Frequently Asked Questions…

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is an integrative and solution focused approach of utilizing principles, ethics, & strategies for living a thriving livelihood in harmony with Mother Earth. The word ‘Permaculture’ is a combination of the words Permanent Culture; the goals of this process seek to design for a culture of natural abundance. Learn more about the principles & ethics of Permaculture > scroll down, or watch some Videos >


What is a PDC?

A traditional introduction to Permaculture is the PDC (Permaculture Design Certification); a 72+ hour learning journey which provides an integrated, whole systems overview of both natural and social aspects of our planet. Our certificate and curriculum has evolved from its origins in Australia with Bill Mollison & David Holmgren. Learn more about a PDC > or check out some Videos >

Why is a PDC important and what can I do with it?

We are not effectively applying the principles of Permaculture until we interact & integrate with others and their diverse skills; learning through taking action in our community. A PDC weaves an interconnected web of seemingly different subjects into a coherent and clear picture of understanding whole systems. Graduates of a PDC program will gain new perspectives in their connection to our living planet and may provide much needed holistic insight to just about any discipline – while building their network & community of incredible folks.

What are past Open Hearth PDC graduates doing now?

  • Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council & Community Sustainability Coordinator
  • Developing new Small Business Ownership Models
  • Landscape & Homestead Design business
  • Improving Community Cohousing & Intentional Community
  • Grief Ritual Facilitation organization
  • Planning a Farm to Table & Production Partnership business
  • Sustainable Building, Contracting & Consulting
  • Farm & Farmer’s Market Management
  • Community Church Partnership, Food Forest Planting
  • Farming, Fungi Cultivation & Education organization
  • Designing Urban, Suburban & Rural Homesteads
  • Developing multifunctional Landscape Design business for Schools
  • Outdoor Education & Preschool Teacher
  • Regenerative Farming & Growing a Regional Hub
  • Planning Urban Placemaking & Art Events
  • Studying International Social Entrepreneurship overseas
  • Environmental Non-Profit Executive Director

I can take a PDC anywhere, what’s so unique about this program?

Our PDC Course emphasizes a hands-on, intensive, practical approach to learning skills that empower humans to awaken, connect the dots, and take action to break the chains of slavery to destructive systems & culture. The 6 month apprenticeship PDC combines the wonderful diversity of course content from a standard PDC with a hands-on, practical approach to learning through experience from the local wisdom and stories of people & place. Spread out over the season, this format allows many folks to not take much time away from work, school, vacation, or other obligations. Some PDC courses are intensive 10-14 day immersive programs that can be considerably more expensive due to food & lodging ($1500-$3000+). Check out our 10 Day PDC option! It just depends on what format works best for the individual!

Which PDC is right for me?

6 Month Apprenticeship PDC 10 Day PDC
  • Large emphasis on personal project
  • Ongoing mentorship (via in-person & remote check-ins)
  • Time for integration in between class days
  • Spread out over growing season & fits into daily life schedule
  • Visits to several field sites & opportunity to hear several perspectives
  • Establishing lifelong connections with PDC cohort & extended area permaculture scene
  • Schedule is 4/5 – 10/19, 2019, (~1 Sat & 1 Wed evening/mo)
  • Tuition Price: $995 – $1295 (sliding scale)
  • Learn more about this option >
  • Immersive experience
  • Quick turnaround — receive a PDC after only 10 days
  • Great for folks not located near the twin cities
  • Community meals, camping & living on site
  • Beautiful location as a living example of permaculture design
  • Opportunity to thoroughly get to know land, see real projects through to completion
  • Establish deep connections w/ PDC facilitators & Organic Compound
  • Schedule is 8/9 – 8/18, 2019
  • Tuition Price: $1295 – $1595 (sliding scale)
  • Learn more about this option >

What are the dates, locations & other details of the PDC programs?

Check out the program info sheets here >

What is an Apprenticeship?

