Seriously, I recommend to all passionate and serious students of permaculture and regenerative sustainability to take, at minimum, two different permaculture design courses edified by two completely different educators at least 6 months to a year apart. There is just too much information to write down and remember in one course and the second course will mentally submerge the information much deeper and paint a whole different cranial hue (that will highlight the first course).
I get asked often (and I am going to speak truth here): What do I think of the “free” online permaculture design courses? Here is my answer: I have not personally taken any of the “free” online permaculture design courses and I know a lot of people say a lot of negative stuff about them. Note, a lot of people say a lot of negative stuff about a lot of stuff. Be sure to do your due diligence on your educators and schools and make a decision you feel comfortable with, can afford (cheap does not always equate to quality), and who you feel you could learn from.
Another question that gets asked a lot: Are the online courses as good as the in person courses? Here is my answer: I have not taken an online course for permaculture, however, we do plan on doing them at some point in the future as School of Permaculture kind of already does online education on it’s home page at no cost. I feel it is a great way to learn at your own pace if it is offered that way and since I am recommending taking two permaculture design courses (or three) then both an online course and an in person course would benefit the student greatly. There is a chemistry that happens between the educators and students and between the students themselves that cannot be obtained online. You also (if the course is local) have a built in community that can share local resources. This has proven time and time again extremely useful at our in person courses and willing to say most other in person courses offered globally.
Lastly, I would suggest to slow down and enjoy the submersion both quickly (since you are doing that anyhow) and slowly. Permaculture is something people, including myself, get passionate about. The two week permaculture design course intensive is wonderful and we offer these, however, know that if you plan on being local then possibly find a local school which offers a lengthy, multiple session course (something similar to how we do it here in North Texas – find out the format structure here).
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