Permaculture Design Course Ocean City Smart Growth

   72 Hour – Permaculture Design Certificate Course

June 17-30 2016

Ocean City, New Jersey


“This course is unique in that it will focus on solutions especially helpful for residents of urban, barrier islands. New Jersey is home to many of these fragile environments. An inspired community, well informed and prepared, willing to take personal measures, can grandly enhance the ability to maintain these treasured places as a thriving, inviting, healthy and sustainable home for residents, businesses, plants, wildlife, and fish and a place of repose and pleasure for tourists to visit. “

-Helen Plourde-McSweeny

Who is this course for?

  • people with a yard, and everyone with one that floods
  • anyone interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle and creating health
  • city planners, city council and zoning officials      
  • those seeking well-being for their community and working towards an abundant, ecologically responsible future
  • backyard gardeners
  • farmers and agriculturalists
  • landscape designers seeking a more sustainable dimension for their work
  • community activists
  • Environmental Studies students
  • homeowners who want to invest in the long-term productivity of their property
  • school garden organizers
  • educators


What is permaculture?

permaculture-design-certificate-logoPermaculture is a design system that reconciles human communities with the ecological imperatives of a living planet. Permaculture is a way of organizing knowledge, a connecting system that integrates science, art, politics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and the diverse experiences and resources available in any community.

The course will consist of a broad range of topics applicable to life anywhere on this planet, yet will be tailored to the needs of the students present as well as the climate and challenges of living on a low-lying, urban, barrier island. As part of the course, participants will help to co-create designs for real world projects that include elements such as mini food forests, permaculture-style gardens, water catchment gardens, natural building, earthworks, responsible architecture and social systems.

The course will be conducted in the internationally accepted manner, but will go far beyond the scope of many PDC’s. The 72 hours of course work required to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, will be covered over a 12 day period, mixing hands-on 4activities, group work, and “walk-and-talks” with plenty of in classroom studies, covering all major topics of Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designers Manual. 

All students are required to be present for all sessions if they wish to receive the certificate. Our aim is to create a supportive learning community for the duration of the workshop, where trust, compassion, support and connection is built among participants.

The following topics will be discussed in class:

  1. working on the designsPhilosophiesand Ethics underlying Permaculture
  2. Basic Permaculture principles
  3. Patterns in Nature and how to use that in holistic design
  4. Methods of design. (How to apply permaculture design tools and strategies to your design problems. How to increase your chance on a successful design by following a well defined design methodology)
  5. Climactic factorsand microclimate design
  6. Trees, forests and Forest gardening (How to mimic natural forest systems to create an abundance of food, fiber and fodder)
  7. studentsworking@deskWater: catchment, usage, importance, and conservation.
  8. Soil structure, minerals, micro-organisms (Building new soil and preventing erosion, working with the soil food web to create a healthy ecosystem and regenerate degraded land)
  9. Earthworks (How to shape the land to help it achieve the goals we are aiming for)
  10. Aquaculture
  11. Natural Building (How to build structures with materials studen cobavailable on-site.
  12. Alternative systems (Community living and other ways of living differently that work well for people and the planet/ Bioregional organization, community development, alternative economic systems, permaculture as aid)


Friday, June 17 (evening check-in) to Thursday, June 30, 2016


Ocean City Smart Growth Main Headquarters, 408 Central Avenue, Historic District, Ocean City, NJ 08226


There are many Bed and Breakfasts in the neighborhood and private host options available. Email for a listing.



nickNick Tittle grew up in Washington DC and attended the University of South Carolina where he received a bachelors degree in small business management and entrepreneurship. After school Nick traveled 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, Guatemala, and the USA.  He was a featured speaker at the 1st South East Asia Permaculture Convergence, presenting about rehabilitating a monoculture orchard into a perennial polyculture food forest.  Nick additionally organized and facilitated the 1st Thailand Permaculture Convergence in 2013. Nick is currently based in Charleston, South Carolina where he is working on setting up an Urban Permaculture Education Center.


 gregGreg Crawford has a decade of work 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


“I heard about PDC from a friend and then found out that it was offered in my neighborhood. I bought 2.5 acres … 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, Seattle, Learning & Development Manager, Fortune 100


” 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 “

-PDC student Margaux, 58 years old, interpreter for the UN and raw chef

Price-Sliding scale $600 – $1200

        $600-­‐799: Low end of the sliding scale

        $800-­‐999: Suggested price        

        $1000-­‐1200: High end of the sliding scale

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 sufficient resources to pay the minimum $600.

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.seedlings

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 It is a great way to reach out to your family and friends, let them know what you are up to and give them an easy way to contribute to your education.  Don’t let a lack of resources stop you from obtaining this important information!


            REGISTER NOW! We expect this course to fill, so get your spot locked in. Community is very important to us, so class size will be limited.

Please send all inquires to :

or call Helen Plourde-McSweeny 609-675-1984