The final preparations for the Permaculture Aid Certificate course are under way here in the Green Warrior Permaculture Field School in the rural Philippines. This field school was originally built in response to the damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda back in 2013. The most powerful typhoon ever to strike land cut a huge swathe of destruction through this country. With limited funding and bags of permaculture knowhow we built a school to train people in permaculture and permaculture aid.
Last year we produced 20% more rice than ever produced in a local rice field and we did it organically. We have several buildings made of local materials and a functioning pizza delivery business that uses many local vegetables as the ingredients. A new bunkhouse or guesthouse is being built and it should be ready by the 18th of October.
Part of the training involves learning how to deal with the aftermath of large-scale disasters or long-term poverty. Emergency aid gives immediate help such as first aid and some survival food but Permaculture Aid helps a community rebuild their lives in a sustainable way over the long term.
We learn the 3 pillars of Permaculture Aid; food security, ecological restoration and a green economy or an economy that supports the environment, not strips and degrades it. Part of this green economy idea is to create sustainable livelihoods. These are where families or individuals can earn money from products or services that help the earth or are at least benign. After 20 years in the field working in some pretty hard-core aid projects I have a few hard won tricks up my sleeve which I want to pass on to the next generation of Green Warriors.
We have a few students from the recent PDC coming for their next phase of training. The PDC is like the kindergarten of sustainability where the PAC is like high school. These guys are hungry for every bit of permaculture training available so they will be here at the end of next week ready for action.
I love teaching the PAC because we do all the things I like doing like building with bamboo, earth bag construction, animals systems and making pizza ovens and mud stoves. We also do a lot of cooking and pizza making too. Seeing the satisfied faces after the students have build an amazing oven or structure from bamboo gives me a great feeling too. Humans were made to be creative and we don’t seem to get enough of creating these days.
The first part of the course goes for 2 weeks and we do many hands on projects around the farm. After 2 weeks the second phase cuts in where we do actual projects in our local village. This year we are building a free-range organic native pig system with a deep litter floor. Our aim is to provide a cruelty free animal system where the pigs are fed fermented local greens and they are free to roam in their open area pens. The native pigs will be bred up and multiplied so the local families in the scheme earn money but the pigs are happy and healthy.
Once the students have completed this course they will have a range of skills they can use to be useful on any future aid project weather it be a disaster zone or maybe a poor community that wants to grow its way out of poverty. With climate change upon us these are the skills every able-bodied person should have tucked away in case of a local disaster. Whatever the reasons for the students coming they always go home glad they came with lots of funny stories and interesting new perspectives on how to solve problems.
If you are contemplating doing this course please contact us here at Green Warrior. Hurry because spaces are filling fast. Bring your farm clothes and some gloves…you are going to need them!