The Hare Krishna Permaculture Centre in the Philippines is a great venue for learning permaculture. The first PDC held there is underway now. The first week see students from many parts of the Philippines and a few International students meeting together to learn Permaculture. Mixed into the class are devotees of the Hare Krishna religion. A very interesting blend of human beings!
The first day starts with the students meeting each other, a safety brief, and a tour of the farm and facilities. Several of the students are planning their own permaculture projects and take great interest in the buildings here, made mostly of local resources. As we walk the farm they fire questions at me like “How did you make this?’ and “What is the mix for this plaster you have here?” It seems they want the whole permaculture course right on the first day! I tell them to be patient and just observe the surroundings. All will be answered during the training.
Brett Pritchard, my mate from Townsville, Australia, is my co trainer for this course. He is more of the scientist type where me, well I am a free thinker with a hands-on approach to learning permaculture so the students have two very different styles of learning to stimulate them into permaculture action.
A special chef has been flown in from Hong Kong for this first PDC. Hare Krishna’s have a special diet free of meat, eggs, onion and garlic ( WHAAA!). I told them that the food has to be brilliant on any course they run so they imported one of their best Vedic chefs. Even though most of the ingredients I love are missing the food is very tasty and fulfilling.
The hands on training started on the second day with the students digging and planting a full vegetable garden. They really surprised themselves on how quickly a team of people working together could build a productive garden. Each day they add another food production system to the first garden and a lovely permaculture landscape unfolds in front of them.
Next week we are building a medicinal herb production garden and planting a food forest. We have also started clearing the edges and digging the holes for a 1000-meter “Snack Track” which has fruit and flowers planted on it as it winds its way around the borders of the farm. This snack track will educate visitors in the future who come to this temple-farm to learn about permaculture and a Vedic lifestyle.
Another week to go and some more Green Warriors are born. I’m seeing some excellent networking and co-operative energy developing during this training between the students and the devotees. Permaculture is really taking root here in the Philippines and it’s about time too! Stay tuned for more Green Warrior action!