orcas, post pdc

We finished our class about a week ago now. Dan’s working on another post with some reflection on the course, so I’m going to write a bit about what we’ve been up to since.

We’ve been staying with our friends Cait and Zack, also on Orcas Island. Cait does design and landscaping work for clients here, so we’re shadowing her. The work itself is a lot of mulching, watering, and getting the feel for the physical parts of tending land, peppered with great conversation about plants, ecosystems, and design. We’re going to be shadowing on a design visit tomorrow for a new client, which I’m very excited about. On top of the work for clients, Cait’s been getting her home garden up to snuff, so we’ve gotten to learn on a smaller scale too. For me, that’s helpful because we get to see a more tasks through to the end. With all of us there, we installed the drip irrigation on that size plot in just an afternoon!

So last year, when Cait and Zack got married, they held their west-coast ceremony at a friend’s farm on the island. They ended up staying here for a month or so after the wedding, and they were invited back this year to housesit and just hang out. So while we’re “staying with them” we’re actually camping out on that farm most of the time. Bonus under-star living! We have bounced back to the house here and there, which is nice, but I’m writing this post outside, next to our campfire. Can’t beat that.

Just under a week left here. I can’t believe how much we’ve learned in such a short time here. It’s also felt great to do actual work here and get to contribute. A big part of Permaculture is to replace “extractive” processes with “regenerative” ones. It’s no accident that at the Bullock’s, the course had major components where we helped tackle projects for them with our sheer force of number of people, and we all got to learn at the same time. So making this more than just a “visit” feels in that spirit.


(ps: pdc = permaculture design course)