Life at Zaytuna – June 2009 PDC Comes to Close

June 2009 PDC students (back two rows) and PRI interns (front row)
Click for larger view

Calm and quiet is descending once more upon the little village of Zaytuna Farm.


Our twenty four Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course students are now heading back to their respective homes. I have to say I’ll miss these guys, even if it is all fast ‘n furious when we have so many here.

The group really seems to have gelled with each other and the PRI team over the last two weeks. A great aspect of Permaculture is that, to one degree or another, we are realising we’re all in this together – that we can’t solve the world’s mega-problems in isolation, and that opening our minds to all and sharing knowledge and skills are a prerequisite to success. I’d wager that more than just a couple of the students that connected here will be friends for life.

Anyway, here’s a brief on the last couple of days of the course:

You’ll remember that earlier this week the students were given a design brief. Well, yesterday Jeremy, the property owner, came along and sat quietly as each of the four student groups presented their ideas for maximising the potential of his seventeen acre property.

Jeremy, at left, sits and absorbs

The teams obviously managed to work very well together. The design ideas were extremely well thought through and presented. I was personally quite blown away with some of the ingenious ideas. These guys/gals show a great deal of potential. As Geoff said afterwards, the presentations were all commercial quality.

Some went the powerpoint route:

Others went with paper and whiteboard:

At the end of the presentations, Jeremy was handed full design notes from the respective teams. As I’m sure will be the same with the students, I’m looking forward to seeing what ensues on his property now!

Party Time!

And last night, as is traditional for the final evening of a PDC, we had some great low-carbon party fun. The evening showed that you really don’t need mega-industries like Hollywood and Heineken to keep you entertained – just a little imagination and some good company.

Fleur, John, David and Emily demonstrated something called ‘The Gumboot Dance’

Lindsay was a hoot!

Mari and Laura taught us to sing a song in Finnish

Visiting students from Djanbung Gardens even sung us a song – a Maori song from NZ:
Tutira Mai Nga Iwi (Gather together all tribes).

And many others performed. A great thing about evenings like this, is they’re always going to be unique, never the same.

This morning there was one last class, a group photo and the handing out of PDC certificates:

It’s encouraging seeing people like these totally interested and interesting people, from all segments of society, coming along to learn how best to work with and invest in natural capital. It was a privilege to meet them all, and I look forward to staying in contact and learning about how they develop and implement their knowledge. The potential is truly enormous. They say you can count how many seeds there are in an apple, but not how many apples there are in a seed. Perhaps the same can be said about these great people? We know how many students were in the class, but how many classes, or permaculture sites, are there in a student?

Guys, do keep us posted!

After the students finished their presentations, a rainbow – a symbol of hope,
they say – lit up the sky over Zaytuna’s straw bale buildings.



  1. Craig: “I was personally quite blown away with some of the ingenious ideas.”

    Intriguing! Can you share a few of the better ones?

  2. Am lugite trying to get hold of Joe from the july 09 pdc coarse, in referance to community garden.Could Any of the PDC July 09ers please send me his address to [email protected]
    Many Thanks from Brad

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