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☀️ After five years working on the land and two previous crowdfundings, we managed to acquire the Petit Pessicart Garden : 1 Ha of Nature and permaculture at the service of Soul-based education, design and abundance on a hill above Nice.
We would like to deeply thank all of you who have supported this acquisition and who have contributed to the development of our project. It is largely thanks to you, and all those who have been and are present, that we have come to this!
Today, we need your support to manifest an ERP (public-accessible building) that will allow us to obtain the private school approval from the French national education, recognizing our pedagogic freedom. The pedagogy and childhood that can be experienced in this place are incredible.
What can you do? Help us to offer it to the 18 children in September of this year!
🌿 TODAY, WHERE THE PROJECT IS AT?
What is the Garden?
Le Jardin du Petit Pessicart is emerging as a living demonstration of a Soul-based approach of permaculture/eco construction design and education, while respecting and even regenerating the natural environment in which it is located.
Let's go into the details!
In March 2019, we received the "pedagogical farm" authorization from the National Education (15 classes on school trips per year since then). And since September 2020, the Jardin du Petit Pessicart has been home to les Eco-Liés, a resource center for homeschooling. It is a natural land on a hill in Nice and in which children can blossom, evolve in autonomy and freedom. During these years, we have been able to see how much is a glasshouse for the emergence of free beings, anchored in their bodies and in symbiosis with the land. Relating topics and learning at an incredible pace, and above all displaying a deep level of joy, serenity, altruism and self-confidence.
The future school will be able to accommodate eighteen kids spreading the whole of the primary school levels. Out of school time, the building will host workshops, events and trainings.
If our project is to provide a wonderful educational experience to a small group of children, we nonetheless draw many lessons from what is happening in the Garden and we use it to support, though the NGO Shilakong, public schools’ transformation (Transition Schools program). These facilitations ranging from 1 to 3 years allow the community of a school to dream, design and implement/manifest collectively transformations ranging from revegetation to Zero Waste, water and energy collection, and to head towards project pedagogy. A reequilibration between indoor and outdoor, intellectual and practical, local and global.
Our educational project, like permaculture, aims to be a synthesis (a "perpetual invention" to use the wordds of Philippe Meirieu) of different currents, in particular Freinet, Montessori, project pedagogy (John Dewey), 8- Shields (Jon Young, see the film “The Other Connection”) and permaculture.
Thank you very much for the past funding…Thanks to your help, we were able to collect 16,179 euros during two previous crowdfunding campaigns on Zeste:
Thank you again for contributing to our emerging project. Your help has been key to get us there!
Moreover, from the summer 2020, when the place was put on sale, we came together, parents, Friends and supporters of the project, to collect the funds in a Cooperative Society for Collective Interest (SCIC), which succeeded in the buying of the Garden in September 2021 (€420,000, without bank loan).
🌳 AND TOMORROW, THIS IS WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO THANKS TO YOU...
We dream of a school where children are immersed in Nature, where they are free and in constant interaction with Nature. We dream of a place where they benefit from an holistic educational approach, ie that they are in physical activity : they move around in a large garden-forest of one hectare, they garden, they carry, climb, build... All their intelligences are stimulated : they experience a lot of sensory solicitations, they hear birds, they touch different types of soil, materials, they observe beautiful landscapes from their “sit spots”, changing with the seasons…
They are therefore very connected and rocked by nature.
Teaching, we talk about it?
We have the ability to go really deep in how to connect education and permaculture, using permaculture to observe and make connections. Drawing inspiration from the all the living world and draw analogies through project pedagogy. There will therefore be a strong thread on Sciences, in particular the Life Sciences, in order to connect a large part of the most academic notions. Certain understandings develop at the level of the functioning of living organisms or the constitution of the universe, and this leads to ways to teach Mathematics, French, Sciences, Arts, etc. For example, in connection with the discovery of matter, “atoms of sound” aggregate to make “molecules - syllables”, “cells - words” and “bodies - sentences”.