Throughout human history, one of the simplest & most effective ways of learning knowledge and skill has been shared through an apprenticeship. These types of informal learning environments provide a balance of independence and mutual interdependence between ‘apprentice’ and ‘teacher(s)’; providing opportunities to create and contribute their work with the world. In modern society, this relationship has been replaced, abstracted, & compartmentalized by authoritarian lectures, reading, & standardized testing in the classrooms of state & corporate-funded schools & universities – quite often neglecting the skills, knowledge, & experience of the community. Our program seeks to tap into this bioregional & cultural abundance of wisdom and provide a ‘balanced diet’ perspective of the many complex problems & solutions involved in this work. 

What’s included in the program tuition?

  • Yourself – a life changing experience of 80+ hours learning, nourishing & skill-building
  • 1-on-1 Mentorship & support throughout program ($1500+ value)
  • Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)
  • PDC workbook, lessons, resources & portfolio ($500+ value)
  • Professional project opportunities w/ Land by Hand & partners
  • Membership to the Open Hearth guild of current/past students & community partners to collaborate, teach & network
  • Supporting Cody & Megan’s livelihood, and the program partners work
  • …and much more (see 6 month or 10 day program pages for more details)

I’m very excited about the PDC’s, but I’m concerned about the financial investment…

We have scholarship opportunities available for anyone who is sincerely interested and hope that lack of financial capital not be a barrier. Earlybird discounts, Payment Plans, Referral discounts & Sliding Scale is also offered. We feel confident from our student feedback that we deliver above and beyond the program costs in terms of value provided. We would be happy to connect you directly with them for learning more. We also encourage you to be creative and ask your family, friends or community for support & sponsorship ex. Crowdfunding, gifts, donations etc… We’re happy to help, reach out to us!

Will there be any required reading materials?

We will focus on one specific text that we strongly suggest getting your hands on. We will certainly suggest many other useful resources throughout the program – many of these selected texts, handouts, and recommended reading lists shall be provided.

What sort of learning environments can I expect? 

A mixture of Indoor & Outdoor environments. Participants should be prepared for potential inclement weather on our field days. Our studio nights will be indoors.

I don’t have access to a vehicle, can I still participate in the program?

Yes! We will help arrange carpools for trips out of town and hope apprentices can seek out public transportation, bike, or find other means within the Twin Cities.

I won’t be able to attend all of the program dates, should I still apply?

Yes! Our flexible schedule will allow students to miss some of the dates. Beyond that, we also offer limited make-up opportunities for those who wish to complete their PDC requirements. Accommodation can be made for extraordinary circumstances. If it works better, check out our 10 Day PDC option!

Who are the facilitators & guides for this program?

Cody & Megan are the guides & hearth tenders of these programs, but the beauty is that we honor our elders & experienced community members who also teach and share. It is encouraged that participants will also contribute from their own experience whenever relevant. Teaching & facilitation training is built into this program so we can all better communicate and share these skills with others more effectively. Apprentices are highly encouraged for feedback & critique of their instructors teaching throughout the program!


Get to know Megan & Cody a little better here…

Will there be guest teachers?

Yes! There are so many folks in our region with much to share – many of our days will be spent learning from spaces and places that others have helped cultivate. If you have person or place in mind, email them to us! The schedule will be updated as opportunities arise throughout the growing season. Stay tuned on our Facebook for updates!

Can I get College or Continuing Ed Credits?

Ask your school directly and let us know if you have any specific questions we can answer. It may also qualify as an Internship for some degree programs and we are flexible if you need more hours for this program to qualify. Ask us!

I can’t attend the full program, but would love to get involved. How can I help?

Join us for a workshop, share this program with your friends on Facebook/Instagram, and join our Land by Hand Newsletter for volunteer & workshop opportunities! Hopefully join us next season!


Learn more about the Open Hearth PDC Programs: 

6 Month PDC |  10 Day PDC | Praise  | Videos | Partner with Us | Join us

Have other types of questions for us? Contact us >