PDC ALGARVE November 2023, with Silvia Floresta

Permaculture Design Course on a Mediterranean landscape.

11 days Practical Training with PDC International Certificate

15th – 26st of November, 2023

This is a course delivered by Alma com Alma Association, Hosted at Quinta Alma, in Aljezur.

Lectured in English. Also Portuguese spoken.


The Permaculture Design Course – PDC is an intensive immersion in the Permaculture universe, lectured by Silvia Floresta, certified PDC teacher and a reference in Permaculture.

This course is designed to support students to develop an ecological language and an understanding of the basic principles of ecological and regenerative design. With this knowledge, students will be able to redesign communities and human settlements, according to the rules of Nature.

The main objective of this PDC is to develop effective design skills through the practical application of knowledge and tools, in a Mediterranean context and landscape.

This is the opportunity to learn through participation in a real community design process.

The Course will take place at the Ecological Retreat Quinta Alma, in Aljezur, and follows the traditional intensive format created by Bill Mollison, in this case with 11 consecutive days. It combines practical classes (40%), with theoretical lectures, field trips, interactive games, dynamic activities, sharing experiences, community living and much more.

Lectured in English, Certified Course

Duration 12 days

Hours: 9:30 am to 6 pm, with lunch break and short breaks

All meals are vegetarian and included (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Free Wi-Fi, warm showers, lake where you can swim, amazing landscape

Friendly community environment with music and sharing circles around the night bonfire

You can bring your hand made products to promote and sell in the group’s private market. The income is all yours. Products have to be organic, environmental friendly, hand craft, whole, etc..

Tuition fee: 900Euro
All meals, insurance and VAT are included. A place to pitch your own tent or caravan is also included.
We are offering two scholarships, for reduced prices. If you are interested in applying, you will find more information at the end this page in the registration section.

Accommodation with two options available :

  • in your own tent with access to bathroom and hot shower (included in the price);
  • in one of Quinta Alma’s Safari Shelters, with a private bathroom. Accommodation is in a single bed and the shelter can be shared with up to 3 more participants (260Euro per participant, not included in the course price).
  • for other non shared accommodation options, please contact us.
  • check-in available from the 5th of March and check-out on the 17th of March.

Details about the course

The PDC Material we offer was originally developed by Bill Mollison, co-founder of permaculture, to teach the principles and ethics for sustainable design.  All international PDC courses must follow the same format to ensure the integrity of the certification.

This format allows the participants to dive into the principles of design in Permaculture, which will be applied and presented by the students in the Final Design Project. To qualify for the diploma, participants must attend a minimum of 80% of the course and present the Final Design Project.

Participants in the Permaculture Design Course who meet the above criteria receive a diploma at the end of the course. The diploma certificates that the participants acquired some knowledge in the area and allows them to start using the word “permaculture” in their personal or professional life.

At the end of the PDC, students who want to use permaculture in their personal lives should be able to start applying the knowledge they have acquired in the training.  Those hoping to use permaculture in the professional environment should add to this certification a minimum of two years of practice and a few hours of coaching from experienced teachers.  However, students who appear with previous experience may be able to use permaculture in the professional environment much earlier. There is no formalized criterion to determine when an individual is ready to move into professional practice. The responsibility for this decision rests with each participant.

This course is based on the 14 chapters of the book Permaculture: A Designers Manual by Bill Mollison.

Topics to be covered in this course:

  • Permaculture principles and ethics;
  • Read the landscape. Observation of nature’s patterns and cycles;
  • Principles of ecosystems, climate and biogeography applied in Permaculture;
  • Design Principles: Analysis process, Permaculture Zones, efficient energy planning, etc;
  • Resource identification.  Water in the environment, collection and conservation of water. The use of solar energy;
  • Building healthy soil: base of soil structure, texture, etc.  Strategies for soil improvement using green manure, compost, mulch and erosion control. 
  • Introduction to biofertilizers and practice;
  • Introduction to vermicomposting and practice;
  • Creation and maintenance of hot compost piles;
  • Creation of heated showers with hot compost;
  • Earthmoving exercise with a practical model;
  • Establish gardens in Permaculture and Food Forests – learn how to select and maintain these systems.  Learn “How to produce more food in a small space” (the Biointensive Method);
  • Practice in Quinta Alma’s vegetable food garden and Agroforest. Start planting a new Agroforest;
  • Collection and conservation of seeds, propagation and multiplication of plant species;
  • Design of barriers against winds / fires;
  • Introduction to the design of sustainable communities and eco-villages. Study different group organization systems, alternative economy and strategies for a sustainable global nation;
  • Final design project.

About Silvia Floresta

“The best inheritance I can leave my children with is a healthy planet!”.

Since she was a child, Silvia always had a huge passion for life in the countryside, for plants and seeds, for animals and people!

Silvia studied Botany and soil regeneration. She worked for some years in the Sintra Natural Park, where she learned and developed numerous skills, from plant propagation, seed collection and conservation, pest and disease recognition in plants (trees), learned historical gardening and handled gardening and agriculture machines.

Silvia worked with 900 plant species of flora in the region (Sintra), where half are Mediterranean species and about 10% are plants from different regions of the world, only found in specific areas. The rest are endangered species that you can find in Serra de Sintra – a special ecosystem with favorable conditions for their survival.

In 2008, she founded the Permaculture in Schools Project – an environmental education project. Since then, Silvia has worked with several schools, the community, and with several Municipalities (Lisbon, Almada, Sines, Mafra).

Throughout her life, Silvia has developed several training courses related to sustainability: seed collection and conservation, regenerative agriculture, urban permaculture, school permaculture, small vegetable gardens, kitchen permaculture, production of natural handmade soap and various “do-it-yourself” workshops. Silvia was also involved in several community garden projects. 

One of Silvia’s main responsibilities is the collection and conservation of seeds from highly threatened species. She actively and voluntarily became part of the campaign “Campanha pelas Sementes Livres”, participating in the collection of traditional seed varieties from farmers. Silvia has a strong passion for seeds and she believes that the future of traditional varieties is their preservation and free ownership.

Silvia’s rich life journey includes the Australian Permaculture Research Institute (PRI Autralia), where she accumulated a 10 week internship and several studies: Teacher Training in Permaculture; Permaculture Earthworks Course; Humanitarian Aid Projects in Permaculture; Urban Permaculture & Urban Gardens; Seed Collection & Conservation; Soil Biology; Composting; Natural Fertilizers; Biodynamics; Forestry; Greenhouses Building, Animal Systems, Food Forests, Organic Farming, Ecological Architecture Design, Energy Systems, Aquaculture, Community Building and Empowered Fundraising.

In Portugal, Silvia developed several training courses, collaborated in other countries and with other teachers. At the moment she is involved with several permaculture projects in Portugal and Spain, in which she designs and provides consultancy and training in permaculture. 

Silvia is taking Permaculture to schools with agenda 21, she is part of the artistic expression group Circuito Explosivo and mostly important, Silvia is one of the front heads of Aldeia do Vale, an eco village raised from the regeneration of a typical portuguese village.

Meet Silvia.

More about Silvia in http://www.silviafloresta.com/


Tuition fee of 900€ for the course with all meals included and self accommodation in your own tent or caravan. All common structures, warm showers, toilets and Wi-Fi included in the price.
See bellow the scholarship price.

Price 260€ for the shared accommodation in one of Quinta Alma’ shelters with private toilets.

We are offering two scholarships at a reduced price of 450€ (Insurance and VAT Included), for participants going through financial constrains, that have previous experience on agroecology and demonstrate that they will apply the learning they will acquire in this course on a project that will benefit its local community (mainly with a non profit approach). The scholarship does not include accommodation in one of Quinta Alma’ shelters.
Please use the registration form and make sure you justify your request for the scholarship application and send us your cv to our email:
We will need this information to evaluate and compare scholarship applications, for a fair decision.

Payment conditions:

  • A 25% deposit of the total amount (the course tuition fee and the optional accommodation), is necessary to confirm the registration.
  • The deposit is refundable for cancellations made by email until one month before the event starts.
  • The remaining balance due must be paid until 2 weeks before the event starts, to confirm your participation.

Registration form

For more information, please contact us with your questions:

  • by email: pdc-algarve@quintaalma.com
  • by phone: +351 916 787 600 / 01

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