As I write this I am resting after running the first residential 3 day Intro to Permaculture Design course held at the Ecolodge.
Given the current social distancing rules I decided to limit the attendee limits to 5 so that the rooms are not crammed with people. This had been the postponed March course which was fully booked with 10 people.
In the end only 2 of the 5 people booked arrived which actually worked out fine and was a reassurance that the social distancing could be easily maintained especially since they came from the same household.
The event tickets had been prepaid in full and therefore I was not worried about any loss of income. The rental free for the Ecolodge was covered as was the food and my time.
Preparations of the house were a little stressful due to an ant nest forcing a renovation of the bathroom which was not finished in time before the course and therefore we had to use the outdoor shower.
The weather was mostly cooperative and we could hold quite a few sessions outside where course participants could see how we apply different elements for different functions. My favourite part of the course was seeing the participants vision board and guiding them through identifying their next steps.
Conversations about governance, finance and general evolution of community practices made me reflect about changes that have affected things also here, I guess that would be a whole other blog post maybe some other time.
Going through my designs as examples and my notes from the permaculture design certificate was an interesting process full of memories and a little nostalgia.
Together we covered all course material in time and without stress and the feedback was as I had expected and the same that I had from attending and running other similar courses that the material is more theoretical than people expect, that there is a lot of it for such a short time frame and I wonder whether stretching it over an extra day would help. The offside of this is that it would be a longer weekend and perhaps people would not be able to take the time off. The other alternative would be to split it over 2 weekends, food for thought. The cost then would be higher and maybe not everyone could afford it.
Overall I enjoyed the course, there are some tweaks I would like to do to the time table, longer design opportunities for example. Setting up a permaculture library also helped to show the range of topics even though I recognize there also also gaps there link ecological building books for example. I also found it good that I could take interaction breaks as I realize where my socialisation limits are, perhaps that too could be a post of it's own.
The next course is scheduled for October 2 - 4. There are a few spaces left if you would like to join in.