Thich Nhat Hanh
UNRAVELLING MY TRUTH THROUGH PERMACULTURE
10 years ago I picked up a leaflet about Permaculture and then life got in the way, or so I kidded myself. I discovered the leaflet again in January on my annual clear out, the time was now.
CONTENTS: - UNIT 1: Permaculture Ethics, Principles & the Design Cycle. Pages: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,15,18,19,25 - UNIT 2: The Ecological Application of Permaculture. Pages:15,20,21,22,23,26,28 - UNIT 3: Applying Permaculture to community sustainability. Pages: 12,13,14,15,16,17 - UNIT 4: Permaculture Design Project. Pages: 24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33
ETHICS “My actions are my only true belongings. My actions are the ground on which I stand.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
EARTH CARE PEOPLE CARE FAIR SHARE
PEOPLE CARE FAIR SHARE EARTH CARE
FAIR SHARE EARTH CARE PEOPLE CARE
UNIT 1: EARTH CARE “An oak tree is an oak tree. That is all it has to do. If an oak tree is less than an oak tree, then we are all in trouble.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
PEOPLE CARE FAIR SHARE:
Save Our Tree’ Campaign 1.1 During the Permaculture Design Course I have observed the campaign by Seven Dials ‘Save our Tree’ Action Group, which related to a 150 year old Dutch Wheatley elm tree in Vernon Terrace, 2 minutes away from where I live in Seven Dials. The rare, healthy tree was threatened to be cut down by the new road layout changes that are happening to the Seven Dials roundabout and connecting roads. 3,000 residents signed a petition to save the tree. I was one of them. On Tuesday 30th April the Brighton and Hove City Council Transport Committee at a meeting in Hove Town Hall voted to amend the scheme without compromising the safety at the adjacent crossing in Vernon Terrace and saving the elm tree!
2.2 Pre-Campaign: Earth Care: I questioned if the earth care ethics had really been considered in the redesign of the Seven Dials roundabout? Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said: “We are the guardians of the National Elm Collection and it is right we do everything we can to safeguard these important trees. People Care: I felt people had been considered in the design as the council wanted the pavement to meet the nationally recommended minimum width for wheelchairs. Fair Share: The residents reaction and feelings to the tree being felled showed that a lack of consideration and omission by the council to mention in the process that the tree would be cut down as part of the plans.
Post-Vote: Earth care: The rare 150 year old elm tree was saved! The council involved an aboriculturalist to oversee the work around the tree. People care: By keeping the tree, Traffic Engineers designed a solution that narrows the road space at the entrance to Vernon Terrace where the tree is located. This enables the pavement to be widened around the tree allowing pedestrians to pass and improving the visibility of pedestrians waiting to cross. Fair share: A sense of community and support was brought together thanks to this campaign, it got people talking and there was a buzz around the campaign. Several meetings were arranged, with 150 and 120 residents attending, sharing their opinions and ideas and sharing their opinions and ideas on how the designs could be amended at minimal cost. Transport committee chairman Councilor Ian Davey said of the redesigned scheme:“This fully addresses the visibility concerns while improving accessibility for those with disabilities.” People care: Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth In the longer term we would like to see an elm tree strategy developed so that we can strengthen our protection of this important asset to the city.” Earth Care:
EARTH CARE / PEOPLE CARE / FAIR SHARE: For the past 18 months, I have helped facilitate a weekly get together “Sit and Supper’ of like minded friends coming together, to each others homes to share food and inners feelings. Based on the mindful practice from Plum Village Thich Nhat Hanh’s retreat in near Bordeaux.
Wednesday night Sit and Supper group ethics: - Everyone brings a vegetarian or vegan homemade dish to share for supper, preferably organic.
- The venues and hosts are rotated every week.
- We sit and eat in silence for the first 20 minutes to bring our attention back to our food, to eat
mindfully, aiding digestion and to be aware of our consumption.
- After eating we create a space whereby everyone has the opportunity to speak about how they
are feeling and what is emotionally going on for them, their ‘weather report’. During this time, everyone
listens fully and there are no interruptions whilst someone is sharing, no judgements passed, just an open safe space to share our feelings and less about our intellectual thoughts. - New friendships have been formed and sense of community has been created.
People Care People Care
- Recipes have been shared, tears and laughter too!
Menu - Polenta cakes with rosemary - Mustard leaf salad with roasted squash &
Type to enter text
goats cheese, sunflower seeds - Tomato, red pepper, mozzarella & roasted hazelnut salad - Peanut crisps - Houmous chips
Wednesday 5th June 2013 First outdoor Sit and Supper Group in St Anne’s Wells Garden. - Amanda, Lucy and Nicola
PRODUCE NO WASTE: At my job for the Brighton Marathon, I instigated not printing our “Essential Guide 2013’, which is the brochure sent to the 10,000 runners who have entered into the marathon. I teamed up with the 10:10 campaign to work out the carbon footprint we saved by making this decision, which was 4.6 tonnes see below. We also saved £ 12,000 in printing and postal costs.
