Congratulations to another group of Permaculture Design Certificate holders, it was a fabulous 2 weeks of living and learning together with an amazing group of diverse and interesting people. Each year our course changes due to the availability of teachers and the specifics of the design project that we have to work on. Still what is always most memorable is the sense of community created from the two week live in experience and the new friendships made.
PB Foreman was our “lead teacher” this January, who came armed with his immense knowledge of soils, water and plants as well as his recent experience in building a straw bale home. Jeff Nugent author of Permaculture Plants stayed at Fair Harvest for the full 2nd week of the course leading the design process and providing a wealth of knowledge on appropriate plants for specific conditions . Other inspirational teachers such as Jamie McCall from Burnside Organic Farm, Bee Winfield from Merri Bee Organic Farm, Brooke (Sparkles) Murphy from Aham Vritti Herbal and Byron Joel from Oak Tree Designs shared their passions in their particular fields. We also had classes from Claire Coleman who travels the country assessing Organic properties for NASAA (National Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Australia) and Laura Bailey with her great knowledge of appropriate technology.
As if that wasn’t enough the optional evening talks, field trips, optional hands on activities, beach trips, farm walks, crazy card nights and general high level of stimulating conversation made the two weeks a phenomenally huge event……..
One site visit to th Water Wally (compost toilets and grey water systems) received so much interest that one of our students who works for the ABC followed it up with this story
We know we’ve got something right when we get feedback like this……..’the course has been by far, the most rewarding, enlightening, inspiring, educational, stimulating and gratifying course I have ever had the joy of being a part of. Aside from the knowledge gained, the friendships and connections created will be ones which are rock solid and everlasting which is a true testament to how the course has been run and the types of leaders and members of the community who have helped put the content and structure together’. (Alice)
After a week of class time and small projects the students were given a “real life” design project and much of the second week was spent assessing the site, interviewing clients, researching and drawing up designs. It’s a challenge for everyone but without fail unknown talents come out of the woodwork as students work together sharing skills and ideas. This year was no exception and the designs that were presented to the clients took the standard of designs to a whole new level.
A word from the clients
“Hamish and I had the great good fortune to put our block of land forward for the Fair Harvest PDC students to use for their project. Having done the fantastic “Introduction to Permaculture” weekend back in October we had a smattering of knowledge and thus were pretty excited about the designs Jodie’s students would present to us.
With such high expectations we were far from disappointed, in fact Hamish and I were nothing short of blown away. The four final designs were each brimming with innovative ideas and superb suggestions for how to best harness the potential of our land. It was a real privilege to have such an opportunity and we are both so grateful for the passion and enthusiasm of each of the students. Now we are left to ponder over what to implement first!”
Whether students go on to become designers, teachers, community workers, food growers or builders we know they will do so with a greater sensitivity to the earth, with an enriched toolbox and with a greater network of people sharing common ethics and a love for our planet.
We wish all of you all the best for your future endeavors and look forward to following your progress and meeting again soon.
Next PDC May 2016
A few pics