Permaculture Course Graduates

Part of what makes the Permaculture Design Course so amazing are the people that participate in it. Learn about how the PDC has helped energize and engage the students to make a positive impact in the world.

Matt O'Malley- Executive Director of SD CoastKeeper

Matt is a lawyer by training who has extensive experience advocating for environmental issues. Currently, he is the Executive Director of San Diego Coastkeeper where he works on advocating for fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters here in San Diego.

"The PDC changed the way I look at policy and legal advocacy in attempting to accomplish the mission of San Diego Coastkeeper. By looking holistically at how systems integrate and are interdependent, I've made several changes to the direction of advocacy towards multi-benefit solutions for water quality, water supply, and environmental and community health. I've more earnestly used permaculture approaches in attempting to tackle the big water issues before us, including climate change and adaptation, water supply resiliency (conservation, recycling, capture of rainfall), and water quality improvements (advocating for green answers to historically gray infrastructure."


Check Out The San Diego Coastkeeper

Diane Kennedy- Finch Frolic Gardens

"Taking my PDC with Josh Robinson was transformative. His years of hands-on experience and depth of knowledge made this an honest course; his teaching style is compassionate and relaxed, so all of the diverse students felt engaged. The cost of the class was a great value compared to others offered online (with no hands-on experience) or elsewhere. The course touched on a wide variety of permaculture techniques and avenues so that students could be inspired by what interested them most. For me it was the site evaluation class project, as well as the hope inspired by learning about easy soil building. The SDSL's PDC course is a gold mine of information at a reasonable cost, and I have and will continue to highly recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue permaculture. Armed with the information from the course I turned my bare 1 1/2 acre property into a food forest, and in 2013 began Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture, an educational site. Through consultations, workshops, lectures, tours, a website and social media I have been able to inspire and guide thousands of people to be more gentle with the earth through permaculture techniques, and I wouldn't have been able to do that without the support and education I received from my PDC class."

Finch Frolic is now a branch of the Center for Conservation and Education Services, a 501-c3. We (my daughter Miranda and I) are working on funding for expanding from permaculture education into permaculture training. Our usual target clients are homeowners, and we'd like to train gardeners, landscapers, and give hands-on experience to interested youth and adults. Meanwhile we continue to consult, lead tours and workshops, and give public appearances, as well as share information on the website and FB.

Check Out Finch Frolic Gardens

Terra Cultura

Terra Cultura is a nonprofit teaching farm with a mission to cultivate resilient communities empowered through education and collaboration in agroecology, sustainable living, and the arts. The farm is a laboratory for exploring models for balance between the environmental, economic, and social spheres. The three founders, Jessica Wohlander, Travis Hill, and Rachel Wohlander, had been dreaming for years of a way to combine their backgrounds in art, small-scale regenerative agriculture, and community organizing. Terra Cultura became a nonprofit in January 2017, and, after running pilot educational programs on other farms, now has its own site in Aromas, Ca. The hope is that communities activated to engage in educational and collaborative projects in art, agriculture, and sustainable living practices, are stronger and better empowered to advocate for local social, environmental, and economic justice.

Jessica, Travis, and Rachel are graduates of the Spring 2017 PDC

Check Out Terra Cultura

Talia Morales- Perma Peru

"The PDC with SDSLI was a game changer and marked a significant shift, not only in the way I garden, but also offered a permaculture lens to how my work life and other creative projects are designed as well. The PDC offered practical tools that I could apply to “do my part” toward creating balance in my personal ecosystem/s and feel more hopeful that I can make a positive impact to the greater state of the world. Not only has my home been completely transformed but it inspired a career change to offer permaculture related immersion journeys to my family’s farm in Peru as well.

The course was absolutely worthwhile. It planted many seeds that continue to sprout years later and serve as inspiration for continual learning. The course is packed with information which gave a great “lay of the land” on the how permaculture principles can be applied through a variety of techniques and strategies and helped identify areas you feel called to dig deeper as you continue your education in the world of permaculture. Would love to take it again not only to reinforce the concepts learned but also get a chance to hone skills on how to teach from Josh who is a wealth of knowledge and dynamic teacher!"

In 2017, Talia began PermaPeru which offers transformational permaculture inspired travel and learning retreats to her family’s land in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Focused on harmonious relationships with our planet and natural systems, PermaPeru’s 10-day immersion courses includes hands-on learning projects, community outreach, excursions to archeological sites and expressive arts steeped in the ancestral wisdom of Andean culture.

Check Out PermaPeru

Chris Meador- Permasystems

"Josh's PDC at SDSLI was a great balance between classroom work, learning concepts and techniques, and hands-on experiential work putting our learning into action. It's a course that will change your life in the best possible way as it did for me! Since taking the course I see the world in a new more organized light consisting of patterns and systems and I decided to pursue permaculture professionally. After I took the course I even bought the course as a birthday present for my partner and I truly wish everybody could take it. I would even take it again, new doors keep opening of amazing possibilities."

My business Permasystems has been focusing on passive and active rainwater harvesting systems integrated with food production. We are building a permaculture education and demonstration site in Ramona that includes a food forest, rainwater and greywater harvesting systems, and a cob cabin. People can follow our progress on our website blog or Facebook.

Check Out Permasystems

Atulya Lee Berube

“I took the PDC in the fall of 2016. It was very informative and inspiring. It helped me reduce my hours working indoors as a bookkeeper and land a second job doing rain catchment and gray water installations with a company call CatchingH20. I love working outdoors and knowing that I’m making a positive impact in the conservation of our precious resource, fresh water. I would recommend this course to anyone. The content is very engaging and Josh’s teaching style makes it very digestible. Plus you get to meet some great like minded people and spend a few nights camping out with them. Atulya Lee Berube, Lemon Grove, CA”

Check Out CatchingH20

Eric Saline and Matt DeGiovanni- CommuniTree Gardens

CommuniTree Gardens consists of two SDSLI Permaculture Course graduates.  Eric Saline graduated in 2015 and is one of the co-founders.  After meeting in class he brought on Matt DeGiovanni, a 2015 graduate.

"CommuniTree Gardens is committed to going beyond sustainability and regenerating ecosystems that provide food, medicine and refuge for all living things. We started this business to meet an urgent demand for holistic landscape design and management practices in San Diego. Our creativity and our drive for building a healthy sustainable planet has helped us transform many landscapes into habitats that benefit both man and wildlife."

Check Out CommuniTree Gardens

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