Eco-Spiritual Educational Sanctuary

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Events Calendar

From Saturday 24 March 2018 -  09:00am
To Sunday 28 October 2018 - 05:00pm

Four-Season Permaculture

Certification Course



The Four-Season Permaculture course is an internationally recognized, 72-hour training in the ethics, principles, methods, techniques, and practices of Permaculture Design + 24 extra teaching hours + 24 hours group/independent work, makes this a 120 hour certificate course.

Permaculture is a complete design system, based on principles of ecology and sustainability that can be used to create resilient, economically stable, and productive landscapes, home and communities. Permaculture designers make their imprint on Earth, culture and economy a positive and compassionate one.

Learn about Permaculture throughout the four seasons, with a focus on Temperate climates. This exciting and innovative Design Course covers the standard 72-hour PDC curriculum commonly taught all over the world, and includes bonus information tailored to the temperate climates. As well, practical applied Permaculture modules to deepen active learning through the various climates of the year.

What is Four-Season Permaculture (PDC)

To meet the challenging cultural, environmental and energy-supply changes that face us, this applied skill based program helps you develop the knowledge and skills to bring sustainability and regenerative practices into your personal and professional lives. Learn ways to design thriving neighbourhoods, regenerate environments and accelerate positive community change The four-seasons format allows you time to implement what you have learned and bring your experiences and questions back to the training for feedback and discussion. 

The Four-Season Permaculture offers a unique opportunity to experience hands-on projects, complimented by lectures, discussions, slide shows, and design projects, with a team of experts who bring decades of experience in cold-climate Permaculture, and a passion to inspire.

“The ultimate goal of Permaculture is not only of food, medicine and new energy sources, but also the cultivation and excellence of fresh new ways of seeing, of thinking, of acting and being in the world.” ~Dave Jacke

Four-Season Process

The Process


  • Foundations of Permaculture
  • The History of Permaculture
  • Permaculture Principles & Design Science
  • Principles & Ethics of Permaculture
  • Mapping & Design exercises
  • Ecosystems: Turning to Nature as guide & teacher
  • Pattern Thinking in design & strategy
  • Landscape analysis
  • Introduction to Edible Food Forests
  • Why plant-based Permaculture
  • Deep Ecology & Living Systems theory
  •  Bioregionalism & Re-localization
  • Earth Connection processes
  • Building Community & Teamwork


  • Forest Gardening principes
  • Food Forests, Polycultures & Ecosystems 
  • Pattern Recognition & Site Analysis
  • Reading the Landscape & Climatic Factors 
  • Designing Edible Forest Gardens
  • Understanding the Soil Food Web
  • Growing Organic Soil Fertility
  • Enhancing Nutrient Flow
  • Bioremediation: healing soil and water with beneficial bacteria, compost teas, fungi, & plants
  • Creating Microclimates of Peace 
  • Alternative Energy Systems - from small to large
  • Appropriate Technologies that support these changing times
  • Cold Climate Energy Conservation
  • Earth Connection processes


  • Natural Building - Earthship, Cob, Cordwood
  • Solar Hot Water Collector Installation
  • Building Design using Local, Natural and Recycled Materials
  • Edible Landscape Management
  • Thinking Like a Watershed
  • Swales & Contours
  • Water Ecology & Preservation
  • Roof Water Harvesting
  • Earth Connection Processes


  • Inner Permaculture 
  • Deep Ecology & Eco-philosophy
  • The Transition Culture
  • Eco-villages, Community & Thinking Globally
  • Wild Edible Foraging Practices
  • Nutrition: Food Choices & Sustainability
  • Food Harvesting & Storage
  • Earth Connection processes 

Graduation Weekend

  • Day One – Putting it Together - Team Design Project Presentation
  • Day Two - Questions, Feedback & Where to from here?
  • Evolutionary Leadership
  • Receiving Certificates

We will draw on observation skills, indigenous wisdom, modern science  and the wisdom teachings of Air, Fire, Water, Earth & Ether, as our guides and teachers.