BENEFICIAL CONNECTIONS In October 2012, I stumble across the website of the Production Company, Undercurrents. They had produced a feature film ‘Living in the Future’ a 50 minute documentary film telling the poetic story of the UK's first planned ecoVillage, Lammas. It was shot over 4 years in Pembrokeshire, West Wales by Welsh independent film maker, Helen Iles. There was a notice on the website, for anyone interested to arrange a viewing of the film in your local City. I contacted Brighton Permaculture Trust if I could arrange the viewing in association with them. It was agreed and the film was shown at the end of Green Architecture Day on 27th April. A nice synergy for both parties. Approximately 70 people saw the film It was publicised in Infinity Foods and Brighton & Hove Food Partnership newsletters along with Brighton & Hove Council’s Sustainability Bulletin. Brighton Permaculture Trust said that they would like to repeat the formula of showing a film at the end of GAD, the combination worked well. I’ve stayed in contact with the film maker, Helen Iles, she nows lives in Australia, small world.
PRODUCE NO WASTE: 25.04: I joined St Nichols, my local community scheme and collected my compost bin. It has reduced my waste considerably plus I get to take it for a walk to the bin too! Iâ€™ve always wanted a dog!
USE RENEWABLE RESOURCES: Straw bale workshop in June, I needed some extra funds, what to do? Hey presto, resell in a local vintage shop items I no longer need or wear and are taking up space in my wardrobe. (Also beneficial connections). I used the Zones concept to go my wardrobe, me being Zone 1 and anything in Zone 7 far removed from my day to day life.
UNDERSTAND AND CREATE NICHES Ben Lawâ€™s. The woodland that Ben manages, he has created 30 income streams! Which include, his specialist eco-building company The Roundwood Timber Frame Co, sharing his skills and knowledge in writing books, workshops and project management service. Designed and sells Roundwood Timber Frame Caravan. He works in rhythm to the season and is aware that wood has a market value. His time management therefore is spent 4 month coppicing, and the remaining 8 months making furniture.
USE AND VALUE EDGES Cobnor estuary: sea saltwater meets river, creating more diversity and resilience.
BENEFICIAL CONNECTIONS: BEE IN BASEL: Please see video and text here: https://vimeo.com/69232662 This is where my partner Stefan lives. BEE IN BRIGHTON: Please see video and text here: http://vimeo.com/69236217 This is where I live, we live in two separate countries, which also brings our own beneficial connections we get to share our diďŹ€erent cultures and environments.
LEARNING STYLES Journal 19.02.13 The lasting memory I had from my dream as I awoke today, was of being in a house, it had layers and layers of wallpaper on it, along with a plastic covering and lots of sellotape holding it together. There was an old diary on the wall too, also with clear tape covering it, I looked at it and with some anger and impatience ripped it oﬀ with a sense of urgency and why the hell was it still up there? Today was the first day of the BPC, so it seems significant that this dream proceeded the day ahead. I had a first day of school feeling, that heady mixture of excitement and nerves. First day Questions: What are you passionate about? Seeking my truth. Take one thing from the course? Create new ways of thinking.
Journal/ Residential Weekend 16.02 & 17.02.13 Questions asked within Home Group: What went well? Diﬀerent learning styles, good mix of personalities, nice vibe. What was challenging? Due to my lack of knowledge on permaculture subject, I found it diﬃcult to contribute within the group, held myself back, there were two more knowledgable members in the group and therefore spoke out more. I didn’t feel an equal share of opinions and time between all. What’s your vision? To bring out each others skills more. Tangible next steps? Develop more personal learning, with homework and reading. Speak up with my opinions more. Working with the Honey and Mumford learning style questionnaire, I observed I answered the questions with my instant reaction without analysis. My results were:
Then working with the VAK (Visual / Auditory / Kinaesthetic) My results were:
“A human being is like a television set with millions of channels.... We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to recover our own sovereignty.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh 9
To fully understand these results in a way that was more relatable to how my mind works, I decided to create a mind map and then step back and look at the diﬀerent styles within me and how to integrate them more. This was my interview with myself.
Survey: What came out from my mind map, was that my learning development has been through ‘hands on’ experience, learning through action / doing and having to think on my feet as opposed to academic theory, this is very much shown in my work career so far. After school I went to Secretarial College, through being able to type I was able to work in some interesting Industries - Advertising - Fashion - Marketing, picking up knowledge and experience as I went along. My current job at the Brighton Marathon I got through oﬀering to volunteer for them, when I had been made redundant, in the lead up to the inaugural event in 2010, after which I was oﬀered a job. I like to move, run and often this is my most creative thinking time.
Analyse: I have 2 diﬀerent energy patterns within me, Activist and Reflector being equally dominant. Often they will fight against each other! My greatness weakness is procrastination, a pattern established from early schooling when I would leave revising until the pressure built up and also based on an impulsive energy. What I can see with this pattern of procrastination is that is leads to: - Time wasting - Increased stress - Decreased productivity - Lack of enjoyment
Design: By changing this over riding pattern, it would be the biggest eﬀect to my learning and production of this portfolio, plus make it more enjoyable, changing my mind set. Utilize morning energy with running, creative thoughts, act on thoughts writing in the evening when energy levels are lower. Catching my enthusiasm.
Implement: I made an appointment to see a Psychotherapist to help me understand better some deep rooted patterns in me that are no longer working with me, rather against me. Create self sustaining systems, People care of myself, to be able to change from behaviour that is destructive to a way of being that is more creative. Principles: Beneficial connections: utilizing experienced and knowledgable therapist to guide me. Make the least change for the greatest eﬀect: 1 hourly session per week will yield far greater results in a quicker time frame than if I was to try to work it out on my own and also embrace personal change. Understand and work with succession. Wow, Permaculture is so much more than I first imagined! The principles are having a profound eﬀect on me in a subtle way. Changing thought patterns and lifestyle decisions. 15.06.13 I’m going to sell my flat and simplify my finances and life. Make the least change for the greatest eﬀect
Journal 09.03: Observing myself, and noting that I have been reflecting, no acting though. The obvious observation is that I have not picked up one book about Permaculture! I like to learn by experiencing, feeling. I can see that I am becoming more conscious of my habits and patterns within myself.
