first permaculture design course in Cuba + anecdote

Adam Tiller adamt at
Wed Nov 29 11:16:22 EST 1995

Here's a copy of part of the latest letter from the two Australian women,
Toni Phillips and Sarah Wright, who have been working in Havana, Cuba during
1995.  It is so positive that I had to forward it to you. And there's also a
letter which gives some background, too. They are very busy, so if you email
them, don't necessarily expect a reply. I have lots of reports, etc, if you
want more information. Please forward this to anyone else who may be interested.


From: gtcuba at (Green Team - Permacultura en Cuba)
Subject: adam41 resending please answer the questions     
To: adamt at
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 09:03, Received: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 18:40:08

Hola adam,

We've got some incredibly great news.

Yesterday while we were going crazy after 2 days of trying to locate
Mario to sign the letter for the Australian Ambassador in Mexico,
we actually bumped into him at the Ag dept.
(Mario García heads the Ministry of Agriculture’s urban extension program).
Incredible luck! Anyway, after he signed it and we got to chatting, he said
"The other day while I was talking with the Minister (of Agriculture),
I told him how amazing it is that those girls teaching permaculture
can change people's way of thinking so fast, and it is just like _our_ 
courses have disappeared into thin air".

He has held 3 workshops and it is like they never happened, but with ours,
everywhere he goes he keeps hearing about permaculture. He wants us to do 
lots more courses, like the ones we have done, in each municipality.
We just wish that we could, but there just isn't the time anymore.


It is going to be really hard leaving, it is like everything is set to
really go now, and then we have to hand it over to someone else, I know that
is how
this kind of work is, but i wish i had enough money so I didn't have to
worry about when the plane ticket runs out, etc. 

Mario has also been visiting our old students and asking them lots of
questions, he can't believe that these campesinos understand so much to
think about the soil and how to improve it and really understand it.
He also understands that the actual work they do in their gardens is 
a bit by bit.

---------- letter to Permaculture Institute ----------

Hola companeros,                                            24 nov.1995
We are the current members of the Green Team working in Havana and are 
thinking of running the first Permaculture Design Certificate Course
in Cuba.
We have run a number of week-long introduction and train-the-trainer style
urban permaculture courses and now find there is the need to hold a design 
certificate. In particular, we want to pass on this knowledge to our Cuban 
co-workers and former students. These students now form a network of 
community trainers who are developing a web of demonstration gardens.

Over the last year we have been working on an Australian-funded
development project entitled The Urban Food Gardener Education Project,
which is a community based education campaign centered on increasing
urban food production in Havana. 
We work with a Cuban organisation 'El Grupo para la Orientacion 
a la Familia sobre Permacultura' (GOFP) who produce a magazine, 'Se Puede'
("It is possible") funded by the project, and who are our partners in the
implementation of the project.

We intend to invite urban extension workers from the Agriculture Dept,
students from the train-the-trainer courses, which includes
representatives from the Federation of Cuban Women, and our Cuban
co-workers in GOFP.  We would have help from John McKenzie, Michel
and Jude Fanton to make up part of the teaching team.  

... the rest of the letter has been chopped out, as irrelevant...

Sarah Wright and Toni Phillips


The Food Gardener Education Project in Urban Havana is a
project implemented by The Green Team in Cuba and Australia,
in partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation
(ACF) and the Permaculture Global Assistance Network (PGAN),
the overseas aid group of Permaculture International Ltd (PIL).
The project receives funding from AusAID, the Australian
Government Agency for International Development, and from
donations from the public.  Donations to "ACF Cuba Appeal"
are tax deductible in Australia, and are matched two-for-one
by AusAid. The project needs to raise A$25,000 each year,
and still has not raised sufficient to cover 1995 yet.

For more information contact:

Melbourne, Australia:
Adam Tiller of The Green Team and PGAN, 
tel: (03) 9419 1542, fax: +61 3 9853 6828, email: adamt at
12 Derby St, Kew VIC 3101
Jason Alexandra or Terry White at the ACF
Australian Conservation Foundation, 340 Gore St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
tel +61 3 9416 1166, fax +61 3 9416 0767, email: acfenv at

El Grupo de Orientación a la Familia sobre Permacultura (GOFP)
The Green Team, Cuba
Calle 158 #107, altos, esq. Primera A
Reparto Náutico, Playa,
Havana, Cuba
tel +53 7 33 60 90
Adam Tiller
8 James St, Fitzroy Vic 3065
Melbourne, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9419 1542             Fax: +61 3 9853 6828  
Email: adamt at   WWW:

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