Author Archives: Coline Vanlaeys

Permaculture Design Course 2019

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

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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
Gardening

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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.

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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!

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Ermitaj Malin is looking for 2 volunteers! (period +- 18 May – 6 June)

Do you want to help permaculture in Romania and our project while participating in a moment rich in learning and meetings?

We are looking for 2 more people before and during the PDC which will take place from May 25th to June 5th at the Ermitaj to help to make this event unforgettable for everyone!

The Ermitaj is a pioneer place for permaculture in Romania, it is the first, and so far the only place that organizes certified permaculture courses in the country.

Given the success of the event (we will be about 30 people on the spot!), we would like to inflate the team of volunteers (so far we are 7), so that we can all fully enjoy these two weeks without stress.

What we are looking for: polyvalent people, able to work in a team and living in community, and ready to get your hands dirty for the final preparations (construction / renovation of external infrastructure, help with the garden, maintenance of the camping area and paths, …) and during the course (help with cooking the meals, maintenance of the place and logistical organization, take care of animals, preparation and support of practical activities, etc.).

Of course you will have free time to enjoy the place, spend pleasant moments with everyone, and attend some parts of the course.

The course will be given in English, but a majority of Romanian speakers and several French speakers will be on site.

In general, Ermitaj welcomes volunteers throughout the season, for periods of a few weeks to several months (depending on our needs), do not hesitate to contact us if you want more information or visit the webpage about volunteering.

Click here fo more info about the PDC (if you want to attend the course, we still have 2 places available! – dormitory is full)

Interested? Send us an email at contact@ermitajmalin.com to introduce yourself and explain your motivations.

Thank you for sharing the info around you!

Ermitaj’s team

Newsletter autumn/winter 2018-2019

First of all, we wish you a very happy new year 2019!

What has happened to Ermitaj since our last newsletter in August?

A busy summer end, with …

The Permaculture Design Course with Graham Bell!

Two intensive weeks of human experiences, discoveries and learnings about permaculture, which ended in beauty with the presentation of the designs.
Thank you to all the participants, as well as to the fabulous team of teachers, assistants, volunteers, cooks and organizers!

Interview of Graham Bell at Ermitaj: 

The weekend about foraging with “Incredible Edible Romania”

Thank you to Iulia and Quim for this weekend rich in meetings and learning about our environment!

Support evening in Belgium

On November 10, in Soignies, we organized an evening of support for Ermitaj.
On the menu, there was: a dinner with Romanian notes, a presentation of the project, and a small market of Romanian products.
Many of you have answered the call, and we are deeply touched and grateful. A big thanks to all of you!

 

During that time, we asked a few friends to keep the farm. We especially want to thank Tudor and Iulia for taking care of the place and our animals with a lot of love!

 

And what’s next?

We are working on the agenda for next summer. But we already have some information to share with you … and not least!

Certified Permaculture Design Course with Pascal Depienne

Yes, we do it again! This time in the spring, with our friend Pascal Depienne: the first teacher to have organized a PDC in Romania, and it was at Ermitaj!

Click on the poster to have all the practical information:

National convergence of Permaculture

In collaboration with the Romanian Association of Permaculture, we decided to organize the national convergence of Romanian permaculture next summer at Ermitaj Malin!
Dates and news to come …

Hiking with donkeys

Looking for a good reason to come to Ermitaj and discover its surroundings?
We remind you that we organize  hiking with our donkeys
“à la carte”.
They will carry your things or your tired children, and give the pace … quietly! 😉
Hiking from one day to two weeks, accommodation at Ermitaj, homestay and / or bivouac.
Let us know your desires, and we will consider together the appropriate formula!

Click on the picture to access the page about activities with donkeys:

 

We let you now with some images of the romanian (real!) winter.

If you want more frequent news from us, subscribe to our Facebook page “Ermitaj Malin“!

