Do you seek to live compassionately without the unnecessary exploitation of people, animals and the environment? Are you concerned about climate change, peak oil and future generations? Are you interested in changing how we interact with other species, ecosystems and our human communities? Then our Vegan Permaculture Design Course developed by Graham Burnett, author of The Vegan Book of Permaculture and holder of the Diploma in Permaculture Design and others is for you!
The course is adapted from the 72-hour international Permaculture Design Course syllabus and is accredited by the Permaculture Association (Britain). It covers universal permaculture ethics, principles and design methods. However please note the focus is on non-animal based and stock-free systems & alternatives to animal exploitation.
The broad curriculum introduces all aspects of regenerative design and living in a participatory & enlivening way through group work, design practice, practicals & site visits. Areas of learning include the permaculture design process, surveying skills, soils, stockfree food growing and kitchen gardening, understanding climate & microclimate, agroforestry, restoration agriculture & forest gardening, water in the landscape, regenerative economics, bioregionalism, community organising, systems thinking, sustainable building, energy & transport plus much more…
Empowerment is the essence of this Design Course, and practical and theoretical teaching methods are used to create an experience that is fun, lively & inclusive, using group work, discussion, observation, guided walks, ‘hands on’ practical activities, lectures, videos, and slides as learning methods during course sessions. Participants will also work together on applied design activities that will consolidate all of the learning content and empower students to take permaculture back into their own homes, gardens, lives & community, providing essential skills for thriving in the post-peak oil world.
Course participants will be awarded the Permaculture Association (Britain)’s internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design (NB, to be awarded the certificate you must attend a minimum of 70% of the course and complete a group design presentation at the end of the course).
The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a vital stage in the development of understanding of permaculture ethics, principles, design processes and implementation techniques. We utilise Regenerative Learning principles and methods in order to empower the genius inside all of us to create positive design solutions for your life, your community and your world. To help you decide whether the PDC is for you, it might be a good idea to listen to What is a PDC? to get a sense of ‘What is a Permaculture Design Course? and What isn’t a Permaculture Design Course?’.
“The content of the specifically Vegan Permaculture Design Courses isn’t hugely different from other PDCs I’ve taught. The focus is really on design skills – learning to see patterns in nature and in human and social contexts, plus giving us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions, in settings ranging from food production to ecological building to woodland management to ‘green’ economics to urban regeneration. Obviously, however, we would choose venues that are vegan-sympathetic, such as Wild Earth Animal Sanctuary in the USA, or Brook End in Somerset, and would focus on stock-free methods of soil regeneration such as using green manures and tree crops rather than examples or case studies that depend on livestock. Other than this participants can be confident that we are providing a ‘safe zone’, where they will not be criticised for their lifestyle choices, whether vegan or not. Feedback from our first course was that this aspect has been greatly valued, with one person telling us that they had previously had to leave a ‘conventional’ PDC halfway through, due to feeling judged and excluded for their vegan beliefs by fellow participants, and even by the tutor.
In addition we have created spaces on the course for discussions around the wider implications of ‘veganic permaculture’. For example, how do we dismantle and replace industrial and animal agriculture with systems that are life-sustaining and liberatory? Another theme that emerged was whether a vegan permaculture (vegaculture?) needs a ‘fourth ethic’ in addition to ‘Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares’ – one of ‘Do Least Harm’. Is it enough to simply ‘care for’ our non-human fellow earth-citizens whilst our relationships with them continue to be exploitative, or should we actively promote their recognition as self-willed beings with an intrinsic right to exist free from unnecessary harm?
Not all permaculturists or permaculture projects are vegan, and I’ve often been asked whether a completely animal-free permaculture is even actually possible. My response is, of course not, and neither would it be desirable. For example, how would we fence out the earthworms that build our soil and maintain its fertility, or the bees that pollinate our fruit trees and vegetables, and why ever would we wish to? In fact, we actively design in features that are intended to attract wildlife: Ponds for frogs, toads and dragonflies, and flowering plants to bring in the ladybirds and hoverflies that keep populations of potential pests like slugs and aphids in check, and are essential to maintaining healthy productive ecosystems. What we don’t include are those ‘system components’ that we believe perpetuate exploitative relationships with our non-human earth co-citizens, such as pigs, goats and chickens, whose primary function is the production of meat, milk and eggs.“
Graham has been teaching permaculture since 1998, is a holder of the Diploma in Permaculture Design and author of Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide and the Vegan Book of Permaculture. He runs Spiralseed, an ethical venture working in partnership with others who share concerns around social and environmental justice.
