Permaculture Course, Thailand

Permaculture RetroSuburbia Pattern Language and Theory U Course

About the PRPT: Permaculture RetroSuburbia Pattern Language and Theory U Course

It is often said, “permaculture is different things for different people.” The diversity of the domains and activities of applied permaculture a.k.a. the permaculture flower certainly support this saying.

In his latest book, David Holmgren, co-originator of permaculture has produced what is certainly one of the most significant contributions to permaculture in the last 30 years.

Most importantly, it instructs us on how our designs and practice can actually make a meaningful impact in a world that desperately needs sustainability at the core of every conscious action.

This book awakens one of the sleeping giants that influenced original permaculture design: Christopher Alexander’s, ‘A Pattern Language.’ Another book in that same series described a co-creation process which has been most recently refined by Otto Scharmer in his book Theory U.

This 2-day course will first introduce the concepts of each of these incredibly important books that relate directly to effective permaculture design. Then applications of these theories will be shared until It will become obvious why this is the most significant and substantial evolution of permaculture.

Relevant for people that are actively creating designs, considering possible future designs or even just living a normal life in a city, town or suburb anywhere on Earth. In other words, this course is for everyone.

No experience in permaculture design is required and a primer of permaculture will be included for anyone that is completely new to the design method or that would like to have a recap of the main concepts.

Spots are intentionally limited to allow complete immersion of participants in the course process

What You’ll Learn

This introductory course will include both the history and theory of permaculture design & retrosuburbia, practical applications of the design methods, as well as diving into the commonalities and overlaps between the old (PDC) and the new (RSC), delivering a retrosuburbia-centric fusion of the best of both approaches.

Because there are dozens of books specifically about permaculture as well as many hundreds indirectly guiding good permaculture design leading up to the ideas in RetroSuburbia, some time will be spent to introduce these so it will be possible to continue to learn after the course.

Our library contains an extensive collection of permaculture books, David Holmgren’s RetroSuburbia, and many other volumes related to these topics that can provide you the additional guidance as mentioned above.

Because this course goes beyond theory, you will be able to immediately apply the aspects of retrosuburbia-centric permaculture you have learned and make choices that will enhance your ecological and sustainable lifestyle. Practical aspects of retrosuburbia-centric permaculture design will be learned and demonstrated onsite for a robust learning experience.

Taking a PDC Course in Thailand

Of the many places to study for your PDC in Asia, Thailand has always been a popular destination.  As of the time of publishing, this is the only RSC PDC in Asia that we are aware of.  We feel our all inclusive price delivers excellent value, covering all meals, accommodation, use of the extensive library & other study areas including 20 computer cubicles in the Learning Resource Centre, 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 permaculture courses in thailand.

The specifics of the PRPT: Permaculture RetroSuburbia Pattern Language and Theory U Course syllabus are currently being finalized.  If you would like to know more, contact us using the enquiry form below.

Meet the Instructors

Neil Willmann, lead instructor for Daruma's permaculture courses in Thailand.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, co-teacher for Daruma's permaculture courses in Thailand.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.

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.

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.

Farmlab Merch, applied permaculture and ecological system design at Daruma Ecofarm in ThailandNo.  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….

  • Date: Contact for details

  • Length: 2 days

  • Effort: 16 hours.

  • Price: $200 USD

  • Venue: Daruma Eco Farm, Bang Phra, Si Racha District, Chon Buri 20110

  • Category: Design Courses

  • Level: Any Level

  • Language: English

  • Online Course: Coming Soon

Permaculture courses near bangkok thailand. Permaculture RetroSuburbia Pattern Language and Theory U Course


Neil Willmann is a close friend and partner in Permaculture Design Education.  Over the past 10 years Neil has designed and built Daruma Eco-Farm, a premiere Permaculture education and demonstration site in southeast Thailand.

Daruma Eco-Farm features organic gardens and rice fields, livestock husbandry, natural building, appropriate technology, and also hosts Mosaic School, an alternative international school.

