On Sunday, I was thrilled to present my first bespoke intro course at Glengall Wharf community garden in Peckham, South London. I will deliver a two day introduction to permaculture to the core group and keen volunteers of the community garden with Sunday 24th February being day 1. The intention of the programme is to build capacity and shared understanding within the group of systems design and linked thinking as applied to the garden designed by the inimitable Sue Amos . The community garden has recently been recognised by the permaculture association’s LAND learner demonstration network.
As always, we began with a definition of what is permaculture and then a valuable group debate about ethics and it’s place in society. Ethics in permaculture design are the keystone to developing projects that are holistic in approach and long lived for a regenerative future.
We went on to look at the principles of permaculture and their relationship to the natural world through the lens of my personal permaculture journey. Followed by a design thinking exercise where we analysed elements of a system and explored their interconnected possibilities.
I love to lunch with people who have an interest in permaculture as the sharing of delicious home cooked food is such a joyful occasion.
In the afternoon, we grew our understanding, appreciation and love for the fundamental elements that support life and biodiversity – water and soil. We toured the community garden referring back to these fundamentals.
Students cement their learning through experiential learning and so I like to set a real design problem for them to grapple with. Clever design thinking to address the capture and storing of resources, the distribution and management of water and soil will be key to the long term viability of this project. The design task for Glengall Wharf Community Garden will be to develop the onsite water and soil management strategy. I split the students into home groups who will support each other and develop their response between now and day two of the programme. I am supporting this process through distance learning and correspondence with my website as the platform for disseminating information.
I’m really excited about the potential of Glengall Wharf Community Garden as a community hub and as a place where people can develop their skills and work towards a resilient and abundant future. Permaculture (permanent culture) is an approach that can support this vision and make it our reality.