Over the first weekend on the Permaculture Design Course last month I felt quite uncomfortable and at the end of the second day, I left feeling quite disillusioned. It was therefore with a degree of trepidation that I set off this morning with my daughter to undertake the start of the second weekend on the course.
No doubt, in my case, a bit of trepidation is no bad thing. It certainly meant that I wasn’t complacent.
Fortunately, the course today turned out to be quite different from my previous experience. I noticed that the other participants seemed generally more settled and I felt that we were starting to gel. Or at least, we were no longer strangers to each other (in the absolute sense).
In terms of what we did, it was quite stimulating to learn about the topography of landscapes. Above all else, I now understand where swales* are constructed: on the contour of a slope.
Not that I could have one in my slopeless backgarden. But hey, it’s always good to learn something new.
*A swale is a ditch or pool of water, which is designed to irrigate dry land, for example. We were shown some wonderful examples designed and implemented in places such as Krameterhof in Austria by Sepp Holzer and in Australia (Yobarnie Keyline Farm). And these came before the term permaculture was even coined!