I have worked with Permaculture for a couple of years along side Luke Punett and one day I decided to do the actual Design course to become an instructor myself.
I signed in on an online permaculture design course with Geoff Walton and the Australian Permaculture Institute. The course lasted 14 months and was based on the permaculture design manual. The last exam for this comprehensive course was to use all new knowledge and make a design of a property.
I decided to make a permaculture design of a part of Richmond Vale Academy. Thereafter present it in a morning class and facilitate a discussion; how permaculture methods of farming and life are giving us solutions to the present and future climate and economical crises.
The primary purpose of the model farm was to demonstrate an educational tool for Vincentians and foreigners alike. How it would tackle some of the major challenges, most notably: climate change, soil erosion, pollution, biodiversity loss, use of chemicals and the non-communicable diseases like health epidemics facing humanity in the 21st century. As the design builds on the tree ethics as well as the permaculture principles, this will be notably expressed and demonstrated.
The design will be a model for local farmers and families. The purpose of the design is to create a system that covers all the needs of a family.
The second part of my action was to educate our participants, staff and community members we work with.
I made a step by step demonstration of the design, where we went through all the different steps needed to have a good and comprehensive design. A design that considers all living and non-living elements found in or passing through the property.
We spoke about the importance of using and considering all recourses available – how we could best use the sun hours, where the shade was, how we can control and have maximum use of the water flow, how we can be most energy efficient, where we should position the compost and the compost toilet, which elements should be closer to the house and much more.
With this class I showed the everyone that to make a garden doesn’t mean that we only focus on the plants, we also need to consider what impact we have on the nature. Do we by our action damage or enhance the nature. Our minimum goal should be sustainability; we need to think about how to enhance the surrounding nature and community. Only by using this philosophy can we thrive in a world of abundance.
And how my permaculture teacher used to say - “We can solve all human problems in the garden” I know there is more to it, but there is a lot of truth in it.
The discussions during the class were many. We spoke about the efficiency of systems like this. We spoke about the urban areas and what the solution was.
In the end all of us agreed that only by understanding and living with nature, could we have prosperity on our unique Earth.
The Permaculture Movement is based on three Ethics:
- Care for Earth
- Care for people
- Fair share
These ethics remind me a lot of our community living at RVA and the way we work with people in the community.
Danail Petrov, Climate Teacher.