Thanks for a great yearly meeting and general assembly!

Text: Charlotte Lou Langdon
Photos: Carsten Agger

Although February the 29th was a rainy day in Copenhagen, we, were around 70 members of the assoiation who gathered at Mellemfolkligt Samvirke, in their large bright meeting room “Community Hall.” Here we would spend the day together: a day of presentations, workshops, eating together and the annual general assembly



The purpose of our annual meetings is to:
– create network between our members
– disseminate about the association and it’s work
– involve all our members in decisions
– get through all the typical paperwork and protocol of the general assembly.

We incorporate the ethics and principles of permaculture into our event designs – and try to devise solutions that embody the permaculture ethics.

2020’s Annual Meeting opened with the presentation of an exciting vision for the future of farming in Denmark.


Karoline Nolsø Aaen and Tycho Holcomb from Permaculture Garden Myrrhis presented a clear model for the regenerative agriculture of the future. In this model, Denmark’s population could be provided for on 20% of Danish agricultural land, while at the same time combating climate change and biodiversity loss.
Here you can see a short clip from Karoline and Tycho’s presentation at the annual meeting. (in Danish!)


Network –
The annual meeting is a great opportunity to meet others in the network and the event is moved to a new part of the country every year. Most of the attendants this year had come from the metropolitan area, so there was ample opportunity to get in touch with others who lived in the immediate area.
It was really nice to see several local networks represented at the annual meeting. If you want to find a local network near you, check out our website here.
 


At the Annual Meeting Andreas Jonsson presented the upcoming Nordic Permaculture Festival to be held at Holma Folkhøgskola, from the 6th – 9th of August 2020
Read more about the event and buy tickets here.

Strategy –
At the annual meeting, the board of 2019 presented a draft version of our 10-year strategy for the association. We wanted to involve members early in the process – and have therefore publicised the document for feedback and input from the many members who attended the annual meeting. It has been great to get this feedback that we can take forward in the process.

If you did not attend the annual meeting but would like to see the strategy draft and tell us your opinion, check out the strategy here. Feedback from the annual meeting is shown in the right-hand side as comments.

If you would like to add something, comment or provide other feedback, it is very welcome! Just send an email to kommunikation@permakultur-danmark.dk and remember to write which page of the strategy your comments are about.

Our strategy is an overall policy for how we work and in sociocracy, policy decisions must be approved with consent when the proposal is “good enough for now and safe enough to try”.  Also, according to sociocratic principles, policy decisions are given a date for review and evaluation. Its possible to make improvements, which means our strategy is not static but is a living process that can be adapted if the need to do so arises.


The General Assembly

At the general meeting, the association’s 2019 financial account and the budget for 2020 were presented and approved.

We went through all the agenda points with the calm, engaging and structured facilitation of Andreas Jonsson. We could respond with comments to each point, so that we could build a common understanding of the problem and the dimensions that should be included in our solution. After this round of comments, we were presented with a proposal for a solution, to which we could give our consent, or raise objections to.


Decisions taken at general meeting:
The Education Committee is working on a reformulation (of the 7 requirements for holding PDC in Denmark) for the next annual meeting and at least one person from the group in North Jutland is invited to join the process. APPROVED


Electronic voting: We are not starting an working group now and here. If anyone wants to set up a working group to get electronic voting to function, they are very welcome to come up with a proposal for next year’s meeting. It must be made clear that it is already possible for members to vote by proxy: APPROVED

The entire minutes of the general meeting will be posted on our website soon.

Elections to the board:
Adam Jørgensen, Cathrine Dolleris, Charlotte Lou Langdon, Jette Hye Jin Mortensen, Kurt Holm, Mette Brodersen, Ruben Hernandez Romero and Tanja Condrea have been elected to the Board of Directors.

The date of the statutory meeting is coming soon and all board meetings are open to members. (with the right to speak!) The General Assembly would like to thank the outgoing board members Dorte Fløjgaard and Tove Bang for their great help and hard work in 2019!

Election of accountant:
Sune Scherfig was re-elected as auditor of our accounts. The Board and the Assembly wish to express gratitude to Sune for his great voluntary efforts for Permaculture Denmark over the last many years! Thank you!

 

The journey begins …

Text and photos by Kate Ambrose

This summer, I was lucky enough to spend some lovely days with wonderful, inspiring people at the Nordic Permaculture Festival – my first permaculture event outside the UK. I had just moved to Denmark and I was extremely pleased to discover that the festival was going to be held in the country – what luck. l could not have been happier – this was one of the first and most important steps towards me starting a new life here.

