Nearly two months down the line and I’ve not written another blog, so maybe I should regress a bit from the present date.
I have gone through all sorts of trauma (internally) in starting this Diploma, from feeling great excitement and enthusiasm to feeling like just quitting and gardening on my own, without the pressure of a course. I was living and breathing permaculture 24 hours a day. reading every book I could get my hands on, getting more and more confused and overloaded, and not really finding others to speak to or relate to apart from the Facebook page of other Diploma students. Which is in itself very helpful but at times felt daunting and I felt like a fish out of water.
I feel like I have learned a lot since last writing this blog, but as I am trying to convey what it feels like for a complete newcomer to permaculture I should say that it has not been easy. Or maybe I should say I have not made it easy on myself. I became too immersed in the ‘subject’ which made me fearful of just getting out there or getting things down in writing. I became almost paralysed by fear.
I don’t know what advice I could give to anyone just starting, as we all have different methods and styles for learning, but I would say, go easy on yourself. Small and slow solutions really is the answer, and it is also one of the permaculture principles, so that should keep you on the right track.
I decided, after trying to read several books at the one time, both on permaculture and gardening techniques, to pick one book that I particularly felt in tune with and start to ‘work’ just using that as a reference. My chosen book on gardening was/is Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway and I have chosen Permaculture, Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren (co-founder of permaculture) as my guide book. I will write a reading list later as I have also read some other fantastic books, but to make it easier on myself I chose to practise and experiment with just these two books. It felt the easiest solution all considered.
So, the seeds in my pots indoors are growing fantastically well, every single seed sprouted and has given me lovely seedlings. To date all doing really well, indoors.
Outside I planted two small apple guilds (the trees were already there so I just chose to plant around them) My design for these can be seen as a separate document/design. I did this over a month ago and to date I have no visible signs of sprouts or seedlings outside!!
Later I also planted a small vegetable patch, which can also be seen as another document (design) and nothing to report on these either.
Getting used to (which is hard) the british weather. Of course the books I have settled on have been written by authors living in much warmer climates!! But from what I gather from those living around the British Isles then it is poly-tunnels, green-houses or hot-beds which seem to work here. Either that or I am just so innocent that I am getting it wrong!! David Holmgren says Failure is useful, so long as we learn and The problem is the solution. I still have to work those out and see what the solution is whilst learning about the British spring/summer weather!!!