The PDC will discuss all of these principles, especially how they function creating sustainable designs.
Even though you are taking a PDC in the tropics, permaculture design principles are said to be ‘global’ in their application. But different regions (different climates) require different design solutions. In permaculture these are referred to as design strategies. We will look at the general strategies for a variety of regions around the world.
Many people are very interested in permaculture techniques. These, like strategies, are regional and possibly even local because of cultural influences. So while there is not enough time in a PDC (or even in a lifetime perhaps) to learn all the techniques we might employ in a design, we will discuss and also find some time to engage in practical sessions of some common permaculture techniques.
Calling these permaculture techniques is perhaps incorrect. Almost no technique used in a permaculture design is unique to permaculture. Rather the technique is considered an important practice for a particular design. These usually include things like composting, seed saving, natural building, preserving, and many more.
Finally, we discuss the eco-social aspects of permaculture. This includes the future of permaculture. Co-founder David Holmgren’s recent book RetroSuburbia illustrates ways permaculture design can make an even greater and more meaningful impact than was initially thought when permaculture was conceived more than 30 years ago. For many, this is a ‘most exciting’ part of the course.
David Holmgren, Neil Willmann (center) and Su Dennett (David’s partner) share a laugh at the RetroSuburbia book launch in Sydney.
If you would like to learn more about permaculture you can see our what is permaculture page, and our RetroSuburbia-centric permaculture courses. You will also have access to the privately curated library during your course at Daruma, see details below & on the library page.
Of course there is also the design work. Every PDC should include at least 10-20 hours of design work including critique. Designs can be small or large, detailed or general. Design work includes some relevant practical work as well. This includes survey and analysis, (reading the landscape), design consultation (reading the client), consideration of constraints and limitations, establishing goals and definitions etc…
At least three different design processes are introduced, discussed and compared. SADIMET has become a standard of permaculture design but different methods might prove more powerful for different situations and different people.
Some discussion of implementation strategies and methods is also a key skill necessary in applied permaculture.
Daruma features many interconnected systems such as the natural pool, many koi & catfish ponds, rice paddy and chinampas all interconnected with canals, integrated animal systems, vegetables, fruit trees and of course many buildings and structures that provide shelter for humans & animals as well as learning facilities.
Days With No Class
As a visitor, you are welcome to use the natural pool when class & practical activities are over.
To discover the facilities and wider area around Daruma such as the nearby lake, reservoir, Bang Saen beach, and Siracha, take a look at our About pages.
Taking a PDC Course in Thailand
Of the many places to study for your PDC in Asia, Thailand has always been a popular destination.
Chinampas at Daruma, a permaculture designed educational ecovillage in Thailand
The climate in Thailand can be as varied as in any country that rises in elevation from sea level at the coast to mountainous ranges and is classified as wet/dry tropical.
Here at Daruma we are firmly in the tropics, however the permaculture design course covers many variations and combinations of geography, landscape, climate and the plant & animal life that exists as part of them. A firm grasp of permaculture ethics & principles is what we will focus on which can then be applied by you at home and to any project, anywhere in the world.
We feel our all inclusive price delivers excellent value to you, covering all meals, accommodation, use of the extensive library & other study areas including 20 computer cubicles in the Learning Resource Centre, super fast internet, natural pool, sauna and FarmLab™ to name a few of the facilities at Daruma which are at your disposal during your stay.
Updated as & when they become available, hit the link to see all our courses here, and all our permaculture courses in thailand here.
Your Permaculture Certificate
Upon completion of your PDC, you will be presented with your Permaculture Design Course Certificate. Students must complete the 72 hours of class & hands-on activities along with presenting their own design project at the end of the course, totalling 84 hours.
In addition to your Certificate, you will also be registered on the Permaculture Global Network website by your instructor, confirming your attendance & announcing your successful completion of the course to the global permaculture community.
