Self Assessment Summary

As I have been unable to access the form this is my self assessment summary for my diploma.

1. You have completed a permaculture design course, and are a current member of the Permaculture Association

I completed my PDC with Sector39 in May 2012 at Treflach Farm and I am a current member of the Permaculture Association.

2. You have actively applied permaculture over a period of at least two years since your permaculture design course (PDC)

I officially started my diploma in January 2013 which is 2.5 years before submitting this porfolio, over which time I have been actively doing my diploma.

3. You have produced ten permaculture designs to the required standard

You can access all 10 of my design from the home page.

The required standards:

  • Use permaculture ethics, principles and theory as appropriate to the situation
    • I have thoroughly evaluated this in each of my write ups
  • Make accurate and appropriate use of intentional design processes
    • Each design in my portfolio followed an intentional design process, I did not always get it spot on first time, but I have reflected thoroughly on each design and learned my lessons.
  • Use processes and tools that suit the clients and situation
    • I have tried out a range of processes and tools and have evaluated them in each design write up as to their strengths and weaknesses including when and where they are appropriate
  • Show that you can produce designs that include land and social elements
    • 8 of my designs include social elements and 2 include land and social elements
  • Use a variety of design tools
    • Each of my design write ups detail the range of design tools that I have used
  • Create designs that are intelligible, coherent and effective
    • I have not had any problems explaining my designs to other people and this blog has already been shared with a number of other diploma apprentices who have found it useful. Most of my designs have been effective and for those that haven’t I have had large learning yields from to support future design effectiveness.
  • Choose and produce appropriate presentation and documentation for clients and third parties
    • For my personal designs I always made a point of choosing presentation and documentation methods which suited my needs and preferences. Many of the clients (other than myself) I designed for helped to co-design, but I have presented my designs to many interested and affected third parties. I have used a variety of methods depending on what was appropriate ranging from giving a talk, to sharing my design process documents (offline or on this blog), to presenting a ‘final’ design and action plan.
  • Present ten designs
    • You can access all 10 of my design from the home page.
  • Show you have achieved fluency with design processes and tools.
    • My increasing fluency with design processes and tools is evidenced through the progression of my portfolio designs, as well as in my Learning Journal Summary.

4. You can put permaculture theory into action and make appropriate changes to your lifestyle and working practice

Six of my portfolio designs are personal ones that have all been implemented and have changed my lifestyle and work. In addition to this I have applied permaculture thinking and designing to a variety of other personal situations, which have made significant changes in my lifestyle and working practice. These are illustrated in the story of my diploma journey and my learning journal summary and include my livelihood as a personal and social permaculture facilitator, my move to a housing co-operative and embarking on my nature connection and cultural repair journey.

Personal designs:

  • Diploma Support Day design – created effective patterns of learning and support in our local diploma community
  • Facilitator Livelihood Pathway Design – has put me well on the journey towards sharing my many yields from my permaculture journey with others
  • Veg Patch design – really increased my understanding of how we can work with nature and how I would like to produce my food
  • New Bedroom design – has created a sanctuary for myself that meets many of my needs, without a large environmental footprint to create
  • Facilitating the IPCUK Neighbourhoods design process – really helped to further my skills as a facilitator and integrate lots of previous learnings, for improved people care and fair shares.
  • Action Learning Pathway – guided the whole journey towards my vision, supported all of my learnings and considerably shifted my thinking patterns.

5. You are able to reflect on your permaculture practice and learn from it.

All 10 of my portfolio design write ups show extensive reflection, evaluation and learnings and the progression of the designs evidences that I have put these learnings into practice. Evidence for this criteria can also be seen in my learning journal summary.

My Top 5 Diploma Resources

It has been interesting to consider the resources that I have used during the diploma. I haven’t actually used a massive range as the ones that I have used are packed full of masses of knowledge and techniques that I had more than enough ground truthing to do with just a few as well as careful attention to all of my personal learnings.

