Permaculture Design Certification Course in Andalusia Spain

Dates: March 3 – 17, 2018

Location: Suryalila Yoga Retreat Center

For more information, visit

garden at suryalila

Join us for an amazing two weeks of immersion training in permaculture design. Our host, Suryalila Yoga Retreat Center, a world class facility in Andalusia, Spain provides the opportunity to study permaculture in a stunningly beautiful and nurturing setting. Suryalila offers daily yoga classes, bountiful vegetarian meals and an opportunity to engage in the ongoing development of their property.

Permaculture is a solutions based approach to home, farm, and community development, rooted in the belief that the solution to many pressing issues facing humanity lay in good ecological design.

Suryalila’s permaculture project, Danyadara, is multi year project to demonstrate the use of permaculture design to create a bountiful, productive landscape to provide produce to the Retreat Center and the surrounding communities. Course participants will work to further design details for Danydara’s master plan.

This 80 hour, 14 day certification course will provide participants with an in depth immersion in permaculture design. The course work will include curriculum topics presented using a variety of methodologies, including lectures, discussions, hands on activities, and group design projects.

The permaculture design course will follow the internationally recognized curriculum, based on the book Permaculture: A Designers Manual, by Bill Mollison, with topics to be covered outlined below. This course is certified by Three Sisters Permaculture through the Permaculture Institute of North America.  In addition to scheduled class time, course participants will engage in a variety of hands on activities and will work in teams to prepare and present design project reports.

Core Curriculum Topics

  • Introduction to Permaculture
  • Ethics and Principles
  • The Local Ecosystem
  • Patterns and Pattern Application
  • Climates, Biogeography and Microclimates
  • Design Methods and Process
  • The Home System
  • Water
  • Earthworks
  • Soils
  • Trees, Forests, Plants, and Cultivated Ecologies
  • Animals
  • Aquaculture
  • The Built Environment
  • Waste and Bioremediation
  • Appropriate Technology
  • Design for Catastrophe
  • Urban Permaculture
  • Broad-scale Landscape Design
  • Design for Invisible Structures
  • Economic Systems
  • Access to Land
  • Ecovillage and Neighborhood Design
  • Permaculture Scene
  • Design Projects and Presentations

The course will include hands on activities designed as learning opportunities integrated into the daily work in the gardens and landscape at Suryalia.

These activities will include:

  • Composting systems
  • Small-scale earthworks and water management
  • Organic gardening to supply fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables to the Suryalila kitchens
  • Plant propagation
  • Food fermentation for a healthful diet

Participants will work in teams to create final class design projects that further ongoing development of Suryalia through the Danyadara project. Design time is integrated into the course work as the program progresses.

Lead instructor: Darrell Frey will draw upon decades in professional permaculture design to lead the instructions and co-host the course.

Darrell has been a permaculture consultant and teacher since 1987. He earned a BA in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College and holds Diplomas of Permaculture Site Design, and Permaculture Education from The Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA). He is a lifelong learner with a strong background in horticulture, natural sciences, regenerative systems and permaculture design. He has extensive practical experience in small business management, homesteading, construction and project management. Darrell is the author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm, and co-author of The Food Forest Handbook, both from New Society Publishing.

Darrell’s permaculture journey began after reading an interview of Bill Mollison in Mother Earth News Magazine # 63 in November of 1980, and subsequently reading Permaculture One and Permaculture Two. In 1982 Darrell attended a weekend Permaculture workshop at Stonyfield Farm in New Hampshire, where he asked Bill how to bring permaculture to Western Pennsylvania. Bill encouraged Darrell to pursue his ideas to develop what became Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter.  After six years of intensive self guided study of permaculture, Darrell completed a permaculture design certification course in 1986.

Course host and facilitator: Jacob Evans.  Jacob Evans has been managing Farm operations at Suryalila since returning to Europe in June 2016. Prior to that Jacob worked on many farms through out Latin America, gaining experience working within cacao and coffee agroforestry systems in Brazil and Costa Rica, producing chocolate from bean to bar and coffee from bean to cup. He completed a 6 month internship at Rancho Mastatal sustainability education centre in Costa Rica furthering his understanding of Permaculture systems in the tropics learning about patterns which can be applied globally. Jacob also has a love of natural building with many experiences finishing earthen walls in Patagonia where he lived for 11 months. When he wasn’t building he was taking advantage of foraging the abundant walnuts, apples, chestnuts and blackberries in the area.

Jacob’s Permaculture adventure really started in late 2013 when he took a PDC at the Panya Project in northern Thailand. He also completed an online PDC in early 2014.

 Language used: English (with help to translate unknown words whenever needed)