La Palma, Canarias
Main Tutor & Mentor + Coordinator
But as soon as these rivers of experience came together she started doing permaculture in her home & neighbourhood, which later became the Green Adventure urban permaculture project (what we would call now a ‘Transition Project’), all the while deepening her study & practical understanding* of Permaculture – both the design science and the movement.
GA, which she coordinated from 1995 to 1999, was awarded several national prizes during this time for its pioneering work in community regeneration – for carrying out good permaculture design in a very inclusive, creative & professionally managed way, combining an organic food box system with bycicle delivery, the local alternative currency, community orchards & a garden-swap system, later the regeneration of abandoned greenhouses & more local authority lands, and several youth & recycling projects.
This course was very impactful and confirmed that we need more training & understanding in the ‘invisible’ parts of permaculture design if our projects are to work long-term.
In 1999 Stef took a sabbatical position in La Palma, in the Canary Islands, to help set up a new permaculture project there. After working with many rural projects, learning to grow food on a larger scale and to speak spanish (a language she had always loved) she decided to stay on the Island & set up a 5 year action-research experiment in permaculture action-learning, in order to better understand how to support people in applying this crucial design science to the real world, much more effectively, especially for designing themselves much more coherent, ethical & satisfying lives.
During this time she also coordinated the setting up NodoEspiral
making the mixture for the adobe bricks for an oven
From 2006 she has been designing & building the infrastructure of what in 2011 became the 8thLife eco-village project, where she lives & continues living her passion for intensive integral permaculture design action-research & learning.
* (PDCs with Steve Read in 1993, & with Andy Langford in 1995, further training in inclusive meetings technologies with Jane Hera, creative teaching PC course by Skye & Robyn Clayfield & diploma with mentors Judith Hannah & Simon Pratt, in 1998. Later interviewed permaculture permaculture pioneers & teachers** extensively for a qualitative research project to collate the history of the network, with a view of improving the collective intelligence of our movement. Including the design of permaculture teaching, which most pioneers expressed a concern about.
Integral PermaCulture curriculum development