden organizers
  • Organic gardeners
  • Farmers
  • Aid workers
  • Educators
  • You!

About Lunasi Land Trust

Lunasi is located on 50 acres (20hectares) in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. The trust was founded in 1972 by back-to-the-land hippies with the purpose of preventing depletion of the land and improving its life-generating ability. We are a small community which has lived together, raised our children, and joyfully cultivated awareness of our interdependence with the land.
Lunasi has been gardening organically for 43 years and in 2013 the members came to consensus to become a Permaculture site. This PDC is a crucial first step toward the realization of that vision. The Land Trust has also has hosted a Summer Solstice Pie Festival every year since 1974 – a beautiful event bringing together community members near and far to enjoy music and volleyball, celebrate friendship, and eat lots of delicious pie!

Meet the teachers

nickNick Tittle grew up in Washington DC and attended the University of South Carolina where he received a B.A. in small business management and entrepreneurship. After school Nick travelled the world visiting farms and gaining valuable insight into indigenous agricultural practices before heading to South East Asia. He spent three years managing volunteers, interns and apprentices at the Panya Project Permaculture and Earthen Building Education Center. Nick specializes in consulting and teaching about a variety of subjects including natural building, organic gardening, forest gardening, soil food web technology, animal husbandry and alternative economic systems. Nick received his Teacher Training certification from John Champaign in 2010 and has consulted in  Thailand, China, India, and the USA. As a featured speaker at the 1st South East Asia Permaculture Convergence, he presented about rehabilitating a monoculture orchard into a perennial polyculture food forest. He organized and facilitated the 1st Thailand Permaculture Convergence in 2013. Nick is currently based in Charleston, SC where he is the Farm Manager of Fresh Future Farm, an urban Permaculture education/ inspiration center and community market. Nick is also currently teaching the first PDC in South Carolina.

Gregory Crawford has a decade of wogregrk experience on small-scale, organic, community-supported farms in Washington State. A six-month apprenticeship at Pun Pun—a sustainable living center in Northern Thailand—sparked a passion of natural house design & productive architecture, leading Gregory to design & build over seven natural homes to date. It was during this apprenticeship that he became involved in the Panya Project, which was in its formative first year; collectively, Gregory has spent over two years at the Panya Project, facilitating courses & managing the natural buildings. Creating his own course-curriculum through an entirely self-directed education at the Evergreen State College led Gregory to study sustainable urban planning, unconventional methods of homesteading, innovative material reuse, & creative writing across Europe, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. His learning experience is embodied in his self-published, self-produced novel—Fall Apart Park—about the radical re-purposing of a broken, modern city. Gregory is currently transforming a neglected & abandoned 3,700 sq ft home in Detroit, Michigan into an urban permaculture resource center called Win/win Reactor.Win/win hosts workshops & courses focused on permaculture’s value within the city, replicable appropriate technologies, food production/preservation, ethically-aligned livelihood, personal & community empowerment, & much more.

lukeLuke Smith is a Permaculture designer, ecologist and conservation biologist with a deep commitment to landscape regeneration, food sovereignty, grassroots community organizing and regenerative enterprise. He holds a bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Sussex and a master’s in Conservation Biology from University College London. Luke has spent the last five
years living in South America working on a variety of natural resource management and agroecology initiatives including: researching indigenous people’s foraging and ecological farming practices; developing Permaculture initiatives with rural communities in degraded landscapes; and, promoting regenerative supply-­chain development for rainforest crops. Luke is passionate
about ecology, botany, agroforestry and tradi>onal knowledge systems. He is Director of Regenerative Design at Alianza Arkana, co-­‐founder of Endless Mountains Permaculture and contractor for Terra–Genesis International.

lilyLily Hollister is a lifelong community member of Lunasi Land Trust. She is a Certified Life-coach and has been living and working primarily in Latin America since 2006. She has a B.A. in Social Theory, Structure and Change with a focus in Community  Advocacy and Sustainability from SUNY. In 2009 she moved to the Amazon Rainforest and worked with Fundacion Pachamama in  Achuar indigenous communities designing intercultural curricula and experiential teacher training models. She is co-founder of the International English Minga. From 2014-15 she headed up the
communications and fundraising program for Alianza Arkana, an NGO in the Peruvian Amazon supporting solutions-oriented projects in Shipibo indigenous communities. She is an avid dancer, singer, writer, artist and enjoys learning to play the quena flute. She is a current student of Martín Prechtel at his school, Bolad’s Kitchen, in New Mexico. She is cofounder of Endless Mountains Permaculture.

