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The daily routine of volunteer student

In Anovafloresta we give value to nature and human community. A positive attitude, kindness, altruism, community spirit, open mind and respect are key to share this place together. Being independent, responsible and motivated will help to make the best of our projects.

There is no problem in taking your time to perform an activity as long as it’s done with quality. Have doubts? Ask! Especially before you do something permanent. The answer you’ll get will always include an explanation on the reason of the design you implement.

We live by the principles of gender equality and sustainability: “reduce, reuse, recycle and design in these perspectives.”

The routine for student volunteers

The day starts early, because the temperature is milder and facilitates physical work. At start we have a quick meeting to determine the activities of the day and to allocate the resources. We work for about two hours, then we take a 45-minute break for an enhanced breakfast and recharge the energy. We work one and a half or two more hour (in the shade) which includes the very important step of cleaning and tidying tools and material at the end of the activity. The rest of the day is free to do your activities: go to the beaches, stroll in the city, work on your project, work on a creative project, among others.

If the volunteer student wants to work on a creative project (sculpture, painting, handcrafting, etc.) during the afternoon we will do our best to support and provide the necessary tools for its accomplishment (we are accepting suggestions!)

This timetable serves as an example, since the activities and the time of realization tend to vary during the seasons.

6:00 am – 6:30 am: Your Morning Routine – Light Breakfast
6:30 am – 7:00 am: Meeting to determine activities
7:00 a.m. to 9:00 am: Practical training (physical work)
9:00 am – 9:45 am: Full breakfast and free time
9:45 a.m. – 11:15 am: Practical training
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 am: Break to relax, take a shower, etc.
12:00 pm – next day: Lunch and free time

Usually if the volunteer does not know how to cook he will ends up learning with the support of the community.

“Eating is an agricultural act” (Wendell Berry). It is important to make a connection between food production and food eating. Learning how to cook a vegetarian meal is part of volunteer training.

The training

On average we do 4h of practical work per day, 4 days a week, and 1 day of theory per week, the 5th day of the week.

The theory is related to the work we are doing or introducing different concepts: incorporating Permaculture, sustainable development, economic and scientific domains, ecology, ecosystem design and simulation, soil study, etc.

The practical work goes from how to make a knot, how to properly cut a tree branch, what is the best position / way of doing a job, how to use the tools … Usually the techniques are performed first with the instructor and the person (or group) is left to proceed with the work. The goal is to teach the person how to do the work autonomously. Every activity is described in the lens of the intended design.

Lodging

Anovafloresta proposes facilities within the organic farm with either dormitories or campground.

The general infrastructure of the accommodation includes: camping lots, electricity, mineral water, showers, modern dry toilets and standard toilets connected to a sustainable system for water treatment in case of dormitory.

Cost of living, lodging and shopping in Trancoso

Trancoso is particularly expensive if you adopt a tourist lifestyle (restaurants,  bars, buy clothes, beers on the beach, etc.). However if you buy items in supermarket, it comes back to the normal Brazilian cost.

There are many shops in Trancoso, including small supermarkets.
Taxis are expensive, Moto taxis are cheaper.
Bus is cheap and works well;
There are ATMs  in Trancoso. Do not let sellers get out of sight with your credit card to avoid cloning.

Once you get  your travel ticket;

Please contact Anovafloresta to inform us about the details of your arrival:
– Your date / time of arrival (to Porto Seguro, Trancoso);
– If you come by plane: The airline, flight number and airports of correspondence, if any.
– If you come by bus: The bus company and the,departure city. The bus station is small, with the possibility of eating and sitting.

Definitions of Permaculture

There are nearly as many definitions of Permaculture as Permaculture practitioners.

Here is an analysis of some definitions either short or long, technical or poetical, simple or complex, succinct or incomplete; I added some comment to correct or complete them in case it was needed.

Google: “The development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.” Comment: a large part of Permaculture is the “how”. And we could add here that biodiversity is a key factor to reach the 2 enunciated goals. If you imagine installing 200 solar panel farm and produce potatoes with it you may obtain a sustainable and self sufficient  ecosystem but it excludes the human dimension from this ecosystem and people would not get self sustainability in term of food by lacking a full spectrum of nutrients. This definitions lack as well the objective of building a low footprint habitat well integrated in the ecosystem, considering human as part of the ecosystem.

