Delvin Solkinson 's Profile

Delvin Solkinson


  • Joined: 08/02/2011
  • Last Updated: 08/02/2011
  • Location: Elphinstone , British Columbia, Canada
  • Climate Zone: Cool Temperate
  • Gender: Male
  • Web site: www.gaiacraft.com

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Permaculture Diploma Process Part 2 : Learning Journey

Posted by Delvin Solkinson about 3 years ago

Dew Permaculture Diploma Template Part 2 : Learning Journey

Dew Permaculture Diploma Template Part 2 : Learning Journey


Permaculture is about education, during the two year Diploma process record any opportunities you have to teach, facilitate or participate in educational opportunities.

a. Elphinstone Permaculture Design Certification Course : November 1, 2010 

We gathered together at the Heart Gardens, six bright eyed students and I. Fitting into the Elfinhome, the permaculture education center I had set up at the Heart of the gardens, we explored the vastness of permaculture by looking at all the resources, media and books available therein. It was a gorgeous day so we proceeded to the micro-orchard where we all took 15 - 20 minutes each to tell our personal stories. It was touching to hear about the inspirations and challenges of 8 new students, all primed and excited about our 15 month long PDC course that would take us, amongst other places, to all their properties. After a lunch break we met again in the Yoga Studio on the top floor of a building above the Heart Gardens and I talked with the students at length about the course content, plans, logistics, assignments, readings and requirements. By the time our short 5 hours was up we were all extremely excited and full of ideas about how to proceed.

We met again at the Heart Gardens : December 7, 2010.

It was an inspiring day, my favorite class to facilitate, the introduction to permaculture. Travelling between crystal shop, yoga studio, forest, ocean and stream, we explored permaculture definitions, principles and design. Having told our life stories, we did a short summary to integrate two new people into the class, filling it at 8 people. Anchoring in some organization and whole system awareness about the course was a great benefit. I left the day feeling inspired and activated.

Our group met at the Heart Gardens again on : September 5, 2011. Drylands

This time we spent the morning at my new home, newly set up and perfect for hosting classes. We saw in my main room watching some media on dryland permaculture then wandered through the heart gardens discussing dryland design strategies before leaving the property for an old growth forest site.

I hosted the last class on February 6, 2012 : Graduation

It is a cold winter day when we converge together for the last time. We share a touching day gathering in the Heart Gardens to celebrate our time together. Walks to the forest and beach wake us up on this cold winter day. We play some permaculture games including the patterns deck. Sharing some permie movies we hide inside from the winter weather. Its a small and beautiful closing ceremony.

b. Vancouver-Elphinstone Permaculture Design Certification Course : November 2, 2010

The rain was falling hard when this day began, but the rain left in the morning to leave a clear but cold day. This group of ten students all travelled in from Vancouver to meet in the Heart Gardens. We will rotate between the Heart Gardens, Sustainable Living Arts School and an urban location in Vancouver each week.  

The day was spent moving between the Yoga studio, Crystal Shop, Dave's Greenhouse and a few locations in the local area. The day was full to the brim with information and curiosity, I am looking forward to seeing how things unfold. 

we met again on September 26, 2011 : Tropics

It was a wildly stormy autumn day when we gathered at the Heart Gardens. Trees and branches were down and there was a worry the power would be out. Seemed like some of the monsoon style weather had appeared to illustrate something of tropical design. We met inside my new home, watched some media on tropical permaculture from Bill Mollison, and did a design for Humid Tropics.

c. Edible Garden Tour : September 1, 2010

My intentions for the Heart Gardens has been to create a transparent educational space that can be used without my facilitation, as a self guided educational experience for people. I was joyed that when in Australia doing advanced permaculture trainings with David Holmgren, Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton that an edible garden tour happened featuring the Heart Gardens as a self-guided experience. 


Edible Garden Tour : September 4, 2011

It was a beautiful blue day for the second annual edible garden tour. About 60 people toured the heart gardens using the maps printed by the SCRD and many stopped to talk to me while I watered, asking questions mostly about the native plants featured in the gardens. I was happy to have my goji berry flowering for the first time during the tour.

I had a table of permaculture books, fliers and information handouts on the picnic table in the gardens.

