EUPC in Bulgaria

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Permaculture Ball Rolls Rapidly down to the shores of Lake Batak

 IMG_9748In Bulgaria this month, the team of volunteers who are participating in the first-of-its-kind, FREE, year-round PDC have completed a detailed site analysis of this year’s location of the European Permaculture Convergence.

The first phase of design, already on its way, has been to bring together enthusiastic people from all over the country who are interested in permaculture, and provide them with a pleasant atmosphere of learning, sharing and designing. Once we made sure our group had bonded and worked together well, we took them onto the second phase: a week-long session at the actual site to dive them straight into the design process.

The 6-day site analysis session produced complete base maps of infrastructure and topographic information, hydrology of the landscape , 3D landscape models, conceptual designs and community building initiatives that will be weaved into the convergence. Now that we have finalized the design, the third phase will be the implementation of it, only 5 days before the convergence (with the help of a dozen volunteers from the German Academy). The fourth phase is the event itself, the celebration. We envision the actual EuPC to be a time for our new cast of Bulgaria PDC-graduates to learn and interact with the kindred spirits visiting from abroad. Naturally, the EuPC itself aims to become an example of what it could be like if we all did indeed live in one village together.

IMG_9874One of our community building initiatives is in fact the OPEN SPACE PROGRAM of the convergence. The first day of the convergence, people will settle in and together decide the program for the remaining 5 days using the technique where each willing teacher or learner can propose a place and time for something to be done or discussed. This provides an opportunity for all the attendees of the EuPC to showcase their own projects and skills equally, regardless if they are an expert or beginner. The important thing is to provide the environment for that discussion to take place. An open space program with 200 permaculturalists is an exciting thing to look forward to, which is why we are also making the environment design a serious priority.

IMG_9891The EuPC conceptual plan aims to show off the beauty of Lake Batak, using the intersection of land and water as the primary inspiration for the design. Waves and root-ways weaved together. Following the intensive small-scale designprinciple, everything will take place in the center of the camp, leaving the outer edges free for space and leisure activities such as kayaking, biking, horse-back riding or simply bathing in the sun, enjoying the marvelous surroundings. Since the final European Teacher’s Partnership (EPT) meeting will take place at a spot nearby, the path from the EPT housing to the EuPC site has also been included in the conceptual design. The primary building materials will be canvas fabric, straw bales and wooden poles to construct the shade/rain infrastructure. There will be a Main Stage, Kid’s Corner, Elder’s Tent, Beach Bar, World Café and various other meeting points for workshops and lectures. Food, showers, toilets and wifi are all included in the basic ticket price. Those who prefer not to camp, write us: eupc2014@gmail.com

Evenings will have performances by Charlie McGee and the Formidable Vegetable Sound System, Peter Cow, Bulgarian folklore groups as well as plenty of opportunities to have an “Open mic” format depending on the talents gathered together at the Convergence. You can register to participate at www.eupc.eu

About cat

Cathrine is dedicated to preserving life supporting systems in nature and in society. Her background in geography, extensive travels and working with an NGO and an embassy has given her experiences with especially poverty, gender, community development, ethnic minorities and the environment. She took an interest in permaculture first time in South Africa in 2000 while working with Zulu farmers and has studied and applied permaculture principles in her later work in Nepal and Vietnam. She has also worked as a consultant evaluating and documenting rural development projects including permaculture projects and Farmer Field Schools. In early 2010, the time was finally ripe for her to take the permaculture design course in New Zealand. She has since then attended a teacher training course, a natural building and organic gardening internship in Thailand. She is working on designing a permaculture garden and strawbale house in Denmark and started teaching introduction courses to permaculture and co-teaching PDCs.