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The Old Boot factory
The Old Boot factory
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104 St Mary's Rd, Oxford, GB
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Cold Temperate

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Anna Morton

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Urban ‘City Block’ Permaculture Design Course Autumn 2011, Oxford

Project: The Old Boot factory

Posted by Matt Morton almost 13 years ago

The course will run over 4 weekends: 22/23 October – 12/13 November – 19/20 November – 26/27 November

Through this unique course participants will embark on a study of urban Permaculture design based on Matt Morton’s concept of ‘farming the city block’. The idea of city block design is to look not only at our own private gardens but also the combined central space created by the blocks on which we live. This will give us increased access to potential resources, from the land and from the people living there. This will involve creating methods by which willing residents can share and trade the produce of their gardens within the block, and potentially to the wider community; share their personal knowledge of the land; come together to create more energy efficient homes with methods such as collective rainwater harvesting; and much more, resulting in an overall increase in community cohesion; giving individuals, of all generations, a greater sense of place and belonging. With this method we intend for people to find more sustainable solutions within the urban environments in which they already live rather than feeling the need to pack up and ‘run to the hills’ in order to find a deeper connection to nature! 

The course begins with an Introduction to Permaculture. If you have already completed this elsewhere this initial weekend is optional. 

The Introduction will cover the ethics and principles of Permaculture and introduce the general design elements. 

Over the following 3 weekends we will look specifically at creating an Urban Permaculture design for the block on which the course is to be held, in the centre of East Oxford. We are hoping to involve residents of the block as much as possible and will be ending the course with an exhibition evening. This will be an opportunity to introduce them to the designs we have created together in the hope that they may take them forward to become a reality! 

We are offering a sliding scale price structure based on income as follows: 

All 4 weekends: Introduction plus Urban PD course: 
£425 – Individual income less than 20k 
£450 – Individual income less than 30k 
£500 – Individual income above 30k 
£500 – Organisation rate 

3 weekends Urban Permaculture Course:
£325 – Individual income less than 20k
£350 - Individual income less than 30k
£400 - Individual income above 30k
£400 – Organisation rate

We may offer some limited concessionary rates so please do contact us if you are interested but cannot find the full funds.

Please contact us regarding payment of deposits and our cancellation policy for this course. 
More detailed course details as well as information on local accommodation & transport options will be provided on request. 
Please provide your own lunch – ideally everyone will bring a contribution that can be shared amongst us all. 

Matt Morton will be leading the course, with local  guest speakers. Matt completed his Permaculture Design Certificate in 1996 at the Permaculture Institute in Australia under Bill Mollison. Matt remained at the institute assisting Bill for another 3 months. He then went on to help set up The Island Quarry Project, a permaculture project in Australia, where he assisted on PDC courses. Matt has since completed a BSc in Ecology and Sustainable Habitations, and has for many years run his own ecological gardening business in Oxford, UK. Here he is also a Green Party City Councillor and has been a teacher of Environmental Management for 3 years.. He has a particular interest in Urban Permaculture and has set up a website www.ecocentrus.co.uk as an ecological networking site recording local biodiversity through peoples study of their own gardens.

Summary of Gaiaveda Urban Permaculture Courses

We will be offering a range of urban permaculture courses soon. Contact us if you have a project in your town which would benefit from hosting a permaculture course. We offer a range of course formats and guided design schemes. Our speciality is farming the city block and surveying garden species see www.ecocentrus.co.uk
Working with residents associations to manage city blocks as agricultural units, collective rainwater harvesting, micro marketing, skill shares, collective finance. Managing blocks can be more successful than rural farms as the land is already paid for, under-worked and well manned. Identifying local resources such as; wild food sources; skilled professionals, labour, waste for reuse, rainwater, thermal heatmass.



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