Permaculture Design Course – Feedback

Permaculture Design Course – Feedback

April 2011 PDC Kotare Village Wairoa

Tutors: Bob Corker, Kay Baxter, Nathan Foote, Emma Cowan

This course was a very emotional, passionate, informative, 12 day, 12 hours per day course. This has been a life changing experience. I write on behalf of Kirsten and I who have been truly inspired by you both, Kay and Bob. It is a very rare experience to encounter such giving people with such passion and knowledge, which is truly an honour to be part of such visionary thinking.    
Harry and Kirsten

Thanks a lot for all the information, inspiration and the sharing of stories from your journey. A long list in my head and a lot of what I learned really resonated with me. The course was well balanced in terms of permaculture, nutrient dense food and biointensive gardening. A truly holistic experience. Again, many thanks.

I had done heaps of reading about Permaculture and also the Weston Price Diet, but I needed to come here and watch how you live everyday and make it work. I struggled with some aspects of the Design process, but making me work through it has been so helpful. I feel confident enough to help others, and I know I can always come back to you and ask when I’m unsure.

I loved eating from your recipe book and seeing how easy it can be. Health and Nutrition is very important, and I’m going to be confident when I go back to my kids and teach them a new way of eating. It is possible to live without sugar! I’m amazed at how good I feel having had no sugar for the past 12 days, and I really love the butter! I’m sad to leave because this place has begun to feel like home. Thanks so much for this experience.

Summer PDC January 2010 Torere

The course was so exciting for me on many different levels, I learnt so much more than I ever anticipated.  The permaculture teaching was beautifully woven along with a strong Weston A Price approach to food, and Kay’s very specific knowledge on gardening techniques to grow nutritious food we all need. It was an amazing holistic blend of wisdom, knowledge, spiritual, emotional and practical components.   It gave me a vision for a future that I’m excited about.  aroha KJ

The Koanga Institute permaculture design course; It’s the wakeup call we all need to stimulate our awareness of living sustainably on our world.

Before I took the PDC with Kay and Bob (and the rest of the team), I was very much a lost and confused soul. I knew our farming practices in NZ were all wrong, and fruit and veg in the shops were lifeless, but I didn’t know where to concentrate my energy.

Through this course I was introduced to all the in’s and out’s of permaculture with its intertwining principles, strategies and techniques. Given Kay and Bob’s experience and enthusiasm for the course content, I learnt more than I ever thought possible, and have walked away with a clear mind and a dream to fulfill.

…and the food was amazing! You won’t want to leave. I recommend this course to anyone who cares about the Earth we are passing on to the future generations.
Kia kaha

The great thing about the PDC that Kay and Bob offer is the enthusiasm and generosity of all the teachers  (Kay, Bob, Marianna, Max, Tom, Taiamai) in sharing their knowledge and experience of working with the land – in the garden, in the kitchen, with animals and plants and the environment.  The food is fabulous and the teaching is intense but shared with humor and openess.  The people on our course came from all sorts of different backgrounds and with differing levels of engagement with gardening and working on the land but we were all treated with equal respect and all our multitude of questions were met with patient and considered answers.

WINTER PDC Whitianga Bay 2009

This course was more than I thought a permaculture course would be. It was not just learning what is permaculture all about, from ethics to techniques, it was the possibility to see and learn how Kay, Bob and their family are living a sustainable and self sufficient way. I really enjoyed the alternation between theoretical and practical sessions, the competent teachings, the relaxed atmosphere, the gorgeous food. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into permaculture in the future.

For me the Permaculture Design Course was an extremely inspiring experience. Permaculture is such an interesting and wholesome way of looking at things to really be able to learn from nature. It is a great path to begin. Kay and Bob are great teachers, living totally what they teach. Thanks for having the opportunity!

When I gave my feedback at the end of the course, I found myself emotional, when it came to speaking about appreciation. That says much about what I had gained.

Before I arrived, I was a bit concerned about the Institute and what to expect out of the course. I was then challenged by the focus on hunting and eating animals … who are these people? Am I in the right place?

My anxiety soon started to fade as I realised the level of knowledge and experience that you both have and were willing to share. Although I like structure, I also liked the easy flow of presentation and your willingness to answer my questions even when off topic. I liked the layout of the day … morning theory, early afternoon practical followed by design/theory and evening design/theory followed by DVD. I particularly liked that I was immersed in the world of Permaculture, home-made produce, isolated community and alternative beliefs from waking to sleeping. Somehow that immersion brought home Permaculture in a way that can’t be taught in a classroom.
I was blown away by the effort that went into the preparation of food … not just by Kay, but by all the willing helpers. This was something that was totally unexpected and I’m really grateful for it. Since I returned, I have secured a supply of raw milk & am regularly using Kefir milk. I tend to be a person who is dissatisfied with “normal” life and I look for meaning in the alternate. It was a strange and pleasant relief to find myself amongst people whom I felt I shared something in common.

So thank you Bob & Kay for the experience that you gave me. I know that it has had a deep effect on me. Please say hi to Max, Marianna, Deanne and Seth without whose support, the 2 weeks would have been a logistical nightmare. go well, Stephen.

It was difficult for me to be decisive when deciding if this course was for me, I was concerned with the context that would be covered, the detail of the material, the wisdom of the tutors and the general picture we would leave with. This course really opened up doors for me leaving me with a sense of purpose and greater understanding. Bob and Kay are great tutors, passionate, wise and always willing to help, this in conjunction with a productive learning atmosphere where both practical and theoretical knowledge is passed on gifts the scholar confidence and creativity when observing land to the patterns of nature itself. I would highly recommend this course for anyone seeking more fullness and greater respect of ones time.  

“This was/is a rare opportunity and experience to undertake a thorough grounding in Permaculture and to “live and breathe” the philosophy for two weeks.  Both Kay and Bob are national treasures and totally committed to the advance of Permaculture in New Zealand.  The programme structure followed both theoretical and practical workshops. This allowed the group opportunities to question, listen and do.  A strong emphasis on practical design tasks also enabled us to practice and apply the principles of Permaculture.  I have no hesitation in recommending Bob and Kay’s course delivery and content no matter how they might in the future choose to format the programme.