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Growth and Abundance Perm Design

*****New sites needed for Spring 2024*****

We have an exciting opportunity for any projects/people who grow, and would benefit from knowing how to improve the productivity and vitality of the land.

Shift Bristol are on the lookout for sites to base our ‘Growth & Abundance’ design projects, as part of our Practical Sustainability Course - Happening on the 2nd & 7th May.

The aim of the design project is for students to observe and assess the current growing activity on site and then create an action plan/design of suggested improvements in line with the aims of your project. These may include methods for;

* Improving the health, fertility and structure of your soil and growing mediums.

* Alternative growing methods that will reduce the need for human interaction, and materials/resources being brought from outside the system.

* Alternative growing techniques that will protect the soil health, maximise your growing areas

* Additional ways of increasing productivty and income generation; utilising what is freely/cheaply available from the land.

Students will then share their observations and suggested improvements with you; either by inviting you to the presentation day on 8th May, or with a follow up email/meeting. 

The caveat: Previous stakeholders who have volunteered their sites and time, regularly feedback that it has been an insightful and worthwhile exchange having the students work with them. This being said these design projects are organised as a learning opportunity for the students, and we cannot guarantee the end results of their efforts. Their design projects are reviewed by permaculture and regenerative agriculture tutor Caroline Aitken during the presentation day, and her recommendations will also be passed onto stakeholders.  

Site Criteria

* The land is an appropriate size; minimum is a large allotment, maximum is a smallholding of no more than 5 acres.

* Some, or most of the land is used for cultivation (herbs, vegetables, fruits, flowers etc). 

* Your productivity systems need improvement (e.g. you would like to grow more of the same, or have more diversity in what you produce).

* Not essential, but an additional learning bonus, the land also supports activities that is for community benefit.

What we need from you and your site: 

* A student group of up to five students, will need access to your site on 2nd & 7th May; between the hours of 9.30-3.30.

* Students will need to take soil samples from a handful of spots on site, to assess soil texture/health. This will leave minimal disruption to the land.

* Your time to meet with our students to conduct a stakeholder interview to find out about the aims of your project, insight into the use of the site at different times of year, and any limiting factors that they will need to take into consideration (budget, skills, labour etc).

* An area (preferably covered) for students to huddle and work on the project together in comfort.

* Access to a toilet. 

Things to note:

* We offer a selection of sites for our students to pick from. Sometimes there are more sites than design groups available, and therefore we can’t guarantee if you put your site forward you will be chosen. 

* We prioritise sites that have a community benefit over land that is used to grow for private benefit only. 

* We will let you know whether your site has been chosen or not on the 25th April. 

Offering your site:

Please email with the following details;

* Name of project

* Name of main contact

* Contact details of main contact

* Location/Address

* A brief description of how your land is used and your wider aims 

* Any questions you may have.

We really look forward to hearing from you!