Daniel has been synthesising his creative approach to permaculture by developing his 1ha farm Pacówka for the past 3 years. Previously he was involved with the educational network of natural building of Poland. A community-building 'lion' and a powerful ox in enterprising innovative grassroots projects and connections. A man of wide horizons and many passions who engages reality on its manifold levels and depths – from experimental farm design to visions for a transformation of the local food system. Trained as a pedagogist, masseuse and a yoga teacher he plasters, juggles and cuts goats' hooves.
PACÓWKA – DANIEL’S FARM DESCRIPTION
HOW DID I LEARN FOOD-GROWING?
Discussion – First advices gave me my friend to whom i helped built his house. He’s a very skilled polish organic farmer. All the time I chat with plenty of friends who also grow food with whom we share our knowledge, successes and errors
Books – my favorite is The Market Gardener, but i also like Curtus Stone and Richard Perkins style of organizing farm bow.
Youtube – many, many channels but the person who made the biggest impression on me was dr Elaine Ingham
Practice, practice, practice
I like the idea that process of learning is an expression of our inner needs and not just a way to gather more competences. Existence is an amazing process that will never gonna be understood, but our efforts to do so are worth living.
HOW DID I START TEACHING FOOD-GROWING TO OTHERS?
I’ve been running my small farm for four years now. For three years it was a part time job (I had to take care of my disabled father also). During this time i had many occasions to teach people who just came to see what and how i’m doing on my farm. I also hosted quite a lot of volontiers.
Two years ago I was invited on one meeting of highschool teenagers. It was organized by Montessori school for youth with home education. They are meeting every 2 weeks with a tutor to explore things they are interested at. Sometimes they invite interesting people to tell about their passions and life achievements. I had the privilege to be one of them. Teens liked my lecture/discussion so much that the principal of the school invited me to give lecture to children from four biggest cities in poland. Youth were so enthusiastic after this event that i had another invitation to talk to parents from that school and later we organized also workshops on my farm.
Process of sharing knowledge was always quite natural to me. I like to talk and people like to listen and talk with me. I think I’m just very passionate about what I’m doing and I like to talk about it. I also like to show how I’m doing different things and to explain why I’m doing them.
WHAT CAN I TEACH?
Planning an efficient micro farm
Building efficient chicken coop
Vegetables growing with Market Garden system
Soil food web
I have a master degree in pedagogy with Life Long Learning specialization. As a man with many passions i liked the idea of constant developement (I just can’t imagine other kind of life). I’m always thirsty for new inspirations. I like the idea that process of learning is an expression of our inner needs and not just a way to gather more competences. Existence is an amazing process that will never gonna be understood, but our efforts to do so are worth living.
WHY DO WE NEED MORE FOOD-GROWING EDUCATION?
WHAT CAN THIS EDUCATION HELP US TO ADDRESS IN TODAY’S WORLD?
I think that it is important on many levels, depending on what the future will be. I can see three main scenarios (they are overlapping and have many layers but i can see those as the main possibilities).
Growing food and building shelter are two most fundamental human activities. By rediscovering our food production and making it more nested in cycles of nature, we are creating new form of human interaction with life on our planet. By teaching food growing skills we could inbuence some positive change by revealing deeper layers of truth. I think that most of our mistakes comes from lack of knowledge and from laziness. If people would be more aware what kind of consequences their decision have and they would be shown what they can do to satisfy their needs in more regenerative ways most of them would change their behaviour.
When I explained TO teenagers how the plants really feed themselves by going into interaction with vast variety of soil life and how this deeper understanding of this process change our idea of farming they were amazed. I think that truth which comes from dipper understanding of natural processes have a great strength.
The attempt of controlling global situation with blindfold centralization of power will strengthen the opposit powers of entropy and the old order will collapse. This will create period of chaos from which the new order will arise. Food-growing skills are essential during this times.
If corporations will be able to transform our world without creating a bigger chaos or build a grip on the world after it then food-growing skills are gonna be essential to create an alternative pockets of sanity all around the world and from them ^ght it or transform the madness of linear mind.
Nothing really change. We will continue our existence on this planet in the same devastating way by ^nding another tricks not to address the real problems. In this case we would need food growing skills to keep our mental health balanced. Horticultural and animal-assisted therapy could take place on the farm and could be as popular as shinrin-yoku and natural movement with some extra food value added to therapeutic bene^ts.