Valerie Ann Pole - Main Profile
So I accredited my Diploma in 2018 at The Inkpot, having had the amazing Hannah Thorogood as my Diploma tutor.
My husband (PDC holder) and I have a gardening business, where we specialise in gardening with nature and Permaculture in mind. We have found there is a lot of people care involved too.
We have a 3 bed suburban semi, with a reasonable sized garden. We grow much of our annual veg, and we are developing a Forest garden too. Trees, shrubs etc have plants for pollinators growing along side them. We have a healthy, transient hedgehog population too!
But we firmly believe that food production is only part of Permaculture, as it has the potential to help in so many areas. We have used it for business planning, self care, as well as answering questions. For example - should we keep hens? Long and short of it, no. We often use a whole design, or sometimes just parts of it to solve problems and find the most appropriate answer for a given situation. Not all ours - we helped a friend who could not decide if to move back to South Africa, for example.
To share our knowledge and understanding of Permaculture, we have been planning to apply to become a LAND Centre. It hasn't quite happened yet, as various things had to fall into place first. But it is hoped that 2021 will be our year. We want to show that you don't need lots of land to 'do' Permaculture, and it isn't all about growing carrots.
Sadly, I cannot add the actual designs I used for my diploma, as they are not in an acceptable format. However, here is a brief overview. I am happy to share using googledrive if you would like to see any of them.
The first 4 are based around me
1. Highways/ALP (zone 00). I used this design to get me from the rather dark place I was post PDC, to where I am now.
2. Caring for mum (Self-care). My mum was terminally ill. This design helped me get through it.
3. Snowman (business). Basically a business plan using permaculture to make it happen
4. Snowman tweak (business). This is when my husband and I formed a business partnership
5. Not used, not completed
The rest are based in our garden
6. Smart veg – Making thyme. All things planner based to improve our annual veg production
7. Smart veg – Smart goals. This one deals with physical improvements and trials, again to improve annual veg production.
8. Splish-Splosh – water. The garden used to flood. This is what we did about it.
9. Henny-Penny – hens? Should we have hens?? And what is the alternative?
10. The Big ‘F’ - Forest Garden. Increasing fruit production and improving zone 5.
11. To LAND or not to LAND. Plans to apply to become a LAND centre. Design complete but not implemented.
Post accreditation design ideas - these ones are less thorough, with fewer pictures and no references.
12. Our House is on Fire (business). Trying to make our business carbon neutral.
13. Bugger the Virus (Pt I) & 14. (pt II) (self-care). Coping with lockdown. Not fully completed.