My relationship with permaculture is long and started in 1986.
I was 20 years, every Sunday used to see the press shops. In those days there wasn’t the same amount of magazines than today. One of the most interesting was “Integral”. In those times I wondered if we could imitate nature to design ecosystems “tailored” to productivity and sustainability. So I was stunned when I saw an article entitled “Permaculture: permanent agriculture” on its front page. I bought the magazine buzzing!
In those days the Internet already existed but was not available to the people, didn’t know anyone in this world, and no courses too.
In 1990 I went to the fair “Biocultura” in Madrid and there announced a weekend course of PC , with Emilia Hazelip, one of pioneers in PC in southern Europe. So I went and took a first contact. Also participated in the crowfunding (with 3000 pts at the time) for the translation of PC 1 and 2 (in that time you must be very faithful, you would put the money and last years to see the result).
In 1994 I took my first PDC (Permaculture Design Course) taught by Richard Wade, one of the pioneers of PC in Spain. It was held in Eskoriatza (Gipuzkoa), I worked at that time in a Fagor factory (the famous Mondragón cooperatives) and I was very close so I could attend. I wanted continue with PC but I was very young, without money and haven’t clear how to start.
Shortly after I moved to the Canary islands for 3 years (1994-1997), I losted the opportunity to continue in Mondragon cooperatives but opened other perspectives. There I subscribed to the English magazine “Permaculture Magazine” and stayed online with Internet, which I started to use in 1995. I began to follow the permaculture, and more and more information come available.
In June 1996, I participated in a event at the UN meeting Habitat II held in Istanbul on sustainable human settlements. Specifically, I participated in an event of the International Academy of Architecture and I presented a lecture about the potential conversion of medium tonnage ships for human settlements, evaluating the potential of wind, solar and other resources.
In late 1996 I returned to the Basque Country and started working near Donostia-San Sebastián. I had the opportunity to meet Feliciano Plá in Barcelona, other of the introducers of PC in Spain.
In 2003 I became aware of peak oil, also through the magazine “Integral”, in early 2004 I joined the web community “crisis energética” in 2005 attended with several members to the V Congress of ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil) in Lisbon. In the same 2005 I attended the founding assembly of AEREN (Association for the Study of Energy Resources), a subsidiary of ASPO in Spain and organizer of the VII Congress held in Barcelona.
In 2007 I took a course of a week of keyline PC and PC broadacre (zones 3 and 4), taught by Darren Doherty, one of the most important PC teachers in the world. He really impressed me because was a person that working and living from design and development of PC sites. He has designed more than 1000 sites worldwide!
In the summer of 2009 I went to Mallorca and make my second PDC with Darren, it was cool, we were about 30 people from around the world, spoke several languages and there was very enriching.
Among the course of 2007 and 2009 I looked for a place in which to start, we found it in early 2008, since then we have been developing the site.
Throughout 2012 I attended a course of Holistic Management with Kirk & Tamara Gadzia (HMI International), and another one of Biofertilizers with Eugenio Gras (MasHumus). They are pioneers of regenerative agriculture, permaculture concept led to large areas and professional farmers, fighting to reverse the current situation of environmental degradation.
I agree with David Suzuki, he says that “the stars can wait, but not the Earth.” It also says that extending PC is probably the best and most effective thing we can do for the world now, and those who do it in some way are the true heroes of our time. Honestly I would like to contribute.
After doing a PDC are several lines that one can follow, but it is clear that the course don’t deep in detail on many things and you need to supplement it. It’s difficult to design sites if you haven’t your own site. So my priority has been, in first place, to be able to implement all that I have learned, I’ve been doing courses of fruit trees, grafting, horticulture, etc, and read every book I could about the subject, including PC books in English, since most of the PC material is in English. This is a good moment to apologise because my english isn’t good, I make an effort to translate and I hope the most of the people could understand and follow our project.
Now we have our own site, I want to serve as a practical example of PC in temperate zone. And over time, in addition, to being able make workshops, visits, and consulting, and spreading PC all over the world