Translated from Romanian. Original article from permacultura.ro
Nine years after the first Permaculture Design Course in Romania, followed by two other courses in the years 2011-2012, at Ermitaj Malin we had once again the honor to have as a teacher Pascal Depienne from Terre Paille et Compagnie , for a PDC organized between May 25th and June 5th in the same location. As we have been accustomed to in previous years, Pascal supported two weeks of intensive teaching in permaculture, during which he covered a wide range of this concept.
The rich amount of knowledge gained in Pascal’s 14 years of Permaculture practice and the assistants-teachers (Mark Shipperlee, an expert in forest management in England, Tudor Petruţiu, president of the Romanian Permaculture Association and Remy and Coline from Ermitaj) brought a complete and diverse package to the PDC curriculum.
In Pascal’s approach, there were theoretical aspects that covered areas such as:
– Principles and ethics of permaculture
– Patterns and templates in nature – their application in the permaculture design
– Design tools – zoning, sectors, permanence scale, etc.
– Design Methodologies
– Social permaculture – tools for communication and organization
– Soil – problems and solutions, regeneration, fertility, and so on.
– Regenerative agriculture – large-scale permaculture
– Synergetic Gardening Techniques
– Water – Techniques and strategies for water capture and storage, passive irrigation, etc.
– Trees and forests – their ecological management, vegetative propagation and so on.
– Cultivated ecosystems – forest gardens, agroforestry systems and others
– Animals – their integration into households, efficient growth systems, and so on.
– Natural constructions – design, strategies, materials and techniques, etc.
– Invisible structures – strategies for the development of ecological societies
In addition to the theoretical sides, practical workshops were also introduced:
Stacking functions: double use of the composting process – fertilizer and thermal energy (domestic water heating)
Natural constructions: building a protective wall using the straw-clay technique
Control structures: Permeable check dams for prolonged water retention and prevention of downstream destructive flooding
Infrastructure: Design of access routes on / around the farm territory and their implementation
Biodiversity: Bats house inspired by the work of the Bats Research and Conservation Center
Vegetative propagation: grafting, cuttings and marcotting workshop
Multi-functionality: redefining existing spaces
Communication: Non-violent communication workshop, talking stick and decision-making by consensus
All of this, alongside the fire-evenings, the pizza-party at the oven and the closing evening with its talent/no-talent show, were the ingredients of a succesful PDC.
Throughout the course the participants used the knowledge they gained in order to develop a permaculture design of the farm, at the end of which they presented the developed plan. We had 5 projects structured in a balanced way, including well-integrated elements designed to inspire and broaden the horizon of the permaculture ideas used in the development of Ermitaj Malin.
We are grateful that we have had a nice team of volunteers who cooked for us every day and helped us organize the event. Thanks Yann, Salome, Amael and Dorian! We also want to thank the teachers, the whole team involved in the organization, and especially the participants!