Preparamos una terraza con el sistema de riego de goteo para luego plantar una milpa (maiz, judías y calabazas).
Qué disfruté? Qué ha ido bien?
Disfruté podar la palmera y construir el protótipo de filtro de aguas grises para la biblioteca. Fue genial ver el taller ordenado y con espacio para moverse!
Qué fue difícil?
Fue difícil hacer las conexiones de tubos de riego porque me duele el hombre y hay que hacer mucha fuerza. Anouk se fue 🙁
Qué aprendí? Qué haría diferente la próxima vez?
No recuerdo, la próxima trataré de anotar cada día lo que aprendí.
Coordinador de 8th Life La Palma
- Proceso de aprendizaje
Crecí y viví en Suiza hasta los 20 años cuando me fui para estudiar gestión de empresas en el caribe francés. Allí dediqué mucho tiempo a practicar yoga, meditación y a pensar el mundo. Apenas empezados mis estudios de negocios ya tenía claro que el mundo no podía seguir este rumbo de destrucción ambiental y de profundización de desigualdades. Entonces aproveché mis practicas y tiempo libre para involucrarme con proyectos de transformación social y para imaginar y diseñar “nuevos” sistemas económicos y políticos. Participaba de una iniciativa para promover el comercio justo, conducí una colecta de medicamentos para la zona en conflicto de Costa de Marfil, fui pasante en la Comisión Nacional Dominicana para la UNESCO en Santo Domingo y finalmente realizé mi proyecto de licenciatura en la oficina de vínculos con ONGs en el departamento económico y social de la ONU en Nueva York. Luego de completar una maestría en estudios de paz, conflictos y desarrollo en España, fundé una iniciativa de desarrollo comunitario llamada GoPacifia. Pero en vez de dedicarme a fondo en este proyecto, creía que era necesario desarrollar más la base teórica del mismo y me embarré en una tésis de doctorado que finalmente abandoné depués de varios años. Durante estos años vivía en Buenos Aires (donde conocí a Sole, mi pareja), donde primero intenté montar varios negocios con el fin de financiar los proyectos de mi futura ONG. Aunque tengo un espíritu emprendedor, claramente no estoy hecho para los negocios. Después de vivir unos meses en Brasil con Sole y mi hijastra, volvimos a Buenos Aires y me decidí por finalmente dedicarme a lo que tengo en las tripas. Trabajé como coordinador de voluntariado para una ONG local, y luego como mentor en Argentina para los jóvenes voluntarios de una ONG alemana (Internationaler Bund). Trabajando en gran parte desde casa, pudé combinar estos trabajos con el de cuidado de nuestra hija y de la casa. Ocupaba mi tiempo libre en jugar Ultimate frisbee y sobre todo diseñar y dar charlas sobre sistemas monetarios alterativos. También me involucré con un proyecto de economía colaborativa (Minka), donde conocí a Heloisa Primavera (co-fundadora de 8th Life y miembro de la Academia de Permacultura Integral). Mi participación en varios espacios activistas en Buenos Aires me permitió conectar con personas afines. Con varias de ellas hemos finalmente dado vida a GoPacifia enfocando la iniciativa en la promoción y desarollo de monedas comunitarias. Dabamos charlas, talleres y facilitabamos procesos de creación de monedas comunitarias (aunque ninguna vio la luz todas hemos aprendido un montón). A inicios de 2019, nos mudamos a la isla de La Palma, Canarias, invitadas por la Asocación Gaia Tasiri, para cuidar de la hermosa finca de 8thlife, y para reactivar el proyecto de eco-aldea después de la muerte de Stella, su fundadora.
