What is going on in the Permaculture Network in Germany!?

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By Sandra Campe

For about 6 years now, we are having 4 main networking and action learning meetings a year: one in each season. The first in the year happens in February, the “winter meeting”. This is really a networking meeting with project presentations, open space time, discussions, games,… In spring, the meeting happens around Ascension Day (I guess the reason for that is because that is a holiday in Germany and this creates a prolonged weekend), this is long-standing.

In summer, we meet for the “summer academy”, which is often 10 – 14 days of camping, hands-on activities, project & diploma presentations, peer learning, bonfires and joy.
And last but not least in the year, usually on the 3rd weekend in September we meet for the “Annual Convention”, at which the annual assembly of the german PC association takes place.

There are many repeating patterns at these meetings (there is a lot of self-organization and open space time) but 2014 is a bit special:

This year, the Permakultur Institut e.V. (the most well known PC Association in Germany) is the 30th year since it has been founded by Declan Kennedy in 1984!

There are a lot of things happening around this anniversary and during this year in general:
– celebrating the 30th birthday at the Permaculture Meeting and annual assembly in September in Leipzig / Germany
– organizing a Permaculture Camp Space around the 4th International Degrowth Conference (September 2nd-6th, 2014, Leipzig / Germany)
– organizing courses & workshops before, at and after this conference
– planting of 30 trees on the urban farm in Leipzig and other places all across PC projects in Germany
– participating in the application process for the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership “PLANT” (creating an European network of PC learning, action, networking and training sites)
– integrating these activities with the national drive for creating a German LAND-network and applying for funding for it
– organizing a PC teachers’ training in winter 2014
– increasing our collaboration on tasks and projects on an online-platform to work as the decentralized pc-activists that we are

Apart from that, the interest in and knowledge about Permaculture is growing all over Germany. There are intro-courses happening everywhere and the number of PDCs that take place is increasing steadily, just as the number of students at the Permakultur Akademie, which offers the training to become an accredited PC Designer.
Thanks to the joy of travelling of 2 of our PC-team, a number of journeys of about 10 days to PC-projects in different european countries (Sweden, UK, Switzerland, France,…) have been organized with the support of EU-funding under “Leonardo DaVinci”. This money can also be used for apprenticeships and job shadowings across Europe and thus enables PC teachers and students from Germany to learn from projects all over Europe!

Currently, we are looking forward to July: A group of people will go to the EuPC in Bulgaria (including Site Tour or EPT-meeting beforehand), so hopefully see you there at the latest!”

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.