A festival is a funny thing. A celebration, an escape, an alternative, a way of life. Many things rolled up into a musically charged programme of fun, frolics and serious chats. Often in a field.
What struck me about the Green Gathering was its commitment. Appropriately billed as a 'gathering', and free from the dictates of advertising, the Green Gathering felt like a genuine attempt at saying, "Oi! Another world is possible and look-y right here!".
Permaculture means many things to many people. This is part of the genius of a systems approach to life rooted in an ethical framework that encompasses many ideas and skills not unique to it. As a design system what Permaculture brings, in Patrick Whitefield’s words, “[is] the element of design, a way of putting components together for their maximum benefit.”
From its roots at Lower Pertwood Farm in the late 1990s, the permaculture area at the Green Gathering (formerly Big Green Gathering) has always sought out and linked permaculture practitioners in the UK and beyond.
Our original gardens were designed by Patrick Whitefield, Ken Fern (Plants for a Future), Helen and Jim Morris-Ridout (Copper Beech designs), and Tammi Dallaston (Made in Mach), and tended by many many volunteers over the years. Since the festival moved to Somerset, and latterly Chepstow, the permaculture area has relied on temporary displays, engaging speakers and a diversity of practical workshops.