Design 3 – Learning Pathway Design -draft copy

Permaculture Design

Learning Pathway

(What do I want to achieve from the Permaculture Diploma?)


Where I am now…

  • Completed the Permaculture design Course (PDC) in August 2012, but have serious lack of knowledge regarding land based designs and land care but decided I wanted to learn more
  • After the PDC I felt a real deep need to learn more and really take all of this on board, it made sense to me
  • Permaculture is helping to bring together/consolidate lots of other strands of my life and build on my skills, beliefs and ideas
  • I want to make a difference, even if it is in a small way
  • I welcome the idea of working towards something, instead of working against ideas/ideologies and dogma
  • I want to stretch myself further and learn something that is important/meaningful and also fits in to the bigger picture of what is happening in the world
  • Feel excited about all things to do with permaculture, nature, sustainable living, although some of it very new to me
  • Have a huge garden that I would like to use to grow food for myself and possibly future business venture
  • Recently moved to Fife, Scotland after living nine years in Spain so feel like I am in a huge transition personally, geographically and intelectually
  • Need to earn an income to support myself financially & would like to do so in an ethical and sustainable way
  • Want to work for myself (set up a Social Enterprise) and use my varied and transferable skills
  • Would like to use Permaculture, the design process, the ethics & principles in many (if not all) areas of my life
  • Feel a need to be more in-touch with nature, be part of it and work in & with it
  • Have had a keen interest in alternative methods or ways of living for a long time
  • Want to have fun with my creativity and put it to some good use!!
  • Hope to use the design process to help me focus, clarify and utilise my skills as well as channel my energies into taking positive action

Design ideas at this stage

Vegetable garden as experimental growing patch, apple guilds, business plan, training programme – part of business, learning pathway year one (this design)


  • Don’t (or didn’t) know anyone in Fife before I moved here
  • Haven’t ever had a large garden or grown food on this kind of scale before
  • The PDC was so intense I felt I had missed lots and also the land-based stuff was so new to me that it felt like an alien language at times, and so now I am having to re-read and learn more about in in detail
  • Living rurally could have drawbacks as I don’t drive
  • Feel a bit overwhelmed at times
  • Lacking in lots of basic knowledge, feel like I am starting from zero on many levels, personally as well as in permaculture
  • Taking on big projects on my own could be overwhelming or impractical
  • Know almost nothing to do with plants, soil, gardening, livestock, farming, outdoor life, nature or many other things associated with permaculture!!!


  • Neighbours who are keen gardeners and also really friendly
  • The rural setting I am living in gives me good scope for expanding my knowledge
  • Books – I am reading lots, due to having time on my hands, (although sometimes I get confused with conflicting advice or overload – so maybe at times a boundary!!)
  • James Chapman – my tutor on supported route and a great help just by being there, and he lives fairly close
  • Internet – lots of information available and I am in a few forums
  • Have kept in touch with others from my PDC and a few of them wishing to visit me and help with garden (have now already had a visit which left me very inspired)
  • Working on my business plan and found out there is lots of advice/information in setting up small business, possible funding options available and good info on Social Enterprises both locally and on internet
  • My independence, resources for coping with change and lack of fear about starting on my own (although this at times can stop me from trying to make friends/contacts) my love of solitude which is handy here in this semi-rural setting
  • My transferable skills, my openness to learning, my enthusiasm
  • My life experiences: travelling, making contacts, networking, starting from zero
  • My capability to make friends, be sociable
  • My past work experience with Action Research and using Person Centred Planning as a tool (similar to the design process)


  • I am an inexperienced gardener (which means that so far I am a not-gardener) who wants to learn
  • I need to make contact with other gardeners and go on some practical courses
  • There are many resources to help me on this journey I just need to tap into them
  • Building a network is happening and I am capable of making more friends & contacts fairly easily
  • Have already made contacts & written up my design for my business idea – need to keep going with that
  • Circumstances are favorable for achieving my aims
  • Practising and learning about permaculture is an ongoing process
  • Planning my life/work and finding a sustainable means for living needs to be prioritised
  • In a short space of time I have already made contacts – organised a local cinema night and hosted an intro to permaculture day in my garden (these need to be evaluated separately)
  • I already have various skills which will help me on my diploma path and to understand and practise permaculture
  • My feelings of inadequacy are diminishing ;-)) thankfully…
  • I am excited to be on this learning pathway


Still to be written up but the picture demonstrates my ideas


Earth Care, People care, Fair share


Observe & Interact, Catch & sore energy, Apply self-regulation & accept feedback, Use & value renewable sources, Produce no waste, design from patterns to detail, Creatively use & respond to change, Use & value diversity

(I will demonstrate how each of these apply as I go)

Tracey Hay, May 2012

visual design for 1st year of Diploma


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