Author Archives: Coline Vanlaeys

Newsletter winter 2019-2020

The 2020 season is already on the horizon … and a year has passed since the last newsletter! We apologize for this long silence, which doesn’t mean that we had nothing to say, but quite simply that we preferred to spend time on the land rather than behind our screens.

But we will catch up for this, we promise: we have made for you a little overview of the past year, and a very busy program for the coming year!

What happened in 2019

We will remember the two flagship events of the year, very successful, and which left us wonderful memories:

Click the picture to access the article

Click the picture to access the article

  • We welcomed many volunteers, friends and visitors throughout the year. A big thanks to all of them for the beautiful moments of joy and sharing, and especially for their motivation and their precious help at the Ermitaj!

We would like to thank them one by one in this newsletter as we are so grateful to them, but it would become endless! We would like to thank in particular Yann and Salomé, who stayed with us for more than 3 months, and who, in addition to holding their internship and their precious help on the farm, took a very active part in the organization of events!

  • To finish the overview, here are some photos of our activities and achievements in 2019:
 

What will happen in 2020? 

Spring is getting closer, and we have plenty of projects!

Many courses and workshops are scheduled this year! Here is an overview:

Spring 2020:

  • From April 25 to 26: spring claca – let’s get ready with the garden!
  • From May 9 to 10: weekend on wild edible plants (in Romanian language)
  • From May 23 to 24: weekend of introduction to permaculture (in Romanian language)
  • From May 24 to 27: week of volunteering around permaculture
  • From May 28 to 31: design method course in permaculture (in Romanian language)

Summer 2020:

  • From July 18 to 19: summer claca – haymaking
  • From July 25 to 26 (date to be confirmed) : workshop on herbal tea plants and their medicinal properties (in Romanian language + possible intervention in French / English)
  • From August 24 to September 5: Certificated Permaculture Design Course with Mark Shiperlee and Tudor Petrutiu (in English)

Fall 2020:

  • Workshop weekend about natural cosmetics and preparations based on medicinal plants (in Romanian language + English translation possible) – to be confirmed
  • Course about Food forest (in Romanian language) – to be confirmed
  • From October 3 to 4: fall claca – fruit harvesting and tree planting

For more information on the events at Ermitaj, consult our agenda regularly, which will be updated as we go!

What else? 

In the garden: we have planned to focus on the development and extension of the new vegetable garden located downstream of the land, and the establishment of a small garden dedicated to aromatic and medicinal herbs.

Food preservation: two different models of solar dryers will be built in the spring for fruits, and a space dedicated to drying plants will be created. Emphasis will be placed in particular, through experiments and workshops, on wild and medicinal plants: picking, cultivation, drying and preparation of remedies (balms, oils, tinctures, herbal teas)

Construction sites: improve and create fences and paths, natural plasters on the walls of the barn, maintenance and minor work in the big house (replacement of a roof), transforming an old van into a tiny house

… And don’t forget that our donkeys are waiting for you to go hiking! Contact us if you are tempted, and we will create a tailor-made stay for you 🙂

See you soon?

 

Convergence of Permaculture in Romania 2019

After a 3 years break in the series of convergences of permaculture in Romania, the Romanian Association of Permaculture togheter with Ermitaj Malin took back this tradition, trying to find a new format, beneficial for the movement of the permacuture. The preparations started a week before, to make sure that everything will be as well as possible for our guests: we made provisions of local food, we prepared the group activities, some places of the farm were arranged and even donkeys helped us by mowing the grass!

During three days, and with to the help of a team of volunteers, co-organizers and facilitators, Ermitaj Malin was the theater of many activities, dedicated as well to people already involved in permaculture, as visitors or curious enthusiasts. This edition was an opportunity to raise a big question: “how can we grow the permaculture movement in Romania?” And with the help of people already involved in this movement, we have thought of many solutions. It was also an opportunity for the participants to do some networking, to feed their curiosity, to enjoy nature, and to relax.

