The Wolds Woodland Farming project is the ‘official’ or business name of The Sustainable Smallholding, and the name that is used for the Permaculture Association LAND Project. The association asked for as many Land Projects as possible to open for International Permaculture Day, which is Sunday 4th May. So the Wolds Woodland Farming Project will be having an open day, completely FREE of charge.
This is another Australian Permaculture DVD, purchased from the Permaculture Research Institute, and I thought that I would review it for you here.
Written on the cover of the DVD is that this is an introduction to the 72 hour Permaculture Design Course, and the sections included link with those of their course Syllabus. They are:
Concepts and Themes in Design
Methods of Design
Design through Observation and Analysis
The sections up to, and including Sector Analysis are good. Some of the Permaculture principles are introduced, and explained, although sometimes I think that the explanations lack clarity. There is a good section on the analysis of inputs and outputs of components of a system, zoning is well explained, as are the ethics, stacking, and succession. I felt that more emphasis could have been placed on the positioning of elements (Relative Location). There is a really interesting walk around of an established holding, which helps to show how zoning works.
For me, the DVD was weak when dealing with patterning. The explanation was vague, and lacked detail, and patterning was returned to again later during the sections on aquaculture, and trees. The aquaculture section lacked detail, as did the section on climate.
It picked up again for sections on trees, and soils, although as I’m particularly interested in soil biology, I would have liked to see more detail. The section on earthworks gave a very good example of how swales work, by using a little scale model, scratched out in the dirt, and a hosepipe.
I bought this DVD to see if it would be useful to use on an Introduction to Permaculture Course, and I think that it would work well, as I could expand on the areas that the film touches on, and fill in the gaps. It is also a very positive film, and might inspire people to take a Design Course, either an Introduction, or a Full Design Course. What it doesn’t do is teach somebody how to design using Permaculture Principles.
I would recommend this film to people who give talks about Permaculture, or who run Courses. There is a lot in the DVD that can be used as a starting point for discussing elements of Permaculture. I think that it would also be useful for people who want to find out a little bit more about Permaculture, before deciding whether to enrol on a course, or not.
If you are looking for a self teach aid, this DVD will not give you the detail that you need, and you would be better off buying a decent book. I would recommend The Introduction to Permaculture, by Mollison/Slay, as a good introductory text. There are others, that may be as good at the introduction level, but I haven’t read them, so would hesitate to recommend them. I bought my copy from eco-logic books but they are currently out of stock.
You can buy the film from the Permaculture Research Institute, which you can find using the link below, but be aware that there is quite a large handling fee imposed by Royal Mail, which I mentioned in my last DVD review.
I haven’t seen the Permaculture in Practice DVD, and would welcome feedback from anybody who has a copy.