My Permaculture Design Certificate

March 27, 2011 – Post #2

To get a greater understanding and appreciation for what Permaculture is all about and what it all encompasses, I felt the best way to get started was to acquire my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). Many people had shared with me that attending a PDC was often a life altering experience, and that was exactly what it turned out to be for me.

This all came amazingly together one evening while having dinner at the local May Kaidee’s Vegetarian Restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as attached to the wall of our table was a poster announcing the offering of a PDC in Pai in a month, and just three hours from Chiang Mai besides, what were the chances. This was to be offered at the Tacomepai Farm, and the two week course  (October 7-20, 2010) was to cover all the aspect of Permaculture as outlined in the “Permaculture Design Manuel”, written by Bill Mollison himself. The $500 fee included accommodations and all vegetarian meals which was great.

During the two weeks, we covered the ethics and principles of Permaculture, methods of design, pattern understanding, climate factors, trees and their energy transactions, water, soils, earthworks, Permaculture in various climates, aquaculture, strategies of an alternative global nation, and so much more.

The PDC course is an awesome experience to meet, share and exchange with other people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures, as well as knowledge and experiences. Plus Tacomepai provided a great environment for not only learning theory, put also taking part in practical activities, from making compost, mud earth bricks for building, garden planting, to making Effective Microorganisms (EM), compost, water purification, and so much more.

Tacomepai is the inspiration and creation of Sandot Sukkaew, who served as an inspiration to us all attending the PDC course. He is referred to as the “Bamboo Man”, because he loves bamboo, and builds everything, and I mean everything out of bamboo. From bamboo accommodations, to baskets, water containers, plates, spoons and cups, as well as many other things.

Sandot also took us all out into the jungle for a few days, which was an awesome experience, as we got to work the bamboo ourselves with the mishate, making our very own plate, spoon and cup to be able to eat and drink while in the jungle. It was also a very liberating/freeing experience to sleep under the starts in the “Jungle” among all the critters…hey just me, my blanket and the Earth I laid my body down on.

It was also so very impressive how Sandot and his men found all the food  and water we need for our meals from the jungle itself, they knew the jungle like the back of their hand it seemed. It was also interesting to observe how they enjoyed themselves so much in the jungle, it was if they felt more at home in the jungle.

Being surrounded by all sorts of bamboo, the were constantly working at making something with it, from contraptions to cook the rice, to baskets, to rope for tying rice, and even musical instruments, yeah that’s right, we had our very own bamboo jungle ensemble performance during our lunch to keep us entertained, as if we weren’t already all taken back by this whole jungle experience. Ta cap it all off, they took us to  a waterfall to play around and cool off before heading back to the farm.

My PDC experience I felt served its intended purpose, which was to allow me to gain a basic understanding of Permaculture and to serve as a foundation for me to build upon. I would certainly recommend this to anyone wanting to reconnect with Nature and who wishes to take responsibility for themselves while on this planet we call Earth, and looking to live a more self-sustaining kind of lifestyle.

Quote: Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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