PDC day 2

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.

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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7 Responses to PDC day 2

  1. Lovely update thank you for sharing have a blessed day Helen

  2. People approach design in many different ways, don’t they? When creating costumes, I like to work as I go, much as you do with your garden. But with other things, I like the idea of a design or “map” as you use the term here. Best of luck.

    Interesting info on the amygdala.

    • Helen says:

      I actually learned the information about the amygdala on a teaching conference years ago πŸ™‚

      I think the reason for designing in the way we are being shown on the PDC is for clients. If they are paying money for someone to landscape their property they will want a thorough plan, whereas of course if it’s just your own back garden and it’s for fun plans are a matter of personal preference.

      I’m neither thinking of becoming a designer nor undertaking any projects where such skills are necessary, though, so apart from knowing the theoretical basis, it’s a bit of a chore to do base maps.

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read my post, Alys. Much appreciated!

  3. That’s one of the things that worries me about doing the course – their designs always look so perfect: mine don’t.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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