Lusi Alderslowe is a sole-trader social enterprise. The social enterprise is designed based upon the permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. The heavily discounted places available on our permaculture courses enables people on a very low income to learn about permaculture for the benefit of the people and the planet.
Lusi was interviewed about her work as a permaculture practitioner, this is written up as a case study on the KEEP website.
As an international permaculture practitioner, teacher and diploma tutor, Lusi has students and apprentices around Europe.
A bit of background – having travelled widely and completed an MSc in Human Ecology, she lived in Glasgow from 2004 to 2012. There she studied her first PDC (Permaculture Design Course), Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and Training of Permaculture Teachers, as well as home educating her two children, and working for Bodhi Eco-Project and Urban Roots. In 2006 she co-founded an outdoor children and parents’ play-group called ‘Nurture in Nature’, for her wee eco bairns Robin and Luis which became one of her Permaculture Diploma designs. The other 9 diploma designs included one of a Housing Association Children’s Garden in an area of multiple deprivation where she worked for 2 years, and teaching permaculture which she has been doing since 2009.
In 2012, Lusi and her family moved to Gatehouse-of-Fleet in Galloway, SW Scotland, where she continues to engage both children and adults in permaculture. Lusi completed the Forest School Leader/ Level 3 training with Lily Horseman in 2013, and co-founded an after school group called Forest Fun, through which she has played with children in the forest every week for 5.5 years, and led a ‘summer camp’ for a week for 6 years. Lusi was also involved with the Family Fun Permaculture Adventure at the beautiful Anam Cara which was 4 days of action-packed learning and playing!
In the local school, Gatehouse Primary, Lusi has worked on numerous projects to improve the school grounds including creating a biodiverse, sensory Peace Garden, building an outdoor classroom, polytunnel, den-building area, planting a food forest, signage and more. The children are enthusiastic, learning lots and getting a beautiful space made (more information on the school website).
Since 2014, Lusi has been coordinating the international ‘Children in Permaculture’ project for the Permaculture Association (Britain) which is an Erasmus+ funded, sociocratically organised European project. In the process, Lusi was a key team member who wrote case studies, curriculum, session plans, hundreds of activities and a book about engaging children in permaculture. You can read it for free online, or purchase a book here.
Lusi is involved in various organisations locally and nationally, including being a member of the Permaculture Scotland Working Group of the Permaculture Association, and the Gatehouse Development Initiative.
Lusi cooks, forages, gardens, plays with her kids, surveys badgers, cycles a lot, walks more, organises numerous events, travels by train and bus, and loves our abundant and beautiful Earth. She has a fun, informative, participatory teaching style with lots of diversity.
Lusi is on the certifying teachers register to award Permaculture Association Permaculture Design Course certificates.
Previous projects have included:
Peace Garden in Twynholm Primary School – Working with all the school’s children we desgined a food forest with a circle of Hugel beds into which we planted fruit trees and underplanted with various herbs and other plants. At the centre is a peace pole from Allanton Peace Sanctuary declaring ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ in four languages. This is surrounded by 3 red tractor tyres to symbolise the International banner of Peace.
Alexandra Park Food Forest in Glasgow– Clem Sandison invited me to help her community to design an orchard in the park, which we did over a few sessions. The planting day was amazing, so many people from the East End of Glasgow came along from Muslim women with their children to older folk with their dogs, from a lady in high heels to a biker in sunglasses.
Gatehouse School – working with 12 children every 2 weeks over 6 months, we created a forest garden as a peaceful, biodiverse, sensory garden in the school playground. At the front of the school we planted about 15 fruit trees and underplanted them with other plants including soft fruit and herbs.
Auchencairn Link Park – in 2014 the local community invited me to help them to design a forest garden within their community garden. The process of planting it all was recorded by Beechgrove Gardens TV during which permaculture got a mention on Scottish TV. 🙂
Forest Fun – an after school group running every week, whatever the weather, from February 2013 to June 2019. With funding from Awards for All, Scotmid and the Forestry Commission. This has been an amazing opportunity to take children to the forest to connect with nature from drinking birch sap straight from a tree to learning how to make fires, parents frequently comment on how wonderful it is for the children – and how the children then teach their parents!
Outdoor Maths – in Gatehouse Primary School (2018-19). Working with the school teachers to teach their maths curriculum through whole body experiences such as a spiral and concentric circles of spring bulbs, building a bird table, and exploring directions in the outdoors. Previous focuses of outdoor learning have included biodiversity, forest, finding my way and other topics.
Peace Garden in Gatehouse School – April 2015- February 2016 – working with 12 children to complete a permaculture design and create a beautiful peaceful garden at the back of the playground. See the video here.
Home Educating my two children for many years – even when they started primary school they went part-time to school and were part-time home educated for four years (flexi-school).
Food for Thought – project in Gatehouse School in which we had funding which enabled us to build an outdoor classroom, a polytunnel, several raised beds, wormery, hot composting, composting bays
Nurture in Nature – Co-founder and co-ordinator for 6 years. Wonderful outdoor playgroup – we met up twice a week whatever the weather in Glasgow Parks. It continued for over 10 years, connecting Glasgow’s children with nature for free.
Childminding – Developing understanding and caring for other people’s children in Glasgow. We spent a lot of time outdoors in local parks and our allotment in Glasgow.