Meet The Facilitators
Neil Willmann: Teacher
Permaculture Global Network Profile
Having more than 35 years in the world of permaculture and design teaching including lecturing undergraduate and graduate level engineering design and ecological design courses and instructing hundreds of students in permaculture design, I finally settled down to grow roots figuratively in Thailand. I started growing roots literally by regenerating a 20-year abandoned farm into a Permaculture research center.
Darren Roberts: Course Coordinator
Permaculture Global Network Profile
A desire to build an eco home using natural building materials led to my discovery of Earthship principles in early 2017.
The Taichung World Flora Expo 2018 presented an opportunity to work on the ‘4 Person Eco Home’ in Taiwan. During the course of this project, I met many people who introduced me to the concept of Permaculture.
I began learning about Permaculture, studying what I could find online, in books, and through projects such as the 4 Person Eco Home and Datong Community Garden in Taichung.
In February 2019 I flew out to Thailand to study for my Permaculture Design Certificate at Daruma Eco Farm with Neil Willman.
The venue for your Permaculture Design Course is Daruma Eco Village, a functioning Ecovillage based within the culture & education domain of the permaculture flower. Hit the video below for a quick tour.
Established in 2007 on an abandoned farm with nothing growing above head height, Daruma Eco Village comprises many elements including Daruma Eco Farm, an alternative English-based school for children aged 3 years and up called Mosaic Learning Center, as well as volunteer & intern programs in addition to hosting permaculture design courses.
You can see in the video above, shot in 2015, how things are blooming there, with many trees now firmly established and well over three storeys high.
Daruma is an ecologically designed facility with the purpose of providing an environment geared towards lifelong learning.
You can read more about Daruma Eco Village here.
The permaculture design course will typically require 12 days to complete, so classes usually run from Monday to Saturday, with Sunday as a rest day.
The schedule is typically as follows, of course with a disclaimer that this can change from day to day depending on other activities, field trips, etc. See the FAQ’s below.
09:00 – 10:15 Morning Meeting, Check-in, Announcements, Class
10:15 – 10:30 Morning Tea
10:30 – 11:45 Class
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:15 – 15:00 Class
15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon Tea
15:30 – 17:30 Class
Many students comment after the course that it is highly rewarding both in terms of what they learn, and also the relationships and bonds that are formed when taking the course during an intense, demanding 2 week period.
With that being said, arrivals at Daruma Eco Village should be by the Sunday afternoon at latest to enable us to get you settled in & answer any preliminary questions you may have. It is preferable to arrive in daylight hours, to avoid disturbing other guests at Daruma, and additionally, staff may be unavailable from 6pm. If your travel plans make this arrival schedule an issue for you, please let us know so that we can organize accordingly with you before your arrival, and we can probably figure something out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are all included in the price of this course and are served in the Cafeteria which has capacity for around 80 people.
We have a full time Chef, kitchen & domestic staff that prepare and serve dishes that are typical of local, regional & national Thai cuisine, prepared with fresh, local produce, including salad, vegetables & fruits from our own farm at Daruma.
Omnivorous (non-vegan, non-vegetarian) options are served as standard. Please do notify us when enrolling if you require vegetarian or vegan options and for any other special requirements, as our Chef will have to plan meals accordingly & order produce etc. It is important to note that the Chef needs to plan & budget for meals and has responsibility for creating dishes for approximately 80 children, all the teachers & staff at Mosaic school, as well as students attending Permaculture Courses. With that being said, the kitchen is ‘off-limits’ to all course participants. It has caused headaches in the past if students wander in to the kitchen & ask for ‘vegetarian’ today, because they just fancy vegetarian today. It also causes problems if those who indicated they are vegetarian, decide that today they will be meat-eaters, as the Chef is calculating portions & purchasing according to the information he has at the start of the course.
So, we ask that you please respect the boundaries with regards to the kitchen, and any dietary requests should go through your Course Coordinator, advising us before your arrival if you require vegetarian or vegan options, and this will ensure things run smoothly throughout the course.
