In this issue, we have reports from the PDC's in Broadbottom and at Bury. We also include a short piece about our trip to see Tom Collinge. (All reports by Angus Soutar).
The village of Broadbottom, tucked away by the River Etherow as it flows down from the Dark Peak, is proving to be a great location for our PDC. Nature is reclaiming much of the industrial past, while the well-built streets remain to pay tribute to the energy and industry of that period.
The course is progressing well and we are sharing the space with a group of talented people.
Our venue at the Broadbottom Community Centre is more modern than most of the buildings in the area, but it is good at keeping the cold weather at bay.
As winter comes to Manchester Road, the weather keeps us indoors, attempting to keep the heating bill down. (Could this be the forseeable future? Roll on springtime!) However, morale is high, we have winter cheer and much to discuss as Angus, Estelle and Krysia guide us in our responses to the "cost of living crisis".
Before the recent cold snap, however, the unseasonally warm autumn weather allowed us some comfortable time outdoors to explore the local (suburban) environment, its ecology and also the riverbank.
Angus was recently invited by Ella Wynne to be interviewed for a short video on local food. Ella produced the video, working with her team: Jacob Towner on camera, Liam Cunningham as interviewer, and Adam Elms as sound. Although this was and their first time filming a documentary, they were able to draw on the facilities from their media course at Blackburn College. Angus said from his previously experience that the whole project was handled very professionally and he is looking forward to seeing the results.
The production schedule included a site visit to see local food in action with sheep farmer Tom Collinge. Tom shows how sheep farming can integrate with a sustainable local food system, humane stock-keeping and soil improvement.
Tom graduated from our Chorley PDC in 2014. He featured in the promotional video series that Charlotte Dean produced for us while we were running the course at Chorley. It's not easy being a farmer at the moment and we have great respect for the way that Tom is conducting himself.
Saleema Imam Is still supporting the Burngreave Messanger - we hope to publish something from her soon.
Jakob Drew has collected another interesting project near where he lives in Czech.
Martine Drake has been in touch with more news about permaculture design in north London
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