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Tim Barker

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since Jul 31, 2014
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Recent posts by Tim Barker

Very very cool and some serious skill sets.
2 years ago
Hi all hopefully i can offer a few thoughts and perspectives that others might find be helpful. I was on the 10 week internship at Geoffs place in 2010. Basically i wanted to get in a room with like minded people and talk about permaculture as where i was living didnt have much in the way of people switched on about the upcoming set of challenges we as a race face. I had read Permaculture 1 in 1981 and since that time had been practising in my own small way and consuming everything i could on Permaculture but had never taken a PDC. Anyway i signed up for the Internship but one of the stipulations was that you had done a PDC. As i was blowing all my holidays on the internship i did an online/correspondence PDC through Permaculture visions in Australia. I did the course and was happy with it but was aware that the real deal was doing one onsite. As it turned out nobody ever checked to see if i had my certificate anyway.  Partway through the internship i was invited to stay on and work at PRI which i did packing up the family and leaving the town that had been our home for 15 years. Its so liberating to say to hell with it and follow your heart!.

Anyway long story short i did quite a lot of co teaching with Geoff and others along the way and found a passion for that also. I ended up being farm manager at PRI and later getting invited to develop an Appropriate technology curriculum for PRI New Zealand. I got my Permaculture Diploma in Appropriate technology while teaching in New Zealand. Recently ive been washing up on American shores since getting an invite to the rocket stoves innovators even at Wheaton labs a few years running and this year will be teaching a PDC and Appropriate technology course back to back there starting 28th May.

For cash and time poor folk the online courses can be a great thing. I remember talking about my experiences with the online course at length with Geoff who was even then interested in offering an online course. But having experienced going through an online course and then later teaching many PDC's i have to say you cannot underestimate the power of going through a PDC with a group of people on site.

As for when you start designing and charging for it i'm with others and suggest that you need to gain experience first. i think we as permies have a very clear obligation to act in and hold ourselves to a very high ethical standard. You wouldnt send your car to a first year apprentice and be confident of the best possible job. As designers we are quite possibly designing with peoples lives and livelihoods.  I dont know how anyone could  not be daunted, humbled and burdened by that.

The PDC is about how to design,  that's why it's call a design certificate. The strategies and techniques you learn in the PDC are purely there so that you at least have a good enough knowledge of them to put together a design to show you understand the PROCESS. Doing the PDC is the start of lifelong learning as the strategies and techniques are like a pallet of colours, the more you have the richer becomes the painting but beware without the supporting canvas of the design process it won't work.

Cheers Tim


2 years ago
Hi Natalie great to hear you can make it. A couple of other books that might help are Daniel Kaneman's Fast and slow thinking and Alan Savory's Holistic Management.  It's no use learning design if you shoot your self in the foot with your decision making process.
2 years ago
Hi Tyler unfortunately not. Im a physical book kind of person also. All i can advise is print it out double sided and ring bind it. That's what i did when i bought the ebook of Ianto's rocket mass heater book.
2 years ago
Hi Rob we might have to start you out on something a little tamer maybe a fairy penguin (yes we have some in Oz) and work you up to a Koala or Possum. Sure would be good to see you in Oz the guys at VEG (very edible gardens ) do a good course.
Cheers
2 years ago
Hi Todd Actually there are lots of ways. Fuel wood size is one, lots of small sticks will give lots of heat while three bigish sticks will comfortably maintain a temperature range good for probably 95 % of cooking tasks a combination of both and you can get in between. Also manipulating the feed tube opening with a brick or such brings another layer of control  The addition of some mass (not too much) will damp temp swings. Above all this is not a set and forget device you will have to brings some intention to your cooking which i think is a good thing and you will have to "Learn" your oven. Its very much an interactive process but we had an early rocket design that we cooked in  and it was our only oven for two years we turned out everything from pizza to roast to cakes and cookies with no problems at all and it was a 3.9" system.
Cheers Tim
2 years ago
Rob your such a spoil sport. That is how Aussies eat Pizza. The Biochar exterior is good for keeping your teeth clean and your internals in good order. It also seals the Pizza killing all the microbes so it lasts longer when we are travelling in the outback wrestling Kangaroos. How are you Big Fella ?
2 years ago
Hi Julia yes i will have to remember my "American" terminology. People are often surprised to hear i wear not one thong but two and on my feet, that i keep beer cool in an esky i call sausages "snags" and i drive on the wrong side of the road. Are you coming to the PDC ?
2 years ago
Hi Natalie Glad that you are coming to the PDC. There are so many books out there now. Bill Mollisons A designers manual is probably the Biggie in fact its huge at over 500 pages and most PDC's are usually based on the chapters in the book . I like The Late Toby Hemenways Gai's garden, Bills "An introduction to Permaculture or permaculture 2, Roesmary Morrows Earth users guide to permaculture most of these are a little dated but a bit more digestible than the designers manual.  If you look in the course info section you should see a list of things to bring like torches sturdy boots gloves etc. If you are talking about the actual design then i will be providing high quality paper, tracing sheet,s pencils etc as there is an expectation that you will end up with a design that you would feel proud to present .
2 years ago