Wikipedia: “Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered on simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.” Comment: this definition encompass 1 key factor in Permaculture; biomimicry. Nevertheless the Systemic approach proposes many other designing tools than complement the pattern approach.

Permaculture.net: “Permaculture, or permanent (agri)culture, means working with natural forces – wind, sun, & water – to provide food, shelter, water & other needs with minimum labor & without depleting the land. Permaculture is a holistic approach based on traditional agricultural practices.”   Comment : This definition lacks an essential part which is biology and only take into account abiotic factors. In many case biology is fundamental in order to allow cyclic biologic processes able to produce abundance and save energy. As well Permaculture find a lot of technical data in empirical knowledge but aims to develop new designs using modern technology when providing a sustainable value addition.

Dictionary.com: “Permaculture is a system of cultivation intended to maintain permanent agriculture or horticulture by relying on renewable resources and a self-sustaining ecosystem.”Comment: we may say that “renewable resources” objective is a precondition and included in to obtaining self sufficiency. The very positive addition of this definition is the mention of “horticulture” which indeed is closer to the current practice of Permaculture although agriculture can be integrated in a Permaculture platform. It is important to point out that horticulture is a more productive system than agriculture in food production.

Merriam-webster.com: “Permaculture is an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems”. Comment: The best definition so far in its essence, may lack the “how to” dimension.

At this point we may notice that generalist sites (above) have a limited and somehow inadequate view of Permaculture. Here are more adequate definitions, from practitioners;

Bill Mollison (The co-founder of Permaculture): “Permaculture uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area.” Comment: this definition contains everything that can inspire a Permaculturist and is intended toward either this category of people or to someone who reads the book of Bill Mollison (where is found this definition). Not only it implies that Permaculture is a dense system of food and urbanism production (last part of the description) but as well assess its life-supporting dimension meaning taking into consideration the biologic, complex and ethical dimension of humanity. David Holmgren , second co-founder of Permaculture add the 12 principles of Permaculture which are mainly a popularization of the systemic approach structure and mechanisms, providing with an integrative vision of the functions in the farms.

Permaculture.org: “The easy answer is that Permaculture is a design discipline based on the foundational ecological principles of nature. One then takes one’s observations of natural systems and applies the lessons learned to the human based environment….The bottom line is that Permaculture is a road map to finding our small place in the world as an integral part of the whole planetary system.” Comment: This sound like an ideological statement however people who practice Permaculture every day of their life and confront the consequences of their act with the impact they produce on the planet and their own ethical view  come naturally to this conclusion. The only explanation that may sound right for this “aknowledgment“ is certainly related to considering human as an organism finding its place in an ecosystem still assuming its own specificity as the most evolved organism of this ecosystem and its need for transcendence. We may add that Permaculture is a “reverse” ideology in the sense that more than imposing a set of ideas and rules to a human organization Permaculture is a practical integration to nature which creates in a bottom-up stimulation an harmonized and liberating human model for living in and exploring the world.

Anovafloresta: “Permaculture is a type of agroecology, green building and urbanism using Systemic Approach and Biomimicry  as optimization drives”. Comment : This definition is very concise however needs prior understanding of the 3 terms “agroecology”,  “Systemic Approach” and “Biomimicry”. Agroecology is an agriculture which respects ecosystem biodiversity. Systemic approach is a (relatively new) scientific approach aiming to help complex system management by monitoring flows, functions and interfaces. Examples of flows are light, rain, wind, examples of functions are trees, chicken coop, green house, examples of interfaces are windbreaks, living fences, path,etc… Biomimicry is a new development in science aiming to use nature as an inspiration pool for designing efficient and energy saving functions (seen as interrelated ecosystems.) The ethical dimension is somehow omitted explicitly in this definition which could be summarized as : Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share, corresponding to the sustainability paradigm (ecology, social, economy).

Larry Santoyo: “Permaculture is: Design protocols for critical thinking, decision making and problem solving – all based on the patterns of nature.” Comment; this definition has been criticized as giving only the “how to” and not the “what is the final objective” of Permaculture.

Stephane Bour: “Permaculture is the construction of a resilient macro-organism producing abundant food, habitat and biodiversity.” Comment; The term macro-organism needs to be understood here as an intimately interconnected ecosystem with biotic and abiotic functions.

