Permaculture Design Course 2023

Join us on a 2-week permaculture journey in Portugal and learn how to make the world a better place by using simple techniques.

28th August - 12th September 2023

quinta kania farm


ecological landscape design, sustainable lifestyle, food forest, soil regeneration, appropriate technology, community governance, natural building, self-development, resilient food production

During Permaculture Design Course we learn to design systems that create harmonious connections between humans and with the planet. The Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren coined the term in the 70’s, a combination of the words “permanent” and “agriculture. Permaculture ethics, principles and design techniques were first used to  develop sustainable agricultural systems  as an alternative to the growth of agro-industry and the consumer economy. From these beginnings, the concept of  Permaculture has expanded and diversified to cover nearly all types of  human-based systems.

Permaculture design courses have been developed as an introduction to this way of thinking and also to teach the tools needed for participants to design their own sustainable systems. These courses are taught through both theory and practice, and weave in both ancestral knowledge and recent discoveries. At Quinta Kania Farm we showcase several examples of permaculture in practice. Additionally we include an organized tour to another project, so participants can see how diverse different permaculture sites can be.

In this two week PDC we use the basic curriculum as set out by the UK Permaculture Association, and supported by the Southeastern Spanish Permaculture Network (REPESEI).

Curious about what Quinta Kania Farm looks like? Watch our intro video.

Do you have questions? Don't be shy!

quinta kania farm

What you will learn

Ethics and principals

Learn the techniques needed to apply permaculture in your daily life, no matter where you are!

Systems thinking and patterns in nature

Explore the connections between natural and designed elements, and learn to replicate the functionality of natural systems in your design.


Learn how to recognize the climatic factors of different sites. Use and value diversity, and generate more yields by working with microclimates.


Soil structure and ecology, composting, and creating healthy ecosystems to regenerate degraded land.

Permaculture design

The art of collaboration and successful design. How to apply permaculture design methods, strategies and tools according to your needs.


Trees, forests and food forests. How to recognize and mimic natural systems, to create an abundance of food and other useful resources.


Learn to produce an abundance of healthy, organic food for you and your community.

Earthworks and water

Recognize water cycles, shape the land through conscious design, and integrate water harvesting methods to create positive effects on ecological systems.

Well being and our own zone 00

Personal development, self-empowerment and personal goal setting

Natural Building

How to build beautiful, spiritually uplifting homes using locally resourced natural materials.

Non-violent communication and sociocracy

Collaboration, community living, and lifestyles to establish positive and meaningful connections.

Appropriate technology

Innovative ideas and tools to harvest, store and use energy.


How to preserve food that is healthy and tasty, whilst making sure the seasonal harvest from your garden never goes to waste.

Medicinal Plants

Introduction to powerful plants and natural remedies to keep your body strong.
quinta kania farm

Meet our Team

The diversity of the teachers’ backgrounds is what makes this PDC special.

We are a group of 4 friends from 4 different countries, together forming a diverse pot of interests and stories. A passion for spreading permaculture knowledge is one of the things we have in common.

Read more about each of us below.

Fran and hat
Frances Osborn

Frances is an ecologist with a degree in Environmental Sciences from Southampton University, UK, and a PhD in Insect Ecology from the Simón Bolívar University, Venezuela. In 2014, after 10 years working as a research scientist at the Eastern University, Venezuela, she returned to Europe where she did her first PDC in Brighton, UK. She has been studying and practicing permaculture ever since, and graduated with a Diploma in Applied Permaculture in March 2021.

She has been teaching Permaculture Design Courses since 2019 at different venues, including Proyecto Rucula in Murcia and the Suryalila Yoga Retreat in Cadiz.  Frances has extensive experience in garden and agricultural systems at different scales, gained from her many volunteering placements, including two years at the first Ecosystem Restoration Camp in the dry highlands to the northeast of the Murcia region in southern Spain.

She is particularly interested in soil ecology and restoration. Frances is currently secretary for Urban Street Forest, an association based in Holland and Spain that seeks to reforest degraded dry lands, and is an active member of the Permaculture Network in south-eastern Spain. Frances has made volunteering her main lifestyle choice, a path which has led her to minimize her costs rather than maximize her income, and gives her the freedom to take up opportunities as they appear. Travel plays an important role in her life and the bicycle is her preferred mode of transport, as this enables her to slow down, appreciate the scenery, and enjoy the journey.

