Serving the Chesapeake Bioregion & Beyond

Patricia Ceglia
Permaculture Designer


“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”

Bill Mollison

"Permaculture is a creative design process that is based on ethics and design principles. It guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature that can be applied to all aspects of human habitation, from agriculture to ecological building, from appropriate technology to education and even economics."

David Holmgren

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

"Thank you for your thoughtful critique of my project and your positive suggestions. I enjoyed your class and the experience of trying to put on paper the flood of thoughts and ideas that you inspired. Thank you for continuing to inspire each of us to do what we can to work in harmony with the natural world for the betterment of the planet and mankind. You've cast the pebbles in the pond and the ripples are reaching out far and wide."

Sue Walsh , York, PA

Permaculture Design Certificate Course drawing

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Permaculture Designs

"One of the best training/educational classes I’ve ever taken! The concepts of Permaculture and how to apply the design methodology really sink in, as they are taught using a variety of different teaching methods, from guest speakers to field trips to interactive hands-on activities to videos and more! Taught by folks that are passionate about Permaculture and helping us transition to a more sustainable society."

Rohan Jasani
Arlington, VA

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Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

"I currently do food justice work in under-served neigbourhoods. Permaculture modes of thinking (mutualism) greatly benefit my work, whether I am working with teachers, community members or local officials. In short, the course has made me a much more well-rounded person."

Chimu Titi
Washington DC

Top right image:
Permaculture Design course project by students, Mike Binder & Martha Wetherholt.


There are no courses currently scheduled. To be notified of the next course, email Patricia at


6 weekends

This course is focused on the design process. We apply Permaculture ethics, principles and strategies to design practicum. In teams, the class performs multiple design exercises, exploring zone planning, water harvesting, guilds, agroforestry and other methods.

A significant portion of class time is spent on hands-on activities, applying numerous Permaculture techniques on site.

Each student creates a comprehensive Permaculture Design Plan, exploring the capacity for food, water, energy, and nutrient cycle self-sufficiency. This can be an urban, suburban or rural situation. The site can be an apartment/condo complex, a row home neighborhood, a school... Many students choose to design their own home and yard. You can also create a design for a friend/neighbor. Students work independently or participate in a team design, with one or two classmates. This project consists of scaled, color drawings, a written report, and an oral presentation. All students learn to draw to scale in class. Minimal tools are needed. A template is provided for the written report.

We routinely host guest speakers on specific topics, such as solar energy, nutrient cycling, and community economics. Several local field trips offer the opportunity to see a variety of successful Permaculture projects of varying scales.

Texts: Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison and Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway

Course Dates and Topics:

Weekend 1: Bioregionalism, Ecosystems, Ethics & Principles, Design Process
Weekend 2: Patterns in Nature, Site Analysis, Water Harvesting, Soil & Gardening
Weekend 3: Nutrient Recycling, Design for Disaster, Social & Economic Permaculture
Weekend 4: Renewable Energy, Natural Building & Small-scale Technology
Weekend 5: Grains, Aquaculture, Forest Gardens, Guilds, Agroforestry, Animals, Cash Crops
Weekend 6: Forest Garden Installation, Final Design Presentations & Certificate Awards

Class Schedule:

Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–6pm


Pay in full:

Payment Plan - $200 deposit, plus 5 equal payments due at the beginning of each class weekend.


Students bring their own bag lunch on Saturday. Sunday lunch is a 50-mile potluck. Coffee and tea will be provided.


Students can make their own arrangements.


We will help match up students for carpooling.

Permaculture Design Certificate

Students who complete course requirements earn a Permaculture Design Apprentice Certificate. The 72-hour Permaculture Design Course curriculum developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren is covered during the 6 weekends and home study. Graduates are permitted to use the word "permaculture" when engaged in business and can go on to earn the 2-year Diploma of Applied Permaculture Design from PINA. Permaculture design certification is also applicable towards Gaia University degree programs.


Patricia Ceglia, Lead Instructor, is an ecological site planner, architectural designer, and organic gardener. In private practice, she transfers her 30 years’ experience in large-scale architecture to the design of integrated habitats. She has designed passive-solar and timber-frame houses, forest gardens, multi-functional and native landscapes. As a consultant for the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, she helps suburban homeowners design and install edible landscapes for stormwater management. Patricia has taught the Permaculture Design certificate course since 1999.

“Through collective intentional efforts of many individuals, a healing momentum can transform our planet into the radiant life source that it is intended to be.”


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