Proyectos de diseño
- Extensión vivienda residente
- Gestión de aguas grises casa residente
- Re-diseño gallinero
- Diseño de actividades sinérgicas de voluntariado: gallofas, talleres
- Re-diseño residentes ecoaldea
- Gestión del agua: recuperación, tratamiento, almacenamiento y usos
- Diseño energético de la ecoaldea
|Extensión vivienda residente||Individual||Personas/Eco-construcción||Medio plazo||Bienestar humano / Permanencia residentes||Ejecución terminal|
|Gestión de aguas grises casa residente||Localizado||Agua||Corto plazo||Disponibilidad de agua y biodiversidad||Ejecución inicial|
|Re-diseño gallinero||Localizado||Animales||Corto plazo||Bienestar animal||Diseño|
|actividades sinérgicas de voluntariado||Comunitario||Comunidad||Instantáneo||Integración comunidad local y desarrollo de capacidades||Ejecución inicial|
|Re-diseño residentes ecoaldea||Ecoaldea||Personas||Corto plazo||Desarrollo de la ecoaldea||Diseño|
|Gestión del agua: recuperación, tratamiento, almacenamiento y usos||Ecoaldea||Agua||Medio plazo||Ahorro y disponibilidad de agua, resiliencia a las sequías||Idea|
|Diseño energético de la ecoaldea||Ecoaldea||Energía||Medio plazo||Reducción de emisiones y autonomía energética||Idea|
Evaluación de capacidades y objetivos de aprendizaje
|Capacidades||Estado inicial||Estado actual||Objetivo prioritario|
|Metodología en diseño permacultural||nulo||principiante||CDP 2021|
CDP avanzado 2022
|Conocimientos científicos en agricultura ecológica||nulo||principiante||necesidades nutrientes frutales, reconocer enfermedades y métodos preventivos y remedios|
|CC. en arquitectura e ingeniería||bajo||medio||comportamientos de arcillas y materiales naturales|
|CC. en sociología||avanzado||avanzado||–|
|CC. en gestión de proyecto||avanzado||avanzado||–|
|CC. en pedagogía||medio||medio|
|Habilidades técnicas en construcción (carpintería, albañileria, electricidad, herrería, bioconstrucción, etc.)||bajo||Medio en carpintería, albañileria y bioconstrucción|
Bajo en electricidad
Nulo en herrería
|Nivel avanzado de bioconstrucción|
|HT. en agricultura (plantar, abonar, podar, injertar, compostar, cuidar/tratar)||nulo||bajo||nivel medio a través de la práctica y de talleres|
|HT. en artesanías (..||nulo||bajo||–|
Proceso de aprendizaje
Qué funcionó bien esta semana? Qué estoy disfrutando?
Esta semana pude avanzar con varias tareas administrativas que tenía pendiente hace varias semanas. Hemos plantado 50 boniatos (batatas) de 6 variedades locales. Hemos trabajado la metodología de diseño. Enseñé a las voluntarias como usar el sistema de irrigación de la finca y nos divertimos con una competencia para encontrar las llaves de riego. Podé algunos tagasastes y parte de olivos (delicadamente porque ya es tarde). Con Sole miramos un video sobre técnicas de construcción con barro. Y Jessica tuvo 11 o 12 pollitos!
Cuáles son los desafíos/dudas/dificultades que tuve/que tengo? Qué puedo/podemos mejorar?
Qué aprendí esta semana?
Cuáles son mis objetivos para la próxima semana? Qué quiero mejorar/aprender/avanzar/terminar?
We owe you some news after almost 2 years of silence. We’ll briefly tell you what happened during this time and what we are up to next!
Our project in La Palma has gone through difficult times since the death of our founder and leader Stefania in September 2018. It was emotionally too hard for Maja to keep living in the finca without her mentor and friend, so the ecovillage lost its 2 hosts and all activities stopped.
The board of Gaia Tasiri found volunteers to maintain the food forest until a family was chosen to settle down and take care of the project in March 2019. Numa, Sole and Katy dedicated the first 6 months to restore the spaces into good condition, to fixing basic infrastructure and to start cultivating again (while our urban adolescent doughter keep saying everything we do is so hippie).
The project really started to move forward in February 2020 when Numa started studying his CDP with the Integral Permaculture Academy. He got further involved in the association becoming its Treasurer, and in the Academy becoming its platform administrator. This firmer ground and confluence of positive energy opened the way to reactivate 8th Life activities. The association decided to start small but strong by applying to the volunteer programme of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). Numa successfully wrote the application by May and we had planned to receive volunteers by September, but the SARS-CoV-2 global hysteria pushed the starting date further to January 2021.
The good thing is that it’s giving us more time to plan for the volunteer project and to prepare the volunteer’s arrival. There is always a lot mainteance work in the finca, plus an eco-construction project going on, the redesigning of gardens and the new chickens’ relationship with them.
Thankfully, since October we receive the precious help of Dario who’s main project is to preparing a lot of compost to give food to the soil and gardens. We also had the chance to have Karine coming to volunteer during the afternoons to prepare the garden beds and to help with the cob walls.
The plan for the beginning of 2021 is to receive 4 volunteers from the ESC program (for 2 and 6 months), to organize a Permaculture introductory course (in January) and an onsite Permaculture Design Certificate (in March). As we are starting all over again and we need to focus on getting well organized, we will not yet open the ecovillage for visitors. If you wish to participate as a volunteer, please have a look at our volunteer page.
We are very excited to embrace a new begining with this fascinating permaculture training and ecovillage project!
that Stefania Stella Strega Scoz has passed away.
Our activities will be on hold for the time being while we focus on grieving this great loss.
As son as we can, we will continue with the work to keep manifesting her visions and honor her life mission.
We have also created this Facebook Group to share about her and the any ways in which she enriched our lives, and you are also invited to contribute in honoring her together.
