Monday, August 29, 2011

Back From Eden

I just got back from the first Teacher Training Course at the Permaculture Institute site at Pojoaque, New Mexico. (Pronounced, I learned, as "Po-acky" according to the shuttle driver.) Close to Santa Fe, the trip requires flying in to Albuquerque and a 90 minute or so shuttle ride. Since I arrived at night, lugging my tent which I turned out not to need, I really didn't see my surroundings till the next morning. It was a delight to the senses! Just outside the property was arid desert land. Inside was a completely different story. Green everywhere! 
I came there from my home near Bastrop, Texas. When I made my trip the Austin/Bastrop area had been through 69 consecutive days of "above 100 degree" temperatures, as well as way too many months of drought. In short, everything at home was frying and drying out. Casa Las Barrancas, on the other hand, was verdant and blossoming.

The Permaculture Institute was founded in North America by Bill Mollison and Scott Pittman in 1997 to be a sister organization to the original Institute in Australia. Since then, Scott and Arina Pittman, Larry Santoyo and many others have worked to uphold the standards of Permaculture, teach Permaculture classes, show by example the Ethics and Principles that Bill Mollison and David Holmgren originally set forth.

The class surroundings were wonderful. So were the assembled classmates who came from New Mexico, Nevada, California, Colorado, Bermuda, Texas, and Venezuela.  They were quite an interesting group of 22 students. The teachers, Larry Santoyo and Scott Pittman, have an enormous amount of experience between them of teaching and using Permaculture. Arina Pittman, Scott's lovely wife, is another invaluable resource of knowledge of Permaculture, gardening, and life in general. 

Most of the members of the new Teacher Training class  were previous Permaculture Design Certificate (or PDC) students of Larry and Scott. I may have been the only exception. I came across the class by accident. I made a lot of great friends and contacts, though, as well as learning a lot about teaching and living Permaculture. I owe a lot of thanks to my friend Merry Henderson and my partner Cat Dancing for their support in my taking this class. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Upcoming Permaculture Class in Austin!

The Austin Permaculture Guild is now accepting registrations for its Fall/Winter 2011 Permaculture Design Certificate Course, which starts September 24 and runs for 10 Saturdays. To register and reserve your space right now for the Fall course send me an email, or simply visit the Austin Permaculture Guild Website. The class will take place at 5604 Manor Rd., headquarters of Third Coast Activist. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

EarthSong Retreat

Our new place has a name! We're calling it EarthSong Retreat! This is in keeping with our plans, both ours and Merry's (the owner), to do workshops, retreats, classes, etc. out here. Plus, with my flutes, and her teaching music, and the Permaculture and Magickal elements, EarthSong seemed a natural! We are also in negotiation to become a cooperative project with the Vajra Azaya community. All to the good!

As for our moving here, we are almost done. The portable buildings are finally here, we have only cleanup to do at the old place. It is proceeding a bit slowly, as the heat has been a roadblock. For more than a month we've had temperatures of 107 degrees or so. Cat has begun doing some of her woodwork out of the carport until our studio is finally leveled and wired. That should happen soon. My office trailer is here and leveled, so I can get back to finishing out the interior. No more wasps to deal with! Finally we'll be able to put stuff back where it goes instead of stepping over it!

A bit of great news! I'm traveling again! I'm leaving August 19th to go to a Permaculture Teacher Training Course with Scott Pittman and Larry Santoyo with the Permaculture Institute. The class is being held near Santa Fe, NM. A friend paid for my tuition and Cat paid for my flight. I am so grateful to both! Another giant step toward my being able to teach Permaculture. 

There's a lot to do before I go, so, back to work!