2020 Winter Permaculture Design Course

February and March


Hands on Design Concept, Photo Chris Smyth

Hands on Design Concept, Photo Chris Smyth

Dates and Times:          5 Weekends

  • Friday – Feb 22nd – 6-9pm

  • Saturday – Feb 23rd – 9-6pm

  • Sunday – Feb 24th – 10-5pm

  • Saturday – Mar 2nd – 9-6pm

  • Sunday – Mar 3rd – 10-5pm

  • Saturday – Mar 9th – 9-6pm

  • Sunday – Mar 10th – 10-5pm

  • Friday – Mar 15th – 6-9pm

  • Saturday – Mar 16th – 9-6pm

  • Saturday – Mar 23rd – 9-6pm

  • Sunday – Mar 24th – 10-5pm

    Locations:  Treasure Lake and other tri-state host sites

    Facilitators: Doug Crouch, Chris Smyth, Ande Shewe, and other regional experts.

    Course Fee: 

    • 700$ ($200 deposit) By December 1st

    • $750 ($200 deposit) By January 1st

    • 800$($200 deposit) After February 1st

    ****includes catered lunches  ****

    For more information and to register details contact the following:

    Register Here – At the bottom of the page


THE COURSE: Format and Content

The course will be a weekend PDC spread out over five weekends   This format allows for extra time for students to digest the material during the week off making it a great format for a holistic learning experience.  Students will also receive hands-on experience and also ample work time on the final design project and presentation. The course will be a certified through TreeYo Permaculture as we are guided by Bill Mollison’s curriculum that comprises the 14 chapters of his book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual”. Our schedule reflects this commitment and has a strong emphasis on how the design principles and process influence site develop and systems management. We will cover the following topics throughout the course:

  • Ethics, Principles, and Methods of Permaculture Design

  • Pattern Understanding: Interpretation and Application

  • Climatic Factors: Broad Climatic Zones and Microclimate – Effects on Landscape and Design

  • Water: Harvesting, Conservation, and landscape hydration with Earthworks

  • Trees and their Energy Transactions: Tree Systems for landscapes and Tree Identification

  • Soils: Classification, Food Web, and Restoration

  • Aquaculture: Food Web, Aquatic Plants, Chinampas, Tyre Ponds, Water Quality Parameters

  • Animal Systems: Integrate worms, chickens, goats, and many other animals in your design

  • Strategies for Tropical, Dryland, and Temperate Climates: Influences on Vegetation, Housing, and Earthworks

  • Introduction to Natural Building: Earth as a Building Material

  • Fermentation and Nutrition: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Sourdough Bread and Pickles

  • Local Food Systems:  CSA-Community Supported Agriculture,  Cooperatives, Food-Coops

  • Social and Economic Permaculture: Bio-Regional Organization, Living in Communities, Transition Towns and Local Resiliency

  • And last but not least: A journey into our local ecosystem that is incredibly biodiverse and a unique food forest in its natural structure. The connections made here in this class will forward your environmental literacy and build community with other proactive stewards.  

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All Photos above from our 2018 Winter weekend PDC, Photos Chris Smyth


The course will end with the required student design projects that will utilize a budding permaculture site in Northern Kentucky and other possible locations.  The sites often come from the students themselves or apart of our local network. By using an actual physical site for the design projects, students will gain the experience of completing a full design from walking the land during the initial assessment to mapping

The design project process increases learner retention by allowing for immediate application and direct practice of learned skills while offering a means to evaluates students’ comprehension of the theory and lecture sections of the course. All of which are necessary to become successful, effective, and certified Permaculture designers.

The final design project is also considered to be a direct hands-on project because students will be engaged in a process that will yield a viable design proposal. Our commitment to practicing the design principles throughout the course process an evolving set of cards that facilitates design itself reinforces the theory and lecture sessions. To bring the material alive we engage in facilitating the course so that numerous learning styles are supported. One of our teaching techniques is through design exercises that compliment the lecture material and add an element of fun to the atmosphere.

For more information about our past courses visit the following page: Previous TreeYo Courses.

