The Permaculture Journey from 2016 to 2020

Posted on do 31 december 2020 in blog

I cannot say for certain when I became aware of Permaculture. There were hints, websites read, questions asked. My partner Ina has been an active participant in researching and proposing activities. She was instrumental in nudging me over a few thresholds. I am very grateful to have her in my life.

The earliest date I can find as to when my Permaculture journey started in earnest is Monday 2016-10-31. Ina and I enrolled in the Intro to Permaculture Design on Canvas Network. This course is provided by Oregon State University and is given by Andrew Millison. I finished a preliminary design on the backyard.

Next, Ina and I attended the Permaculture Festival in Belgium from Friday 2017-07-07 to Sunday 2017-07-09. We had a lot of fun and we learned about fermentation, wild food foraging, urban permaculture and natural building. Our interest in Permaculture deepened.

On Sunday 2017-07-30 we helped for the first time with gardening at the Proeftuin Meerhoven in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. This is a community garden maintained by volunteers in the neighborhood adjoining ours. The space is rented from the council for a period of three years. In addition to helping with gardening, we learned a lot and have been supplementing our lunches and dinners with some freshly grown vegetables from this garden. In 2018 I created a design for creating a shed in proeftuin Meerhoven. I have not been able to realize this design.

Then from Saturday 2017-11-04 to Saturday 2017-11-11 my partner and I joined a PDC given by Rakesh "Rootsman Rak" in Empel, a small village near Den Bosch. This was the first week. The second week was from Friday 2018-02-02 to Friday 2018-02-09. One of my first designs was creating a social design for a former monastery in Reek

On Sunday 2018-01-28 we started Basiscursus Bijenhouden (Basic course Bee Keeping) given by Wil Brans of the beekeeping association Place To Bee. We finished the course successfully on Sunday 2018-09-23.

My involvement with the food forest that is taking shape at the Weverkeshof in Nuenen started on Monday 2018-02-19. The design of the food forest Weverkeshof is ongoing.

On Saturday 2018-05-19 we attended a lecture by Marc Siepman: Ondergronds Gezwam (subterranean chatter/fungi) in Knoflook, Den Bosch.

To get more insight in the design tools for the social domain, I designed and organized a summer party on 2018-06-02. Another design in this space I did was for an online learning community.

From Saturday 2018-06-30 to Saturday 2018-07-07 we attended a second PDC with Rakesh in Gunsleben, Germany. The second week was from Sunday 2018-09-16 to Saturday 2018-09-22. During the course I helped design a property in Gunsleben.

Saturday 2018-08-15 marks our first visit to allotment association Welschap to orient ourselves on finding an allotment. We rented an allotment from 2018-09-01. I have been working on a design for our allotment.

In 2019 the allotment took center stage. Ina and I attended a workshop on hedgelaying at a nearby village. We did also attended the Permaculture Festival near Sint Truiden, Belgium. I got elected to the board of the allotment association. We harvested a lot of zucchini and tomatoes this year. I experimented a lot in the summer.

In 2020 corona happened. A lot of activities and meetings were cancelled. I felt the negative effects of a limited social life. Two friends who had wanted to come visit eventually could not come due to travel restrictions. In response to their need and to tickle my curiosity, I organized the online workshop Design Your Life for a group of participants.

I got interested in Non-Violent Communication. We ordered the book by Marshall Rosenberg and closely watched a video registration of his workshop. I have been trying to put his philosophy into action since.

In June 2020 I did a blacksmith workshop with Niek Eikelenboom at Phoenix Cultuur in Veghel.

I followed an Online Teacher Training with Rakesh and Graham Bell from 2020-07-05 to 2020-07-31. Four weeks long, three days a week, 4.5 hours per day. Online. I found it exhausting. Good, and exhausting.