Re-starting my permaculture journey

At the festival I met my soon to be Diploma teacher, Cathrine Dolleris, which was one of the reasons I had been so keen to get to the event; I’d made a clear decision to do my diploma and knew this would be a pivotal moment for me in regard to making the contacts I would need to re-start my permaculture journey. Cathrine’s profile was a perfect match – the universe was, once again, conspiring to help me.

Towards the end of the festival I found myself in a workshop where it was mentioned that there were still places available through Erasmus+ to shadow a PDC in the UK with Aranya, and since my plan was to become a permaculture teacher everything worked out in my favour.

Aranya

I had heard good things about Aranya  even before I’d met him at the IPC in London in 2015. The friend of mine who first introduced me to permaculture, had done her PDC with him and raved about it, and like many, myself included, she seemed to want to download his brain and keep copy of it it in her pocket, handy at all times – like a magic permaculture 8 ball but with wikipedia style answers. I’m pleased he writes books.

So after no more than a few days, I was on my way back to my new home, with a new Diploma teacher in hand, many new friends, lots of inspiration and a new plan for the future, one that Erasmus+ was making possible.

Summer being over and autumn descending, I arrived in the UK for the PDC.

High Heathercombe

High up on Dartmoor rests High Heathercombe, beautifully silent above incredible views that stretch out for miles.

This was to be our home for the next two weeks. We had all gathered there to learn; some to learn about permaculture, other’s how to teach it.

I was there to shadow Aranya and Klaudia Van Gool. Mel Lamb was also very present; she runs the venue, leads sessions in social and regenerative culture and was also the client for the projects.

We were four apprentices in total, twelve students, two teachers and three other residents who all took part and played important roles. The number of apprentices there to shadow surprised me and seemed a little excessive, but it was a real blessing! The meetings that took place between us gave unexpected insights that I would never have had otherwise.

The prism of experience

The prism through which we experience things is so unique, so intricately formed by our variant pasts, that I believe it colours our perceptions in ways we often do not realise. Hearing others’ views of  sessions led me to question my own and to think more deeply about how and why I could or would present information.

Having three other apprentices to meet with and discuss different techniques, activities, learning styles and the running of the course in general, was invaluable. At times I was stunned to realise just how differently we perceived certain sessions, and how dependent that was on our own unique, previous experiences. It brought to light the vast differences in perception there must be throughout the class and that it must be virtually impossible to please all people at all times. Knowing this, though a little daunting at first, actually allowed me to relax and start looking at myself as a teacher. What aspects of my personality, strengths and gifts should I be aware of , what do I bring to the table? How can I make best use of my own resources? And to counter that, what are my weak points, what limiting factors do I need to design for in my pathway and as a teacher? It has become clear to me that planning is one!

These meeting also gave us a chance to question and discuss things in a safe space, without the fear of offending anyone. They enabled us to gather differing opinions, re-evaluate our primary ones, and move forward to a place where we could constructively feed back – without taking precious time away from the tutors, who were already stretched to capacity. This was another very beneficial lesson. As someone with, at times, a very limited energy supply realising that the generosity and desire to impart as much knowledge as possible is possibly not always that well aligned with self-care. I know when the time comes for me to run courses this is something I will need to be very aware of, especially if I do not want to burn myself out. There is so much to share, but time is a limiting factor and self-care certainly needs to be taken into account.

In relation to that, delegation came to mind. At the moment this feels like an important resource to be called upon until I am confident enough to teach all areas of a PDC, which anyway is still a long way off. But even on an introductory course the benefits of  bringing in other people with specialist knowledge would be beneficial in many ways – some time for the teachers to take a back seat and possibly learn things they previously did not know, maximising the cross-pollination of ideas, expanding networks, exposing students to more experiences, views, knowledge and perceptions. Also, to illustrate the multitude of ways permaculture is and can be used, understood and practiced depending on your needs and field of interest.

Regenerative culture

The benefits of having a variety of teachers was evident on this PDC. Aranya and Klaudia’s different personalities and styles complimented each other well, both enriched the other and created something new – which, I believe, is what regenerative culture is all about.

Regenerative culture and Social permaculture sessions were held in the evenings, almost everyone attended these session, something that drew us all closer together and helped form a community and sense of trust.

There were sessions that some people found very hard. We were invited, within a well held and safe space, to ‘show up’, dig deep and communicate from the more vulnerable places within us, places many of us are probably used to hiding from others and possibly even ourselves. None the less, these are the spaces we need to recognise and connect with if we are to create strong communities, new healthier cultures and a better world.

In this and other ways social permaculture and regenerative culture were woven through the course and though designated to the evenings and always as a voluntary extra, they were ever present. From the start of the course, opening with the lighting of the ‘Children’s fire’ and of us thinking about the generations to come, to the daily check-ins and the creation of house-keeping groups – Community was formed. It happened at times, and in ways, invisibly and almost imperceptibly, but was sustained throughout. It made us feel safer, stronger and more trustful; allowing us to open up more and more in those vulnerable spaces we bravely shared with one another in the evenings – on the sofa, around the fire or in the held spaces created specifically.

