Intensive Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course

Intensive PDC course with Hélder Valente

Highly regarded portuguese permaculturist who was a student of Bill Molinson (the father of permaculture)

Information about the course below and also in this link

Registrations in the course are made directly to the email of Hélder Valente –

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This Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course is an intensive immersion in the universe of Permaculture. This course is designed to support students to develop an ecological language, an understanding of the basic principles of ecological and regenerative design, with the application of this knowledge to redesign communities and human settlements according to the rules of nature.

The main goal of this course is to develop effective design skills through the practical application of knowledge and tools. This is the opportunity to learn by participating in a true community design process.

The Course follows the traditional format of 10 days (intensive), combining practical and theoretical classes, field trips, interactive games, dynamic activities, sharing experiences, community experience and much more. This format allows you to dive into design principles in Permaculture, which will be applied and presented by students in the final design work.

Some of the topics to be covered in this course:

  • The ethics and principles of Permaculture
  • Learning strategies
  • Educational Methods
  • Reading the landscape
  • Pattern in design
  • Biodiversity
  • Water preservation
  • Forests and trees
  • Soils building
  • Climates
  • Buildings and natural construction
  • Alternative economies
  • Community development

Day-by-day of the course

Day 1 – Introduction to Permaculture

Day 2 – How the planet works

Day 3 – Soils

Day 4 – Water

Day 5 – Planet and trees, gardens and forests

Day 6 – Alternative technologies

Days 7 and 8 – Social

Days 9 – Design of the festival and of permaculture projects

Days 10 – Presentation of the projects and feast

Frequently Asked Questions

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About Hélder Valente and his work

“Permaculture emerged as a very natural response. Deep down, I wanted to be more self-sufficient, to live less dependent on external resources.”

— Hélder Valente, Permaculturist


Helder was born in Cinfães, a village of Viseu bathed by the Douro River, within a family that lived from agriculture for several generations. He was still new when he migrated with his parents to Lisbon and early on to understand whether he belonged to the countryside or the city. He still had gifts “all the memories of the difficulties of living in the countryside” and this momentarily removed him from agriculture. He wanted to be an artist.

And so it was. He worked as a tattoo artist for about 10 years, but eventually saturated: “As an artist, he felt all the frustrations of being closed in a place to draw and have to receive people. Permaculture emerged as a very natural response. Deep down, I wanted to be more self-sufficient, to live less dependent on external resources. ”

Then he started studying. He took several courses related to the theme, one with Bill Mollison, one of the creators of the concept of permaculture, and founded the new permaculture school, a nomadic school that “escapes the old paradigms of teaching”, promoting “alternative education, creative and empowering ”. The goal, he says, “is that students speak more and share the knowledge they have instead of looking at the master, teacher or guru, holder of all wisdom.”

Helder, who has always seen himself as a “professional revolutionary”, is always aware of the appearance of ideas that explore a new life system. Sociocracy is one of its latest passions and it is in this concept, it is the great challenge of our civilization: “make decisions together and solve the problems in a way that everyone feels that participates.”

In Portugal, Helder has been involved in various projects, such as the creation of Quinta do Vale da Lama, in Lagos, which promotes permaculture and regenerative agriculture. The teacher emphasizes that “we are one of the countries where permaculture is present in Europe”, but adds that “the great challenge continues to find ways to work on a network and to organize ourselves collectively”: “Portuguese are very emotional people and the Working in a team in a pragmatic way is not so easy for us [laughs]. ”