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For me permaculture stands for a way of living and building on a ‘permanent culture’. The starting point is the realization that everything is connected to everything and we as humans are part of the cyclical processes of nature. This is strongly reflected by the three ethical principles which are key to permaculture: earthcare, peoplecare, and fair share.
Permaculture is also a design method. This has been mainly adapted to gardens for a long time. The food forest, an edible forest, is a known example as such a permaculture system. In the mean time social permaculture gets wider spread as well. In social permaculture you check, as a designer, how you can deal in a sustainable way with your inner landscape, your livelihood, groups to which you belong, and the society, with al its crises and opportunities, in which you live
What attracts me most in permaculture is working with systems, holistic, creative and solution-directed thinking, and including past and future generations in our story of today.
I first heard about permaculture covering the transition movement in the English town Totnes. One of the projects we visited worked with permaculture. What stayed with me then was the use of zoning, which reassures you have the elements you need a lot, such as herbs for your tea, close to your house. The most fascinating to me was the so-called zone 5, which was furthest away from the house. Nothing really was being done there. It was a piece of land which could stay wild, where people went to, not to do something, but to simply be. My joy was big when I later discovered that such a zone 5 is integrated in every permaculture system.
Permaculture kept on tapping me on the shoulder on different places all over the world. In 2011 I was finally ready to listen to the call and did a permaculture design course with Bert D’Hondt in his wonderful Food Forest. Berts unstoppable passion lighted the spark for me. In no time I was past the point of no return. A social permaculture course with Looby Macnamara in England in 2012 made the connection with permaculture even deeper.
After a couple of years of co-teaching the PDC’s with Bert in het Voedselbos I started focussing more on courses about the inner landscape, social and community aspects of permaculture and bringing permaculture and nature connection together.
Lien is an inspirational teacher, with an ability to draw out people’s enthusiasm and talents through her own authentic voice. She has a firm grasp of the permaculture principles and design and is able to adapt them to a variety of situations including group and personal development.
Looby Macnamara, permaculture teacher and author of ‘People and Permaculture‘