Coed Hills Introductory Permaculture course 9-10th August 2008. It was a premature ending because we had to cancel the Full Design course due to lack of numbers. But my intermittent workshops during the year saw us produce some lovely woven hazel raised beds, a strawbale culture, some grafted fruit trees for a proposed orchard, and some greenhouse culture. I ran the introductory as best as I know, with 10 students and some impromptu contributions from the residents. I used what was available including the woods, the stone circle and Mixie’s lovely yurt. We ran lots of games this time as well, to get people’s energy up and have some fun. For me the highlight was doing some sense recognition exercises in the woods, and then using some in-situ musical instruments to replicate the pulsing model of natural ecosystems. A visioning and storytelling exercise in the circle was followed by a practical raised bed and design workshop to include Charlie’s design from the course she attended at Stewardswood, Devon.
I was so inspired this weekend that I almost demanded another course in the following year, as a follow-up to my ongoing contributions. I am not sure if this will happen since the community are facing legal action and planning issues over some of the buildings. Anyhow, with two resident goats taking over the strawbaler, chickens producing regular eggs, a large community with a host of variable skills, it is difficult to see my participation coming to an end. One major project I would like to cvontribute to is the designing of an orchard. With some grafting courses during the year we could expand on the paermaculture courses and set up apprenticeship schemes or ongoing tuiton. What works about residnetial courses is that it takes a weight of the student's mind. That was apparent on this course.