A more didactic definition of Bill Mollison  (compared to the one above) and  Scott Pittman is: “Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems which have the diversity, stability & resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape, people & appropriate technologies, providing good, shelter, energy & other needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture is a philosophy and an approach to land use which works with natural rhythms & patterns, weaving together the elements of micro-climate, annual & perennial plants, animals, water & soil management, & human needs into intricately connected & productive communities.” Comment : this definition is intended to propose a roadmap for designers in a learning context.

Melting pot of Permaculture incentives;

  • Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature (Bill Mollison)
  • Protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour (Bill Mollison)
  • It offers a practical, creative approach to the problems of diminishing resources and threatened life support systems…(Simon Henderson, Cortez IS, BC)
  • A Permaculture is a diverse, complex ecosystem where the elements interact in mutually beneficial ways to produce a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. (Anon)
  • Agro-toxic is petrol intensive, organic agriculture is labor intensive, Permaculture is information intensive (saying)
  • Permaculture is a world-wide movement of designers, teachers, & grassroots activists working to restore damaged ecosystems & human communities. Permaculture derives practical techniques & principles from the study of natural systems & applies them to earth repair & care.(Anon)
  • Permaculture uses perennials to build the framework of an ecosystem, in opposition to industrial petrol based agriculture producing mainly annuals. (saying)
  • Permaculture is the best approach to mitigate and adapt to climate change (saying)
  • Permaculture is the science of relationship (saying)

To be continued…(don’t hesitate to propose definitions if you find them interesting)

Western civilization need for permanence

Western culture is the only one having a universal currency equivalence. All other cultures create compartment where financial exchanges are forbidden between compartments. For example you may do commerce within the area of food exchange but cannot make a deal, an exchange, between food and a service of habitat construction if this latter  service belongs to another compartment.

In the western culture a currency value usually defines a human value and this universal equivalence may create a confusion in the way we weight the components of our environment. For example a 10 USD share of a car company will have the same value as the daily work of a child in a developing country. This perspective imposed by the universality of the currency dilute human values in a technocrat vision of the world which in the process lose it’s real semantic, replaced by the value of the mean (money) itself.

We could consider this financial mechanic to be the factor which jeopardise the development  of a real civilisation. And we may as well consider that the main issue in globalization is not really really the quantity and generalization of exchanges but the equivalence of currency between countries with different capabilities to maintain their own compartment stability. 

We may analyse further the concept of compartments and how it appears in our current democracies, what shape it takes.

What makes the link between finance and the  social realm is politics. A government will vote a budget which represents the importance we will give to a compartment. This amount for education, this amount for health, this one for public transport, etc. Without forbidding the financial exchanges between compartment it will at least allow a set of necessary compartments having each of them the necessary resources and mechanisms to survive and develop as a part of a civilised world.

The issue comes when successive governments associate different values to these different compartments over time with different budget creating instability and denying sometime the legitimacy of a compartment. For example if public (budget) funding is stopped for education it correspond to the destruction of a compartment as a protected area and financial value generated in another compartment (e.g. industry or Finance ) can put its hand on this compartment through private school education.

The only way to stabilize the protection of the essential compartments which make possible the development of a civilisation would be to define a minimal budget allocation at constitution level creating this way a stable structure for democratic  development. It would bring a framework and stability to the political and financial world. 

The constitution of Europe criticized now days as being a non political therefore simplistic federation based on currency  could be the perfect benchmark to initiate such minimal budget ruling for adherents and allow national and regional customization depending on the different cultures and aspirations. Europe would then become political in its essence and remain non directive for the national variations in short terms politics and economic development ,  and would finally represent an ideal for Europeans .

The difference between Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle (C2C)

C2C is a concept of total recycling through design. The product is conceived so that the cost of recycling is lower than the cost of buying new material. It is at start a focus of a company to increase competitivity by reducing the costs and transforming a product orientated approach into a service platform. C2C is a circular paradigm in its essence with a redesign of the product (which becomes a service) , a redesign of the production platform able to recycle, a redesign of the distribution and re-acquisition network and the development of value added services attached to a virtual product.