Another integral part of the course is the hands-on segment because it integrates the techniques directly to your body. We hope to do some hands-on segments for the course but will be weather dependent during this season other than fermentation:

  • Food Fermentation as a way to connect food production with culture with health and season extension (special guests lecturers from FabFerments for this one)

  • Final Design Project for immediate application and direct practice of learned skills



Doug CrouchWith 30 PDC’s facilitated across the globe, TreeYo Permaculture facilitator Doug Crouch will be putting on this weekend PDC that he has been apart of for years in Cincinnati.  Doug will once again act as the main facilitator of this year’s course after years of being abroad. His formal background is in the ecology of the local forest type and has been practicing and teaching Permaculture for over seven years in different parts of the world covering all climatic zones. He holds a Diploma in Permaculture Education which demonstrates his commitment to crafting his creative facilitation style. Click on the following link to read more about this facilitation style and the resources we are happy to share. Furthermore, to view some of the presentation you can expect during the course via PowerPoint, please visit Doug’s slideshare account at the following: www.slideshare.net/DougCrouch

Chris Smyth

Chris Smyth finished his PDC in 2010 in Cincinnati and received his Teaching Certificate in 2014 with Peter Bane and Sandy Cruz. An urban community developer, he spent 6 years as the Director of Sustainability at Price Hill Will, and now continues the work of building urban orchards and organizing community as a Freelance Designer. Chris lives in the Sankofa House, a homestead dedicated to remembering what it is to be human and is implementing a variety of resilience projects with his neighbors, including community gardens, food forests, and urban farms.

Ande Schewe

Certified in 2001 at Lost Valley Education Center in Oregon by Toby Hemenway, Judd Hobbs and Rick Valley Ande went on to study with many of the leaders in the field. He has taught with us since 2008 and continues to consult with farms, homes, businesses communities, schools and more. He has been published in numerous publications and runs Lola's Botanicals with his wife, growing herbs, teas and medicinals offered through their Community Supported Herbalism program.

Braden Trauth

A student of the originators of Permaculture, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, Braden has gone on to study with many other leaders in the field. He has been teaching and consulting with this knowledge since 2007 and has taught at places as varied as Universities, the Earthship Academy, Haitian Farmers and the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of USAID.

Other guests are sure to stop by and impart their experience with Permaculture in this region and beyond.

The HOSTS and food

Between the urban and the rural sites we get quite the blend of established systems and exploratory projects to learn from. We will see larger scale production of both plant and animal life. In the urban areas, water harvesting and the development of biologically diverse landscape in and amongst unique social contexts will be present. With that the course will be both a great example of regenerative broad-acre practices and small-scale intensive Permaculture. The blend of the two produces learning opportunities of various scales, which will enhance the experience beyond just the beauty of our unique and extremely biologically diverse temperate climate and forest type.  Below are a few examples of what can be seen on the sites:

  • Small scale intensive gardens and burgeoning food forests

  • Water harvesting earthworks of small and large-scale and tank systems

  • Commercial market gardens and eco forestry operations

  • Greenhouse technology for season extension along with other appropriate technology examples



We will be catering both Saturday and Sunday’s with delicious local or organic food further highlighting our region’s movement within permaculture and local food production.


Cincinnati and the tri-state region provides a wonderful backdrop for Permaculture in this unique Midwest context. Its uniqueness is defined by its topography, hilliest city in the Midwest, and the subsequent challenges with landslides because of our high rainfall totals on clay soils. We also are in a fairly conservative market, this isn’t Portland or Burlington where sustainability took off many years ago. Rather we have been pushing the envelope here to increase people’s consciousness around food security, social justice, and rebuilding a skill base that will take us into an abundant city scape. The city is dominated by many Fortune 500 companies but our grassroots organizations within the Cincinnati Permaculture Guild have allowed us to work with these giants and the local councils, not just against them.

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Many Reasons to Come Join Us!

The Cincinnati Permaculture Guild and the tri-state region offer a great location and context for learning Permaculture!

  • Come and be part of a community that is dedicated to forging a local economy through strong interconnectedness around food, water, and shelter at our very basics.

  • The sites offer a diversity of contexts and ages of development to learn from.

  • Gain environmental literacy through a University level course with a diversity of ways to learn.

  • The Design background enhances your ability to join projects, lead community movement, and save money along the way to abundance.

  • The Confidence to be a Permaculture consultant and practitioner in the future is one of the most valuable qualities that students will develop during the course due to the numerous site applications, international staff, creative solution successes and varied micro-climates. The world needs YOU!

After all, it will be a fun learning experience sure to give a new perspective on everyday surroundings and bring inspired solutions to the table. Let Permaculture be the systematic approach to make change in the world and your local community alike. Learn to turn Problems into Solutions, to Work with Nature not Against, and how Everything…yes Every-THING…gardens!!!!!



 Click here and use the Pre-Registration Form