Now that I’ve passed my IPA and reached the halfway point in my diploma design, I thought it would be useful to look back at the major permaculture related activity that I was involved in and to do a mini evaluation of each year.
Post updated in late feb 2018 to include all ten designs and activity up until my final evaluation in March 2018
- Did my PDC (Permaculture design certificate)
- Designed and implemented the design for the Diploma design 1 – Community allotment education space
- Began leading Muddy Boots allotment playgroup with my sister who was employed there at the time my TCV
- Taught basic gardening skills for adults course at a local allotment
- Began planning my garden design
- Pregnant with my son
- POSITIVE – Doing the PDC was excellent. Setting up the community allotment education space was a fantastic opportunity and I didn’t realise so at the time, but it set me onto a new career path. I was very happy to be expected another baby. I enjoyed teaching gardening to adults.
- NEGATIVE – Not very negatives this year really, it was an amazingly exciting year for me and the start of lots of new cycles.
- INTERESTING – My energy levels and physical capabilities were restricted towards the end of the year as I was as pregnant. I found this quite hard to accept as i was full of ideas that I was excited to try out.
- My son was born in February 2013
- Signed up for the Diploma in late 2013
- Came up with initial ideas for 10 designs and did some preparatory work
- Started this blog
- Some work began on my garden design – re-structuring where the garden beds were located and taking down the polytunnel etc.
- Worked at Muddy Boots allotment playgroup with my sister.
- POSITIVE – New baby! Blog started. I still managed to do some Muddy Boots work albeit with baby Ren strapped to my chest. Started the diploma.
- NEGATIVE – Lack of time and energy to do much permaculture work this year.
- INTERESTING – New networks to explore within the Permaculture work and with a new baby.
- Began my ’12 principles for 12 months’ blog post series by looking at Holmgrens principles.
- Assisted on a PDC
- Monthly garden updates on the blog – photos, stats, foods harvested etc
- Started work on Diploma design 2 – Food from my garden.
- Began planning a veg box share scheme – ‘homegrown harvest’ with a few veg growing neighbours.
- Considered doing a design for a friends garden
- Took on Muddy Boots as my own business when my sister’s role with TCV ended and all funding for the group stopped. 1 session every 2 weeks
- Started work on Diploma design 3 – Muddy Boots allotment playgroup.
- Started work on a design to retro-fit the cabin in a local woodland that we had a part share in.
- Attended the Permaculture convergence
- Stared work on Diploma design 4 – My health and wellbeing
- POSITIVE Probably my most productive year to date with Diploma work. I finally had time set aside each week to work on it. I enjoyed being involved in the PDC. I learnt lots by writing my blog. The designs 2,3,4 that I started this year went on to be useful and successful.
- NEGATIVE – I started and abandoned lots of designs this year, my friends garden, the cabin and homegrown harvest. Design write ups took a very long time and felt quite laborious.
- INTERESTING -Felt like I’d wasted time by deciding not to pursue various design ideas, but was probably a good learning experience and taught me to focus in on the own life for the diploma.
- Pathway planning
- Assisted on a PDC
- Continued my ’12 principles for 12 months’ blog post series by looking at Mollison’s principles.
- Garden updates continued but this year do at dates in the pagan calendar – ie Llamas, summer solstice etc
- Considered doing a design for my front garden
- Considered doing a design for my husbands business – Soft touch for their new building’s front garden
- Continued to lead Muddy Boots allotment playgroup – changed to 1 session each week
- Began updating and tweaking my garden design
- Lots of work on Health and wellbeing design
- Began work on Diploma design 6 – South Leicester food group
- Forest school leader training
- Considered writing a design about how I used permaculture to help my achieve my Forest school leadership.
- Began leading Forest school sessions in a local woodland
- POSITIVE – I loved doing my Forest school training. Muddy Boots grew from strength to strength. I began teaching Forest school. I did some quick designs rather than the very long drawn out ones I’d previous completed.
- NEGATIVE – Lack of time for permaculture diploma work this year and I had to postpone all my meetings with my tutor.
- INTERESTING – Its been a really interesting journey to see how my permaculture and Forest school work have become so inter linked.
- Pathway planning and re-accessed if/how to continue with the diploma
- Wrote up my Pathway design Diploma design 5 – Pathway
- Attended Diploma gathering
- Came up with my own 12 principles
- Health and wellbeing design
- Began work on design and implementation for Diploma design 7- Muddy Boots garden re-design
- Continued to lead Muddy Boots allotment playgroup – changed to 2 sessions each week
- Began leading weekly pre-school Forest school sessions and monthly primary aged FS sessions – branded under Muddy Boots.
- Started offering Forest school parties and led my first one in December.
- Began work on Diploma design 8 – Wild roots retreat
- POSITIVE – Design 7 was very helpful in getting me through the design process more quickly and being a real boost to where I hold MB sessions. MB growing really well and the forest school felt more established and integrated as an equal part of the business.
- NEGATIVE – I started the year feeling very down on my diploma and unsure whether to continue or not.
- INTERESTING – My mood changed by the end of the year about the dipoma and I began to see a why through to the end.
- Pathway planning and envisioning the remainder of the diploma pathway
- Prepared for my IPA
- Passed my IPA
- Writing up completed on Wild roots retreat
- Began work on Diploma design 9 – Planning my next steps using natural cycles.
- Began thinking about my next design and doing some initial research
- POSITIVE – Passing my IPA with hardly any changes needed was a big high point. I could see how I was going to be able to successfully complete the diploma now. I enjoyed the process of writing up the wild roots design. I did most of this work initially in a sketchbook while I was in the early planning stages of the design. I then photographed the pages for the write up. This worked really well as I was able to document my thought processes in a way that didn’t slow down my planning. Attending accreditations for Sam and Sarah.
- NEGATIVE – I didn’t have much time this year, so didn;t make the progress that I would have liked to. I didn’t manage to get to any permaculture get together this year other than the two accreditations mentioned above.
- INTERESTING – I felt I was getting to grips with the process more with each design that I worked on.
- I completed my natural cycles design and began acting lots of the design.
- I worked on Diploma design 10 – Wild and healthy
- I scheduled my final portfolio assessment with my tutor Hannah for 1st March and worked hard towards this.
- I wrote up all my cover sheets, evaluations, reflections, influences and my designers CV ready for assessment.
- POSITIVE My natural cycles design was an interesting design to work on and helped me a lot with my business planning for this year. I enjoyed the learning aspect of my wild and healthy design. I enjoyed working with maps and drawing again. It was good to work on a land-based design again.
- NEGATIVE – I ran out of time really, so would have liked to devote more hours to the wild and healthy design but was beaten by the deadline.
- INTERESTING – I’ve loved tweaking the design process to experiment with creating my own design processes. I think that by adapting the design process and tools to best suit me, I’ve laid some strong groundwork for using permaculture in my own life on an ongoing basis post diploma.