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The only limit to yield is the designers imagination

– Bill Mollison

One Straw Presents : Elphinstone Permaculture Design Certificate Program.


Gather together with like minded people to grow with plants and animals, gardens and farms to learn about how nature designs itself and how we can become sustainable designers ourselves. Together we will learn how to map and design our land and our lives, plan for emergency, grow organic food in all four seasons and work to build a more regenerative future.


The certification granted upon completion of the course will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. Working toward certification is not a requirement. Students may attend the course without completing the material required to attain the certificates, its a fun way to journey with like minded people in an experiential, outdoor adventure in education.


The class caters anyone who wants to learn permaculture in a creative way. 


Our Permaculture Design Certification Program is co-taught by a dynamic male - female teaching team. These ultra flexible courses cater to the busyness of modern life. If you miss a class you can jump in on the the same module in a different class at no extra tuition cost (plus rental and food costs) and there is no time limit to complete the certification. We can also be individually hired to do up to 2 one-on-one classes if any are missed. 


The program has been developed over the course of three Diplomas, a Masters Degree and a Doctoral Degree in Permaculture Education and continually upgraded over the 16 years it has been offered. This 28th Permaculture Design Course is the culmination of studying with the top permaculture elders at the best sites all over the planet and taking many advanced courses, teacher trainings and full permaculture design courses. 


We have a one of a kind and exciting teaching tool kit that transforms lectures into games and together we travel to many different permaculture farms, gardens and forest locations while sharing in a uniquely creative learning journey. The focus project is a map and design for where you live or an area of your choice. Completion of this course offers graduates their choice of legitimate and formal certificates through Permaculture Institute, Permaculture Association or Permaculture Research Institute.

Investment :


$1110  early bird price for those completing payment by March 21 Equinox 

Payment plans accepted with completion by the first day of the course.

Price includes food and onsite accomidations.


Limited number of discounts : $50 off for campers

$100 off for off site 


No refunds after April 24, 2019. 

Delvin Solkinson is a community gardener and plant poet dedicated to bringing creativity to the permaculture movement by creating free open source learning and teaching tools. He has completed a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and done advanced teacher trainings with Rosemary Morrow, Toby Hemenway, Larry Santoyo, Looby Macnamara, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Patricia Michael, Robyn Francis, the Bullock Brothers, Tom Ward, Jude Hobbs, Scott Pittman, Michael Becker, Robin Wheeler, Starhawk, Robina McCurdy and Robin Clayfield. He is an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute (Australia), Permaculture Academy (UK) and a Field Mentor through the Permaculture Institute (USA). Recently he completed a PDC in Portland with Toby Hemenway, one in Greece with Rosemary Morrow and a second Diploma through the Permaculture Institute. Currently he is doing graduate work under the mentorship of Larry Santoyo and Looby Macnamara.

Kym Chi is a dedicated advocate of earth stewardship, people care and regenerative action for future resilience. Her main efforts are as a creative facilitator, artist, healer, medicine woman and community builder.  To date; Kym has received 3 certificates in Permaculture Design, completed multiple teacher trainings, taken a variety of advanced trainings and completed a Diploma in Permaculture Education.  With a love of learning, she continues to take courses that grow her understanding of the natural world. Through her stewardship of a deepened connection with the environment, Kym wishes to inspire creative self expression and value centred living to enrich and create healthy, abundant habitats and communities. With a focus on Social Permaculture,  Kym mentors others on their life path and focusses on ways to support organizations and communities to become more resilient.  She lives on the West Coast of Canada where she teaches and mentors in Permaculture and runs a holistic healing practice and acts as the Executive Director of One Straw Society helping to create a thriving local food system on the lower Sunshine Coast.

Join this 10 day adventure in learning. Course includes accommodations and food. 

Course Schedule:


May 24th - June 2nd 

10am - 6pm each day

plus optional evening activities

Course Topics include:

Sunshine Coast locations include Brookbank Farm, Rolling Earth Farm & Retreat, EdenForest, Kingfisher Field and Forest Permaculture Demonstration Site, Roberts Creek Co-housing as well as waterfalls and ancient trees in the rainforest.


Course Topics include:


*principles *design methods * patterns in nature * soils and composting * water * trees * animals * design for cool , tropical and arid climates * social permaculture * native food and medicine plants of the Coastal First Peoples and much much more. We have worksheets, permaculture design gaming tools, as well as hundreds of gardens as our living classroom.



























Program Content


Optional hands on activities throughout the course:

Design Charrettes

Earthworks demonstration

Integrative games

Compost building

Soil analysis

Plant & tree identification

Medicine Making



Additional Topics:

Medicinal plants & preparations

Plant Identification


Non-violent communication



Completion Requirements 

We don’t require those taking the course to participate in the certification requirements. 

Many people take the program and do not do the questions and project. 

No one knows who is doing or not doing this work. 

There are no tests.


