These events have sadly been cancelled for this year. Hoping to run some similar days in 2018
I'm really pleased to announce a programme of (Yorkshire) Dales Diploma Days over the next few months, for anyone doing the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. These will take place at two different locations on a variety of days, with the aim of being as accessible to as many Diploma apprentices in the area as possible.
The functions of the Dales Diploma Days are:-
* To provide a space to focus on getting some design documentation completed, (both venues have great internet access).
* To meet with other apprentices - guild/peer support time.
* The opportunity to have a tutorial with me.
* Visit a great venue.
* It's possible to video link to either of venues (Skype, Facetime etc) for guild time or a tutorial.
You are welcome to either attend the whole day or just turn up for an hour or two
Those Plant People is a LAND centre in the village of Steeton in between Keighley and Skipton. We have access to a fab classroom there.
Settle Community and Business Hub is a wonderful new community project in the centre of Settle, a small market town in the heart of the Dales.
There is a 'Pay as you feel' (suggest £5-10) request to cover the hire of the venue, hot drinks etc. Any tutorials are at the usual Permaculture Association set rate of £30/hr (or part of your existing route fee if I am your personal tutor)
For more details about my role as a tutor click here
The following dates for 2017 have been confirmed. Please get in touch with me if you are thinking of coming along or would like further details.
March 2017 - I have decided to stop undertaking any further interviews for Healing Agriculture, so I can focus on other permaculture work and designs.
Healing Agriculture was a core part of my learning and development throughout my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and I have gained so much pleasure, knowledge and inspiration from the people I interviewed, and the regenerative farming projects they designed.
I hope you continue to be inspired by the wonderful diverse range of Land and People featured here. I will continue to share related information on social media via the Healing Agriculture Facebook Page and Twitter account.
If you would like your own project to be featured in similar collections and connections of permaculture designs and people, then I can recommend Daniel Tyrkiel's podcast project.
About Healing Agriculture
Through creating Healing Agriculture I aim to profile and give a voice to the many people working in broad scale agriculture in Europe, aiming for ‘beyond sustainability,’ using the ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share in their farming work and lives.
Across the planet, how we produce our food is killing our amazing Earth and all who live on her. In a very short space of time conventional agricultural practices have caused destruction on a horrific scale. On a daily basis the media informs us of the widespread harm and bleak future we all face because of our Governments’ and personal actions. However, there are people throughout the land who are working incredible hard on many different scales to change this. For some time I have thought about a way of being able to share to a wide audience the extent and depth of this way of farming in Europe.
The main goals of Healing Agriculture are -
* To raise public awareness about the very positive aspects of food production on a broad scale (sites bigger than 1 acre) throughout Europe.
* To build connections between farmers and projects who are using different design tools - RegenAG, Holistic Management, Permaculture - to undertake this restorative way of growing our food.
This time last year I wrote a post about how we had started to implement a design to improve the fertility and water retaining properties of the soil in our garden in Andalucia. Over the year we have already noticed a big difference in the structure of the soil and water retention in the areas we treated. This year, as planned, we decided to chip the fresh almond tree prunnings as they happened. These then included lots of leaves which added an increased nitrogen concentration to the chips. Like many topics in permaculture design there is an ongoing healthy discussion about the pros verses the cons of using woodchip as a mulch to improve soil. Rather than discuss these here, I have linked to some of the main points in other articles, at the end of this post. Our observations had indicated that here using wood chip as a mulch was likely to be beneficial and worth including as part of our soil design.
After several weeks of sitting in a heap, being exposed to both heavy rainfall and warm sun, the chips had started to heat up and the inner area already had lots of evidence of fungal activity commencing. The beds we are building to grow lots of annual edible plants, were either mulched with a layer of goat manure or overwintered beans last year, which meant that they will tolerate the big spike of carbon the wood chips will initially bring, much more effectively. A deep layer of the beautiful chipped mixture was added to all the beds from last year, and as a mulch around the trees planted over the last 2 years too. Im going to be closely observing the areas mulched over the next year to analyse the immediate effects of the almond wood chip/leaf mix. I'll also be comparing the health and growth of the same species and varieties of annual edible plants: - planted 1) in the wood chipped mulched areas, 2) areas which had manure only added (last year) and 3) in areas of the garden where we have not changed the soil at all yet.
I've read some great accessible articles about the use of wood chip in edible gardens, both benefits and possible challenges - some of my favourite ones are listed below
Building garden soil with wood mulch - Mother Earth News
Woodchips- the secrets to effortless, inexpensive biodynamic gardening - Mercola
5 things you should know about wood chip mulch - Reformation Acres
Mulches and mulching - Royal Horticultural Society
Why we should use woodchips better - The Telegraph
So, today I'm pleased to be able to co-ordinate some time to write, with it being the correct day to write about #ThreeThingsThursday. You can read more about this regular day of appreciation and gratitude here
#1 - This week I was part of a fab group of people in my local community in Spain, who got together to chat about composting toilets! We met at Trinity and Paul's home, who are keen have a composting loo as part of their guest facilities. As a group we came up with hopefully what will be a great design for them. I'll hopefully be writing more about the compost loo here as the design progresses! We also got to see some of the beautiful permaculture inspired garden design work, Clair, another friend, had been undertaking on the land.
#2 - Its been the second week of my annual leave from my nursing work, and I've really enjoyed spending many hours of each day sat in the sun reading books and hanging out with my furry family!
#3 - bean, cucumber, courgette and squash seeds sown last week are already starting to make a very welcome appearance for the edible garden here in Spain
Yesterday I celebrated finishing a big chapter in my journey of development as a Facilitator of people centred permaculture work. The year long programme involved mentoring creating and undertaking 3 designs for my work, participating in a variety of online and face to face gatherings with others doing the same course, and maintaining a reflective journal of my learning, experience and accountability.
The course has been a really important and motivating factor underpinning my current work as a permaculture practitioner and designer. I'll be spending the next month or so designing the next phase of my work, developing the workshops, mentoring, designing and tutoring work already undertaken as well as exploring some exciting new project ideas. These will be detailed and updated here on my website
Last night, as I spent time on Skype with others from the course, sharing my portfolio of designs and reflections on experiences of the past year, I felt so much gratitude that I have been able to be part of this programme. It felt very fitting to use my own "5 Elements" permaculture tool, inspired by my Earth Based spirituality, to guide my reflections in this presentation. This tool is something I will be writing more about in another post. Doing the Facilitator training has been a fantastic way of taking a lot of the design knowledge and experience gained in my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design to a new level, as well as making and embedding connections with some other wonderful practitioners focusing on people centred permaculture projects.
For more details about participating in future People & Permaculture facilitator training see this link - you can also read more about my experience of the training here
regular updates and reflections about the permaculture designs in my life