Peter Bane, Sandy Cruz, and Becky Elder have just wrapped up two weeks of permaculture instruction at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa, Moffat, CO. The Advanced Permaculture Design Course took place July 21-26, 2013, including 29 participants from CO, AZ, NM, MO, MI, FL, and Santiago, Chile. Design projects included clients from around Colorado, including Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa; Orient Land Trust; Colorado Permaculture Guild; and the Upper Arkansas River Valley/National Resources Conservation Service. The course was an intensive format, where students had five days for site visits, selecting design teams, presenting initial observations, and presenting the final designs to the instructors, class and clients. Use of problem and solution statements, vision, and pattern language were emphasized in the design process. The design presentations were excellent, with at least one client planning to move forward with elements of the project team’s design.
The intensive format kept students busy, but still allowed time for bonding in the hot springs pools. Participant Marta says the class was an “Incredible and powerful input of energy and inspiration, with many tools and strategies to confront our current problems. I’m always pleasantly surprised to meet with such amazing people, and have the opportunity to collect our formidable creativity and feel our Transcendence as Human Beings.”
The Permaculture Teacher Training Course took place July 28-August 2, 2013. The class was a multi-generational mix, including seasoned teachers and those getting ready to dive in. There was a group of 17 participants, from CO, NH, NM, IN, AR, FL, NC, WA, Chile, and a class assistant from Turin, Italy. The class included both lecture and exercises to develop course schedules, curriculum, and content. Students were asked to present for 20 minutes on a permaculture topic they wanted to know more about, using teaching methodologies learned over the course of the week. The presentations were wide-ranging and informative, allowing participants to learn more about the chosen topic and the personalities of their fellow students. Despite a few staying up late to complete their research and presentations, everyone left feeling energetic about bringing the permaculture message to a wider audience, and their newly expanded network of permaculture teachers from across the nation. Participant Mike reflects, “This was a truly transformative space shared amongst passionate, caring individuals. Indeed the whole is greater than sum of its parts!”
About the instructors:
Peter Bane is a permaculture teacher and site designer who has published and edited the Permaculture Activist Magazine for over 20 years. He helped create Earthhaven Ecovillage in North Carolina and is now pioneering suburban farming in Bloomington, Indiana. A teacher for Indiana University, Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and other academic and private institutions, Peter serves on the board of the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) and holds a Diploma of Permaculture Design. He recently published the Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country.
Sandy Cruz, of Salida, CO, holds a Diploma of Permaculture Design from the International Permaculture Institute and founded High Altitude Permaculture in 1992. In addition to piloting a locally-oriented 8-month permaculture design course — now in its seventh year — Sandy has taught permaculture for Naropa University, Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Sunrise Farm, Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Boulder Bioneers, Transition Colorado, Pikes Peak Permaculture. and various other groups. Widely published and interviewed, she consults on site planning and design, and has trained nearly sixty new Permaculture Teachers from around the country. Sandy recently joined the board of directors for the newly forming Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA).
Becky Elder was raised in the tall grass prairie of Eastern Kansas and has been gardening along the Front Range of Colorado for 35 years. She has taught permaculture for the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, High Altitude Permaculture and Pikes Peak Permaculture. Becky is actively involved with the Transition Town movement in Manitou Springs, is the Co-founder and Director of Pikes Peak Permaculture, and the creator of Blue Planet Earthscapes, an award winning garden design and installation company. A former wildlife rehabilitator, her home gardens are Certified Wildlife Habitat, appearing in the Audubon Society’s Colorado Wildscapes. The author of Raven in the Garden, a Front Range Gardener’s Journal, Becky also trains and mentors new permaculture teachers.