gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

Friends, I’ve been absent for far too long — but certainly not because I didn’t have anything to say. On the contrary. I am enrolled in the school of my dreams, with a curriculum containing all that I’ve been aching to learn, and I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat trying to take it all in. Some of the learning curves have been as steep as these Northern California hills where we’ve settled for the duration of my program. Life is full and invigorating. There has not been a day that I’ve looked back.

We’re two months into our six-month program, and in this time we’ve learned to read the landscape, measure contours with A-frames and laser levels, read maps, manage surface water with swales (contour water infiltration ditches)…


…create base maps, develop designs, learn group facilitation and peer mentoring and project management…IMG_2427

…create plant palettes, procure and plant and care for plants, monitor and manage soil fertility, design plant guilds and food forests…IMG_2794

…install drain pipes, design and install irrigation systems, calculate rainwater catchment volume…IMG_2582

We’ve visited example sites of urban resilience in diverse communities of the East Bay that integrate permaculture with social justice, such as Full Harvest Farm in Oakland and Urban Tilth in Richmond…IMG_2799

… plus a world-class Regenerative Agriculture workshop with the stellar Darren Doherty thrown in for a good measure!IMG_2816

In other words, Permaculture Skills Center’s Ecological Landscaper Immersion program is all that I had hoped it would be, and more. This is largely because of our exceptionally skilled (and I mean people skills too) instructors and the community of our cohort, thanks to whom this training is about so much more than just downloading information into the brain. It is truly transforming the student as a person, and what we think is possible. I can’t wait to share some of my milestones as the summer continues!!!

One thought on “ELI 2016

  1. Karen Keene says:

    Wow! Sounds great. Don’t worry abt us. Spread your wings and fly!

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