Permaculture Foundations Course

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The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain

8519 Pickards Meadow Road

Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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Join Will Hooker to explore the foundations of permaculture through presentations, discussions, field trips, and hands-on building experiences. This in-depth course offers practical methods to help you and your yard, landscape or community garden become a part of the global movement of ecological design. Discover the ways in which you can apply permaculture principles where you live. Explore natural building projects, energy use practices, forest gardening and other principles of permaculture. Enjoy a week in the beautiful garden sanctuary surrounded by inspiring community at The Eco-Institute.

We Will Explore

Creating abundant food systems

Creating healthy water systems

Generating and using alternative energy

Natural building projects

Landscape design techniques

Fostering vibrant community life

Experiential Activities May Include

Field trips to 1 or 2 acclaimed permaculture gardens

Hands-on building projects


Mushroom cultivation

Sauerkraut- and kimchi-making


Dates: July 15-21

Times: 9am-9pm daily

Cost: $690

Lunch provided on Saturday and Sunday

For work-trade options, inquire by April 15th

Additional $60 camping fee per week for use of commercial kitchen, hot showers, and indoor lounge area

Contact Sarah Bish at info@eco-institute.org if you have additional questions.

Finish both the Permaculture Foundations Course the Permaculture Design Intensive follow-up class to get certified in permaculture!

About the Instructor



Prof. Will Hooker was raised near Lake Ontario in NY, obtained an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from SUNY College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1967, and a masters degree from NC State University in 1979. In the years between the two degrees, he practiced in professional offices in Raleigh, Durham, and San Francisco, obtaining his Landscape Architect license in North Carolina in 1975. Will is currently an Emeritus Professor, retired from the NC State Horticulture Department where he taught small-scale garden design for 34 ½ years in a nationally renowned program which he built and oversaw starting in 1979. He was recognized for his excellence in teaching by being inducted into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State, has been involved in award-winning landscape designs in private practice outside the university, and is also recognized as an accomplished sculptor, building mostly ephemeral bamboo structures with students and community groups in the Carolinas and Australia.

As if that wasn't enough, in 1995, pursuing his interest in ecologically based sustainable development, Will became certified as a Permaculture Designer & Instructor, and when PINA (Permaculture Institute of North America) was instituted in 2016, Will was among the first 50 to be recognized by the organization. He has achieved recognition for his work in sustainable practices from NC State University, the City of Raleigh, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. In 1998, he taught the first university-based permaculture course on the East Coast, and in 1999-2000, with his wife, Dr. Jeana Myers, and their 2-year old son, Eli, he completed a ten-month, around-the-world fantasy adventure, wherein he visited over 250 sites in eleven nations, studying primarily permaculture and sustainable practices. Will and his wife’s home garden is a model for permaculture design, recognized as such by being the cover photo for the international best selling book on permaculture by Toby Hemenway, Gaia’s Garden, 2nd Ed. Will’s mission and contribution to permaculture design is to bring beauty, as well as productiveness, to each space and place with which he works.

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The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain

8519 Pickards Meadow Road

Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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