Introduction to series: Permacultural Perspectives

Hello, readers! I am a new guest writer on Josh’s blog. My name is David Dornbrack. I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa, and I am planning to move to the Southwest Houston area early in 2018.

I first became interested in the concept of Permaculture in 2013, at the age of 23, when I started considering that the world could be run better and in a more environmentally sensitive way.  What I found was a rich treasure chest of information, much of it available online, but not necessarily designed in such a way that it is easy to navigate one’s way through learning it.

I took a two-week course in Permaculture Design in September 2013 at Berg-en-dal Farm in the Klein Karoo semi-desert area of South Africa. This inspired me to start my home garden. I later attended the country’s first Permaculture Festival, and joined a group of people who were getting together to found an eco-village community. The next year, I went back to university to study Education, and then variously worked teaching English, mathematics and geography in different educational contexts.

In early 2016, to further my knowledge of eco-communities and gain some experience of living in community, I traveled to the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland and studied an Ecovillage course and a Living in Community course.

Thereafter, I started writing on my own blog, Integral Transformation, a title I gained from my discovery of the human developmental theory of Spiral Dynamics. In between these two courses and the writing, I traveled to Edinburgh and met my fiancée, Allie, whom I will soon be joining to live in Texas.

After returning to South Africa, I continued teaching in formal and informal education, wrote a popular post about five environmental organisations  that are helping in the Cape Town area, and in April 2017 I co-taught a Permaculture Design course alongside experienced permaculture teacher Buzz Gori. I also toured some land and met an enterprising young man who had settled on wooded land with an intention of starting an art retreat there. At the end of 2017, after teaching some more, I met Josh while visiting Allie in Texas, and we decided that this site would be a good place to share what I’ve learned so far, and to seek advice and friendship from readers of this blog.

In my next post in this series, I will discuss in more detail what I mean by the word permaculture, for those unfamiliar with the term, and include a discussion on why I find the term useful.

I shall end off this post by asking readers whether any of you have advice or connections in the world of permaculture, homesteading, communal living, regenerative agriculture, sustainability, agronomy etc., in the East Texas area, especially for Houston and Sugar Land.  Since I am new here, I would like to meet as many of you enterprising and aspiring permaculturalists, hobbyists and backyard veggie growers as possible! Leave a comment, or e-mail me at drndav001@myuct.ac.za – I’d love to hear from you!

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