Final preparations for the Permaculture Design Course!

The Permaculture Design Course is starting this week, and it doesn’t feel real. Even though the work we have been doing has been in preparation for the course and convergence it still feels like we are just going to keep on doing what we are doing. This week has been about preparations out of the garden; sorting beds for 50 people, cleaning the school and the site, washing everything in the rooms, ensuring there is enough water, fruit and other foods for the UK teams arrival and then welcoming the UK team onto site.

With Jagwe’s help we replaced the nursery bed shade, replacing the heavier more useful papyrus with reed matting which will provide a more even coverage over the nursery. We climbed up the rickety ladder that gets smaller and smaller as it goes up, and is balanced precariously against the nursery structure. Grace and I finished the job when Jagwe had left Sabina, fighting against ants that had moved into the reeds while they were being stored.

 

 

With some help from the students Grace has been working on removing the lemon growth from the orange trees in the food forest. The roots of the lemon tree is stronger than the orange and so the two are grafted together but without proper management the stronger lemon growth fights through the oranges. Jagwe observed that the trees were diseased which made us aware of how important it was for us to work on the trees.

The UK team have arrived with energy, ideas and projects of their own which is making everything seem so much busier around the site. Richie is working on 407 projects all at once, building a beehive is his own personal project which he is doing around all the other woodwork that has been needed doing for weeks. The library has been painted, creating a brilliant white wall to be projected onto during the course for the big presentations . Han and I are working on making signs to put up around the site helping the participants navigate the grounds as well as making the site seem like an event space rather than just a school site. Helen and Charles have been able to work together to make plans for the Convergence, it has been great to get the team together so people are no longer just familiar names and email addresses.

Dan has been working on making an estoufa finca (with Luigi’s help) which is a wood paralysis stove that burns from the top and cooks the wood below releasing the wood gasses and water vapour, little or no smoke is produced once it’s got going. When fully going it burns at 800 degrees c. Most people in Uganda live cooking on wood, the population is set to double in the next couple of decades and in the last couple of decades the forests have halves. Burning wood on the ground is at best 25% efficient and so there is a huge potential in exploring fuel efficient stoves.

A few days after the first load of UK team members the rest of the team arrived. Now as a complete team we can focus on the course in more detail, everyone is helping each other prepare lesson plans and presentations. If there’s anything that someone on the teaching team is unsure about with everyone who’s here, there will be someone who they can ask.

With more mouths to feed, we have had to change what we eat in order to be able to cater for so many people all at once. Aunty Agnes taught us how to make Chapattis which have been a staple ever since Richie perfected the art. Thankfully we collected enough avocados before the team arrived and so we aren’t missing our daily 3 avocado intake. It’s nice to share each meal with so many people, going from just the three of us who would eat together daily to more than five times that number now that the team has expanded. It’s a bigger affair with more people to get to know and more inspiring minds with a bigger range of conversations to be had. 

With participants arriving today and the course starting tomorrow everyone is working hard in the hot African sun trying to get themselves and the site ready. It’s very exciting how massive the course and convergence are to permaculture in East Africa. Hopefully this is just the beginning of something bigger than any of us can imagine.

Sector39 celebration

Its about time for some good news

Sector39 is growing; as well our standard courses we have launched a series projects as well. Inquiries are also arriving from an ever broader spectrum of  sources as ever more people wake up to the potentials of permaculture

We are holding a celebration in Llanrhaeadr Village hall 24th March.
There will be food, music and of course excellent company for an evening of talking dancing and celebrating! Its also my 55th birthday.  Please join the celebration!

Steve Jones, S39 Director

It has to be a good thing that permaculture has never been more in demand and Sector39 is finding opportunities in all sort of new areas.

  • Chester Cathedral and the Anglican church
  • One School One Planet, schools and permaculture project
  • Permaculture Uganda and East Africa
  • Refugee work with Norwegian Refugee Council
  • Consultancies on housing co-operative formation

The big idea we have been working on for a few years now is that of a Permaculture Academy. On going teacher training and project facilitator development..  really its a mentoring process to develop new permaculture informed initiatives where we can.

  • May this year we are running a PDC for 60 participants within an established school and permaculture site in Uganda, followed by a 2 day permaculture convergence.
  • The intention is to launch the Academy and show case the best permaculture can offer to  an invited audience and opinion former’s and budget heads, school heads and trustees.
  • We are fundraising for student bursary fund, applications will be competitively assessed for the number of places available via successful fundraising. Your contributions really will change lives!

Please do support our fundraiser event, tickets are available from:

If you cant make the event please consider supporting our