Journal 24.03.13: I realised that old habits of procrastination are creeping back in. When the course started I was motivated to make notes for my journal and this is brought my attention back to this. By changing the mindset of ‘work’ to be done and acknowledging that I have chosen to do this course and it is benefitting me and therefore approach it with less of a ‘home work’ feel and more of invaluable and fun new experiences.
Journal 27.04: Loving Graham Bell’s ‘The Permaculture Way’ not such an ordeal that my mind had set up.
Journal 30.05: Started collating images / thoughts / plotting in preparation for portfolio, fun!
Journal 15.06: Post Design Group presentation, realised that my presentation skills could do with some improvement, as I don’t feel comfortable public speaking. This also held me back at times within Design and Home Groups, not alway fully speaking my mind particularly if I felt inferior knowledge wise, seeing that everyones opinion is valued not always the loudest one. Implementation: I went today to a ‘Speak Out’ workshop held in my local church. It focussed on projecting my voice as I speak louder and clearer along with some confidence tips and breathing and voice exercises. Interesting facts learnt, according to Professor Albert Mehabrian, only 7% communication was actually in the words spoken, 38% was in the way the words were spoken and 55% body language.
What would I do diﬀerently? Create blog as I went through the course, as opposed to at the end, would show my journey more and help with my tendency to procrastinate. Having discovered my diﬀerent learning styles, it as helped me to address ways to overcome my short comings and be a more balanced learner. All my pictures references have been really helpful and this is a way of recording and documenting I enjoy. The ‘pinterest’ boards helped too, I would use this platform in other areas again. I see this as the beginning of a life long process.
“Earth will be safe when we feel in us enough safety.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Permie Homies - Andy - Catherine - Claire - Oran
Get Togethers: Home Group Get Togethers Day
25th February 2013
6th March 2013
20th March 2013
29th March 2013
8th April 2013
Catherine's Flat (Sarah n/a)
Journal 19.02.13 I genuinely like my Permie Homie Group, breathed some relief when I found out how they were, no enforced foreseeable challenges. We all live really near each other and it has opened up possibilities of new friendships. Glad to receive email from Catherine to arrange first group meeting. Beneficial Connections.
Journal 25.02.13 We all met at Catherine’s tonight, she lives on the street directly behind mine! Least change for greatest eﬀect.Stimulating conversation, it felt relaxed, I brought food. Suggest next meeting at mine, I will make organic vegetarian food to share too. Fair Share / People Care / Earth Care. Journal 7.03.13 Similar to my role in Sit and Supper group, felt most comfortable being host / facilitator by sharing food and using my flat as a base for our meetings / get togethers. See my role as inviting / creating relaxed environment, more on the people / fair share front. Would say my knowledge of permaculture is the least in the group, so I do hold back at times due to lack of confidence is this area. Group has a good vibe to it and diﬀerent types of personalities and skill sets. Understand and create niches.
Journal: 24.3.13 Arranged to collect Catherine and share lift in my van to Ben Law’s house. Good to share ideas and similar questions that Permaculture is raising. People Care / Earth Care.
Journal 29.03.13 Good Friday: Last group meeting for me for a while, feel some stress as my work load increases considerably in the next few weeks leading up to the marathon (I work for the organisers). My contribution has been hosting and cooking (tried out Barcombe Nursery’s chocolate and beetroot recipe supplied with veg box). I am unable to take part in the “How can Britain can feed itself?’ presentation weekend of 13th / 14th April as it coincides with the Brighton Marathon, so my contribution one the day is none. I loan a microphone for the presentation and we discuss thoughts and ideas on this my last meeting. My strength is looking at the fair share / people care in our comparison of two towns. One being Permi Town (the ideal) against Crapton (inevitable energy descent and consequences). The economics / well fare and community spirit. was my contribution.
Journal 26.04.13 Posted on BPTDC 2013, our group blog, about ‘Living in the Future’ film screening that I organised following on from Green Architecture Day and suggestion of group meal afterwards. Beneficial Connections.
Journal 11.05.13 Arrange with Oran from Home Group to lift share with him and Thomas for Saturday 11th to Seaford and Cuckmere, I drove they map read. Beneficial connections. People Care / Earth Care.
Journal 01.06.13 Suggested to Catherine / Home Group we both cycled over to Stanmer Park, live around the corner from each other and would be fun to accompany each other. Earth care by cycling, fair share by supporting each other, people care we exercised!
Journal 15.06.13 Social with Catherine from home group and Max from BPTCD drinks and dinner followed by Soil, Soul and Society – a talk by environmentalist and humanitarian, Satish Kumar with film excerpts from Earth Pilgrim. Inspirational!.
Observation and Analysis Overall my biggest challenge with Home Group, was time management, time being my limiting factor.Juggling work during peak period, and traveling to partner in Switzerland.
Design and Implement Found multiple uses the best way around this. Many a morning I met Claire in St Ann’s Wells Garden, our local park, during my morning run, she would be walking her dog. We would chat and share about our progress in the course and future plans and ideas. I found this most eﬀective Rather than compartmentalize ‘studies’ from friendships and social events, which I observed I tend not to cross over diﬀerent friendships, combine all over a social event, more beneficial and fun.