Those wanting the certification will complete:

Individual map and design

Questions/ Written work

Course Journal

100% attendance (students can arrange to make up missed classes with other groups 

or take private make up classes with the instructors at additional cost)


Graduating and Jobs

Having a Permaculture Design Certificate from a recognized training institute will empower participants as permaculture designers, consultants and beginner teachers able to use the word permaculture legally in their practice, business or project. This sustainability education eco-training certificate is a practical path for greening your life, resume and portfolio. You will have a green edge when applying for jobs, grants or school programs

Permaculture Testimonials from past program participants:


Delvin and Kym are amazing, talented and incredibly honouring and delightful people. Our world is safe and more alive and caring in their hands, thanks to their presence, creativity and commitment.

- Robin Clayfield


The instructors, Delvin and Kym, provide an excellent introduction to the ethics, principles, and techniques of Permaculture. The instruction is more than I could have hoped for.  Between the curriculum, and personal experiences of the instructors, the course offers a brilliant education and a profound experience.

- Steven Funk


Three years of University and a debt I'm still paying off today and I learnt more about the real world on this course than during that whole time. The majority of my posts, blogs and pub rants have been influenced by this philosophy. If you are interested in the natural world, sustainability, healthy living or just think the current way we do things in society is a little strange I'd recommend checking out Permaculture in some way or another.

- Josh Davis 


Continuing education in permaculture studies, with the amazing teachers Devlin Solkinson and Kym Chi in Vancouver BC. I'm deeply inspired by the course that I'm in with them now, and highly recommend this to anyone interested in next level Earth stewardship gardening.

- Bob McGruff 


This program was fantastic!  Delvin and Kym created a welcoming learning environment , encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and enabled me to grasp and learn the Permaculture ethics and principles in a way that was conducive to my learning style. I’ve left this program with the confidence and knowledge to further pursue my education and career in Permaculture. I have and will continue to recommend this program to others who are interested in Permaculture and look forward to the opportunity to learn with Delvin and Kym again. 

- Matt Gravel @ Plant Buoy:LPP, Victoria , BC


If you feel any inclination to take this course, i encourage you to do it.  Do it now.  Kym and Delvin have the ability to meet you where you are and guide you with active and inspirational instruction. Harness the information and apply it personally to your business and to your garden no matter the size. Start now. 

- Craig H. 


By the law of attraction , i entered the Permaculture Design Certificate Program.  I am very grateful for Delvin and Kym on this journey, both are very professional and responsible.

- Jenny Smith


An inspirational journey of an Introduction to Permaculture, wetting the palette to want to dive deeper. Great foundation for self growth and tools to engage community, influence work and relationships

 -Sybrena Albright

The course is a refreshing break from everyday life.  A chance to reflect and inspired about how we can be better.

- Karen Cameron


I really like this course and how Delvin, Kym and my classmates were greatly responsive of my needs as a differently abled person.  I am going to carry what i have learned in this course throughout my life.

-  Myah McKenzie


I am constantly amazed at how much i have learned about everything. I feel I should have already known how it changed my perspective on my gardens, my life, family, nature, the world… I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to open their mind to a beautiful concept or simply broaden their knowledge of what our future will be made of, at least i hope. I do love how it is easy to weave into our own personal busy lives over 4 seasons of observation. It allows us the time to evolve, change, learn, try, fail, succeed and repeat.  Thank you for sharing your love, passion and knowledge of something i had never heard of and will never forget. ​

- Marie-Eve B.


Your teaching has changed the way I observe the world. Observing with curiosity rather than judgement. I recommend this course again and again beacuase of the multi faceted teaching style and the dynamic changing venues and continual student involvement and gentle challenges.

- Maureen Witney


I would recommend this course to any friend interested and committed to leaving this world a better place.

- Sally Holden

Delvin is truly a great facilitator of permaculture education. In every class his intention is focused and he is deeply engaged. He gets all the curriculum across clearly and provides time for deeper hands-on education at each of the sites we visit. He takes the time to engage directly with each of his students and shows that he cares about each of their own development and growth. He is a great role model and embodies many permaculture ethics and principles in his own life. He makes every class a fun adventure and it becomes a joy to learn permaculture.

- Christopher Peters 

I quite enjoyed the permaculture design course, I always looked forward to attending every class because there was something different to learn each time. It also nicely tied in well with the Gaia College studies. Having different locations is a brilliant way to immerse ourselves in the natural learning of ecological design. It was never boring! The lessons were engaging and very interactive, I quite miss it!

- Monique Constant



Module 1: Pretro

Group introductions

Course orientation & requirements

Group goals and guidelines

Communication (NVC and conflict resolution)

Learning styles & multiple intelligences


Learning Goals:

Set a course culture of safety, respect and organization

Create a positive & effective learning environment

Encourage active listening in groups

Value different ways of communicating and have confidence in utilizing tools of conflict resolution

Orient participants to course content


Module 2:  Foundations of Permaculture


History of Permaculture




Learning Goals:

Know the Permaculture ethics and the Transition ethic and how to apply them to conscious decision making

Learn the basis of how the Permaculture movement began, how it has grown, some of its progeny’s and how the lineage links to this course.