"A life changing experience! The PDC helped me to develop skills, but also a better understanding of the world and a vision of how I can become an element of positive change on this beautiful planet." ~Nancy

The Level One Foundations PDC course takes place over 14 days, with a total of four 3-day weekends and one 2-day weekend from March to November. 

Throughout the course students work in small groups between sessions to incorporate what they are learning into real-world permaculture design projects. The course culminates in the presentation of each group's design project. Upon completion participants become certified as a Permaculture Designer and receive a Permaculture Design Certificate recognized worldwide

This course is a 'principles in practice' approach to offer students a much greater opportunity to advance their hands-on expertise and design development.  Each weekend will include Edible Forest Gardening design and application, with a balance of classroom time, hands-on experimental learning and nature connection 

NEW - We are pleased to present three options for our PDC training. Please see - 'Course Options'

Permaculture is where human consciousness meets Earth ecology.

Our Approach

Our Approach

The Four-Season permaculture course offers a unique and incomparable opportunity to experience hands-on permaculture and forest gardening skills immersed in one of Canada’s most diverse permaculture educational and demonstration sites.

Participants will engage and experience how to live and create a resilient lifestyle

Your training ground:

  • A temperate climate educational centre, forest garden nursery and homestead with well established 35 year-old forest gardens.
  • Mature berry/fruit, orchard and nut production
  • A high performance Earthship greenhouse
  • Cob, earthship & cordwood building
  • Year-round small-scale micro-greens and sprouting operation
  • A root cellar and time-honored food preservation practices
  • Established medicine gardens and medicine-making methods

The Living Centre is the proof of concept

Participants have the unique opportunity to immerse in a working educational centre and homestead and see exactly what opportunities and challenges arise in developing and maintaining a productive and resilient home, business and land resource system. Our site demonstrates various cutting edge design concepts for increasing a self-reliant, enlightened lifestyle adapted for the temperate climate. 

Course Highlights 

  • Immersion and practice in one of the most established permaculture/forest garden sites in Canada  
  • Incomparable Carolinian Canada through the seasons with its full diversity.
  • Locally sourced (and site grown) fresh, local organic vegan meals of the highest quality.  
  • The foundation and resources of an eco-spiritual educational centre est. 1983
  • A well-developed, skills-based permaculture curriculum focused on transition, resiliency and regeneration.  
  • Students will have the opportunity to connect to a global network of Permaculture, regenerative design, and nature awareness contacts and projects. 

What Practical Skills and Practices may you Experience? 

  • Design process in the context of practicing designers
  • Wild Nutrition: Eating on the Wild Side
  • Pruning fruit trees and berry bushes
  • Mushroom log inoculation on site 
  • Hand tool sharpening: pruners, scythes, sickles and shovels
  • Forest garden management practices
  • Fruit, berry and wild edible harvesting 
  • Food Processing
  • Many other rural living and homesteading systems simply by being on the active educational centre site through the seasons

How is this course unique? 

  • Four-Distinct Seasonal Weekends
  • Established Forest Gardens (1983)
  • Local Permaculture Educators with 45+ years experience
  • Unique DVD Adobe Reader
  • Forest Gardening e-Book Manual 
  • Permaculture Design: A Step-by-step guide -Aranya
  • A copy Bill Mollison's "An Introduction To Permaculture" An Edited Transcript of a PDC
  • Nature & local plant identification
  • Vegan Permaculture made easy
  • Earth Wisdom Teachings
  • Deep Ecology & Living Systems Theory
  • A team of professional designers, forest gardeners who love to share their passion and to help you design a regenerative lifestyle

Course Options

Course Options

Participants in our PDC range from students have ranged from home gardeners to community activist; from organic gardeners to farmers; from artisans to career-changing entrepreneurs. After years of teaching and student feedback we have come to the conclusion that there is no one size fits all! So we now offer these options.

Level I  - The Foundation 

Total Value $1,799
You Save $200
Your Price $1,599

An internationally recognized, 72-hour training in the ethics, principles, methods, techniques, and practices of Permaculture Design + 24 extra teaching hours + 24 hours group/independent work, a 120 hour Certificate Course.

Total Value Includes:

  • Five-Distinct Seasonal 3-Day Trainings (Total of 16-Days, incl. Permaculture Foundations Workshop
  • Established Forest Gardens (1983)
  • Local Permaculture Educators with 30+ years experience
  • Forest Gardening e-Book Manual – Complied by Shantree Kacera 
  • Permaculture Design: A Step-by-Step Guide – Aranya
  • Essence of Permaculture Manual – David Holmgrem
  • An Introduction To Permaculture - Bill Mollison's, An Edited Transcript of a PDC
  • Unique DVD Adobe Reader - The Living Centre's Note Package & Resource Library (Priceless)

Level II - The Specialized Option 

Total Value $5,099
You Save $500
Your Price $4,599

Increase your Permaculture experience in the regenerative application of deep ecology and forest gardening design.  Level II provides you with all of the Foundational PDC features of Level I, plus a 18-Day Forest Gardening - Practical Herbalism Mentorship Program - a whole systems design approach. 

Total Value Includes:

Level III - The Professional Option

Total Value $6,099
You Save $1,100
Your Price $4,999

Total Value Includes:

For those who are serious about establishing a permaculture and/or Forest Gardening career, this option is the best investment to support you in guaranteeing your success.

Level III provides you with all of the features of Level I and Level II, plus, on-site and mentoring support, along with unlimited continuing education. This ensures a successful start-up and the ability to fine tune and keep your skills and knowledge up to date. As this option requires in-depth personal attention we limit the spots to four students per course.



“A life changing experience! The PDC helped me to develop skills, and also a better understanding of the world and a vision of how I can become an element of positive change on this beautiful planet.” ~Nancy
“This 4-Season PDC has enabled me to absorb the information I was hungry to learn, in an unhurried fashion. It allowed time for this new knowledge to filter in a manageable and meaningful way into my life.” ~V.S.
“The 4-Season Permaculture was an amazing and valuable experience. The guest speakers were amazing, Shantree possesses an infinite wealth of knowledge about Forest Gardening and ecology, and Lorenna grounds it all with the Inner Permaculture work.”Chrisy
“I am a dreamer. I came here because of a dream, and I am leaving with so many more dreams. Thank you.” ~Haley
“My experience felt gradual and in ‘perfect timing’ to discover my part in ecology, as well as my personal purpose.” ~Dakota
“So much information to learn and was taught by Lorenna and Shantree in a loving, peaceful and kind way. It made everyone feel loved and welcomed. They are so easy to learn from. Highly recommend this program.” ~Lana
"I feel a four-season approach is a great way to learn, due to our dynamically changing weather systems. I am also deeply grateful for the eco-spirited perspective as it offers a complete experience of a Permaculture lifestyle." ~ Sonya
"I am glad I took this course at TLC. The land, the vibe, and the teachers were very cohesive. One of the best course experiences I've had." ~Talha
"The PDC course strengthened my views of how to work with the Earth, as well as connected me to a conscious community. It’s given me the tools and knowledge of how to design smart, efficient, regenerative systems. The time spent on the Inner Permaculture was a key part of my learning. Because the course was spread out over a period of four seasons there was time to integrate the teachings in our lives and it really felt like a journey we were all on together."~John
"The Living Centre is an excellent example of Permaculture. The magical space offers a great landscape to dive into Shantree & Lorenna's knowledge and experience, and their ability to share it." ~Ellen
“For anyone interested in learning Permaculture and developing one’s own sense of relationship with this planet, I highly recommend this course.” Jennifer
"Shantree, Lorenna & their support teachers led me through a wonderful PDC experience at The Living Centre. The venue is filled with hands-on learning opportunities, and projects to learn from. I'm grateful for the focus on inner permaculture work, which has influenced me greatly." ~Simon
"Highly recommend this course. It's a good balance of inner and outer Permaculture." ~Randy
“Permaculture is a movement. I am excited to be one of the bodies who can move us into our productive and healthy future.” ~H.M.
“This Permaculture course is a life altering opportunity. I have learned so much about myself and my relationships with others and the planet.” ~Tannia
“Everything was in perfect choreography!  You two are an amazing team! You’ve created a lovely balance between you with both outer and inner permaculture! I especially respect how you don’t try to teach all the aspects of permaculture but make it a community project by bringing in others with their expertise. Your permaculture course has truly been a ‘life changer’ and wonderful mirror of hope and possibilities! Thank you!" ~ Lea
;“I feel that the balance between the practical and inner aspects of Permaculture really helped me to understand the concept of what Permaculture really is.” ~Andy
"This course provided a wealth of knowledge in different areas of the broad field of permaculture.  It provided for a holistic understanding, integrating the diverse aspects of forest gardening, sustainable economics and local money alternatives, alternative energy sources, creative landscape and architectural design, and social and inner permaculture. This approach left the door wide open for students to pursue in detail the aspects that each found most interesting and appealing. I appreciated the creative and hands-on approach to involving students in the learning process." ~Aldo
"The Forest Gardening aspect of the course was surely a highlight.  Shantree has a wealth of knowledge and passion for his plant family that is a rare gem, and I could happily spend many more hours learning from him. I appreciated the recognition that the paradigm shift to a permaculture lifestyle requires an inner shift – inner permaculture." Robby
" I believe that Permaculture without Inner Permaculture is not really Permaculture at all; the necessary paradigm shift cannot happen without doing the hard work inside.  It is a spiritual journey of reconnecting to the inner essence of all that is." -Maurice
"The 12 principles and 3 imperatives are examples of systems structures on which we can hang our experiences and observations; they help us understand the changes we affect by our actions and evaluate what adaptations are needful based on that new awareness. Thank you again for a great weekend and for bringing yourselves fully present.Laura
"I feel very blessed to have shared with you and our group such a rich and full experience." Paula
"First, I would like to say that I think the land and the space you provide for teaching is absolutely beautiful and the most crucial aspect for learning. I think the food that you provided during the course was one of everybody's favourite parts! I think it was very important that you provided fresh, raw, vegan, organic meals so that it can really hit home for people that a lot of the motivation to get involved in Permaculture comes from wanting to live a healthier lifestyle and having those options available. all of the field trips were very informative and fun! I enjoyed all of the guest speakers and think that it was great that you found people from different areas of specialization in Permaculture to help you with teaching us new skills! I can relate to your approach with Permaculture from a "deep ecology" perspective and have a lot of respect for both of you with being able to maintain that throughout your daily lives." ~ D

Registration Details


Dates Four Season Permaculture 2018:

Winter - March 24 - 26
Spring - May 12 - 14
Summer - June 30 - July 2
Fall - Sept 8 - 10
Design Project Presentations & Graduation Ceremony  October 27 - 28

Daily Flow

9:00 - 9:30 Nature Connection processes
9:30 - 11:00 Session
11:00 - 11:20 Nature Break
11:20 - 1:00 Session
1:00 - 2:00 - Lunch
2:00 - 4:30 - Session
4:30 - 5:00 Integration 

Investment: $1,599

Includes all classes,  DVD Adobe Reader Permaculture Course Manual. Delicious organic living food lunches will be served the first weekend. Subsequent weekends, the first day only will be potluck style. Does not include tax, transportation or accommodations.

  • Alumni - Those who have participated in a full PDC course - $799. (please contact us)
  • Partner/Spouse Discount - Partners who take the course together get the second tuition at an additional $200 off of the regular price
  • Student Discount – Full-time students $200 off of the regular price
  • Family Discount - Two adults who would like to take this course with a son or daughter between age 16 - 19 receive a 50% discount off their child's tuition ($800) off the regular price
  • Scholarships - Limited number of scholarships are available. Please contact us for details

Click here to download the Application Form

Work Trade Positions: Upto $500 Off the regular price of $1599. Does not apply to Early-bird price or specials.

Work exchange can occur before and during the course period. You do not lose any teaching hours during the exchange. This great opportunity allows you to gain hands-on experience in Permaculture skills, and participate in a regenerative lifestyle. Please inquire. 

Purchase Options: