Suryalila Yoga Retreat Centre

Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Europe: Spain

With Doug Crouch

March 3, 2018 — March 17, 2018

February 26th- March 10th: 2-Week PDC at Suryalila Retreat Centre


FacilitatorsDoug Crouch

Language used: English (with help to translate unknown words whenever needed)

Permaculture Design Course

Increase your environmental literacy and take steps towards building resilient local communities from true connection.

We will also have the benefit of having yoga class everyday and being immersed in this practical approach to people care.  There will be a range of teachers and spaces to practice allowing us to connect to the greater mission of this place and the community of guests and volunteers. It is however completely optional as well and not part of the direct course curriculum.



THE COURSE: Format and Content

The course will be an 80-hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course spread out over 14 days. This ample time allows students to digest the material, get hands-on experience and work thoroughly on the final design project and presentation. The course will be certified through TreeYo Permaculture as we are guided by Bill Mollison’s curriculum that comprises the 14 chapters of his book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual”. Our schedule reflects this commitment and has a strong emphasis on how the design principles and process influence site develop and systems management while always acknowledging the people care side of it all. This course will help you gain confidence in setting up land based designs but also the inextricable link with creative integration of humans. We will cover the following topics throughout the course:

  • Ethics, Principles, and Methods of Permaculture Design
  • Pattern Understanding: Interpretation and Application
  • Climatic Factors: Broad Climatic Zones and Microclimate – Effects on Landscape and Design
  • Water: Harvesting, Conservation, Purification, and Revitalization
  • Trees and their Energy Transactions: SoilWaterTrees
  • Soils: Classification, Food Web, and Restoration
  • Aquaculture: Food Web, Aquatic Plants, Chinampas, Tyre Ponds, Water Quality Parameters
  • Animal Systems: Integrate worms, chickens, goats, and many other animals in your design
  • Strategies for Tropical, Dry-land, and Temperate Climates: Influences on Vegetation, Housing, and Earthworks
  • Introduction to Natural Building: Earth as a Building Material
  • Fermentation and Nutrition: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Sourdough Bread and Pickles
  • Local Food Systems:  CSA-Community Supported Agriculture,  Cooperatives, Food-Coops
  • Social and Economic Permaculture: Bio-Regional Organisation, Living in Communities, Transition Towns and Local Resiliency
  • And last but not least: Lot´s of laugh, fun and happy faces, music, a trip to a nearby magical forest, yoga, group activities and lot’s of work! A Transformation of Your Life is guaranteed at this one of a kind mountain project!


The course will end with the required student design projects that will utilize the landscape at Suryalila. By using an actual physical site for the design projects, students will gain the experience of completing a full design from walking the land during the initial assessment to mapping and

designing schematically

measuring to client interviews and final presentations.

The process behind the design project increases learner retention through immediate application and direct practice of learned skills while offering a means to evaluates students’ comprehension of the course.  Successful, effective, and certified Permaculture designers are accelerated in this course for a future of meaningful work and regenerative practices.

The final design project is also considered to be a direct hands-on project because students will be engaged in a process that will yield a viable design proposal and it is a design course after all. Our commitment to practicing the design principles throughout the course process itself reinforces the theory and lecture sessions. Concurrently, to bring the material alive the course is facilitated so that numerous learning styles are supported. We honor diversity as one of our teaching techniques is through design exercises that compliment the lecture material, demonstrates the design process, and adds to the fun atmosphere.

For more information about our past courses visit the following page: Previous TreeYo Courses.


Another integral part of the course is the hands-on segment because it integrates the techniques directly to your body. Proposed hands-on segments for the course are:

  • Hot Compost Pile Making and turning throughout the course to address fertility maintenance
  • Small-scale Earthworks to address rainwater runoff issues and feed associated plantings
  • Organic Gardening to address farm to table mission
  • Plant Propagation as a way to learn different techniques to quickly fill up a site with useful plants at a low cost
  • Food Fermentation as a way to connect food production with culture with health and season extension (and we get to eat and drink them!!!!!!)
  • Final Design Project for immediate application and direct practice of learned skills


Doug CrouchWith over twenty courses already under facilitated around the world, TreeYo Permaculture facilitator Doug Crouch will be putting on this inaugural course in South Spain to further their vision of educational awareness meeting Yoga. Doug will continue to be the main facilitator of this course. His formal background is in ecology and has been practicing and teachingdoug bio picPermaculture for ten years in different parts of the world covering all climatic zones. He holds a Diploma in Permaculture Education which demonstrates his commitment to crafting his creative facilitation style. The TreeYo approach is quite dynamic and can be viewed at the following page: TreeYo facilitation style and process. To view some of the presentation you can expect during the course via PowerPoint, please visit Doug’s slideshare account at the following:

Official Bio:Trained as both a Permaculture Designer and Fish and Wildlife Manager, Doug has extensive knowledge surrounding landscape planning and food production systems. This regenerative design and implementation work spans the globe ranging in contexts and climates including tropical agro-forestry, Mediterranean organic gardening, and temperate suburban edible landscaping. To facilitate this work he founded TreeYo Permaculture thus building off his other formal training in small business management. Incorporating this knowledge and experience into sustainability educational programming has now become Doug’s main focus as he continues his ecological design and holistic development in various ecosystems.

