Our previous blog post covered the philosophical journey we were sent on by the first lockdown here in Catalonia, and in this post we are going to get real, and tell you about how we intend to put our learning into permaculture practice at La Bruguera, and how we’d even like you to get involved.
Our Mike could probably have sat through all of lockdown reading pages and pages on permaculture, and experimenting with all sorts of eco-interventions out in the garden. Michelle, however, can spot philosophical doddling a mile away, and knows when it is time to turn ideas into action. So, she surprised Mike on his birthday in July 2020, with a place on a Permaculture Design Certificate course, in the Catalan Garrotxa, at Can Lliure, under the tutelage of Roman Eisenkoebl and Martin Bastide, both fabulously experienced in regenerative agriculture, permaculture, organic farming and syntropic agroforestry.
Being gifted the course was amazing enough – but the fact that it implied 15 days away, with Michelle managing La Bruguera and its summer guests on her own, was a real show of belief in Permaculture and a belief in Mike, from Michelle. So off Mike went, with his gravel bike and his hammock, and lived up in the Garrotxa for two weeks, learning all about patterns in nature, climate, trees and the forest system, water, soil, earthworks, aquaculture, food forests, funghi, alternative economies and cooperative social systems, and environmental justice.
Ever since the course, which concluded at the beginning of September, we have been developing our Permaculture plan at La Bruguera. We were really lucky to have Roman and Martin from Can Lliure come and visit – spending a weekend at La Bruguera, walking the forest with us, observing, listening and absorbing, before kindly giving us their feedback, their ideas, and their answer to “if this place was yours what would you do?”
In keeping with the cooperative, networked philosophy underpinning permaculture practice, we have opened the project up to a wider community too, since collaboration is humanity’s “superpower hiding in plain sight”, in the following ways:
Our first set of collaborators began to turn up in mid-October, and we have been devising, designing and implementing projects all around the estate since. Having extra brains, extra hands, extra ideas and many more smiles on site has been a real gift, and was immediate proof that this cooperative sharing model was incredible for the well-being of everyone living on site.
It is exciting to picture the wide eyes of our returning guests [once they will be able to return], upon seeing everything we have done this year here on the property. It is also exciting to see various projects coming together to produce yummy new things to serve guests, or which could be commercially viable products to provide funds to continue the project.
You can always follow our Instagram for pics and words about what we are up to here, and very soon, we will start adding to the sustainability page on our website to completed permaculture projects, the produce they provide, and the next projects which we would like to get off the ground.
If you would like more info about our work-exchange programme, and want to get involved with permaculture practice at La Bruguera, do get in touch!