Circular Economy is a concept of companies integration in the objective of reusing the waste of a company as a resource for another one. The issue with circular economy is that it belongs to the linear paradigm (vs the circular one) which intends to close a linear process with different specialized actors in charge of recycling. In this case companies will not redesign the product in order to leverage re-acquisition of the product and recycle everything  but create partnerships resulting mainly in finding a complementary revenue in the waste produced. We may even consider C2C and circular economy in opposition since in C2C the waste has a very high value that should stay in the boundaries of the company and not been used by competitor/partners. It may happen in the future that partners will be essentially integrated in the  C2C process of a company as providers of service or transformers of degraded residue the companies do not want to reuse (biomass, …). Of course circular economy represent a drive to reach C2C since recyclers will negotiate with producers to update product design in order to ease recycling. The integration of the recyclers as service providers will come from the objective of customer fidelization and the necessity to exist in the market at every step of the service life cycle  (production, distribution, re-acquisition of matter, recycling) and up selling of premium services. Partners will specialise in the different activities of production, distribution, recycling , always ensuring that value added material will come back to the producers to close the loop, ensuring that the producer will be autonomous material wise.

Checklist for site survey before Permaculture design on simulation platform

Site-Design-simulation-PermacultureThis list is intended for preparing the workshop dedicated to site design using the simulation platform.

  • Clarify  your main entry access point and transportation means toward the next food market. Your connection to the world is important

  • Clarify the access to electricity and water.

  • Identify Google maps satellite exact location. And possibly create your spot boundaries in Google map customization

  • Define the area (square meters or acres)  with photos on extreme spots ; the  most humid and  the driest. If extreme seasonal variation ; make photo of the rainy and dry season of the same spot.
  • More about photos

    • Identify 10 referential points as a source and target for photos distributed on the area. From each spot take a photo of the 9 other referential points always directing your camera horizontally in order to identify the difference of level between your source and target referential points.

    • If zone 0 is already identified make sure to integrate it as a referential point and make additional photos inside and in direction of this area

    • If an infrastructure already exists take photos showing the size and shape and state of the elements and their path to the route infrastructure.

    • Make photos of particular spots raising concerns
    • Make photos of the sectors you have identified
    • If you have this possibility on your phone/camera take videos and 360 degrees photos. Either orientate your camera always horizontally  during shooting or edit the photos and videos so that they will appear horizontal (it will save time) when compiled for the platform simulation.

    • Bring with you some USB sticks to store the photos you will make of your design and to copy Aflorestanova video materials (at least 8GB capacity)

  • Apart from land regeneration and food and Habitat autonomy what are your points of focus. It can be specific food production, training center,  consulting, green building,  children education on sustainability or anything which motivate you and may create beneficial opportunities. This will drive the design along time and help defining priorities.

  • Find witnesses or archives about your spot 100 years ago or more before the local Anthropocene impact.

  • Do you have access to mulch ? Usually a layer of 30cm of mulch is needed in tropical condition in order to provide with heat protection, resistance to wind and water erosion and give nutrients and humidity  to the microorganisms in the soil ecosystem. (Be aware as well that mulching a dry area will prevent its humidification if initially dry when only small rains happen after mulching). Knowing your mulch capacity over time will orientated your zone 0,1,2 and reforestation strategies.

  • Collect local know-how  detrimental or beneficial to the ecosystem

  • Verify the capacity to get local and well adapted fauna and flora species. Usually if they are abundant it means they are well adapted to the context. For animal try to identify the sustainability in the choices neighbor farmers are making.

  • Map with contours (showing altitude lines) is extremely useful to prepare the terrain of the simulation platform before design

  • It may happen that the platform will be used with 2 perspectives (in case of large properties)  sequentially from the global to the more complex sub ecosystem requiring fine design.

    • the entire property in order to identify main sectors and zoning,

    • a focus on strategic zones, usually 0,1,2 , to focus on the complexity of more domesticated zones.

Example of site design simulation using the output of this survey list

Biomimicry and Permaculture

Showing the intrication between Permaculture and Biomimicry requires some digging.

Permaculture is not solely a replication or an inspiration of, and from, natural functions, it is as well “using directly and intensively nature”, integrating the functions and cycles of nature in the processes of food and habitat production.

This usage is based on the respect of biodiversity, qualitatively and quantitatively.