Our Vegetarian Kitchen: From Suryalila

Our kitchen is a happy and bustling environment and the cooks are all very creative and talented.  The Suryalila Kitchen specializes in gourmet international vegetarian cuisine, using the freshest seasonal, locally-sourced organic fruits and vegetables available, artfully prepared in a varied and truly eclectic international menu. Eggs are gathered daily from our own happy chickens and when the season allows you will enjoy the freshest of fruit picked from our own orchard of apricot, peach, fig and pear trees!

We regularly accommodate vegan, gluten-free, and non-dairy diets, so if you have any special dietary restrictions, just let us know!

If you are a little nervous about going vegetarian – don’t be! Our gourmet vegetarian cuisine will be one of the greatest food experiences of your life and we promise you, you will be raving about the food long after you return home!

THE HOST SITE: Suryalila Retreat Centre

This historic property once was la fabrica, or the olive press and processing center for other crops like wheat.  Set in the foothills of the Andalusian mountains near Gracalama, the property has been developed to be a retreat center that caters mostly to Yoga.  Its a place with fantastic views, incredible staff, delicious vegetarian food, and an ambiance of evolution.  Its rolling denuded and degraded hilled landscape makes it a fabulous spot to utilize the power of permaculture design and the implementation that follows. The founders of this project are very dedicating to reforesting this land and organic food production all the while matching the inner growth with the outer growth.  The following Permaculture elements and functions are on display amongst others:

  • Organic Gardens that help to provide a small but growing amount of produce the kitchen uses daily
  • Extensive Olive Groves that are hundreds of years old bringing a unique existing landscape feature
  • Hot & Cold Composting (Vermiculture) systems for boosting soil life, picking up on waste streams, and cycling nutrients
  • Natural Building examples for further space creation
  • The Beginnings of a dedicated effort of reforestation/ land regeneration project.
  • Yoga Retreat Center focused on Personal transformation!


Course Fee:

400€ base fee plus accommodation and gourmet food put together in the following types below: 

We have applied 50% off all accommodation prices for this course

  • bring your own tent: 490€
  • 8 bed dorm (8 single beds): 560€
  • Twin room (2 single beds with shared bathroom): 784€
  • Superior double (single room with shared bathroom): 952€
  • Deluxe double (single room with private bathroom): 1092€

For example, bring your own tent would be 400€ + 490€= 890€


Please note since you will be working on the land then the Suryalila accommodation prices are much cheaper than they would normally be.

****again includes catered organic meals; delicious, and homemade, see more details below****


For more information about the course itself please visit Doug’s website  or email:

To register and ask about accommodations contact the following:




From Suryalila:

Our large and stunningly beautiful Yoga Retreat Centre in Southern Spain is available to host yoga retreats and trainings, and also welcomes small informal groups and individual travelers. We invite you to visit our beautiful yoga retreat centre, experience our gourmet vegetarian cuisine, and enjoy our all-inclusive facilities in the heart of Andalucia!

The mission of Suryalila is to be an enduring sanctuary where staff and volunteers fully support each other’s freedom, growth, creativity and highest potential.  To all who come here we offer an experience of profound beauty, wholesomeness, wellbeing, human warmth, respect and care.  This is expressed by our authenticity, wholehearted dedication, and careful attention to providing an environment where individual guests and group leaders feel nurtured and supported.  We are guided by integrity, openness, kindness, happiness and love.

– The Suryalila Team

In this course we will head to a beautiful beginnings of a river that is from a spring flowing out of the mountain.  Along the river there is quite a diversity of trees and plants and shows really great classic habitat.  We will utilize this hike to get out and see patterns in the landscape and the expression biodiversity.  Read more here from Suryalila website.

The region of Suryalila is one immersed in an agricultural setting yet balanced by amazing natural spots.  The property is set in the Cadiz province but only a 1.5 bus ride away from the capitol.  The region is hot and dry yet the place in Spain that receives the most amount of rainfall a year is within 50 kilometers.  Despite the deforestation, there is still some water left in the ground and pockets of forest and really amazing habitat.  Its a unique setting at Suryalila as the property emerges into a oasis within industrial agriculture.  Its quite central within many destinations and being in the foothills of Grazalama is quite spectacular.   province

Check out the following links below from Suryalila’s Page on getting there and destinations around to learn more!

Many Reasons to Come Join Us!

Suryalila Retreat Centre offers a great location and context for learning Permaculture!

  • Come and be part of a community that is dedicated to increasing consciousness!
  • The site is extremely accessible to the city as well as amazing beaches and places to visit!
  • The Confidence to be a Permaculture consultant and practitioner in the future is one of the most valuable qualities that students will develop during the course due to the numerous site applications, international staff, creative solution successes and varied micro-climates. The world needs YOU!
So please come join us in sunny Spain for what is going to be a great community experience, an adventure and an awakening to the natural world around us that is ripe with possibilities for connection and interaction.
After all, it will be a fun learning experience sure to give a new perspective on everyday surroundings and bring inspired solutions to the table. Let Permaculture be the systematic approach to make change in the world and your local community alike. Learn to turn Problems into Solutions, to Work with Nature not Against, and how Everything…yes every THING…gardens!!!!!

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