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Permaculture Design Certificate 2019, Cloughjordan Ecovillage

PDC Xmas Voucher Promo

Permaculture Design Certificate

Learn how we can live more sustainably using ecological design
Practical skills for horticulture, farming, enterprise, green building, perma-facture, collaboration, social innovation and community resilience.


Friday 2nd - Sunday 11th August 2019 | Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co Tipperary, Ireland | Early Bird price of €495 if paid in full before April 15th. Usual fees €550 / €495 Cultivate Members | some concessions are available on request, €100 deposit secures your place (how to apply (PDF)) | deposit not refundable after 17th May 2019.

This 10-day Permaculture Design Certificate Course is organised by Cultivate in association with Cloughjordan Community Farm and Village Education Research and Training (VERT) at the Cloughjordan Ecovillage and is accredited by the UK Permaculture Association.

See the facebook event (and maybe send an invite or two).
Download course PDF
View Christmas voucher
Take a sneak peak on YouTube

Each year we invite special guest tutors to share their expertise, along with our resident specialists. Guest tutors for 2018 were Mark Boyle, AKA The Moneyless Man & currently running the community smallholding The Happy Pig, Hannah Mole, a certified teacher immersed in designing, and organising permaculture events and courses (see, Féidhlim Harty, wetlands and reed bed specialist & author of Permaculture Guide to Reed Beds (see and Aranya, a leading UK Permaculture teacher, designer and author of Permaculture Design: A Step-by-Step Guide, joined us via Skype. 2019 guests to be announced, watch this space...

The setting for this immersive course is Cloughjordan Ecovillage, one of Ireland’s leading examples of an ecosystem of innovation. it includes over 55 eco-homes, community woodlands, renewable energy production, a wood-fired bakery, research gardens and a community farm. The venue for indoor sessions is WeCreate Workspace and Fab Lab an innovation hub within the Ecovillage. See photos of previous courses here.

This course is full-time (and "full-on") from Friday evening (starting with dinner around 6pm) until the following Sunday afternoon (around 4pm) | Find presentations, links and other resources on Our Permaculture Resource Site.

PDC YT thumbnail
"A thorough grounding in systems design for resilient living in a volatile world. A jumping-off point for those who are looking for change" - Isabelle O'Kane, 2016

Wondering what to expect from a 10-day PDC experience?
Here's a video collage.




Graduates of the course will be fully accredited by the U.K. Permaculture Association with a Permaculture Design Certificate.

Why do the course?

The permaculture design course has become one of the benchmark accredited courses in sustainability and, as such, is an essential part of the toolkit of real and practical ways to face the difficult challenges of our times. Whether your interest is in community, horticulture or in engineering; or how you design a homestead or sustainable community or just how to best navigate the transition to a resilient and low carbon society, the principles of permaculture and regenerative design will be helpful.

No prior knowledge is necessary to take the course, although, as permaculture is such a wide ranging discipline, it is recommended that participants do some basic research. Recommended reading will be sent out prior to the course.

Course Highlights

The permaculture course in Cloughjordan aims to be as fully comprehensive and up to date as possible. Through a balanced mix of theory and practice participants will learn how to apply the principles of permaculture to many aspects of their own life and that of their community. The Cloughjordan course includes focused sessions on natural building, local economics, forest gardening, renewable energy, ponds and aquaculture, ecovillage and bioregional design along with specialist knowledge from our local expert on digitial fabrication, permafacture and open source distributed production (and the indoor sessions are held in one of Ireland's only FabLabs).  Every year we invite special guest tutors to share their expertise. In 2017 we had Albert Bates of The Farm, Tennessee and in 2018 we were joined by Mark Boyle, known as the Moneyless Man, Féidhlam Harty, wetlands and reed bed specialist & author of Permaculture Guide to Reed Beds (see and permaculture pioneer Hannah Mole! Aranya, author of Permaculture Design: a Step-by-Step Guide, will join us again via Skype for 2019. 

“A great opportunity to work with inspiring people in an incredible setting to learn valuable and under-appreciated skills." - Robert Miller, a 2015 student

Ecovillage Setting & Course Venue

Cloughjordan Ecovillage is a unique and innovative project that is striving to create a fresh blueprint for modern sustainable living. Created on beautiful land in County Tipperary, the ecovillage already has more than 55 low energy homes and work units to date, with planning permission for a total of 132 units, renewable energy for heating and a productive farm supplying much of the residents' food needs. 

The venue for indoor sessions is the Community Enterprise Centre home to the WeCreate FabLab.


€550 (€495 members and €515 for those who have attended a Taster) including all lunches and a dinner on arrival night; accommodation is extra see below for details. You may reserve a place with an €100 deposit (payment details - PDF). Paypal payment options are at the top of this page.


Options range from camping onsite (compost toilet and shower available), at €5 per night to affordable eco-hostel accommodation at Django's to fine rooms at Cloughjordan House B&B.

