As we now complete the second course of Mediterranean Permaculture at our farm, Nea Guinea’s human ecosystem feels more diverse and productive than ever! As we now observe the imprint of this educational process on our land and ourselves, we really feel gratitude for all students and teachers that participated in it, as well as all the people that supported us financially to make it happen.
This course run on a weekly basis for a 2 months period (September to November 2018) and introduced a group of 40 young people to Permaculture design and empowered them to make positive changes that will benefit both their communities and the natural ecosystems that surround them. During this course we studied and experimented with different Permaculture concepts and practices, aiming at proposing solutions to sustainability issues related to the arrangement of human activity and the management of natural resources on a farm scale. The educational activities consisted of both theoretical and practical workshops that introduced the participants to team work and creative problem solving while providing them with a tangible foothold in developing design and implementation skills. They were co-facilitated by the Nea Guinea team and seven more Greek Permaculture teachers, that traveled to our farm from different places around the country to share their extensive knowledge and enthusiasm with our students. Teachers and students, we all made a great team, really enthusiastic and hard working that has moved everything so much forward on the farm this season!
This course has been funded by an on line crowd funding campaign, a fund raising party and the participants themselves on a free donation basis. This funding scheme has made the course accessible to local youth that has limited financial resources.
Below you can read the course program, as well as some information about the Permaschool’s teachers (as they appear on the program).
10:30 – 12:00 Introduction to Permaculture Design and its practical applications
12:30 – 14:00 Permaculture’s ethics and principles
15:00 – 16:30 Practical workshop: Transforming a vegetable garden with Permaculture design
(instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
10:30 – 12:00 Major climatic zones and Microclimates – Introduction to the Mediterranean climate
12:30 – 14:00 Introduction to topografy – Sector analysis – Zones
15:00 – 16:30 Practical Workshop: making cuttings and planting seeds
(instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
10:30 – 12:00 Introduction to hydrology
12:30 – 14:00 Dryland water management – Water retention landscapes
15:00 – 16:30 Practical workshop: Earthworks
(instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
10:30 – 12:00 Urban Permaculture and transition initiatives in the cities (instructor: George Theodorakis)
12:30 – 14:00 Social Permaculture (instructor: Alexandros Kostis)
15:00 – 16:30 Introduction to Sociocracy (instructor: Alexandros Kostis)
10:30 – 12:00 Off grid renewable energy production systems (instructor Kostas Latoufis)
12:30 – 14:00 Perennial food production systems : Orchard and forest gardens (instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
15:00 – 16:30 Practical workshop: Planting trees and establishing plant guilds(instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
10:30 – 12:00 Soil ecology
12:30 – 14:00 Compost: processes and techniques
15:00 – 16:30 Practical workshop: Hot compost piles, compost extracts and compost teas
(instructor: Andreas Zikos)
10:30 -12:00: Annual food production systems : Vegetable gardens (instructor: Kostas Tsigos)
12:30 – 14:00 Annual food production systems : Vegetable gardens (instructor: Kostas Tsigos)
15:00 – 16:30 Seed production and preservation of agricultural biodiversity (instructor: Antonis Breskas)
10:30- 12:00 Introduction to mycology (instructor: Nikolaos Gryspolakis)
12:30-14:00 Practical workshop: Cultivating mycelium in the ground (instructor: Nikolaos Gryspolakis)
15:00-16:30 Gray water treatment ( instructor: Nikolas Bedau)
Fotini is a biologist specialised in organic farming and herbal medicine. She has been trained widely in Permaculture Design,focusing mainly on sustainable food production systems and dryland water management. She has an extensive experience in the fields of small scale farming and community activism. Over the last 12 years she has been involved in community gardening projects, self-organized educational activities and other grassroots initiatives related to natural health and food production. She is the co-founder of the Nea Guinea project, where she is coordinating different activities related to Permaculure and Food Sovereignty. She is working on the farm, building and maintaining different food production systems while focusing on the development and adaptation of different techniques on the Mediterranean climate. She conducts educational activities, open informative events and she produces designs for small farms, households and school gardens.
