End of the winter update

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that it is not really yet the end of the winter, but perhaps my ‘update’ will speed it along. Plus, I am full of diploma-vigour right now, so best to strike while the iron is hot, eh?

So, where am I up to with my diploma projects you ask? Well, let’s backtrack a moment and fill you in with some important information… One of the much discussed imaginary children is on its way! I am four months pregnant and just today I realised that it might be a bloody good idea if I pulled my finger out of my arse and tried to accredit before D-Day (which is in August). If I can’t accredit before August (it depends on the availability of tutors after all), then I want my portfolio ready for accreditation before then.

Let’s have a look at where I am up to:

Action Learning Pathway

Ok, ok, it’s still not redesigned. Stop judging me, no really, stop.

Career Design

Well, hey, guess what? I wrote this up! And what was more, I actually really loved doing it. I loved looking back over the design and how it had evolved. I loved remembering how my life and my thoughts had changed because of the diploma. I think my first draft is a bit long, but I will leave it until I have written up other designs to edit it. There are five of my designs which are ready for write up, so once I have done that, I will submit them to a tutor to find out whether I am on the right track. I jettisoned my tutor quite a long time ago, so I will have to work out who the best person to send them to is.

Scythe Teaching

I wrote this up too!  Go me!  I am on bloody fire.

What I have been noticing is that it is the evaluation part of the process that’s so important to me.  Realistically, I could have written these designs up years and years ago, just after I had written them.  There’s actually no requirement as part of the diploma to put them into practice.  But, to me, a design which you haven’t tested against cold hard reality is not really worth very much.  How are you supposed to evaluate whether it’s good or not?  All that it’s possible to say is that you used the design process in order to create it.  What do other folks think about this?

Permaculture Teaching/DVD

Both of these remain on the ‘to-be-written-up’ list.  I feel like I am on a roll now, so expect these to be done ‘soon’.  Ha ha.

The Seed Blog

In terms of implementation, I seem to have lost focus on this a bit. I am not posting to it as much as I would like. This is largely because I have been distracted by other things, like having a baby, morning sickness and trying to write a book, so I am not going to beat myself up too much. That said, I do need to get back on the horse with this one.  I think I need to revisit my posting calendar. I have decided not to launch any products from the blog until after the baby is here (and after I’ve, you know, created a product), but I do need to keep posting to it. Must do better.

The Garden

The actual garden is in a terrible state at the moment because I am currently in the implementation stage of my design. That means mud and bits of wood everywhere and trees that I don’t want in the garden hanging around until I take them to a new home. However, the fact that I am implementing a design might lead you to believe that I have finished the design and indeed I have! I haven’t yet posted it up online. I am a few blog posts (which you’ll find on The Seed – eventually) behind when it comes to the garden. I’ll let you know when they’re up. I can’t wait for spring to come and the things I have done to bed in and green up because right now the garden looks like the Somme and I am wondering what destruction I have wrought…

The Larder Project

Since we last spoke (when I think I had just bought my canner), I have been focusing my attentions on sourdough bread, which I am happy to say I have got the hang of. That means that as well as food storage (i.e. storing bought food), I am now regularly and easily jamming, lactofermenting, beer-brewing and sourdoughing. I hate to admit that I haven’t used the canner yet, but I kind of predicted that. I bought it at the start of winter when there isn’t really much around to can. I am hoping to start using it this year though, when hopefully we will have much more of our own produce to put in jars. I still need to make a solar dryer – it has been on my list for years, but I have decided that if I don’t manage it (this summer could be busy!), I am going to use the car to dry things out. Stacking functions, innit?

Fat Hens

This is one of the designs that I am yet to start, but I need to get on with it as we are going to get our hens in March! Actually, part of this design – the design of the coop – has been done as part of the garden design. This design is mostly going to focus on how to feed them without spending any/too much money and how to use their produce (with a focus on poo) properly as part of the system.  This is a design that I won’t have much time before I accredit to implement and evaluate though.


Yet another one that I really need to get on with!  Time is ticking away… I need to narrow down the focus of this – perhaps something like ‘The first year of a Permaculture baby’. I am a bit wary of writing down any plans about the kid, as I know that reality might throw them into wild disarray, but it’s nice to have goals, right?

One more thing…

There’s one other thing that I wanted to talk about before I signed off this post, and that’s my terror at finishing this diploma.  It has given me such structure for my plans and goals over the past four years that I don’t want to be cast out onto the scrapheaps of disorganisation.  I am also worried about not having the support of a diploma guild and having to ‘do things on my own.’  So, I have made a list of the next ten designs I would like to complete over the next 4-5 year ‘design cycle.’  I guess it’s my version of a five year plan.  I won’t share it now, because I’d like to work on it, but I will probably share it at some point, and I will probably keep this blog going (if sporadically) to document it.  I’m also going to keep meeting up with my guild, for as long as they’ll have me.  And when some of them start to accredit, perhaps we can form a ‘post-diploma guild.’  I hope it works out, ‘cos this process has changed my life more than anything I have ever done and I would like to continue that!


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