Big Island Permaculture Design Certification 2021

Location Kumukahi Village, Pahoa, Big Island, South of Hilo

72+ Hour Diploma Curriculum + Hands-on + Field Trips

November 1st 2021 – November 22nd 2021

Early Bird Price ends Oct 15th!

about the course

There has never been a more crucial moment to get involved in regenerative cultural practices. It’s ever-increasingly important to understand how to grow your own food, filter your water, and build community. 

This PDC (Permaculture Design Course) will get you started on all the skills you’ll need to build your own farm and community. It’ll help you shift into new paradigms and philosophy that are exceedingly important. This world is changing and we need to adapt and change with it.

Course runs from November 1st 2021 – November 22nd 2021

You’ll learn the skills to design and build using permaculture techniques and then get the opportunity to apply some of these techniques or even implement your own designs live and in the field!

Join us for three full weeks of fun, learning, planting, field trips, healthy food and more! We will also have lots of time to play, connect, make art, share music and just enjoy some relaxation time on Kumukahi’s breathtaking 20+ acres!

There will be options to camp or live on site (depending on space) and get fresh local vegan cooking daily.

What is Permaculture?:

Permaculture is a set of values and principles conducive to the harmonious integration of people, plants and animals within an ecosystem. It is the conscious design of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural systems. “Permaculture is a design discipline based on the foundational ecological principles of nature.” It’s a process of taking one’s observations of natural systems and applying the lessons learned to the human based environment. Permaculture is something we “use” to discover what to “do”. It is a road map to finding our small place in the world as an integral part of the whole planetary system. Permaculture is a harmonious integration of the natural landscape design with human culture, providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable, resilient, diverse and stable way.  Permaculture works with, rather than against nature.

What is a Shift to An Ecological, Regenerative New Paradigm?

Environmental Sociology advocates for a shift to an ecological paradigm that recognizes human-ecosystem interdependence and biological limits to the societal phenomena. Many people around the world see great danger in our current social paradigm’s desire for constant unconstrained growth. It is clear there is not an endless bounty of resources and that growth should not be the driving force. Through development and globalization, people around the world are using more resources than the earth can renew and therefore it is becoming clear that if we continue at current rates we will expend all our natural resources in trying to sustain our overpopulated world. Many Environmentalists and activists see the current crisis we face in overpopulation and environmental destruction of land and want large-scale changes in countries policies and institutions. Consumers are identifying that they must take responsibility for their consumer choices and buy only what they truly need, recognizing that the process of manufacturing, products brought into the store and then quickly thrown away must change. A real world solution to shift the dominant social paradigm is living in Ecovillages

The team

Bruce Horowitz

Bruce Horowitz has been an eco-pioneer for over 20 years. In addition to being a certified Permaculture Teacher and Designer, and a certified Organic Gardener and Composter Educator, Bruce has helped start many endeavors including a political theater troupe, a biofuels research coop and a community land trust. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Community from New College of California and has helped design and manage retreat centers and eco villages around the world. Bruce has organized and taught at permaculture courses along side top teachers including Starhawk, Penny Livingston and Doug Bullock. Bruce’s 15 years of permaculture experience on the Big Island includes co-designing Hawaiian Sanctuary Eco-Resort and helping run their permaculture internship program, as well as teaching classes on permaculture and ecological design.

Anna Simone Combi

Anna “Anahata” Simone Combi Anahata is a certified permaculture teacher and designer, earth activist musician, herbalist, yoga teacher, and bodyworker. She is the co-founder of Blooming Biodiversity, an organization focused on social-environmental regenerative community projects via educational events and tours that incorporate music, hands-on learning and ceremony. Anahata has a plethora of experience and credentials: She designed her own B.A. interdisciplinary degree in Cross-Cultural Social Work and Sustainable Development from University of Redlands and Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. She is a certified Work That Reconnects facilitator with Joanna Macy, is a graduate and was an assistant teacher of Starhawk’s Earth Activist Training and Permaculture Design Course. She is a trained teacher of the Ecovillage Design Education Course and graduated from the Siskiyou Seeds’s Seed Savers Academy. An activist and advocate for indigenous communities, Anahata is a Pachamama Alliance workshop teacher and has taught at the Regenerative Design Institute, OUR Ecovillage, La’akea Permaculture Intentional Community Big Island Hawaii, Auroville Ecovillage in India and Arkana Alliance in Amazon of Peru. Anna was an herbalist medic at Standing Rock. She facilitated Expressive Arts Therapy and herbal botanical gardening for an Ayurvedic medicinal plant garden at Women’s Empowerment Center in Auroville Ecovillage in Southern India. She was an ecological leadership teacher for the Integral Leadership Work Scholar Program at Esalen Institute. She was a Children’s Program teacher at Omega Institute. She taught Winter on Maui, Permaculture Design Course with Jenny Pell. She has participated in and presented at a variety of social and environmental conferences and convergences including: Bioneers, The NorCal Building Resilient Communities Northern California Permaculture Convergence, Tribalize, PLACE for Sustainable Living in Oakland, and the University of Redlands Womens and Gender Studies Conference. Recently she lived at Hawaiian Sanctuary teaching the Permaculture Internship and  at the Kalani Retreat Center on the Big Island of Hawaii teaching yoga, permaculture education and regenerative living skills.

