Forest Garden for Busoga High



Field trip to Busoga 2016

Connie is the English Literature teacher at Busoga high and last year Grace from Sector39 caught her for a few minutes during the S39 PDC at nearby Kamuli, to talk about the girls she supports at the school. They are developing a school garden within the campus to generate small incomes to provide for essentials for the girls. I love the idea of a school empowering its pupils to generate money towards fees, books and accommodation and we hope to celebrate and promote this kind of partnership through our teaching work. 


When Raymond Orenda from Homa Bay permaculture Kenya contacted us about contributing to the next Kamuli PDC in May 2017 and offered a forest garden workshop, it wasn’t hard for us to put 2 and 2 together. Can we develop an output from the PDC that is an input into Connie’s essential work at Busoga.


Raymond celebrates the next stage completion of their project base in Homa Bay

Obviously on a busy PDC schedule time and resources can be limited but we can certainly set something in motion here that could be start of a longer term project for Busoga high and that could serve as an inspiration to school around the globe.

The idea of a school releasing some grounds so students can begin small enterprises that meet both their own and the wider communities needs, creates a powerful change in the relationship between school and the pupils.

Sector39 have been at the forefront of permaculture in the UK since its inception in 2005 and bases its teaching work on the 25 years of project and educational experience.

wales/ ugan

English teacher Connie from Busoga High with Han Rees from Llanfyllin In Kamuli last year

We are based in Mid Wales but have strong links across the UK and with permaculture in Uganda, where we have been invited to take an active role in the development of the Permaculture Research Institute of Uganda. Our second African PDC is intended to build on the achievements of partnership visits in 2011, 2014 and 2016, where significant contacts and networks have already been established.

African PDC’s. These are open to both local and international participants and especially suit farmers, teachers and project planners from East Africa and NGO staff and trainers planning to work in the region

pdc ads 2017

Next PDC courses: Wales and Uganda May & June 2017

We hope sector39 can bring the right people together in May/ June to advance this project and to develop it as a powerful example of collaboration between projects.



Permaculture courses

Much is planned for the coming year, kicking off with a 6 weekend PDC at RISC Reading. Sector39, our teaching partnership began from work done in 2002-5 in Reading at RISC, on the roof garden and in Wales at Chickenshack housing co-op from 1995. These two project gave us experience and insight enough to begin teaching our selves. So it is perfect to be back in Reading at the end of this month to offer a full PDC at RISC and in the garden

Permaculture course advert RISC 2017

Sector39 are also planning to offer full residential camping course in Mid Wales in the village of Llanrhaeadr, home to Dragons Co-operative.

Permaculture design courses for 2017 from Sector39

Bamboo is an essential componant of any multi-functional tropical permaculture system

We were extremely lucky to have Andrew, an ex journalist and great communicator who is now developing a new careeer as a bamboo expert and nurseryman. On the recent 2 week course he presented this excellent lecture on the subject. Forgive all the background noises, the narrative is compelling as he develops his main indeas.

I am am keen to publish as many oututs of the PDC as possible, to create a resource for students present and future. These are early attempts at creating new accessible permaculture teaching resources from very limited means.

The image is from permaculture Timor Leste manual for tropical permaculture, which was a major inspiration for us on this course.

Sector39 return to RISC in Reading next spring

Introduction to permaculture design

19-Mar-2016 9:00 AM – 20-Mar-2016 5:00 PM

Location: Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC)

Before we can “save the world” we have to save ourselves. Well we have to at least start with ourselves because that is the part of the universe we have the greatest control and influence over!

Led by Steve Jones from Sector 39, these 2 days, at RISC are designed to be the start of your permaculture journey. Packed with information, new ideas and rich with opportunity to develop your own thinking and personal goals.

This 2 day event is part of a build up to a full Permaculture Design Course in Reading commencing January 2017(6 full weekends at RISC and one optional extra weekend/ field trip to Mid Wales)

Advance booking is essential for this event, min one month.  For more information including how to book, go to

Sector39 is led by Steve Jones supported by a network of permaculture tutors, practitioners, artisans, community growers and activists. Together we have been working with permaculture designing landscapes, running educational courses and developing projects since 1995.

Sector39 is based in Mid Wales UK.

New courses, dates and venues

We are busy putting together our programme of events and courses, with more details to come. Now we are settling into our new home at Dragons Co-operative we have the chance to plan a bit further ahead. Dates for PDC’s in Llanrhaeadr, Uganda, Reading and Llanidloes, with more in the pipeline. A 2 day full introduction to permaculture at RISC in Reading and tbc a series of specialist events, including raw chocolate making, mushroom foraging and the secrets of biochar.