Edible Garden Tour : September 2, 2012

I was happy to offer the tour once again to a larger number of visitors. It was a sunny day and people perused the gardens, the elfinhome and explored all the new features of the gardens. I puttered around and talked to a few people about permaculture. 

d. Permaculture Design and Natural Gardening Micro-Course, October 23, 2010


I did some heart gardens outreach and taught a short 20 minute micro-course at Capilano University to a small group of adults. 

e. Capilano University Class : Organic Gardening, Composting and Native Plants - Permaculture Design, April 30 - May 1, 2011It was a wonderful experience teaching this weekend continuing education course through Capilano University. Almost the students were over 60 and it was a special honor to have the Dean of Capilano University present for the class. We explored the permaculture ethos, definitions and principles along with mapping and design methods. We also toured the heart gardens and identified native plants, made a worm farm and biodynamic teas and talked extensively about soil.f. Capilano University Class : Organic Gardening, Composting and Native Plants September 11 - 12, 2011

Gathering with 4 people between the ages of 19 and 54 was an interesting experience. 6 signed up but only 4 showed! Used to long classes where I teach the whole curriculum, it was a refreshing change to meet up with a new group for just a two day course. Touring the heart gardens, gumboot gardens, local forest and beach we explored permaculture definitions, ethics and principles along with talks about native plants and extensive units on permaculture composting. We built a worm farm and made biodynamic composting teas. On the second day we went to the forest and disturbed a wasps nest and 3 of us got stung. The students left inspired even though none of them seemed interested in the upcoming PDC.g. Full Circle 2 Course : April 5, 2011It was a dream come true to design and impliment a 28 module 14 month course with my elder herbalist and techer Robin Wheeler. It was a 160 hr curriculum with mornings dedicated to the PDC and afternoons to doing hands on medicine making, seed saving, food preservation and a wide variety of homesteading skills and season specific timely actions.Since my co-teacher in the course is recovering from surgery instead of meeting at the Sustainable Living Arts School for a couple months we met in the crystal shop at the heart of the Heart Gardens. We met here 8 times this year, utilizing the crystal shop and Heart Gardens as our classroom. We also have forest, creek and ocean within one block of the gardens.!Dear Robin Wheeler passed the day before this class ended. I am sad to lose my co-teacher, mentor and guide this year to cancer.h. Urban-Rural PDC 3 : May 16, 2011This awesome new group came out from Vancouver to being a new 14 month long, once a month PDC program. Starting in the elfinhome permaculture education center and meandering to different beautiful locations in the rainforest by Roberts Creek and the Ocean we told our life stories, and talked about the curriculum of the course to come.August 15, 2011 : Patterns

Meeting on a clear summer day at the heart gardens we discussed pattern language and how nature communicates with its design. Touring the heart gardens we looked for patterns that were talked about in the text. After this we went to a nearby forest park to see the same patterns in a more natural setting.September 19, 2011 : Soils

I always love hosting at the heart gardens for units on soil and composting since I have the perfect living classroom for this. We talked extensively about soil science, composting and ecology as well as many different kinds of composting while looking at my compost demonstration site complete with its worm farm, hugelkultur and biodynamic plant beds. May 21, 2012 : DrylandsOur group assembled at the Heart Gardens. It was awesome to see how peoples relationship to these gardens have changed over time. We explored the gardens and talked about designing for Drylands.
June 18, 2012 : Integral GardeningThe group met one last time at the Heart Gardens for our unit on Integral Gardening. We did a whole system recapitulation of the course, talked about super guilds and polycultures and explored peoples mapping projects to date. It was wonderful to feel our cohesion as we entered into the final phase of the course.i. Urban-Rural PDC 2 : May 23, 2011It was time for another initiation of a new PDC group, this was mostly mirrored on what was done with the other class a week before. These classes are a week apart and will run in tadem. If someone from the PDC 3 group misses a class, then they can jump in on the PDC 2 group to make up that class. May 21, 2012 : DrylandsWe met in the Heart Gardens and walked down to the beach a half block away to do units on dryland design. Though we were far from the drylands we watched the Mollison Global Gardener movie segment to get in the mood.June 26, 2012 Integral GardeningOur group met up at the Heart Gardens to review the course thus far and consider permaculture gardening strategies and techniques in light of all we have learned in the course. j. Crystal and Spore Multimedia Presentation : Entheos Festival, Boston Bar, BC, Canada : June 19, 2011Connecting with 5 other men and one woman, I helped co-curate a multimedia environment and performative presentation on three screens with digital sound scapes supporting me and my friend on the mic giving a talk about 'future culture'. I gave a talk about permaculture in concept and in action to a crowd of about 200 onlookers on the Saturday night at 11:11 pm of the small micro-festival. k. Urban-Rural PDC 4 : October 10, 2011Dedicated to helping my Planetary Permaculture Pilgrimage possible, I started two new classes. The pre-class meet up was small. We went to an old growth forest site in Halfmoon Bay. We shared stories of our lives and our intentions for taking the permaculture course. As we walked in the woods I shared small 'drops' on the course, logistics, style and structure along with the reading, writing and mapping projects requirements. December 14, 2012 : PretroMost of ring of 13 new permaculture people met up on this cooler blue sky autumn day.  A walk to a mossy clearing in the forest by Roberts Creek a half block from the Heart Gardens soon had us returning to the warmth. Meeting in my new studio in the heart of the Heart Gardens was wonderful. Having a private bathroom and kitchen connected to this indoor classroom is perfect for me to host classes and potlucks for a break from our outdoor classrooms. Exploring the permacuture ethos and ethics, definitions and principles we explored the introductory module with the use of group brainstorms, worksheets, card games and mapping tokens. The day finished with some permaculture videos.March 12, 2012 : SoilIt was a cold winter day in the heart gardens when we met in the elfinstones crystal shoppe. Our journey took us up into the rainforest to look at how nature makes soil. The afternoon was a plant adventure in the heart gardens on soil building, biodynamics, quick return composting, hugelkultur and vermiculture.June 11, 2012 : Water and AquacultureOur crew assembled today to explore the water in permaculture design unit. We passed by the ocean and through the heart gardens before heading up to the forest. Here is a picture of us at Grey Creek after being in the gardens.l. Urban-Rural PDC 5 : December 15, 2011It was a cold December day when our amazing group met up for the first time. We explored the crystal shop, micro-farm next door, forest, ocean and greenhouse while we introduced ourselves, shared our stories and set our intentions together. After going over the course structure and finishing with a media moment showing Bill Mollison's classic film 'In Grave Danger of Falling Food'.March 13, 2012 : Design MethodsThe next time we were to meet in the Heart Gardens it was snowing heavily. But by the time we opened up the class there were already rays of day shining through. We began in the elfinstones crystal shoppe then went up to the delvinhome to review zones and sectors with some videos we missed the last class, then we talked about mapping before our permie potluck including milk and oaty bites!


