PDC experience 2017
The second Permaculture Design Course was realised in Tinos Ecolodge this autumn and we are convinced that this is the way to go! Another wonderful bunch of people got here to spend 12 days together, to share experiences and knowledge, to live as a caring and loving community for the people and for the earth.
It is always amazing how strong the group bonds together, how much hope and strength it gives to each one of us to continue on this path, and how a PDC can be a life changing experience! This year we had the opportunity to get some nice feedback from 3 of last years students in form of short videos. We would like to share them with you! Carolina video, Ana Isa video, Kostas video.
What was new from last year in terms of preparations was the seminar space, that was carried out on our newly constructed yoga deck, inside the oak trees and more protected, was also perfect to transform to a seminar place. During the 12 days we had a day of field trip, where we visited the wild herb distillery of Thierry, who collects a variety of wild herbs in Tinos and produces essential oils. The winery of Fonsos, who is cultivating local varieties for 3 generations now and produces organic wine and raki, we managed to get with us some dozen of bottles on our way out! And the Under the Linden Tree agrotourism project, a similar situation to the Ecolodge but with a much larger land of 100.000sq.m!!
Our teachers Elena from Greece and Andrew from Ireland brought two different cultures together and shared their knowledge and experience from theory to practice! Both working and designing permaculture farms for years now, have gained a lot of practical experience on how this can be implemented in everyday life. Elena guided the group through the permaculture principles from the beginning till the end design. We had the opportunity to construct a worm farm in a bath tab, an hugel bed where we planted strawberries and a guava tree from Crete! and a proper compost heap with the help of Nicky Scott our Dr. compost! Andrew, a soil expert, analysed a lot the techniques of bringing the soil to life, mulching, and the many roles of plants to soil fertility, micro-climate, and biodiversity. At the ecolodge we had the opportunity to see the design used to catch and conserve water, how to purify and reuse grey water through a reedbed system, and separate the black and grey from the toilet with the swedish model of the aquatron system. But also how to build a compost toilet and grease traps for the outdoor kitchen, and other practical staff on building techniques that have been implemented at the ecolodge. We analysed the energy supplies, from the sun and wind, that we mainly have in Tinos, and how the ecolodge runs from a photovoltaic system but also how to build small solar power boxes that can provide light for the outdoor areas.
We had some practical exercises on the design part all through the course, four personal projects were selected from the participants to use in their final design and four groups were formed. The 3 projects were in Greece, Thessaloniki, Lefkada, and Crete and one in Romania. The last 3 days were devoted to the final design and its presentation. Its always amazing how innovative and imaginative a design of a piece of land after a PDC, it can be! Scattered ideas, are put into place and start to have a meaning. You start to visualize your land and see how everything connects to each other. The puzzle is unraveled and the final picture is there! You have a design, you have a plan and now you are ready to start putting it into action. This is how a PDC can change your life!
For us at the ecolodge a PDC is always a food for thought experience and an interval until the next PDC is realised! So see you there to all these wonderful projects that you have put in action and dont forget to keep in touch!
Nicky scott ,
Great to see all this from a cold grey windy uk! It was interesting to watch the video with kostas and the plans for the Centre of the Earth project. I didn’t realise that had benefitted from the permaculture course.
Monica Stanica ,
Thank you to Marilia and Nikos for creating such a nice place of meeting and inspiration! This was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone! It is true that anyone can read from home the book of permaculture, however, taking part in a permaculture course gives so much more: having the chance to interact with experienced permaculture designers, exchange with fellow-students and make new friends, cannot be done by reading a book at home… And of course, waking each morning and having the privilege to face the wonderful scenery that Ecolodge offers is another gift of this PDC course! Moreover, I have to mention that when I hear about compost toilets usually I am not so happy because they smell and they are not well maintained, so I have to say a big BRAVO to Ecolodge about the great compost toilets that you made! It was the first time in my life being happy to use one! A very careful job you did with them, GOOD JOB! All in all, my PDC experience 2017 was great and I hope that you continue to organise PDC experiences in the future too!