There are a few different ways to navigate this site, use the pages listed to the right like this 'About' page for a guided trip, or click through the posts you like the sound of  to make your own journey. Read on to find out more about me and the site.

At the Agricultural Museum in Cairo.


My name is James Piers Taylor, I'm an Essex man by birth, a permaculturalist by training and inclination, you can see my Permaculture Designer's CV here. Sometime around 2004 I was unemployed and reading a lot, Thom Hartman's book Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight introduced me to peak oil and blew my mind apart. While I was looking for fragments to shore up my ruins with, I heard an interview with David Holmgren that introduced me to permaculture and helped me put my mind back together again.

In 2006 I did an intro to permaculture with Angie Polkey in Wales and decided it wasn't just some weirdo cult thing. I moved back to London the same year and did a Permaculture Design Course with Graham Burnett, Nicole Freris and Mark Warner of Naturewise and met a fine bunch of folk along the way, most of whom are still good friends. Some of us wouldn't stop hanging around and supported Naturewise courses for the next 5 years, slowly easing ourselves into teaching. I registered on the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, shortly after finishing my PDC, but spent years procrastinating about buckling down to it and did other things instead, like do a Masters degree, write a book, live on a boat, run away from Danish riot police and go the Middle East and back by ferry and train. By the time I got around to getting it together again, the Permaculture Association had changed the system and the cost had increased. With my partner also accrediting before the price hike (and in some style with brilliant designs) I decided it was time to apply some self-regulation, accept feedback and get on with the bloody thing.

You can follow me on Twitter where I am @LondonPrmcultr

What is the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design?

" The Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design is internationally recognised as the next step for people who have done a Permaculture Design Course. The Diploma formally recognises and accredits a persons permaculture practice. The Diploma is not a taught course like the Permaculture Design Course, it is a scheme for supporting an extended period of self-directed learning. It is based around the projects and activities that you are involved in and that you set yourself. You plan and carry out your own course of self-managed study, taking on projects of your own choosing and carrying out the permaculture design process with these projects. You document your work and put it together in a portfolio. This work is assessed by diploma holders and accredited by the Permaculture Association."

This website documents my ongoing Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and the design work contributing to it, acting as an electronic version of my portfolio.

Why "Praxis: Bold as Love"?

While studying Human Ecology at the Centre for Human Ecology/University of Strathclyde, I read Paulo Friere's classic The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Friere defines Praxis as "reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it."It seems to fit well with a Permaculture approach and with action learning.  I have learnt that its also key to the vision of Gaia University, where their approach "emphasizes a balanced flow of action and theory – learning by doing merged with learning by thinking". I felt the need to emphasise this in my own diploma because I have had a tendency in the past to stay in the theory side and not act. Putting Praxis in the title is a provocative statement to myself to live up to my beliefs. Why - bold as love?, well in the face of the troubles we are facing it needs to be. Also I ripped it off the title of a track by the band Consolidated, itself a reworking of course of the title of The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second studio album Axis: Bold as Love. For the record I think the title of the Consolidated song is better than the track itself and I prefer The Experience.

"Man must prove the truth, i.e. the reality and power, the this-sideness of his thinking in practice.... All social life is essentially practical. All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism, find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.... 

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it."

(Marx 1845 Theses on Feurbach: II, VII, XI)

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