Category Archives: International Collaboration

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

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!

Become an EVS in Spain

If you are a member of Permakultur Danmark, are between 18 and 30 years old and  interested in becoming a volunteer for 9-12 months from next autumn through the European Volunteer Service, this 200ha-ecovillage could be a good option.

 

Los Portales is an intentional community that practices innovative ways of life in different areas including organic agriculture, holistic education, deep psychology, empowering and power sharing systems of governance, conflict resolution, natural medicines, art, clean energies, an economy based on sharing, and above all, the empowerment of each individual, continually advancing towards greater sustainability and self-sufficiency.

Founded in Andalucía in 1984 (although born in 1978 in Brussels), the inspiration of the founders was nurtured by Jungian psychology and dreamwork as a way to know and transform our fears and pains into power, and to access our hidden talents.

They have a firm commitment to personal and global development and harmony through respect for oneself, each other and their environment. They conceive the community not as an end in itself, but as a means of creation and a path of transformation.

After 33 years of existence, Los Portales is a well-established, stable and broad project that has developed in many directions and integrated the main dimensions of sustainability.

You can read more about Los Portales in their website:

http://www.losportales.net/English/whoweare.html

If you know other projects that are of interest for you, you are welcome to contact them asking if they host EVS.

More info about EVS programme:

https://europeanvoluntaryservice.org/whatis-evs/

For further information about EVS, feel free to contact Ruben:

rubenbiolec@gmail.com

Join GROW

A citizens’ observatory for growers, researchers and
decision makers.

Do you grow your own food? Have an allotment? Own a small farm? Are you involved in a community or school garden?

Are you taking practical steps to regenerate the soil for future generations? GROW provides an opportunity to develop and share your knowledge and skills.

I am currently putting together a database of permaculture farms and smallholders as part of GROW, an EU funded soils project: http://growobservatory.org/. This database will be used to recruit famers for the GROW project and to map permaculture farms in Europe. So far I have identified over 200 farms, mainly in northern Europe. I am now trying to find contacts in every European country.

 

Many thanks for your help and all best wishes,

Chris Warburton-Brown – Research coordinator

The Permaculture Association Britain

Nordic Meeting 2015 at Ås in Norway

It was a joyfull resight at the meeting 30/10-1/11 2015

“We got a planet but without an instruction manual” says Jan Bang at the Oslo universitet in Ås.

We are for a seminar on permaculture with about 40 students present in nature conservation. January Bang is permakulturunderviser and has worked with ecovillages and permaculture in 30 years.

“… or did we?” Continues Jan Bang. “Nature and the ecosystems is our instruction manual. Nature works and the best we can do is to understand its patterns and use them in our designs. And when we need to redesign society. ”

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Philipp Weiss presented his work with Økolandsbyen Stjärnsund in Sweden and its lifestyle. He got his audience deep into the world of plants and soil, forest gardens and ecological construction, in a fascinating tale about the switch from a career to a balanced life in the country.

Cathrine Dolleris entertained with the story of LAND network, permaculture demonstration centers where one can get acquainted with permacultures essence. She talked about how networking and cooperation is a path towards a more resilient society where LAND centers are key vidensdelere for teachers, volunteers and curious. The network is underway not only in Denmark and Englang, but also on the way across Europe. Helene Boehler continued with a report on how far LAND has come in Norway.

Friday night offered national reports and collecting the meeting last year, while Saturday morning started with this year’s diploma presentation. Philipp Weiss was captivating in its deep transformation of his own life, manifested in the woodland garden in Puttmyra, the house, which form the basis of his family and økolandsbyen Stjärnsund in Dalarna in Sweden. Read more about Philipps design here (in swedish).

Cathrine Dolleris presented her diploma accredited by the British Association last year, see Diploma designs here (in danish). She also reviewed how the English learning path to the diploma is put together and how diploma tutors are trained. There were many positive comments in relation to the carefully designed structure that underlies diploma ring in the English system.

LAND project in Denmark was second on the program and Helene Boehler, from the Norwegian Board of Directors, took over and explained how far the work has come in Norway. She also got groups to provide feedback to the activities that could be part of the network.

A few words were said about the International Permaculture Convergence in London and the day ended with a presentation of the diploma to a delighted Philipp Weiss.

Sunday was time for a meeting of the Nordic Institute, where the new Nordic diploma system was adopted. See the new guidelines for diploma (in danish).

Next meeting will be at the Open Air in January 2017.

Thank you to Benedikte and Daniel for arranging the seminar “Redesigning Society” at the university in Ås. And thank you to Helene and the norwegian board for a good meeting. Jan Bang, Philipp Weiss, Helene Bøhler, Daniel, Cathrine Dolleris and Benedicte Brun.