Hello. Here is my question: Is a PDC going to be so overwhelming that I wind up not knowing where to start, or feeling defeated before I begin? And, will it be worth the $800? What are other people's experiences?
The course is a 12 day course, every other weekend in June, July and August, 6 weekends (Sat & Sun all day). We are using Toby's book, which I've been reading for some time. The emphasis will be more on design practice and plant ecology and less on building technology, which is useful for me. By the way, I came to permaculture through the Transition Movement. I am a writer, a Jungian/transpersonal oriented dreamworker and spiritual director. Since moving here, I've also become a transition-ecology-post-oil localvore climate change organic conservation geeky sort of person. The price of facing one's shadows and having one's consciousness raised, as well as having a deep, intense relationship with a dear friend's new baby.
There are 4 instructors. The main instructor has many years of experience, as do the others. Their bios look good and they teach locally quite a bit. The main instructor teaches sustainability etc at a local college. Gets good reviews.
I live in a small modest house on an average sized lot in Brattleboro, Vermont. Three years ago, when we moved here, I put in a large cottage garden - a dream come true for me, actually -- including lots of herbs, some medicinal plants and some veggies here and there. All organic. Using materials we found on site - like a bunch of old slate pieces for walkways and paths. A cheery tree dots the middle. Robins nest in it. Now, after coming to consciousness about peak oil and permaculture, etc, I want to use it as the foundation of my own Gaia's Garden. I would have done this differently a bit, had I known about this first, but, I love my garden and it will be a good foundation, I think. I'm happy to move and divide flowers - which need it anyway. We have a pretty good size lot with lots of other possibilities. We have a small veggie patch that needs attention and incorporation into the overall design. We have grass in front in full sun that we hate, that screams suburbia, that is a bitch to mow and is begging to be sheet mulched and turned into living soil for something useful. I have a small place in the back to create a hugelkultur pile thingy (that's the technical term) to grow pumpkins in, or maybe a small fruit tree. It is these sorts of things I want to learn more about. I want to learn how to collect and use graywater, and figure out if I can put in a fruit or walnut tree anywhere. I want to know if I can do a guild under my maple trees, which provide total shade. I want to learn much, much more about the garden as ecosystem. I want to cultivate mushrooms some day. I want creatures to feel welcome here - most of them, anyway. I believe the quantum/archetypal/ecological fields have at least a slight preference for goodness, and I want to actively be contributing to that side of the equation in terms of ecological footprint.
And I want -- deeply - to inspire my neighbors by example. I am an introverted writer; example is the only activism I can really handle. My husband thinks I'm kinda nuts, but that's okay.
I want to provide for our own food needs as much as possible, but I also want very much to help replenish the land, at least this small piece of it, and continue to increase its beauty. Beauty is vital to me personally but also I believe that it is essential for our psychospiritual well being, and I believe also, with John O'Donohue, that the absence of an appreciation for beauty, especially natural beauty and pattern, is partly what has gotten us into our current situation.)
My primary concerns about taking this course are: (a) that I will be overwhelmed and defeated before I even get going, and feel like it wasn't worth the money. It will be just me doing this - not me and my husband. It's a "certificate" course, which is lovely and may be useful at some point, but right now, I'm really after solid information to use here and perhaps pass along to my friends if they are interested; (b) it will be attended only by geeks who already know a lot about this, and who are looking to just get the certificate so they can use is professionally. A fine goal but one that may conflict with anyone who is a beginner.
I have talked to the instructor and have been pretty well reassured.
HOWEVER, I've not had the opportunity to get opinions from anyone who has actually taken one of these courses.
Sorry for the long post. Just trying to explain. Any replies or reassurances or other advice would be most appreciated.