  1. People and Permaculture by Looby Macnamara – so many ideas, shifts in thinking, tools and techniques to play with. It has been an invaluable resource in my exploration of the design web. I will continue to learn from it for years to come I imagine.
  2. Permaculture Design by Aranya – my other key guide to the other main design framework I have used SADIMET as well as valuable techniques for land-based permaculture which I wasn’t introduced to on my PDC. A really thorough and easy to follow guide.
  3. Permaculture Magazine – so much inspiration and knowledge on so many things relevant to permaculture, especially now that you have access to the entire back catalogue! So often I have picked up inspiration for a design in one of the articles.
  4. Letting in the Wild Edges by Glennie Kindred – this book really helped me to name and explore my passion for the edges between human and more than human nature. Shifts in thinking and practical approaches, particularly for my land-based designs and health and wellbeing.
  5. Diploma facebook group – there are always interesting things appearing on there and if you ask a question you always get a whole range of really interesting responses. A very valuable community and pool of knowledge and experience.

Permaculture Designers profile

Kerry Lane

 

 

Location: Near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK

Get in touch

Personal Profile

A creative, thorough and effective designer, I work by listening closely to your needs and then guiding you through some practical exercises to generate achievable solutions and action plans that fit your unique situation. This is your design, I do not know ‘the answer’, but I have the tools and experience to support you to find positive solutions.

Services Offered

Workshops, Courses, Mentoring, Designing & Facilitation – check out what I am already offering on Thriving Ways and I am always open to suggestions and ideas so get in touch and lets have a chat.

Relevant Experience

Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design

  • Jan 2014 – May 2015
  • Produced a portfolio of 10 designs, illustrated on this blog, which are then assessed by experienced permaculturalists
  • Designs include those below and diploma support days, alumni network, room layouts, career paths, veg patches and learning pathways. All of my portfolio designs can be accessed from the front page.

Thriving Ways Facilitator

  • November 2014 – present
  • Thriving Ways is a collective of personal and social permaculture facilitators and designers, which I have co-created. As well as being an active member supporting it I am also actively designing and facilitating courses through it. More details of myself as a facilitator can be found on my Thriving Ways profile.

Facilitating the designing of the UK IPC neighbourhoods

  • March 2015-ongoing
  • Facilitating a small design team who collaborate online, to design the eating a sleeping areas of the International Permaculture Convergence in London in September 2015, building community, supporting wellbeing and encouraging inclusivity.
  • You can see more details of the facilitation in my write up and of the neighbourhoods design on the IPCUK blog.

Co-designing a change of business structure for a local garage

  • Sept 2013 – Sept 2014
  • Consultation with all staff, collating resources, researching possibilities

Co-facilitating a design for effective functioning of a membership organisation

  • September 2012
  • Intensive day designing including one of the trustees of the organisation
  • More details of the design and its impact can be seen in the write up

Education and Professional Development

Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design

  • January 2013 – September 2015
  • ŸA self led learning journey with periodic tutorials and a peer support network, producing 10 designs assessed by experienced permaculturalists
  • Organisation:  UK Permaculture Association
  • Tutor: Looby Macnamara
  • Focus: People based designing

Nature Connection and Cultural Repair Mentoring Programme

  • August 2014 – ongoing
  • A self led learning journey through a range of different programmes, with community and individual mentoring, supporting personal nature connection and upskilling myself in mentoring others in nature connection and encouraging community regeneration
  • Organisation: 8 Shields Institute
  • Contributing lots of skills and knowledge to my permaculture designing ability, such as a deep understanding of natural patterns and observation and understanding of cycles of learning and the ingredients for healthy community.

