Monday, April 04, 2011

Final Weekend of Llandod Permaculture Design Course

What a journey this course has been! Instead of the usual two-week residential PDC Steve ran this course on a weekend-a-month format. This suited our course hosts, the Llandrindod Wells Transition Town Group much better - Steve will always adapt the course material to accommodate different groups' needs as far as possible.
Looking down to Nannerth Ganol through the beautiful old oaks on the hillside - I wonder how much human nonsense those old oaks have seen passing...?
Over the seven months we often said how much the Llandod course reminded us of The Council of the Elders from Lord of the Rings, partly because much of it was held at Nannerth Ganol, Roz and Brian's restored long house at the head of a beautiful valley. It was easy to feel a connection with the many generations of people who have lived there during the settlement's history - many, many thanks to Roz and Brian for all their hospitality, all the wonderful meals and for the use of their cottage. The course also had a Council of the Elders feel about it because although we had people of all ages, many of the participants have many years' experience from a wide range of working lives. It gives me a lot of hope that these respected, experienced, intelligent, connected people took the time to sit down together and study how we can work with nature to design truly sustainable lives and systems for the future - another big thank you to all the participants, it's been a wonderful experience getting to know you all. I'm looking forward to seeing how all the projects everyone is involved with flourish - not least the house whose re-design was central to the course, Lis and Nick's house, Trosnant.

Steve discussing garden plans with Lis and Nick, Trosnant in the background
Fully-fledged garden design above - the participants came up with excellent, detailed, integrated designs for the house, garden, energy and work systems, for Lis and Nick's contact with the community and with space deliberately kept free for "Wilderness Ideas" or inspiration from the bigger picture.
Unusual but very effective presentation idea from Alan - a box pasted up with permaculture ideas containing a wealth of local resources.
1: Scything Workshop, part of the final weekend. 2: Different blades for scrub and grass.  3: Removing bumps and twists from blade using mini-anvil or "peen". 4: Scything's a bit like Tai Chi...

Now we're getting ready for our next course, a return to Treflach Farm, 8th to 21st May, where it will be fascinating to see how Ian Steele is already incorporating some of the design ideas from our first course there back in October 2010. This is a unique opportunity to get right into the nuts and bolts of food production, energy systems, building bio-diversity, community access to land and much more - places still available - BOOK NOW !!

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