Gain a strong understanding of nature’s principles and how they are at the foundation of design decisions and application

Provide awareness of the world’s problems and the current situation

Shift from a place of problems to positive solution based thinking.

Feel confident in defining Permaculture clearly to others


Module 3 :  Design Methods

Needs, Functions and Outputs





Learning Goals:

Understand how to do a needs & yields analysis

Gain a base understanding of closed loop systems

Observe a site, document and recognize available resources and design constraints based on analysis.

Identify energies or influences that effect a design site

Be able to create a base map including zones & sector analysis for a site

Know the basic elements included in mapping a site


Module 4: Pattern Literacy

Physical patterns, emergent patterns, fractal patterns

Functions of patterns

Patterns in time

Behavioural patterns

Application of patterns in design



Learning Goals:

Pattern recognition in nature and technology

Learn the functions of patterns in nature and how to apply that knowledge to effective design

Gain Pattern literacy and understand how to replace dysfunctional patterns with functional ones.

Know the functions of and feel confident designing guilds

Recognize that pattern literacy is fundamental in becoming good designers


Module 5: Soil

Soil biology

Soil classification and testing


Soil remediation


Soil indicators


Learning Goals:

Have a base understanding of the components of healthy soil and know the value of building soil.

Know different ways to test soil

Recognize different plant indicators and what they tell about soil health.

Understand a multitude of different ways to remediate and build soil.

Apply different composting techniques in appropriate situations.

Identify key plants that bring nutrient to the soil.


Module 6: Trees

Ecological function of trees in relation to earth, water, air and energy



Forest gardens and food forests

Plant and tree identification

Plants as soil indicators

Design for trees


Learning Goals:

Understand the ecological functions of trees and recognize them as a keystone species in the ecosystem.

Learn the stages of succession and how to intervene at appropriate times.

Know the layers in a forest garden and different plants for each layer that grow locally

Identify local plants and trees and see the difference in characteristics between species.

Be able to integrate trees adequately and appropriately in design.


Module 7: Animals

Design for wild and domestic animals

Animal care

Integrated pest management


Learning Goals:

Recognize the intrinsic characteristics, functions and outputs of animals

How to meet the needs of animals on site

Learn techniques for integrating animal systems

Understand effective and healthy ways to handle pests

Know how to safely and ethically live with wildlife


Module 8: Water, Aquaculture & Earthworks

Water facts

Water conservation

Water strategies & techniques

Waste water treatment

Water harvesting & storage




Learning Goals:

Understand how global water issues can affect us on a local level.

Learn how to do a water audit.

Recognize multiple ways in which to conserve water.

Feel confident in applying strategies and techniques to capture, store, treat and release water safely and appropriately.

Know how to calculate roof water catchment amounts.


Module 9: Climate

Climatic Zones

Climatic factors


Design for Climate


Learning Goals:

Understand climate on a global scale and how we may design to moderate climatic factors

Be able to identify, create and design microclimates

Learn how to understand climate and its elements (light, wind, water)


Module 10: Cool Climate

Cool climate characteristics

Cool climate design challenges and strategies

Cool climate design elements and techniques


Learning Goals:

Be able to identify characteristics of cool climate and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.


Module 11: Tropics

Tropical climate characteristics

Tropical climate design challenges and strategies

Tropical climate design elements and techniques


Learning Goals:

Be able to identify characteristics of wet, wet dry and monsoon tropics and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.


Module 12: Drylands

Dryland climate characteristics

Dryland climate design challenges and strategies

Dryland climate design elements and techniques


Learning Goals:

Be able to identify characteristics of drylands and appropriate strategies and technologies to work with them in the home, garden, farm and community.


Module 13: Social Permaculture

Client interview & designer checklist

Community building (group processes and asset mapping)

Governance (sociocracy and consensus decision making)

Land access

Right livelihood

Legal structures



Learning Goals:

Gain confidence in the consultation and design process for clients.

Be able to map assets and resources and identify community needs.

Understand different models of decision making and how to apply them.

Learn tools to provide for healthy group dynamics and efficient process.

Recognize opportunities for land access locally.

Become aware of ethical and effective business models and legal structures that support local economy

Know ways to relocalize and create resilient communities.


Module 14: OS Permaculture


Permaculture economics

Urban renewal strategies and design


Learning Goals:

Able to identify risks and mitigate disaster using Permaculture design tools and techniques

Know the steps in building a emergency preparedness plan and engaging local community in the process

Learn a variety of different economic strategies and the value of utilizing multiple currencies and tools

Feel confident in utilizing place-making tools, techniques and Permaculture strategies in urban environments

Module 15: Graduation

Next steps (setting up a permaculture practice, further education, community involvement, goal sharing)

Education (accessibility, open source, alternative education)

Mapping and design presentations

Talent show



Learning Goals:

Think about niches in permaculture and practice effective goal setting

Gain experience presenting to groups and receiving feedback

Understand how to help others share their gifts

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