All our events and booking details are on the sister site

pdc course link image

Click banner to see latest course dates and booking details

Updates from the Permaculture front line

It has been a hectic three months , hardly had time to touch the ground. Am working on the next edition of the podcast at the moment, but also away in Cardiff and Swansea for a long weekend, so more when I get back.

We have moved successfully in to the new housing co-op, still feels like there is lots to do but it is great to have fully moved across the road and now be ensconced in the new place. Since we started the PDC in June I have been at Glastonbury festival for 8 days, followed by the Workhouse party, where I joined the cooking crew to make curry for 120 people, which was lots of fun.

A serene corner amongst the mayhem of Glastonbury festival

A serene corner amongst the mayhem of Glastonbury festival

We are now planning for a September PDC in LLanrhaeadr, and we hope to reach out to the local community with that and try and kick start a much more focussed dialogue about transition and resilience for our community here.

I have also been working on my publicity as well as doing talks and outreach, at Llangollen at the Concious tribal gathering, which was interesting and where me made lots of new friends.

I placed a piece in the local newsletter about the new co-op launch in the belief that it is always better to be open and inclusive in our plans so that other wise people dont have to second guess what you are up to. SO far the new venture has been well received and we are excited to be anticipating opening up the shop as soon as we can and start welcoming people inside.


PDC presentation: One Planet Living, by Bruce, Conor & Ieva

The following presentation was a final design exercise on our recent PDC in Llanidloes. See what happens when you put a soil expert with a small scale renewable energy systems guy and then put a sensitive yet bold Lithuanian woman in the middle.

This was a truly fantastic presentation, realising the enormous potential of local site, picked out as one planet living, self build, 6 acre plot. The client, Simon had been fully consulted by the team, and indeed he had himself completed the PDC with Sector39 at the same venue last year.

I suggest you play the audio (its 67 minutes long) but well worth listening to, and scroll through the photos and video to illustrate the design ideas. Shame we were not able to film it, but I hope the audio and pictures do it justice. Annoyingly I was timing the presentation with my phone, so there are clicks and pops of interference, I have taken loads out and cleaned it up a lot, sorry it is not perfect, but time didn’t allow any more.


The client interview

The client interview

The client interview was recorded as we had limited transport available so one of the design team was unable to attend, they turned this limitation to an advantage with their design process.

The field

The field

Its a six acre field so it hard to catch in one shot, but with vale of Kerry before you, it is a stunning location, and all looking south. The Client’s vision is too think about three generations of family establishing an abundant, bio-diverse food and energy system, based on natural inputs only. They imagine a roundhouse of straw and clay, and the ability to meet most of their own needs from the land whilst generating a small surplus for trade and community.

The Site, is not owned nor is there planning permission, so on one level this is purely an academic exercise, although the client fully intends to develop something t these specifications on a site similar if not exactly this one.

The design team worked really well as a team and also drew heavily on their own individual strengths and depth of knowledge. With their permission of course, I plan to use this as a teaching resource as it is such an excellent presentation in many ways, not least as it present holistic, wonderfully interconnected and longer term vision for the potential of this site and client family might be able to achieve. Being able to visualise and communicate  vision of a sustainable future is a truly wonderful thing in the troubled times .



Larger version of the design map

Larger version of the design map, click to explore

Zone one area map

Zone one area map



We are live on Crowdfunder


Live on Crowdfunder, from today, please support us!

Please consider supporting Permaculture Education, we are aiming to raise £600 via Crowdfunding to support low income students on our June PDC. We specifically want to help Ollie Boon and Stephanie Jackson of the Roots project to be part of our next course, they are just back from 4 years in the Amazon and launching their own Roots project.
the ideas, concepts and networking provided by permaculture design education will be the perfect support they need to advance their project ambitions and here at Sector39 we think this is the best way we can link with projects such as this one.

There is more info here and payment links.

Many thanks in advanc,e any help is much appreciated!

Lacto fermentation workshop at RISC, 7 March 2015 3-5 pm

This 2 hour, lively and fun, practically based workshop will be led by Annie Levy who writes this blog.

lactofermentation workshop

lactofermentation workshop

Annie has a great enthusiasm and insight into the subject of food preservation using biological methods. What starts as sauerkraut opens up a whole new world of possibilities, sour dough, kombucha and so much more. It is workshop that has the potential to change your relationship with food forever as you start to see it as something alive, biological and with many more potentials for flavour, nutrition and preservation.

We are offering this session as part of the 6 part Permaculture design Course we are currently running at RISC and thought it would be an ideal opportunity to open it up to outside parties to make the most out of having Annie here from her home in Wales and to broaden the groups and the discussions we are having around the course and the issues it raises.

It will run from 3-5 on Saturday March 7th at RISC in the conference facility there. Ideally contact me in advance so we can manage numbers.