Alexandros participated for the first time at a Permaculture seminar in 2013. Since then, he has been working as a designer and consultant for farms as well as coordinator of community projects in Attica. Through his work experience and self awareness, his vision is to combine social Permaculture alongside other tools to highlight how human qualities and creativity can come to light, and be shared and strengthened through food production, physical rehabilitation and community building. He facilitates through the heart, offering depth, humor and unity to the team. He is currently working on his diploma in Applied Pearculture with the Permaculture Association of UK.
George is focused on low budget DIY Urban Permaculture, Sustainable energy, Urban farming, Community building, Complementary currencies. He presents himself as Earth lobbyist, sustainability designer, trainer, media producer, stray cats carer. He is also the founder, designer, web developer and facilitator of Permaculture.School. He is offering seminars, hands-on workshops, lectures, presentations, since 2013. More info: https://permaculture.school/
Kostas Latoufis is an electrical engineer with a specialization in off-grid renewable energy systems. He works as a researcher in the Smart Grids Research Unit (SmartRUE) of the National Technical University of Athens and is currently pursuing a PhD on locally manufactured small wind turbines in the Rural Electrification Research Group (RurERG), an interdisciplinary research group which aims to provide open source technical solutions on small wind and pico-hydro systems for rural energy access. He has co-founded the Nea Guinea project, with which he has organised more than 40 design and practical courses in renewable energy systems, such small wind turbine, pico-hydro and solar panel construction courses, and has carried out several off-grid renewable energy installations in permaculture farms in Greece and in rural development projects in Central America, South Asia and East Africa. He collaborates with international organizations and projects such as the Wind Empowerment association and the Open Building Institute.
Andreas has studied biology in Athens and Horticulture in Berlin and Vienna. He is working as a researcher on Mediterranean ecosystems and Greek flora. His first contact with permaculture was in 2011 when he attended a Permaculture Design Course with Darren J. Doherty. Since then he has participated in the design, implementation and management of gardens and farms as well as in related educational activities. He has been particularly concerned with olive and olive groves, and his great passion is the soil and how it can be regenerated with simple and readily available means. In 2016, he attended a series of seminars in Turkey with Molly Haviland, regarding soil, compost and its applications (“The Art of Microherding for Regenerative Agriculture”).He wishes to adapt the principles of Permaculture to the Mediterranean climate and to disseminate them.
Kostas comes from a farmer’s family and has been working with the land all his life. He is a professional grower and is actively involved in seed preservation initiatives locally. Working on his 2.5 h farm in Vonitsa, he designs and establishes regenerative food production systems that integrate plant and animal elements, while at the same time he experiments with different Permaculture techniques in order to adapt them to the local climate.
After studying at the Agronomic University of Athens, Antonis tried to explore fields beyond industrial agriculture. He started with a postgraduate degree in Environmental Agriculture and then, through seminars, came in contact with various alternative cultivation methods. In the last few years, he has visited / volunteered / worked in various agro-ecological projects in Greece and abroad, thus enriching his experience. He has worked professionally with the conservation of rural biodiversity and more specifically with local varieties of edible species, as well as with the collection and management of seeds. He is happy whenever he is given the opportunity to share what he knows.
Nikolaos grew up close to nature and spent most of his adult life in big cities of the “Western North”. While studying and teaching mechanics and sciences, he was exploring the fungi kingdom in the surrounding forests. He has cultivated mushrooms for food, bioremediation and soil regeneration in houses, gardens and occupied spaces. He is now spending his time between his land in Crete (Eleutherochorafo) and several wild mushroom sites, collecting and cooking mushrooms of all kinds in all possible ways!
Nikolas originates from Berlin, with a German-Greek family background. Over the years he became more and more involved in Greece. Since his first winter holiday in Tinos he became fascinated with the island, its nature and the rural society. With a background in Landscape architecture, he decided that there should be a better mix in life than just sitting in front of the computer designing urban nature. So he started working together with different NGOs for the protection of natural sites and mainly in the field of environmental design and education. He always liked the combination of theoretical approaches and direct practical output that can be touched, smelled and seen. So he decided that it would be the perfect playground to establish a group of people with similar interests and find a nice piece of land to put it together. So the next steps are evolving… For more information: http://www.tinosecolodge.gr/el/
For more info on the previous Permaschool in Spring 2018 go here.