From the humid subtropics of Australia. Jackson was blessed with papayas growing in the back yard, playing with vermi-composting bathtubs and fascinated with plants, animals, and all things outdoors. He studied Horticulture and Land Management, but the conventional route left him a little lost for a while. While he was traveling, he discovered some alternatives like Permaculture, and it seemed to be what he’d always dreamed of! Animals and veggies in your backyard, a responsibility for the earth and all beings. He decided to pursue this further by volunteering in likeminded places throughout Central America and India, and Europe. He has participated in a PDC with Aranya Agricultural Alternatives in India, and also, the “Training for Permaculture Teachers” with Alfred Decker and Candela Vargas. This course gave him a lot of inspiration to start teaching, and guiding tours around the gardens where he works.
For the past two years, Jackson has been living in Algarve, Southern Portugal. He is enjoying the process of designing edible, useful solutions and helping peoples dreams come into fruition! You can check out some of the progress here!
He is also one of the team members of Orchard of Flavours, a newly accredited Edible Botanical Garden in Southern Portugal. Their focus is on edible, useful plants from around the world and providing open source information on how to grow these plants. He also writes for, a new open source database with growing guides and information on several topics related to permaculture.
While he’s not playing with plants and the likes, Jackson enjoys playing guitar and sharing music with others.
He also likes learning new skills, creating and playing with different tools and materials, and finding ways to mesh all of his interests into one.
Facilitator and Host

Her passions always centered around creativity, nature and people, so she spent most of her life trying to connect those aspects together. Kasia left home at a young age to travel and discover the diversities of the world. For many years she moved around like the wind, trying different schools, hobbies and lifestyles.

The dream to establish a place, where people gather to develop their passions and learn from each other has been with her for as long as she can remember. At some point it became clear that permaculture is the way to make it happen.

Kasia completed her Permaculture Design Course in 2018 in Alentejo, Portugal, when Quinta Kania Farm was just starting up. It gave her a boost of enthusiasm, structured her knowledge and connected with similar minded people from all over the Europe. That was the moment when she was inspired to become a teacher as well. In 2021 she took part in “Training Permaculture Teachers” designed by Rosemary Morrow and thought by Alfred Decker and Candela Vargas. Here she met Frances and Jackson amongst others and idea of facilitating a PDC became a reality.

She is currently studying Process Work, a methodology for working with people in therapy, coaching, organizational work, and art. That gives her additional tools to bring in the social and psychological aspects into the Permaculture Design Courses. She also loves herbal medicine, gardening and designing crazy shapes in her natural buildings.

Facilitator and Host

Growing up in the foothills of the German Alps, Franz developed his passion for being in nature from an early age. As a kid, hiking with family, he loved watching plants and animals along the mountain trails. He decided to study biology, but it wasn’t what he’d expected, as he soon found out. Spending all day in a lab, he missed getting his hands dirty. He wanted to do something real.

During semester breaks Franz traveled all over the world. Especially Thailand and India inspired him to live a free and humble life, independent of the haste of western culture.

In 2015 he came across permaculture and attended a Permaculture Design Course in Croatia. This gave a boost to his enthusiasm and sparked the feeling, that he is not alone with his vision for a better future. Knowing that hands on experience is the best teacher, he continued to travel around Europe and visited various eco projects — until he was ready to realize the dream of having his own piece of land. He settled down in Central Portugal and started Quinta Kania Farm project, which he runs with Kasia for over 5 years.

Alongside farming, his biggest passion is cooking, specially while enjoying some good music. Carpentry and natural building give him the satisfaction to create something unique and useful at the same time. His scientific mind still loves to experiment with new challenges, such as mushroom cultivation, repairing broken engines, or growing tropical fruit trees in a Mediterranean climate.

Course info


The course fee is on a sliding scale – it’s up to you which one you choose:

fair: 750€

regular: 800€

supportive 850€

We ask for a 100€ deposit to confirm your booking. The rest can be paid on arrival in cash.


The price includes:

  • all the learning activities,
  • camping in your own tent or in a van,
  • 3 good meals a day plus drinks
  • pick up from the bus or train station, if needed on the arrival and departure days
  • solar showers and compost toilets
  • electricity and wifi
  • access to the natural swimming pool

If you choose to stay in one of our accommodation options, you will need to pay a little extra. The prices of these are listed below and they include the whole stay.

Additional accommodation options

The camping with your own tent or a van are included in a course fee. Below we present other accommodation options with additional fees. You can choose one of them through our booking form.
natural building

Wooden Cabin

  • 200€ for a whole unit, for 1 person or a couple.
  • all the bedding provided
bell tent

Bell Tent

  • 200€ for a whole unit, for 1 person or a couple
  • all the bedding provided
3 beds shared room


  • 100€ for 1 single bed in a shared accommodation
  • bring your own sleeping bag