Review The idea of a group blog was a good one by Richard, I only posted a notice once and looking back I wished I had utlised it more, a helpful way to contact the group and arrange socials rather than emailing. Better use of time. In terms of the Home Group, again I see it as an on going process, new friendships to maintain and keep the support going.
Brighton Permaculture Design Group June 2013 Team Photo
HOME ENERGY AUDIT: Water & Electricity
• My annual consumption of water is: 41,132 Litres - shocking to visualize this many 1 litre bottles!
• My annual consumption of electricity is: 2,329 KW
• Average use is: 54,600
• Average household is 8,000 (EON)
ELECTRICITY & WATER ELECTRICITY OBSERVE
IDEA / ACTION
Draft comes in from front door, priority to save heat generated from boiler. Catch and store energy.
Fit draft excluders around my front door Get my mother to make a curtain, utilise her sewing skills! Beneficial connections.
Most of my electricity consumption comes from using the cooker. I live on my own.
I share one cooked meal a week with elderly neighbour. People and fair share. With my vegetable box, cook large soups and then freeze surplus (see below also). Appropriate scale and maximising yield.
All my light bulbs are tungsten, old style.
By investing in energy saving light bulbs I would cut my usage by one third and save money. Catch and store energy.
Freezer, the more items that are in it, less energy is wasted.
With my vegetable box, cook large soups and then freeze surplus for later use. Appropriate scale and maximising yield. Produce no waste.
The audit made me realise that I don’t have to always keep my mobile charged overnight, it doesn’t take this long to charge. I also keep my modem on overnight, I forget to turn it oﬀ.
Only charge mobile battery for the time it take, by over charging the battery will long term be less eﬀective. Turn oﬀ modem overnight too! Produce no waste.
Often I wash only half loads, living on my own.
Hand wash delicate, small items more. Reuse bathe water to do so. Catch and store energy.
IDEA / ACTION
My biggest indulgence is my daily bath! Taking up 80% of my water consumption, 595 litres of water.
Reuse bath water to water plants inside and outside and to wash floor with, hand wash items too. Research getting a shower fitted, massively reduce my water consumption, little disruption to bathroom. Least change for greatest eﬀect. Catch and store energy, multiple elements, produce no waste. Cycle and recycle.
Often I flush the toilet when it really isn’t necessary, living on my own I can make allowances for this!
Flush only when necessary. I also called Southern Water to send me their free ‘save a flush’ pack. Installed on 13.6.13. Least change greatest eﬀect, catch and store energy.
When washing up, I keep the tap running to rinse oﬀ items, bad habit not even aware of. Also when brushing my teeth I notice this.
Have a second bowl to capture the water and when rinsing items. Reuse water for plants. Turn oﬀ tap when brushing teeth, have half a glass of water nearby to rinse out instead. Cycle and recycle.
I don’t collect rain water, there’s plenty in England!
Simple step to collect rain water in bucket and then use this to flush toilet and water plants also. Use renewable resources.
Reflection: Working with the principles, my designs became apparent to me how to make changes in my water and energy consumption. I have implemented all except getting a shower installed, which I will do in the Autumn. Simple changes have made me more aware of these resources. Particularly reusing bath water. 23.05 it struck me that the water from the Earth Ship is used 4 times through processes.
SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS: VELECO Is a Brighton based ethical cycle-wear company and claims to be the world’s first fair trade cycle wear company. Why? • They use natural, organic and recycled materials wherever possible (Earth Care) • VELECO workers receive double the minimum local wage (People Care) • They pay a 15% Fair Trade premium on every garment made, which supports health and welfare projects for their workers and their families in Pakistan (Fair Share) • Their factory is WRAP Certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) (People Care / Fair Share) • Wherever possible we use sea freight (Earth Care) (taken from http://www.veleco.cc/) In order for them to produce their next collection of clothing they need to raise £ 20,000 to finance the production. They looked to the website ‘Kickstart’ for funding, instead of a bank.
See here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1379401843/veleco-changing-the-way-you-cycle-forever?ref=live
How does it work? Backers, people like you and me, can chose to support a campaign by pledging how much or little they wish to choose. In return they will receive product, in this case Veleco clothing at a discounted price. For example, pledge £ 20 and you will receive their organic cotton t-shirt worth £ 25.00, making a £ 5.00 saving. There is a time limit for the campaign. If the target isn’t reached by a set date then the funding doesn’t go through. If it is successful Kickstarter take 5%. Veleco are oﬀering pledges from £ 20 to £ 5,000.
Kickstarter thinking: • Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. • Each project is independently created. • Together, creators and backers make projects happen. • Creators keep 100% ownership of their work. • Creative works were funded this way for centuries. (taken from www.kickstarter.com) It takes 12 recycled plastic bottles to make 1 Veleco jacket!
THROUGH SWOT ANALYSIS I looked at the pros and cons of this funding system.
FUNDING TROUGH KICKSTARTER
Veleco retain creative control of their company, not always the case with banks.
What happens if they don’t reach their target? Do they have a back up plan, system?
Since Kickstarter launch in 2009, more than 4.3 million people have pledged over $676 million, funding more than 44,000 creative projects. 44% of project reach their goal, a positive response, it shows it works.
What happens to the 66% that don’t?
It’s a no risk for the backer, in return for their pledge / funding they receive product or credit, if target isn’t reached it goes no further.
There are a lot more variables to make a decision.
Fair share way to fund, no interest on funding, simple exchange, gives ownership more to individuals rather than dominant banks.
Veleco must honour the pledges, do they have the stock to and man power to do this?