People and Permaculture Facilitators Training Course

  • November 2013
  • A thorough grounding through action learning and practice of effective and positive facilitation and in designing people systems, such as courses and careers. Qualified me to design and facilitate full People and Permaculture courses.
  • Organisation: Designed Visions
  • Facilitators:  Looby Macnamara and Peter Cow
  • Design Web, People Care, Action Learning, Coaching

Permaculture Design Course

  • May 2012
  • Covered the basic principles of permaculture.
  • Organisation: Sector39
  • Facilitator: Steve Jones

Permaculture and Transition conferences

  • I attended the UK Permaculture convergence in 2014
  • I attended the UK Transition Network conferences in 2010 and 2011

The Story of my Diploma Journey

I started my diploma journey within a year of finishing my PDC. I had been thoroughly inspired, but was struggling to work it out in practice, especially as I was wanting to focus on people-orientated designing. The diploma seemed to be the accepted next step and I felt that as well as supporting my permaculture learning journey it would give me lots of opportunities to design aspects of my life, which were in a state change at the time. I also wanted to commit myself to it, as I suspected I would not spend the same amount of time, energy and focus without this commitment to more than just myself, witnessed by others, with resources like money put into it.

ALP Version 1 Vision

ALP Version 1 Vision

Connecting with others on the journey was definitely one of my desires, so I chose the supported route. I was not hugely clear on my vision at the beginning, but it clarified as I progressed into wanting to ‘start as I meant to go on’.

ALP Version 2 Vision

ALP Version 2 Vision

Permaculture (and learning the wisdom of nature) is going to be a lifelong learning journey for me, so I wanted to create productive patterns of learning and thinking, start to fill my bespoke tool box and create fertile growing conditions for future learnings. You can see more detail in the second version of my vision.

I am excited to say that at the end of this stage of my journey I feel that I really have achieved this. I have put in place some really effective learning patterns, including weekly check ins and monthly Action Learning Guilds, which I intend to continue with. I am confident with a good selection of tools and techniques and have experimented with many others and I have created lots of fertility for my future learning. More specifically I am a confident fledgling people-based permaculture facilitator, I am confident with the permaculture design process and with trying it out in different situations, I am creating strong patterns for mentoring others in the process, I have built up a thriving network of other permaculturalists both local and further afield and I am steadily integrating it into many aspects of my life, including my nature connection and cultural regeneration journey.

You can get a feel for my overall journey in the patterns, themes and achievements that I have observed in my learning journal. As well as the 10 designs in my portfolio I have done full and partial designs for many other things, as can be seen below along with the other permaculture-relevant activities that have been seeded and fed into my diploma.

Other designs I've done Other permaculture activitie

How has the diploma changed my permaculture journey?

Before I started the diploma I was already well engaged in integrating the ethics into my life and the main addition that the diploma has bought me is consciously designing things. The vast majority of things I have consciously designed I would have sub-consciously or semi-designed anyway as they were largely activities I was doing in my life anyway. I have found that this conscious designing has generated an incredible abundance of learnings and much deeper ones than I believe I would have had otherwise. It has empowered me to take my visions, ideas and dreams seriously, by giving me a method of manifesting them. As I mentioned earlier being part of the diploma helped me commit to this learning journey, gave me motivation to address the challenges and encouraged me to put regular effort into this learning. I also think that without the diploma I wouldn’t have established the thriving learning community that I have.

What am I taking forwards from it?

I have definitely shifted how I think about things, really integrating permaculture thinking into my life and brain patterns, including seeing solutions, celebrating abundance and seeing through the lens of the principles. I have learned to highly value reflection and evaluation and the yields that they bring. I have far more extensive understanding and experience of people orientated permaculture, as well as my own bespoke tool shed of design tools that I can make use of. I also have abundant social capital in the form of a thriving network of other permaculturalists.

What has it seeded?

Beyond these learnings and skills the diploma has:

  • Launched me on my livelihood as a Thriving Ways permaculture facilitator, which included co-creating Thriving Ways
  • Led me to get involved in designing the International Permaculture Convergence in London this September (2015)
  • Introduced me to 8 Shields – nature connection and cultural repair – and fed my motivation to get involved in it through wanting to have tried and tested successful patterns for using in my people orientated designs. This is the focus of my continued learning journey.
  • I believe it also supported my move to Crabapple Housing Co-op and a living situation far more in tune with my needs.