Shadowing the course I learned and expanded my knowledge of so many other things; soil, forest gardens, planting apple trees, working in and with groups…the list goes on.

The experience gave me so much, including many good friends. And even now, a month on, I am still realising on an almost daily basis what other gifts it bestowed on me.  

It has deepened my connection to others, to nature and to myself, for which I am truly grateful. And – very importantly – taught me about the importance, realities, challenges and joys of running a course. Of trying to fit a lifetime of experience, and not just permaculture, into the long, but limited days that draw us all together on these magical things we call PDCs.

Time to make the world a little brighter.

Participating in Permahabitat

Article of Ania Lawenda and Gabriele Sutera. Permahabitat project funded by Erasmus+ program. Location: The Southern Lights, Greece.

Between the end of September and beginning of October 2019 me and my partner took part to a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) in a 2 hectares farm in Greece. The farm is located in the mountainous peninsula of Peloponnesso, in the Lakonia district, not far from a small village of about 3.000 people, Skala. The course was co-financed by Erasmus + program and coordinated by Naumanni permaculture migrante, an Italian organisation working with adult education in the field of permaculture, agroforestry and landscape management and the Southern Lights the non-profit organisation started by the group who is managing the farm. The farm has been already managed in organics regime for more than a decade and now they intend to grow following agroforestry principle and transform the farm into an  educational hub, for young and adults.

We are both in our 30s and in the past months we have been working in a non-profit organisation that runs and maintain and old wooden sailing boat built in 1935, Hawila. How is this project related to permaculture if it does not concern designing for land management and why we decided to take part in the course in Greece?


One of us has a University degree in agricultural development but for the other one the practicalities of cultivating the land and the world of plants was a completely new world to be discovered. Nevertheless, for both the content of the course was bringing new knowledge.


Permaculture is not only and agricultural method, as one of the definition says, permaculture design is “a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which seeks to benefit life in all its forms” (by Bill Mollison, the “father” of of permaculture). It’s a complex and holistic science that researches and let’s us understand not only how to regenerate lands, plant food forests and make nourishing composts for our soils but also gives us designing tools that helps us to both benefit life and create more than we destroy. Permaculture is a science base on ethics, respecting the 3 main principles of earth care, people care and fair share. The knowledge gained during the PDC can help us reflect on how designing systems in which every element benefit and support one another in a functional way. This design approach can also be applied in social design, being a great tool to design organisations’ structures or plan projects.


One of the main premises of a permaculture design is the definition of waste: a product of an element that is not used in a productive way by another element. It’s a simple statement yet it carries a message that can be applied in many levels. Wouldn’t it benefit all of us to have our eyes open for what is being wasted in our organisational, community work and try to see if we can make it become functional instead?


What is especially mindful about permaculture is that it teaches us not to give simple, premade answers to challenges. The solutions always depend on the specific case. In the times that we live in we offer search for instant remedies, instant cures, whereas a permaculture designer will first answer “it depends” and then will take time to observe the object of inquiry, to come up with a functional solution, taking into consideration the planet, the people and fairness. Isn’t it beneficial to all of us and all aspects of our life, all organizations and human conduct we engage in?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from finding universal chords in almost all permaculture design content we were also introduced to the permaculture related social studies researching on deep democracy theories, holistic management, community based decision-making practices like dragon dreaming or alternative economies.

Permaculture design course is rich in knowledge and tools that can benefit all of us, regardless of occupation, passions, relations to land and plant world. For the times we live in it offers an interesting alternative to the mainstream ways of designing our life, teaches us how to make the world a better place recognizing how its elements are interconnected and dependent on each others well being.


We will definitely use some of the ideas and tools not only to take more seriously our dreams of cultivating a land but also to make the organization we are engaged in now stronger. We are grateful for being able to take part in the course, it was a delight to be a part of it!

Everything Gardens

Permahabitat Training, funded by Erasmus+ KA105
Partner organization: The Southern Lights, Greece
Dates: September 23rd - October 9th
Article of Line Skov

The permaculture design course with Giuseppe Salicandro in Southern Lights in Greece, was simply amazing. I learned so much, I gained so much, and I felt healed. When invited for the course I was intrigued, but doubting, as I lost my father just 3 months before and my level of energy was generally very low. However, after a few days at the magical place, all doubts vanished completely. The group was incredibly warm, the teacher so inspiring, and the place very beautiful.

