Over the last year a core part of my Edible Garden work has been to improve the fertility and life force of the soil, to ensure a healthy grounded place for flora and fauna to flourish ....In parallel my pathway as a permaculture practitioner also feels as though creating a holistically healthy base from which to grow a diverse rightlivelihood and life balance, has been key for me during this time - and its now time to start creating yields from them both
Mentoring can be a very powerful tool in lots of aspects of our permaculture work. I particularly like this article from thechangeagency.org which explains the benefits that successful mentoring can bring.
" Mentoring provides an opportunity to think and reflect in a confidential and supportive environment. It may make sense to review the preceding period, identify challenges, and workshop ways to respond to challenges in the future. "
Many aspects of permaculture design -process, ethics, principles and tools - can help to structure and guide mentoring relationships in permaculture contexts and settings.
This week Ive been reminded how valuable mentorship is in my both my personal and professional development and learning. Connecting, observing and receiving feedback from others who are more experienced and knowledgeable in subjects we are interested in taking further in our lives can be really empowering. My Skype mentoring session, which was part of the year long people focused permaculture facilitators programme, gave me space to reflect on the last few months of undertaking my facilitators pathway design, while gaining some focused clarity on specific designs and projects I had been working hard to start implementing. Looby's skill in identifying analogies and patterns, in the various tangles of my story is something I am really appreciating learning from her. In addition, a helpful reminder about how erosive my repetitive story for myself about "I need to be more confident" (So, if I need to be more confident, that must mean Im not confident enough!), can be, has given me the motivation to reframe that story by consciously identifying and noting times when I am taking steps to improve my confidence.
More flowers! my Growing Confidence design ....each time I do something which demonstrates I am a confident practitioner and person, I draw a flower in my planner /journal with a few notes. Looking back at the patterns should really help create a lovely spiral of confidence abundance! I have a different colour flower according to significance of the activity ('day to day', 'moderate', 'life changing'!)
Another Skype meeting with Ryan, the strategic communications co-ordinator from the Permaculture Association, about my developing work in communications and marketing in the permaculture community, was also a great time to appreciate the role of Ryan's mentorship. Then an observed Diploma tutorial along with some comprehensive feedback by Wilf, (Wilf observing me undertaking the tutorial, after me observing his tutoring/educator skills over the last few years), was my third experience of some wonderful mentors in my life just now.
Reflecting on the momentum and motivation these 3 events in the last few days gave me, also made me consider my mentoring role to others in the permaculture community and beyond too. This is something I will be looking at in more depth as part of my developing practitioner and designer role.
I've been being enjoying picking edible flowers from the garden to use in nearly every meal Ive eaten this week ...peppery nasturtium, cool cucumber borage, citrusy calendula and the amazing almost fine pastry qualities of the courgette and squash flowers. Once heated (baked, grilled, shallow fried), the overlaps of petal almost glue together, making the large circubit flower perfect casing for a yummy range of fillings. In the photo above, Ive fried finely diced courgette fruit with garlic in olive oil and mixed with cooked rice, chopped coriander and parsley, mozzarella and black pepper, and then grilled for 15 minutes until golden brown. There's a lovely article from Steph Hafferty in the current (PM88) edition of Permaculture Magazine detailing more recipes using edible flowers - and an accompanying online post introducing these diverse floral foods here
This week is Dying Matters Awareness week in the UK - a big diverse event with many people and organisations holding events to promote awareness about subjects relating the death and dying. I decided a few months ago that this week would be my goal for launching the zone 3-5 phase of a design, Designing Dying, I started about 4 years ago as part of my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.
I started the latest phase of the design, now called "Creative Dying" by using a different design process (The Design Web by Looby Macnamara) to explore the design at a new level. I presented my experience of doing this at the National Diploma Gathering earlier this month.
Creative Dying is a website and coaching/workshop business which aims to support people - at any time of their life - to plan and design the death they would like.
It is focused at anyone who would like to explore the creative, positive and unique approaches that we can take to considering the end of our lives and how we die.
Creative Dying uses permaculture design at its centre and will appeal to the many people throughout the world already using permaculture to increase resilience and healing in other aspects of their life and work.
Im really passionate about the journey of this design for many reasons, and will be writing regular updates about its progress and hopefully success here.
Creative Dying on Facebook
Creative Dying on Twitter
The National Diploma Gathering - NDG- (for anyone involved in the UK Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design) took place over the weekend in St Werbergs Centre, Bristol. Its one of the highlights of my permaculture year- so much inspiration and learning, and catching up with friends old and new - and for me my first NDG both as a Diploma tutor and as a member of the Diploma Working Group. The Friday before the Gathering was a tutor training day - so a great opportunity to connect further and increase confidence with my new role.
'Im tired of' - discussing patriarchy, and solutions - a fab workshop facilitated by Anna Broszkiewicz, expanding on some of the issues raised in a recent blog by Nicole Vosper, "Overcoming burnout part 6 - Patriarchy makes me tired"
A layered system of observing and assessing Graham's tutorial with Reevsie - I got totally lost as to who was observing and assessing who and why, but the whole experience was really useful as a new tutor - and I have so much gratitude to Graham for letting us all in on his design support hour!
Me presenting my Creative Dying design, without my planned presentation, due to a series of tech issues. The problem being the solution meant I had to just get on with it though - and it certainly deepened some confidence edges in doing so!
The weekend, as usual, renewed my designing energy and motivation and I'm very much looking forward to spending the next few days planning on the next steps I aim to take as a permaculture practitioner.
regular updates and reflections about the permaculture designs in my life