Influences March – Oct 2014

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I intend to do a 6 monthly ‘Influences’ post, in October and April. Since my last post in April, I have been mainly focussing on two Diploma design, Muddy Boots Allotment Playgroup and my health and nutrition diploma design probably to be called The Wolf Run Challenge. So a lot of my influences have been to do with working with community groups  or health and nutrition.

COURSES, WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS

I continue to attend the Leicester PDC every month. I have been participating in the reflection and planning meetings for these sessions too. I have led aspects of the morning circle most months. I have tried to make my contributions fun, informative and enjoyable. I have certainly enjoyed being involved in this way and I feel quite confident talking in-front of the group.

I had a phone tutorial with my tutor Hannah Thorogood in May and attended a one day course with her in April about developing a poly-income. I am due to see Hannah again before Christmas for a design support tutorial.

I attended a ‘Forest Gardens for Forest Schools practitioners’ one day course in September as detailed in my previous blog post. sarah house

I attended numerous workshops over two days at the Permaculture Convergence in September. I especially enjoyed ‘Vegan permaculture?’ led by Graham Burnett, ‘Mindfulness in permaculture’ and I watched Jan Martin’s diploma accreditation event which was very useful as it was the first accreditation I had seen. IMG_4223

GUILDS 

I still have not settled into a permanent guild which is an ongoing challenge. I have however been guilding at the PDC sessions with Ann, Dani and Sam. This has been great. We have tried to set other dates independent of the PDC along with Reevsie and Ellen too, but so far we are failing miserably to find suitable times and dates to get together.

I have been using the 4 questions with my husband and in my own reflections.

PLACES VISITED 

I visited The Eden Project while on holiday in Cornwall in August, actually we enjoyed it so much, we went twice in a week! I took lots of photographs so will do a post about this visit soon. It was very heartwarming to see so many people there, all learning about gardening and sustainability while enjoying a family day out!

I visited The Lost gardens of Heligan. I have read a few books about the re-discovering and restoration of Heligan, so it was lovely to see this special place for myself. I was very impressed with the outdoor education facilities. There was a den making activity laid on. Poles, ropes, groundsheets and tarpaulins were provided and families were encouraged to build their own shelter. My children loved this. It was made especially magical due to a freak rainstorm that lashed down just as we completed our den. We took shelter and ate our packed lunch in the den. The kids were in heaven!

I have paid numerous visits to my local botanical gardens. They were the venue for a few of the PDC sessions and I have returned throughout the summer to stroll around, play with the kids and make use of the tea rooms. It is interesting to visit with my brother, he has recently done a RHS Horticulture course and has learnt lots of latin names of plants and trees, so he loves to educate me as we wander around!

ONLINE LEARNING

I continue to use the Permaculture Diploma Facebook group. I have posted various questions and problems there and been astounded by the time and love shown by people in their thoughtful responses.

I have created a Facebook page for Muddy Boots which I update with text and images after each session. I also use this to communicate with group members and promote each session.

Probably my biggest influence from June onwards has been through my participation in the Eat Smile Live community coaching health and nutrition six month plan. I receive frequent emails and you-tube videos teaching me about different aspects of healthy lifestyles focussing on eating a balanced whole foods diet. There is a lively online community attached to the course too via Facebook which is a fantastic resource. I have been signposts to lots of other blogs and websites for inspiration too.

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BOOKS AND MAGAZINES

IMG_4688 People and permaculture has been my bible while working on my Muddy Boots design.

IMG_4689I brought Looby’s new book at the Convergence and read it all quickly the following week!

IMG_2654I am always looking for ways to simplify my life and the clutter that rules my household. This book is one I return to time and again for guidance and inspiration.

IMG_2653I try to protect my children from the negative influences of the modern world as much as possible while they are so young. It is not an easy task.

IMG_2652I really want to train as a forest schools teacher. Please universe, show me how this would be possible!

