All posts by antonio

About antonio

Antonio is a permaculture trainer and designer, based in Barcelona, Spain Diploma in Applied Permaculture 2012 by the Accademia Italiana di Permacultura Co-founder of the Association 'Cambium Permacultura en Formación' and 'Barcelona en Transició'

A Stranger in a Strange Land: Working Successfully Abroad

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With Rico Zook, International  Permaculture Teacher
OCTOBER 23rd – 25th,  2015 (only opportunity in Europe in 2015)

Rico-teachingToday many people want to help others to live on our planet in a better way. All over the globe people of the majority world are starting to realize that the industrial model has serious flaws. They’re looking for sustainable and regenerative answers that are culturally and environmentally appropriate. Us in the minority world have the money, time and desire to be of assistance; however, good intentions are not enough.
Continue reading A Stranger in a Strange Land: Working Successfully Abroad

Program of the York Introduction to Permaculture Course

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York Introduction to Permaculture Course
17-18 April 2004
Tutor: Andy Goldring

We will start promptly at 10am on both days, please try to arrive around 9.30 so we have time to settle in before we start. Bring food to share for lunch, magazines, books or other materials of interest, and warm clothes as we will be going for a walk on Saturday.


9.30 Arrivals, tea and settle in.
10.0 Opening circle – introductions, welcome, housekeeping, timetable, expectations.
10.30 Permaculture in a nutshell – overview and starting points.
11.0 Break
11.20 Ethics and principles (including a game and small group work)
1.0 Lunch
2.20 Observational walk – ‘everything is a gift’
3.0 Video – ‘In grave danger of falling food’
4.0 Questions and answers
4.30 Thinking piece for evening contemplation – ‘Me, my greatest asset’.
4.45 Closing round

Continue reading Program of the York Introduction to Permaculture Course

Teaching theory: Accelerated learning

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IMG_20140603_130151-webThe accelerated learning approachis based on the observation that a holistic learner involvement enhances learning. This means that not just the intellect but the whole person and body are envolved. More precisely, this means not just the survivalist auto-run part of the brain but also the mid part responsible for feelings, emotions and memory as well as the neocortex part, which is connected to thinking, planning and creativity are activated altogether.

Therefore collaboration and interaction amongst learners greatly enhances learning. Continue reading Teaching theory: Accelerated learning

Learning Theory

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Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created picture2-learning-theorythrough the transformation of  experience.“ (David A. Kolb)

David A. Kolb states in the context of his experiential learning theory that learning is best conceived as a continuous process that is grounded in experience rather than in terms of outcomes.
Contemporary learning theories state that experience and reflection play an important role in the development of ideas and skills. Reinforcement and practice are the two ways to encourage that. Social interaction encourages learning as well. Continue reading Learning Theory

Permaculture Design Process – 6. Placement & integration

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by Aranya


Now we’ll get down to experimenting with where the different elements & systems
in your design might be best placed. If you already have a fixed point of focus on
the site (such as a house), then you’ll be aiming to place everything most efficiently
in relation to that. Most designs you do will have to work around this constraint. Continue reading Permaculture Design Process – 6. Placement & integration

Widening Participation – Refugees

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In this session, we reflected on the growing group of refugees coming to Europe as a possible target group for permaculture activities.

 Why are refugees important?
Refugees are a growing group due to ecological, social, political issues and climate change.

  • The western ‘dream’ is causing instability and refugees’ instability in southern countries and as consequence many refugees come to Europe.
  • Many refugees come from rural areas to cities as part of global land flight and urbanisation, which leads to rural de-population.

There are two groups of refugees:

  • Political immigrants from war zones and religious and gender conflicts. They have less opportunities to return, but in hope of getting official status.
  • Economic refugees, often not recognised, so that they are more invisible in in the society. Many of them are illegal and/or homeless.

Continue reading Widening Participation – Refugees

Widening Participation – Permaculture for Disabled

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People Care is one of the ground pillars for Permaculture and we aim to reach out to everybody in society. A survery among Permaculture teachers in Europe revealed that disabled people are currently not involved or participating in courses. So how do we reach out to them?

One way is to approach them personally, but to do so we have to find people. A good way for finding disabled people is establishing cooperation with the social office at local councils. This would include explaining Permaculture even to social workers so they understand how the target group will benefit. Knowing peoples’ names and addresses enables us to send a personal invitation to an event, a course or a workshop.

Another way for waking interest could be organising events (with food, music and PC info/ workshop) that are advertised in media. In the ad it should to be pointed out that the event is wheelchair friendly, for example.

Continue reading Widening Participation – Permaculture for Disabled

Widening Participation – “Suit and Tie”

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The session started with some words from Leo Bakx about his strategy on how to get wealthy people inspired by Permaculture. The conversation continued with Steve Hart, Mihaela (Mischa) Tsarchinska, Martin Giannini, Tanja Korvenmaa, Antonio Scotti, Sarah Daum and Pontus Dowchan.