Steve Peak

Steve does a lot of things. With a background in engineering and art he likes sees everything we do as part of regenerative / permaculture ideology. Steve is an accredited permaculture teacher, software engineer, artist and musician and will bring a unique brand of permaculture teaching to the course along with support through other elements important for community like music and art.

Kumu Paul

Kumu Paul is an Ali’i No’eau Loa, high chief of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I. He has given workshops on spiritual, cultural and political analysis of the Native Hawaiian Nationals in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, across the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe and at the United Nations in New York, the World Council of Churches and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. He has participated as an official observer for the Royal Order of Kamehameha I with regards to the Hawaiian Kingdom at The World Court in the Hague, Netherlands. Kumu Paul is a cultural practitioner of the traditional ways of the Kanaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian people. Kumu Paul emphasizes aloha as a lifestyle, and within a halau setting, ‘ohana (family), alaka’i (leadership/ discipline), and lokahi (unity), as the core of our communal expression. Kumu Paul’s purpose in supporting the creationKumu Hula Paul K. Neves resides in Keaukaha-Hilo, Hawai’i on Hawaiian Homelands with his wife Wanda Mokihana, his daughter Akala, and his son Kinohi. Akalā is a 2011 graduate of the University of Portland. Kumu Paul is a student of the late Kumu Hula Wayne Kaho’onei Panoke, who in turn was a student of the late Kumu Hula Winona Kapuailohiamanonookalani Desha-Beamer. Kumu Kaho’onei was ‘uniki from Aunty Nona in 1968. Kumu Paul was ‘uniki from Kumu Kaho’onei in 1999 .

And MorE Special guests TBA

We’re also bringing in some other local experts and magical humans. More info on them soon.

The Course Material

This is an extensive, three week course that will cover everything you’ll need to know. With 44 class modules, hands-on projects and design, and pro teachers who will guide you through the course and the experience personally. Here are the modules covered:

  1. Design Ethics 
  2. Site Tour and Observation Skills 
  3. PC Principles
  4. PC as Whole Design Systems Source to Sink 
  5. Earth Science and Ecoliteracy 
  6. Concepts and Themes in Design 
  7. Techniques and Methods of Design 
  8. Design Exercises and Games 
  9. Professional Design
  10. Natural Shelter
  11. Design For Disaster Exercise 
  12. Hands on Bamboo Building
  13. Alternative energy and Appropriate Technology
  14. Hands on Base Mapping
  15. Pattern Understanding forms and scale  
  16. Pattern Application in Productive Design
  17. Reading the Landscape
  18. Canoe Plants
  19. Temperate PC
  20. Tropical PC
  21. Drylands PC
  22. Design Projects
  23. Designing for Climate Change 
  24. Global weather Climate analogues
  25. Trees, weather, water mycelium and soil connection overview
  26. Agroforestry, Plant guilds and food forests
  27. Grafting and Nurseries
  28. Water in the landscape
  29. Hands on Rainwater  and Grey Water
  30. Urban PC
  31. Broadscale Keyline Carbon Farming
  32. BioChar
  33. Microbes and Compost
  34. Energy decent
  35. Earthworks 
  36. Animal Systems
  37. Client Interviews
  38. Food Preservation 
  39. Appropriate Tech 
  40. Aquaculture
  41. Alternative Governance
  42. Sustainable Community Transition Towns
  43. Design Presentations
  44. Next Steps, Finding Your Permaculture Niche

Space is limited. And early signups will get an early bird discount. We offer a deep Kama’aina discount for long term residents on island and Hawaiian locals. Kama’aina can be applied after you purchase a seat for the course.

*(You must prove that you are a Hawaii resident or you may not be able to attend. You WILL be asked to prove this at the event.) 


If, for some reason (COVID or otherwise) this course does not happen, you will be offered a full refund or given tickets to the next PDC event. We don’t want to create unsafe or unfair conditions. We don’t want to encourage people to come to the event while sick. We are also acutely aware that the world is a bit shaky at the moment and we want to be flexible and considerate of changing world conditions. In short, we got you covered.

COVID Policy:

In order to protect our community… If you are sick or have been exposed to COVID, please let us know and we will refund your ticket in full. You may be required to take a rapid test upon arrival. Please be mindful of exposure and wear a mask while on island. Our course will be offered in an open-air classroom and the first week will keep us a bit more social distanced.

send us a message

Have a question about the PDC? Get in touch!

The Location

Kumukahi Village is located on the big island of Hawaii. We are close to uniquely beautiful black and green sand beaches, lava tubes, and breathtaking hikes and views. The lush island of Hawaii is dense with fresh fruit and offers basically the best climate that planet earth has to offer. There’s a reason why people come to this island and never leave. It’s a magical place.

The Kumukahi Village project is an eco community that is aims to set the best possible examples for regenerative culture as a whole. Our founding team is highly professional and devoted to bringing positive change while supporting local culture and bringing people together with education and fun as one thriving community.

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Are you ready to take the next step toward food and energy sovereignty? To learn how to help build a more sustainable world? It’s time to start building the better world we all know is possible, together.

*(You must prove that you are living in Hawaii or you may not be able to attend) 

Disclaimer: If, for some reason (COVID or otherwise) this course does not happen, you will be offered a full refund or given tickets to the next PDC event. We don’t want to create unsafe or unfair conditions. We don’t want to encourage people to come to the event while sick. If you are exposed to COVID or sick… please stay home. We are also acutely aware that the world is a bit shaky at the moment and we want to be flexible and considerate of changing world conditions. In short, we got you covered.