So i’m half way through my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course here in Barcelona. It is organised by a team of facilitators who got together via permaculture-bcn.org, and it is very awesome.
We have so far studied (quite intensively at times) the theory and principles of permaculture, how to organise your house and vegetable garden, how to build efficiently and sustainably using natural materials, some techniques for observing nature so you can imitate the best bits and, my personal favourite; food forests. Of course each of these is a giant subject in itself, but the PDC gives you a base covering all the elements of sustainable/self-reliant/resilient living – that’s why it’s such an important qualification for me to have. And no, it’s not completely hippy (you get comfortable quite quickly and start to enjoy moments like “I think a couple of om’s before we start would be a good idea”)
It leaves me in a bit a quandry, to be honest, about how I am going to transform the Boodaville site into a permaculturally functional space, but i know stopping to plan the site carefully now is going to save me a huge amount of energy in the future. A problem I have already spotted, for example, is that a fairly steadfast rule of permaculture design is to have your veg garden less that 50m from the house, but at the moment in Boodaville parts of the “house” are already more than 50m away from other parts of the “house”… (ooh – maybe i put the veg garden in between and solve that one…. we’ll see later on how the actual plan develops)
There’s loads more info about the course (en castellano) here
What is permaculture?
here a couple of my favourite definitions from this page:
Permaculture is the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing appropriate technology and community development. Permaculture is built upon an ethic of caring for the earth & interacting with the environment in mutually beneficial ways.
Permaculture is the conscious design of ‘cultivated’ ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is a harmonious integration of people into the landscape in such a way that the land grows in richness, productivity and aesthetic beauty.