By Malene Welch, Resilience Hub PDC Grad
When I received an email announcing a Permaculture Design Course, I first put it aside. The email was from a PDC participant who had recently completed the course and with whom I was in a gardening class. I was fascinated by his breadth of knowledge and as I had been coming across the term ‘permaculture’ more and more, I was very curious. I found both the definition of permaculture and the description of the design course intriguing so I returned to the email and signed up for the course.
What I could not have known then was that a neither a written definition nor a description could have prepared me for the life-changing experience the PDC would provide. What I thought would be an immersive gardening course was so much more than I could have ever imagined. Throughout the course I found myself surrounded by a diverse group of people connected by a shared desire to learn and guided by some of the most dedicated and experienced instructors that I have ever encountered. The format of the course allowed us to get to know each other through sharing our histories, our various levels of expertise, and even our food! I always looked forward to the delicious dishes that showed up at every class.
I originally took the course to improve my gardening skills and the following season my garden was abundant due to concepts I implemented from the PDC. While I learned a great deal about design principles, what affected me most deeply was how my eyes were opened to the world around me. I continue to use the principles of permaculture in my everyday life from how I physically move to how I communicate with others. The concept of ‘social permaculture’ now informs the way I navigate in life.
I will be forever grateful that I chose to take the Permaculture Design Course because of the knowledge that I gained, the personal connections that I made, and the change to my outlook on life.