PDC 2022 – Social, Vegan, Permaculture Design Certificate Course – July 10-23

PDC 2022 – Social, Vegan, Permaculture Design Certificate Course – July 10-23

DKK4.750 DKK

A unique opportunity to combine vacation with learning life skills

This fully certified course will dive deep into how we can use permaculture to create rich beneficial relationships between people, communities and their surroundings, including how to grow food, build houses and create economies, while also regenerating nature. 

Most days are offered as one day courses, if you can’t join the full course.


Full Course description

Special emphasis will be put in creating a temporary community for the duration of the course, where we use social permaculture tools, especially sociocracy to make sure everyone’s needs are met, so we can all enjoy living together in a joyful, supportive learning environment. The course itself is organised using the principles of social permaculture (amongst others fairness, transparency, and affordability). Please bear with us, if it seems more complicated to pay in 2 portions rather than one. However it increases transparency. Optionally people can learn about macrobiotic philosophy and cooking, which is very aligned with permaculture.

The course structure (Single days from July 11-19th may be attended by people, who cannot join the whole course.)

  • July 10: Arrival 5-7pm (let us know if you want dinner).
  • July 10: 7pm: Introduction to sociocracy
  • July 11: Introduction into the basics of permaculture
  • July 12: Permaculture approach to water management*
  • July 13: Creating rich biodiverse soil*
  • July 14: Understanding how plants function, what they need and how to supply it with focus on low maintenance food growing systems.*
  • July 15: Participants decides activity: Excursion, sitevisits, practical permaculture, day off?
  • July 16: Introduction to forest gardening*
  • July 17: Making a real forest garden design*
  • July 18: Using permaculture to design natural buildings or retrofitting existing buildings.*
  • July 19: Permaculture solutions for an urban environment and ethical livelihoods.*
  • July 20-21: Group work: Creating your own design
  • July 22: Presentation of designs
  • July 23: Next steps. Ends at 4 pm

* at the end indicates that it is recommended to also participate in July 11, if you want to join one of these single days.

The group or the venue may organise permaculture relevant activities in the evenings and on July 15th. It may be co-creations across different age groups, complementary subjects, movies, practical work or what each particular group is inspired about.

What is social and vegan permaculture?

Permaculture is a design system for creating abundance in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how to build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.

The word ‘permaculture’ historically comes from ‘permanent agriculture’ and has evolved into ‘permanent culture’ – it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can live in harmony with nature while sustaining human activities for many generations to come.

Permaculture is a rigorous and systematic set of tools, ecological principles and methodologies, underpinned by ethics, which help us to design and create this culture of permanence. A culture that allows us to design how we cater for all our needs and the needs of the planet and all its creatures, without exploiting or depriving other humans or creatures of their needs.

The ultimate goal is to create systems that create abundance for all humans, creatures and mother earth, without exploitation of humans, animals or earth’s non renewable resources.

With the design principles of permaculture we can design our inner tranquillity, create integrated and supportive communities, build or retrofit houses to be more energy efficient, create ethical businesses and livelihoods, as well as rich abundant low maintenance food growing spaces.

What is sociocracy?

Sociocracy is a whole system governance and decision making method which is based on and encourages equivalence, transparency, and effectiveness in an organisation. It encourages collaborative innovation, minimises lengthy governance meetings, and helps everyone participate in shaping the decisions that affect them.

During the PDC we will train sociocracy by making certain group decisions. We establish what every person wants from the course, from which we derive a common vision. We then create a mission and aim on how to achieve our vision. We then embed a feedback mechanism to check if we are meeting these aims, so we can keep adjusting our collaboration every day.

Sociocracy ensures everyone’s voice is heard and all our individual and collective needs are met. It is simple to use and can easily be used in your family if you want to involve your kids in decision making. 

PDC Course Syllabus

Once we have established that everyone can safely express themselves, and thus found our inner balance and the balance within our newly forged community, we move into exploring the traditional permaculture syllabus, including environmentally friendly food growing; soil generation; water management; house building; alternate economics and livelihood, etc.

