My design process states that I need to return to the REFLECT stage once I’ve been once around the design process circle. I will look at the activities in this stage through the lens of EVALUATION AND REFLECTION activities and consider my learning and what my next steps will be. I am also going to use the questions I used to reflect on my ‘Natural cycles’ design, as I found them useful prompts for reflection.
Define – What decisions has this design led me to?
- I decided which plants to add to my garden and where they should be located.
- I decided which plants to forage for locally.
- I decided on a few remedies I’d like to make.
Observe – List your observations about what you have learnt and need to do next.
- I have managed to complete the initial designing with my 6 week timescale. This was challenging and too quick really be able to go deep with my learning. It felt rushed and I’d of rather had longer to work on this design.
- I have a rough plan for which plants I am going to add to my garden and where they will be located. A rough plan suits me at this stage because I really want my children’s input into this design about how to plant out their raised beds.
- I have a plan for what to forage from my local area month by month. This feels realistic and achievable. I’m excited to get started next month.
- I have some ideas for remedies I’d like to make. This feels like a good place to start. I’ve been on a course and done lots of book learning. The next step is to experiment with my own recipes and test them out on myself and record the results.
- I have made and tested some remedies already. This was fun and effective. I’ll continue using these remedies and will definitely repeat some of them in the future.
- I have learnt lots more about using herbal remedies. I’ve enjoyed the learning element of this design but feel that I am just at the start of gaining knowledge.
- I have learnt lots more about foraging in the UK. The course was excellent, I’ve incorporated foraging into lots of my FS sessions. I defiantly want to do more of this in the future and use more foraged foods at home, medicinally and to eat.
Observe – Looking back to the initial aims for this design, how successful have I been?
- I will make some effective home remedies to support my family’s health. YES I have planned some remedies to make and a plan of how to source the ingredient required. I am yet to find out how effective these remedies will be. I have mainly concentrated on using the remedies on myself rather than my family at this stage. Although this is something I plan to do more of in the future.
- I will design how to add the herbs for my chosen remedies into my home garden. YES. My rough garden plan is done and I have an implementation plan dividing up the work month by month to make things happen in a timely fashion.
- I will find out where I can collect ingredients locally from the wild. YES I’ve observed what I can forage locally and have planned remedies around what is available. I have a plan of when to forage and create remedies. To take this design further, I’d love to look at other wild areas in which to forage and add other ingredients.
Observe – How was it using my own design process rather than a traditional Permaculture design process?
This was the second time I’ve used a tweaked permaculture design process for my own designing. I’ve liked the freedom to pick and choose just the stages and tools what suit me best. Once I’d spent plenty of time figuring out my design process, then I found it pretty straightforward and quick to use. I feel that one big failing of traditional permaculture design processes is that they don’t have a specific stage for two things. 1. Learning more about your subject. and 2. drawing out your design. By including these two stages in my own design, I’ve ensured that I am constantly gaining more knowledge with each design that I produce. And that I have a visual representation of my plans to share with others.
Research – What help do you need to make your design even better? Where can you access this knowledge?
- I need to learn more about producing and using herbal remedies.
- I need to extend my foraging area to increase the ingredients that are available to me.
- I need to action my implementation plan over this year.
- I plan to use books, websites, online courses and people with local knowledge to help me to take my learning through this design even further.