Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Permaculture Design Course at Quail Springs

Welcome to the Cuyama Valley in southern California. I'm taking a Permaculture Design Certificate course at the Quail Springs Learning Oasis and it's been absolutely amazing!

We've been learning about earthworks and watershed restoration and lots of 'secrets of the soil'. This desert, once a forested valley inhabited by the Shumash natives, has suffered from deforestation and over-grazing by cattle. It will take some time to bring it back to it's fullest potential, but with the Permaculture Design process initiated, it's already well on its way to a diverse productive ecosystem that will flourish with plant life and support all the folks living here.

The central ethics of the system are 1.) Earth Care, 2.) People Care, and 3.) Return of Surplus or 'Fair Share'. There's a lot to it and I could go on for hours (and I will if you want to talk about it), but it's basically a holistic design system for sustainable human ecosystems. It's a way of making our environments work with us and allow all elements in a system to reach their highest potential. With clever design strategies, your garden can end up very productive with very little input effort because energy is shared and reused throughout. I highly recommend anyone who's interested in changing their life and helping our troubled world to take the course.

The paradigm shift in invokes is perhaps one of the most important things you can experience.

my campsite under the stars

View from the garden towards the strawbale building

Geoff Lawton

Demonstrating a micro-gabion

Standing on a real gabion

Typical classroom visual

Final Design Project

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