Afternoon, I’m just going to reflect on the past few weeks of what seems high activity. I spend much of my time nowadays on promoting the gaining of skills and self-reliance. This is in an attempt to help people escape from the financial slavery that is heavily promoted in all types of media. It’s done by the simple strategy of encouraging people to compare themselves with others. As we all subliminally know “comparison kills joy”, but one has to bring it to the front of your mind and then act upon it. Enough said.
Watch my new video: Threat resilience with self-reliance and low impact living
So to that end Fran Pickering and myself (Andy Reynolds) run a series workshops at Stanmer Park. We thought “wouldn’t it be helpful if we let people know how it all went?” and I reckon the answer is yes.
The solar courses in June were attended by enthusiastic students and the hot weather with plenty of sun, great for solar demonstrations.
Saturday was solar battery, all about off grid battery systems and integration with domestic power use. We put together a simple solar panel / battery / inverter system and the discussion based learning delved into the finer details and parameters to promote a deeper understanding.
Sunday was the solar grid course with 5 panels leant to us to avoid me bringing a pile all the way down from Lincolnshire (thanks Steph). Again enthusiastic questions drove the day with Fran keeping us on course. The day was about putting panels and grid inverters together in a safe way, panel mounting structures and power integration and use. They use the blue end of the spectrum so there is a huge difference from solar thermal.
The next courses will be in September:
Local timber for building, covering the use, drying and selection of local timber.
Woodland management, an expansion of the woodland management workshop that was very popular last autumn, despite the awful weather.
The general format of the Woodland management workshop was discussion around a fluid theme and so all the attendees gained an idea as to how a forester thinks, and I experienced teaching out in the woods in monsoon conditions. We talked about planting, species choice, after care, grants and thinning choices. Our impression (Fran and me) was despite the condition the afternoon was vibrant and upbeat.
Yet again there was a mix of interests that we felt we addressed. I providing the experience and Fran attending to the lesson plan, giving the right question to drive things forward, and of course just keeping thing running as smoothly as possible.
Thanks to all concerned as we felt it was a weekend of workshops that was well worth the effort.
If you have not already found it, I point you in the direction of my recent Building your own sustainable future blog on Low Impact Living Initiative giving an idea of our 35 year old maturing project.
Cheers, Andy & Fran
Andy Reynolds teaches these courses for Brighton Permaculture Trust: