Connecting the community a big benefit of Permaculture Design Certification

Ten new permaculture designers were certified during the 2019 Humboldt Bay Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course. They are ready to help transform the community for sustainability and local food security. One of our students shares her thoughts below!

By Casey Jo Dascanio

My experience with Permaculture was pretty limited before I signed up for the 2019 Humboldt Bay Permaculture Design Course (PDC). I grew up on a horse ranch in southern California, have lived here in Humboldt for 16 years, and have participated in my fair share of gardening and some natural building projects among friends.

My two main reasons for joining the class were to meet a fresh set of local people with similar interests to mine, and to fill in the pieces of specific knowledge I would need to create the whole picture of a happy, sustainable and community-serving farmstead for myself in the near future. I was greatly rewarded by the experiences of the class.

The classes were formatted into weekend meetings once a month, with optional learning get-togethers in between. This format really lent itself to getting to know fellow classmates. The group was all extremely knowledgeable already and had so much to share with each other.

The schedule also allowed time to visit many different sites to see how teachers, students and community members integrate Permaculture into their personal lifestyles. Not only did we receive detailed instruction from a variety of local experts, but we also got to meet some prominent figures in our community and put our hands on some of their projects.

The course covered the practical aspects of Permaculture like rainwater collection, animal husbandry, composting and building soil, selecting appropriate garden plants for our area and needs, natural building, food preservation and much more. These were the things I had anticipated from the course.

We also covered a great deal of social change elements under the umbrella of “Urban Permaculture,” such as: integrated neighborhooods or eco-villages, alternative energy, how to locally shift the norm for consumption, cooperation between local peoples and native peoples to reinforce practices that are patterned after nature, and even disaster preparedness on a personal and neighborhood scale (which has already demanded real attention in recent weeks).

To tie together all we had been learning, we formed design teams to meet with clients and create designs for their personal properties that met their creative vision and practical goals.

Overall, this course definitely satisfied my needs. I have gained so much new information and techniques and really had a chance to hone the vision I had created for my future. I also forged connections to new friends, Humboldt Permaculture Guild members, local farmers and business people, members from Cooperation Humboldt, and community leaders; who were all there for our course completion, urging us onto new pathways to continue practicing what we have learned.

This course is a gateway to a greater lifestyle of conscious living, cooperation, and creating the idyllic life that can endure whatever the future holds. I hope you will consider signing up for the next Humboldt Bay PDC, tentatively slated for 2021!

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