This is my main residence in Catalonia, between the towns of El Perelló and L'Ametlla de Mar. The cistern I am building at the moment will hold in the capacity of something like 100,000 litres of water. On top of this will hopefully sit an temple raised above ground. The conception of the idea is already prevalent, outlined in my publications The Carob Pod: An Anthropological Guide to Permaculture, and Petriarchy: The Law of the Land, along with other spiritual writings from SLP's website. The 3 hectares lie amid a grove of olive trees from which I produce the bulk of my product "Bum Bum" Extra Virgin cold-pressed and ecological olive oil. The cistern sits in a carob field. I have already planted up cypress windbreaks if I hope to produce more fruit. The potential is for lemons and oranges, pomegranates, figs and other fruits. Likewise carob as a health food is an untapped marketable potential as well as honey and wax products. We also have a 50ft food tunnel with 3 raised beds along it. Surrounded by chicken, pig and rabbit farms as well as a host of private land plots that maintain ducks, geese, goats, and pigs, and with the adjacent dry river beds that hunters use for shooting game, the ideal is to create an holistic and mentoring approach towards land management.
There are a lot of unused plots within the landscape that year after year go untended and the crops of mainly carob, almond and olive gets wasted. Without due care the trees die or fail to produce for years on end. The opportunity is to buy more land or set up a cooperative to manage this potential. We also have another hectare of land for sale situated in a valley setting formerly of grapes but now overgrown with pine, rosemary, carob and olive trees. A land trust could extend indefinitely as a cooperative or collective of people to make use of abandoned plots with a view to restoration. This cannot be permitted on any other level other than to cultivate an augmented spiritual awareness of life. As a model for its implication effectively I would like to see a "Church" of no religious persuasion but only of spiritual cultivation. Members from all philosophical and religious backgrounds are welcomed to exchange ideas and implement their own projects in accordance with a consensus vote, whilst the structure and management of the collective remain in dynamic tension towards its further growth.
Media & Learning
The potential here is to develop a learning and retreat centre for exchange students. This is the vision, to cultivate spirituality outside mainstream culture that will further enhance lifestyles in preparation for a saner future. Much of my own understanding of life is being published, but South London Permaculture also wants to publish other materials from different authors. The purpose of this material is didactic, in that it needs to open the eyes of people who live in a disenchanted world disconnected in spirit. I have also set up a chat forum online whereby pesonal exposition regarding my philosophies can be discussed towards the creation of a network of like-minded individuals. Thus partnerships concerning the printing of books, journals, essays etc. are welcomed if it means that we can continue to operate as a not-for-profit organisation. A learning centre though is definitely a vision in which practical and artistic approaches will be encouraged as well as life skills, survivalism, cybernetics, fitness and health, permaculture design and implementation, philosophy and coming-to-knowledge, tourism and travel, rehabilitation, esoteric practice, and evolution. Again, like-minded partners, business and social, are invited here.
The developments here extend from the completed bike journey from Catalonia to The Gambia, where I was welcomed by The Ecotourism Society (ESG). They are a vibrant young group supported by the World Transition Trust (WTT). Piloting a project called EcoGambia my intention is to support various aspects of it, not least the initiating of a Pemaculture Resource Centre in the region of Serrekunda. I spent a month in their company looking at their main objectives. With a drive towards making The Gambia an eco-nation the philosophy of permaculture fitted into their ideals. As such, I will focus on using funds to establish the centre for the dissipation and practical application of permaculture throughout the country, developing a student and teacher base. I am available to teach linking with other sustainable projects in the area. Additionally I would like to establish an extensive cycle network over the years, and to facilitate market gardens in order to make the schemes self-financing through volunteer contributions. Meanwhile back here in Catalonia I will promote a volunteer and cultural exchange system, And finally, I would like to introduce alternative crops into Catalonia as a viable long-term project.