With the upcoming PDC and Appropriate Technology courses at Wheaton Labs
just around the corner, I thought maybe it was time to start a thread
on just what an AT course
is exactly. If I'm being perfectly honest, when we first started putting this event together, I didn't know either.
Basically an appropriate technology course
is typically one that is more associated with architectural and engineering aspects of sustainable/permaculture lifestyles. While a PDC
is likely to cover things like harvesting rainwater and touch on natural building, an AT course
goes into greater detail exactly how
these systems are put together.
Tim Barker will be the instructor for our upcoming AT course - to give you an idea, topics he plans
to cover are:
rocket mass heaters
While some of that is in a PDC
course, his projects go a little beyond that, using rocket mass heaters to create hot water
systems, and creating composting toilets that don't just get the job
done, but do so in a way that is code compliant and very low odor. Here are a few pictures from some of his projects:
Rocket Hot Water Heater
Pedal Powered Washing Machine
Barrel Oven with Mass
Kinda cool, right? This stuff gets into the engineering behind some of the concepts you'll have to mull over when building a life around permaculture
- how you'll cook your food, wash your clothes, where you'll poop
- all of that good stuff.
While a PDC gets into the core concepts of the design and philosophy
with food systems, an Appropriate Technology course is almost like a lifestyle course in comparison.
These courses are pretty few and far between, and soooo comprehensive, but I did find this really nice article on the concept by Circle Permaculture: Appropriate Technology on the Move