Blue Sky Farm 3rd Annual
Permaculture Design Course 2020

The Permaculture Design Certificate course is a 72+ hour training experience. Students who complete the full curriculum are recognized internationally as Certified Permaculture Designers.

The course covers sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates. It includes the application of permaculture principles to food production, home design & construction, energy conservation and generation, and explores the social and economic structures that support a culture that cares for the planet and all its inhabitants.

Course Dates

July 5-18
(Expect very full days)

Course Location

West Michigan Lakeshore
Montague, Michigan

Course Price

Deposit to Reserve a Seat: $150
Early Bird (Before 5-1-20): $1295

Do you know where your food and energy come from?
Where your waste goes and what’s being done with your money?

Permaculture problem-solving leads to sustainable lifeways that nurture people and planet. During this magical fortnight, our team of world-renowned and locally grounded teachers will create a stimulating atmosphere for group learning, giving you the tools to practice regenerative land design. Join us for this exceptional opportunity in the friendly White Lake community. West Michigan’s wonderland of natural beauty, between lakeshore dunes and wooded ridges, and the emerging garden farm and homestead systems of Blue Sky Farm will provide us a laboratory for exploring carbon farming, the mycelial internet, polyculture gardens, home food preservation and storage, regenerative forestry, energy-efficient building science, and the circular economy.

Teachers from across Michigan will contribute to enriching this residential intensive with their hard-won experience in animal management, appropriate technology, and community development. We will present the 72+ hour curriculum recognized by Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) covering ethics, principles, design process, pattern knowledge, natural systems of soil, forests, and water, along with climate and microclimate adaptations, food and fertility systems, urban and village design, architecture and building methods, economics and finance. We will wrap up with team design projects to be implemented on the ground.

Come and practice observation and drawing, small-scale earthworks, tree care, waste reduction and redirection, and learn the arts of simple everyday living in community. We will have time to tell stories, make music, and swim in the lake, while we reflect together on the urgent challenges of our times, and find renewed commitment to a better world.

A veteran of 100 courses in five nations, Peter Bane is the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country, and an accomplished ecovillage designer. He holds diplomas from the Permaculture Institute of Britain, PINA, and the Permaculture Institute-USA. Rhonda Baird is a community and labor organizer, homeschooling mother, fiber artist, and gifted educator. UP-native Keith Johnson is a market gardener, seed saver, and landscaper extraordinaire. Both he and Rhonda are also PINA diplomates in Education and Site Design. Penny Krebiehl is a graphic facilitator, trained permaculture educator, market farmer, and a board member of the Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute. She helped organize the first-ever Michigan-wide Permaculture Convergence at Brighton in 2013.

TC PDC 2019 Teaching Team


Keith Johnson was raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (where he learned at an early age he was related to Johnny Appleseed), and has been a commercial landscaper, stonemason, and organic gardener since 1976 in places as varied as subtropical Bay Area of California, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Michigan, & the mountains of W. North Carolina. After devouring Permaculture One in 1978 he continued to learn all he could on the subject. He’s been teaching Permaculture since ’95, has instructed more than 1200 students, many of those through Indiana University’s annual Design Course which began in 2003. He’s taught or trained with Bill Mollison, Larry Santoyo, Tom Ward, Penny Livingston, Peter Bane, Chuck Marsh, Andrew Goodheart Brown, Albert Bates, Starhawk, and Jerome Osentowski and others. Previously resident in Bloomington, IN (now, Montague, MI), Keith participated in a number of local activism projects including the editorial guild of the Permaculture Activist, the founding of Transition Bloomington (Indiana’s first Transition Town Initiative), past board member of the Local Growers Guild, contributor to Bloomington’s Peak Oil Task Force, member of the Bloomington Permaculture Guild, past member of the Bloomington Food Policy Council and the Trillium Horticultural Park Project. A frequent public speaker and radio interviewee, he works constantly to share a vision of cultural and ecological regeneration and continues to provide ecological design and consultation services via Patterns for Abundance. He is also web manager and assistant editor of Permaculture Design Magazine. Keith holds a diploma in Education, Design, Site Development, Community Service, and Media from the Permaculture Institute and diplomas in Teaching and Design from PINA.

Peter Bane
published Permaculture Activist magazine for over 20 years and has taught permaculture design widely in the temperate and tropical Americas. Author of The Permaculture Handbook, he is a native of the Illinois prairie whose interest in good food and simple living led him at mid-life to become a writer and teacher of permaculture design. Peter serves on the board of PINA (Permaculture Institute of North America). He is also a co-founder of the Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute, a regional hub in the PINA network. He was also drawn into the arcane world of intentional community as fate presented the opportunity to help create and build Earthaven Ecovillage in the southern Appalachian Mountains. There he discovered his inner architect in the course of building a small off-grid solar cabin and later took on the more prosaic job of rehabilitating a pair of suburban ranch houses in the Midwestern college town of Bloomington, Indiana. That was the first step toward creating a small suburban farmstead where he now lives with his partner and apprentices. A prolific writer in journals and collections on forestry, building and all things sustainable, he consults with universities and municipal governments as well as for private landowners.
Rhonda Baird is a permaculture educator and designer; homeschooling mama; and community organizer. She and her family are nestled in Bloomington, Indiana. Rhonda is a seventh generation Hoosier, with deep ties to the forested hills and rivers of southern Indiana. Though permaculture practice began formally for her in 2005, she grew up in a working-class family that had multiple gardens-incorporating fruits, shrubs, and animals into the patterns and rhythms of those sites. Her family also preserved seed, propagated young fruits, foraged on nearby public lands, and was active in forestry. In 2005, Rhonda “stumbled” into a Permaculture Design Course with Peter Bane and Keith Johnson and never looked back. She began apprenticing as a teacher and after the first year, began working as a designer and offering independent workshops as well as coordinating the Bloomington Permaculture Guild. In 2008, she began working with The Permaculture Activist. In 2010, Rhonda joined the board of the Association for Regenerative Culture. Rhonda heads the Field Advisor Working Group for PINA (Permaculture Institute of North America). She is also a co-founder of the Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute, a regional hub in the PINA network. Her design business is Sheltering Hills Design. She holds diplomas in Teaching and Design from PINA.
Penny Krebiehl has been sharing/educating through permaculture design since 2005, and is a graphic-recorder for courses and presentations, through the Mid-west & USA. Penny is a life-long Michigan garden-farmer, woods-wanderer, and arts educator. She is the founder of Northern Michigan Permaculture, a Certified Permaculture Designer and Instructor, and Member/Beginning Grower of the Bionutrient Food Association. As the originator of O’k CSA Cooperative, building a neighborhood, community gardening system in Traverse City, since 2004, she continues to serve the community/region. Penny’s work is focused through Northern Michigan PermacultureO’k Art & Design and the educational non-profit, Little Artshram, in Northern MI.

Course materials, tuition, meals, and camping in our managed woodland are covered by the registration fee. Commercial lodging is available locally by private arrangement. The $150 deposit is non-refundable if you withdraw before completing enrollment, but fully refunded if the course should for any reason be cancelled. The final cost is determined by the date you complete payment: by Dec. 1, ‘18 – $995; to Jan. 15, ‘19 – $1100; to March 1 – $1200; to May 1 – $1295; by June 30 – $1395. Full or partial payments are accepted at any time. 3% is added when using Paypal.

For information or to register, contact:
Peter Bane, 812-335-0383,

Or visit the Course Syllabus Page Here.

Students in the 2016 NMI PDC celebrating their new book delivery, “The Permaculture City” by Toby Hemenway

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