Who has taken a PDC?

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by christopher, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    I saw that Floot had opened a thread called "What attracted you to permaculture?" which is a brilliant question. It raised another question, which is who has taken a course, where, and who were the instructors.

    I took a PDC in 1992, and it was a big part of why our farm looks the way it looks. I was lucky enought to be able to have Michael Pilarski, Rick Valley, Jose Caballero, Chuck Marsh and Mark Cohen as the instructors. It was another pivotal event, one that neatly divides my life neatly into before/after segments.

    Who has taken a PDC, and who were your teachers?
     
  2. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

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    who has done a pdc

    Christopher – was reading your other post about discovering permaculture – maybe you have shared this before, in fact I think I recall some of the story from historic posts, but indulge me.... why did you got to live in Belize? Why Belize?

    (Oh, and if you don't know I did my PCD with Bill M and Geoff L in Melb 05, you must have me on double-double ignore!!!!, as I dont think a post goes by that I dont mention it - to the extreme irritation of at least one individual!)
    (I dont mean my constant mentions to be irritating, it was just that the course was so hugely influential and I am still processing a lot of what I encountered)
     
  3. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    g'day christopher

    the PDC that we have recently just participated in was an awe-inspiring experience. i am still processing all that we experienced.

    a brief description is available here:

    https://www.permaculture.biz/SalvosPDC/home.htm

    have a great christmas/new year.
     
  4. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I'm yet to do a course, but have been looking at what courses come up around here, courses up at crystal waters seem the closest option for me, I just have to work one into my life at some stage, In the mean time I have brought all of Bill M permaculture books and have been working my way through them, so at least I will have those under my belt for when I do finally get to a course.

    Anyone want to do a course from my place. ;-) heh

    Talking to you fine folks each day has also helped in increasing my knowledge, and all those great links like yeomans keyline etc..
     
  5. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Ecodharmamark,

    Wow, that course looks like it was awesome. How cool! I know what you mean by processing it all. I felt like IU was in a shower of information, dripping with important paradigm shifting things, and most of it seemed to float off of my back!

    BTW, I really like your posts, and have been meaning to say so, but haven't jumped in to any thread and done it. There. I said it..... Very heavy and dense stuff. Substantial and interesting.

    Have a good Christmas, too!

    C

    Heuristics,

    hey, c'mon, you got to know that dy double, double ignore isn't working :lol: ( I don't believe in "ignore", so have read about your course). How lucky for you to get such fantastic teachers!

    A brief and highly abbreviated history.... I left college mid second year, 1985. I went to college young, and with no discipline, no rules, no parents, plenty of distractions.... I was wasting my time. I was lucky enough to see that, so I dropped out.

    It was getting cold. I had no place to go up there. The previous winter I had hitchhiked across Ohio to see my highschool sweeti at her college, and on the retun it was so cold, with such wind, that the spit turned to ice before it hit the ground and bounced off into the wind. I had to walk 500 meters around the cloverleaf on the highway, no tree for a kilometer in any direction, feeling the heat getting sucked off of my bosy by that cold Canadian wind raging down from the borth.... I nearly died comiong back to take a test for a class I failed anyway! I made up my mind then that the next year I would be some place warm for the winter.

    My roomate was from Brooklyn, but his folks were from Belize. He told me I would love Belize.... All I really knew when I left to travel overland to Belize was that the country was English speaking (Commonewealth country, with the Queen on the money), and that it didn't get cold here.

    I ended up caretaking a farm for three years at the edge of Punta Gorda town, and met Leela Vernons Uncle Henry, who had a piece of land for sale, cheap, up in San Pedro Columbia. The land was cheap because the nearest road was 3 kilometers away.

    Living here as a foriegner was easiest if you owned a piece of land, and farming was the easy ticket to citizenship. So, I went into farming with no experience other than being a caretaker on an abandoned farm...

