Why a course in Imagineering?
When I first learned about Permaculture Design in 1993 I was working part-time with a toddler on my hip and a lively pre-schooler in tow. I read lots of books in library, was inspired by the documentary Global Gardener. I experimented with bits and pieces of permaculture. There was no local permaculture network at that time. What I was doing, was trying imagineer a better future for family without the full set of permaculture design thinking skills.
So, with the support of my extended family I traveled to the mountains to learn with visiting permaculture teachers Jude and Michel Fanton and Rosemary Morrow. Rosemary’s books got me thinking about the power of simple art to teach complex issues with some clarity.
But the journey had to start at home. With small successes at home, growing delicious and rare foods, my interest in permaculture was sustained. If I hadn’t experienced the health from growing food I would be back shopping for the latest fashions, stressing over debt and working in a heavily competitive environment to earn enough to live a few glamorous weekends.
Not every day is a happy day. But every day is a lesson about nature. This I share with students and fellow permies. Pioneering Permaculture ideas helps build a healthy future for humanity.
Over the decades I have created designs for others but I know the most successful implementation has happened with those clients who actually understood how the design worked. Since I started teaching permaculture online in 1995 I have had students from 65 countries. These students have been remarkable and I am very proud of their work.
Once a year I venture out and teach a winter retreat. Come and join us.
What is Imagineering?
Few people, once they are in the full swing of life, take time to sit down to study again. Most folks set up house, take a job in a new area, plan their holidays and embrace a family life without much planning. They might get the chance to do the odd one-day course and piece together a lifestyle that they enjoy.
The advantage of doing a full course in permaculture is that you get to piece together all the concepts – the tangible and the intangible.
Perhaps that sounds like a load of philosophy, not practical permaculture. Um, yes there is a bit of philosophy needed when you want to imagine a future. To imagine and engineer your future you might want to think about what you love most and how to nurture that. Other concepts are how to design a lifestyle, a community, how to use money effectively, or how to mimic patterns in nature. Other intangibles include dealing with debt and stress. How to see the world differently and not just as a set of problems.
It would be wonderful to be able to steer the permaculture design as your needs change. It would be paradise to understand how the design functions, know how to connect with it and build the abundance. Yet the ultimate permaculture experience is the empowerment.
The permaculture design course gives you more than a design. It gives the skills and tools for empowerment.
In the earlier years of Permaculture interviews London asked: Short of starting a farm, what can we do to make our cities more sustainable?
Mollison answered: Catch the water off your roof. Grow your own food. Make your own energy. It’s insanely easy to do all that. It takes you less time to grow your food than to walk down to the supermarket to buy it. Ask any good organic gardener who mulches how much time he spends on his garden and he’ll say, “Oh, a few minutes every week.” By the time you have driven to the supermarket, taken your foraging-trolley and collected your wild greens, and driven back home again, you’ve spent a good hour or two — plus you’ve spent a lot of money. Permaculture can be as simple as sitting down and drawing the plan then a little effort in implementing it and then some time in harvesting the rewards.