Why is it important to bring Permaculture awareness to wealthy people?
The access to world’s natural resources is in the hands of a small number of wealthy people and organisations. At the moment the trend amongst permaculturalists seems to be to disregard this “upper class”, though the solutions and the philosophy of Permaculture could have a huge impact when connected with the potential to change large scale structures.

Continue reading Widening Participation – “Suit and Tie”

Second Day at Friland Meeting

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Karoline and Tycho at Myrrhis, the home they are building by hand according to Permaculture principles

We started with a morning circle where we shared in pairs, how we felt about the day before, and we were also asked to pop-corn inspiring moments about yesterday’s events. The rest of the morning was dedicated to working on the primary activities, where progress has been made in the production of materials for the COMPOST (this website).

After lunch, a visit to Tycho and Karoline’s home (and LAND project) was repeated on behalf of those who didn’t do it yesterday. The first activity right after lunch was a World Café to envisage the future of the European Teacher’s network, with an objective to determine the next achievable steps. The rest of the afternoon continued with work on the primary activities.

After dinner we enjoyed learning traditional Danish folks dances accompanied by violin, thanks to two incredibly patient teachers, circular dances from Israel and Romania, an impromptu, improvised, interpretive music and dance experience accompanied by piano, guitar, drum and violin, and typical food and drinks from several countries, celebrating our diversity.

Please share your photos on the EPT Facebook group.

Extract from the EPT Midterm Report: specific results & challenges

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This is an extract from the midterm report that all partners had to hand in to their respective NAs before june 30th 2013. The full report can be downloaded from here.

Concrete results have been

Escherode (Germany) August 1-7, 2012:

  1. We spread information about the Partnership to newcomers and on the newly established website:
  2. We presented partner organisations to each other,
  3. We implemented a structure of organisation (based on the “Viable Systems Model” by Stafford Beer) for the Partnership,
  4. We worked out more details of the work-programme for the 2 years,
  5. We formed teams for the different tasks and functions of the Partnership,
  6. We met at a permaculture site as a practical example.
  7. A short slideshow of the meeting was produced:

 Trenta (Slovenia), October 21st to 25th, 2012:

  1. We gathered questionnaires on educational structures from: Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Canary Islands,
  2. We made SWOC-analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Constraints – and Solutions) of different educational structures,
  3. We looked at “lessons learned” from this meeting and made a design how to better organise the next meeting,
  4. We visited a permaculture farm and a bee keepers’ museum.

 Vale da Lama (Portugal), March 25th to 30th, 2013:

  1. We collected various course curricula, different formats of courses, session plans and an overview of the content that most teachers teach.
  2. We worked on the clarification of the structure of the Partnership so that it is more easily accessible for newcomers.
  3. We decided to focus on the a WIKI ( as the main place where the outcomes of the Partnership will be published and started to work out templates to upload information.
  4. We stayed on the site of a permaculture project and got involved in practical work here, and visited 2 more permaculture projects on the last day of the meeting,
  5. Video interviews of attendees at this meeting was produced:

 Leeds (England), May 27th to June 1st, 2013:

  1. We organized a Creative Teaching Methods training course as an option before the actual meeting in Leeds,
  2. We exchanged about Pedagogy, methods, stories of success and failure and apprenticeships in teaching,
  3. We had a talk by Jon Walker, consultant, on the Viable Systems Model, to further improve our working structure,
  4. We saw presentations about various Permaculture projects in Leeds, visited a local sustainable & affordable housing project, a nearby permaculture farm and community garden.
  5. We worked with Open Space Technology to enable as many people as possible to participate in exchange of information, knowledge and learning processes,
  6. We did a World Café Method to collect wishes, ideas and visions for the continuation and development of this project beyond July 2014 and created a group to work out details,
  7. We started to fill the WIKI with content and results.

What challenges have you met in the implementation of the Partnership, if any? How have these problems been solved?

Managing the diversity of perspectives within the project has brought a number of challenges.

A major challenge has been balancing the desire to widen participation and include as many people as possible (which supports the objective of forming a network of teachers) with the practical need to maintain enough continuity within the project to deliver the other objectives. In particular, during the 3rd meeting, we observed that newcomers to the project had high expectations and felt frustrated by certain aspects of the way the project was run and details of the programme (specifically they wanted more focus on content and less on discussing details of “how to manage” the Partnership); meanwhile “old timers” who had been involved in the project from the beginning felt that their contribution to the project had not been recognised or honoured.

We have responded to this by conducting more thorough inductions for newcomers to the project at the beginning of meetings and by splitting the groups so that people with different levels of information can participate without frustration. Also, the participants from each country made extra efforts to brief new attendees prior to the meetings.

 Another challenge that we have faced has been how to enable some degree of participation for unfunded partners: those organisations that contributed to writing the application, but did not receive the funding from their national agency (Italy and Latvia), or potential partners that failed to engage in time to be included in the bid process (e.g. Permaculture organisations in Czech Republic, Croatia, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Ukraine etc). We decided to facilitate unfunded partners’ participation by reducing their event fee and inviting partner organisations to make donations to subsidise them.

