Latest newsletter…

Hello and happy winter time!   (en castellano abajo!)
It’s been a long break since the last newsletter but if you are on Facebook and Instagram there are more regular updates there. The site is closed for winter right now, and although we will go and harvest olives over xmas time, the main winter jobs are planning next year and working on the long-term design. (The recent cold spell has slowed the ripening of the olives! we expected to harvest a week ago!)
For the permaculture designers among you here’s a post about a little project planting trees from seed, and here’s a Spot the Difference game for you to play, I kept improving the environment for the upcoming seedlings!! (see more on the blog post!!)
Our next Living Permaculture Course is 7 – 14 April 2018, our facilitator is Gerald Jide and the projects are : creating water efficient vegetable gardens for food production in 2018, and regenerative agriculture. Later in the year 9 – 23 June we have Marc Haetjens and Alessandro with us to build a new roof and create a warka water type system for collecting condensation. And we’ll be adding more to the calendar in the next couple of months!
Below is a summary of the year, there’s more detail on the Annual Report page, and if you are interested in buying in to Boodaville and becoming part of our future community here then please let me know!
Abrazos and take time to enjoy the gifts of nature this holiday season 🙂
Hola y feliz invierno,
Ha pasado mucho tiempo desde el último boletín pero en Facebook y Instagram encontrarás actualizaciones mas regulares. El sitio de Boodaville está cerrado para el invierno, y ahora solo queda el trabajo de cosechar la oliva y el trabajo de invierno de planear el año que viene y realizar el diseño de largo plazo. 
El próximo curso de Viviendo la Permacultura se realizará el 7 – 14 de abril 2018. El facilitador es Gerald Jide y vamos a crear huertos que gastan poca agua, y hacer trabajo de agricultura regenerativa. Más tarde de 9 – 23 Junio tenemos a Marc Haetjens y Alessandro Ardovini para reformar el tejado y crear un sistema tipo warka water para captar agua de la condensación. Vamos a añadir más eventos durante estos meses!
Abajo es un resumen del año, hay más detalle en la página del informe anual, y si tienes interés en formar parte de la futura comunidad de Boodaville dime y te pasaré información!
Abrazos y disfrutar los regalos de la naturaleza durante las fiestas 🙂

Annual Report 2017

FULL REPORT HERE (versión en castellano)

14th November 2017

OJ died, and from there we had to move forward. He died in February, the day after our crowdfunding event in Barcelona, right in the middle of the campaign. To find a way forward after this tragedy, with some of the closest people to the project we formed an informal advisory board and that has been a huge support to me during the year.

Two days before the end of the crowdfunding campaign in March we made the target!! Thanks to a very generous former Boodaville participant and many more supporters. That was the first “UP” part of the rollercoaster that has been this year.

During April and May we were finding our feet with 2 new long-term residents, volunteers, some new collaborators, plus long-time collaborator Rob Durand.

With the support of the advisory group and Nico and Andres from allmyfrnds we had an amazing festival, the biggest ever with great music, really delicious food from Emilien, and hilarious games at the river. June was quiet and energy was low on site, then me and Kira spent the whole of July at Boodaville. With Marc Haetjens we ran an absolutely fantastic Living Permaculture course, the third big “UP” of the year! After the course we tried to resolve conflicts between the long-term volunteers, which resulted in one of them leaving. We spent an intense, emotional and soulful week with OJs mother and friends, including a ceremony where we spread some of his ashes in the future food forest. The last week of July was spent with Gerald working on further water catchment and silt basins. For three weeks at the end of July and beginning of August, none of the long-term residents were on site and we had some excellent volunteers step in and rise to the challenge of life and work at Boodaville.

August was quiet and in September with a new group of volunteers, and one of our returned residents we were set to do lots of planting for the regenerative agriculture plan, and the idea was to irrigate until rains started coming in October. We cancelled the last courses and most planned events in order to conserve energy to focus on the regenerative agriculture and other jobs. Sadly some volunteers that had been booked in for a month cancelled the day before their arrival, and there were differences of opinion among the volunteers on site. Combine this with the fact that temperatures stayed ridiculously high until mid-October with no rain, and there were perfect conditions for things not to go to plan. By the end of September all the volunteers who initially signed up until the end of October had left. Some fantastic people who hadn’t signed up to anything held the fort and got some last jobs done before the site was left empty the first two weeks of October. We packed up for winter with a few awesome project collaborators over a tiring weekend in mid October and the contrast with the end of year party last year was incredible.

