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.