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To strengthen permaculture design skills Aleksandra has applied for a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design with Nordic Permaculture Academy. This process is based on self-managed planning, work and learning. As a result, a Diploma Portfolio of minimum 10 Designs should demonstrate proficiency in Permaculture design and a thorough understanding of the Permaculture ethics and design principles.

Becoming permaculture teacher

This design is about the journey of becoming a permaculture teacher. Self-analysis, sophistication of knowledge and skills, practice and personal growth.

Spanish slugs are probably the most hated pest animal in Denmark. They’ve given so many gardeners the urge to pull out their own hair. Now and then (depending on the year) you can come across photos on social media of buckets with hundreds and thousands of slugs collected from the garden. There are numerous methods from more humane to less humane for getting rid of them. 
I first got acquainted with them when we were on vacation in Denmark (at that time we were living in Ukraine). We stayed in a summerhouse with a small garden. The weather was cold, windy and rainy and we were not spending much time outside. One day I was out in the garden and there they were. Frankly, back then I didn’t know it was them. I remember wondering what these big brown things are, lying around. That cannot be dog pooh, can it?
I encountered the slugs for real, once we bought a house and moved to Denmark. Our house is nearby a creek and some bewildered areas, so there were plenty of them. I always loved gardening, growing own herbs and veggies. I was disgusted and frustrated. You couldn’t walk barefoot in the grass, they were everywhere. The parsley, the leeks, the squash, everything was eaten or covered in slime. Keeping them under control was endless (and, frankly, disgusting)work. 
Some years later, I noticed that my two-year-old son was quite fond of them. He liked watching them and even asked if he can pet them. PET?! That gave the book its’ ending. Well, almost. I must say that for a long time I was not entirely satisfied or convinced. Is that what I have to offer, this idea of kind of giving up? Luckily, a few years later my permaculture journey started, and I realized that this is not about giving up, but about “accepting every life form as valuable, no matter how inconvenient they are to us or to other life forms that we value” (D. Holmgren). It is about having a cold mind and not jumping into rash decisions. It is about “the problem being the solution”.

Children’s Book

This design is about publishing a book. About writing and illustrating, formatting and selling, starting a company and fulfilling a dream. But it’s also about realizing own potential, sophistication of skills, creating cultural capital, popularization of permaculture, establishing alternative sources of income, acquiring new skills and knowledge and learning to reach out for help to people around me.

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Forest Garden

Designing the first forest garden of your own is a thrilling experience. Getting to plan the plant guilds, the different layers from ground covers to climbers and watch it grow significantly in just a few years is a wonderful adventure. This project is about transforming 100m2 of lawn into a small forest garden that can sustain a family of five with perennial vegetables and berries.

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Fruit Orchard

In this design, 560 m2 of lawn are used to establish a permaculture fruit orchard, focusing on fruit and berry production, and biodiversity. A small mini-kiwi orchard is planned as a try-out for potential future business endeavor. Big focus on variety of herbaceous flowering ground covers as a means to attract more varied insect life.

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Homestead design

Making a design for your entire homestead is an exciting but a highly responsible task. Luckily, there is an abundance of design tools and methods that help steer your way from defining your wishes and needs for the place, through gathering relevant data, processing it and making decisions and to implementation place. I firmly believe that the overall long-term success of the design depends on how thoroughly the observation and analysis phases were executed. This design is about defining which systems we need, where they shall be placed and how they shall interact with each other and in a sustainable manner.

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