Honest Opportunities in Permaculture Education

This weekend Nelson led his first workshop under a model he calls H.O.P.E. The idea is that an experienced educator holds a workshop at a landowner’s property that wants work done. The workshop benefits all involved, the educator gets paid, the property owners get work done on their land, and the participants get a cheap introduction to permaculture. Since we set the pricing, we were able to offer the course at a sliding scale and discounts for participants who chose to bike or carpool (23/24 people either carpooled or rode a bike!!). Both workshops, Saturday and Sunday, went wonderfully. We met great people, saw some familiar friendly faces, and got a lot of work done. The weather even cooperated and we had two of the most beautiful days since we arrived in Wanganui. Although, Nelson did suffer an unfortunate sunburn, revealing his true status as a “redneck”.
This workshop was held at TreeLife Organic Nursery, a farm that belongs to our friends Murray and Lindy. The workshops were divided into two sessions. The morning session was a lecture/discussion introducing participants to the ethics, principals, and working concepts behind permaculture. Then we took a break for tea (of course) with yummy goodies expertly prepared by Dani and Lindy.After the break it was into the field to excercise the concepts discussed in the morning. The participants divided into small groups and rotated through three stations. Dani ran a workshop on creating a keyhole garden, a way to maximize planting space in a small garden. Murray and Lindy shared their expertise in tree planting, pruning, and grafting. Nelson showed three ways to begin raised beds.All in all it was an awesome weekend. We got tons done and lots of good feedback. We think it is a workshop model we will take with us as we move (in only two days) away from Wanganui.

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