Knowledge by Immersion
If you could travel in time and stand in a patch of your own future what would you see? Would you smile at your abundant food forest? Would you shrug at the crazy experiments that failed but be quietly pleased with the little successes? Would you marvel at how a sense of place can build a sense of belonging. And yet, would you be amazed at how flexible and resilient one can become?
Each time we have the chance to see how ideas have worked, or not worked so well, in a variety of landscapes and micro-climates, we build on our knowledge.
‘Know How’ From The Elders
In just one place you can learn how to grow food throughout a hot summer without tap water. You can see how they have built gentle, no-dig earthworks that channel rainwater and enrich the soil. You can witness how they use animals ‘tractors’ to prepare gardens with their intensified clearing of grasses and fertilising the ground. This site is a true gem. And these elders are rare, and getting rarer. Whilst there are plenty of young permaculture sites around, there are few couples who have been able to invest their experience in a permanent and be welcoming to visitors.
One the best lessons to be gleamed from this site is the collection of great soil in large box-tubs.
You Can’t Google This Feeling
Learning from videos is not the same as standing in a space surrounded by experience and ideas. With the recent passing of Bill Mollison, we want to reach out to our elders to learn as much as possible from them and to recognise and celebrate their contribution. Much of the work of the permaculture elders of the 70s is now common knowledge.
Our elders were the brave trailblazers for strategies like mulching, seed-saving, rare-breed farming, transition towns, composting toilets, rain-water harvesting, restoration agriculture, micro-hydro systems, bare-foot banking, local exchange trading, the gift economy and much more.
Permaculture is only possible through observation. It is a dynamic design tool. In the same way we design a bicycle to be understood, and ridden with observation and adaption.
Tour Earth Keepers gardens in Buxton. Meet the couple who demonstrated many permaculture techniques in the founding years of Permaculture. Together with Permaculture teacher April Sampson-Kelly and Green-Tech Engineer, Paul Kelly you will find a wealth of experience and research.
After the tour, enjoy an afternoon tea and open discussion. Teas include home-grown herbs and delights from Permaculture gardens.
For Hybrid Permaculture Design Course Participants this session can count toward the topic on ‘Cultivated Ecology’ in the introductory module of the Permaculture Design Course. See here all the topics in a Permaculture Design Course.
You can elect to enrol in the introductory module first, read up on that chapter before the session and you can enjoy asking lots of questions of these very interesting elders.