IMG_2651Fantastic cookbook used as the main reference book for my Eat Smile Live course.

IMG_2650IMG_2649IMG_2647More inspiration from the local library

IMG_2655This book was interesting as it talked about the importance of HOW you eat rather than WHAT you eat. Lots in here about slowing down and mindfulness, which currently interests me a lot.

IMG_4687IMG_4686My backcopies of Permaculture magazine, along with Country living and the Green Parent continue to be a source of inspiration. My husband would love me to get rid of them, but I say no! They are a useful resource and I genuinely do refer back to the quite often for ideas for planting, cooking, natural parenting and seasonal celebrations.

Adventures in whole foods

I am now four months into a six month health and nutrition course. The course is led online by a local lady called Rochelle Hubbard. her company is called Eat Smile Live.  I have learnt so much, lost almost a stone on weight and am feeling re-energised. I have started kettlebell classes and running and I have rediscovered my spark in the kitchen!

So, after being a good girl all summer and eating my greens, I decided it was time to whip up some sweet treats. As well as being totally delish, these treats are definitely on the more healthy end of the spectrum, containing nuts, seeds, nut butters, dried fruit and raw chocolate. Because of the healthy fats included and the richness of the raw chocolate, one portion really is enough to crack a craving for something sweet and delicious.

ENJOY!

IMG_4017 Heavenly dates. Dates filled with a raw chocolate ganash topped with a nut. These are very sweet and satisfying.

IMG_4018 Almond butter cake. I loved this but the kids were not so sure. The high coco chocolate gives a rather bitter taste, so probably one just for the adults really- even better hehehe!

IMG_4659 Raw chocolate double layer brownie. This is raw, no baking involved. You use the freezer to set it and store in the fridge or freezer.

IMG_4660Peanut butter and coconut oil cookie. Perfect with my favourite cup of decaf tea with almond milk and honey. I am right fussy about my tea now (no dairy and no processed sugar) So I only drink it at home. Its water all the way for me now when I am out and about.

I am planning on writing up a Diploma design over the winter months about my healthy eating and exercise plan. I am training for ‘The Wolf Run’ currently. I have four weeks left to prepare until I subject myself to a 10KM run, a swim through a lake (In November in the UK, what was I thinking) and army style assault course. I am scared but feeling motivated too. Wish me luck!

 

Twelve Principles for twelve months – October – Apply self regulation and accept feedback

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I intend to use ‘Apply self regulation and accept feedback’ in the following ways;

1. Go back to the ‘Food from my garden’ design. Check in with the goals I set myself and review progress. Accept feedback from my garden about what grew well and what didn’t and which goals were met and which were not and why. Use this learning to make tweaks to my planting plan for 2015.

2. I have a design support tutorial booked with my tutor Hannah Thorogood in early October. At this I will receive feedback on my Muddy Boots design work (assuming I can get the reminder of it written up in time) I also hope to talk to Hannah about my new design ‘The Wolf Run challenge’

3. My final Muddy Boots session is on October 31st. I will be requesting feedback from participants to review how this season has worked and to help me with making changes to the design for 2015. I am hoping to turn MB into a small business, so I want to compile lots of info about how far people would be willing to travel, how much they would pay, how often they would like to meet etc.

4. I have just had a fabulous day attending a ‘Forest gardens for forest schools practitioners’ workshop led by a friend from my PDC Sarah Spencer (post about this to come asap) My role was multifaceted. As well as being a participant, I also scribed for Sarah, documented the day photographically and provided feedback on each session she ran. Sarah is using the workshop as one of her diploma design, so my feedback was important in helping her to reflect upon the day and make tweaks.

5. The PDC I have been volunteering at in Leicester comes to an end this month. The final session sees all participants and helpers present for five minutes about a design they have been working on. I am going to present too, either my Muddy Boots design or ‘The wolf run challenge’ (more about this coming soon) This will give me the opportunity to both receive feedback from the group about my own design and provide feedback on the designs of others.