Category Archives: Activities and festivals

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!

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/

LAND Gathering in North Jutland

The LAND Gathering from 2018 took place in Aabybro, at Jozef and Bente Blockx, during last weekend. We were about 20 people.

Sarah McCarthy, a student from Aarhus University, took the first workshop under the name “Objective, challenges and solutions for LAND centers”. This workshop was a great start of our gathering. She is collecting data from Permakultur Danmark for her master thesis. We send her our best energy to write the thesis.

After that workshop, there were different updates from LAND centers and starters. Karensminde, Myrrhis, Kattekærhus, Vestjyllands Højskole and Faery Meadows shared their experiences, both positive and hard from all over the year.

On Saturday morning, there was a bit of frost but that was not a problem to discover the place through a guided tour by Jozef. Many elements are there, others are on the process of implementation.

During the guided tour, the participants could see the different systems in the 3,5 ha property: alley cropping, silvopasture, market garden, chickens, polytunnel, nursery and other greenhouses.

Later on, on Saturday afternoon, there was an Open Space, a tool with a lot of potential for discussing topics, receiving feedback and get new inspiration. Some of the topics discussed were:

  • What is interesting to see in a LAND center if you are a new visitor?
  • Why should you be part of the LAND network?
  • How do we do to grow our LAND network?
  • How to start from zero if you are interested on permaculture?
  • Management of volunteers.
  • Management of a Local network around your LAND center.
  • Ensuring LAND centers quality.

On Saturday evening Jozef´s place got accredited as a new LAND center. Check description of Sandmosen 38 LAND here. Moreover, Tycho shared his adventure to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In that adventure, Tycho and Karoline went to these two countries to explore the unique apple forest in the world. It is those regions where apple trees come from and they can be found in combination with other fruit trees. According to that, they were very excited to find out which species are living in apple forests in order to improve their understanding of forest gardening and, therefore, being able to make better designs.

We dedicated Sunday morning to make conclusions and distribute tasks for coming season.

Our next LAND gathering will happen in November 15-17, 2019. Save the dates!!

There is no a fixed location, yet.

We thank to everyone that joined and, specially, to all volunteers that took care of cooking and make sure that none was hungry anytime.

 

Sprouting Permaculture Network on Lolland-Falster

The discussions were lively at the Permaculture network meeting in Ursulas garden in Vesterborg, Lolland, on Sunday 2nd September.

We were given a guided tour of the garden. A garden in the process of change, where some of the principles of permaculture are already being demonstrated, whereas other projects are still on the drawing board.

While we drank coffee, tea and homemade Kombucha, and ate lovely apple cake with Fejø- apples and raw-food cake- we talked about many different subjects. We were shown Ursulas homemade cosmetics from natural ingredients, which got us talking about everything from chemical and plastic-free cosmetics, to raw food, veganism, animals in our systems, health, fermentation, and of course, how nice it was to meet like-minded people with the same interests.

We agreed that we will continue to try to hold these events at least a few times a year- at our places, or other places! We will also try to focus on different topics for each visit

These events are open to everyone with an interest in Permaculture

Next meeting for permaculture- interested on Lolland-Falster will be the 30th September 14.15-17.30 in Flintinge
Find the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/537917283332336/

Nordic Permaculture Festival

text and photos: Kurt Holm
translation: Charlotte Langdon

The Nordic Permaculture Festival, Jondal, Norway- it’s over and now I’m here summing it all up- I’m thinking especially about why you should allow yourself the pleasure of taking part in the Nordic Permaculture festival, which by the way will be held in Denmark next year.

There has already been written some fine articles by Cathrine Dolleris, Karoline Aaen and Charlotte Lou Langdon,  that tell about the content of the festival and workshops, so I won’t be delving into that here.

The Nordic Permaculture Festival is not just all party and bright colours- it’s more of a place where permaculture practitioners meet, and hear new things, swap ideas and experiences, take part in meetings and workshops, eat healthy food and get cosy with likeminded people from the Nordic countries and in fact individuals from around the world. All this and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Accomodation choices ranged from tents and dormitorieson the cheaper side, to individual rooms at the more expensive. The travel could have been better planned… twenty-five hours on buses and five changes (You can imagine I was numb from sitting down, but it was all worth it)

The thing that makes it so special for me, is the experience of the different countries. Each year we change country and the hosting country work hard to make sure you get a really “local” experience with local food, local features and the local culture can really be felt.

Between the many participants, younger and older, experienced and beginners, is that common postive permaculture attitude of meeting other others, listening and talking with each other without prejudies and judgement. You can feel the common ethics (care of the earth, care of people and fair share of resources) It’s a bit like meeting old friends.

You don’t have to be “something special in permaculture” This year there was actually a larger group of people, that weren’t already a member of any permaculture association, but had that “green” interest. It was nice to speak with that group, since it gives a good picture of where we are heading. Alltogether it gave a real boost/kick of new energy and motivation to have been a part of the event.

If you’ve got a bit of GO in you, and you’ve now become curious, then take a few days off, to come to next years Nordic Permaculture Festival, you won’t regret it.

Best-permaculture-wishes, Kurt Holm

 Hardanger Peace Academy, which beautifully hosted and framed the Festival, was situated out to Hardanger Fjord- and a great place to go swimming!