Common Soil

Capacity Building @ Ridgedale Permaculture – Part 1

Dear Friends,

Finally! An update from our little Common Soil team as we take our first steps in deeply exploring some of the methods we hope to practice on our Common Soil Campus, in the near future. We are so grateful for all the support that we have received making it possible for us to participate in this incredible internship offered by Ridgedale Permaculture in Sweden. We were so often left speechless by the generosity.

Our home at Ridgedale

Our home at Ridgedale

After successfully making our crowdfunding campaign receiving a grant from the Iona Stichting, we prepared avidly for some weeks. We borrowed a 1979 Mercedes Camper van, packed our things and headed north. Now we are just wrapping up the Permaculture Design Course, which Pieter has been taking, as Nakyta has already completed this training.

While the wet and cold weather has been testing our resolve to pursue a life of working outdoors, the spirits of the group have remained high and optimistic at every glimpse of blue sky. Now some of the group have left and we remain together with 10 other interns and some core team members of Ridgedale.

As interns we are partaking in all the daily aspects of running Ridgedale, from moving the mobile egg mobile (what is an egg-mobile?), cattle and sheep in rotational grazing patterns to preparing new pens for the broiler chickens, and learning lots as we go along. Pieter has been working together with some of the other interns to make the wheels of the egg-mobile stronger and more robust, reusing parts from old cars.

While we are trying to share what we are doing, we have come to find the little moments between all the activity are filled with lots more little tasks and learnings, which naturally have taken priority.

You can follow daily updates from the farm at

Short summary of the Permaculture Design Course

In 72+ hours we were introduced to Land Design Processes including Sector Analysis, Keyline Design, Land Surveying and Design Stages. We learned about various frameworks of understanding, including the Yeomans Scale of Permanence and Holistic Management. We looked at Forest Ecology and Forest Gardening, Fungi, Rainwater Harvesting, Carbon Management & Biochar, Perennial plants, Soils, Composting, Garden strategies, Seed Saving, Natural Building and much more. All the the theoretical sessions were embedded in daily farm work in the gardens and on pastures with chickens, sheep & cows.

Photos (by Clara Cortadelles)

Ridgedale Permaculture Core Team member Clara has a real talent for photography and some of her collection are published here so you can get an impression of our time here:

Thank you!

Our participation in this internship was made possible by many generous supporters, some of which we hereby would like to recognise publicly for their contributions:

Alexis Therrien Lyra Skusa
Ilja van Lammeren Matisse van Damme
Jansstraat 33 Matthew & Ediane
Jonathan Ploeg Matthew Orchover
Katie Stubley Olga Bloemen
Kim Koster Pernilla Fogelqvist
Louisa Mittmann the Hummingbird Project