This respect of biodiversity finds its foundation;

  • In Permaculture; as a wish to recognize the human genesis and biology as intrinsically related to nature. This way biodiversity becomes a constituent of human ethic. Permaculture is an eco-friendly interface between human and the environment. The ethic dimension requires here the dedication of an area (zone 5) to the development of an autonomous biome, not invaded by human domestication.
  • In Biomimicry; as considering nature an inspirational reservoir, a knowledge database of materials and functions and eventually a way to develop eco-friendly (here in the sens of economy and ecology) solutions. Biodiversity is a capital the corporate world should preserve. Biomimicry is (mainly) an eco-friendly  interface between corporations and the environment. In some cases, of course, non-profit applications may be developed.

If Biomimicry is the observation and replication of natural functions then Permaculture goes further and transform human into an element connected to natural cycles. Permaculture could be seen as a Biomimicry way to integrate back human into nature, together with its technological background.

To approach this subject in more technical terms we will need to divide Permaculture epistemology in its different dimensions;

  1. Design methodology of functions and landscape including spacial integration and scheduling of functions and resources
  2. Systemic approach as a framework for ecosystem observation, analysis, tuning and optimization
  3. Processes hybridization (integration of technical functions in biological cycles)

And see how the biomimicry perspective is related to these different domains of Permaculture.

1) Design methodology of functions and landscape including spacial integration and scheduling of functions and resources

Let’s differentiate

  • the design of a specific function
  • the design of a landscape (spacial integration of functions including earth shaping, fauna and flora)
  • the design of a process (scheduling functions and flows)

The design of a function is typically associated with the possible usage of biomimicry as would do an engineer wanting to create an efficient and eco-friendly mechanism. Here biomimicry applies fully and Permaculture literature reminds his students about the shapes of nature; lines, curves, structures, volumes, fractal and the inherent physical properties of the various geometrical forms.

To open the scope of the relationship with biomimicry;  a design should include the optimization of recycling. For example we may design an object based on the size, shape, life spam  and particularities of the materials found in the commerce, in landfills or in natural systems. E.g. The size of the roof I’ll do is a multiple or easily adjusted to the size of the roof sheet I may find available in order to have no waste. Here biomimicry methodology is kind of constrained to certain obligations that may not exist in the industrial world; some dimensions of nature properties (elimination of waste and recycling of resources) should be always part of the process of design inspiration.

The design of a landscape, meaning mainly the architecture of the ecosystem, with its  various biotic and abiotic elements, will respond to 3 factors; human logistic, flows of energy, nutrients and pollution, and the synergies between elements.

If human logistic requires optimization, the tracing of the routes will be done avoiding erosion and make a good usage of gravity in its design, the periodicity of attendance of the different functions will require zoning  (a way to simplify a “graph theory” mathematical problem in finding the shorter path in accessing the different activities) and finally access path to critical resources will have to be secured in the sense of having 0 down time (always available). Here biomimicry may help in the analysis of the notion of niche in various species, with various locomotion modes and the way priorities are given to different moving behaviors. Biomimicry can help as well in finding synergies for transportation. In this area we cannot prescribe how biomimicry can play a role and options are really open from landscape shape design to energy efficiency in transportation.

The Flow of energy, nutrients and pollution has a very organic dimension, system wise. The contribution of Biomimicry may come from direct analogies in the different elementary functions, meaning the optimization of each specific materialized flow (water,  wind, rain, dust, nutrients, noise, etc.) or it may provide some topological solution in a more global perspective, considering these flows as a circulatory problem within a complex organ. This dimension of Permaculture requires particular attention. Systemic approach plays inherently with the notion of “Russian dolls” and every ecosystem can be considered as an interrelated set of subsystems. For example the soil can be considered as a substrate including microorganisms and a complex food web or it maybe be considered as an organ, our planet organ, in charge of digestion and recycling, giving life to the fauna and flora on top of it. In this perspective Biomimicry may give clues to optimize the circulatory flow of nutrients, energy  and toxins inside an ecosystem as it would best fit in an organ.

Synergies between elements. Synergy and emergence could be compared to the egg and the chicken, who appeared first ? An emergence is a byproduct of a complex structure however it will create a synergy, meaning a productive event, only if having a supportive value in the initial realm (prior substrate giving birth to the emergence). A synergy is in itself an emergent relationship which will change the structure of a system in a richer level. Biomimicry capital could be compared to the sum of the successful genetic transformation where the link between an ecosystem seen as a substrate and the emergent functions from this system create a relationship increasing the inner structure quality of the initial ecosystem. If biomimicry applies in the most impacting way in the different ways to handle agroecology it is in this domain. Synergy is maybe the cornerstone linking Permaculture and Biomimicry. In Permaculture the emphasis is put on relationship between elements to create synergies, in biomimicry it includes with emphasis the notion of structure (which is actually the same thing considering the spatial juxtaposition of even or odd elements).