The idea is that the fact of living and taking care of a permaculture garden makes it possible to invite cooperative approaches such as that of Célestin Freinet, those centered on physiology and the user experience of Maria Montessori, or even the pedagogy of John Dewey : by carrying out a project, we discover the need for new notions which will invite us to seek and learn what we need to carry out the current project.
It is therefore the mixture of our educational paths that we want to put into practice, in full resonance with the parents, within the framework of positive psychology & parenting, including Conscious and natural approaches to birth and childhood. Many children who come to the IEF resource center have, for example, been breastfed, have experienced babywearing or baby massage... We all want to offer the most loving and natural childhood possible.
And the concrete educational project, kesako?
At present, we can only operate as an homeschooling resource center because we do not yet have the “alternative school” approval, as we do not have a building perceived by the Rectorate and the Township as being able to be approved.
So we will have to build! This includes earthworks (to be done) that are costly. On the other hand, this will allow us to have the space for a turning T for emergency and fire safety vehicles. Then, we are going to build a small, eco-constructed with our land’s soil, which will require foundations, structure, vegetalized rooftop and equipment. .
What does this school will look like?
As a Permaculture Garden, with therefore this small building on top, which will represent the meeting room. We are not going to say the classroom because the whole garden is for us “the school”… Plantations are a space for Natural Sciences but also for many other learnings. The idea is not to compartmentalize, as in Life and permaculture, everything is connected. In this school, everything will be connected. We will be able to do Mathematics while we are planting (calculation, magnitudes and measurements, etc.). We will be able to work on language abundantly in each situation (the joy of the outdoors - not need to keep the voices low !), as well as History, Geography or Science…
Here is an overview of the garden as well as the area where we are going to build this school:
In the section “What will the funds collected be used for”, we will show you some visuals of the school, produced by the bioclimatic architect Michel Régis.
Ground plane of the ERP building
3D of the building on the grounds of the Garden
The link between school and garden…
The objective is to invite the child to do what his brain knows best : follow his intuition and create links. We say in permaculture that we “work with Nature”, and the nature of the child, between 0 and 6 years old, is precisely to create a lot of neuronal connections, and that is what we encourage him to do. For this, permaculture is ideal : we will wander from universe to universe, sometimes by weeding a small path, sometimes by doing graphics seated under a barnum, or even by building structures in pallets to develop the fine motor skills of the child and his ability to conceive.
Like the Native American adage saying “that each gesture should be done for the next 7 coming generations”, we remind kids to think in a tree-like way (which he already knows by himself) to consider the more or less virtuous and symbiotic consequences of his way of interacting with the land.
At times, it will be rather the ability to blend into Nature, inspired by the movement of the 8 Shields which invites us to find our “sit spots”, to be in non-mental and non-intellectual interaction with the land, to be able to feel, listen, connect with all the instruments of the body, including intuition and not just the tools traditionally used in education.
In the garden, there are a lot of places that allow the fulfillment and the complete development of the child : places of plantations, motor skills (how to climb in the trees, use a swing, etc.), sensory paths, and much more…
The imagination, as Rob Hopkins points out, is undoubtedly the most precious instrument of our time, and here everything is done to favor it, to let it sprout.
A little hunger in the garden?
There is also a magnificent educational kitchen : a place where you can cook, serve others by preparing food or setting the table. For children, it is very rich to be in contact with a whole range of different living beings. Here, children are in contact with a plurality of adults, from different generations, and who all carry within permaculture and a nonviolent, expanded vision of Life, responding to deep ecology.
And for a small overview of the kitchen:
And the other educational projects?
Outside of school hours, this building will be able to accommodate workshops and trainings, thus benefiting the entire project and site.
The point holders
🌞 The team! 🌞
Yes, to found a school, what better than to set it up with parents of students and a diversity of people with different skills!
