During the summer, in the permaculture zone at the Green Fair, I met Cinzia Sarigu. After a meeting where we found we both shared a passion for finding sustainable solutions in London, we joined forces and started planning to teach permaculture courses. For us both, it seemed to make sense to start with the Introduction to Permaculture (ITP) course.
One interesting exercise we set ourselves was to design the programme ourselves. The technique I would recommend is to identify all the components that are essential to the course, ones that are nice to have and also the breaks. Then assemble them in an order so that the course flows and energy is well managed with breaks and games. This method is a useful aid to visualising the course from a wider perspective.
Well, we made the course happen, it was held at the Green Pepper Orchard situated on a council estate in Camden, North London with Leslie Coupland as our host. Les is doing some great work here with the local community, building in raised beds, forest garden spaces and an increasing number of edibles. He has more plans to expand over the winter and is always looking for volunteers.
For me, the aspects of the course that were a success were the delivery, the flow between myself and Cinzia and the quality of the material.
Given a cohesive idea of what permaculture is all about student quote
The challenges were the fear of the unknown, managing my energy as I sandwiched this in between an intense period of teacher apprenticeship and advanced permaculture design course. The next immediate steps are to build on this initial success and get the next course set up. We also undertook a review of the material and looked at ways in which we can improve the content and delivery.
Really inspiring, lovely course tutors, very knowledgeable about their subject student quote
My future plans are to create a London based teachers collective, so that we can create a product that is uniform in quality and content. We have connected up with other teachers and plan to roll out more courses in 2012. I will be using permaculture design principles to design the collective and will be focusing on the Holmgren principle of ” Integrate Rather than Segregate“.
Permaculture is a design science, therefore we like to encourage students to explore their creative and systems thinking through a real life design task. Recently, Les acquired a piece of land that he hopes to turn into a community growing space. We set this as the design task for the group. Here are the students presenting their design work back to everyone.
I enjoyed the interactive aspect of the course, the games were lots of fun and I enjoyed the hands-on work in the orchard student quote
Some Images From the Weekend