Certified Educator for the UK Permaculture Association
Frances is an ecologist with a degree in Environmental Sciences from Southampton University, UK, and a PhD in Insect Ecology from the Simón Bolívar University, Venezuela. In 2014, after 10 years working as a research scientist at the Eastern University, Venezuela, she returned to Europe where she did her first PDC in Brighton, UK. She has been studying and practicing permaculture ever since, and graduated with a Diploma in Applied Permaculture in March 2021.
She has been teaching Permaculture Design Courses since 2019 at different venues, including Proyecto Rucula in Murcia and the Suryalila Yoga Retreat in Cadiz. Frances has extensive experience in garden and agricultural systems at different scales, gained from her many volunteering placements, including two years at the first Ecosystem Restoration Camp in the dry highlands to the northeast of the Murcia region in southern Spain.
She is particularly interested in soil ecology and restoration. Frances is currently secretary for Urban Street Forest, an association based in Holland and Spain that seeks to reforest degraded dry lands, and is an active member of the Permaculture Network in south-eastern Spain. Frances has made volunteering her main lifestyle choice, a path which has led her to minimize her costs rather than maximize her income, and gives her the freedom to take up opportunities as they appear. Travel plays an important role in her life and the bicycle is her preferred mode of transport, as this enables her to slow down, appreciate the scenery, and enjoy the journey.
facilitator and host
Her passions were always centered around creativity, nature and people, so she spent most of her life trying to connect those aspects together. Kasia left home at a young age to travel and discover the diversities of the world. For many years she moved around like the wind, trying different schools, hobbies and lifestyles.
The dream to establish a place, where people gather to develop their passions and learn from each other has been with her for as long as she can remember. At some point it became clear that permaculture is the way to make it happen.
Kasia completed her Permaculture Design Course in 2018 in Alentejo, Portugal, when Quinta Kania Farm was just starting up. It gave her a boost of enthusiasm, structured her knowledge and connected with similar minded people from all over the Europe. That was the moment when she was inspired to become a teacher as well. In 2021 she took part in “Training Permaculture Teachers” designed by Rosemary Morrow and thought by Alfred Decker and Candela Vargas. Here she met Frances and Jackson amongst others and idea of facilitating a PDC became a reality.
She is currently studying Process Work, a methodology for working with people in therapy, coaching, organizational work, and art. That gives her additional tools to bring in the social and psychological aspects into the Permaculture Design Courses. She also loves herbal medicine, gardening and designing crazy shapes in her natural buildings.
facilitator and host
Growing up in the foothills of the German Alps, Franz developed his passion for being in nature from an early age. As a kid, hiking with family, he loved watching plants and animals along the mountain trails. He decided to study biology, but it wasn’t what he’d expected, as he soon found out. Spending all day in a lab, he missed getting his hands dirty. He wanted to do something real.
During semester breaks Franz traveled all over the world. Especially Thailand and India inspired him to live a free and humble life, independent of the haste of western culture.
In 2015 he came across permaculture and attended a Permaculture Design Course in Croatia. This gave a boost to his enthusiasm and sparked the feeling, that he is not alone with his vision for a better future. Knowing that hands on experience is the best teacher, he continued to travel around Europe and visited various eco projects — until he was ready to realize the dream of having his own piece of land. He settled down in Central Portugal and started Quinta Kania Farm project, which he runs with Kasia for over 5 years.
Alongside farming, his biggest passion is cooking, specially while enjoying some good music. Carpentry and natural building give him the satisfaction to create something unique and useful at the same time. His scientific mind still loves to experiment with new challenges, such as mushroom cultivation, repairing broken engines, or growing tropical fruit trees in a Mediterranean climate.