Puts local based Brighton company into part of a global community, raises awareness of their message of ‘sweatshop free’ cycle clothing, their niche market.
Are their designs trademarked?
Veleco have the opportunity to test out the market with their products, see which packages are the most popular, will help them in the future deciding on product lines.
What if anyone doesn’t like their product? Will they listen and adapt?
If funding goes through, the pledge of Veleco products will be sent all over the world, positive awareness of the brand.
Does the message of funding make the business look vulnerable? They are a new company.
The input of funding will have a big eﬀect to the manufacturers they work with in India and fund the 15% Fair Trade premium.
Will they make enough profit through this venture to sustain themselves in the future? The supply chain is also dependent on them for their custom.
If the funding goes through, they have the opportunity to get their new designs made and sold, bringing the company into profit.
How are they prepared to manage the next lot of production that will need funding? How resilient is their business plan?
NATUREâ€™S PATTERNS I created a Pinterest board, see here: http://pinterest.com/yourhans/natures-patterns/ I was drawn to spiral patterns, leading from a surround to a central point, concentric circles inspired me and the symmetry in nature. The spiral eďŹ€ect was used in my Design Group to inspire a medicinal herb garden in the front of the Earthship, this would be in Zone 1 and provide herbs for teas and tinctures. See number 7 on design below. The spiral design would mean greater surface area for herbs within a limited space.
RAIN DROPS ON LEAF EDGE
HELTER SKELTER SHELL
Stacking systems, making use of 3D space.
Ideas for rain water collection. Increase points / multiples greater yield.
Reminded me of the earth slopes around the Earth Ship.
IT’S NOT ...
IT’S THE A FRAME ..
Journal: 09.03 A frame, to measure contours. Interesting and also deceptive to see that your perception of a gradient isn’t so accurate. Using the simple tool of the A frame, with string and stone the flat level and gradient can be discovered, a rope was laid to follow the contour lines. So simple and reassuring in this technical age to get back to basics. DANIEL DOING THE A FRAME WALK
TURN TO YOUR LEFT ..
This was deeply satisfying to see the immediate results. Application to gauge flow of water.
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD Using Permaculture Ethics, made me make some changes to the way I consume food and which companies I endorsed. 23.05.13 Flowers in my Barcombe Nursery salad!
12.03.13 Received Soil Association’s ‘welcome pack’, including fab recipe book and Living Earth Magazine. Their slogan ‘ healthy soil, healthy people, healthy planet. (Earth Care)
23.03.13 Prepared food for Permaculture Design Course lunch, used Barcombe Nurseries kale, all organic ingredients. (Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share).
15.03.13 Received my first Barcombe Nurseries fruit and vegetable box, exciting! Supporting local growers. (Earth Care/Fair Share) Oh the irony, at the same time, posted through my post box was a flyer to promote Domino’s pizza’s ‘Hot Dog Stuﬀed Pizza’.
“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a diﬀerence in the health of our planet.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh 20
FOOD DESIGN OBSERVATION
I don’t have a car, so I only buy local, mainly independent shops, occasionally Supermarket. Main criteria has always been convenience and what is close by.
Lower carbon footprint supporting local businesses and support of local economy. Supermarkets have enormous controlling power and consume far more energy to maintain transportation, heating and lighting energy resources, do inputs and outputs equate?
I no longer shop at big chain Supermarkets, I can find all I need at local green grocers Jasmine and Infinity Foods, all within my Zone 1 and 2.
Buy more ‘household’ items from local Co-Op Supermarket, i.e. toilet rolls, washing powders.
I tend to buy cheaper products, but at what cost to the environment? What are the ethics of the brands that I am endorsing by buying from them?
Quality not quantity. I look at making my own cleaning products, save money and unnecessary packaging. Buy Ecover washing powder now, more expensive but I use less. I hand wash a lot more items now too, using less energy.
Buy fruit and veg from local green grocer.
Convenient, but is it organic? Plus have I ever looked at the miles it has taken to reach my plate and where he sources from?
I signed up to local fruit and veg box at Barcombe Nurseries. Soil Association and organic and local produce. I also became a member of The Soil Association. It’s made me more aware of soil degradation and farmer practices.
Packaging and waste.
As much as I recycle, I don’t compost my food waste.
Joined local community compost scheme. It has reduced my waste and made me more aware of what I would before just throw away.
Vegetarian for over 10 year now
It was more of a spiritual decision. Realise that not eating meat supports the environment too as a lot of energy resources, food and water are needed to maintain animals. They emit methane gases and what about their welfare? Quote from the Guardian ‘if the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed directly by people instead of animals, we could feed at least twice as many people”
Happy as I am, would consider becoming Vegan.
Tend to eat fish approximately once every 2 weeks. I almost always eat fish in restaurants, if vegetarian option has cheese in it.
Is the fish I buy from sustainable sources? Aren’t we taking fish out of the sea faster than can be replenished?
Subconsciously since I started the course I have only eaten fish once in a restaurant. I haven’t brought any. I now take an Organic Omega 3 Hemp oil supplement instead.
I live on my own, how much food does one person really need?
Going to Supermarkets, more choice, in fact too much choice, impulse is to always over buy and this leads to food waste. Plus how much food waste ends up in a landfill, decomposing and emitting gases? Do I agree with their farming policies? Monoculture v Agroforestry.