Once we have explored the theory of permaculture ethics, principles and its approach to challenges, we will move on to in-depth design work and practicals (hands-on work), which solidifies the theory.

The emphasis remains on learning the patterns and concepts that are applied in permaculture, so you can apply this to all aspects of your life after the course has finished. Hence the practicals will be a way to reinforce the theory and design work that we cover.

Where and when appropriate we will visit nearby intentional communities and projects that integrate permaculture in their design (subject to consent by the students).

The syllabus will cover the following areas

  • Principles of Natural Systems
  • Sustainable Design Methodologies
  • Patterns in Nature
  • Reading the Land & Understanding Natural Processes
  • Water Harvesting Techniques
  • Design Principles of Sustainable Human Settlements
  • Grey Water Recycling
  • Natural Building Design Strategies
  • Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Gardens for Self-Sufficiency
  • Energy Conservation Technologies
  • Urban Environment Permaculture
  • Wildlife Management and Biological Pest Control
  • Community Activism
  • Invisible Structures: People, Community, Economics, EcoVillages
  • Sociocracy; Optionally Dragon dreaming and or Six thinking hats
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • At the end of the class, students engage in a group design project.

The syllabus will not cover animal husbandry as Rakesh is vegan and doesn’t teach what he doesn’t know. 


Lead Instructor

Rakesh Rootsman Rak – An experienced Permaculture design teacher, forest garden specialist, yoga teacher, homeopath and reggae DJ. Rakesh has been designing and teaching permaculture to individuals and communities since 2009, and has taught hundreds of permaculture, forest gardening, eco village design and related courses. His design portfolio ranges from farm scale forest garden and permaculture designs to many urban community food growing gardens, private farms and back gardens as well as designing collaborative businesses, urban water retention systems and even computer software and documentation systems. 

Rakesh is also passionate about sharing his journey of self empowerment (learning how to make all the things you need for yourself rather than relying on the system to provide for you), this includes eco architecture (low impact housing); capturing and storing energy (electricity, heat, lighting, etc); fuel efficient heating systems (rocket heaters and stoves); water capture, purification and recycling systems, natural beekeeping and so on. 

He is one of the founders of the Children in Permaculture project and Youth in Permaculture project, as well as  the Roots n Permaculture learning community, which is a network of people who have studied with Rakesh and who want to continue to learn from each other for free. So be prepared to go off on inspirational tangents occasionally.

Read testimonials and feedback from previous courses with Rakesh

Assisting teacher

Kristiane Ravn Frost – Has worked with supporting people and plants in their growth since the eighties. Her primary inspirations has been Macrobiotics and the One straw revolution of Masanabu Fukuoka. In 2017 she did her first PDC and discovered that permaculture design just was another way of expressing the same essens: Well-being and abundance are a natural consequence of living according to the laws of nature.

The venue

The venue belongs to the aspiring ecovillage, Avnø Oasis, which is in the process of growing 3 legs: A co-housing community, regenerative enterprises and Avnø Højskole, who’s focus is on health, lifeskills, sustainability & regenerative enterprises.  The next door neighbour is Avnø Naturcenter. The whole area around the ecovillage is protected. A phenomenal environment to learn about design and practice sustainable living. Read more about the venue here. 

Tuition cost

The cost for the tuition is based on gift-economy, where participants are invited to contribute what they can afford and are willing to pay. The cost of putting on the course means we need to raise an average of DKK 3500 (€470) per person. However we invite you to propose how much you would like to contribute somewhere in the range of DKK 2000 (€270) to DKK 5000 (€670). We encourage those of you, who can contribute more to do so to allow for others to pay less. If there is a shortfall in the final sum (which by experience is unlikely), we will request the shortfall to be covered anonymously via a magic hat process. This process is part of the permaculture ethos, which allows people to pay according to their capacity, while meeting the needs of the hosts, teachers, etc.

