Principles of Permaculture

with Quail Springs Permaculture

Learn a practical design science for regenerative living

Help heal your landscape and community through good design.

Permaculture is not one technique, but rather an entire approach to designing your life, environment, and community to be more regenerative.

Whether you have a small apartment balcony or acres to farm, this course will empower you to live in closer relationship to that which sustains you. Guided by the three core permaculture ethics – people care, earth care, and fair share – you will learn how to observe and harness natural patterns to create the lasting change our world needs.


This course shares how to:

Observe the natural world in new and profound ways
Learn from traditional agricultural practices
Better design your home, garden, business, or community 
Live regeneratively in your landscape
Improve your personal food security
Implement meaningful, local solutions to global problems
Be a life-giving force in the world




More than 9 hours of lessons and demonstrations covering the fundamentals of permaculture as well as food forestry, water management, and natural building

Guided tours of permaculture in action at Quail Springs Permaculture in the high desert of California

Course lesson notes


for as low as

$35 $12


Full access to Principles of Permaculture along with 100+ courses on health, personal growth, and social impact

1,000+ daily practices including yoga, meditation, breathwork, journaling, and much more

Attend member-only gatherings & learn LIVE with Commune teachers

Be part of our private community, a members-only space where you can find encouragement, accountability, and support

Mobile app access, including offline viewing, easy listening on-the-go, and screencasting to TVs

New courses added every month!


Learn from the Experts at Quail Springs Permaculture

Quail Springs Permaculture is a community of educators, ecologists, farmers, and natural builders living in the coastal mountains of Southern California. Sited in the high desert on land that had been overgrazed for 100 years, Quail Springs now serves as an example of how permaculture can regenerate even the most degraded and challenging landscapes.

Meet Your Teachers

Warren Brush

Quail Springs Co-Founder and Permaculture Designer & Educator

Warren Brush is a mentor, storyteller, a certified Permaculture designer who has worked for 25+ years inspiring people of all ages to discover, nurture and express their inherent gifts while living in a sustainable manner. He is co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture, Regenerative Earth Enterprises, Sustainable Vocations, Wilderness Youth Project, Casitas Valley Farm and Creamery and his Permaculture design company, True Nature Design.

Sasha Rabin

Quail Springs Natural Building & Advocacy Director

Sasha Rabin began her natural building career almost 20 years ago with an apprenticeship at the Cob Cottage Company. Since then she has taught extensively through organizations she co-founded, including Seven Generations Natural Builders and Vertical Clay, and through collaborations with The Yestermorrow Design Build School, The Canelo Project, Cal-Earth, and The Solar Living Institute. She also runs her own natural building organization, Earthen Shelter.

Brenton Kelly

Quail Springs Watershed Stewardship & Advocacy Director

Since 1998 Brenton has been sharing knowledge of least-toxic, low-impact human activities through his co-ownership of Island Seed & Feed, the south coast organic (i.e. permaculture) headquarters for farmers and gardeners. At Quail Springs he is an integral designer and tender of the food production, soil building, animal husbandry, and watershed management systems, as well as a permaculture educator.

Course Curriculum

  • Why We Need Permaculture
  • Moving Information to Knowledge
  • What Is Your Next Best Step?
  • Meet Your Instructors
  • What Is Permaculture?
  • Where Does Culture Come From? 
  • Harmonizing with Natural Patterns
  • The History of Life on Earth in 24 Hours
  • Our Relationship with the Sun
  • The Urgency for Now
  • Complex Problems, Simple Solutions
  • Mutual Interdependence
  • The Scope of Permaculture
  • Life-Changing Gardens
  • Demonstrating Permaculture
  • The Story of Quail Springs
  • The Gardens at Quail Springs
  • The Animal Systems at Quail Springs
  • The Bees at Quail Springs
  • The Ahupua'a System
  • The Swidden System
  • Maintaining Energy in a System
  • Stacking Functions
  • Method 1: Community Engagement
  • Method 2: Data Gathering
  • Method 3: Observation
  • Observation in the Field
  • Method 4: Element Analysis
  • Method 5: Zone Analysis
  • Method 6: Sector Analysis
  • Method 7: Slope Analysis
  • Method 8: Feedback Loops
  • Modern vs. Traditional Building
  • Building Siting
  • Natural Building Design
  • Natural Building Methods
  • Cob Home Tour
  • Introduction to Climate Appropriate Technology
  • Cob Oven
  • Solar Cooker
  • Barrel Oven
  • Rocket Mass Heater
  • Trombe Wall
  • Solar Water Heater
  • Cold Storage
  • Home Cooling Tube
  • Cob Garden Walls
  • Energy Transactions of Trees & Forests (Part 1)
  • Energy Transactions of Trees & Forests (Part 2)
  • Layers of a Forest (Food Forests Part 1)
  • Growing a Food Forest (Food Forests Part 2)
  • The Quail Springs Food Forest
  • Our Relationship to Water
  • The Lifecycle of Water
  • The Water Molecule
  • Visiting the Spring
  • Introduction to Living Soils
  • Composting
  • Worm Boxes

"There aren’t words for how this course has impacted me… I know that this has altered the trajectory of my life, both personally and professionally."

Ciara Butterfield
Quail Springs Permaculture Design Course Participant

We don't have the option of the status quo.

We are living in an extraordinary time where the choices we make every day are affecting the capacity for our children's children to survive. Ecologies are collapsing at unprecedented rates. Social structures are disintegrating. And we have a responsibility to usher in a different type of future than where we're headed right now.

Permaculture gives us the tools to design a future of abundance.


"By the end of this course you will feel empowered to take your 'next best step' when it comes to being part of the regeneration of the earth and human society."

Warren Brush
Quail Springs Co-Founder and Permaculture Designer & Educator

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