August was the month of the first on-site PDC in a new form. According to one of Permaculture Principles, we decided to start small, so we had 3 students : Maya from Slovakia and Alessandro and Matteo from Italy. Our diplomate student – Maja used this opportunity to train in a true Action-Learning way for an Apprentice Teacher, so she took on the organization of practical work on the farm and facilitation of discussions during the classes, to practice and experiment with her facilitation skills.
Here you can read about their experiences:
Maja (the Apprentice Teacher)
The whole course was quite challenging for me. I felt from the beginning that I’m totally unprepared and unfit to organize a course like that.
As it started though, I discovered that it is not so hard and I am quite capable. What I needed was to stop trying to solve in my head potential problems, but stay focused on the present time and just do
things. I also managed to project my own self-confidence in the times that called for it. Something with which I surprised myself.
I think I did particularly well with organizing the practical work. This is the field in which I feel much more confident, and we did a lot of useful work on the farm. I am very happy with the amount of trees we composted and mulched and the construction of the wall that was waiting to be done for a long time.
Facilitating the discussions was more difficult for me. I really enjoyed watching all of our classes again and answering the questions, but had problems with encouraging engagement from the rest of the students. Also, I was too doubtful to guard the dynamics of the group in terms of evenly distributed time of speaking for example. This is something I still need to work on, but I believe it just takes practice. I realised that our course is even more different than what people are used to, because it is focused on action-learning and requires pro-activity from students to be maximally beneficial. I was taking it for granted.
I realised the importance of silly games that I met with on different courses and conferences that have a purpose of making people laugh and move. I always felt very silly and uncomfortable with them but now I think that I will have to learn some of them to move people’s energy before and during classes.
There is still a lot for me to learn in terms of facilitating groups and being on a position of a leader, but I am happy with the work I did and how I managed stretching my comfort zone for a whole month!
Maya (the student)
I came here looking for the change of environment from lonely and low-energy city life, I wanted to spend my time in nature. I wanted to meet people with mindsets different to what I’m used to, to have meaningful conversations and more than anything – to start doing something meaningful with my life.
Here, I put first step on that way. I managed to do all of the things I wanted and more!
I really enjoyed working on the farm and the classes were very interesting, plenty of information! I came here knowing nothing about permaculture and now I have a general idea what is about and a lot of particular information that open up a way to more research.
I also learned a lot about myself during our everyday life in here, the work and studying.
This period was difficult for me to stay in a little community. I wanted to stay alone, but I wanted more to overcome my limitations, so I challenged myself and it went well. I managed to stay present and was getting more organized day by day. The contact with nature was very helpful.
I liked working physically every morning, I can see how it helps my body and general health, even though sometimes I had pains from working more than I’m used to.
The content of the clases was very interesting! I had some contact with permaculture in Italy, but it was very fragmented, this course helped me a lot in putting it all together. I can see now how many possibilities there are to do something with the land, with the system. I can create my own system.
I am working on my design portfolio now, which is going well.
I really like this place. The nature is amazing and I met a lot of great people around. I was already studying permaculture, but this course let me to look at it from more integral perspective, which is interesting. It has a lot of information and there is still a lot of studying I want to do on some of the topics that interest me.
I enjoyed working on the farm, taking care of the animals and forest gardens.
We also had a guest teacher – Tone – that is a graduate of our Permaculture Design Course from many years and a neighbor on the island. She came to share with the students her expertise on vegetable garden care.
We are very happy to have been able to offer an interesting, unique and enriching experience to 4 people.
We have learned a lot from this experience about organizing this kind of course, thanks to our brave pioneers!
Next course will take place in November 2018, you can see more information about it in this leaflet : http://bit.ly/iPDC-8thLife
As a farewell a bit of cuteness. A new member of our family – Muffy – was delighted to have an attention of more people. She was following us around and helping wherever she could. For example – while planting trees :
Since we decided about the re-design of EcoVillage project, our existence have been blissful. Doing the necessary maintenance of the farm is an easy, pleasant routine that allows us to notice the beauty of life every day and gives us more than enough time to learn new things, explore new ideas and spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere.
This time of the year the sheep have mainly dry food and it is not their favourite, so we give them extra green bananas as an evening snack. We still take them out to spend time on the fields, to nibble on the straw but they spend most of their time enjoying shade of trees, and in the evening Stef takes them for a walkabout, so they can enjoy running up and down the road.
The chickens are delightful!
We had 6 new chicks in May, and watching their mom taking care of them is one of Maya’s favourite activities during the day. Their mom not only shows them how to look for food, but she finds it, shreds it for them and gives it to them, making a very particular kind of noise. Have you ever noticed that animals use a very specific kind of sound to communicate with their babies? Calm, warm, reserved only for them.
