Permaculture course progress

So I've been going along to the Sunday sessions for the Permaculture Design course, where we have been focusing a lot of time on the principles and ethics of permaculture. I agree that these need a lot of time and they are quite inspiring ideas that could be applied to just about everything we do (even organisationally), but I get a sense that the face to face participants might be feeling that the course is moving too slowly and that they would like to start getting into more tangible activities.

I'm really glad though that the online group is there with us. Their emails and blogs have given me a lot of motivation to research and maintain the course wiki and related resources, which in turn has kept me feeling as though the course is very active. However, because the face to face participants seem to be not participating online, they may be feeling that the Sunday sessions aren't moving along quickly enough. Today Kim and I spent a few minutes showing the face to face groups around the online work being done, so I hope some of them will come on and start putting more into the course so that they may get more out of it, but I suspect that that is not what they expected when they enrolled in the course.

So far we have the course wiki that includes the course schedule and links to any media recordings we capture throughout the course, as well as a discussion page that captures the latest from the online participant blogs (we're still waiting on 3 more). We have also started a Permaculture Design textbook over at Wikibooks that would at first appear to be all by me, but I've simply been copy and pasting the handouts, and some of the notes from the participant blogs as a process of my own study in the course. The text will hopefully evolve into a self sustaining resource for many others to use once it reaches that critical wiki point. And there's an email forum running for people to keep in close contact if they struggle with anything other than email.

What has surprised me is the level of interest that was quickly expressed by people from Portugal to Vermont, and how web savvy they all are :) It turns out that international interest in permaculture is quite high, which is easily verified by the extensive network of websites and media over the Net for it. With the the online participants helping us to use this pilot course to develop online communication channels and information, we will hopefully have a certificate level course soon, with an online study option, that will help enhance and sustain the face to face course.


  1. Jackie said...

    Hi Leigh
    I thought it was about time that I got organised to not only attend the Permaculture Course but to get my blog going about it as well. So this evening I was supposed to do the vaccum cleaning but instead I now have a page on my blog called Sustainability and one called Permaculture Diary so that I can keep track of both my learning and the progress or lack of it on my site.
    I am enjoying the permaculture course for me the best bit today was looking at everyone's base plan at the end of the day. It was clear that everyone had put in a lot of effort and were keen to continue the next step. It felt good to see what everyone was working with and I feel that I can now relate better to their plans and issues. I'm interested in what I wil find with the next step identifying the micro climates in my garden I don't think it will be as easy as in the bush. For me I am hoping that we keep relating our learning back to the plans and the challenges the different sites and people are experiencing in their efforts to impliment the permaculture ethics and principles. I hope the weather will be fine next week as I am really keen to get to the practical sessions. I suspect my first attempt at a no dig garden may need some first aid.

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