  • Ideal contribution per adult: DKK 3500 (€470)
  • Minimum contribution per adult: DKK 2000 (€270)
  • Maximum contribution per adult: DKK 5000 (€670)

Food, Accommodation and Facilities

Avnø Højskole will cook our lunch and provide ingredients for all meals, as they have a garden and are able to order fresh organic vegetables at whole sale prices. Avnø Højskole supports a healthy and stimulant free life. The bulk of the food consists of organic whole grains, beans, seeds & local vegetables, complemented with smaller amounts of fruits, nuts, seaweeds, (optionally fish & eggs), herbal teas and grain coffee, all prepared using macrobiotic principles. Personal use of sugar, coffee, alcohol, food additives and other mild stimulants is at each other’s own discretion. Avnø Højskole has a small shop where you can buy healthy snacks. If there is an interest in learning more about balanced meals and food for the microbiome, Kristiane is willing to teach a couple of evening classes.

Avnø Højskole makes their auditorium, several classrooms and group rooms, dining room, and a commercial kitchen available for the course. The bedrooms all have private bathrooms.

To create a deeper sense of community, throughout the course everybody will help to cook & keep our environment neat and clean. We will create a system, which allows each of us to express our dietary needs. Sociocracy, the tried and tested self organising method will ensure that meals are fulfilling for everyone and that the food quality aligns with the needs and values of everybody. 

Your contribution to food, accommodation & facilities, depends on your choice of room. The contribution covers utilities, maintenance, accommodation of instructors, use of all common areas, including kitchen & classrooms, promotion of the course, administration, making rooms and facilities ready, and various materials used during the course.

DKK 4750 for one person in a room
DKK 4000 per person with two people in a room
DKK 3250 per person with 3 people in a room, sleeping at home, in a van, car or tent

If you would rather bring organic foods from your garden or production, please contact us as we can reduce the cost of your stay. 

Cost for participation in single days

  • DKK 300-400/day for accommodation and facilities depending on kind of room.  
  • DKK 200-500 /day 

Site visits and other costs 

There will be a list of potential sites we can visit. Some will be free, some will have a cost. In any case transportation to the site will have to be covered. Just like we do with food, we will use sociocratic decision making to decide which sites are optimal for this course and how to cover the costs. Participating in site visits are optional. Last year’s expenses per person was around DKK 250.


All adult classes will be in English however Danish translation is possible if needed. As part of our community culture, we will create a process, which ensures that words or sentences you do not understand, will be addressed immediately. Also the review of each day may be done in Danish in small groups, so there is a chance to catch up, if something was misunderstood.

To help prepare for the workshop, you are encouraged to use this list of permaculture, forest gardening, sociocracy and plant names that have been translated into many languages.


This course adheres to the Permaculture Association Britain’s accreditation criteria for Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s). However due to the rising cost of the certification and in order to make the course affordable we consulted with the Permaculture Association Britain (PAB) and concluded to give the participant the choice of being accredited via the Permaculture association Britain (€20 for the certificate and additional administration) or by the Roots n Permaculture Collective School (for free). The Roots n Permaculture Collective School certificate affords you the same privilege as the certificate from PAB, meaning with this certificate you can still teach intro courses (after at least 1 year or putting permaculture into action) and can also apply to do your diploma (with any association anywhere in the world). The only difference between the two is that the PAB certificate helps to pay the learning coordinator of PAB to develop and maintain their high standard curriculum.


To register for this course, please

  1. Choose your accommodation below – Once you’ve paid for accommodation your place on the course is secured. 
  2. Fill in this formJoining instructions will be sent out 2 weeks before the course, providing you are registered and have paid for tuition.


If you have any difficulty or have any questions please feel free to contact us

Course and Content, please contact Rakesh:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rootsmanrak

Email: rakeshaji@gmail.com

Accommodation, directions, etc 

Avnø Højskole +45 45571500

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristianeRavnFrost

Email: yes@avnohojskole.dk

Mobile: Kristiane Ravn Frost +45 28604859

Choose course

Full PDC, Single days (Please let us know which days you want to attend)

Type of room

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