Advance your urban food growing and sustainable design skills without breaking the credit union

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Getting your permaculture design certification (PDC) can sometimes be financially out of reach. Luckily Oakland and Berkeley have many affordable options for advancing your grow and sustainable design skills and urban permiculture knowledge. You may have heard of Merritt College’s eco-curriculum, where you can take your pick of great environmental, sustainable energy, green building, and urban ag courses. Or you can pursue the Urban Farming and Agroecology certificate from Merritt. It takes a little longer, but at $20 a credit hour, this is a super reasonable and flexible way to do it.

Or you may have seen the postings on Oakland Local about Common Circle’s free and low-cost Wednesday night workshops taught by Planting Justice co-founder Gavin Raders. That’s a great way to dip your toe in the permaculture water.

Common Circle Education also offers a 12-week Permiculture Design Certification course and their next offering is coming up soon. It starts April 10, and runs for the next 12 Saturdays. Students learn about sustainable design, food forests, natural building, soil regeneration, urban animal husbandry, water harvesting and greywater systems, aquaculture, cooperative economics, communication skills, and more!

They are now offering work-trade scholarships that substantially reduces the cost.

Here’s the announcement:

Common Circle Education is thrilled to announce the availability
of a limited number of work-trade scholarships for our weekend
PDC course starting in April.

If you’ve been considering doing the course but haven’t quite been
able to afford the entire price of the course, please contact us at for more details about the scholarships
available. Requests are considered on a rolling basis, so do not

This workshop is an incredible opportunity to experience
sustainable holistic living, have loads of fun, and learn
practical skills you can apply in the real world in your own
home, backyard, and in your community.

You’ll learn how to create sustainable, thriving human systems,
from green houses and organic gardens, to local micro-
economies and eco-communities, using sustainable design
principles rooted in nature, that are applicable to every human
system — from businesses, communities, and cities to personal

Upon successful completion of this course and meeting the
requirements, you’ll leave with an internationally recognized
Permaculture Design Certificate as the course will build upon
the standard 72-hour permaculture curriculum.

What: Permaculture Design Certificate Course – Weekend Edition

When: Twelve consecutive Saturdays, starting April 10, 2010

2130 Center Street, Berkeley

More information:


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