Laing, Ashlei, Class of 2014 – (Newton, NH, United States)

Practicum Summary:

Designing the landscape of human livelihoods through the regenerative and healing educational methodologies of Permaculture

Ashlei’s research was conducted through a pilot project designed for an Italian Agriturismo community, or a collection of small family farms, in the Italian province of Grosseto in Tuscany, Italy. The objective of the project was to examine the possibilities of improving livelihood opportunities in Agriturismo communities through the implementation of regenerative and healing permaculture education programs. The project had three phases: preparation of a Permaculture course, facilitating the course, and follow up data collection on the course. In order to determine how an Italian Agriturismo community will design itself in a permaculture lifestyle to enhance their overall livelihood, Ashlei conducted a case study, a survey, follow up interviews, and site visit experiences after offering a 72 hour course on Permaculture and additional trainings in the community of Grosseto. Ultimately, she discovered that 83% of students thought the course was a positive experience and enjoyed Permaculture, and 67% admitted to lifestyle changes and thought of the course as a catalyst to future endeavors and livelihoods.