Can Comú

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Can Comú: A Family-Oriented Permaculture and “Active Education” Project

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This project has been supported by a grant from the foundation Terre Humaine 

Can Comú is a holistic educational project where collective learning leads us towards regenerating the landscape and rebuilding the relationships between ourselves and the environment around us.

We founded Can Comú on the principles and ethics of permaculture, and the inspiration provided by active education (“educación viva” in Spanish).

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centred around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.

Permaculture is experiencing a tremendous growth across the world, yet there is a lack of places where families can go to take Permaculture Design Courses (PDCs), as well as other courses, together. Another missing element which inhibits the spread of permaculture is the lack of learning sites where people – especially families – can practice what they learned in PDCs. Can Comú will host family-friendly permaculture courses and Post-PDC practical trainings.

Active education focuses on the learning processes of children who have freedom to learn according to their own interests and necessities…within clear limits. The children are accompanied by adults with respect and unconditional love, as free of judgment and prejudice as possible.

We believe that in our society there is a lack of inter-generational initiatives where families can learn about nature together, instead of having the children separated from the parents. We also see a need for a place in this region of Catalunya where working parents can leave their children in a safe and caring natural environment. Can Comú will offer various options to address these needs.

The Site

We have just purchased a property in Catalunya in a natural park (Parque Montnegre i el Corredor) that will make an excellent site for this project. Located less than two hours north of Barcelona by public transport, the property has about 35 mature fruit and nut trees and rich soil that have never been treated with chemicals. Our goal is to create a highly self-sufficient “closed loop” system: the vast majority of our food, water and energy will be produced/captured on site, and our “wastes” (which in permaculture we treat as resources) will be recycled/reused here as well.

Vision

Can Comú is a family-oriented creative learning space developed for the common good, taking care of both people and nature.

Mission

Our mission is to create a permaculture demonstration site where families can learn about organic farming, nature, water management, solar energy, natural building, the impact of their ecological footprint, and “people care” (the second ethic of permaculture). By hosting people from both Spain and abroad, we help to build local and international networks.

Can Comú will offer diverse learning opportunities, including:

Organic Agriculture

The project will demonstrate different ways to grow food such as permaculture gardens, forest gardens, Aquaponics, the Gaspar Caballero method, alley cropping (fruit and nut trees), square foot gardening, mushroom cultivation, chicken and duck rotations, and vertical gardens. All organic waste will be utilised for composting and generating soil.

Family-friendly Permaculture Courses and Post-PDC Practical Trainings

We will organise different courses and formats to meet the needs of all kinds of people (working and unemployed, families and individuals, etc.). Our priority is to offer affordable learning opportunities: people from outside of the area can camp, and locals can come for daily activities; possibilities of collective cooking, childcare, and task-making; and work exchange options, all of which can help to reduce course costs.

Family for the Day

In Spain there is a practice called “Madre de día”, where working parents leave their children with a woman who will be their “Mother for the day” instead of leaving them in a formal school environment. For Can Comú, we developed the more holistic concept of “Family for the day” which includes not just a mother figure but also a father figure, as well as a farm with its various components (eco-house, trees, plants, animals, etc.)…we are a family that opens our farm to other children to learn and grow in a holistic environment.

Workshops and courses

Can Comú will offer workshops and courses for people of all ages in permaculture, art and personal growth in order support our collective evolution and be prepared for new paradigms that will arise.

The Labyrinth

On the farm we will create a maze designed for the exploration and discovery of ecology and agriculture through art and creativity. Our idea is to create a space where families can be with their children and/or other families, learning together in direct contact with nature.

 

For Whom Is This Project Created?

Who are we?

Alfred Decker and Daniella Querol are a family who work as facilitators in courses, as well as collaborate with the local associations of our coastal mountain zone.

 

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