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 sustainable living 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.

Learn the basics of:

  • Filtering water
  • Building with earth
  • Soil, compost and mulching
  • And much more

Using white-board animated videos, this course includes over 4 hours of content about each area of focus.


What am I going to get from this online course?
  • Be introduced to many self-reliant strategies
  • Create a comprehensive site analysis for a piece of land

Who is the target audience?

  • People who are interested in learning sustainable strategies and principles of natural living
  • People who don’t have time to attend an course
  • People who are interested in living a more self-reliant lifestyle

Is the Permaville Course a certified Permaculture Design Course?

  • This course includes all information required for a Permaculture Design Certificate. In-person courses are highly recommended for sufficient instruction and practical experience.


This syllabus lists the topics covered in this course. Links are provided for audio files and transcripts for each chapter below.

Instructor bio (Video/transcript, audio)

  • About course instructor

Origins of permaculture (Video/transcriptaudio

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

Principles and Ethics (Video/transcriptaudio)

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

Design methodology (Video/transcriptaudio)

  • Permaculture design process
  • Permaville project design

Maps (Video/transcriptaudio)

  • Site map basics

Holmgren’s principles (Video/transcriptaudio)

  • David Holmgren’s twelve design strategies

Zones and sectors (Video/transcriptaudio)

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

Patterns in nature (Video/transcriptaudio)

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

Climates and microclimates (Video/transcriptaudio)

  • Climate
  • Microclimates
  • Climate zones

Urban design (Video/transcriptaudio)

  • Types of living settlements
  • Urban design strategies

Areas of permaculture

Earthworks (Video/transcriptaudiobook)

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

Paths and access (Video/transcriptaudio)

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

Natural building (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

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

Water (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

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

Sanitation (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

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

Soil (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

  • Soil food web
  • Elements in the soil

Compost (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

  • Building a compost pile
  • Compost tea
  • Mulching

Microorganisms (Video/transcript, audio, book)

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

Nursery (Video/transcript, audio, book)

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

Garden (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

  • Choosing garden space
  • Types of gardens
  • Garden techniques

Trees (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

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

Aquaculture (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

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

Insects and animals (Video/transcriptaudio, book (insects), book (animals))

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

Kitchen (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

  • About added value
  • Sustainable kitchen elements
  • Fermentation basics

The Point (Audio)
Tools and technology (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

  • Making charcoal
  • Simple machines
  • Renewable energy basics

Economics (Video/transcriptaudio, book)

  • Village economics
  • Alternative economics

Social Permaculture (Video/transcriptaudio)

  • Education
  • Healthcare