Wow! Sunseed! What can we say? An awesome experience for all those who took part in the PDC at this wonderful site near Almeria dedicated to environmental education and appropriate technology experimentation. So many firsts! Our first time partnering with Sunseed, and our first time teaching with wonderful Wallay Toughill! May we teach many more PDC's together!
15 people from all over the world converged at Sunseed Desert Technologies to learn the art of 'protracted and thoughtful observation' that is permaculture!
Sunseed is an evolving show-piece, which this year celebrates 30 years of existence. It features eco-construction, organic gardens, compost toilets, upcycling, numerous cottage industries (of particular note is the production of ecological soaps, cleaning products and toothpaste), and a black water system which incorporates constructed wetlands. It is also a centre for community action, heavily focused on the looming water shortages brought about by unsustainable agriculture nearby. You can sign to protect the beautiful river and learn more about the problem here: www.change.org and here www.thepetitionsite
Aside from the codified 72-hour course following Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual, we were treated to technical presentations on grey water and a masonry/ rocket stoves. As well as this, we were delighted by an edible/ medicinal plant tour and a breakdown on how the 'invisible structures' (legal/ organisational/ financial etc) work to make Sunseed the jewel that it is.
When there are this many musicians and performers around, you know the creativity is just going to flow and flow and flow! And it did! To celebrate the leaving of one of the coordinators of Sunseed, we had The Epics, an awesome night of song and wood fired pizza. Interwoven throughout the course were pockets of music including two organized jam nights hosted with Pita Escuela, an associated organisation working with sustainable agave products (their most notable builds include a stunning surfboard, telecaster electric guitar, and numerous didgeridoos). Finally, as with all our PDC's, the final night saw an outpouring of creative performances in the traditional 'No-talent Show'.
The course provided just enough practical time to break up the information-packed classes. Fun practicals involved food fermentation, A-frames to measure contour and the building of a grey-water system.
The chefs consistently impressed with vegetarian (almost vegan) delights over the fortnight. But for those needing little pick-me-ups in between classes, there was always the delicious salt bush to munch on.
We wish to thank all the graduates of this course for making it such a memorable experience and wish them all the very best for the future, in whatever way they choose to embrace the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share.
We look forward to repeating this course, and are very grateful to our hosts at Sunseed and the students who made this course so memorable.
May the mulch be with you!
The only limit on the number of uses of a resource possible within a system is in the limit of the information and the imagination of the designer. ~ Bill Mollison