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Thursday 1 January 2009: Winter retreat session:

  • Discuss plans for June Permaculture Design Certificate course.
  • Who wants to help, attend, observe,
  • Discuss structure needs for the above course, and other improvements,
  • Discuss WWOOFers, interns and other farm labour- Pros, cons, strategies and plans for the year

Check in

  • Morris- Tired, not settled in the home, glad to be able to walk between houses and classroom. Liking it. “Discussions are uplifting and carrying me through”
  • Carol- Quite surpurb. Yesterday was cherry on top of sundae. Immense connection with group, bit of stiff neck, present.
  • Jan- 8, not fully caffeined, not a morning person. Health is pretty good. Really enjoying week. Things are going well, nice to see people taking part in things.
  • SA- 8- ready to go up in presense level. Pulled angel card of clarity, feeling good about that. Week going well even though rooms are full of boxes. Getting more sick than well. Glad to be doing what we’re doing.
  • Stacy- Great! Happy. Getting energy from Sienna waking her up. Great to be here. Feel good.
  • Shannon – Feeling better this morning than yesterday morning physically. Felt joy last night in talent show and going to be earlier. Feeling loving watching other people doing the things that founding members have done for years. Hear people and see people’s joy. Learning from other people.
  • James- physically 4.5, mentally 9.85.
  • Penny- Slept great. Had a lot of fun last night. Was apprehensive but it went really well.
  • Rudy- 8 – didn’t get morning ritual. This space is forever changed, been involved here with energy work for years and will never be the same after talent show last night. (and the belly laugh chain afterward).
  • Mark- Feeling a little scratchy throat. Had doldrums yesterday. Didn’t get the 100% downtime that psyche likes. Talent show picked spirit up and had a good night sleep.

Announcements from James. Babysitting, Evening session.

Mark read 12 principles of permaculture design.

Facilitator - Mark Stiffler Discuss Permaculture Design Course

  • Jan- talk about permaculture design course.
    • Care for the land
    • Care for the people
    • Fair share (limit reproduction, distribute excess).
  • Notes and info about the course
    • Permaculture is different than gardening. Not limited to gardening and agriculture. Also takes social and economic issues.
    • Permaculture is more consensual based. Lots of suggestions and freedom. There is a curriculum but each class can be structured differently.
    • 72 hours class time minimum. Each student must be involved in a design (usually done in small groups). Usually takes a lot of focus and homework. Multiple instructors. As many as 13 in a 2 week period. Jan likes to have a couple “name” instructors on the bill as well as local folks. (DLC, Tony Hemmingway). Possibly the Bullocks, and Bauers and maybe someone from OUR.
    • People are expected to make up time if they miss any classes. They can go to another class to fill in missing spots.
    • Instructors have to show teachings back to Holmgren or Mollison.
    • Principles, form design teams, core curriculum, working together, ask Jan for copy of the Cannon if you want to see the outline.
    • Not really into Pomp and circumstance. Do opening circle and closing circle (which is usually emotional).
    • Mark- how do two weeks progress? Classroom study, design plan.
    • Jan- Daily rhythm. People know when they have to be where. Days broken into 6 units. 2 sessiong in morning + hands on, 2 in afternoon + hands on, evening activities (usually optional) video presentations, talent shows. Synchronize activities with daily activity so people can use it as make up time if they miss something during the day.
    • Last day and half or two days are design team presentations. Good team building. Must vibe watch. Hands on is separate. “discovery guide” – lecturers. Hands on is work party, build fencing, terraces, composting toilet etc. Balance and mix of lectures vs hands on.
    • Dates for EcoReality course are June 6-21, 2009. Dates are flexible but we want to use DLC and she is booked after the 22nd.
    • Need to set dates soon and advertise for course.
  • Questions;
    • Morris- what does site need- kitchen, shower, outhouses, campground. Kitchen is last priority.
    • James- what will Jan’s role be? Jan- facilitator at OUR, lead instructor, coordinated instructors, set tone for course. Getting people to buy into mood and agreements in the course. Carol will be registrar, need a cook, Carol knows a possible cook.
    • Evening events may need some support. Jan likes to have a stunt double so there is a backup for the steward of that activity.
    • Plan evening events in advance.
    • Penny- cost of course?
      • Jan- zero based budget. Not a money maker but not a money loser. All expenses covered, paid cooks and instructors. Balance more of the instructor fees. Budget needs to be developed. Approx $2400 including camping and meals. Possibly cheaper for people who do not need residency.
  • Are people expected to work on site during the course?
    • Do not need to help with cooking. Bus and wash own dishes. Care schedule so people can sign up for different things. People can train others for those roles.
  • Shannon- have steward for each area to train participants for care areas.
  • Mark requested that we all hand him a piece of paper with one permaculture value written on paper and handed to him.
  • Mark collected paper with values written on them (from each person).
  • Shannon – Minor conversations so far… wondering how human component of our group is involved- what roles do you see. If member wants to be participant (teaching or facililtation) can they get discount?
    • Jan- budget should have bursuries for interns or members or others. Need to do budget.
  • Morris- Capacity? Jan- OUR had 30. It was high stress. 20-30 is ideal.
  • Morris- Marketing concerns? Jan- There is lots of demand out there. People want to sign up.
  • Morris- thoroughly delighted to have the course here.
  • Shannon – There has been a PDC here in the past. Jan- it was a one evening class…. Jan will do a two evening intro to permaculture here. Then a 4 half day weekend course.
  • James- Where will everyone be for the course and do they see themselves attending or helping?
    • Morris- will be here, like to support the course. Money and other responsibilities may hold him back from fully participating. Jan – residents and interns can do some in kind work and some leeway can be given for doing work or other personal requirements.
    • SA- Would like to help with community life during that time. Chores, like to take the course. Not sure how realistic that is. Would like to take course if can.
    • Carol- Would like to do the registration and organizational things. All other duties as needed.
    • Shannon – Planning to be here. Wants to be involved. Would like to take it and be certified. Don’t have capacity to pay full price. Can offer organizational help and areas of expertise to help instruct.
    • James- Like to help as site support. Not participating.
    • Penny- can’t come. Like to help with advertising. It’s graduation at school. Bummed about dates.
    • Rudy- Like to take the course. Not for certificate but to be a part of what is going on. Observe, partake and support.
    • Mark- wants to take the course. Volunteer as campground host. Like to iron out duties and be a backup for site support as well. Block out hours. Available possibly a few days in advance to help with the setup.
    • Jan- humbled and delighted by the response and enthusiasm.

