Monday, October 31, 2011

A Permaculture year with Sector39

From November I'm moving on from Steve's flat in Llanrhaedr-Ym-Mochnant to live and work from Treflach Farm. I've had a fascinating time since August 2010 working with Steve helping to develop Permaculture courses and projects and learning all the time about Permaculture and sustainable living. Steve is exceptionally well informed and thoughtful, passionate about his work and has been a wonderful inspiration for me and the many students we have had on the courses and people we have worked with on projects such as the Cwm Harry community garden. I'm very keen to keep working with Steve, Sector39 is an excellent team now, the last course ran like clockwork and was a wonderful experience for me just as much as the students - one of them was kind enough to say that it was the best and most informative educational experience of his life. But it's becoming more and more important to me personally to adopt sustainable, low-impact living principles in my everyday life so I am moving to live and work from Treflach Farm, more about all that here.  Interesting that the world situation is heating up so much just as I make the move... will we tackle the real issues before they tackle us?

Raised Bed Season

It seems to have been Raised Bed Season recently - last time I was up in Scotland I helped a couple of my friends make beds for their gardens only to find that Steve had got an order for 800 beds when I got back down South. It's all been very interesting...
Steve Jones, Sector39 colleague Richie and I worked out a prototype for our customer, who was an enthusiastic student on a Sector39 Permaculture Design Course recently, "Steve! You're blowing my mind!" he is reported to have said. Using some guitar making knowhow, I made a jig to assemble the beds and then a team of us got together to complete the order. I found making the prototype and the jig really interesting but have to say the mass production side of the project just confirmed for me my intuition from way back in the 1970's that I want as little as possible to do with mass production... To me it has a de-humanising effect on people, tasks are broken down so that they take as little skill as possible, there's pressure to work as quickly as possible leading to pressure on quality and I have misgivings about all the transport we've got involved with. All the same they are really good, robust beds made from naturally weather-resistant larch and make the garden centre offerings look like so much junk. They're being sold as Radnor Raised Beds (site under construction) and will be well worth checking out if you're developing your food growing potential at home.
It is interesting that all of a sudden these different people have felt the need to start growing some food, I think they are at least partly responding to world change at a sub-conscious level, which is a nice lead to another post I'll be writing soon on the subject of Intuition.