20 April, 2012

Permaculture Design Course in Nova Scotia!

Photo of Annapolis Valley Beach copyright and courtesy of R,J.O.

I'm excited to announce that there will be a Permaculture design certification course held from May 12-27 with a practicum following from May 28-June 2 at Blockhouse, not far from Mahone Bay and Lunenburg on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It is being held at and will work on the site of The Blockhouse School Project, which will create a home for a sustainablity centre from an old community school. The centre aims to promote, educate, and encourage sustainability and green business. Although we have green places like The Pollination Project and Windhorse Farm not too far away and scattered farms and people using permaculture and sustainable ideas, this should act as a connection point for people and a way to attract more interest and disseminate education and resources.

The Permaculture Design course is being led by Graham Calder, founder of P3 Permaculture Design, who studied and was certified by Geoff Lawton in Australia. Graham has taught all over the world (See bio note below). This is a wonderful, and rare, chance for people in this area to study permaculture design principles and connect with other interested people. If you are looking for a future career in green business, you might consider that the course qualifies you to become a permaculture designer.

Even if you aren't looking for a career, you can make use of permaculture ideas in your own garden or yard, whether that is in the country or city.  Permaculture has something for everyone -- ideas for herb spirals (all your culinary herbs in a 1 meter / 40 inch space), house design for energy efficiency, how to design your home and garden for best use (zones), how to select plants to grow on your site, (observation and guilds), innovative ideas for getting more value from production in small spaces (stacking) and even how to mulch and grow a balcony garden. You can find out much more by taking a permaculture design course and reading about permaculture at Wikipedia which has an excellent overview here.

 But permaculture is more than just design. It starts with a foundation of care for the earth, care for people, and fair share of resources. It was codified by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970s in Australia, but it has evolved with all the students they have taught and spread throughout the world. It has profoundly influenced the green movement worldwide.

I will be giving a talk on permaculture at our local gardener's association this coming Monday, to introduce permaculture ideas and generate some interest locally with the view to attracting a few more students. I believe the course is not yet full, so if you live close enough to get there, I recommend you run not walk over to Graham's website and register before it fills up. The opportunity to take a course like this doesn't come often. I know -- I've been waiting for 6 years to find a course nearby. I believe there will be camping accommodation on site and meals are included. Mahone Bay also has a few nice B& B's if you prefer, or Lunenburg, 15 minutes away by car, has many places to stay.

Unfortunately I won't be at this course, though I would dearly love to be. If you are lucky enough to have the time and resources to be able to go, I encourage you to take a step that may well change your life. That's how strongly I recommend Permaculture.

Update: Looks like I will be cooking (as a volunteer) for the PD course! Come and get some tasty curries and veggie sushi.