Open Hearth PDC

2019 Registration opens soon! Contact us for more info

Open = Receiving, Adaptable, Loving, Growing, Mobile
Hearth = Hear + Heart + Earth + Art (Home) = a place to gather, cook, eat & share

This apprenticeship program combines the wonderful diversity of course content from a standard Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) with a hands-on, practical approach to learning through doing, smelling, seeing, hearing, & feeling – all spread out through an entire growing season as we learn and support each other.


Permaculture = Integration

Permaculture is an interdisciplinary and solution focused approach of 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 > or watch some Videos >



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. Upon completion & demonstration of proficiency, graduates are awarded a certificate of their successful training.


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. Inspired by many Indigenous cultures around the world, Permaculture develops skills in observation, design, & implementation for creating resilient abundance in food, shelter, water, craft, community, livelihood, wellness & our most precious resource – time.




Some examples of applying these skills & experiences might include:

  • Transitioning to a new career & lifestyle
  • Gaining more free time for friends & family
  • Starting a rural or urban homestead
  • Developing an independent livelihood or start-up business
  • Becoming a more effective communicator, activist, & educator
  • Differentiating your professional work (Engineers, Designers, Entrepreneurs etc…)
  • Educating or Homeschooling your (present or future) children

  • Growing more nutritious food for you and your family

  • Making, growing, & wildcrafting medicine

  • Teaching these skills to others

  • Trading & bartering your gifts with others

  • Organizing an ecovillage or community group

  • Designing & restoring degraded land, water & common space

  • Broad-acre or Urban Farming

  • Building community & regional resilience

“I began the Open Hearth program as part of my search for a livelihood that filled me up. I thought it would be ideal to pursue opportunities outside of a traditional educational environment to gain the skills necessary for working with plants, bugs, dirt, you name it. The holistic approach of this program was appealing to me.” – 2017 Graduate


What we’ll Explore Together

The Open Hearth PDC program explores many types of disciplines, skills, & wisdom through the diverse perspectives of our amazing partners; weaving together studio time, mentorship and hands-on practical experience with the three ethics of Permaculture in mind: Earth Care, People Care, & Fair Share


  • Gardening, Farming, & Agroforestry
  • Ecological / Whole Systems Design & Pattern Language
  • Natural Building & Architecture
  • Water, Soils, & Earthworks
  • Climate, Geology, & Natural History
  • Plant/Tree/Fungi: ID, Propagation, Seed-Saving, Polyculture Design
  • Bio & Myco-Remediation / Regeneration
  • Raising Animals & Wildlife Habitat


  • Community & Village Building
  • Art & Placemaking
  • Ecovillages & Cohousing
  • Herbalism, Wellness & Yoga
  • Food Preservation, Cooking & Wildcrafting
  • Gourmet & Medicinal Mushroom Cultivation
  • Re-Wilding, Hunting, Fishing & Wilderness Skills
  • Open Source Learning & Home-schooling
  • The Art of Learning & Self-Education


  • Regenerative Business
  • Gift Economy / Barter / Trade
  • Entrepreneurship / Startup skills
  • ‘Right Livelihood’ & Lifestyle Design
  • Financial Resiliency & Debt-Free Strategy
  • The Art of Mentoring, Facilitation & Educating
  • ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’
  • Bioregional Resilience & Invisible Structures
  • Activism & Communication


Some examples of hands-on projects we have worked on include:

  • Building medicinal Hugelkultur growing beds
  • Planting hundreds of Blueberry bushes
  • Designing/Implementing passive rainwater capture for community food forest
  • Designing & Planting out crops for a CSA farm
  • Planting urban pollinator boulevards & vegetable beds
  • Maintaining urban wildlife habitat
  • Medicinal plant walk, foraging & wildcrafting
  • Implementing rainwater capture / storage system for homestead use
  • Teaching food preservation & canning with school garden / family learning classes
  • Maintenance & mulching pathways for urban demonstration site
  • Designing/Implementing a food forest
  • Inoculating Shiitake Mushroom logs

Consider this PDC apprenticeship a crash course journey in listening to your heart, opening your mind, and learning the practical skills of freedom to share your true gifts with the world. We may provide a spark to light many fires; the choice of which fire grows is up to you.


Learn more & join us at an Info Session

TBD 2019

Info Sessions are an opportunity for you to meet us, learn more about the program, and ask us any questions you have in person. Reach out to us with any questions. follow us on Facebook  for updates.


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