PDC Revisited

In January 2016, I started a PDC. My original thought was that I might use it as a stepping stone to a new career. But something extraordinary happened which has nothing to do with permaculture. I remembered how much I love language and words.

Whilst things went very wrong on the PDC last year, things started to go very right in my job, so why have I returned to the PDC this past weekend? Well, I like to finish what I start – and you always get something from your endeavours.

This Saturday/Sunday we started the design exercise which brings together what was covered over the first five weekends of the course. This year the site being designed is an allotment where university students can grow food as part of a co-op.


The site is very sheltered, so the figs featured above have been doing very well. That said, sheltered my garden may not be, but….

I picked 2kg of strawberries on Saturday evening and the same again on Sunday!


The lemon balm has been growing like crazy over the past few days. The bees are going to have a lot to go on once it flowers.

All in all, it looks like I’m going to be busy in the kitchen: sorbet, jam, cordial. Most of these won’t make it to autumn, let alone see us through the winter, but great that we can revel in the bounty from our garden.

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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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20 Responses to PDC Revisited

  1. streepie says:

    yeah for home-grown strawberries! Enjoy while the bounty lasts!

  2. streepie says:

    oh – and for your lemon balm – use it to make a refreshing herb lemonade. I’ve tried this recipe, and my daughter loves it:
    A few sprigs of fresh lemon balm, juice of 2-3 lemons, 4 tblsps sugar, 1l of water
    clean the lemon balm, and put it into a large jug, pour over 1l of boiling water. Add the sugar, and leave to cool, then place in the fridge over night.
    The next day, strain the infusion into another large jug, and add the lemon juice. Add some more sugar or (non-)sparkling water to taste, and serve over ice cubes.
    It also works very well with mint, or a mix of mint and lemon balm.
    (the original recipe is here (in German): https://www.franzoesischkochen.de/selbstgemachte-melisse-zitronen-limonade/).

  3. It’s strange how the results you get from something aren’t always the results you expected. Sounds like taking the course was good, whatever happened.

  4. gaiainaction says:

    Well done Helen, and thank you for the reminder of the fact that lemon balm will flower and will provide much nectar for our pollinators, I look forward to the flowering of my bush too. Enjoy your strawberries – which I am sure you are doing by the sound of it πŸ™‚

    • Helen says:

      We are indeed, Agnes! I’m too tired tonight after going to watch my daughter in a choir to pick anymore but hopefully there will be a few final pickings over the weekend.

  5. You sound down right happy and full of life, Helen. I’m so happy to hear things are going your way.

  6. Pingback: Sorting the forest garden out | Growing out of chaos

  7. jeffpermie says:

    I add a few lemonbalm leaves to a few Linden leaves (mistakenly called lime tree leaves) for a herbal tea, the best herbal tea I’ve ever had to date! two cups gives me good energy the whole next working day probably due to the good restful sleep you get the night before …

    • Helen says:

      I can imagine 😊.

      I looked into getting a linden tree but I think my property is too small.

      • jeffpermie says:

        Forsure, yet all of my pickings were from other peoples gardens and parks, some Linden trees don’t produce the flowers for some reason but you can get lucky and find a nice bunch of them in a park somewhere. Iprobably wouldn’t want one in a typical UK garden, they get aphid at some point in the season and you get a sticky sap rain that comes down for a few months, this traps dust, turns black and sticks to everything. It really is only for a larger garden perhaps quarter acre and up πŸ™‚

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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