Neil is an encyclopedia of Permaculture wisdom, providing Permaculture Design Courses at Daruma Eco-Farm and also traveling internationally to teach and consult. Together I hope we can continue to support Permaculture in both Thailand and Japan.

Read more of what previous students at Daruma have to say here.

As a graduate from the 2 week permaculture design course at Daruma Eco-farm, I could not recommend this experience enough. Set in a beautiful and convenient location, this dynamic and abundant farm is an excellent classroom for budding and developing permaculturists.

With amazing teachers, fascinating ecology, and innovative systems, this is the ideal location to study permaculture.

Read more of what previous students at Daruma have to say here.

Rachael Maysels, Environmental Science PhD student, Universidad del Cauca, Colombia, Co-founder of Tierras del Sham Educational Research Center

I graduated from Daruma’s first Agile PDC. My background is in the corporate world but on the creative side having worked for PolyGram and Universal Music I moved to New York and spent the last 5 years of my career working for Google’s Creative Lab in New York.

I took a sabbatical from Google and went to Thailand to study with Neil to learn about Permaculture in a concentrated and concise way. In the 2 weeks I spent with Neil we were encouraged to think deeply about global crises – economic, social, ecological and climate change including energy supply and use.

I was fascinated by Neils in depth knowledge of the Permaculture Design process and ethics and the incredible working/hands on set up he has at Daruma Eco-Farm which show permaculture principles in action. As well as this incredible knowledge we also learned about thought tools including SWOT analysis, MOPP, SMART criteria and LogFrame techniques as well as survey analysis.

Little did I know that this design thinking would help me pivot to a new career in just under a year after returning to New York. It helped me crystalize my passion for helping people and take a considered leap of faith to launch my own business.

My time at Daruma was educational and hugely transformative in a life changing way, I cannot recommend Neil and the Agile PDC more highly. Go study with Neil and see for yourself!

Read more of what previous students at Daruma have to say here.

Sue Rae, New York

I learned an enormous amount during my relatively brief time studying my PDC at Daruma. Having discovered permaculture and its principles whilst working with others on the 4 Person Eco Home in Taiwan, I was fairly new to permaculture, but had read one or 2 books, and watched a fair amount of video content.

My personal interests before doing my PDC were mainly earthen homes, rammed earth, natural building techniques and so on. But the scope of subjects within permaculture that could be explored, studied, and importantly for me, actually worked on with my own hands…this had captured my attention.

It seemed that whatever I had an interest in, whether it was the practical aspects of improving the soil microbiome, composting, effective microorganisms / indigenous microorganisms, or how to design & implement a permaculture project from start to finish, specific design methodologies, natural building techniques, or the myriad other branches of scientific enquiry that can be pursued, I certainly left Daruma feeling as though I had learned as much as I could absorb, and more, during the course.

The depth & breadth of Neil’s permaculture knowledge, along with his obvious talent at teaching & mentoring, was something I very much appreciated. Any topic I asked further questions about, Neil had volumes of pertinent information on-tap to either help me understand the basics, or broaden & deepen my understanding. One of the best teachers I have studied with.

My class notes alone are filled with enough information & references to stimulate years of research & application if I decided to.

The PDC at Daruma was as thorough academically as I had hoped for and more, with plenty of opportunities to explore the practical application of much of what I was learning. There are many natural building techniques employed on-site from Straw Bale to rammed earth (my pet favourite interest ;-), poured earth, and compressed earth brick walls running hundreds of metres around the farm. It is a fascinating place to come and learn, both from a hands-on practical, and academic / theoretical point of view.

My experiences during the PDC, and the time spent there with Neil acting as both a teacher and mentor, led to me taking the opportunity as a Course Coordinator & apprentice Co-Teacher at Daruma. This in itself has been invaluable in further expanding my knowledge and experience, not just of permaculture and natural building techniques, but also seeing first-hand what it takes to establish and maintain an ecovillage & intentional community such as Daruma & Mosaic School.

Read more of what previous students at Daruma have to say here.

Darren Roberts, InterConnected

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