Picture of Line Skov


The first morning, just like every following morning, we gathered in an “awareness circle” to listen to each other’s dreams, experiences and projects. In the first morning circle I told about the loss of my father, and I shared some very tasty apples that I brought from his garden in Denmark. It was important for me to tell this to the people that I would share everything with during the following two weeks. The reaction from the group was very warm and welcoming. Several persons came to me afterwards and gave me long, healing hugs, and this feeling only grew during the next weeks, as the group grew closer.

Picture of Line Skov


Our teacher, Giuseppe, facilitated this warmth-sharing, as well as the teaching, very well. His energetic person inspired people to follow him from explanations of solutions to global environmental problems and all the way to nerdy agroforestry details. He gave us an overall but thorough introduction to the giant world of Permaculture, with loads of practical tips, vivid explanations, and inspiration to further readings/literature. The course was theoretically heavy, with some great practical sessions blended in. If I should point at one possible improvement, I would have wished for even more practical exsercises – preferably one every day. But overall, the teaching was splendid and I definitely recommend Giuseppe as teacher.

Our host, the Southern Lights, did a big job making us feel comfortable. First of all, the place is just amazing. I appreciated how the farm already implemented permaculture in a big part of the land, so we received the teaching in a living example. Inclusive the swimmable fish pond, which cleared the minds during breaks. There was some problem hosting indoor teaching, but we managed, and the Southern Lights have plans of building an indoor common area. But generally: super nice to receive teaching outdoors.


The food was good and vegan. Could have wished for some more variety, local recipes and break-snacks. But I enjoyed the food a lot. There were an issue with the cook though. After a mid-way feedback session, where he was asked to explain his principles, he stood up and spoke very aggressively to everyone for almost an hour. It was very unpleasant for everyone. So it is important that everyone – also the cook – understands the idea of compassion for others and the principles of non-violent communication.


Accomodation was in own tents in the food forest. It was very lovely. Super cosy and green and good.
I am very happy for the opportunity, for my choice of taking it, and for the outcome. I have learned so much more than what I can describe here, and created connections in so many places. Thank you very much!

Picture of Line Skov

Baltic Ecovillage Network – Seminar

The Baltic Ecovillage Network (BEN) organized a 1-week Seminar in Hallingelille ecovillage, Denmark. This Seminar was organized by BEN and LØS and funded by Erasmus+ (a funding of European Commission). And me, Rubén from PKDK board living in an ecovillage (Ananda Gaorii) member of LØS, I got the pleasure to participate in this seminar. 

This Seminar, called “Make Youth Work”, focused on connecting people and projects, equip communities with knowledge about European Solidarity Corps and start creating some projects together.

There were more than 25 participants from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In between other activities, we went to Copenhagen to be part of the demonstration Fridays for Future, went to visit Karise Permatopia ecovillage and had social activities with the locals from Hallingelille, as for example, dinner, playing music or having saunas.

Thanks to LØS and BEN for organizing this Seminar, which strenghten the network and inspire youth.

Here you can see a video with some pictures and listen to songs we were singing:

 

Nordic Permaculture Festival 2019 at Søhøjlandet

Please be welcome at the Nordic Permaculture Festival 2019 in Denmark at Himmelbjerggården at Søhøjlandet.
The Nordic Permaculture Festival is – a festival about Permaculture where we exchange knowledge, skills, and ideas via workshops, music, food, and community. Every year it is arranged in a new Nordic country and in Denmark every 4th year.
COMPETITION:
Permaculture Denmark would like to offer 3 half price tickets to either one who can create
  1. Take 3-5 amazing pictures from the festival
  2. Make a 30sec-1min movie from the festival
  3. Write a text about their experience on the festival

The competition finishes at 10am sunday July 28th.
Please send your contributions to post@permakultur-danmark.dk before this time

The material will be used for promoting Permakultur Danmark and events such as this festival.

We invite you to join us for a weekend of great fun. Read more at the festival site https://nordiskpermakulturfestival2019.dk/

Volunteer in Valdepielagos ecohousing, Madrid

Volunteer service for 18-30 years old.
Appropriate dates: From May 1 to October 31, 2020 (six months)
Coordinates: Global Ecovillage Network Europe. Fanny (fanny@gen-europe.org)
 
Number of volunteers in search for Valdepiélagos: One
Place: Ecohousing Valdepiélagos. Madrid
Hosting organization: Asoc. Cult. Teatro Sol y Tierra
 
Activities: Orchard in permaculture, theater, Spanish and non-violent communication.
Vegan and vegetarian food, an ecological part
The program pays meals, lodging, workshops, trips and 150 E per month of pocket money.
There will be an Italian, a French, a Belgian and a fourth to be selected.
We live in a very small town ideal for making friends and the city of Madrid
It is an hour by bus.
 
More information:
 
 
Finansieret af EU Fonde

Welcome to the Permaculture Association of Denmark!