    Belize was attractive because the country gained independence in 1981. I got here in 85. Everyone knew everyone, a slight exaggeration, but not by much. It was small, friendly, relatively safe, warm, the land is beautiful and the people are great. Belize was a good place for a young man to emigrate to because their were possibilities here that simply didn't exist anywhere else (that I knew of). Undervalued land, reasonable standard of living, possibility of obtaining citizenship relatively easily, plus free education and health care (neither of those all that great, mind you :lol: )

    I bought the 48 acres in 1988. It was a cattle and citrus farm, with a few other species. I got rid of the cattle. In 1996, Dawn and I bought the adjacent 22 acres when it nearly got bought by some knuckleheads who wanted to open a "resort". It was a panic fueled preemeptive purchase... it got us a very nice piece of land, for about twice the per acre cost of our 48 acre piece, but still pretty cheap. It has a very nice vega (seasonally inundated flood plain where we grow our dry season veggies).

    The land is really nice. It is beautiful. We have mostly hills, with some flood plain, a kilometer of river front, the ruins of a small sattelite settlement of the nearby ruins of Lubantuun (where they found the Crystal Skull....), and all of the trees we planted (minus the ones we lost inHurricane Iris in 2001).

    The PDC I took was instrumental to what we ended up doing. It also paved the way for seven years of employment with Green & Blacks before they sold out to Cadburies. The information I gained in their employ led us to the decision to start our project... and the tools needed to start the project...

    We now have over 300 species on our land that we use (our species list on the web is incomplete....), and Dawn is working for the ZUniversity of Florida Ethnobotany program cataloguing species names and uses in their kekchi and Mopan Maya names, so the list is grwoing rapidly (still need to get someone else to help with the taxonomy). We have a large agrofirestry system with multiple yields, many varieties within each species, and we are getting more diverse every year! We also have student housing for up to 26, and we work with othr NGOs and community based organizations here.

    Belize is far from perfect, very flawed on many levels, but it's home. For the most part I have been treated very well here. Of course, everytime I go somewhere else I realize I made a mistake... :lol: I love Costa Rica, for example, but Belize is such a mixed population, and so small, I am a small and inconsequential but integral part of the country, as are everyone living here (only 200,000 people in the whole country...). In Belize, everyone, regardless of class or ethnicity, is someone, and the part of the country where I live, the Big Times and everyone else (I am in the everyone else catagory), rub shoulders, hang out, talk politics and whatever. There is not racism, really, either. Its a nice place to live.

    Ther is the highly abbreviated version!

    You have a good Christmas, Heuristics!

    C
     
  6. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    I've talked about my PDC experience here before. I did with Geoff Lawton at Tagari Farm in 1999. I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely got something out of it, but... For me, I had done a lot of reading before I did the course, and I had visited a lot of farms with and without Permaculture design, and volunteered on lots too... So, I already had a fairly good basic understanding of what Geoff had to say. I loved hearing it, but to be honest not a lot of it was new to me. I actually disagreed with a few of Geoff's points of view, and enjoyed the opportunity for some discourse!
    I had already spent a couple of months volunteering at Tagari Farm before the course, so I was pretty comfortable doing this... and, I do think that all in all I learnt much more from Geoff working with him than I did in his classroom. I have made it sound like I didn't learn anything in the PDC, which isn't true, but it wasn't the pivotal moment for me, as it is for some...
    I have thought that when I know my song well, I would like to offer my skills as a teacher, but probably more in the way that I experienced working with Geoff before the course. I think a hands on sort of program, with some small kind lectures interspersed, over a longer period of time would work well for some people. I am probably 10 to 15 years away from being ready personally. I also think that having proof is important. I don't think I would feel comfortable teaching Permaculture if I wasn't living it. I am closer than I have ever been, but I would still probably die within 12 months if the boats stopped coming.
     
  7. permaculture.biz

    permaculture.biz Junior Member

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    G'day All,

    Just got back from Viet Nam then right into the festivities here at home in Bendigo. Today there is a slight lull before we get back into party mode again for the next 3-4 days. In the midst of all of this I have been managing the SCAS planting in Viet Nam from my PDA which has been fun!

