Stefania passed away

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 course

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.

 

Matteo

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.

 

Alessandro

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 :

 

Spring in Flower

 
 
The first week of March was rainy, but the rain soon went away to give place to hot, canarian sun. Our fertile soil keeps feeding plants all around us, so that I have to now go through flowery, smelly jungle to get to my house. 
 
 
 
The babies of Monarch butterfly that you could see in the February blog are now up and runnin, munching on what’s left from their favorite and only plant.
 
 
 
Having such an abundance of water, sun and nutrients, our favorite green veggies – wild mustard started to flower and we needed to pick them fast and dry. Luckily, Astrid and Mateo – our guests, came just in time to help us out.
 
We are preparing for the big group of students to come for the on-site iPDC, about which you can read in the February blog.
Stef spends most of her recent time preparing and organising their arrival. You would be surprised how much time we have to spend in front of the computer to have everything properly organized so that the finca runs smoothly and everyone knows where they’re at.
 
I sometimes get a headache from that, but Stef loves talking to her students and gets really excited about them coming here and feeling empowered about all the possibilities that she creates for them.
 
One of the things we need to think about concerning big group of people is food. We want to be able to provide as much food from the farm as we can, so we started intensive planting of potatoes!
 
 
Here you can see and hear (in spanish) short description of our work.

 
 
On the 8th of March me, Sandra and Stef went to Huelga Feminista – Feminist March in Santa Cruz. In this year La Palma, as well as all of Spain reached their record numbers in attendance of women of all age and professions.

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!

 
It wasn’t the end of our feminist endaveours
 
Two weeks after me and Stef attended the Feminist Breakfast at Casa Amarilla – befriended project in Breña Alta, on the other side of the island, that I visit sometimes to help them out in their gardens. You can see their facebook page to find out more about those great people here
 

 

The breakfast was delicious, fruits, juice and conversations very juicy!
 
 
Back in the finca Sanda and Jeff were studying the Integral Peraculture Course, doing the classes together.
Sandra spent a lot of time designing the transformation of her room into an independent apartment. She learnt a lot of sketch-up from nothing thanks to Jeff’s expertise.
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
She also made some advances in the practical part of the job, clearning up the space for the kitchen and shower and re-doing the roof that will be above the compost toilet. 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeff, having finished his sketch-up visualization and measurements, and after getting all the materials, finally started building the rocket stove!
 

 

Luckily, he had help from outher volunteers (on the picture with Kevin) and guests. It involved moving around heavy bricks and barrels!
 
 
 
The result looks very promising and exciting! We had a first try a week ago and it still needs some improvements, but we’re well on the way!
 
 
 
In the video below you can see Jeff explaining shortly the idea behind this strange looking construction
 
 

In this time of the year, when the fields everywhere around are growing like crazy, changing colors from green to yellow, purple and pink, the neighbors trouble their minds with cutting it all down, to protect us all from summer fires.
 
This time our closest neigbors will not need to use noisy and smelly machines, because our sheep came for help!
 
 
Henk, our friend that also borrows us his jeep from time to time, asked me to put the sheep on his field. They were very happy to have new fields full of fresh food and they also got a new friend! Chico is actually a breed of local shepherd dogs and he loves our sheep!
 
Bonita – the Goar keeps giving us about 1l of milk per week, even though she has never been pregnant!
 
 
Encouraged by that phenomenon (and quite hooked on her delicious, soft, fatty milk with the aroma of almonds), we decided to get her pregnant! (we also didn’t have any babies on the farm for quite a while…)
 
 
Luckily, our neighbor has a very handsome male goat, who was very happy to see Bonita.
 
 
 
We took her to his house once, so that she gets his smell and second time after 4 days, as this is the time in which she is supposed to go on heat after smelling the maile around.
 
 
 
We will see if we succeeded in the next few months. Fingers crossed!
 
 
 
Our piggies – Ora and Badu were also enjoying the lush grass and sun. We let them out every evening to forage in our forest gardens. They love the almonds, wild veggies and naps in the sun!
 
 

Also chickens experienced an improvement in their life conditions.

 
Sandra, Jeff and Stef spent a lot of time adapting old guinea pigs cages so that they can accommodate our growing population of chickens.
 
We have also extended their chicken coop, so that their living area has doubled. That of course, where they are not running around the forest gardens in the forage frenzy, which is basically every evening.
 
Our new chics are loving their new home and are growing really fast!
 
 
 
To rest from the intellectual work in sketch up and often fatigue in the previous month, Jeff took some days off to explore the island. He went to Los Tilos and Charco Azul, which are on the north-east side of the island. 
 
Charco Azul is a beach, but in the traditional sense of the world. You will not find sand in there, but a lovely natural pool in which you can swim in almost every weather. It is surrounded by volcanic rocks and part of it is tiled, so it is a pleasure to rest in between swimming.
 
 
Los Tilos is part of the National Park that coincides of the Laurisilva forest – the anciet rainforest that used to cover much bigger area of the island and is still one of the main sources of water. It is personally my favorite place on the island!
 
Back at the finca Kevin was working hard all March to re-wire our hostel. He finished in the last week of this month. Now, we have modern and safe plugs and internet by cable in every room, so there is no need for toxic WiFi!
 
 
One of the favorite moments of everyone in the farm is friday banquet when we share the food all together. Kevin, apart from being a brilliant electrician, was a great cook! We loved making us healthy desserts and amazing dishes every Friday
 
 

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!