Permaculture, Community, and Hope

2 Week Intensive Permaculture Design Certificate

Saturday, July 29th - Friday, August 11th, 2017


The Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) is pleased to be hosting the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in the summer of 2017. This intensive two-week course covers the classic 72 hour PDC curriculum with principles developed by Permaculture co-founders David Holmgren and Bill Mollison over 35 years ago. Facilitated by a diverse team of experienced teachers from Maine’s dynamic permaculture community, the class will utilize CEBE’s unique position as a hub of community resilience-building in historic downtown Norway, combining social permaculture and community-based solutions with nature-inspired design of human-scale environments.

Join a conscious circle of learners to explore how nature designs itself and how to emulate those processes to become sustainable designers ourselves. We will learn how to map and design our land and our lives, grow organic food in all seasons, plan for emergencies, and work to build a more sustainable and resilient future for ourselves, our communities and the planet.


In addition to a thorough grounding in permaculture ethics, principles and history, the CEBE PDC will provide essential hands-on experience in organic gardening, forest gardening, social permaculture, natural building techniques, appropriate technologies and more, informed by the individual interests and skills of the participants. The two-week class will culminate with the Foothills Food Festival, a region-wide gathering where participants have the opportunity to display design work from the course and share our experience with the community.


Site visits and hands-on opportunities will include the Alan Day Community Garden, a food forest in its 3rd year of development, and a robust farm-to-school site at the Robert’s Farm Preserve. We will also visit a variety of local permaculture sites showcasing natural building styles from round-wood and traditional timber-frame, to a certified passive house. We will examine CEBE community projects promoting local food, green shelter, renewable energy and post-carbon transport and enjoy public film screenings and lectures. For inspiration and reference for our design work, we will also spend time in some of the region’s most beautiful and significant natural areas.


Completion of the CEBE PDC will empower individuals as permaculture designers, consultants and introductory level teachers, while enabling graduates to use the word permaculture in their practice, business or project.




Rachel Lyn Rumson, Co-Facilitator

Rachel Lyn has been called an animator due to the life that she brings to groups, actively engaging them in their work. Her masters thesis on Regenerative Systems combined with her study of permaculture design are the keystone of her practice. As systems thinker, Rachel Lyn embraces the complexity of each project and works to maximize the goals of her clients. In business and activism, she values task, process and place as vital components of each project, seeking to develop communities that create, learn and change together.


Rachel Lyn excels at collaboration and engagement. She works with emergence on the land and with people, helping to connect and weave networks. She practices landscape permaculture design out of her studio at George Perley House B&B in Gray Maine, where her family are innkeepers and homesteaders. Her practice has included multi-stakeholder design for couples, families and communities.


After doing her PDC and Advanced PDC training at The Resilience Hub in Portland, Maine, Rachel Lyn co- facilitated PDCs, performed site consults, collaborated on several design projects and helped grow the organization. She also worked as a Social Permaculture Designer and Educator, specializing in large event planning and facilitation. In this capacity, she supported many community projects including: The Transition New England Gathering, The Art of Participatory Leadership Training, The The Northeast Permaculture Convergence. She also assisted in the formation of the Portland Tool Library and the Greater Portland Community Land Trust, and coordinated countess events from skill-shares to festivals, to community conversations.


Prior to Permaculture Rachel Lyn was a university professor teaching sociology and psychology, a contract trainer and a serial entrepreneur and business coach.

She currently co-creates the Cooperative Design Lab program, a one-of-a-kind leadership development course for community organizers bases on social permaculture, and is co-designing a Social Permaculture course. Rachyl Lyn also offers talks, skill-shares and site walks on a limited basis and serves on her local planning board. Her permaculture presence online can be found at


Scott Vlaun, Co-Facilitator

As Executive Director of the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE), Scott has helped lead the community’s response to climate instability and resource depletion. Through permaculture-inspired projects including a Community Food Forest, Edible Main Street Norway, CEBE Community BikeShare, as well as the annual Foothills Food Festival and CEBE Electric Vehicle Expo, CEBE is widely known throughout the region as an innovator in the transition to a post-carbon economy. Scott has presented CEBE’s work to The New England Transition Network, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Sierra Club Maine and Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District, among others.


Scott is also the co-founder of Moose Pond Arts+Ecology (MPA+E) that provides graphic design, photography, writing, and permaculture design services to ecologically- and community-focused organizations, publications and individuals. In his travels documenting the organic seed and farming movement, he had the good fortune to conduct an extensive interview with Permaculture founder Bill Mollison in 2002 that led him down the permaculture path. MPA+E also maintains two acres of open space in a 50+ acre mixed forest, now in transition from market and trial gardens to a more perennial polyculture. In 2006, MPA+E hosted a Permaculture Designers Course (PDC) led by Andrew Jones. Permaculture consulting work includes crop planning and forest management, timber frame design and construction, and edible landscape design and implementation.


Scott has written and photographed for publications including Mother Earth News and currently is a regular contributor to West Coast Maine and reviews permaculture related books for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Scott teaches widely on permaculture, seed saving, and food system dynamics. He was recently a guest instructor at the Whole Systems Design PDC in Vermont, and at Post Carbon Designs’ Permaculture in Practice course. He regularly teaches permaculture classes ranging from short introductions to local school groups, to multi-day intensives for adults. He has presented “Seed People, A Journey into the Organic Seed Movement,” an original slide show and lecture, at the Organic Seed Growers Conference, Restoring Our Seed, the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture Annual Conference and the Maine Farmer to Farmer Conference.


In addition to our facilitators, we are excited to include the following guest teachers in our program:


David Homa of Post Carbon Designs

Jesse Stevens of Sy’s Trees

Caitlin Horigan




2 Week Intensive Permaculture Design Certificate

Center for Ecology-Based Design Norway, Maine


July 29 – August 11, 2017

($100 deposit with balance due June 16th, 2017)


Certificate given upon completion



Outdoor kitchen

Access to electricity


Airbnb / homestay


Daily Schedule:

8am - 4pm

Evening Programs


Fees: $1350

Deposit: $150

Early Registration Discount: $150 (Cost of program: $1200 if paid in full by June 15th)


We are committed to making this training accessible to a diverse range of people. Scholarships, barter, and work trade is available for those who would not otherwise be able to attend. You may apply for financial assistance to cover up to 75% of the course tuition. Please fill out a scholarship application here.


Topics covered, but not be limited to:


  • Permaculture principles and ethics
  • Zone and sector analysis
  • Reading the landscape
  • Pattern recognition and application
  • Water in the landscape
  • Swales and berms
  • Climate adaptation and micro climate strategies
  • Scales of permanence
  • Mapping
  • Urban permaculture
  • Land tenure and access
  • Community resilience strategies
  • Design process and methods
  • Plant guilds and polycultures
  • Human-scale agriculture
  • Soil Carbon, Biochar and Mycorrhizae
  • Mushroom foraging and cultivation
  • Tools and appropriate technology
  • Seeds and seed saving
  • Food forests and agroforestry
  • Living soil systems
  • Animals in the landscape
  • Ponds and Earthworks
  • Gray water systems
  • Bioremediation
  • Natural building strategies
  • Renewable energy
  • Embodied energy and product lifecycles
  • Forest management and biodiversity
  • Managing watersheds
  • Ecological Economy and Equity
  • Group design project
  • Yoga for Gardeners
  • Talent Show!

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