An illustration of biomimicry is the creation of a food forest. It replicates the forest structure, the best adapted to tropical climate, and includes in the fauna both productive trees (fruits, nuts, useful wood, …) and supportive trees for the ecosystem. Studies show that the choice of species (assuming enough biodiversity) is not determinant in the viability, carbon productivity and resilience of a forest when there is an equivalence in the variety of shapes. This capacity allow a certain degree of domestication and orientation of the forest toward food and habitat production. Here the replication does not encompass “a priory” the understanding of the mechanisms at work for each element but consider the forest structure as a productive system for human.

2) Systemic approach

Permaculture is an instantiation of agroecology using a customized systemic approach. It shares with Biomimicry a strong drive consisting in observing ecosystems (mainly single organisms) to identify determinant and positively impacting functions. From there the scope of types of analysis between the 2 disciplines may vary, Permaculture focusing on a systemic value addition and Biomimicry focusing on the determinant function reproduction. We may assume more correlations in the different set of tools used by both approaches in the future when Biomimicry will mature and complexify the scope for design of its platform.

3) The process design and hybridization.

Here again versatile Biomimicry includes in its scope any kind of spacial and scheduled series of events that may occur in nature. In both discipline it seems more difficult to understand processes than elementary functions. Most of the time applied Biomimicry will focus on determining the value addition of a limited process close to the function to avoid the replication of systemic complexity. Permaculture will empirically play with a set of elementary functions to create an hybrid platform where nature and technology are integrated. The process perspective is certainly the most uneasy (although normative) method of development Permaculture may explore in a farm development. The common denominator between the 2 disciplines is the identification of specific natural cycles and techniques to externalize certain steps (and make a technological function from them) to help managing an hybrid cycling. Permaculture will then focus on closing the loop, Biomimicry on replicating the externalized function.

Conclusion

From this analysis we may project the idea that in front of the profusion of nature creations Biomimicry will naturally use more and more systemic tools and integrate a cradle to cradle quality to its creations. We may assume as well that Permaculture will benefits from the technological pool of functions coming from Biomimicry to optimized its hybrid processes.

We may say that Biomimicry is consubstantial to Permaculture.

Feedback from students and volunteers

P1060710

…was very welcoming from the beginning. He seemed to be quite apt at assigning me tasks that provided a fun and challenging learning experience suited to my level of experience. His occasional interceptions for a quick edifying demonstration or instructions are possible to receive as dogmatic or dismissive if you are sensible to criticism, but for me they were always helpful and justified by his relative advance in skill and expertise …
Georg

…And I got even more: the experience of what permaculture is like in a tropical country (Stephane has a big knowledge about this subject plus lots of information to share!), sharing meals in an outdoor kitchen and seeing the most exciting variety of insects under the most amazing night sky…
Ute

…This is a great opportunity to learn hands on this beautiful way of taking care of the earth. You’ll have a good balance of theory and practice every week day, guided by Stephane who is always present to answer your questions and help you and tries to match your interests with your learning experience…
Virginie

…show us many power points about the practices learned that day, but also very interesting documentaries ranging from soil (vs. dirt), recycling, composting, reforestation, etc.. It was really very helpful to have the theory to re-emphasize the practices learned…
Mary Elisabeth

…The accommodation is nice and rustic, the adobe houses are more luxurious but i still miss my tent and hammock home. Food is always tasty, local and nutritious. Also flexible if you ever want to eat something special or not eat something then it should not be a problem.The course itself is really great. So interesting, good balance of practical work and theory work. Also very flexible, if you take a particular interest in a certain area, then you will be rewarded. …
Laurie

… learned a lot about a lifestyle close to and determined by nature. I camped next to a mango tree, was accompanied by a bunch of chicken when showering outside and every night I listened to a concert of the sounds of nature….
Saskia

…My best experience was probably to listen to Stephane presenting theory lessons on broad-based concepts like systems thinking as well as specific concepts such as soil composition and then being able to apply these lessons in the permaculture forest. The world of sustainable agriculture and construction has been opened to me….
André