Cost for 2-week certified PDC

For this PDC, we will use a sliding scale payment system. We believe that this unique model balances the needs of students, facilitators, and organizers to create a win-winwin situation where all parties’ needs are satisfied. We trust that each individual will determine the appropriate amount to contribute based upon their personal financial situation and the value of this transformative experience. A deposit of $400 will be paid at the time of registration and the remaining payment will be made halfway through the course so that your full contribution can be aligned with the value you feel you are receiving from the experience.


Sliding scale $600 – $1200

  • $600-­‐799: Low end of the sliding scale
  • $800-­‐999: Suggested price
  • $1000-­‐1200: High end of the sliding scale

If you are interested in creative ways to come up with funds pay for this course, we suggest looking into “crowd-fundraising” for it through We The Trees. It is a great way to reach out to your family and friends, let them know what you are up to and give them a easy way to contribute to your education. Once you are certified in Permaculture, you can return to your community and share it to others in return for their help which allowed you to attend the Lunasi PDC.

Why we use a sliding scale

  • Through the use of a sliding scale, you, as the student, have the unique opportunity to consciously choose how much you can contribute towards 1) your own education, 2) the needs of the education center where you will take your PDC, and 3) the educators of this PDC. The sliding scale is an invitation to look at your own financial situation and make a conscious contribution in full alignment with your means and integrity.
  • We want to encourage those who have the ability to pay more to do so in order to enable people with limited financial resources to participate in this course – creating a more socially and economically diverse group.
  • People who are inspired to pay more than the maximum course price contribute towards a scholarship fund for people wanting to participate in this PDC who do not have suffucient resources to pay the minimum $600.
  • If you do not have financial wealth, we are willing to negotiate payment made through trade items which would be especially useful to the course facilitators and Lunasi site. For example: 1) Frequent flier miles; 2) vegetables, poultry, eggs or other food/drink for the PDC produced organically on your land; 3) materials and/or labor for building infrastructure needed for the PDC (composting latrine, outdoor shower; picnic tables, etc); 4) other beautiful and unique offerings – share your ideas with us!. These non-financial contributions should be negotiated with facilitators and agreed upon before the PDC.
  • Payment happens in the middle of the course, you do not need to indicate how much you are willing to contribute when you sign up.

Facilities & Accommodation

Lunasi has a large 100+ year-old farm house and two other family dwellings. We have two barns, one of which will be used for classes when it is rainy. We will have an outdoor, open-air classroom in the shade for the beautiful, sunny days. We have a spring in the woods, 3 wells, a pond for swimming, hayfields, mixed hardwood and deciduous forests, gardens, a mushroom
growhouse, and 2 outhouses. For this PDC, we will be building a composting toilet and a rainwater fed shower in the woods (with well backup for periods of drought). We have abundant yard space and we will be building some picnic tables for mealtimes.

Flat and beautiful camping spots abound on the property, both in fields and in the woods. For a limited number of guests, we have a 6 bedroom farmhouse house on the neighboring Chauncy Land Trust for those who prefer not to camp or need more privacy. Please contact us ahead of time to express any special accommodation or dietary needs you will have.

