The preparation for the Permaculture Design Course began months ahead. I reached out to the instructors, confirmed their availability, adjusted the schedule, and discussed the details with Lumia.

There was a sense of accomplishment when the first student enrolled, and it grew with each new registration. Once we reached the minimum of six participants, we felt relieved and motivated. Once we had the 10 participants the feeling was nearly festive.

In the weeks leading up to the course, I reviewed my teaching plan. I made sure all the essential topics were included and thought about any additional material that could be added. During this time, I stayed in contact with the other instructors: Kalle, Dan and Anton.

Entrance sign - Beyond Buckthorns permaculture

Preparations before the course

A few days before the course, we set up tepees in case of rain, installed a solar shower, cleaned our two saunas, prepared the class room and made sure we had enough supplies for the composting toilets, and so on. This year, I also added an art gallery inside our Poop Palace. (Multiple functions for important elements)

Art gallery at the Poop Palace at Beyond Buckthorns

Lumia compiled the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner and bought all the necessary ingredients she would need for the lovely dishes throughout the course.

As the participants began to arrive, the realization set in that the course was about to start. We were ready to dive into an informative and engaging journey through permaculture, filled with science, facts, and of course humor.

Evenings are open - OpenSpace

In the evenings, we fired up the KonTiki kiln, made planks for raised beds using the Japanese Shou-Sugi-Ban technique, built a rocket stove from found materials, and worked with wool – all while enjoying each other's company.

Alexis trying Shou-Sugi-Ban (Yakisugi)

Tree climbing

On the free day Kassu, a gardener and arborist at his company Satoisa, climbed one of our old pine trees. Afterwards all participants (and of course I) had a chance to test the climbing gear and climb some 5 meters. What a blast!

Letting go

The two weeks flew by, and when it was all over, I mentioned to Lumia how quickly it seemed to have passed, like it was yesterday the course started.

We hope the course served as a catalyst for positive change. I certainly felt a personal transformation.

Group photo during the PDC at Beyond Buckthorns