Facilitator - Mark Stiffler Discuss site structure needs for PDC and beyond

  • Lodging
  • Morris- legal aspects of camping. Jan- up to 150 campsites with ALR designation. We may need as many as 30 campsites.
  • Special needs- We may not need to provide indoor space (people could lodge elsewhere). (make special needs request fine print).
  • Where camping? – Shannon - Clustered in a way that are not dotted all over the place. Possibly in one or two areas. Jan- balance between need for privacy and containment of area. *Motorhomes? We can provide parking (how many? Not sure).
  • Shannon – non married people not tenting together. (reaction from the group- we don’t want to interfere).
  • Need campground etticate. Jan- people will not be spending a lot of time in their tents.
  • SA- Will people be paying more for campsite? (two prices for course- resident and non resident).
  • Mark- Fires? Jan – no fires, possible fire ban, possible fire pit.
  • Shannon – could be POURING rain.
  • Covered area in campground?
    • Discourage people from congregating at tents. Make area around kitchen area for eating and coverage.
    • Possible tarp area in campground for dressing and storage.
  • Stacy - Can people bring family members along with them? Jan- possible times of the course can be open to public for possible and extra fee.
  • Need to have a bigger conversation about childcare.
  • Shannon- we could advertise to high school for revolving childcare.
  • James- what else needs to be constructed in the campground?
    • Pads? – light trail building, wood chip tent pads. Foot paths.
    • Campstoves allowed? Needs to be discussed.
    • 2 or more toilets?
  • Toilet facilities:
    • balance privacy and utility.
    • 2 toilets near classroom and 2 in campground.
    • Need to talk about humanure system
    • Lavatory- need washing station.
    • Humanure storage and processing area.
    • Seasonal or a year round structure?
    • Building materials on site.
  • Outdoor kitchen
    • Possible area is bump out from the shop on the SE side. Mill slabs are $10 a pickup load (that’s two outdoor toilets per truckload).
    • We can use the fence 2X6 pieces. Maybe 20 foot span so there is room for kitchen and seating area.
    • Concern about classroom and kitchen clashing at certain times.
    • Separate eating space (eating, lounging, working).
  • Learning or classroom
    • Multiple spaces?
  • Childcare
    • Discussion elsewhere
  • Shower
    • Use reservoir for bathing.
    • At campground or near buildings?

Facilitator - Penny Discuss WWOOFers and other labour

  • History- by James
  • Mark- what is the other labour? – James – specific work parties with skills.
  • Morris- do these people fit the bill? Carol- some work, some don’t.
  • Jan- short term people can work better than a long term person who is a drain. Takes a day to train people so two weeks in minimum. Some people are skilled enough to do good work in a short term.
  • WWOOF people are usually agricultural tourists.
  • Shannon- Tap into organizations who provide interns.
  • Shannon – cons- incorporating 25 people a year into our lives is tough. Need a WWOOF or labour steward to spend a few hours a week.
  • Con- who does a WWOOFER work for? They have been confused (the wwoofers).
  • Financial aspect needs to be clearer. It’s muddy with the way that residents currently pay for wwoofers out of their pockets.
  • Pro- bring new energy and new ideas. Here to work.
  • Force you to figure things out.
  • New ideas and enthusiasm.
  • Con- things get rushed. Stay on your toes for their work.
  • Con – broken tools.
  • WWOOF discussion- For later- where do they stay? What will the outdoor kitchen be used for summer?
    • Have two labour budgets- operational ongoing needs, vs project needs.
    • Stewardship of labour needs to be determined.
  • What do differently this year
    • House them differently
    • Revise expectations – interns have ongoing learning plan. WWOOOFers have learning plans too. Ongoing check in.
    • Stewardship of these people.
    • Make new name for stewardship.
    • Labour food and lodging paid for by co-op.
    • Create Win win situation for all.

Finished at 12:10pm

Submitted by James Cowan 17:09, 7 January 2009 (PST)

Reviewed by Mark S 18:20 9 Jan 2009 (PST)

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