Again we found ourselves in 40 degree heat amidst olive trees, lavendar and pennyroyal in the dusty heat of central Portugal. As the climax of my masters project in permaculture education, supported by a team of designers and consultants and with a few garden helpers I was to design and develop a planetary permaculture education site for the 30,000 festival participants from 80 countries. This learning environment and demonstration garden was to illustrate principles and techniques. Supported by a site map, plant book, bilingual magazine, sign sets in seven languages, newspaper and program, this living classroom hosting workshops and tours on permaculture and related topics for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
A lot of planning went into the temple gardens. For up to a year before hand plants suitable to the climate were raised in pots by Rosa, one of the main members of the garden team. I decided to bring in no dirt and use only the sandy dirt already on site. We did bring in pine bark mulch, river rock and sand from the local area. We focused on reusing as much stuff as possible from the junkyard of materials left over from the past year, particularly bamboo left over from the main temple. As the climax of my masters project, I intended to create a multi-funcational learning environment using different kinds of media and signs to create an accessible and self guided educational experience for people of all different ages, cultures and education levels.