Permaculture Scotland gathering

More than 120 people came to Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway for the Permaculture Scotland gathering on the first weekend in July.  The venue – The Hidden Mill – lived up to its name as I drove around for 2.5 hours within 15 minutes of it.  Whoops!  Big thanks to the kind Council worker who said “Follow me!”, led me down the right byways and pointed me in the final direction.

Once at the venue, it was great to be part of a vibrant gathering.  People came and went throughout the weekend, so the total number attending was possibly as high as 150.  Here’s the Saturday morning circle in front of the big tent that was our kitchen and dining area.

I was pretty impressed with the creativity of these composting toilets… what a clever design to merge walls and roof.  Eye-catching but also structurally smart because we all know how strong a triangle is, right?

There were workshops talks but also some practicals, like this outdoor class on peg loom weaving.

or this one on using cool old handsaws.  If you’ve got one of these pinned to a wall as a decoration, maybe it’s time to clean it up and sharpen it?

The food was fabulous and somehow most people found a seat (aka log).  It was byo plate, bowl, cup & cutlery so that made things simple for the caterers.

although they did sometimes need some big spoons of their own…

Graham Bell discussing 30 years of green living.

and here’s the mill pond, being as still as a mill pond, as the saying suggests it should…

The weather was gorgeous all weekend with lovely sunny afternoons and evenings.  One thing I wasn’t prepared for was how long the days are in mid-Summer in Scotland.  Because we were 20 degrees of latitude closer to the poles than I am used to, my sense of evening time was completely out of whack.  On Saturday night, I looked at the evening sky which was just starting to darken and thought it was about 9 o’clock.  I asked someone what the time was…. 11.30pm!