Something Exciting is Coming Soon.
Update: our permaculture courses in Thailand are now live, hit the link to check them out.
Daruma Ecofarm is a permaculture designed educational Ecovillage that has existed for over 10 years. Permaculture design like virtually all design methodologies employs an iterative design process stressing the importance of feedback during implementation giving more clarity to the vision of the design over time. Properly responding to feedback is essential to actually achieving the goals of a project.
Compared with the design phase, implementation is a very challenging aspect of any project. Probably anyone that has undertaken any complex and difficult project has observed that progress comes in spurts. This is especially true in the implementation of permaculture design projects. One reason for this is permaculturists recognize they are not experts and that permaculture design and implementation is part of a life-long learning process. Short-term successes increase understanding and motivation leading to refinement of goals and also improved efficiency in implementation. Conversely, unforeseen challenges and problems not only relating to the implementation of a design but also general life circumstances will offer temporary interruptions and even stoppages. And other projects, pursuits and passions can jump in priority, stealing resources of time and money and affecting or interrupting timelines. This all causes the measurable outputs and outcomes of our effort to come in surges, spurts or waves. It is said that before a tsunami, the shoreline will recede a great distance. For almost five years, Daruma Ecofarm has nearly suspended all permaculture and earth building course offerings. During this ‘quiet time,’ the wave was building.
One example of the wave building is the creation of an alternative school. Mosaic Learning Center is, in all likelihood, the world’s first grade school with a curriculum designed using permaculture principles and ethics. Last year, the curriculum was completely approved by the Ministry of Education and Daruma Ecofarm and Mosaic are now Thailand’s first (and only) English-language based alternative learning center. Mosaic school now has over 60 full-time students and is continually growing. The curriculum and holistic methodology have also been validated with Mosaic children scoring in the top 97% of national standard testing!
The success of Mosaic has allowed Daruma to expand and improve all of the learning and residential facilities. Daruma is now more able than ever to host world-class permaculture course offerings. And this is important because in the quiet time, a significant development has occurred. Having more than 35 years in the world of permaculture and design teaching including lecturing undergraduate and graduate level engineering design and ecological design courses and instructing hundreds of students in permaculture design, I have been personally aware of a slow and steady, mostly unseen pressure developing. Like stress along tectonic plates, this pressure has occasionally released and produced some tiny, mostly unnoticed ripples in the world of permaculture theory. But it only takes a few shifts of a few inches of a tectonic plate deep under the sea to create a tsunami many meters high.
The most significant of these small seismic shifts with tidal wave potential is the release of David Holmgren’s most recent book “Retrosuburbia.’ The title includes the ideas of retrofitting (the act) and suburban (the place). Many permaculture design courses have added or shifted focus to urban permaculture design. Some have even been presented as pure urban design PDCs. Retrosuburbia might address why this is not practical while also empowering the permaculture community to become much more effective in moving the world toward real sustainable solutions.
This website will over the next few weeks introduce a new format PDC. It will still include all of the essential elements that have always been part of permaculture design certificate course (it would be wrong to exclude this) however, the course will frame this using the important paradigm shift as described in the retrosuburbia manifesto and book. Other courses that compliment the retrofitting concept will also be announced including FarmLab courses that apply permaculture to practical skills and EcoZoetic courses which will introduce behavioral realm aspects of permaculture living.
Get ready for the tsunami…
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