I share more food now as it’s made me more confident in my cooking, using Barcombe recipes in box. Take part in Sit & Supper Group once a week, share meals with neighbour, who will be 100 in August! Cook nutritional soups for her. Also sharing lunches at BPTDC, had some compliments about what I cooked/
Do I have much variety in my diet? Am I aware of what is in season and what isn’t?
I can be repetitive with what I cook and eat as I live on my own.
Barcombe Veg box inspires me to be more creative and experimental in my cooking, found a new zest for food. I like the surprise to see what will be in my box more. My eating is more in tune wit the seasons now and more diverse.
I only grow herbs
I have plenty of plants in pots, nothing edible though.
Have a go a sowing some seeds, grow lettuces, if I can do it with sweet peas, surely I can with some edible ones too?! Make my own teas.
I don’t buy any pre-made meals, take my own lunch to work.
If organise meals more, less waste and save money,
Veg box has made me more economical with food budget, local economy and forward thinking meals more, freeze excess soups etc.
Learn more about food growing.
Stanmer Organics, Fork and Dig it looking for volunteers.
Make time to allow for volunteering, learn new skills meet new people, be outside not inside!
“Being vegetarian here also means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh 21
STRAW BALE BUILDING COURSE - WEEKEND - 21st - 23rd June - HOATHLY HILL FOREST GARDEN ( SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES ) MUD BATH! Our teacher Paulina, explaining how to mix up first layer of plaster on straw bale built walls. • First we utilised the earth taken close by where an area for a pond had been dug out. USE RENEWABLE RESOURCES / PRODUCE NO WASTE • It was established that there was a high clay content, we did the sausage test on it. • The earth was then added to a bath tub with 1/5th of water in it. We left the water to absorb the earth naturally rather than mixing it ourselves, it created a better consistency. LEAST CHANGE FOR GREATEST EFFECT / WORK AT APPROPRIATE SCALE • Once the earth had been absorbed, we then had great fun mixing it, see below! • Straw was added by hand to the clay mud and the straw plaster was created.
MUD DANCE No cement mixers here, just leg power to mix it up.
MANY HANDS LIGHT WORK Laughter, community feeling shared.
MUD FACE PACKS! Me & Stefan
STRAW BALE BUILD RESOURCES INPUTS
Earth taken from area dug for pond
Earth used for wall bags and plastering
Straw bales from local farm
Used for straw bale wall system
Chestnut coppice cut from woodland
Manually shaped for wall pins
Paulina shared knowledge and experience
Group gain skills and practical learning
Group time and energy to build
Shared satisfaction at build, tea breaks and laughter
Hoathly Hill organised workshop, first time they had done this
Community garden folly built to share and enjoy, learning experience for other workshops
Imaginative wall plaster and designs
Financial contribution to workshop
Reinvested into community and other workshops
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
EARTHSHIP BRIEF: To be renovated and brought back to working order (Low Carbon Trust & BPT). BPT will take over running the Earthship. • Aim: To inspire, educate all visitors to sustainability issues, in particular buildings. (Whether they live in rented flat or Earthship). • Pioneer low impact architecture and ways of living. • Encourage exploration of other sites in Stanmer Organics and the park. • Who: Educational venue for:
Guided Tours up to 60 people
Courses up to 30 people
Meetings up to 15 people (at the same time)
School Groups, 30 kids in ES, more around SO
Bookings by Universities, Council etc
• Infrequent larger events / open days in & around, marquees • ‘Commercial’ bookings to cover costs, develop more to
Meetings & away days
Weddings (possibly marquees etc)
• New Buildings / Structures • Additional buildings/ structure develop as an educational venue • Demonstrate innovative & cutting edge green architecture. Low ecological and visual impact. • Oﬃce space with 3 desks (ES round room no longer adequate) • A new battery house, separate from other buildings, due to low fire risk. Close to power nerve. Batteries perform best above room temperature, not cold. • Covered workspace required for practical workshops / courses. • A classroom, capacity 60, low visual impact / cutting edge. (No services as services will be used). • 2 x flexible outdoor learning spaces ( capacity 30 each), separate to avoid disturbance. • Compost loos needed, Existing work, need upgrading / moving.
Other: • The area of solar panels is to be doubled, put somewhere close to the existing one. Solar panels work best when they are cool. • • • • •
Landscape to be aesthetically pleasing, low maintenance, accessible for people to move around. Rabbits, deers, voles on site. Sustainable low maintenance food production to be demonstrated with infrequent maintenance. Food productions to provide low maintenance food as well as salads, herbs and teas for use in Earthship. Consideration to be given to low key self guided interpretation around the site. Produce no waste / use all resources / meet needs on site ( Stanmer Organics) where possible.
CLIENT Q & A: Q: Resources: Budget and time? A: £ 5,000 a year, no Project Manager, as little as possible on site. Q: What renovations to be done? A: Water to meet legal standards.
Q: Define other areas? A: Stanmer Organics, Fruit Nursery, Nature Reserve. Q: Planning permission? A: Not yet, take 1 - 2 years.
Q: Outdoor learning space, define flexible? A: Semi permanent, multiple uses. Q: Compost toilet, why upgrade? A: Roof needs renovating.
EARTHSHIP: We started with our maps as part of survey phase. SATELLITE MAP
EARTHSHIP: BASE-MAP, scale 1:100
EARTHSHIP: CONTOUR MAP
EARTHSHIP: CONTOUR MAP
EARTHSHIP SPECIES: BENEFITS TO SOIL / OBSERVATION & ANALYSIS
Myself and Ali, drew up the ethics framework from which we could clearly see the needs of the client, the visitors and the site. It helped us understand the brief better and see that all needs were equally covered. The ethics map was a vital tool in our design process.
