Well it’s now November 2021 and Coronavirus is still dominating headlines. COP26 underway in Glasgow, not that we have much faith that politicians doing other than mouthing sententious phrases. It is up to us, the people, to repair the world and we have all the solutions we need to do so.
We are working away here in Coldstream despite any challenges forced on us by the current lockdown. Face to face courses are currently suspended. In September 2020 we managed to restart garden visits (it’s a registered agricultural holding here at Garden Cottage) with lots of groups of six or less people all socially distancing themselves. If you want to visit contact us and make a mutually convenient appointment. In the last year we have taught Permaculture Design, Forest Gardening and Training Teachers Courses. Not happy with doing Food Preservation online as it is a very practical course.
During this time we have given presentations at Dr.Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web Soil Symposium, for whom we have now recorded an eighteen part Introduction to Permaculture which is available now. We also presented on Martin Crawford’s Agroforestry Research Trust Forest Gardening Symposium. This should be available online soon.
We are still making courses to happen online. please enquire by e-mail for latest information. The plant and tree nursery has moved to Alyth, Perthshire in the capable hands of Kate Everett. Visitors are welcome by appointment. Try 07543 643703 or firstname.lastname@example.org .We have (apart from book sales) currently suspended the online shop. Do contact us if you need further help.
Graham Bell is an internationally known and respected teacher of Permaculture and several underlying disciplines including Forest Gardening and Food Preservation. He has dedicated his working life to helping others achieve the skills to live sustainably.
His reputation is built on over thirty years’ experience and having worked on six continents and in many different climates and social conditions.
Appointed as the first diploma holder in the UK and arbitrator for new diploma holders in the UK by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison in 1990, he has unrivalled experience in the discipline. Currently he is Chair of Permaculture Scotland and the Permaculture Association Britain Education Working Group.
Business management (he has advised over a thousand businesses), forest gardening, food preservation, renewable energy and energy efficiency are particular strengths. Resource management sits behind all these topics. Trained as an instructor by the (then) Agricultural Training Board in the UK he went on to become a trainer of trainers with that organisation (today called Lantra).
He is a qualified electrical engineer, has a Master’s degree in English language and linguistics, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Society for the Arts Commerce and Manufacturing and the author of two books on Permaculture (The Permaculture Way and the Permaculture Garden) and a very large number of articles. His knowledge of plants and trees is legendary. Having taught from the Arctic Circle down to Middle Eastern deserts and sub Saharan Africa, as well as tropical Australia, his knowledge and experience is adaptable to most situations. He is primarily interested in helping others in confidence and self-reliance with their own work.
Often asked to do consultancy work (which he does) he says: “At the end of the day I’d much rather teach others to be self-reliant.”
His own home garden is a mere 800 sq metres (0.08 hectares) which produces 1.25 tonnes of food a year peak yield (pro rata 16 tonnes a hectare) 500 trees and 5000 plants for sale, half the household’s energy needs, a soft living room and an amazing teaching space which welcomes (and feeds) a thousand visitors every year from all over the planet (literally) – when not in lockdown.
These visitors include an amazing array of wildlife including thirty-eight resident species of bird, another twenty-two who come on a daily basis, just for lunch, and twenty who come on their holidays. Graham says “You just have to create the right habitat and then the right things happen”, a philosophy which applies to his teaching as much as his garden.
“I’m sure there are many people out there who are much cleverer than me. What I offer is a certain gateway to an amazing future. Easy to digest, clear and in simple language that everyone can understand. I can’t empower anyone. People can only empower themselves. But what I can do is offer you the space, the knowledge and the insights where this will all become apparent for you. You will leave our meeting with all the direction you need to take your life forward for personal gain and the good of all the planet.”