 A major challenge has been (and remains to be) for the participants to stay in touch in between meetings, especially in the working groups, as these have been formed by interest rather than proximity of participants to each other. Using the Internet to collaborate with a multi-lingual group spread out over several time zones and countries is one of the major learning experiences! The partners try to move towards getting the work done at the meetings themselves, plus there is usually time allocated to the question of “how will we stay in touch and work together until the next meeting?”. The solution for that issue was the decision made for all to have regular Skype meetings using Team viewer and start adding (again on a regular basis) their input to the WIKI.

Last but not least it turns out that the funded partners seem to have not communicated enough during the application period and before the start of the project about how certain outcomes were going to be financed. Due to this, the partners have made budget-plans which do not allow for printing all of the material that has been planned. Although there was awareness of the “Accompanying Measures”, the partners did not have the resources to apply for this funding. The solution for now is to focus on online publication of the results and the various products that have been planned on a WIKI-platform.

Review of the EPT journey done on first day of Denmark meeting

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What have we learned or gained together so far?

  • Supporting the Permaculture movement through quality assurance of offered courses.
  • European togetherness.
  • Creating a support network that is flexible to carry out the PA activities.
  • Creating an understanding of the outcomes of the delivery outcomes.
  • VSM dynamic between people / getting rooted in VSM _ learning that it works but takes practice.
  • Social permaculture group facilitation.
  • Creation of new methods – Levels:General:Certificate:Diploma:Further? Masters PHD?
  • The whole is bigger than it’s elements.
  • Diversity put into a compost creates a new culture _ through it’s heat!
  • Learning how to network in an effective way and being confident in that process.
  • Microteaches . learning from each others style.
  • Learning not to try and do too much!

What can the EPT bring to the world – what can we share?

  • Global website and network – keep the website alive and active for worldwide use.
  • Permaculture becoming more mainstream as a result of this and other similar partnerships.
  • How to create community out of complexity.
  • Conflict resolution solutions.
  • To celebrate and manage diversity.

Ecology Basics

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Session Length: 90 min
Learning objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Say what Ecology means, how it differs from other fields, and understand their and human role in it.
  • Describe Main Principles of Ecology with examples for human design
  • Explain in more detail 3 of ecological processes
  • Draw a typical cycle of materials
  • Draw different producers and consumers and decomposers in the Trophic PyramidUnderstand the importance of webs, networks, relationships and cooperation in Ecosystems
  • Explain the S-curve graph in terms of time, diversity, stability, succession
  • Consider the task of pc designers to create a cultivated ecology.

Resources needed
Posters of cycles, paper and colourful pens, poster of S-curve, poster of some ecological principles, safety pins, big red round cushion.

Session Plan
For details on how to run this session please download the following pdf:  Session Plan Ecology Basics Kirsty Heron-1


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Session length: 90 minutes
Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • read landscapes and point out microclimates
  • map microclimates in a house or garden
  • describe how to modify extremes of climate
  • know how to make the most of exisitng microclimates in design
  • consider strategies for small and large landscapes
  • do a microclimate study

Posters, big paper and pens, flipcharts with drawings on, handout microclimate study copies 1 per pair

Session plan
Please download the following pdf for details on how to run this session SessionPlan Microclimates Kirsty Heron-1

Zone 0

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Session lenght 90 min.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • say factors that influence siting a house
  • choose appropriate insulation materials
  • choose appropriate construction materials
  • include biotechture in house design
  • understand the fun and potential of retrofits

For details on how to run the session please dowload the following pdf Session Plan Zone 0 Kirsty Heron-1

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • say factors that influence siting a house

  • choose appropriate insulation materials

  • choose appropriate construction materials

  • include biotechture in house design

  • understand the fun and potential of retrofits

Zone 4

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Session length 90 min.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the session, participants will be able to

  • list all the harvestable products from a forest/treesplants
  • understand why it is important to plant back the number of trees we consume in a lifetime- and more!
  • State characteristics of the Zone 4 in terms of structure of plants (and are there any buildings)
  • map where Zone 4 could be located in urban, suburban and rural landscapes
  • describe site considerations, establishment phase and maintenance for Harvest forest

For details on how the session is run, please download the following pdf Session Plan Zone 4 Kirsty Heron-1

Leeds PDC 2012 Timetable

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This is a course timetable for a PDc run in 2012 in Leeds by Andy Goldring. The course runs over 7 weekends, one weekend a month from February  till June .  See linked pdf beside for full timetable Leeds_PDC_2012_timetable

pdc-AndyG-leeds2012A list of the things we will include in the sessions – really an indication of what we will be covering during the course. Some things will be very quick – an explanation of the terms and where to find out more, other topics will be in more depth. This will depend partly on the group.

Continue reading Leeds PDC 2012 Timetable