EARTH CARE: No waste. Use local resources. Lime, clay, timber, straw, compost toilet, - green roof. - This helped us formulate our design decisions. Low maintenance food (herbs, salads) perennials. - This would again lead decisions on which plants to chose. PEOPLE CARE: To inspire and educate a variety of ages and needs. How? Create a variety of workshops to teach and volunteer on. Community building with cob oven social events. Educated children with wildlife and nature â€˜spot the speciesâ€™ walks. -Working with ethics gave us more ideas and consider FAIR SHARE: Multiple functional spaces. - Lead to design decisions and placement Cater for all ages. - Looks to disability needs too, access points, improve compost toilet. Rabbits, deers and voles present. - Take this into consideration with design, placement and plant species. - Work with not against.
EARTHSHIP ANALYSIS: What resources could be used that already existed? Timber from Stanmer woods
- Use for round timber frame conference hall (show diverse range of new low impact new builds)
Straw bales from Stanmer farms - Use for straw bale build battery house (batteries require good insulation). Solar energy: panels increased
- Additional output for new build 60 capacity (relative placement). Pond to increase sun reflection.
- Use for cob oven build and straw bale battery house plaster.
- Use for straw bale plaster mix, keep out moisture. Cob oven plaster.
- Indicated by abundance of nettles, also high levels of nitrogen and potassium with dock leaves.
Beneficial for low maintenance food. (see species page: 26)
- £ 5,000, invest in specialist skills in cutting edge low impact design. Workshops for beneficial voluntary labour and skill swop.
What were the limiting factors? Rabbits, evidence of droppings
- Take into consideration when planning low maintenance
- low winds, area dips, wind turbine eﬀective? Shaded, sheltered areas noted. We observed the site
two sunny days, ideally it would have been observed for longer periods. Earthship windows south facing, increase sunlight reflection with pond.
- Improve - reed bed was dry
- Site oﬀ road, permission to use access at back of earthship for conference hall?
- None, take into account for compost toilet
- No planning permission, established take 1 - 2 years, client confirmed looking at 5 years.
aim to keep momentum and enthusiasm up for long term project.
On top of base map (left) an overlay was added indicating sectors: elements of wind, shade, contours - the earthship’s microclimate. Also zones, the Earthship being Zone 1. Design tool box included: 12 principles printed and laminated to layer Element cards
EARTHSHIP: ANALYSIS With a mind map, we assessed exactly what builds the client wanted and took into consideration what we observed in our survey of the site
PRINCIPLES WERE NUMBERED (1 - 12)) APPLIED TO THE ANALYSIS MAP, WHICH LEAD TO THE PLACEMENT AND DESIGN
EARTH SHIP DESIGN PROJECT: PRINCIPLES USED FOR DESIGN DECISIONS
Produce no waste: New builds to be created with all local materials. Once analysis done, Designs included: straw bale battery house with chalk plaster. Round wood timber conference room for up to 60. Round timber open workshop area with green roof. Rammed earth, chalk plastered cob oven. Straw bale build small oﬃce space, good sound proof. Earth care.
New builds: brief stated to inspire visitors. Imagination is the only limit to yield. Use renewable resources.
Use renewable resources: Solar panels to be increased at back of Earth Ship to supply new builds. Battery house to store excess energy. Designed to be close proximity to each other, relative placement.
Solar panel: catch and store energy, see below. System to produce more energy that it consumes.
Catch and store energy: Pond designed to be in front of glass frontage of Earth Ship’s glass windows, sunlight to be reflected, increasing heat energy. inside. Straw bale battery house would keep temperature required as well insulted straw bale walls and temperature is retained.
Pond: beneficial connections to Earthship.
Make least change for maximum eﬀect: We considered moving the compost toilet, to utilize space more for new builds and the client wanted them updating. However we decided to keep them in place, and update with green roof and also add disability access (people care). Improve signage on site, people care too. Update existing outside workshop space next to Earthship, rather than create new.
Compost toilet: produce no waste. Earth care.
Create self sustaining systems: Site was to inspire visitors to low maintenance food production. Design workshops to educate and experience the food produced i.e. salads, herbs. for tea. Designed herb spiral adjacent to pond, next to Earthship, Zone 1. We decide to plant in existing growing space, perennial food (as per Pippa’s garden visited on 10th May, species ‘Martin Crawford - Creating Forest Garden’, rather than move the growing area.
Herb / salad garden: Work at appropriate scale. Not in competition with nearby Stanmer Organics, wanted to work with them not against them. Only produce what is required, diﬀerent varieties to what is currently on oﬀer. Understand and create niches.
Beneficial Connections: Exchange workshop learning skills about straw bale build, medicinal herbs uses, cooking with self produced low maintenance food, social events with pizza making at cob oven. All educational for variety of age groups, on voluntary or paid basis. All to be filmed and documented for educational purposes and references too. Fair share /people care.
Understand and create niches: create exciting and new workshops to reach out to a variety of audiences, create a buzz.
Each key function is supported by multiple functions: The brief required that the new builds were to be used for a variety of groups, ages and purposes and disabilities. We had to consider both the needs of Commercial use: meetings and away days, weddings and special events and Educational use: guided tours for up to 60 people, courses for up to 30 people, meetings for 15, school groups. People care / fair share.
Work at relative scale. Needs of buildings and multiple uses to be considered with new builds and placements, brief requested aesthetically pleasing low impact.