Arrival and Departure

Please plan to arrive at Lunasi around 7 PM on Friday, August 14th to give yourself enough time to set up camp. You can take a Coach USA bus to Elmira, NY (half an hour North of Lunasi) or fly into the Elmira, NY (ELM) Airport. We will have a pick up at 7:30PM at the bus station/8:45PM at the airport on Friday August 14th and we will bring people to Lunasi in time to set up camp. Please eat dinner before you arrive or bring your own. For more detailed bus information, please see the Coach USA schedules: http://www.coachusa.com/.

Delta, USAir, United Airlines, and American Airlines all fly into Elmira, New York. If you require a pick up from the airport at a different time, we charge $50 to make the extra journey (67 miles round trip). You can also contract a taxi at the airport (Valley Taxi), but they are rather expensive to get out to the rural areas, aren’t reliably there (small airport!), and often will not know how to get to our place. Please contact Lily Hollister ahead of time to make travel arrangements.

Registrator and Deposit

We expect the 30 spaces available in this course to fill quickly. Community is very important to us, so priority will be given to friends and neighbors native to the Endless Mountains. Please submit a registration questionnaire and deposit as soon as possible to reserve your place.

Fundraise for your tuition

If you are interested in a creative way to come up with funds for this course, look into fundraising for it through WeTheTrees.com. It is a great way to reach out to your family and friends, let them know what you are up to and give them a easy way to contribute to your education.

Click on the banner to learn more

Fundraise your course tuition with WeTheTrees!

Reserve your spot!

By making your deposit of $400 for this course your spot will be reserved. Without a deposit, your place on the PDC may be given to others. See our methods of payment and refund policy below  for more details. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Lily Hollister by sending an email to lunasilandtrust@gmail.com or by calling 1-570-549-8179.

How to pay

  • Eventbrite

Please pay your deposit and get your ticket at EventBrite – Lunasi Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) Course: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lunasi-permaculture-design-certificationpdc-course-tickets-15861455039

  • Credit Cards/International Payments:

We accept TransferWise payments for those who wish to pay with their credit or debit cards. To register for TransferWise, please follow this link: https://transferwise.com/u/3dcb4 and send money to lilyhollister@gmail.com.

  • Checks:

Please write out your checks payable to Lily Hollister with “Lunasi PDC” in the Memo section and send to: Lunasi Land Trust, c/o Lily Hollister, 2091 Oldroyd Road, Columbia Cross Roads, PA 16914

What are people saying about Surplus Permaculture?

“Whenever I remember moments, people, classes, etc. I can not stop marveling at how you organized and managed everything. To me it is the perfect example of a divine intervention, when one taps directly to the source …not to minimize at all your work, but it truly is beyond any human being to transmit what you did the way you did. Only divine intervention can make this possible.”
-Margaux, interpreter for the UN and raw chef

“I heard about PDC from a friend and then found out that it was offered in my neighborhood. I bought 2.5 acres in Italy and wanted to learn more about how to build a sustainable garden there. As I am a facilitator myself and have delivered a lot of training I tend to be a bit saturated and skeptical as a learner, but this course was pretty amazing. The design was great, the flow made sense, I was engaged the entire two weeks and Nick and Greg not only have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, but they are also excellent facilitators, holding the space, exploring things from different perspectives and creating a safe learning environment. I left enriched and motivated to put what I learned into practice. Greg and Nick, thanks so much. You both are authentic fabulous facilitators and experts of permaculture.”
-Claudia, Learning & Development Manager, Fortune 100

“These past [two weeks] have already begun to reorient my brain and has begun to thaw out pieces of me that were once frozen in fear and confusion. I cannot express how grateful I am that
your presence is here within the community, and for reinforcing the gift of permaculture.”

-PDC Student, Garden/ Composting School Educator

“It’s Quite a challenge expressing the depth of my gratitude for all you brought to this course. Your skills, wisdom,knowledge and most importantly, your heart and soul exemplify
permaculture in a way that inspires beyond the ordinary”

-Anavadya, Health Practitioner

“I cannot begin to explain how much this knowledge has permeated me. Your time and effort into this and us is invaluable. My gratitude cannot be measure in dollars…”
-Casey, College Student

We look forward to seeing you!!

we look forward