Before we moved to Les Vignes Basses full time we lived and worked in South Korea teaching in the public school system. Whilst there, we had large chunks of free time to look a the internet, which we used to research, learn, read and discuss what we want from our lives in France and exactly what we want to do on the land. Through various blogs, Facebook pages, pages shared by friends and oodles of trawling on the internet we stumbled upon permaculture.
Our first experience with it was Geoff Lawton, an awesome permaculture specialist who focuses particularly well on dry and sub-tropical areas of the world. His videos were really inspiring and sparked a very large interest in permaculture.
To cut a long story short, we ended up enrolling on to an online Permacutlure Design Course (PDC) with the late Patrick Whitefield. We are currently half way through the programme but it has already given us excellent ideas for our land. We thought about hiring a permaculture designer first of all, although the cost of doing this versus the cost of training ourselves was negligible, it was a no brainer! And it gives us a qualification we can use forever more.
We hope that by taking the course we can try to make more informed decisions. We decided we have lots of ideals but no practical knowledge. WWOOFing for five weeks in Japan helped to overcome this somewhat, but the question still remained; where to start with a blank, empty field having never planted a vegetable in your life??
The starting point is to create a Base Map of the site, ours looks something like this:
From here, we put together a site survey, followed by a design questionnaire to find out exactly what we both want from the land. The final project is to amalgamate the two into a design proposal; taking into account what is available at the site and then matching this with the evaluation from our questionnaire to create a design on the land that will work most efficiently. That’s the plan anyway…let’s see how is goes!! 🙂