Permaculture Design Courses (PDC)

Because of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, all courses are currently on hold.

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Join us for a fully certified Permaculture Design Course. On completion you will receive the internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design, accredited by the UK Permaculture Association. 


No courses available at present

Courses will be taught over eleven full days, with a free day mid-point. Offering much more than just the standard 72 hour syllabus, you’ll experience a combination of theory and practical sessions with plenty of time for exploration and discussion in a glorious setting.

Minimum donation – 510€ *

What is Permaculture?IMG_7327copy-225x300

Permaculture is a sustainable design system that provides for human needs while having positive effects on the surrounding environment. It is based on the ethics of earth care, people care and fair share, and provides practical solutions to the global crises we are currently facing.

Who is the Permaculture Design Course for?

Permaculture is for EVERYONE, regardless of their education, background, or previous experience.

Permaculture is NOT just about trees, or just about gardening! You don’t need loads of land to practice it and it’s a design method that can be applied to all social systems. Whatever your plans for the future, the Permaculture Design Course will give you the perspective and tools required to find positive solutions towards a sustainable life.

About the Team

Our lead teacher on our May course will be Joshua Gomez who we have had the good fortune to have worked with on many previous courses, and in August we will be joined by Michel Thill of Social Landscapes.

Joshua Gomez got involved with Permaculture in 2005. In April 2009 he organised and attended a PDC in central Portugal taught by JoshLesley Martin. He received the UK Permaculture Diploma in 2011 and since then has been teaching at various locations in Europe and Africa. He has a natural talent of working with people from all walks of life, a deep understanding of our ecosystem and Permaculture design principles, and is a pleasant and inspiring person.
Josh has been working with Casalinho since 2012 . He prefers the title educator rather than a teacher, as he is more concerned with helping people to unlock their own passions and skills, enabling them to also to become educators of the things they are inspired by through Permaculture.
You can view some of Joshua’s design portfolio on his website, EcoJoshua.

MichMichel Thill is currently based in London where he teaches Permaculture and runs various community and food growing projects through Social Landscapes. Inspired by Permaculture, Forest Gardening and Ecovillage Design principles, Social Landscapes seeks to create flourishing and resilient micro-cultures within London through transformative Permaculture training and engaging people in outdoors to reinvent the public spaces they live in.
Michel has been teaching Permaculture and Deep Ecology across Europe over the last couple of years. He sees permaculture as a dance with nature, where nature takes the lead to create more harmonious places and futures for all.

Andrea and Jeroen are your co-teachers and hosts here at Casalinho. Andrea’s Sustainable Land Use course and PDC with Patrick Whitefield inspired her so much that she insisted Jeroen participate in a PDC too. A course was arranged with Lesley Martin later that same year, and the first PDC taught at Casalinho was born! We’ve been hosting PDCs here at Casalinho since 2011. Andrea met Michel at a Training of Teachers event facilitated by Looby Macnamara, Chris Evans and Tomas Ramiarz in 2017, and the collaboration was born.

We’re assisted in our projects at Casalinho by the international volunteers that we host, a fabulous opportunity to bring permaculture to a wider audience and expose ourselves to new ideas and inspirations. The rest of this website should give you the flavour of our project.



About the course syllabus

Our Permaculture Design Courses are based on an international syllabus and will  include:

Introductory– Permaculture ethics – Approaches to design – Guiding Principles of Permaculture – Biodiversity – Learning and Study strategies – Pattern in Design – Wilderness and wildlife

Cultivated Ecology – Permanent Pasture – Forest Gardens – Horticultural techniques – No-till cultivation – Biological pest control

Climates – Strategies for different Climates – Micro-climates

Buildings and Structures – Urban Permaculture – Appropriate technology – Waste reduction – The home and workplace – Energy efficient planning – Waste recycling and disposal

Soils – What is Living Soil? – Soil regeneration techniques and Soil Conservation

Water in Landscape – What is Living Water? – Water conservation, collection and storage – Waste water and sewage treatment – Aquaculture

Forests and Trees – Energy transactions of trees – Woodland establishment – Types of forest – Woodland management

Invisible Structures – Real Wealth – Land access – Formal/informal economy – Community development strategies – Personal Health and Resilience

Design Workshop – Design process and Presentation Skills – Maps and Overlays – Surveying – Project Planning

We aim to give each student a tool kit of basic skills, making them both competent designers and confident in the implementation process.

We use a wide range of teaching methods, including:

    • Digital presentationsDSC_0093-300x200
    • Practical activities
    • Discussion / constructive debate
    • Games
    • White board sessions
    • Observation exercises
  • Videos
  • Guided walks
  • Working in groups
Included in your course:
  • Permaculture course tuition, practical sessions and certificate.
  • Camping space for your own tent. Caravan or dormitory accommodation is available at an additional cost.
  • Use of compost toilet and solar shower.
  • Vegetarian meals. Additional meals available at a small cost if you wish to extend your stay with us following the course, or are joined by a non-participating guest.

It is assumed that you will arrive the evening before your course begins, and depart the morning after as this is compatible with local public transport.

Places are limited. Contact us via email to reserve your place and we will provide you with bank transfer details. Or telephone us on (00351) 235512171 or 934542254 (mobile).

A minimum deposit of 50% is payable at time of booking for all courses and workshops, with the remaining 50% payable on arrival. When your deposit is received we will acknowledge it by email and confirm your place on the course. Payments cannot be refunded for cancellations by the student less than 10 days before the course commences or once the course has begun. We reserve the right to cancel the course and refund monies paid in the event that insufficient bookings are confirmed or other unforeseen events make it’s running impossible . We cannot be held responsible for other costs.

PDC class with Lesley Martin & Bonita the goat. Participants have joined us from Portugal, UK, Australia, Philippines, China, Norway, Holland, Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, Hungary, Denmark and USA.