Artwork by Jaine Rose
Once again day and night, light and dark are equal, reminding us to find the balanced edge of equilibrium between our outer and inner selves.
Autumn equinox marks the final end of the outer growth cycle. It’s a time of change with high tides, wild changeable weather and wild uncertainties as we plan what to do next. The shorter, colder days and colder, longer nights affect these decisions. We recognise this as a transition point, an opportunity for a new set of possibilities and the opportunity to grow in new ways. We take all we have learnt during the spring and summer and transform them by taking them with us.
We walk the outer ways and walk the inner way, and aim to flow in poise and balance in the wild edges in between.
Glennie Kindred – Letting in the Wild Edges
Today is the Autumn Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere and Ive decided to use the energies and characteristics of this Earth Festival to start a design that hopefully others will also be able to take inspiration from focusing on creating and maintaining balance in our lives. I've had a few months away from the focus of my work as a permaculture designer and practitioner, so it feels a great way to get back involved with documenting my reflections again.
Im using OBRADIMET (Observe, Boundaries, Resources, Analyse, Decisions, Implement, Maintain, Evaluate, Tweak), as a Design Process as its one that fits well with some of my initial ideas before I start considering the details.
What areas of my life feel in balance at the moment?
Work, play, Right Livelihood, physical health, emotional health, energy levels, spiritual connections, what I give, what I receive, …..
What don’t feel in balance?
What does balance feel/look like to me?
What does out of balance look/feel like to me?
What actual or potential boundaries are in my life which create unwanted imbalances for me?
What positive boundaries/edges do I have in my life which will help keep the balances I create?
What kind of resources do I have now that help create positive balance in my life?
What resources do I need to seek out?
Are there resources I have identified since the spring equinox, over the summer, that can be useful?
People, knowledge, time, finances, skills, work, experiences, patterns, ideas …..
How does all the information I have gained so far in the design connect and influence each other?
What are the functions of the design?
Which permaculture principles can help with guiding my design ?
I have decided to focus on the Principles created by David Holmgren for this design
How do the permaculture ethics of people care, earth care and fairshares help shape how I will create and improve balance in my life?
From my evaluation what decisions have I come up with my design?
How am I going to implement my decisions?
What realistic timescale will I use?
Maintain, Evaluate and Tweak
How will I maintain the momentum of my decisions?
How will I make sure that any tweaks made to the design, after evaluation, are then included in the implementation plan?
Connections to other designs in my life, aim to mini -evaluate at every full moon and then big evaluation at the Spring Equinox...
Tools and Resources
Initial thoughts about design tools and resources I aim to use in this design
Web of connections
Zoning (life/people focused)
SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Constraints)
For more detail and ideas about tools used in permaculture design see Aranya's excellent book Permaculture Design - A Step By Step Guide
Gaiacraft Learning and Teaching Tools - to help explore and identify permaculture principles in a creative way
Letting in the Wild Edges by Glennie Kindred
Nicole Vosper's entire series of blog posts on Overcoming Burnout will also be a major resource contribution to this design.
So here we are, a basic framework for a design I am currently working on inspired by the timing of the Autumn Equinox and my return to deeper focus on my permaculture work and development.
Please contact me if you would like support from me either in my role as a Diploma (in Applied Permaculture Design) Tutor, or as a mentor/coach, with a similar design.
Over the last week I've started creating some growing areas as part of the design for our new Edible Garden . Using small and slow solutions, the first part of the implementation of the design is to create a series of small beds in one area of the garden which flows with some of the beautiful curved lines of the land and the existing paths already in place. This draws on the designing from patterns to details principle. Ive been using some roof tiles, left in a heap on the land when we bought the house, and stone, also already in the garden, to create the edges Once the beds are finished we'll be adding layers of horse manure/straw, growing green manures and adding some further top soil (taken from else where in the garden as part of plans to create new paths and capture water - the subject of a different post!). We hope to then start using the beds in the early spring
I love new moon time of each month, its such a great motivation to get plans and projects started, (and then their progress reviewed with the energy of the full moon two weeks later). So exactly one month after I accredited my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design at the International Permaculture Convergence, here is the first post of my new blog, created especially for my next chapter of permaculture learning.
Embracing the permaculture principle of 'each element performs many functions', my blog aims to -
Provide a way of sharing my permaculture knowledge and experience with others both in the permaculture community, and hopefully beyond ('hi Dad x')
Give me a space to document my experiences and learning in a format where I can easily locate prior posts
Encourage my development as a 'writer'. Throughout the 4 years of my Diploma journey, writing is something I've discovered I really enjoy and benefit from.
Inspired by the amazing blog The Snail of Happiness written by my friend Jan Martin, I'm going to attempt to write a post each day, for the next month.
The kinds of things you can expect to see here are
News about my permaculture designs and projects
Reviews of books, films, music, websites, blogs, events
Celebratory writing relating to Earth festivals
I'm really exited about this blog hopefully becoming an integral part of my life and permaculture work. Feedback is very much appreciated.
regular updates and reflections about the permaculture designs in my life