It’s been a long time coming, but we’re thrilled to finally be able to introduce you to our five fantastic permaculture students who are working towards their Permaculture Design Certification.
They’ll be spending four months here at Danyadara studying, working the land and getting their hands very, very dirty. Not only that, but as our very first group, they’ll shape what the course grows into (no pun intended!).
We sat down with each of them for a chat over a mug of our homegrown lemon verbena tea to see what they have to say for themselves…
Meet our First Permaculture Students
Lou, Glastonbury, UK
Having grown up in the countryside surrounded by nature, I wanted to rebel. I wanted to get away from it. At 18 I moved to London to study art curation. But I felt this huge loss, because there was just no nature, no green, no plants. Nothing like what I grew up around. And that’s when I became very interested in permaculture. So I found permaculture in the city of London!
I’m very interested in the urban space. I believe that the ecological crisis that we have right now will only change when human behaviour changes. I’m interested in creating spaces that people can step into and realise that they are nature and they’re not separate from it.
What I’m enjoying the most on the course is being outside and using my body to work, not being at a laptop! I’ve done that for 3 years, writing endless essays and it’s so refreshing to be outdoors. We also have really inspiring conversations that already I feel I can learn from and also that I can participate in.
I love learning from Jake (Jacob) because he’s training us through doing, rather than sitting in the classroom being told, “this is the way it is.”
Richard, Leeds, UK
It took me a year-and-a-half at university studying art before I realised I wanted all my work to be outdoors, and it took another half a year to realise actually I could just make art with what the land presented. I started to make spaces in the land. Working with the land just means using a shovel rather than a paint brush. I now need to get the knowledge from Danyadara so that I can develop the space as a fine artist.
I’m interested in functional art. Obviously art functions in the human world – it’s usually aesthetically pleasing or at least thought provoking. But I want to make art that’s not just for humans but is beneficial to life on a whole scale, life of the ecosystems. Art shouldn’t be limited just to humans and doing permaculture opens the doors to create that kind of work.
I don’t think many people realise that this is art. It’s quite a new thought.
I love being part of this group. They’re great. It’s very beneficial to your work ethic to be around people like this. Also just to be outdoors is what I love, working with the land.
First I graduated in business and I was really frustrated. I was always thinking about what I could do that would be more “me.”
Afterwards I started to study architecture. I was interested in how to construct more sustainable buildings, how to construct things without waste and without causing pain to others. I fell in love with the entire idea of permaculture. This year I’m still studying architecture but I wanted to jump into permaculture and have a really intense experience.
The more I study, the more I’m interested in how to be better, how to be good for the world, how to try to cause more love and less pain. I have a lot of intentions with all these things. I would like to hold workshops and then I want to have a place to share the learning – a place where people can come and bring and share skills and knowledge and grow together.
What am I enjoying most? I’m enjoying everybody working together with the earth and understanding this relationship. This is more intensive than experiences I’ve had before – we are really working with nature. It’s been really interesting to see things grow – being together with the process.
I finished studying my computing degree a few years ago and after that I got into freelance web design. I came over to Spain to be with my dad and look after him. That’s when I started to question a lot of things about being happy, healthy and what I really wanted to do. What did I want to give back to the world? Because I love giving, I love doing something that’s going to add value to people’s lives.
In 2016 I came here to work in the garden with Jacob. Realising there would be a course here in permaculture planted a seed in my mind. I saved up to come back.
At this point I’ve accepted that computing is now in the past for me. I still have the skills, but I’m not going to actively pursue it as a career because permaculture is where it’s at.
The diversity of the course means it’s inclusive to all aspects of the life cycle. I also really like the fact that we have the practical days tied in with one theory day. That balance is spot-on for me. I’m very practical. We’ll study an concept, discuss it and then work in the garden connecting it all together.
After being a substitute teacher and seeing how kids today are always on their phones, it worried me. They got so frustrated when they didn’t get things instantly. I know I don’t have the greatest patience in the world but when I’m waiting for a plant to grow, it helps me to learn to be patient. I think it will help kids too.
I’m studying permaculture because I would like to get kids more involved in caring for nature. I feel like that’s all disappearing. My mum and my grandparents all know how to grow things and care for plants whereas my generation (like me!) don’t know too much.
I want kids to understand that nature is made up of living beings and we are living in symbiosis. Also it’s fun to care for something else rather than just your phone!
At Danyadara, I’m enjoying harvesting and seeing how much the plants actually grow and keep on giving. The fig trees here just keep giving and giving! I’m also getting to know all of the people on the course – it’s interesting to see how we all came together in this environment. Even though we are all very different, we have so much fun, and we have a genuine respect for one another.
Fancy seeing your face here for our next course?
We’re accepting applications from potential permaculture students, and we’d love you to join us! Hop on over to our courses page for more information.