It looks like the PDC is going to be an emotionally challenging time for me. Systems thinking is not my forte – I’d rather jump into a project and then reflect on what has been done than plan the details before acting. However, it might not be the most efficient way of proceeding.
One permaculture concept I have struggled with is the notion of the edge being the most productive place. Fortunately, one of the other participants on the course gave me an example of this concept in action which illuminated what it means.
In her garden, there was a patch which was producing less than she wanted as it was too large to be worked suffiently well. She put in a path, which reduced the physical space, and yet meant she could then use all the remaining ground. Thus, by creating more edges she improved productivity.
The concept of the edge also works for learning. If you stay in your comfort zone you are unlikely to learn (as much as you could) because logically you are only coming into contact with what you largely already know.
On the other hand, if you go too far outside your comfort zone you become distressed and with the amygdala on high alert your capacity to learn is reduced. Which is what ironically I experienced this afternoon when confronted with the prospect of doing a base map.
A base map is a detailed drawing of the area you wish to develop. It includes in the case of a growing space the size and permanent features on the site. Nothing too taxing there you might think but for me it is something I do by instinct rather than design.
On the other hand, I appreciate that the herb garden I want by my back door will be better for getting the plan down on paper. So, that is to be the base map I do for homework over the next month.