Ross Mars’ Candlelight Farm near Perth, Western Australia has had a healthy uptake of students for Cert III and Diploma of Permaculture courses. The 12-month Diploma course has 4 enrolled students who meet with their lecturers for one weekend a month.
Recently the students and lecturers spent a weekend away from the classroom and took a 2-day field trip into the south west of Western Australia.
The purpose of the field trip was to examine the rural property in Boyup Brook that the students will be doing a design and report for plus to visit two community gardens in Albany to provide them with design ideas and assistance.
On day one, some of the students and lecturers travelled south from Perth in Ross’s ute while other students from the south west made their way to the first meeting point in Boyup Brook. This is teacher Lisa’s field trip report.
“We arrived around midday after a 3-hour trip and proceeded to stretch our legs with a walk around the large water reservoir on the property.
This was followed by an amazing lunch of chicken wings, cooked on the smoker, with an array of salads prepared by the owners of the rural property.
Following lunch, we walked the rest of the property to get a feel for the land, examining the existing vegetation and rocky outcrops and observed water movement across the property.
Seated in camping chairs we did some classroom work, interviewing the owners of the property to learn of their hopes and dreams for the development of the land.
Dinner that night was another amazing meal, a slow cooked casserole with meat and seasonal vegetables. The night finished with star gazing around a campfire whilst discussing all the permaculture possibilities for our hosts’ stunning hillside property.
On day two we traveled in convoy from Boyup Brook inland south to Albany to visit the first of the community gardens, the Rainbow Coast Community Garden, where we met with one of the garden founders and had a tour of the grounds.
Next, we went to the Good Life Community garden in Albany and toured the gardens with one of our group, who was a founder.
The Diploma students will have an opportunity to create designs for the undeveloped parts of this community garden. Their design will include an extended chook run and orchard zone.
We then visited a suburban permaculture garden and were amazed at the diversity of both plant and animal species in this modest-sized backyard. Lunch was harvested from the garden. This time fish plus an array of vegetables and edible flowers and we enjoyed another amazing feast.
After lunch we parted company and began the 4.5-hour drive back to Perth.”
The students will be reflecting on their experiences and incorporating their field trip observations into their Diploma assignments. A fun (and delicious) way to learn!
Story by Lisa Passmore of INSPIRED BY NATURE landscape design
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