We also barbecue occasionally, using some of the bamboo charcoal grown & processed at Daruma.
Further information is available on our About pages.
Yes. Dormitory rooms which sleep up to 4 people are included in the course fee. There is also space for tents if you prefer the camping experience.
This map, is included in your Student Welcome Pack, and you should make sure you print this out before leaving for Thailand, and show it to the minivan / taxi Grab driver, or whoever else might help you on your way. It has English, and Thai, and will be more easily understood in many cases compared to Google Maps, which is also not always so reliable for our location.
Typically we limit class sizes to a maximum of 12. This affords more time to fully explain anything we need to during class & address any questions you may have throughout your course.
Laundry service is available at Daruma. Laundry bags for visitors are kept near the reception area at the foot of the main building stairwell. You can drop your filled laundry bag at the bottom of the stairs in the morning, and it will magically reappear the next day, laundered, dried & folded in a basket in the reception area. There is a 50 Baht fee for 1 laundry bag. Pressing / ironing is also available, please see the announcement board at the main building stairwell area.
Internet & WiFi access is included & available to all students participating in a course at Daruma. As an education facility, Daruma has a very high speed connection (approximately 500Mbps download speed, 100Mbps upload speed).
Wifi works well from the entrance gate, around the main buildings, and down to around the FarmLabs™ area.
If you do not have your own mobile device or laptop, you are welcome to use one of the 20 or so internet-connected computer cubicles in Daruma’s LRC / library on the 1st floor, and open class area on the 2nd floor in the main building.
Bicycles are available if you wish to use them to ride to the local night market or explore the local area. They are not suitable for off-road riding. We use an honour system, with an honesty box in place in the cafeteria area for use of the bikes. Prices are 20 Baht for single use, 50 Baht for a half day, and 100 Baht for a full day.
Discounts are available for large group bookings, and for individuals booking 2 or more courses.
If you are an individual booking a 2-week course such as the PDC or similar, and a 2-day course such as the PRPT, a discount of 10% will be applied to the course of lower monetary value.
Discounts are not available when booking e.g. 2 x 2-day courses.
For Group Bookings, contact us using the booking form below & let us know how many are in your Group, and the course(s) you wish to enroll in.
If you are looking to book a permaculture design course for large groups, drop us a message and let us know what you need. We can accommodate groups of up to 100 visitors for single day tours, or for weeks at a time if studying one of our courses.
No. At least, not yet. This is a humorous reference to the problems encountered when one of the founders of permaculture had issues with copyright & trademarks.
FarmLab T-shirts will be available when we become cool & hip, with a Youtube channel, thousands of subs, and a ‘merch’ store….
The ‘typical’ class schedule above, as mentioned, is sometimes very fluid depending on availability of destinations for field trips, extra class availability, or movies showing e.g. during the evenings, and of course: The Final Design Project! Students are very often found working through the evening and sometimes into the wee hours in the last days of the PDC, working in groups or individually on their final design projects.
There are a lot of moving parts at Daruma – Mosaic school with 80+ children, all the teachers & staff, Daruma Eco-Farm, and Daruma Ecovillage with family, resident Staff and other guests staying on-site.
As Daruma is a lifelong learning environment, we integrate adult & child learning with our Daruma PDC students, and the children at Mosaic. This is not for every class, but might involve an open ‘Mosaic Students meet the PDC Students’ with a Q&A for all. Another example being the Living Ecosystem game to illustrate how ecosystems are interdependent, and also how they can collapse. So, another thing that means we keep our schedule as flexible as possible, as these elements of the course require coordination with Mosaic.
The above schedule is to give you an idea of what ‘normal hours’ are, and of course we work with all the above factors to ensure you leave Daruma feeling like you have absolutely earned your Permaculture Design Certificate, with the unique opportunity to also mesh some elements of your PDC with the world’s first and only permaculture designed, full-time alternative learning center for children.