The 72 hour design course is quite an undertaking to organise. Teachers have to hire venues, provide food for students for two weeks, book field trips, teach an intensive course and market it. It all costs - and that means course fees can be high unless they are subsidised.
I really understand about not having much money. I don't earn much working for Permaculture magazine - none of us do - in fact we all earn a fraction of what we would earn in the mainstream world. That is our choice but we have had to learn to be thrifty.
We are also passionate about permaculture and we do not want money to be an obstacle so we have also set up many free or low costs ways of learning about permaculture since we started publishing in 1990.
Free permaculture website
We have a website that has no pay wall and publishes articles, practical solutions from readers, news, reviews and films every day - at no charge - www.permaculture.co.uk
You will also find 36 free eBooks about permaculture and other useful stuff here: www.green-shopping.co.uk/ebooks/free-ebooks.html and we are adding to this list all the time.
As a subscriber to Permaculture magazine you also get all our archives (that's over 80 magazines since 1992!) free to read online - if you subscribe digitally is costs £10 (the equivalent of $15). It is an amazing deal. www.exacteditions.com/read/permaculture?sid=356
Bill Mollison released a series of lectures on permaculture design - effectively a free online PDC course: www.networkearth.org/perma/culture.html
I think it is best to learn as a study group, however, so start with your own with friends. Group learning is creative, dynamic and can be very supportive.
Meet weekly if you can and set assignments together. Get the free books, maybe buy just one permaculture design text like Permaculture Design Step by Step, The Earth User's Guide to Teaching Permaculture (it will help you structure your home study programme) or The Earth Care Manual, watch the Mollison videos, read the back issues of our magazine, use the search box on our website to pull up interesting subjects. Teach yourself permaculture for free! It will be fun too.
Use permaculture principles now!
Finally, start using some permaculture principles like 'the problem is the solution'. I was recently short of cash so I collected up all the things in my house that were surplus to requirement and sold them on eBay. Most of us usually have resources in the Western world, they are often just in the worng place. Permaculture is all about benefical location: placing elements in benefical relationship to each other.
You may surprise yourself and free up some resources through your new education programme as well - and then if you take a PDC you will have a good grounding in the subject before you even start, making the most of that paid for course.
You can read a free copy online by clicking HERE. You can subscribe to our digital issue for just £2.75 ($2.99) a quarter. A digital subscription also enables you to read and search our 81 back issues but if you like the lovely paper edition please see SUBSCRIBE. Paper subscribers get our digital services free of charge!