    I thought of putting this topic up as a poll for this forum but I couldn't see the poll thingo anywhere...

    I have done three PDC's now though I did not complete the last one:

    1993 - Candelo NSW: Tutors - Hugh Gravestein & Andrew Sheridan
    15 students. Fantastic course that had lots of hand's on learning, early creative learning and lots of local tours. The food was sensational and we all camped and had a great time for the two weeks.

    1995 - Tyalgum NSW: Tutors - Bill Mollison (main), Peter Wade and Tim Winton
    75 students at this mammoth course at the old Permaculture Institute property. Was a great course, with lots of very interesting people from all over the place. Bill was able to pull off a course of this size somehow. The group design exercises doubled for the concert which made it a real highlight. Recieved my Diploma of PC at the end presentation which was a buzz.

    2005 - Melbourne VIC: Tutors - Bill Mollison (AM) & Geoff Lawton (PM)
    65 students. Tutorial/Auditory style learning and nothing else. I went to catch up with Bill and Lisa but most of all to hear and glean from Geoff. All of this was worthwhile, though I would like to take a PDC with Geoff under his own control next time, especially out of an environment like this Melbourne Uni Chemistry Theatre!

    I think it is worthwhile for Permaculture/PDC teachers like myself to go and at least sit in on PDC sessions to glean from other teachers and get snippets to add to the toolkit.

    Ciao,

    Daz
     
  8. bella

    bella Junior Member

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    I wish. Part of the ten year plan, when the bubbas are bigger.

    Bel :lol:
     
  9. John Marshall

    John Marshall Junior Member

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    I did the course in melbourne with Bill and Geoff in september 05. It was great to find some sanity in a world gone mad.
     
  10. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

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    who has done a pdc

    Hi John, Yes Melb was fantastic – but Darren is right, the chemistry lab at Melb uni was the very antithesis of what I expected. I packed garden tools and works boots thinking we would be outdoors at least a bit..... that side of it was a huge disappointment. But I think I concentrated harder because the teaching environment sucked, if that makes sense.
     
  11. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Bumping Up

    Well Chris its almost 6 months..Wow not many have responded to your Initial posting...


    Taking into account the current member levels.(currently1217 members) and the % out of that number who come out ofthe closet and admit to the world they are "certificate holder"
    Indulge with me here chris .....

    6 Pdc holders out of 000 members of this board ok

    There must be Thousands world wide multiply that by the board average

    Lets guesstamate say 2000 Pdc holders world wide...thats over 400,000.

    add up figure that only say 10% of world population of Permies actually able to post on a computer site thats 4 million allready..

    and those figures in real life would be so different.
    Even if percentage wise.at 1% this is probly natures maximum number of allowable deaths without species wipe out.

    MMMM Allways thought i was a bit different,.......Im a 1% er

    Im self taught with respects to cetificates,time,money,circumstances have foiled my attempts.I also beleive that a bit of paper isnt everything..

    One day Id hope to become certified.(no pun intended)..

    Do certificate hander outers do House calls?

    Tezza
     
  12. kathleenmc

    kathleenmc Junior Member

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    Great to hear everyones stories....

    Did mine in 04with John champagne and Hugh Gravestein with tutors Phill Gall, Daz Dougherty, Vries Gravestein and Andrew Sheridan all at a beautiful stiener school here in the Bega Valley......

    Got sooooo passionate about permaculture that I found an accredited course that went for 12 months in 05 and did a certificate 4 in permaculture with Robyn Francis in Nimbin....don't get me started on how that was...let's just say that I came away with what I needed to know and you could live on austudy for a year while doing many things permie....and met millions of great people doing basically the same thing. ...well maybe not millions...but definitely a lot from all over the planet.....

    Came home determined to live the permie life and keep on learning stuff and passing it on to anyone who's interested...and maybe make a living out of it....giving it a go anyway....learnt how to make a worm farm grey water system the other day...brilliant....