Permaculture Design Course with Pascal Depienne – detailed program

Please note that this program is informative and could be modified.
 
Day 1: introduction to permaculture
 
– presentation, introduction to the concept of permaculture: definition, history, multidimensional approach, ethics, examples 
– Bill Mollison’s principles
 
Day 2: the design
 
– natural models and introduction to permaculture design. 
– design tools: permanence scale, sectors, zoning, resource analyzes and needs. 
– design methodology: obredimo 
– design: observation of the site 
 
 
Day 3: human permaculture
 
– introduction to human permaculture
– nonviolent communication – holistic mandala
– consensus decision making workshop 
– practical activities
 
 
Day 4: the soil
 
– soil concept: soil design, cycles, composition, microbiology (soil life), soil quality recognition (empirical methods), structure and texture, bio-indicator plants, problematic and degradations, permacultural soil approach . 
– practice
– maintain existing mounds / move land
– design
 
Day 5: natural agriculture
 
– regenerative agriculture
– synergistic gardening
– discussion on autonomy
– practical workshop
 
Day 6: water
 
– water: cycle and generalities, water in the landscape, capturing and storing water on a small and large scale (bays, pools, reservoirs, roof waters, hydraulic ram …), filtration upstream and downstream downstream (phytopurification), passive irrigation and watering methods, dry toilets. 
– workshop: the gods of rain 
– design: 
– evening: screening of the documentary “the origin of the apple” by catherine peix
 
Day 7: the tree and the forest
 
– the tree: vocabulary, functioning, flows and cycles, climatic factors, relief, roles and functions, the natural succession. 
– plant propagation: cuttings and grafting, natural selection
design (2h)
 
Day 8: the cultivated ecosystems
 
– crop ecosystems: agroforestry, different forms of coppicing, orchard-vegetable, principles of edible forests 
– design
– practical workshop
 
 
Day 9: animals
    
– animals in permaculture: integrated farming systems, alternative beekeeping and rescue, poultry farming.
– design (1h30)
– practical workshop
 
 
Day 10: natural and bioclimatic construction
 
– ecoconstruction and habitat: situation, design, natural and bioclimatic construction, strategies, materials, techniques, climates, energy efficiency … 
– appropriate technologies
– practical activity
 
Day 11: invisible structures
 
– invisible structures (how to recreate the social bond and a healthy economy, strategies now applicable)
– design (3h)
 
Day 12: closure
 
– presentation of the designs 
– feedback on the training 
– the permacultural movement, its mode of development and its networks. 
– concrete actions and commitment 
– certificate delivery – the professional design, the certificate, the diploma and the companioning

Newsletter summer 2018

We are already in August, time flies!

While the west of the continent suffers from heat and dryness, here we have a weather exceptionally mild and rainy. For several months, days without rain can be counted on the fingers of one hand!

Except that, what happened at Ermitaj?

New outside stairs to access to the dormitory, new fences for the garden we opened, kittens, baby ducks, lots of garden work, and much more!

Regarding the activities, we had the pleasure to organize:

Upcoming activities:

For our friends and supporters from Belgium and the surrounding area, note already the date of November 10 in your diaries: we will organize an support evening for the association! Many surprises are waiting for you 🙂 It will happen in Soignies (between Mons and Brussels). The information will follow!

Volunteers, friends and visitors:

Recently, we had the pleasure to welcome: Victorine, Olivier, Audrey and Manuel, Myriam, Doro and François-Marie, Althaea and Polo, Joel and Virginie, Magda and Michael, Olivier, Philippe and Julie and their kids Samuel and Anabelle, David and Ophelia, and Pauline!
A big thank you to them for their company, their support and their precious help!

We leave you with pictures of our achievements, activities and all this beautiful people.

See you soon !

 

Volunteers, friends and visitors:

 

The making of the stairs!

 

Some pictures about the weekend of introduction to permaculture and our class room:

 

And much more…

 

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