Use and value edge: Behind existing Earthship, there is a natural boundary edge, utilize within design for conference hall.
Integrate rather than segregate, build on additional solar panel where existing ones are.
SADIM: Surveyed and Observed: See pages: 25 & 26 Analysed:
See pages: 27, 28 & 29
See pages: 30 & 32
Funding in place, contract build specialist: Bee Rowan / Ben Law / draw up design / apply for planning permission
Planning permission in place. Workshops marketed: Straw bale build / round wood timber build / cob oven. Prepare site and resources. Build commences / Earthship and compost toilet renovations completed. Pond dug.
Large scale and small scale builds continue, tied in with work shops c/o BPT. Growing areas sowed. Solar panels brought and installed.
Web designer contracted for website development and marketing of site for commercial uses. Builds final stages Bookings in place and managed.
Relaunch of Earth Ship site for commercial and educational purposes. Bookings commence.
DESIGN PROCESS Pre brief, observation phase, my contribution was:
- Taking photographs, documenting process, sharing images
- Constructed questions for client clarification
- Produced “Species’ cards with plant images and benefits (see page 26) - Tool kit: printed and laminated principle cards - Emailed group a check list on 29.05.13, of what we were all bringing to design project weekend
- Brainstormed ethics with Ali (see page 27) look at client and site and visitors needs. - Referenced ideas from GAD and Ben Law’s house, straw bale build and round wood timber - Incorporating principles. - Sense of humour!
THE ALL SORTS DESIGN GROUP I called ourselves that, because that was exactly what we were, we had all sorts of skills and experience to oﬀer. As a whole group we organically migrated to the areas / skills set that we had, it was an organic process, and we instinctively knew each others strengths. This was at the observing phase. Extra time before class was given by one member to another about mapping so that they could understand it better, skill sharing. Once we had the brief we did discuss which areas we felt our strengths were in, outlined below.
A. Plants / species / microclimates / sectors / ecological ideas B. Base map / design drawing / creative ideas C. Facilitator / mind maps / specialist herbs D. Interpreting client brief / details & organising / build ideas / community (My role and contribution) E. Time keeper / focus / workshop ideas / overviewing team management At points the design process came to a stand still, a creative block and group dynamics weren’t collective. We decided to split up, into sub-groups a better use of time and then regroup. This worked really well, we all can back refreshed and with new ideas to share. We followed the SADIM process well, definitely spent a lot of time observing and surveying and analysis so that when the design came it all fell into place smoothly (80 / 20 guide followed). It was clear that we were all strong individuals, with diﬀerent strengths. My nature is to pay attention to the detail and organising and I had to let some of this go in the group dynamics, this was my biggest challenge, we didn’t have the time to focus on such detail and our time keeper kept this in check well. We all wanted the experience to be a positive one and so this collective thinking helped us. Others clearly weren’t used to working in groups and would branch oﬀ, so at times I made an eﬀort to draw everyone back together. Our time keeper was good at keeping focus too. What would we have done diﬀerently? Made our roles clearer from the start and who would focus on what. Improve group communication. A pre-meet outside of class time would have been beneficial, as some members had missed previous weeks. However we didn’t all live nearby. Some responded to group emails, some didn’t. An input and output analysis would have been helpful to do on the resources, we ran out of time due to group branching oﬀ. Overall an enjoyable experience. As a group we wanted to enjoy it more than get too stressed about it, which we definitely achieved. By spending a lot more time in the 80% phase I could see the benefits to this, a new way of working and thinking.
THE ALL SORTS DESIGN PRESENTATION PRE PRESENTATION: - BASE MAP - ETHICS MAP - SPECIES - ELEVATION SECTION MOUNTED ONTO BOARD
DURING PRESENTATION: SECTORS OVERLAY DESIGN AND ZONE OVERLAY WITH PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENT CARDS PLACED
Once design had been completed, we then all agreed to talk about the areas that we had been most involvement in, this was the fairest way and everyone felt most comfortable to naturally talk about areas they had more knowledge in. We would reference maps etc on the board. First present with base map, then overlay sectors and zones, then designs with principles and element cards. - Observation, survey and base map, sectors - Introduction, brief and ethics - Analysis and principles - Design (all to contribute) - Group dynamics and process The area we left for us all to contribute was the design section, we felt as everyone has something to say about this we all could contribute. We did several run throughs of the presentation on the Saturday afternoon, overall we were a laid back group. Feedback: Client appreciated that the needs of the everyone had been considered, client, site and visitors, see ethics map. Good use of principles and variety of new builds styles to showcase low impact architecture. Group had listened also to the needs of the builds. We let ourselves down in the presentation, at times we would talk over each other in the middle section where we were all contributed in hindsight we should have organised this better and rehearsed more. My attention to detail, was just that too small, I hadnâ€™t allowed for the size of the map for the principle cards and the species cards were too small. Pleased that my contribution with using ethics and map had worked, linked it with the understanding the brief, and suggested of straw bale house for batteries. Brief could have been explained better colleagues suggested, I did presume everyone knew it. Going forward: be bolder with my presentation tools, all too small, also work on shyness at presenting (consequently Iâ€™ve done a Public Speaking Workshop on 15.06.13). I felt confident with new builds designs and discussion, less on plants and ecology, this is something I can develop. I found the thought process the most interesting and this is what I wanted from Permaculture. Will look at other ways to apply in in my life, not just land based.
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“The miracle is walking on the earth, not walking on water or fire. The real miracle is walking on this earth.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh