PDC Exchange

We are proud to be one of the founding members of the PDC Exchangea collaborative permaculture design certificate (PDC) teaching initiative.


In short it is a modular multi-location internship-based PDC program where students can do their PDC by performing internships at various participating locations throughout the country. You can also combine this with other teaching initiatives you are also busy with. It is a very flexible program, so there are many options how the internships can be done, such as day-work, live-in, part-time, etc. You can also receive normal payment (in whichever form) for your classes.

The whole course is described on the PDC Exchange website (www.PDC-exchange.net) from where it is all managed. The scenarios page probably explains the concept best. In terms of the scenarios, due to a recent disruption in our work schedule, we currently only offer the Beth and Cliff scenarios:

  • Beth lives close by, and she comes and works an agreed number of hours in exchange for her tuition. Most of her training is one-on-one, with a large practical component. She may do her whole PDC with us, or she may spread it between various teachers in the area.
  • Cliff also lives close by and wants to do a PDC with us, but he has a day job and a family to support, so he cannot spend enough hours working for his tuition. He makes an agreement with us to work a few hours every Saturday morning and to exchange some services, goods or money to cover the remaining part of his tuition. Like Beth, he can spread it between different teachers in the area.

2020 Course

We will be running modules of the Permaculture Design Certificate course for two Saturdays a month during 2020. We’ve tried as far as possible to exclude school holidays and public holiday weekends. This forms part of the PDC-Exchange program. In essence we will be working through the PDC-Exchange syllabus, but where necessary or applicable we can switch modules around to accommodate students’ needs if it suits the majority. The typical program on the day will be:

  • 8:00 – 12:00: PDC training, consisting of class and practical work (see the program below)
  • 12:00 – 12:30: Evaluation and feedback
  • 12:30 – 13:00: Bring and share lunch (optional)
  • 13:00 – 17:00: Internship work in exchange for tuition (optional)
  • 17:00 – 17:15: Wrap-up, pack up, finish.

Paying students will therefore start at 8:00 and finish at 13:00, while exchange students will start at 8:00 and finish at 17:15.

In order to keep costs down, we’re proposing a bring and share lunch scheme. We’ll obviously contribute dishes to the lunches too. Tea and healthy snacks will be provided for both the work and training sessions.

If there is enough student interest, we may schedule some additional ad hoc sessions, or provide self-study modules for the more theoretical elective topics.

Note that course may not run if there is not a minimum of 5 paying students. Likewise, a session may be rescheduled if there aren’t enough registered students (e.g. to an evening class for registered semester students).

PPP - walkabout 1


The initial dates / modules to be covered are as follows.

First semester:

  • 15 Feb: What is permaculture? Definition, ethics, principles (catch-up on 18 March)
  • 29 Feb: What is permaculture? Key concepts and techniques (catch-up on 25 March)
  • 21 Mar: Patterns – recognising patterns; time, space, climate and landform patterns
  • 28 Mar: Environmental elements – energy (recap), nutrients (recap), water and soil
  • 18 Apr: Ecological elements – plants (forests, trees, weeds)
  • 25 Apr: Ecological elements – plants (herbs, annuals, vegetables, perennials, crops)
  • 9 May: Ecological elements – animals
  • 23 May: Food production – garden scale systems
  • 13 Jun: Permaculture design – process overview
  • 20 Jun: Permaculture design – process practical

Second semester:

  • 18 Jul: Food production – perennial systems and diversity
  • 1 Aug: Design approaches – major landscapes and farming
  • 8 Aug: Design approaches – rural landscapes and disasters
  • 22 Aug: Practical permaculture site design I
  • 5 Sep: The built environment
  • 19 Sep: Social permaculture
  • 10 Oct: Site visits
  • 24 Oct: Practical permaculture site design II
  • 7 Nov: Finances and economies
  • 21 Nov: Living permaculture, presentations, feedback, wrap-up, certification, non-talent show

Full details of the contents of each of these modules can be found on the PDC-Exchange website by clicking here.

Sign - Ethics

Cost / Work

The cost for each session is either of:

  • $90 per session; or
  • 4 hours work from 13:00 – 17:00 the Saturday after lunch, or as per prior arrangement. This is indicated as “In exchange for work session 13:00 – 17:00” on the booking site (see the link below)

The following “specials” are available:

  • Bookings for an entire semester (10 sessions): $800
  • Bookings for the full year (20 sessions): $1600

Although some tutoring and mentoring will naturally take place through the morning working sessions, most of the work will be routine weed collecting, mulching, removing grass, composting, bed preparation, etc. The aim of this work is to get jobs done that we would have had to do if we were not doing training.

Working students need to bring their own protective gear – work boots, gloves, etc. Tools will be provided.

Some of the afternoon training sessions may have their own practical components, where the focus would be on learning approaches and skills practically. The focus is then on skills acquisition and knowledge sharing, not on getting a job done.


Because it is a modular system, students who work in exchange for their tuition have to book in for every session.

Bookings can be made here:



All communication related to the course will be done through either Email or  a Facebook group, depending on student preferences.

In the meanwhile, if you are interested please contact us at martin@muchmoremulch.blog to initiate a discussion.

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