Day 4 Reflections 2/3 – Zone 00

Emerson college sunset

A post shared by Rich Denyer-Bewick (@therichdb) on

OK, I’ve had a little more time to reflect on the weekend residential but I’m going to take each day in turn, Day 4 first.

This was undoubtedly, my favourite day of the course so far. This evening we met up with our home group and had a chance to reflect and talk about what our favourite experiences were from the weekend – mine was the whole of Day 4 – here are some of the things I really liked about this day.



First up, it was about spending so much time outside. We were at Emerson College near Forest Row – I’d never been before. The place was beautiful and just so inspiring to be in… we were blessed with great weather and that meant we could do most of our group work in the woods in a circle space (see above). All that fresh air and fresh ideas… good for the soul!

Then, as I was saying this evening, there was the fact that the day was just run so well – it was all about people and permaculture, beginning to explore ideas about community (gently and implicitly), but focusing more on the self – our journey: what had brought us to the course, what we saw our future as being, and what our design visions and ideas might be.

The day was held so gently and I felt really safe to open up to this pretty big group of relative strangers. We got to know each other and our relationships with each other were strengthened. I also had an opportunity to share a little bit of Chi Kung practice in the evening and the next morning which was awesome fun, and spend time at a big bonfire in the eve playing music and chatting into the night. I love that stuff.

I loved the fact that a few times in the day I had that feeling that I was part of, or experiencing myself as, the ‘Implementation‘ phase of a bigger permaculture design. I know the course is a permaculture design, and it feels really weird, but also great, to realise that all the the chaos of the random experiences that collectively the group is going through, is also part of a plan. Love that.

Here’s the course outline for the day that we followed:



So, the concept was looking at ‘Zone 00’, or the self, and how to apply permaculture to ‘us’. The Peoplecare Ethic was strong on this day and I felt it really paid off to have this focus at this point in the course. We looked at various examples of an Action Learning Pathway, including the one Hedvig did for her Diploma. It helped formulate further what these concepts actually mean in practice and how they can help with applying design.

I also got to the point where I knew what my final design was going to be, which was great as I’d been a bit muddled about it for a few weeks. I’m set: The big project is planting an orchard in a field in Hurstpierpoint, but the smaller and more manageable design, is to design the consultation process with all those people who will have an interest in this big project, to make sure people’s needs are met and concerns heard – so it’s a Peoplecare design, which forms part of the Survey for the orchard… make sense? It does to me. Can’t wait…

Right – now for the photo montage, with explanations!


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