Nicole Vosper 's Profile
Nicole Vosper
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Joined:
16/02/2011
Last Updated:
16/02/2011
Location:
Somerset, United Kingdom
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate
Gender:
Female





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The rainbow tree Sector39 Roundel Wood Nurturing Health/Top of the Crops Spiralseed Earthworm Housing Cooperative Gaia University Northeast
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Desinging for the Long Haul

Posted by Nicole Vosper over 7 years ago

Refinding humility in taking time to observe and interact before designing.

When I've been doing design work for other people recently I've thought, how come I can manage to set aside the time to design their gardens or smallholdings but struggle to do everything I desire in terms of designing my own? This has been a pattern for that last year and a half. The first year I put it down to the need to observe for a year before interacting. But then a year came and I got a massive body of work done, mainly relating to zone 1 systems such as the veg patch and herb garden but the orchard and woodland remain undesigned when I'd expected myself to dive straight in to creating a forest garden paradise and medicinal woodland - its everything I'd ever dreamed of.

But then it occurred to me. It feels like I've almost left the best until last - these are some of the most perennial systems in our smallholding, trees that will outlive me and be there for my grandkids (or my sisters, ha!). The systems least designed in detail are also those with a relationship to my livelihood - something that is hanging in the balance of a grant application that I will know the results of next month. If we're unsuccessful it means growing becomes a core part of my polylivelihood and how I relate to the land will rapidly change to the present where I currently mainly grow for family self-reliance.

I feel like this observation of my learning cycle has turned a problem into a solution. I've gone from feeling disempowered (still haven't done that, my portfolio isn't complete, why am I prioritizing other systems etc) to feeling empowered - I am honouring the time it takes to design deeply - to interact with the land with a lifetime in mind. I am still so much at the beginning of my learning journey, still meeting & befriending trees that will grow old with me, still learning of the medicine of plants and their roles in our ecosystems. Still figuring out what I really want, what my family really wants underneath the formal design questionnaire. Still trying to see the connections in my head and my heart.

So, you haven't got pen to paper either? Honour it, flow with it but keep recording everything that is surfacing and when the time is right it will come. I've started to trust the design process now on my diploma journey. When I've been worrying into the night about a paid client and that I can't vision a solution for their system, I'll wake up and its there, and I roll with it and through all that design analysis, left and right brain, a design is born of the process. So all I'm saying to any other designers, or diploma apprentices, is trust the process! Give design work time to breath, honour it and value just how much time it takes to design a system that will hopefully regenerate for a lifetime beyond your own.

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My Permaculture Qualifications
Unverified
Permaculture Design Certificate
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Martin Powdrill
Location: ACS Education
Date: May 2009
Other course verified
Certificate in Horticulture
Type: Gardening
Teacher: Martin Powdrill
Location: ACS Education
Date: May 2009
Other course verified
BSc Integrative EcoSocial Design
Type: Gaia University
Teacher: Liora Adler
Location: Gaia University
Date: Aug 2011
Other course unverified
Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design
Type: Permaculture Diploma
Teacher: Permaculture Association
Location: Somerset
Date: Jan 2011

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