However… because of permaculture design and mulch, the plants have survived the October drought, and let me tell you about our visit in November

Sunshine, seedlings wrapped in newspaper all over the place, music, a small group of friends and family mulching, planting tiny trees, music, digging, lots of straw and some manure, children sitting on the ground surrounded by tiny onions they are separating and planting. I actually said to Bernat “This is like heaven”. In two days we finished all the planting jobs that were still on the list and collected the first part of the olive harvest.

Let’s hope those onions survived the below zero temperatures this week.


Next year we will be continuing the journey and are looking to fund both courses and volunteers with the help of the Erasmus program. We’ll run some bigger Living Permaculture Courses but the really important work, pending from last year, is continuing the process to find and inform potential members of our future eco-community and working cooperative, and to start planning a future together.

Anna Gurney





FULL REPORT HERE (versión en castellano)

Olive harvest Part 1, and planting

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-13 at 09.16.07

Team Mulberry! We didn’t collect the olives, they won’t be ready for another 2 weeks.. so we’ll be coming back again. We planted 2 small trees, lots of seeds, broccoli and put down mulch, mulch and more mulch!! A great weekend 🙂 Thanks to Javi, Fer and Maja.

The tree is so small it doesn’t even stick up above the mulch in the photo! A little mulberry, given to us by Gerald in Albinyana! Thank you
#Boodaville #permaculturefarm#permaculture #permacultura#environment #agricultura #ecoliving

A geeky post about designing…

#treepropagation #growing #seedlings #design #permaculture #smallandslowsolutions #boodaville #riberola

At the Riberola Festival on 7th October Boodaville ran an Intro to Permaculture workshop and we did a practical planting seeds of 3 different types of trees, which have properties such as – drought resistant, fast growing, providing food for animals, (Jujube is edible for humans too), fixing nitrogen, resistant to high and low temperatures, don’t have loads of pests. The trees are Honey Locust, Jujube and Italian Buckthorn.

We left the seeds in vinegar for a few hours (ideally it would be overnight) and we scratched the surface of the seeds.. this imitates the natural process of the seeds being chewed by animals then in their acidic stomachs for a while.

Here is the picture of the seeds on the 10th November.

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-13 at 09.15.12

Honestly I have no idea whether anything growing there is the beginning of a tree. I mean I can see what is grass, but the other little things sprouting… I’m not sure!! What I did notice before I pulled out most of the grass is that the one pot with a bit of straw mulch, upper right of the photo you see? That pot had 5 times as much grass as the others. (yes.. i should have taken that picture!!)

¡¡¡THE GAME!!!!  : SPOT THE DIFFERENCE! between the three pictures 🙂


Winter Seedlings Photo 1
Winter Seedlings Photo 1
Winter Seedlings Photo 2
Winter Seedlings Photo 2
Winter Seedlings Photo 3
Winter Seedlings Photo 3

And here’s an explanation of what’s going on in these pictures. The level of detail to which we plan every step of the design is incredible to me. There’s so much to think about… I mean it took me weeks to find out which trees would be good to plant and to then collect the seeds. Luckily other permaculturists around have given me some seeds and helped out with that bit – Gerald gave me Honey Locust pods to take out the seeds, Alessandro told me about the Italian Buckthorn on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Richard gave me a bag of Jujube fruit he had collected from a tree about 10km from Boodaville.

The next step is leaving the seeds to grow over winter. They need water, they mustn’t freeze, and some sunshine would be good. Here are some of the things I thought about when I set them up like this

  1. Near the thermal mass wall of the house to prevent freezing
  2. Straw insulation
  3. Leave the crate a little bit away from the wall so none of the trees stay dry under the overhanging roof
  4. Leave the crate directly on the ground so there is drainage and they won’t get flooded in a storm
  5. No straw between the wall and the crate as the wall is the warm bit
  6. Relatively wind protected location
  7. Location that gets sun from 1pm until half an hour before sunset
  8. Overhanging tree will also help prevent frost
  9. Stones to help keep straw in place
  10. The changes I made between photos 1 and 3 in your spot the difference game were the last things I adjusted.


Thank you so much to Gerald in Albinyana for teaching me all of this!! and any comments, suggestions to people who’ve managed to read this far are very very welcome!!

A little story about this year..

