The Mediterranean Permaculture School has already completed 3 educational cycles at our farm and the imprint of this educational project on both our land and ourselves reveals a series of interesting regenerative processes in progress! As we observe Nea Guinea’s human ecosystem and we interact with the land and the people within it, we see the field becoming more fertile and the connections more meaningful. We are grateful to have this opportunity to develop this project and we want to thank all the people who have participated and supported it so far.
The 3rd educational cycle run on a weekly basis for a 2 months period (March to May 2019) and introduced a group of 30 young people to Permaculture design, empowering 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 made a great team, really enthusiastic and hard working that has moved everything so much forward on the farm this season!
The 3rd educational cycle of the Permaschool ended with an open celebration day, that included presentations, workshops, music and food from the gardens! That day, our teacher Rosemary Morrow was with us at the farm, presenting the Permaculture for Refugees Project and the permaculture educational activities that have taken place in camps here in Greece.
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 topography – 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 Perennial food production systems: design and implementation
12:30-14:00 Mixed orchards and forest gardens
15:00-16:30 Practical exercises in the farms’s orchard
(instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
10:30-12:00 Off grid renewable energy production systems
12:30-14:00 Off grid renewable energy production systems
15:00-16:30 Off grid renewable energy production systems
(instructor: Kostas Latoufis)
10:30-12:00 Social Permaculture
12:30-14:00 Social Permaculture
15:00-16:30 Introduction to Sociocracy
(instructor: Alexandros Kostis)
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 Design Methodology
12:30-14:00 Design methodology
15:00-16:30 Design exercise ( instructor: Fotini Georgousi)
Sunday 12/05/19 – Open Permaculture day
10:30-12:00 Introduction to Permaculture and site guided tour (Fotini Georgousi)
12:00-13:30 Permaculture for Refugees (Rosemary Morrow and Foteini Georgousi)
Compost making workshop (Tina Lymberis)
14:00 Live music
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.
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.
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 Permaculture with the Permaculture Association of UK.
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.
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.
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.
Tina quotes Krishnamurti saying that “It is not a health symptom to be well adapted to a deeply sick society.” She writes educational articles, organizes events, children’s interactive performances and co-ordinates seminars of Permaculture all over Greece. She has translated a Permaculture guide in Greek and she has been recognized by the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute in Australia (Rosemary Morrow) for her contribution to Permaculture in Greece, with diploma in Education and Community Development. At the same time, she studies, trains and transmits tools of personal and social development, such as Communication with Empathy (inspired by Marshall Rosenberg’s non-violent communication), Transition, Art of Participatory Leadership, Social Cross Culture, and more primitive methods of social bonding: dance and singing! Together with her partner Elias, furniture maker and craftsman, they run an upcycling project called “A hole in the field” in the lowlands of Korinthia, where everything is built step by step with creativity, reusing everything and redefining the use of objects. They experiment with various Permaculture techniques (eg natural gray water filtering system), moon calendar, food processing (drainage, pickles, vinegar, etc.), composting (including urine and stools) and much more. They are open to those who want to get to know practical ways to make a transition to a sustainable way of life and especially to children! Ultimate goal: to create societies of abundance and finally to do what we love! More information: http://www.kangouro.gr/