The meat chickens that we bought in February have gotten bigger and bigger, we ate one already and it was delicious as well as very heavy! And we discovered we have two roosters.
Interesting to realise that roosters also go through a voice mutation. They were practicing a lot for few months, which most of the times looked like the strange sound suddenly came out of nowhere in their bodies and they were very surprised about it.
Now they are crowing almost like the adults, but their tone of voice is much softer and lower.
It is the sheep-shearing time and we were lucky enough to get a lot of wool for free, to use in our gardens. We put it on the soil as a mulch. Not only our veggies look really cute, as if sprouting from a cloud, but the soil is very well protected from the heat and evaporation. Thanks to Noemi’s help, all of our garden soil is now covered in a cosy wooly duvet.
and some wool is black ..
Maja also sheared our own sheep and she is very proud of how well and fast she did it. Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures from that process, but maybe you can imagine that holding down a sheep and cutting her wool is a two-hand and two-leg job 😉
We are also getting lots of milk from Bonita! We are waiting for kefir and yogurt grains to arrive in order to use it well (fermented foods always the best and making cheese is quite wasteful: most of the liquid is whey, which we don’t have a good use for).
In June we were still processing all the delicious meat and lard from them, in small batches taken from the freezer in order to make it more manageable. The pieces that are left from rendering lard we call ‘crunchy bits’ and are very delicious also. Anything we can’t eat or process quickly (like the guts, heads, etc.) we let the flies process and then cycle those through the chicken into yummy eggs (which were extra plentiful this year, for some reason).
And now we have a huge stash (in the freezers) of first-class, organic and (almost) free-range pork that is a delicious addition to our favourite, 100%-from-the-farm paleo meals.
After this stint of hard work, Maja decided to travel to the heart of the island – Caldera de Taburiente to spend there few days in total peace, in the wilderness, fasting and contemplating.
“I was sleeping under a willow, next to small spring among the mountains.
And spending my days meditating, admiring the beauty of nature, listening to pine trees, swimming in the river… To live in a place where we can just walk into this kind of paradise is extremely lucky. Pure happiness.
I took out a lot of inspiration, memory of the mountains watching over me and feeling of being relaxed and content with myself and my life.
I also had an idea to start organizing retreats for other people to enjoy this kind of bliss with me:
Now I’m learning about marketing to get the word out there.
In June we were treated to the first plums… and they are the most aromatic, delicious ones too …
We are still blessed with very cool summer so far, which is wonderful … during June and July we had only two days of change of wind direction that brings hot dry air from the Sahara (Calima), instead of cool wet winds from Iceland (the Alisios). And we even had rain and lovely mists during June …
Let’s hope it keeps like this during the next half of summer. The fire-fighting troops (helicopters and trucks) are out in force doing their habitual trainings in the hot season.
on 14 July in Tazacorte, there was the first LGBT Pride march in La Palma. We went there to support love equality and we got to take some of those colourful balloons home 🙂
Then we stayed to listen to the very gay music whilst enjoying a pizza …
finishingoff with a nutella pizza for dessert 😉
In the meantime, we were slowly preparing for hosting the on-site iPDC course in August, doing the online inductions & getting to know the interns arriving soon: looking forward to their arrival!
Have a cool summer!
August iPDC Course
EcoVillage Project ReDesign!
4) mainly the one of having – at last! 🙂 – a much more ‘normal’ home, where we can enjoy the intimacy, peace and silence that we all need to live well (& with just one month of this … we already feel like new people! … incredible ..), and we can share our lives and personal spaces only with family and close friends;
6) And also be able to share this fabulous rural life & environment with more people **as equals** (other people who manage their farms, like the other neighbours) … and not so much with ‘dependants’ – as the visitors who (consciously or not) often expected us to be giving them lots of attention, teach them stuff, to be providing them with their instant ‘community’, etc. And other unrealistic expectations.
This month we also did our bit to redesign stuff to make sure we comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (see www.eugdpr.org if you don’t know what that is), which has been an interesting and occasionally frustrating challenge.
Certainly one of the most delightful things about living with animals is welcoming the babies
Changing the Story
Fundamentally, this is what we are trying to do here.
We end this newsletter with a quote from a wonderful philosoply book, Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, which we playfully call the ‘pre-text’ of the Integral PermaCulture science that we base all our work on.
A Small Family …
Working and Living in Groups
At the beginning of the month, Stef prepared a presentation about living and working together, in an effort to summarise some of the essential items we talk about at more length on the iPDC course.
You can see the presentation here …
Lots of Potatoes
Sheep & Pigs
It was great to take part in it and apart from getting insired and hopefull about further work to dismantle sexism, we had a lot of fun too!
And in the evening, everyday, we enjoy our recorded meetings, thanks to which these blogs are possible! Otherwise we would never remember all the great things that we make hapen!