One Sunday in September I went up towards the eco-community at Can Masdeu on a mission. It was before the open days had started for this season, and even after my best attempts at persuasion, Kira and Bernat weren’t that keen to come with me, so they got off the metro early and went to the Labyrinth park. I carried on, went quickly and sweatily up the track to Can Masdeu to collect cuttings and seeds from the Italian Buckthorn trees up there in the food forest. I didn’t see anyone, did the job, then went to find the family in the park. I can’t say it was a bad day.
At home the next day I put some lentils on wet kitchen paper in a tupperware and left them to germinate.
A few days later I arrived at Boodaville with happy tree cuttings in water, sprouting lentils, and a link to the youtube video that shows you exactly how to mix them together so those lentil sprouting enzymes can help the cuttings grow into new trees.
Sadly the volunteers on site weren’t so happy. There had been arguments, expressed and unexpressed differences of opinion, and everyone seemed tired. I couldn’t offer them more than material they needed to work, youtube videos, a list of how to run the site, and to be on the end of the phone. That was just a few days before all the volunteers left, leaving site empty for the last two weeks of the season. Those cuttings are now dead in their pot and the story of this year is that although many amazing jobs did get done, there is so much left on the list…
WhatsApp Image 2017-11-13 at 09.15.13 (1)
Even with care and lentil enzymes would those cuttings have survived anyway? Who knows! And that is the pattern of a project like this, up and down, but with passion and soul behind it to keep trying, keep learning and know that permaculture is the right path.
Today I’m going back to Boodaville, with family, Maja and other friends, and we will stay in a warm and welcoming house rented from a local in Calaceite. We will harvest the olives, keep going with the unfinished planting jobs, enjoy the richness and complexity of nature and of this ongoing, incredible, soul-filling, rollercoaster of a project.
I’m not sure of the exact date, but it is almost a year to the day that I saw OJ for the last time. I miss him.
I am filled with gratitude to all the people who have stepped in when things got tough this year, especially in recent months Kate, Rob, Kerry, Bernat, Maja and Oriol. And we are looking for people who have passion and love Boodaville to join us for more adventures next year and into the future!

Linking rural and urban projects..

Boodaville Permaculture Education Project ha participado en el #aplec de #agriculturaurbana en Barcelona el 28 de octubre. He hablado de un nuevo curso que queremos ofrecer para crear vínculos entre lo rural y lo urbano: algunos días haciendo ecología profunda y diseño de permacultura en puro naturaleza en Boodaville, y luego unos días aplicando estas ideas en la ciudad y conociendo a proyectos urbanos. También he oído de proyectos muy interesante como TarpunaCoop, Jardins D’Emma de Barcelona Educahorts Educació Ambiental Para más info de eventos y actividades y para compartir tu evento ven al grupo de Permacultura Barcelona  

Grupo de fb : PB Eventos / communidad

Boodaville participated in the Aplec meeting about Urban Agriculture on the 28th October. I spoke about a new course we want to offer which creates links between rural and urban lifestyles – it will be a few days at Boodaville learning about deep ecology and permaculture design in a completely natural setting, then a few days in they city looking at how to apply these ideas in a urban context and visiting urban permaculture projects. We heard from some great urban projects at the Aplec, and if you want to see what is happening in Barcelona, or to publicise your eco event, join our facebook group PB ventos/communidad. 


Alessandro Ardovini Joan Colin Alfred Decker Oriol Ferrando Kate Curtis#madre #apleking Marieta Cara Peca Maia Paglia Joe Littenberg #permacultura #agricultura #barcelona #hort #huerto #urbanfarming

Living Permaculture Course 8 – 15 July

(en castellano abajo)

This was a really amazing week!! Thanks so much to everyone who came and enjoyed so much learning and doing with us. Especially to Marc Haetjens who was an excellent teacher and gave everyone the chance to use tools, work on the projects, and ask questions about anything and everything permaculture related, and to Zac who looked after people and kept the momentum going.

We worked on three main projects :

  1. Greywater mulch basin – We dug and mulched a 2m diameter mulch basin (to be pronounced for ever more in the french way (ˈbeɪsən ) 😉 ) A large fig tree will be planted in September because it is a species that especially enjoys greywater (from the kitchen sink – cooking and some washing up water), provides food, suitable for the climate, and offers shade. The water runs directly onto the straw mulch which works as a filter for the soap and food particles so they don’t enter the soil – the method is described in detail by Art Ludwig. 

