Begin Your Permaculture Gardening Journey!

This course offers a Certificate option for those who complete all coursework and quizzes and attend at least seven of the eight live-virtual courses.

  • What You Will Learn

    This highly interactive Permaculture Forest Gardener course will introduce you to permaculture and teach you the basics of permaculture design theory and forest garden design. Learn how to transform your own yard, school, workplace or park into an edible forest garden by developing an understanding of: 1) Permaculture Design Ethics, Principles, Strategies and Techniques 2) Site & Human systems Assessment * 3) Plant Ecosystem Functions and Design Application * 4) Edible and Native Plant Selection & Installation to Rewild our Landscapes * 5) Maintenance: Weeding, Watering, Fertilizing * 6) Harvesting & Preparation (Food, medicine, value add products) * 7) Preservation and Propagation * 8) Hibernation/Composting/Mulching – closing the loop

  • How You Will Learn

    The 2021 Permaculture Forest Gardener certificate course will meet live, virtually 9:00 am -12:00 pm on Saturdays once a month for a total of 8 classes. No prior gardening or permaculture experience is needed. During this eight month course you will discover through in-class lectures and guided hands-on projects how to create a vibrant, productive, ecological edible landscape. Also included are practice assignments that you will do on your own outside of class which will culminate in a final design project of your choice.

  • Skills You Will Acquire

    Each class session will include skill-building exercises and design practice to be completed during class and outside of the live-virtual class sessions. For homework exercises, expect to practice for 1-2 additional hours outside of each class. To earn the certificate, a total of 18 practice hours, including the time spent on homework exercises, will be required. Over the course, you will develop your permaculture design skills through practice exercises: Applying Permaculture Principles and Ethics * Design Strategies and techniques * Monthly Garden Planning and Activities * Developing Observation Skills * Starting a garden journal to record your gardening journey.


  • Certificate Option

    Students who complete all of the assigned exercises, log 18 practice hours outside of class, pass all 7 quizzes, present a completed design project, and participate in-person for at least 7 of the 8 virtual classes will earn a certificate at the end of the course!

  • Course Schedule

    SATURDAYS from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (CST), 8 classes, all meeting live (virtually) with your instructor, Connie, on the following Saturdays: 4/24/2021 * 5/22/2021 * 6/19/2021 * 7/17/2021 * 8/21/2021 * 9/18/2021 * 10/16/2021 * 11/13/2021

  • Class Supplies

    Supplies you may need to complete the design project assignments which are NOT included in the course tuition include: Choose at least one book from the following: (The instructor will provide an overview of these books during the course introduction so you can decide which is most relevant for you after viewing the book suggestion video.) *** 1) Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollison *** 2) Gaia's Garden, Toby Hemenway *** 3) Food Not Lawns, H.C. Flores *** 4) The Food Forest Handbook, Darrell Frey and Michelle Czolba *** 5) Creating a Forest Garden, Martin Crawford *** +++Additional supplies you may want for completing the design project assignments: * A plant ID book of your choice. * A nature journal or notebook to record your plant experiences. * Graph Paper * Ruler * Colored pencils *

Your Instructor

Permaculture Design and Gardening Instructor

Permaculture Design and Gardening Instructor

Connie Kollmeyer

Connie has been an organic gardener for 25 years and specializes in natural, sustainable, and regenerative growing systems that produce an abundance of food, flowers, and herbs in relatively small spaces. She runs her own small-scale suburban farm, Copper Fox Farm, using her years of experience and learning, including knowledge gleaned from her 2014 Permaculture Design Certificate (hosted at The Resiliency Institute) and her Master Urban Farmer training through the University of Illinois Extension. You may have met her at local farmers markets selling fresh heirloom produce, herbs, and flowers, plus foraged items and herbal preparations. To broaden her foraged and herbal knowledge and offerings, she completed The Resiliency Institute’s Edible Wild Plants Certificate and Bioregional Herbalism Certificate. Connie also owns and manages Plot Twist Permaculture, growing gardens for others in their own outdoor spaces and coaching them to become successful organic gardeners on their own. Connie is a Master Naturalist, Environmental Educator, Adjunct Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Study Abroad Instructor at College of DuPage, and recently earned an International Permaculture Teaching Certificate after completing training in Spain. She is a volunteer in local natural areas as well as gardens and seed libraries dedicated to increasing food security, sovereignty, and community resilience. She has a small flock of backyard hens, and as a lifelong learner, she is currently learning beekeeping as well, and is pursuing her master of science degree in regenerative organic agriculture.


  • What if I have to miss a live class session?

    Virtual class sessions will be recorded and you will have access to the class recordings.

  • How will I receive my certificate?

    Upon course completion, if all requirements have been met, students will be granted access to print a certificate of completion.

  • What is the refund policy?

    Full refunds are available prior to the first class session. After the class has begun, a pro-rated refund can be requested until the second class date. After the second class, no refunds can be provided, however a letter for donation can be provided for your tax purposes.