gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

The Permaculture Design Course that I am co-organizing and co-teaching is nearing its end — we just completed weekend 5 out of 6, and the students have embarked on their final design projects.

It has been, hands down, one of the most intense and most rewarding experiences of my life.

Our course site, City Roots Urban Farm, is not only our venue and the backdrop for the experiences we go through together, but I like to think that the growth happening on the farm mirrors the growth that’s happening in and among us. Just as these little chicks that joined us earlier this spring are now grown and loud pullets…PDC6

Or just as the farm’s plantings have gone from seedlings to harvest as the spring has progressed…PDC8

…I dare say we have each been growing, as permaculturists and teachers and learners and team members.

On the first day, Matt and Nick and I, as facilitators, encouraged the participants to find and explore their “stretch zone” during this course. The stretch zone is not quite the comfort zone, but not the panic zone either — just that place in between where they find themselves having to push themselves a little, taking risks, trying something new, perhaps feeling a little unsure or even uncomfortable at times, because that is where real learning happens. I can personally say that I’ve joined them in that stretch zone much of the time in this course. I’ve done a lot of teaching in the past, but this course has forced me to face entirely new situations. I’ve cooked for big groups before, but never for almost 30 people. I’ve been involved in organizing events before, but nothing on this scale — a six-weekend certificate course, from start to finish, being involved on every level of event planning and logistics.


I have so much gratitude towards everyone who has been a part of co-creating this experience — from squinting in our greenhouse on bright mornings to double-digging garden beds to jamming while making solar-dehydrated sweet potato chips to singing songs I brought to this course from my own permaculture roots, the Regenerative Design Institute. The biggest thanks, though, go to my dedicated husband who has made it all possible for me, taking on baby care for the entire weekend several times in a row.

One thought on “Permaculture Course: In the growth zone

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