I've been interested in research for a long time, and as a nurse very much valued and enthused about the part it plays in making positive change in all aspects of nursing practice and health care. I was actually all set to commence my own research in palliative care nursing through undertaking a PhD, when I made a the decision to venture down the path of further permaculture related learning instead. (yey!)
So here I am now, actively becoming involved with looking at what research is going to provide the evidence to take Permaculture Design in farming forward. Together with inspiration I took from a workshop run by Chris Warburtun-Brown (research co-ordinator at the Permaculture Association) at last years National Diploma Gathering, reflecting on the meeting last week has very much generated some ideas about trying to link in aspects of evidence recording and disseminating outcomes into most of my Portfolio work, not just the farming related designs. In particular I have been thinking about how I (and others) evaluate my designs (or parts of my design), and how this could be structured to give some meaningful data or feedback which could be used by others.
For anyone else interested in learning more about Permaculture and research, there is a section of the Permaculture Association website dedicated to telling you more. A 'Research Handbook' for those using Permaculture Design in their lives and work is also in the process of being written. More information about this will be available in the above link, when it is finished.