Book here for Django's or call Pa at +353 87 256 9348.

For other accommodation options please contact Philippa. philippa @ or 0505 56060


Participants should bring their own stationery, secateurs, sturdy boots and a laptop/ tablet if you have one (computers are available on site if needed). We will supply course notes and all equipment needed for practical work.


Included in course fees are delicious vegetarian lunches every day and dinner on arrival. During the week dinners are organised in various ways including, cooking in groups, community meals shared with other villagers and so on. There will be inexpensive supper options available during the week, e.g. pizza, barbeque nights, available for booking at the beginning of the course.

“Wonderful. Eye-opening. Generous. Delicious. A highlight of each day" - Ashlee Downey, a 2016 student in relation to the food of the course

For more information on food options please contact Philippa. philippa @ or 0505 56060


The website will help you get there. Situated 143km from Dublin (Cork 156km, Limerick 57km) Cloughjordan is easily accessible from all parts of Ireland by train, bus or car. Cloughjordan has its own train station and is just off the M7 motorway where J.J. Kavanagh's buses serve the nearby town of Moneygall from where we can collect you. Bus Eireann serves Nenagh which is a 20 minute drive but collection also may be possible. For those coming via Dublin Airport, there are buses direct from the airport to Moneygall on the Friday. Search from Dublin Airport to Moneygall on for details.


Along with specialists from Cloughjordan Eco-village we host guest teachers on our courses. See above for guest tutors.

Each section of this course, with its diverse range of subject matters, is taught by someone expert in that particular field.

Our resident experts include:

Eileen Flanagan brings extensive professional experience in water management systems and natural building. In 2011 she self-built a circular cob home in Cloughjordan eco-village, and is trained in Passive House design and construction.

Bruce Darrell a specialist in horticulture and food security living in a self-built house in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage. He hosts a YouTube channel on the Research Education Development (RED) Gardens, a series of gardens which are exploring different methods of growing vegetables at a family and neighbourhood scale.

Kevin Dudley is one of the farmers at Cloughjordan Community Farm and was orchard curator at the Irish Seed Savers Association for 10 years. He has completed an apprenticeship at the Centre for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at The University of Santa Cruz, California, where he developed his interest in Social and community supported farming.

Davie Philip one of the original catalysts of the Transition Towns process and the manager of Cultivate’s Community Resilience programme. He facilitates groups working on collaborative approaches to help their communities flourish and has a passion for social and organisational Permaculture.

Devyn Olson Sawyer knows that it’s impossible to learn on an empty stomach. She brings her passion for combining delicious ingredients, culinary knowledge and keen interest in food issues to offer Permaculture kitchen sessions and oversee the course catering.

Ben Whelan is a Founder and Director of Cultivate and WeCreate Workspace. He has taught and published in many areas of sustainability including permaculture, bioregionalism and local economics. Currently his focus is on green and sustainable uses for open source hardware and digital fabrication.

Philippa Robinson is a student of permaculture since 2005.  The permaculture course coordinator, ‘people care’ person & information hub for Cultivate.

More About Permaculture

Permaculture is about creating sustainable human habitats by following nature's patterns. It uses the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems to provide a framework and guidance for people to develop their own sustainable solutions to the problems facing their world, on a local, national or global scale. It is based on the philosophy of co-operation with nature and caring for the earth and its people. Permaculture is not a set of rules; it is a process of design based around principles found in the natural world, of co-operation and mutually beneficial relationships, and translating these principles into actions.

A Typical Experience of the Course

"A thorough grounding in systems design for resilient living in a volatile world. A jumping-off point for those who are looking for change" - Isabelle O'Kane, 2016

“It's more than just a course; it is a life-changing/ shaping experience" - Zsolt Bohar, a 2016 student designing a family permaculture smallholding.

"As a permaculture novice I had little idea of what to expect at Cultivate's Permaculture Course in Cloughjordan. I was thoroughly engaged from the outset as the course carefully blended theory and practice to give me a rich overview of the principles of permaculture design.” - Niamh Brannigan, Communications Manager, Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative

A 2013 student working wtih compost

2013 group working with tutor Bruce Darrell on a traditional Irish garden bed system, 'the easy bed'
easy beds

Davie Philip, resident and Social Permaculture expert
Davie apple tree

2012 PDC participants at work designing
2012 Designing

2012 PDC participants in an outdoor session in the village marketplace

Lunch chef Goska and course tutor Bruce Darrell preparing spuds from the Red Gardens (nearly all fresh vegetables used for the lunches are grown in the ecovillage)


Eileen Flanagan, engineer and natural builder

Bruce Darrell, gardening researcher & food security analyst

Kevin Dudley, farmer and researcherKevin_Dudley.jpg

Aranya Permaculture Designer, Teacher and Author

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