The afternoon saw us go to a forest with some ancient growth trees called Old Oak Grove. Here we talked about the pattern language of nature, played a pattern recognition game and talked about guilds. Some of us took the time to hug the old trees.

April 10, 2012 : Soil

We met up at the heart gardens for my favorite unit : Soil. On this day we test soil, build a compost, make biodynamic teas and build a vermiculture system. We also watched a video with macroshots of soil organisms, enjoyed an awesome permie potluck and had farmer dave as an awesome guest teacher!

 m. Urban-Rural PDC 6 : May 28, 2012


I began this new PDC to help pay for my travel to Calgary to study with Toby Hemenway, as well as to New York to volunteer teach the Visionary Permaculture PDC. It was very inspiring to come together with a large group of activated and inspiring individuals that are strongly called to come learn permaculture with me. We began in the heart gardens and spent the orientation day sharing about our stories and intentions as well as learning about how the course will be set up.

September 17, 2012 : Soil

It's always wonderful to share the Heart Gardens with conscious permaculture students and this was no exception. Adventuring into soil was easy and fun with countless gardens, forest, biodynamic beds and full compost system with hugelkultur and vermiculture. We made biodynamic teas, a worm farm and played in the compost!

n. Visionary Permaculture PDC, May 8, 2012

I was overjoyed to be asked to share a permaculture design course in New York at a fantastic artists community. I offered to do this for free as a contribution to this inspiring non-profit organization and since I was already flying myself out to volunteer on the magazine and could just add a few more days to each seasonal trip. It was great to rechart my PDC course into a seasonal model. 

I found living with the students 24 hrs a day and doing evening sessions including full movies was incredibly evolutionary. The deep connectedness we felt even after the first four day session was incredible. We met each other and wandered across the 40 acre property that we would map and design as our group project.

This was an incredible learning experience as is being blogged here : http://gaiacraft.ning.com/profiles/blogs/visionary-permaculture-guild-adventurers-log



o. Urban-Rural PDC 7, June 19, 2012

It was a gentle spring day when our new group met in the Heart Gardens. This PDC was a turning point for me as it represents me now having 100 students. Sometime in the course I will pass the 1000 hours of teaching experience landmark. We finished the orientation day watching the entire In Grave Danger of Falling Food Movie, what a wonderful start for the course.  In the afternoon we went out to the old growth to meet an ancient tree.

p. Atlan : Gaiacraft Convergence and Ecovillage Design Charette

It was amazing to collaborate with Keala of Gaiacraft an amazing couple of days at his newly developing EcoVillage. We were joined by Jacob and Lunaya to form the four core members of Gaiacraft. We then integrated into the Atlan Community for the Charette.

It was inspiring to meet and talk about permaculture media development, the future of permaculture education and how to establish an ethical and dynamic media platform for an Online Permaculture Institute with Lunaya, Jacob and Keala.

The Design Charette went wonderfully. It was a remix of World Cafe and Open Space Technology and brought some wonderful permaculture designs to light. Keala was the main facilitator but I helped design and impliment the day as well as doing some core talks about permaculture mapping and design.


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