Learning in the field
Nature is all about connections. Nothing exists in isolation, life is a direct result of interactions between things and this is an essential observation and lesson to be integrated into our design perspective. If we want to emulate nature in design and receive the benefit of natural resilience and abundance […]

PDC day 8: Integration rules

Principle 7 is about design, about moving from seeing the over-arching patterns before focussing on the detail and risking becoming bogged down in the minutiae. Permaculture teaches us that the way to eliminate waste is by design. Analysis of the inputs and outputs of each element allows to identify where […]

PDC Day 7: Seeing the wood for the trees

Permaculutre in Timor, designed systems produce no waste by lining systems together and turning imputs into outputs.
Today we explored the principle ‘produce no waste’, and examples of how closed loop systems can materialise in two strikingly different ways: from the high-tech ecological urban systems of the Biospheric project in Salford, to post-independence Timor Leste, where permaculture design helped communities to rebuild and thrive. Another consideration of […]

PDC Day 6: Reducing waste and finding consensus

The compost toilet at Garth Organic Garden
I love language and its origins. Today we’ve been discussing permaculture principle No.5: Use and value renewable resources and services. For part of the day we’ve been looking at the flow of food intake into our own bodies and the inevitable output. How do we use and value that? The […]

PDC Day 5: Talking Crap All Day

Exploring Garth Organic, a permaculture designed community garden
    ‘There are no such things as pests only systems out of equilibrium’ really made me pause for thought. Day four’s principle concerns ‘applying self-regulation and accepting feedback’ and saw us on a day trip to Garth Organic situated 1000ft above sea level near the village of Glyn Ceiriog. […]

PDC Day 4: Pest management or restoring equilibrium

Exploring Llanfyllin's sustainable urban drainage system, willow coppice, and forest garden.
“We are three days into the PDC and I’m enjoying the way the permaculture principles introduce the learning topics and set the tone. The third principle of permaculture is ‘obtain a yield’. Or, put more poetically, ‘you can’t work on an empty stomach’. The core idea in this that spoke […]

PDC Day 3: Rebuilding Soil, Rebuilding Community

Hello Paul, message to Paul Ogoloa in Kenya, whose visa to attend the course was denied
If you can read the writing on the poster it is a message to our colleague Paul Ogola, was was due to attend this course, joining us all the way from North Kenya, only to have his visa denied at the last minute by the Britisah Embassy. We are not […]

PDC Day 2: Hello Paul!

garth organic
We can be sure about that, as we have an actual rocket scientist on the course we began yesterday. My impression is that people from increasingly diverse backgrounds are finding their way to permaculture. We have had medical doctors and architects before, and indeed we have an architect this time […]

PDC Day 1: It’s not rocket science!

There is much to plan and think about in advance of a PDC and one essential element is a good design project for the students to get thier teeth into. It is of course only an acedemic exercise, a practice, but often what comes out of a design process can […]

September PDC in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant

PDC RISC advert
This PDC builds on a long-standing personal connection between RISC and Sector39, bringing 25 years of practical experience in permaculture teaching and project work to Reading. The course involves 80+ hours of study via presentations, workshops and practical sessions that will provide a clear and practical framework for all participants […]

Permaculture in Reading

permaculture students
Paul Ogola from Northern Kenya, who attended the Kamuli PDC in May has since been very busy teaching in his village and sharing some of his knowledge. The pictures show the training event I did with the community for one week on Permaculture techniques and type of farming. We worked […]

Kenya fundraiser

Letter from a friend who has been out in East Africa since our May PDC in Kamuli I was very interested to follow the blog on the PDC that you ran at Kamuli this year. Sadly our visits missed one another. I arrived at the end of a May and […]

Permaculture in East Africa

The challenge for the group t make their presentations was pretty immense. In our 10 years of teaching PDC’s as Sector39 I don’t think we have had such a big project with such far-reaching potentials to get our teeth stuck into quite like this before. Suddenly a lot of our […]

PDC Kamuli Day 12, Final presentations

A permaculture vision from Timor Leste
Don’t assume you are on the right track just because it is a well beaten path. The principle for day 11, as we immerse ourselves in the design tasks reminds us that we sometimes need to steer a path in to new territory. To solve the problems we have crated […]

PDC Kamuli Day 11: Use edges and value the marginal