I came across Permaculture through my interests in alternative philosophies and lifestyles when I became a mum in 1973. It wasn't until I went to live in an old farmhouse in the mountains in Southern Spain in 1991 that I could really see the sense of Permaculture in practice. I then did a Permaculture Design Course at Middx University in 1995 given by Andy Langford. I was fascinated by the common sense and intelligence in the approach to understanding the world around us. The very first 'ideal homestead' that Andy drew for us was almost exactly where my farmhouse was! It showed me how, if I really studied the landscape and the prevailing climate, I could live a low impact and yet ultimately comfortable lifestyle. That I and the people around me could grow all we needed and make our homes efficient and self sufficient without relying on any bought in services, of which there were none anyway! What concerned me was how we are mostly kept away from this information which would after all make us independent from the commercial forces which seem to govern our lives. The basic premise, as far as I could see, was that we have evolved out of this earth and are totally equipped to survive here and have developed the intelligence to allow us all to live in harmony both with each other and the world around us. We really don't need to destroy life in order to survive. We really don't have to deprive anybody of their needs in order to meet our own. There is plenty for all. It's our thinking there isn't that's the problem! So, for me, Permaculture is a faith in Nature. We actually have everything we need surrounding us and we have to study and understand what is there and then work with it, not against it .

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