The forth day of staff training was jam-packed with both theoretical and practical lessons. Biswick started off the day discussing the transitions between the different zones and the importance of learning from nature when creating permaculture designs. He highlighted the spiral of a snail shell as a perfect natural shape that reduces edges, which can expose the plants, and creates unique microclimates.
Before lunch the trainees participated in a scavenger hunt. In this exercise they were encouraged to look for resources in the surrounding gardens, households, and wilderness areas. In doing so they could understand that there are natural resources, seeds, foods, etc, all around them and that they already possess important, useful knowledge about those resources.
The afternoon session focused on companion planting and building guilds of mutually beneficial plants. This included a practical component where the participants divided into groups and designed their own beds, considering the interactions between, and benefits of, different plants. Once they had created their designs the groups went into our market garden and built them! They started by forming the beds, filled them with compost, and then watered the beds before planting according to their designs.
As usual, the staff and their families came out of the day excited to practice what they had learned and motivated to begin creating their own permaculture gardens.
This day of training was a part of a larger project to create a network of household pemaculture demonstrations, funded by the Red Soil Project. For more information visit our project page.