Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sarah Pugh is fantastic

Big up for Sarah Pugh, from permaculture Bristol and Transition City Bristol and old mate of mine, who led the teaching on the course this year. It was the first time well certainly for me anyway, that I had worked on a full 2 week course without the priceless input of Mike Feingold. Mike's knowledge and experience is so vast that its easy to end thinking that its not really a proper course with out his particular brand of genius. But I think this year we have both begun to realise that we have actually a vast amount of experience ourselves, that we in turn need to value more.

Anyway suffice to say it was great, IMO SP is particularly good at the people side of it, valuing people, valuing their contributions and making everybody feel like they are part of the group. She is a particularly good group facilitator, which is such big part of the whole experience of being on a 2 week course. Anyway, blah blah, nice one Sarah.

We also had the pleasure of working with Mr Steve Pickup, the willow man who did a great presentation on working with willows and willows and permaculture, before running a series of practical workshops making basket work edging for some of our forest garden beds. This worked really well, and not only is the garden now looking great as a result, it was one of those workshops that at least a few people really engage with. There is something almost primeval about weaving, it must one of the old technologies of all. I am keen to more basketry next year and make a few more things, although we get a fantastic hazel and willow bean climber as well this year.

Harry's Yurt

So this was to be the teaching space for this year's permaculture course at Chickenshack. We were lucky enough to come across Harry, who had a lovely Yurt for hire, that he had actually started building at school, as a project, and had finished making it after with his Dad.

Its a lovely design for a temporary building and so it turned out a lovely space for teaching, or just thinking in. some thing magical about round spaces, and of course with a group you can all see each other equally, no one at the front or back. Further more as we were sat around the perimeter looking inwards, with no windows out, it is a very focussed thinking space. This one is a 18 foot diameter space, and can sit 16 people comfortably on chairs around the outside looking in

It made me think that perhaps we could with something more permanent like this for ourselves here. A good neutral and creative space for meetings and planning. Anyway, so the fist pic is of the wheel, which forms the hub of the roof of the structure, with ribs radiating outwards to form a sort domed roof. This is made from Ash poles mainly, which have been steam bent over a fire. The proposition is that we hold some yurt making workshops here in the autumn, then the coppice season is upon is again.