Category Archives: Alec Higgins

First Day With Rosemary (PDC)

 ”What Permaculturalists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet”

~Dr. David Suzuki ~


Today after two and a half month living and working in Valldaura the PDC with Rosemary Morrow and Alfred Decker has began.

We begin with a get to know each other game to create a good atmosphere and to get energized and motivated. Then we moved to the classroom where everything started.

First we reflected upon the environmental problems in the world and their causes and consequences. The exercise we were given was to thoroughly analyze the problems and the consequences of 6 issues, such as climate change, land degradation, globalization, population and consumption and separation from nature, genetic diversity.

Next up was tea break time where students got to know each other better and exchange some nice life stories.

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Back to class we got started by trying to define ecology and ecosystems and that’s what we found out: Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, “house”; -λογία, “study of”) studies interrelations and interdependence between living and non living elements.

Ecosystems = Community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as an open system.  As permaculturists we learned that systems never work isolated and our job in the designing process is to take into account the interactions between them.

After doing an exercise to find 3 different ecosystems and define the structure and functions we realized that is just a matter of scale, and that pretty much everything can be an ecosystem. To our surprise humans are also an ecosystem and when we were trying to find out its functions Rosemary answered:  Humans are adolescents trying to learn what their proposes are. A duck knows its function when it’s born, so does a bee… her opinion is that humans are here to restore and take care of the ecosystems. 

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We got explained the way plants succeed to each other on a bare ground, and the fact that permaculture is interested into accelerating this process by skipping some steps by planting nitrogen fixing plants, and as we all come from different countries, we´ll all have to find out for each of our settings which plants suits best as nitrogen fixers where we live. Related to this topic we also talked about the relevance of increasing biodiversity and how the guild (combination of species that feed each other in the same crop) and stacking in time and space can help us.

After a the break we got introduced to the main ethics & principles through interactive activities which lead us to consider that Permaculture is more than just ecological agriculture, its also about taking care of the people.

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It has been a really interesting and exiting first day!



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