The Farm at Sunrise Ranch: Fresh Vegetables, Grassfed Beef, Permaculture design certification

2015 Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course Details

Announcing:  The dates for our 2016 course have been confirmed!

March 25, 2015 @ 8:30am -April 3, 2015 4:00pm

For more information, contact Internship Registrar Keahi Ewa at keahi@sunriseranch.org or call 970-679-4200.

Click here for more information about educational opportunities at Sunrise Ranch.

Tuition and Registration

Tuition ($1050 before March 31 and $1150 after) includes official design course T-shirt and an internationally recognized certificate of completion. Tuition does not include meals. Accommodation fees (including meals) are : $400 for camping  and $550 for a bed in a dorm room. Commuter fees (if you choose to partake in all meals during course) are $300.


Located on a beautiful 360 acres in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, we maintain a legacy of sustainability, organic farming and land stewardship since 1945. We implement bio-intensive and permaculture principles in our organic vegetable and herb gardens as well as our fruit orchard which produces apples, pears, apricots, cherries, peaches and plums.

We practice holistic agriculture management on our diverse multi-species farm with grass-fed cattle, pastured chickens, Nigerian dwarf goats, pigs, ducks, geese, wild turkeys, and horses. We teach animal husbandry, pasture and livestock management, rotational and mob grazing, coordinated irrigation techniques, water treatment and processing, green architecture and general sustainability practices.

We host an entire farm-to-table curriculum which includes our farm and garden program as well as a Culinary Academy that creates delicious gourmet meals that cater to all types of specialty diets. We are also an intentional community and conscious retreat and conference center so there are always activities and opportunities for interaction available, including a 3-day conscious music festival held onproperty every August, Arise Music Festival.

Course Content

In this course, you will learn: regenerative design studies, full loop waste systems, food forest design and implementation, community scale fruit and vegetable production, plant propagation, greenhouse operations, home/community scale composting, fractal patterning application, water harvesting, pasture management, rotational grazing strategies and implementation, home scale permaculture, food preservation and storage, social permaculture and much more. This course will be teaching the permaculture curriculum originally established by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. To see an example course syllabus, click here: Sample PDC Agenda


Patrick Padden

Patrick Padden, a graduate of Colorado State University, studied natural systems building design in Namibia and urban food forest implementation in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2007. Patrick received his design certificate from the International Permaculture Design Course in Harare, Zimbabwe, and attended the International Permaculture Convergence in Malawi in 2009. After five seasons of producing naturally grown food for 80+ people at Sunrise Ranch, Patrick is now co-manager of the garden and a practicing permaculturalist and permaculture educator.

Avery Ellis


Avery Ellis, is a sustainability specialist and ecological designer. He focuses on designing sustainable ecosystems that serve humanity through natural processes. He has a Masters degree in Ecological Design through SFIA and a BS in Biology & Sustainability through Stockton College. He is also a Certified Permaculture Designer and Teacher and a Certified Greywater Installer.

Executive Director: Michael Costello

Michael Costello is the Director of Operations and Internships, as well as a member of the Executive Group for Sunrise Ranch. Michael has been a Chef at various restaurants throughout the United States and is the former Chef at Sunrise Ranch. Mr. Costello is the catalyst in creating The farm to table Culinary Academy and initiating partnerships with local farms. Personal interests include bird watching, sustainable agriculture and buildings, hiking, sacred chanting and playing music.

Course Details

Dates and Times

July 1st – July 14, 2016

Classes run daily from 8:45am- 5:30pm except on days with evening sessions when we end at 9:00pm. Lunch is served from 12:15 -1pm. (There will be some night sessions from 7:30-9pm, in which case dinner will be provided from 6:15-7pm. TBA)

There will be a combination of class time, field work and design work.

Tuition and Registration

Tuition ($1050 before May 31 and $1150 after) includes official design course T-shirt and an internationally recognized certificate of completion. Tuition does not include meals. Accommodation fees are: $400 for camping,  and $550 for a bed in a dorm room. Commuter fees (if you choose to partake in all meals during course) are $300. Register online or call 970-679-4200 or 877-786-0078

For more information contact Internship Registrar Keahi Ewa at keahi@sunriseranch.org or 970-679-4349.
Click here for more information about internship opportunities at Sunrise Ranch.


Philosophy of Sunrise Ranch

Sunrise Ranch honors Universal Being in all its forms—through people, through nature and through all creation. We see this attitude of honor for Universal Being as the pivotal factor for the future of humanity. Click here to see the complete philosophy of Sunrise Ranch.


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9 Responses to “2015 Permaculture Design Course”

  1. mary carhartt Says:

    Hello Patrick.
    My husband and I visited the Ranch briefly to
    get a view of the location for the PDC course.

    We would like to talk with you further about it, so will make a call to you this next week.

    We would like to know if the course syllabus will be the same, and wish to know who is teaching which sections.

    Our interest is in dryland, so Joel is of great value for his insights, though we understand that this is a general course and not so geographically specific.

    Mary: 303-4669225 (Broomfield, Co)

  2. Amanda Says:

    Joel is so awesome! I took a Permaculture Design course from him in Texas a couple of years ago, and it was life changing. Seriously.

  3. Grant pound Says:

    Hi. I signed up for the PD course. Is there a syllabus I should have gotten, or anything I should bring or prepare? Thanks-Grant

  4. Susan Short Says:

    Hi Grant, Patrick will be in touch with you directly about your request. Thanks!

  5. Cait Byrnes Says:

    Hello! Will this course be offered again?

  6. Suzanne Says:

    I am interested in taking the Permaculture Design Course but relating it to operating a equine facility. Specifically learning how to “grow” pastures without chemicals and efficient water management. Please let me know when the next class is and if you offer anything specific to learning how to “grow” pastures without chemicals and efficient water management.

    thank you

  7. Patricia Maas Says:

    My goat ladies start kidding April 9th so my question is will you be having another PDC course later in the year? Also, am looking at small ranch in SE AZ to call home and it is badly overgrazed. So far the best things I can see is a healthy group of mesquite trees with varied agaves and other desert plants (some browse, little grass). How would your course help me in returning this place back to what is was, or close to rather than just another permaculture project? Desert Biomes are delicate and I would truly like to smell the bad of blooming agave’s and hear the different types of bats that feed on them. Thank you! )

  8. kathleen gorman Says:

    do you know your 2016 schedule yet??

  9. sewing Says:

    Hello Kathleen,

    As things are schedule they are added to the online calendar https://sunriseranch.org/sr/conference_calendar.php

    We look forward to having you with us!

    Happiest blessings,
    Sunrise Ranch

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