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PDC Course

The Permaculture Design CERTIFICATE (PDC) 

NEXT COURSE 13-27 MAY 2018


Go to this link for details or keep reading to learn more about the Design Course:

The PDC is a life-changing experience, starting you on a journey to becoming part of a global movement for change.

The PDC is an internationally renowned certificate course which gives you the foundation for using permaculture in many areas of life. The course here at La Loma Viva is an interactive learning experience - including both theory and practical sessions - presented over 14 days by dynamic and experienced teachers. We provide high quality education and always invite facilitators who have a great depth of practical and theoretical knowledge, along with the La Loma team who work full time researching and implementing permaculture design here.

Permaculture design is applicable in many areas of human life, allowing you to shift from consumption to production and live regeneratively at a time where we all need to make that change for the continuation of our species. So whether you want to: make your business more sustainablegrow healthy food for your family, learn more about natural systems, become more resilient in the face of global change, get skills for NGO work, aid in crisis situations, build a green economy in your community, start your own educational or farm project or live in a more inter-connected way with nature - Permaculture will empower you with a vast tool kit of knowledge to apply in any situation and is an asset to any career. It is open to people from all backgrounds, ages and professions.

The PDC course follows the classic format developed by the founders, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, covering a wide range of topics - where you will learn all about the natural world and start to use “whole-systems thinking” and ecological principles as your guide to creating regenerative eco-systems wherever you are. 

During the course will learn to start applying the permaculture principles to real life plans and projects. You will gain the tools to interview clients, to gather information and data from the landscape, map out your site and design an ecologically based plan. The designs will be presented to the group and once completed, participants will be awarded a globally recognized certificate. The PDC is the first step of permaculture education and is a necessary requirement for any future courses, work or teaching in the field. 

On our particular course we provide around 100 hours of classes. You will also get the opportunity for practical training, where you can try out some of the techniques used in permaculture.  La Loma Viva is a working farm, research and demonstration site where you can see permaculture in action, with a diverse range of applications. You will also live life on a permaculture farm - engage with like-minded people in a fun environment - enjoy healthy, organic, home-grown food and experience the transformational power of nature! While enjoying the Spanish sunshine and spectacular views of the Mediterranean.

We include a strong `people care´ component on our courses, which is centred around caring for our minds and bodies, cultivating our inner landscapes, connecting to the world and awakening our senses to nature.


  • Permaculture principles and ethics - whole systems thinking
  • Reading the landscape and observing patterns in nature
  • Climate, ecology and working with the forces of nature
  • Water cycles, rain-water harvesting,  aquaculture
  • Soil science and building healthy soils
  • Organic food production
  • Natural building
  • Waste management
  • Food forests and agroforestry including Syntropic Farming
  • Animal husbandry and Holistic Management
  • Earthworks, swales, rehydrating the land
  • Renewable energy
  • Mapping and design skills
  • People Care (including mindfulness, confidence building)
  • Nature Awareness
  • Community resilience, social permaculture, cultural emergence and personal transformation, leadership training. 

The practical sessions

Will be based on what you most want to learn and may include: planting vegetable gardens, making compost, intuitive botany (identifying plants), seed saving, plant propagation, building swales and earthworks, soil tests, making your own A-frames & water levels, mapping the land, food preservation, fermentation, connecting to nature and much more.....

The PDC is an inspiring, empowering and transformational experience for students, as well as being lots of FUN!

NEXT COURSE 13-27 MAY 2018





We are excited to welcome back the hugely inspiring ALEX KRUGER from South Africa, where she is a prominent figure in the education and practice of permaculture and has been transforming landscapes and people for the past 20 years. 

Alex has worked in some harsh environments, including a 450 hectare project where she is currently based, in the semi-desert Karoo area of the Cape Province (see http://www.berg-en-dal.co.za). She also works in townships and impoverished areas and is dedicated to bringing permaculture to people of all walks of life. Her enthusiasm and positivity are contagious!

KAREN DE VRIES and RYAN BOTHA, the founders and managers of La Loma Viva will also be bringing their knowledge and experience to the teaching team. They have been building the project here since 2009, implementing permaculture design, regenerating the local eco-system, growing food and running educational programmes. Karen has been working with Jon Young and Looby McNamara to bring more social permaculture and nature connection into her work. Ryan has been doing practical training and studying with Ernst Gotsch and his team using Syntropic Farming. Karen and Ryan also put a big emphasis on the personal transformation of their students and on going support and mentoring.

Our guest teacher for this course will be ROMAN EISENKOLBL of Soil*Sun*Soul (http://www.soilsunsoul.net), a semi-nomadic permaculture educator, event organiser and global change maker. Roman has been working with some of the worlds most prominent teachers and innovators, learning from them and holding courses around the globe, as well as travelling and visiting many projects and witnessing permaculture in action in many contexts. He is a world-bridger, storyteller and has a wealth of diverse experience.

See more about all the facilitators here :


Accommodation for the PDC will be shared comfortable rooms in our beautiful retreat centre, which has been designed using energy saving practices, ecological principles and many natural materials. Most rooms are shared doubles and all have private access to the outside and gardens, as well as beautiful views across the Mediterranean. There are 4 shared indoor bathrooms and outdoor compost toilets. Guests at La Loma can enjoy walks in the mountains, a swimming pool, yoga areas and could arrange trips to the beach or local village on the day off. We normally arrange a celebration at the endow the course which may include local musicians.

During the PDC your senses will be delighted with 14 days of delicious, fully catered meals served to you with love from our 5 star chefs. We are committed to using only fresh, living ingredients grown right here on our farm or locally sourced from ethical, organic producers. Food is a huge part of the experience here and some of the course fee goes to supporting small local producers, an important factor in changing the current system. Food is also medicine and you will feel the difference in just 2 weeks from eating nutritious food that is alive with health. There is a large communal eating area and outdoor spaces. Herbal teas collected from the land are also provided.

For course PRICES and BOOKING, go to the Event page link below: