The Food Forest is a permaculture farm producing 160 varieties of organically certified food; it is a busy centre for people interested in learning skills for a sustainable way of life through short courses and it is the base for a consultancy service specialising in the design of ecologically sustainable properties.
The Food Forest is being developed by Annemarie and Graham Brookman and their children Tom and Nikki, to demonstrate how an ordinary family, with a typical Australian income can grow its own food and create a productive and diverse landscape.
The upcoming Los Angeles Arboretum Permaculture Design Course will be the first ever taught there. Flyer Credit: Caitlin Bergman
Course dates are 8 Saturdays, Oct 2 – Nov20, and & 1 Sunday, Nov 21. The first 8 days of the course will be held in the facilities and on the grounds of the Los Angeles Arboretum, and the final day of the course will be held at the Los Angeles Eco-Village.
Because the traditional PDC format does not optimally serve student availability and future needs, we have modified the PDC format in numerous ways, among them:
we scheduled it for weekend days only, so working Americans don’t have to devote their entire annual vacation to it;
we infuse community-building throughout the course, rather than the usual nod it gets on the final day;
we incorporate daily hands-on exercises to reinforce the intellectual experience with the skills students require;
we follow Dave Jacke’s cyclical structure, in acknowledgement that circadian rhythms delimit learning dynamics;
we introduce topics with scientific rigor (including references to the scientific literature);
we utilize a guest-teacher/speaker-series format to augment our expertise on numerous topics.
There are some amazing folks signed up for our course; we’re excited and honored to be able to empower the next generation of the Los Angeles Permaculture scene! The course is nearly at capacity, because we’ve capped enrollment to keep the student/instructor ratio low, so if you want to join our crew, call or email today! Jill.Berry@Arboretum.org 626.821.4624
An in depth video of a ride on the worlds first SHWEEB in Rotorua, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Agroventures is 10mins north of Rotorua city and is the one stop shop for adventure seekers, with the AGROJET — New Zealand’s Fastest Jet Boat Experience.
FREEFALL EXTREME – Experience the thrill of body flying; this is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. SWOOP & BUNGY and now the SHWEEB.
Song is ‘Run’ by a great New Zealand band, Pacifier / Shihad.
Design thinking is a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result. It is the essential ability to combine empathy, creativity and rationality to meet user needs and drive business success. Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking is a creative process based around the “building up” of ideas. There are no judgments early on in design thinking. This eliminates the fear of failure and encourages maximum input and participation in the ideation and prototype phases. Outside the box thinking is encouraged in these earlier processes since this can often lead to creative solutions. In organization and management theory, design thinking forms part of the A/D/A (Architecture/Design/Anthropology) paradigm, which characterizes innovative, human-centered enterprises. This management paradigm focuses on a collaborative and iterative style of work and an abductive mode of thinking, compared to the more traditional practices associated with the traditional M/E/P (Mathematics/Economics/Psychology) management paradigm. 
Not so long ago, Tim Brown recounts, designers belonged to a “priesthood.” Given an assignment, a designer would disappear into a back room, “bring the result out under a black sheet and present it to the client.” Brown and his colleagues at IDEO, the company that brought us the first Apple Macintosh mouse, couldn’t have traveled farther from this notion.
At IDEO, a “design thinker” must not only be intensely collaborative, but “empathic, as well as have a craft to making things real in the world.” Since design flavors virtually all of our experiences, from products to services to spaces, a design thinker must explore a “landscape of innovation” that has to do with people, their needs, technology and business. Brown dips into three central “buckets” in the process of creating a new design: inspiration, ideation and implementation.
Design thinkers must set out like anthropologists or psychologists, investigating how people experience the world emotionally and cognitively. While designing a new hospital, IDEO staff stretched out on a gurney to see what the emergency room experience felt like. “You see 20 minutes of ceiling tiles,” says Brown, and realize the “most important thing is telling people what’s going on.” In a completely different venue, IDEO visited a NASCAR pit crew to come up with a more effective design for operating theaters.
After inspiration comes “building to think:” often a hundred prototypes created quickly, both to test the design and to create stakeholders in the process. Says Brown, “So many good ideas fail to make it out to market because they couldn’t navigate through the system.” IDEO counts on storytelling to develop and express its ideas, and to buy key players into the concept. Finally, IDEO relies on constantly refreshing its sources of inspiration by bringing in bold thinkers to campus, and increasingly, focusing on socially oriented design problems.