I’ll post again soon with details of the other projects… 2. the tippee (or tractor) toilet, and 3. the zaïs, which are both designed to regenerate the soil and create excellent conditions for fruit trees, squash plants, bushes and other edible perennials….

¡¡We are now booking for our next course – two weeks,  7 – 21 April 2018! Read info here!!




Fue una semana increíble!! Gracias a todos que vinieron para disfrutar tanto el programa de aprender por hacer. Especialmente queremos dar gracias a Marc Haetjens, un profesor excelente y ha dado a todos la oportunidad de usar las herramientas, trabajar en los proyectos, y preguntar cualquier cosa de permacultura y el mundo, y a Zac que ha cuidado bien a los participantes y asegurar seguimiento del horario.

Hemos trabajdo en tres proyectos :

  1. Basin acolchada para aguas grises – Excavamos y pusimos acolchado en un basin (palabra francés  (ˈbeɪsən ) ;)). Plantaremos una higuera grande en septiembre porque es una variedad que le gusta aguas grises (de la cocina – agua de cocinar y parte del agua de lavar platos), también nos da comida, es apto para el clima y nos da sombra. El agua va directo encima de la acolchada de paja que funciona para filtrar jabón y partículos de comida para que no entren en el suelo – el metódo esta bien explicado por Art Ludwig. 

Pronto escribiré otra vez con detalles de los otros dos proyectos 2. el váter tippee (o tractor) y 3. los “zaïs” estas dos técnicas están diseñadas para regenerar el suelo y crear condiciones excelentes para árboles frutales, calabazas, arbusotos y otros preniales comestibles…

¡¡Reserva tu plaza ahora para el próximo curso 7 – 21 de abril 2018! mas info aquí!!! 

Some comments from participants on our last course!

“I had an amazing time with you guys and really enjoyed learning something more about permaculture. Thank you Mark for making this so relaxed and interesting. Thank you Ana for making all of this happen and giving us the oportunity to learn.” Eli

“I want to thank everyone for such an amazing week!! I had an amazing time and I really feel that I’ve learnt a lot and left with loads of new ideas to think about and investigate.” Debora

“I miss you all!!! Jejeje it has been a plesure sharing this week of learning, desconecting from daily rutines and meeting such as especial people as you all.” Dorleta

Applying the permaculture design on site..

Some updates from June 2017!

It’s pretty hot down on site these days, as I’m sure you can imagine! But the garden is still doing surprisingly well. We are watering it, until the 1000l of rainwater we have runs out… then the trees will have to look after themselves. We have a few volunteers during June then in July will be busy with a retreat weekend, a permaculture course for adults, and a permaculture camp for children… and lots of river time!!

Actualizaciones de Junio 2017!

Hace mucho calor ahora! El jardín abajo va muy bien aunque solo queda 1000l de agua de lluvia para regar las plantas pequeñas (calabaza, perejil, favas). Cuando se acaba el agua, no vamos a regar mas por que es un trabajo de agricultura regenerativa, no es un huerto para nuestra comida (el huerto de verdad va a estar mucho mas cerca de la cocina!). Hay pocos voluntarios este mes y esta muy tranquilo, pero en julio tenemos un retiro, y después un curso de permacultura para adultos, y una acampada de permacultura para familias… y vamos a estar mucho rato en el río!!

Calendar of events in July // Calendario de eventos en Julio

Boodaville Festival 2017 – Fotos and comments!!


Still glowing a bit with gratitude for a very very nice weekend. Thank you all for sharing energy, workshops, laughs, bigger and smaller conversations, dancing, small moments, a smile, a hug, and everything else.. And of course Anna Boodaville for hosting and sharing this amazing place with us.

Dust has now settled on one of the best Boodavilles ever. Terrific weekend and an absolute pleasure serving drinks to such a lovely and thirsty bunch of people.

Todavía no he aterrizado… me siento super afortunada de haber vivido esta increible experiencia con tod@s vosotr@s… beautiful people 🌼🌈.

🌴Thanks to all of u for this very special weekend full of good vibes and good people..hard to come back to reality today..

Wow, it was really wonderful to meet all you beautiful people! Me and Hero (my van) had a blast!

Moltes gracies tothom!!!! Thank you guys so much for this beautiful weekend…(I only have two pictures) all other memories are in my heart!! Please stay in touch

All I can say is T h a n k y o u all. I’m feeling superhuman after the beautiful Boodaville nature and all your incredible energy. Until we meet again!! 🦋