The Sugar Snap Peas Story

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As a follow up to my post about planting sugar snap peas with Miss Z, have a look at their wonderful growth!

April

Sugar snap peas with the pots for flowers in the background

Sugar snap peas with the pots for flowers in the background

Sugar snap peas with chillis growing in the background

Sugar snap peas with chillis growing in the background

May

Sugar snap peas climbing to the top

Sugar snap peas climbing to the top

June

The sugar snap peas have taken over the trellis

The sugar snap peas have taken over the trellis

Lots of flowers mean lots of sugar snap peas to come

Lots of flowers mean lots of sugar snap peas to come

In July and August, I was periodically adjusting the trellis as the weight of the sugar snap peas was tipping it over in the wind (permaculture principle #1 observe and interact).

In August, I managed a harvest that went straight into a stir fry dinner 🙂

Yesterday, Miss Z and I were picking more and this is how it looked.

September

The sugar snap peas after being munched on by lots of hungry snails

The sugar snap peas after being munched on by lots of hungry snails

But we still had lots to pick, thankfully!

Miss Z and I picked ample sugar snap peas

Miss Z and I picked ample sugar snap peas

There are a handful of peas still growing on the plants and we’ll see if we might manage to yield a bit more for the season.

Following permaculture principle #3 obtain a yield, I would definitely recommend growing sugar snap peas if they suit your climate.  They have grown very easily without much intervention, although I’d suggest not placing them next to a wall where the snails can climb up and feast 😉  They have lovely greenery and white flowers, and the peas and the pods are edible and taste crisp and fresh.  Nutritionally, they offer fibre, iron, potassium, folate, and vitamin C.

I’ll have sugar snap peas on our menu at home this week!

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Permaculture Design Certificate: yes, course news!

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A whole winter has passed here while I have kept you in suspense, and I thank those of you who are still with me on my journey. I started this blog because it was a way to deliver the design project to the Regenerative Leadership Institute, and a way to connect with the permaculture community and I think it’s only fair to share with you my study progress.

About the exam

In my last update, I submitted my hand drawn design and it had been conditionally accepted. From there, it was time for the exam. You know what exams mean… Revision, reading, and wondering whether you know and understand enough to pass. The exam is based on the key text for the course: Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison. If you’ve seen this book in person, you know that it’s a heavy book, and it’s 559 pages long. It’s incredibly dense material, and I came away from it feeling amazed by Bill Mollison’s depth and breadth of wisdom. *Mentally tips hat to Bill Mollison*

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The exam itself is multiple-choice and you access it online. The good thing is you can sit the exam more than once (though they change the questions), and because of that, I decided to take the risk and test my knowledge. It took me close to 2 hours to finish, and then was watching my email to find out the results! And the email came and I passed! I scored 85.7% and the email told me the questions I missed and gave the correct answers too, which is handy. How good is online study now that you find out results so quickly instead of waiting weeks?

While that was exciting, I was left wondering what that meant in terms of the course. Had I finished? Was I going to be asked to resubmit anything? My gut was telling me to expect a resubmission.

Wouldn’t you know, my supervisor emailed me the next day and asked for the zones map to be updated, showing more than 2 zones. Clearly, I needed to rethink what I’d done.

Zones map rethink

I reviewed examples of Zones maps, see some on my Pinterest board.

You’ll note that these are largely based on concentric circles growing larger from the house. I checked Rosemary Morrow’s Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, and her zones are more fluid in size and location. I revisited Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual and noted that those zones maps are farm-based rather than urban, and logically the perimeters align with fence/tree/road lines and are therefore more rectangular or triangular. Using this last approach, I reviewed my map again.

Here’s the before

My hand-drawn design with zones and sectors

My hand-drawn design with zones and sectors

And after

My revised zones map

My revised zones map

I used markers to clearly define the boundaries and wrote over the pencilled-in text. I defined 3 zones instead of 2 to indicate the frequency of visits.

I resubmitted the zones map, hoping that I had sufficiently addressed the feedback. If I hadn’t, I was going to have to start my drawing from scratch again, and I would have ruined my design drawing.

The results

After an oops email telling me my next step was to take the exam, I heard the magic words! I had completed the Online Permaculture Design Course, and my certificate was attached 🙂

I finished the course and here's my certificate in a frame and everything

I finished the course and here’s my certificate in a frame and everything

The tree patterns look lovely, don’t they?

Now what, you ask? In the short term, I will continue to implement my long-considered design. In the longer term, I would love to be able to apply the knowledge and skills in the work force in engineering or renewable energy. Permaculture offers solutions for climate change, and we will have to use it on small (eg. our own backyard) and large scales (eg. infrastructure) to pull back the damage done to Earth and start the healing. If you’re interested in permaculture and are thinking about learning more, I say do it!

As Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do.  Now that I know better, I do better.”

Permaculture shows you how to do better, and the more people that know how to do better, the better off we’ll all be.