We are pleased to introduce you to our shock team, which constitutes the cooperative council of the SCIC E3P - Ecole de Permaculture du Petit Pessicart, aka the Cooperative du Jardin du Petit Pessicart (JPP).
The cooperative bought the land in September 2021, and the Eco-Liés are the flagship educational project.
Mother of a future student
& Eco-Liés referent
“A school that leaves room for the wings and the roots of the children.”I dream of an education adapted to the needs of my child, and of any child. I hold that land in my heart. It allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to create, to take more initiatives : to plant, to build, to simply do. Initially graduated in Marketing, I became a product manager in the pharmaceutical industry. I quickly realized that it was not my way, that's when I came back, at 30, to the profession that I had wanted to do since childhood: teacher. Today, I have done 13 years in public education. I now aspire to a project and a school that truly represent my aspiration.
Mother of a future student
& Eco-liés referent
“Children have their own rhythm, they are full-fledged people who deserve to be considered at the same level as an adult.”
_I have known Olivier (initiator of the project) for a long time and I was able to help him develop the project of creating an alternative school that meets the “real” needs of the child. Therapist in Haptonomy and instructor of babywearing, I am daily linked to the accompaniment of becoming a parent and to be attentive to the development of the child (respect of the rhythm, evolution, breastfeeding, etc.).
Father of a future student
Head of the Cooperative, permaculture designer & current teacher of the homeschooling center
“At the service of the coming ones.”
My will is to create a school centered on the child's relationship with the best possible teacher : NATURE... With an extra tool to enter into symbiosis with it : permaculture... With a range of pedagogies centered on the user experience (Montessori, Alvarez...), on cooperation and self-management (Freinet), on project pedagogy (learning by doing, John Dewey)... And with immersion in the most physiological environment possible : the forest.
Shortly before the birth of our son, we were offered a land that would become the JPP, and I was writing a Master 2 Education thesis entitled "Permaculture and school learning". I realized the incredible potential of the linking of permaculture and project pedagogy at a key moment for humanity, plus of all the benefits of nature (lower cortisol levels, release of endorphins, serotonin, etc.), as opposed to attention disorders factors. Very close to our son’s birth, I wondered “what am I going to share with him that would fill him with happiness?” And I looked at a big cypress tree. It was very simple : the love of nature!
Mother of a future student
Member of the cooperative council
“The forest-school for children!”
For a year I searched for an alternative school. Not finding it, I wanted to ride it! It was then that I met Olivier and helped by investing in the Garden, to set up a forest school. The objective is also to create eco-lodges, vegetable gardens, sensory and taste workshops... I like to help as much as possible and I would like to show that we can build 100% autonomous houses.
Father of two future students
Member of the cooperative council
“Let's help children become what makes them vibrate, laugh. Cultivate their curiosity and enthusiasm.”
Former project manager in IT I took my backpack to travel around the world for a few years. This trip led me to realize my childhood dream : to become a baker.
I discovered this place 2 years ago. Since that day it became clear that it was the ideal place to support children in their learning while respecting who they are individually.
“We see generations of children rising up who, for lack of an awakening to life, are reduced to being nothing but insatiable, jaded and sad consumers. ” ~ Pierre Rabhi
With us, you can offer children another future..
Therapist for 40 years, I have observed that a large part of illnesses and pains are the consequences of poor quality food and a harmful environment, lack of benevolence and lack of contact with nature. This is why I find this eco-place extraordinary, the purpose of which is to bring out the individual through the values of permaculture and to bring this beautiful experience to children, through a school of nature.
Member of the cooperative council
& referent events & communication
“Feet on the ground, head in the stars.”
When I started my professional transition and became a mother, I became interested in projects combining nature and education, I had a great need for nature and calm to regenerate myself, which led me to discover the JPP and to follow the project from the beginning. This is why I wanted to work in this project which inspires me, which makes sense, and which allows us to reconnect city children to nature and thereby reconnect ourselves as adults. The garden is the future. For me, the ideal school of the future would be a school where children can express themselves independently, be in contact with nature, have a diversity of passionate speakers who come to transmit knowledge and know-how. Where children can be guided in their learning and they can touch everything that feeds us.
Member of the cooperative council
& permaculture and sustainable design referent
“Life is beautiful.”
As a professional firefighter, I have long been involved in healing society's wounds. Today I want to act at the root, allowing from an early age to be closer to nature, in connection with it, because it is this link that will allow us to build a better world. Le Jardin du petit Pessicart is, in my opinion, the eco-place that will carry this mission!
Describe your project goal
What will the funds collected be used for?
🌱 The purpose of this crowdfunding is to manage to open a school in Jardin du petit Pessicart, already accredited educational farm by the National Education and which has been receiving public classes for three years already. It has also been receiving a resource center for family education (IEF) for almost 2 years, which made it possible to concretely show that for a child, being full-time in this place is awesome ! (it takes a huge perseverance for the parents to remove the children from the Garden each evening…)This is the main reason why we want and need to take the leap!
Here is concretely everything that can be done thanks to you:
- rental of tools and machines (backhoe loader, bulldozer, etc.) to carry out the earthworks and structural work - the heavy construction site!
- construction of a 39m2 classroom to ERP standards, necessary to turn this center into a school.
- provide us with school equipment, both at the practical level (small beds for naps for example) and at the educational level!
What we have today…
We have already acquired the land of the Garden, but we no longer have the budget to consider building. We built a geodesic dome in order to have a first appropriate covered space and we had also filed an approval file for the place which was not accepted. The reason is that there was no eligible building to accommodate a school.
Here is what we have to do…
To create this school, we must therefore build a building to ERP (public-receiving building) standards, within a radius of 150m from a fire booth. In addition, it will be built with materials that have proven themselves at the highest fire temperatures.
To build such a building, we need you. Thanks to your contributions, we will be able to level, create a turning area for fire and emergency vehicles, and carry out the structural work (foundations, roofing, etc.). It is also important to provide the future school with equipment (furniture, building equipment, teaching materials, etc.). And yes, even if we are in a garden and we need little, schooling will require a minimum of material. For example, we want to work with Montessori-type materials for Mathematics and French. Have some scientific equipment, and of course, gardening tools ! Or even small beds for the siesta of the children who need it.
We would also like to have enough contributions to be able to upgrade certain areas of the garden that need improvement. For example, replacing our old barnum with a Berber tent so that the whole class can work seated outside, but also creating new accesses/stairs and new vegetable areas and making them available to the class.
We believe in this project, and work every day to allow the birth of this school.
It's a vision we've been striving for for many years… Thanks to you, we hope to see it come true in matter…
It's up to you, and thank you for what you can do!
"Each euro is acquired"
3 levels, 3 steps to go from a mass plan to a finished building then to a small school ready to receive the children! As you contribute, you materialize this class of the forest - thank you
Level 1: Roots, €5,670
Earthworks and support for the surface to be built, and creation of the turning area for emergency vehicles / fire
Level 2: The trunk, €17,839
Structural work and equipment of the building of 39m² (public-access building, 5-R standard): foundations, walls, roof, piping, coatings, enamels, lighting, furniture, etc. Support from a specialized urban planner.
Level 3: The branches, €5,958
Educational supplies for the class. Arrangements and improvements to the reception conditions at the Garden (access to the garden, “outdoor classes”, play areas, new planting areas, etc.) for the embellishment of the school and the garden-third-place!
In total, the three levels amount to 29,467 euros. We also need to anticipate the costs of the ZESTE platform (6%), which would represent 1,768 euros of this sum. The total sum to be collected is therefore 31,234.90 euros.
Find out more…
History, pedagogy, plans of the building and the garden… All the information on the Eco-Liés, the Jardin du Petit Pessicart or even Transition Schools are in the Padlet: https://padlet.com/OlivierE3P/ecolies
Thank you very much for your support!