Long term goals

I am sure they will evolve as my context changes and opportunities arise, but at this current moment my long term permaculture goals are:

  • In two years:
    • To have successfully transitioned my permaculture practice to a post-diploma state, continuing to design regularly and to keep learning
    • To have integrated my permaculture understanding into my nature connection and cultural regeneration journey. Using them together.
    • To become a diploma tutor
    • To establish myself as an active Thriving Ways permaculture facilitator
    • To continue to increase my knowledge of land-based permaculture
  • In five years:
    • To have fully integrated permaculture into all of my livelihoods (whatever they are and whatever that looks like!)
    • To have integrated permaculture thinking into how Crabapple functions
    • To be comfortable with land-based permaculture designing
    • To be supporting and giving back to the permaculture community and mentoring others
  • In 20 years:
    • To be an elder in permaculture, nature connection and community repair, supporting its flourishing in the world. Potentially as a senior diploma tutor.
    • To have a thriving, local community engaged in permaculture, nature connection and community repair
    • To be living really in tune with the ethics, not just not damaging but actively regenerating

Learning journal – themes, patterns and highlights

As part of my ALP design and supporting evidence I have reviewed my ‘learning journal’ entries from the last two and a half years and have pulled out the patterns, themes and highlights from them. My ‘learning journal’ consisted of two separate things, weekly check ins and recordings of my responses to the Action Learning Questions at each Action Learning Guild.

The email check-ins went to a small group of other diploma apprentices and were not ‘answered’, but witnessed. They were mostly a chance for personal reflection and also recording permaculture activity since the last one. I aimed to check in every Thursday and managed most of the time!

Themes and patterns throughout

  • Around checking in:
    • Checking in on Friday…
    • Sometimes not checking in for a few weeks
    • Not realising or valuing how much I had done until writing the check in, I came to recognise and anticipate this pattern as my diploma progressed
    • The pattern of weekly check ins and monthly ALGs really helped me to keep on track with where I was and what I wanted to do next, as well as providing a certain amount of motivation to do diploma work so that you had something to report!
    • I was good in my check ins at recognising and acknowledging other bits of designing and thinking that would potentially become designs in the future – there were many of these!
    • My check ins often prompted me to consciously pause and celebrate through enjoyable activities, although I did not always find it easy to identify ways to celebrate that did not involve buying things, eating sugar or drinking alcohol, none of which I wanted to over encourage with the diploma
    • My check ins normally included lots of appreciation
    • I was always amazed how quickly Thursdays and ALGs came round
    • I am always more positive and relaxed after reflection, pausing and checking in
  • Around sharing with others:
    • Really valuing sharing my diploma journey with Deborah and others.
    • Lots of inspiration and ideas came through talking to others about mine and their diploma journeys and hearing about others through check ins, ALGs and the diploma facebook group. I often found that I would learn from others learning, finding answers to questions and challenges I hadn’t even realised that I had until that moment.
    • I felt like I almost co-created the vision and approach to my diploma with Deborah and the rest of my ALG, as hearing theirs always influenced, enriched and diversified mine.
  • Techniques:
    • Recognising the value of focussing your awareness of something, whether you formally design it or not that observation shifts things
    • Experimenting, trying lots of different techniques and then reflecting on their success
    • Working on my diploma on the train was something I often did and it was normally very productive and enjoyable
    • I would always restart after a pause with a review of where I was on all of my designs
  • Patterns of activity:
    • At various points throughout the diploma being very busy and struggling to fit diploma work in, but at other times having lots of focussed diploma time
    • My diploma activity went in waves of outward activity, reflection and pausing. In the beginning I had a tendency to be frustrated with the lack of action and as I progressed I tended to not value action’ as permaculture designing
    • I found it challenging to find a comfortable balance between diploma work and paid work. My constant challenge in all of my ALQs was finding enough time.
  • Tutorials were always really useful. I was always well prepared with questions and always came away with really useful advice and more clarity over my next stage.
  • I often did not manage to reflect soon after doing something and therefore forgot or lost some of the learnings. I did recognise this pattern and made an effort to reflect as quickly as possible, but I still did not always manage.
  • Most of diploma work took a lot longer than I thought it would!
  • Throughout my diploma I would regularly reflect on my Health and Wellbeing and how my diploma was and could affect this
  • The process of reflecting often let solutions emerge, including by reframing the situation
  • One of my next achievable steps would always be to set a date for the next ALG! Good momentum!
  • Even in challenging times I still appreciated that I was still doing permaculture and making progress
  • I did not find as much time as I had envisaged during my diploma to explore permaculture resources not directly associated to a design and therefore to get inspired and have my horizons broadened
  • I really enjoyed the designing and generally had a lot of enthusiasm for the majority of my diploma