The "Home-Dome' is a 6m insulated canvas geodesic dome with a full kitchen and fire for community cooking with naturopath Natalie Smyth and eating and relaxing by the fire. It's the eating, reading and sitting room of sorts. The home dome (where the course facilitators stay) is connected to the Yoga Dome next door by a passage. Only the higher income bracket of the course tickets (£850) includes full lunch and supper. Everyone gets some brekkie tho but bring food to share for breakfast!
The Yoga dome is connected to the home- dome a clear perspex plastic, 6m geodesic dome raised on stilts with doorways out to the showers, compost loos, washing area and forest garden the . The Grow-Dome is where we do our workshops and this is where the theoretical elements of the course will be taught. There is a cinema screen and projector for movies in the evening. The barn of Her Grace Georgina in near-by Peppering is also available to us if there is extreme weather.
The main classroom is however the food forest where we will be undertaking the practical hands on aspect of the course.
The Yoga Dome is connected to the Tipi wherein there is a big green carpet and an open fire that burns in a cauldron on a stone plinth. Around the circular tipi, pointing inwards, are laid 10 army lilo beds and atop these are 10 thick woollen, body length tuffets (shaven sheep's wool, from a herd of vegan Shepherds). Attendees will need to bring their own bedding (sleeping bag or two duvets). We have lots of wool rugs and gas heaters but make as if we don't!
There is one outdoor, hot-water shower that is a bit temperamental in the wind but is well sheltered (pictured below, in-front of the Yoga Dome). There is also a large outdoor basin with cold water for brushing teeth. There is a long drop, compost loo just 10 meters away from the dome but we encourage people to take a walk into the thickets of the forest garden and bless the young fruit and nut trees!
NB: You need an invoice of the course to submit to the Vegan Organic Network for a bursary. You will be sent this automatically once you pay the deposit which is refundable upon payment of the bursary. If you are really having problems write to email@example.com and I will send you one without paying the deposit x cf
The Weekend will begin with a screening of Riverwoods (click the poster to see the trailer) in The Vicar's Hall at Chichester Cathedral with a presentation from the film maker Peter Cairns from Scotland Big Picture all about their incredibly inspiring ecosystem restoration projects in Scotand. Proceeds are being donated to the project's charity which is currently raising funds to reforest The Dark Isle in Invernessshire. The film details how their restoration projects have a massive positive effect on the environment and local communities in scotland and how these inspiring restoration models can be applied anywhere...
We will then head back to Green Camp Ellanore to our eco-domes, cosy around the fire by the sea to spend the rest of the weekend wrapping on about these solutions with a program of Yin Yoga, meditation, healthy vegan food, music and other nature based activities led by the amazing Alex Rogers and the rest of The Green Team. Our focus is on being inspired and supported by positive and working nature based solutions and their people and restoring our own mental and physical health.
This feature length Documentary has been a labour of love by Otto and Ludo Brockway for the last 8 or so years. Narrated by our Kate Winslet, the film explores the most important, effective and accessible solutions of our time. We look forwards to exploring this with you, the producer of E2E Mark Galvin and some of the E2E team! We are also grouping the leading functional medical and nutritional scientists on the island, some of our absollute favorite artists, herbalists, nature protectors and healers. To book for just the screening and not the whole Yin Yoga retreat click here.
Tawai is a word the nomadic hunter gatherers of Borneo use to describe the connection they feel to their forest home. In this dreamy, philosophical and sociological look at life: Bruce Parry (of the BBC's Tribe, Amazon & Arctic) embarks on an immersive odyssey to explore the different ways that humans relate to nature and how this influences the way we create our societies. From the forests of the Amazon and Borneo to the River Ganges and Isle of Skye, Tawai is a quest for reconnection, providing a powerful voice from the heart of the forest itself. Bruce will be present for a Q&A after the film and will be at Green Camp Ellanore all weekend for the forest gardening, meditation, music and other options that weekend. See create.green/screen for more info.
Green Camp Ellanore is in the beautiful village of West Wittering, a quaint little cottage in the middle of a field by the sea. Here is some basic info about how to get here:
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For more articles see the full jounal page
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