    When I did the PDC I realised that I was basically living a permie life but there were a few areas that I didn't really get...like lot's of the science stuff...that's been great to learn and I also got into doing lots of landscape design...mainly because I have always built gardens wherever I've been (48 moves so far, but only 10 gardens....I became an enthusiastic and consistant gardener when I became a mum) and I also needed to hear the ethics and princples and am applying those to my life most of the time....now that's a learning process in itself.

    theres my bit...

    :) k
     
  13. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

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    I completely missed this thread. But then again, I was off the site for a number of months.

    My first course was in Brisbane in November, 2004 and was taught by Geoff and Danial Lawton with Nadia Lawton being forced by Geoff to teach for about 10 minutes. :D (At that point, while being fluent in English, she was still nailing down writing the alphbet. She did great, though!)

    The next one was the September, 2005 course by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton that others are talking about here. If nothing else, I learned some creatiive uses for dead sperm whales and that elephants are great for controlling lantana. :wink:
     
  14. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Interesting about contact with permaculture. I'm not a disciple. My father was a fantastic farmer and had memories of working the farm with horse drawn implements. He farmed through the 2nd world war when the tractor was run on metho or something other than petrol. He could touch soil and tell you what to put on it for crops and fertilizer.
    Then my nice new husband turned out to be a permie and had completed PDC in one of the first classes at Crystal Waters. Well, my first reaction was resentment that Permaculture had taken (stolen) what my father and many of his generation did every day, brand named it and marketed it. It seemed insulting to me. And hubby was a disciple and lived, slept and breathed the Bill Mollison manual without deviation and I further resented him (and the unknown author) trying to tell me what to do and how to do it.
    Did we have some interesting conversations loudly. It actually led at one stage to a line down the garden with him doing his thing and me mine with a weigh up of the production levels.
    Since then, we have managed to integrate elements of both our thinking. I'm still mad that Dad was never recognised for his ability the way our modern permaculture gardeners are. But ultimately, we just want to eat well.
     
  15. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

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    The old farmers tended to really know their stuff. A lot of the chemical farmers of today know very little, I'm afraid. By their actions, they have either no understanding of how nature works or they don't care.

    In Bill's defence, his work addresses a lot more than just farming and a lot more than just farming in one climate. Bill's knowledge of energy efficient housing design, for example, is something that, looking at the layout of streets and old buildings of Toronto, the old generations knew precisely nothing about. Then there are the strategies to make society more just and equitable. He did not just write down traditional knowledge and give it a copyrighted name.
     
  16. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

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    G'day all, had a reasonable business in the 90s converting cars to LPG but the introduction of poker machines ripped the spare cash out of the community, had a growing interest in sustainability and wanted to know much more. Being a single parent gave me access to funding and a basic living allowance so I closed the doors the day the GST came in to become a fulltime student.

    Studied Cert IV in renewable energy and thoroughly enjoyed it, but my intro to permaculture came via a copy of Bills designers manual in the TAFE library, read the book cover to cover several times and had never known anything that made such powerful sense, especially the last chapter on strategies.
    The following year saw me at Milduras Madek summer school in earth building followed by a trip to Nimbin for Robyn Francis' course on Ecovillage design (how many life changing moments can one bloke stand?)
    2002 saw me finally take a PDC (backasswards I know, but that's me) with Naomi and Rick Coleman who asked me to teach the eco village component of the course (have taught this at all their courses since then)
    Taught short courses at community centres and neighbourhood houses and started an online group at https://groups.yahoo.com/group/intention ... yvictoria/ before going to Monash Uni for the grad' certificate in regional community development. Uni was a helluva shock for a ratbag who had left school at 15 but it only took two years to do that 12 month course :lol:
    This year is busier than ever with ongoing tinkering on alternative fuels (LPG and woodgas) taking cert'IV in training and assessment and gathering RPLs towards a diploma in permaculture, my son about to begin an apprenticeship as a boilermaker is the icing on the cake
    Cheers
    Rob
     
  17. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

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    Bugger, forgot to mention Robin Clayfields' course in creative adult learning facilitation, highly recommend it to anyone wanting to teach
    Cheers
     

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