Thus, for our great concern, community building activities and exercises were organized to create a space of trust, empathy and freedom of expression at the center of the discussions. We sat in a circle in the shade of the great charm of the Ermitaj and we met (or met again), we opened up, we played. Permaculture manifested itself socially through our meeting.

66701011_1256484204524766_3301412799179128832_o

Together, we co-created a definition of permaculture, clarifying any ambiguity. The mantra for the first day was: “We are all in the same boat!” … on the same road, with similar visions and challenges. So, with all this concentrated energy, we worked together to answer the questions raised during this convergence.

People from different professions were present: urban gardeners, educators, people living off-grid, farmers, eco-builders and designers. With all this diversity of knowledge and experience, we have created a World-Cafe, thanks to which we have generated dozens of ideas, some of which we hope will soon become a reality. A hot topic of discussion was the centralization of the permaculture movement at the national level and the need for local representatives in the different regions of the country. We all agreed that to help the evolution of this movement in the country, the next step would be to synchronize local projects, associations and initiatives in a single national network with local representatives in all regions of the country. Thus, a structure of this type will allow national decisions, the international delegation of representatives of Romanian permaculture and the creation of a unique network of people in permaculture.

66375577_1256484124524774_7841201872525328384_o

At the same time, the prospect of a big meeting in the near future, a permaculture festival that would bring together hundreds of people, professionals and curious, was discussed. Thus, permaculture stakeholders from all regions would come together in a single movement that wants to have a strong impact, creating visibility and arousing growing interest around this concept.

The first two days of convergence were entirely devoted to permaculture and the people already implicated in this movement. The third day was a day when we opened up to all the curious, those who sympathize with the concept of Permaculture, but also those who could not attend the first 2 days, but who are on the map of Permaculture. So there were a lot of key activities and meetings. In addition, the Ermitaj received a surprise visit from the mayor Mr. Constantin Toma from the city of Buzau and the mayor Mr. Mureșan Ioan from the commune of Nușeni, two representatives evoking their interest for Ermitaj Malin project and for the future of the permaculture in Romania. In this perspective, the city of Buzau was presented to us as an actor – beginner but nonetheless important – in the field of permaculture, where large projects of permaculture and circular economy must be implemented.

The activities were organized using the technology of “Open-space”, which means that the program was spontaneously co-created with those present, according to the needs of the group and what each participant had to offer. Soon, the empty board that we posted on the wall at the begining of the day has turned into a coherent and diversified program, with several activities taking place in parallel. The future of the ALPA association was discussed, ecobuilding technics were discussed, projects like Ecoruralis and Cutia Țăranului were presented, a bio-intensive gardening course was organized with the Romanian Permaculture Association, a workshop about plants identification with Permacultură Tureni, and many others.

66246347_1256485937857926_4716428571285913600_o

With all this energy channeled in one direction, that of the development of permaculture in Romania, many great ideas and projects have come to life and will be put into practice thanks to the collaboration of those who want this change. And that makes us happy and motivates everyone to continue on this road, the road at the edge of nature. After all, in permaculture, we don’t just need a handful of people to do great perfect things, but rather, we need everyone’s participation in small steps to make this world a place that respects nature and humans, and that will prosper with all of us.

66464058_1256484574524729_8236598099393380352_o

Text written by Tiberiu Marcu on www.permacultura.ro, freely translated from Romanian.

 

Permaculture Design Course 2019

 

Un mic filmulet al PDC-ului de anul acesta, facut de profesorul Pascal Depienne.A short aftermovie of 2019 PDC made by Pascal Depienne, the professor of the PDC.

Publiée par Asociatia Româna de Permacultura sur Dimanche 7 juillet 2019

 

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

dav
sdr
dav

hdr

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

DSC_8663 DSC_8690

sdr

sdr

dav

sdr

62202605_10157577315269255_3319440928699056128_o

dav

dav

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.

DSC_8645

dav

DSC_0415

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!

DSC_8737

 

Translated from Romanian. Original article from permacultura.ro 

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“!

Plugin by Social Author Bio