Common Edge

Helen Pitel

Helen Pitel

I have had a life long love affair with food growing. I like best of all to be out of doors, growing food and flowers, enjoying nature and sharing these greatest of pleasures with other people. This is why I enjoy teaching Permaculture so much. Permaculture brings together into one set of systems thinking all different areas of study that I have enjoyed in my life. I continue to learn from our students who bring such a wealth of knowledge to the courses and from all the people I work with around Stroud.

With Tin Bath House I am grounded firmly on this little bit of Cotswold edge. It would never have fitted my idealistic vision of what my dream Permaculture project would look like, but it is simple and beautiful, grows lots of food and has unbelievable wildlife, so I feel very lucky. Tin bath House is a great place to learn about Permaculture and I enjoy sharing it with the PDC course students, and others who come to visit. Local groups including Stroud Permaculture group and the mini Woodcraft Folk (Woodchips) make regular visits here.

My degree is in Agricultural Science and I have a PGCE in Adult Continuing and Further Education. I took my PDC in 1999 at Naturewise in London. My work has been varied over the years, but with emphasis on teaching, environmental work and helping people discover easy ways to grow food in the community and at home.

See my video about growing carrots.

Seb Buckton

Seb Buckton - guest tutor.

Adrian Leaman - Guest Tutor

Emily Howgate

Emily Howgate

My first degree was in Ecology, and I love the appreciation of the inter-relation of life I gleaned from this. I’ve spent most of my career working in sustainability, in particular sustainable food, fisheries and marine conservation. I’m active across various scales of change, from community gardening projects to campaigning for plastic-free water, and activism with Extinction Rebellion. I’m increasingly energised by the practical and hopeful nature of applying Permaculture principles - in food growing, in communities, and in wider cultural emergence.

I complemented my PDC here in Stroud, in 2019, and have an Msc in Sustainability and Responsibility. Since discovering the word ‘Permaculture' in 2012 I’ve been inspired by some wonderful ‘Permie' leaders, including Maddy Harland, Looby MacNamara, and Helen Pitel. I’m currently training in Joanna Macy’s ‘work that reconnects' and appreciate the emotional strength this shares.

I moved to Stroud in 2019, and am enjoying bring Permaculture to life in my home, urban garden, allotment and life-work. I find things like the teaching of non-violent communication powerful, enjoy yoga and dog walks with my crazy pup, and relish dancing like no-one’s watching! Doing my PDC (taught by Helen) was a huge joy. I met wonderful people and feel it’s fuelling me onwards with bolder ideas and care - I hope I can share a little of that with other Permaculture participants. We’ll learn together.