Karen Luyckx

Basque Country, Spain

I came to the course thanks to the recommendation of a friend just at the time we were able to finally buy the land we had always dreamed of. I thought the course would be useful in giving me a structure and framework to make a good plan for the site that fits with my values.

Now I simply cannot imagine how I could have done a proper site analysis and design without the course.
There is a huge wealth of input through the course materials (thankfully we can look at them afterwards as there is simply too much to take on board).

Even more valuable is the feedback, advice and encouragement provided by Javan specific to our situation. For example, thanks to Javan, the water analysis and water system design is a lot more thorough and incorporates elements we wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

Javan also supported me in thinking through the establishment phase of the food forest, and clarifying the important role animals can play to help prepare our site and build the soil where it is quite eroded.

One thing to bear in mind if you are thinking of doing the course in the 10-week timeframe: it is very intensive, you will feel as if you are eating, breathing and walking permaculture non-stop. If this is too much, you can switch to the more extended version. Finally, having the opportunity to follow the analysis and design process of some incredibly committed people with amazing visions and interesting sites throughout the world has been a true privilege and has added even more to the learning.

Many thanks again Javan. I’ve no doubt that all the instructors are amazing, but can’t help feeling very lucky we got you!

Education, OSU PDC Student, PDC Student








Julianne King

Public Servant - Canada
I was a student of yours when I took Verge’s PDC course in 2015 in Invermere. I owe you a huge thank you for the wisdom you brought to that course – it left a lasting impression on me!
I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the Holistic Management and Life Design tools and frameworks. I’ve refined my personal holistic context and kept it relevant, and I’ve used the HM framework for project management too.
I see the most valuable aspects of the context work to be 1. the innovative holistic “framework” approach that differs from both linear project management tools and typical self-help programs or practices, 2. doing visioning work without setting specific goals or making decisions, 3. the testing questions that make the context operational (praxis, if you will), 4. having an approach that scales well and is transferable/adaptable to almost any “project”. This is how I see the value and this is how I’ve explained it to my friends. From what I’ve heard so far, they agree that these things are uniquely valuable. One friend said that the fact that the HM approach isn’t Oprah’s or Wayne Dyer’s thing but is a tool designed and taught by many permaculturists was significant for them and helped them put faith in the utility and effectiveness of HM. I thought that was interesting. Overall, I think that (as with so many things) you get out of it what you put into it, and you can’t expect HM to do the work for you, which is to say, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Life Design, Life Design for Permaculture, PDC Student