So I’m now entering what is week 4 of Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. I’ve kept up with the videos, spreading them out to watch the entire series. You commit 4 hours every week which doesn’t seem like a lot, but its actually more work than you think, especially if you’re actively taking notes. I’ve actually covered a lot of it already thanks to my introduction to permaculture course in Thailand, but its great to go over some of the things in more detail, and expand some things we missed at the farm in Thailand. Last week’s class was about methods of design, which looks at zoning, slopes and orientation. Its definitely an essential part of design and easy to miss if you’re not actively thinking about them. The things that are being taught are very simple, but they make sense. Somewhere it was mentioned “although the problems of the world are becoming seemingly more complex, the solutions remain ironically simple”. I can see the truth in that, since what I’m learning is very simple, but we just forget about it by living our modern ways of living, unconnected to the land.
I also realize that the only way to learn this is to take part in the course, or at least some form of immersed education. There’s a reason why there’s only a limited number of spots, and a limited window of opportunity to sign up. It takes a level of commitment to learn these things which is why you’re also required to invest a substantial amount of money up front. Giving away a course like this for free would result in a less effective structure since people will only be half committed, and the virtual classroom would be overcrowded putting a strain on servers and Q&A sessions. On the other hand, Geoff Lawton does give away a lot of his videos for free and you can get access to them if you subscribe to his newsletter. I still believe that taking a Permaculture Design Course will give you the right lens to work from when wanting to implement permaculture techniques into a system, and learning from one of the best teachers in the field is invaluable. It covers a lot of gaps I would’ve missed because I wouldn’t have cared to ask the right questions.
For the rest, there’s been a few holidays this week including Easter and King’s Day in Holland. During Easter, I really took a break from work. I didn’t study or push myself to do something productive at all actually. But I felt very light, having a feeling of no obligations towards anything or anyone. I went out for a bike ride for the sake of getting out of the house. It was only slightly raining and I enjoyed biking around the sheep farm we have nearby and seeing scores of lambs. I basically did a lot of observation of the landscape and existing structures. It was really interesting. Now that I’ve realized that a lot of ‘weeds’ are actually useful, and edible, I’ve seen an abundance of food around me (nettle soup anyone?). I’ve also looked at nature’s natural solutions to edges between land and water, and how that creates a habitat for lots of animals basically. It’s very exciting starting to notice these patterns more and more. It’s probably good I live on the edge of metropolitan Amsterdam as well so that I have a chance to view this amount of edge in nature.
I actually do a lot of biking these days, as we have a nice park as well with lots of wild rabbits. I still longboard though, which is what I did on King’s Day in my orange morphsuit. It’s a great way to get around, and its easy to pick up your board and walk through the crowds to see the different crap people sell… and there’s a lot of crap, although an interesting experience anyway.
I didn’t stay out for too long since I had some things I wanted to take care of: a Sketchup Project I wanted to take care of and also getting back on track with university… Basically, because I’ve been focused too much on work in the garden and all the permaculture initiatives I’m undertaking, I’ve neglected my studies for a while… which has already caused me to cap my grade for Supply Chain Management at a maximum score of 8.8 since I did not hand in my first case assignment for the course. I’m just biting the bullet on that and making sure I hand in the second case assignment in order to control the damage and to get a better chance of at least passing the course, because to me, that’s all that matters now. The finish line is in sight.
I’ve got a better momentum and attitude going now towards what I’m studying so that is definitely helping me at the moment. I think I might be able to finish another chapter today so that’s moving in a good direction. Next week there are some interesting things coming up as well, such as a student night at the ACTA garden. I’ll bring some instruments and hopefully we can jam or something. That’d be fun anyway. I’ll probably blog about it next week so that’s it for now! Live long and prosper 🙂