Design Presentations & Party! PDC Reflections [Part 8/8]

This series of eight blog posts by Melissa Ott about the Santa Cruz Permaculture fall-winter 2017 Permaculture Design Course was originally posted on the Green Gal blog in April 2017.

Final Weekend: March 11, 2017

On March 11, the three design project teams presented their designs to David, Lydia, and another course guide, Ken Foster of Terra Nova Landscaping. The final design project includes a report detailing the site analysis, maps of zones, maps of sectors, an existing and suggested plant and animal list, a detailed design of one element, and some other requirements like a reference page and information about the client(s). Teams turned in these reports and maps and then presented for ~30 minutes about the project and design recommendations. After their presentation, each group received verbal and written feedback from David, Lydia, and Ken. It was really fun to see the results of everyone’s hard work and creativity in designing the three different places.

Students in the Permaculture Design Certificate Course present their final design to the class in a tent at the NEST.

One project focused on the NEST, the property where the PDC course typically meets. Another project focused on a couple’s large home property in Santa Cruz County that includes orchards and gardens. The third project, the one that I participated in, designed a permaculture demonstration garden and food forest for Sunlit Oaks Winery in Gilroy. The permaculture garden at the winery that I drew for our project is pictured below.

Hand-drawn permaculture design of a garden.

After the presentations, those who had completed all classes in the course received their permaculture design certificates. We sang a song together as the certificates were handed out, celebrating how much we had learned and experienced in the past six months. After some advice about next steps from the course guides, we had a potluck and make-your-own pizza party using the new cob oven!

Five people standing in a semi-circle dancing. One person is playing guitar.

One of my design project teammates shared about her experience in the program, and I think many of us who participated would agree: “The Santa Cruz permaculture design course has allowed me to deepen my journey into permaculture. I have gained broad knowledge of many relevant topics related to sustainable human systems. Most importantly, I have come away with a new perspective of what it means to be fully human, and a desire to further this understanding.” – Gabrielle Reese

The next course begins in April–sign up on the website here! For more photos from the course, visit the Santa Cruz Permaculture Flickr account. For more information about all of the topics covered in this course, please visit the Santa Cruz Permaculture Wiki.

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