Permaculture for Humanity

The Permaculture Design Course teaches skills and principles that apply not only in an agricultural landscape, but in every environment. Its ethics and principles can be implemented in nearly every facet of life, from landscape design to community building, from art to education, and the list goes on. For this reason, the Permaculture Design Course has truly transformed the lives and enhanced the careers of people from every walk of life, all around the world. Our course is taught by internationally recognized experts and practitioners of Permaculture Design and Sustainability. Join us and learn how you can utilize the design principles of Permaculture in your life.

“We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.”
Dave Holmgren


The Permaculture Academy is a school that forwards our students’ understanding of the field of scientific sustainability. We teach methods that promote thoughtful decision-making and creative problem-solving, but that also reject “one size fits all” solutions. We honor methods that are basal, that come from the bottom up, rather than the top down, and offer monthly classes to beginners and the experienced from all walks of life, perspectives, backgrounds and creeds.

The term “Permaculture,” coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, is a contraction of the words “Permanent” and “Culture.” The vision of Permaculture is a human culture that dynamically sustains a permanently abundant global landscape. Permaculture achieves this vision through its foundation of caring for the Earth, guarding human rights, and investing all surplus resources toward these aims. Standing by these ethics, Permaculture’s design principles utilize observations of every element in a natural system to properly determine the human role in the design of a landscape. This approach of observation, analysis and participation makes Permaculture a unique holistic design system. The adaptability of Permaculture Design facilitates its continued growth as a worldwide movement, mostly through Design Courses, which have been taught in over thirty countries during the last forty years. The Permaculture Academy advances the vision of Permaculture Design in the Southern California area, led by Larry Santoyo and a team of recognized leaders of the global sustainability movement.

“The world will continue, but it is up to us to decide how we will participate in its future.”
Larry Santoyo



While the principles of Permaculture are most often associated with a rural or agrarian landscape, they are applicable in every populated setting. Our Permaculture Design Course uses the garden as a metaphor for balancing ecosystems, building business enterprise, and establishing community resilience within an urban landscape.

Each weekend workshop can be attended as a stand-alone class, however, the principles taught in the course are cumulative and multi-layered; taking the full course will yield a greater understanding of Permaculture as a whole, making it accessible to any aspect of life.

The Course begins by establishing a renewed understanding of biodiversity and an overview of the prevalent patterns found in natural systems. This exploration of natural patterns and our place in them lays a foundation upon which we construct the ethics and design principles of Permaculture.

Once the basic design principles and protocols are in place, the ecological patterns and systems we observe are translated into techniques and technologies that are applicable to our urban environment. We learn to arrive at solutions by asking, “How would nature do it?” Throughout the course, we practice applying natural principles for decision making for all the physical systems within the scope of human settlement: growing food, securing water, acquiring and storing energy, maintaining transportation, building structures, and more. Human settlements are more than just a physical environment; the course expands from ecological design into the realm of societal structures as we learn to apply nature’s problem-solving techniques to community and economic development.

As the course progresses, students will form small teams to work on a community design project. The course culminates with each team’s design presentation and a commemorative celebration.

Students will learn:

  • Elegant and Ecological Home & Garden
  • Modern Homesteading with Style
  • Healthy Building & Natural Property
  • Development
  • Green Business Models of Success
  • The Economics of a Sustainable Society
  • Design
  • Celebrating Community
  • For More on the Course Experience From A Beginner's Viewpoint: Permaculture Diary



“Observe nature thoroughly rather than labor thoughtlessly.”
-Masanobu Fukuoka


Course Tuition

  • $1450.00 for all six weekends
  • $300.00 per weekend workshop
  • Payment plans are available (Three installments of $525.00)
  • Full enrollment includes a copy of Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway

Course Requirements

  • Attendance to all scheduled class days
  • Attendance to one hands-on workshop
  • Completion of all homework assignments
  • Presentation of a design team project
  • Participation in the class Talent & Trade show

Suggested but Not Required Reading:

Upon successful completion of the Permaculture Design Course, a Certificate of Completion is awarded through The Permaculture Academy & The Permaculture Institute USA.



2016-2017 Schedule


Hawaii Permaculture Master Class Immersion: June 18-25 2017  Sign up here! 

BC, Canada Permaculture Immersion Retreat: July 15-29 2017   Sign up here!

Los Angeles Permaculture Design: Oct 6-7, 2017-Mar 3-4, 2018  Sign up here!

San Diego Permaculture Design: Oct 21-22, 2017-Mar 17-18, 2018  Sign up here!




My Motivation

"I knew who I was and who I wanted to be.  Even more so when I attended your first class.  You both sparked a fire, you have inspired me to live life with continued happiness and share the knowledge I have gained with everyone.  Which leads me to my motivation...the future... my granddaughter, she is the light in our lives and we can’t wait to watch her grow to continue our vision."

-Stella G.

Environment Influences "Consciousness”

"You opened such a wide door that I've been a full time student almost continually since then! Last week I successfully defended [my] doctoral dissertation. You were the guys that initiated me on this path... I remember at the opening session having the firm conviction that I had just discovered my life's work!"

-Christopher M.

Better Business

"Big thank you for my training from you.....changed the way I think forever.....has made me sooo much better in business!!!!"

-Leslie D.

Worth The Price

"This class is worth whatever price you paid to be in the room."

-Rachel L.


"This class is unnerving, in a good way."

-Alicia R.

Fun and Rewarding Experience

"Y'all, the Permaculture Design Course with Larry Santoyo has been such a fun and rewarding experience! You could be learning to do embarrassingly simple stuff for sustaining ecosystems from collapse, and you don't have to be a gardener green thumb like me to use permaculture design in what you do!"

-Dakota R.


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