Themes and patterns over time and highlights

  • Struggling with version 1 of my ALP, finding it hard to grasp what I was trying to do
  • **Finishing the first version of my ALP and accepting that it wasn’t going to be perfect**
  • Initially I wasn’t recognising thinking and reflecting as ‘productive’ until it came to writing my check in and then I would realise how much I had done and worked out, even though I had not done ‘action’
  • Conscious incompetence around many aspects to permaculture thinking and designing
  • Experiencing guilt at not doing lots of diploma work and expressing this in check ins
  • Lots of permaculture thinking on all aspects of my life, increasingly framing things in permaculture terms
  • ** Decision to do the People and Permaculture Facilitators Training course**
  • Still struggling to grasp the point of the ALP and to find regular time for my diploma
  • I increasingly took the tools and learnings outside of the diploma into personal reflection and other situations
  • Challenging personal circumstances led to a disrupted several months, however I had already set quite a lot in motion which kept going for a while and then tailed off until I was ready to reconvene, with a big picture overview and lots of planning
  • About 6 months in I came to the realisation that I was not going to be an all singing, all dancing perfect permaculturalist by the time I finished my diploma, this was the start of a lifelong journey
  • There was a period of about a year in the middle of my diploma with lots  going on with lots of different designs on the go at the same time, it was sometimes challenging to keep all the threads together and also to recognise progress as energy was scattered, but I generally managed it well thanks to establishing an effective organising process.
  • Still struggling to find (prioritise?) time for reflection soon after doing
  • Reviewing and letting go of many ‘commitments’ and energy leaks in my life
  • As my diploma progressed I increasingly took ownership of the process and started tailoring things to suit my style and needs
  • When I started to get paid for permaculture designing I stopped thinking of it as diploma work, even if it was one of my portfolio designs!
  • **Lots of inspiration from the People and Permaculture Facilitators Training course**
  • I need more sleep and reflection time over winter
  • Permaculture became increasingly integrated into my life so my check ins became increasingly more diary like!
  • I came to value the process as much as the end goals and vision
  • I noticed a pattern of initiating lots of things and then not having the time to complete them!
  • I found it challenging to initially work out how to write my designs up until I found an effective pattern that was both creative and sharable
  • I wished I had thoroughly reflected/written up/ harvested learnings earlier in my diploma
  • Writing up involved way too much computer time, but I could not think of another solution that made it easily sharable with others
  • **IPA – 5 designs written up and approved – whoo!**
  • **I gave myself permission to pause and celebrate**
  • I got a little ‘bored’ after my IPA thinking I could do it now and then I started stretching some more edges!
  • I increasingly followed my energy of what I was interested in and motivated at the time
  • **Mine and Deborah’s article in Permaculture Magazine about the People care actions from our support day design**
  • **Design Web workshop at the 2014 UK Permaculture convergence**
  • I noticed a shift from the summer need to be active to a more reflective and writing up energy in the autumn
  • What the last couple of designs in my portfolio were going to be kept shifting
  • By this point I had finished the action stage for quite a few designs so I shifted to a pattern of intensively working on one design at a time
  • Really enjoying integrating nature connection work and permaculture
  • **Pausing due to moving house and Christmas**
  • Always slow to start writing up, but get more efficient as I get into the swing of it
  • Intensive writing up involves too much computer time for my liking and I am constantly trying to minimise it, but it is not always that easy.
  • I do not work well under time pressure, if I feel I have too much to do then I get stressed and less effective and creative. I need timelessness. I have got better at creating this even within tight deadlines.

An example email check in

The weekly check-in epic…

You know it’s going to be good when you go and get your list to help you write your check-in!

So after writing my last check-in I took some actions and then wrote a list of different reflection and planning actions that I could complete on my train journey down to London. And then I have had another day of permacultury activity, so that it doesn’t get too confusing I am going to do it on a design by design basis as I have tied up lots of little loose ends! But as a general reflection, I have been trying to reduce my commitments and to make more time to follow my energies and this has really freed up a lot of time and enthusiasm for my diploma, which is lovely! I have also just got distracted by lots of really interesting articles posted on the Diploma facebook group.

Okay so my Action Learning Pathway. I am not going to do a proper revisit of it until after my next diploma tutorial, but there are lots of things that are going to feed into that including the evolving visions from my ALGs and my new method of keeping a track of my multiple designs and what I need to do. This is working really well for me at the moment and I feel I am really starting to get some things together and that I am filling in lots of the gaps in various designs! It is also very useful from a ‘pause’ perspective so I can come back to it and quickly remind myself of where I am at on everything.

I have decided that I am going to try and write up a draft form of my design for my mums allotment ready for our next tutorial, so that I can get Looby’s feedback on it and I have also set a date for when I am going to do that.

Health and Wellbeing design I have written up my reflections off of the post-its and into a notebook so that they don’t get lost. I have also read through my notes from my last session, which was really interesting. I also had lots of good discussions at the weekend that helped me explore my thoughts around things. My next step for this I feel is to record what I have actually down so far in terms of anchor points and at least I have my weekly check-ins to use so it shouldn’t be too difficult! Oh and I also started my actions of connecting with my wild edges and the energy of the seasons more, by going out and collecting some seasonal decorations for my room, which is lovely 🙂

Bill and I have set a date for doing the ‘client interviews’ with the staff in his garage. I need to set some time to review the questions Bill has put together and also our observations so far.

Okay the design I have done the most on was the Friends of Sector 39 one. I got in touch with others in our design team and Gemma and I who had agreed to do the first eBulletin have been in contact to get things going. I made a decision to just go with using Project Dirt for people to put their profiles on as Steve had already pre-empted us, but also it was already established so requires less energy from us to set up and makes another link in the network. So I got in touch with them to work out the best way of grouping people and also to ask for some copy for the eBulletin from them, which I now have. I did a plan of what should go in the eBulletin and sent it to Gemma and we split it into two bits so we can both get on with it. So today I am going to pull everything together and write a first draft!

And finally the veg patch design. I tried to buy some A3 tracing paper in Shrewsbury, so I am going to have to get some online and I have just asked the diploma group if they know of a good online source for eco versions. On the train I started to plan how to ‘consult’ my house on what they would like out of the veg patch and also to record what I want, now I just want to do a bit of further tweaking on them using Aranyas book as a guide. I also went out today and took pictures (very bad at doing that!) and recorded some of the species there and tried to do a soil test. I think I came back with the conclusion that it is sandy, which is not AT ALL what I was expecting as I think it is generally clay around here. So there is a more detailed version in Aranya’s book I just need to find where the sheets he refers to are! I also did some ‘weeding’ and left it on the surface as a mulch and planted a few more salad seeds through it, which are now getting a good watering in!!

Oh yes well in other permaculture news I did a talk at the weekend with my friend about permaculture to some attendees at the Humanistic therapy conference, which I think went really well. I was really pleased with the feeling and structure of our talk and it was wonderful to hear all of the progress that has come out of our previous design and it was also really interesting to explore the edge between humanistic therapy and permaculture and to inspire some people with new ways of thinking.

Oh another reflection was that it worked really well having some tasks to do on the train as I had some nice clear head space to focus on them.

Right I think that is more than enough for now!!
I hope you are all fine and dandy and I look forward to seeing Deborah and Bill and hopefully Phil next week.
xx