Permaculture Made Simple: Basics of Sustainable Living provides the basics of permaculture, the study and practice of sustainable living. In this self-paced online course, students will gain a basic understanding of permaculture principles and practices and learn how to create a permaculture design for a real piece of land.

Learn permaculture design strategies from real life examples from permaculture projects around the world.

You’ll learn the basics of:

  • Filtering water
  • Building with earth
  • Soil, compost and mulching
  • Raising fish, insects and animals
  • Simple machines
  • And much more

In over 20 white-board animated videos, you will receive over 4 hours of content about each area of focus. This course is just the goods. It will get you the info you need and a good form to hold it together so you can get on with what you need to do.


Learn how to live off the land with strategies of permaculture design

Come to the course with a piece of land in mind or work with a group. By the end of the course, you will be introduced to many strategies of self-reliance which you can apply to your home.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Apply strategies of permaculture design to a piece of land
  • Create a comprehensive site analysis for any sized piece of land
  • Be an effective volunteer on permaculture sites around the world

Who is the target audience?

  • People who are interested in learning the basics of permaculture
  • People who don’t have time to attend an course
  • People who are interested in a comprehensive analysis of the basics of permaculture design
  • People who are interested in living a more self-reliant lifestyle

Is the Permaville Course a certified Permaculture Design Course?

This course includes the information required for a Permaculture Design Certificate. In-person permaculture design courses are highly recommended for hands-on experience and group discussions. There is no substitution for in-person learning environments.

Do I need any previous experience or qualifications?

  • A desire to learn
  • The course is in English
  • It’s helpful if you have a piece of land in mind to apply the techniques, although not required
  • No other experience is required

Can I listen to audio of the course or read transcripts of each chapter?


A syllabus lists the subjects in a particular course of study. The syllabus for Permaculture Made Simple: Basics of Sustainable Living are:


Design process and final project

  • Permaculture design process
  • Permaville project design
  • Site map basics


  • Story of permaculture
  • Definitions of permaculture
  • Agro, industrial, digital
  • Triangle social structures
  • Cloud communication

Principles and Ethics

  • Fundamental principles of a permaculture site
  • Permaculture ethics – people care, earth care and fair share

Holmgren’s principles

  • David Holmgren’s 12 design strategies

Zones and sectors

  • Permaculture zones
  • Natural order of the land
  • Natural sectors

Patterns in nature

  • Pattern in nature
  • Phi proportion
  • Using patterns in nature

Climates and microclimates

  • Climate
  • Microclimates
  • Climate zones

Urban design

  • Types of living settlements
  • Urban design strategies

Areas of permaculture


  • What are earthworks
  • Types of levels
  • Earthworks elements – Swales, Bunds, Terraces
  • Methods for lining ponds
  • About bentonite clay liners

Paths and access

  • Footpaths – Types and specs
  • Path drainage and erosion control techniques
  • Types of fencing

Natural building

  • Building with earth
  • Making mortar mix, adobe bricks
  • Natural plastering, sealants and paints
  • Building with cob, earthbags, rammed earth, bamboo, strawbale


  • Properties of water and hydrological cycle
  • Water sources, storage and filtration
  • Water heating and conservation strategies
  • Greywater systems


  • Community recycling strategies
  • Types of composting toilets
  • Bio-gas basics


  • Soil food web
  • Elements in the soil


  • Building a compost pile
  • Compost tea
  • Mulching


  • Indigenous and effective microorganisms
  • Methods to grow mushrooms
  • Bio-remediation
  • Worm composting bins


  • Potting soil
  • Nursery design
  • Plant propagation
  • Choosing plants
  • Seed saving


  • Choosing garden space
  • Types of gardens
  • Garden techniques


  • Tree planting methods
  • Layers of a forest
  • Forest succession
  • Food forest design


  • Pond design
  • Stocking your pond with fish and plants
  • Aquaponics basics
  • Chinampas basics

Insects and animals

  • Attracting beneficial insects
  • Keeping pests away
  • Animal care basics


  • About added value
  • Sustainable kitchen elements
  • Fermentation basics

Appropriate technology

  • Making charcoal
  • Applying simple machines to everything
  • Renewable energy basics


  • Village economics
  • Alternative economics

Audio and Transcripts – Listen to the audio or read transcripts of the course.