Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Week 1

Today was the first day of my 10-week Permaculture Design Certificate at FERN (Fremantle Environmental Resource Network). As first days often are, there was lots of get-to-know-you stuff and a fair bit of repetition of the intro course I did a few weeks ago. Now I don’t mean this to sound negative or judgemental but my hippie radar was going off the chart, something I expected to be honest. I think it’s the nature of Permaculture and may be one of the reasons why it hasn’t taken off in the mainstream more than it has. But Permaculture just seems like plain common sense to me, hippie or no hippie.

FERN is, as many community spaces are, pretty ramshackle, shabby, second-hand everything. But also obviously beloved by the regulars, several of whom I met. The course conveners – Sparkles (who apparently often changes her name!) and Zoe – seem lovely. It’s the first PDC they’ve ever run so I guess we’re their guinea pigs. Unfortunately the afternoon session which was on Patterns (a very important part of permaculture design) was badly run I thought. The guest presenter, Greg Knibbs, has worked with Bill Mollison and David Holmgren (the originators of Permaculture) so I’m sure he has a wealth of knowledge and experience. However, he was all over the place, going off on tangents, getting way too personal when sharing stories and not actually offering up much practical advice. I came away a little disappointed (and bored). So that was a shame.

Hopefully, the rest of the course will be better…