Charlie Durrant is an entrepreneur focussing on upgrading human habitats and communities via promoting the authentic human experience, which he believes involves working with nature, and being it. He runs his contracting/’handy dude’ projects and permaculture consulting as RegenerativeDevelopments.com and Is evolving his online business guild promoting year-round local food and medicine production in BC. https://MySuperfoodSubscription.com https://BCHydroponics.com and https://TheHerbDispensary.com all organic, all cutting-edge technologies. Also, follow on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/charlie_durrant_/
In full synchronistic flow, I found myself in an apprenticeship with a man, named Brian Giampa, a guy that must be up there with some of the best carpenters in the world. I figured this, because, BC is known to have many of the best carpenters in the world and the small town carpenters are known to be some of the best of them all. When a company that wins custom home builder of the year in Vancouver, BC, (Natural Balance) takes on a job on The Sunshine Coast and they hire your boss to frame it, it opens one up to the extent of the opportunity present within the apprenticeship. When the 8th project manager (7 were fired or quit due to the details and stress), a great man name Nick, with a degree in construction management and 17 years experience in the field, goes to your boss for solutions on a regular basis, it re-confirms what was becoming obvious, Brian Giampa isn’t your average builder.
I tried my absolute best with this opportunity with Brian & BCIT, I did great with the schooling, and held my own on this complex job surpassing my own expectations, but the signs form the universe were strong, my dharma was taking me in more directions than one. The job that completed this chapter of my career, was building the home shown above designed for Battersby Howatt. The property overlooked The Malaspina Channel and a small off-grid island that happens to be the most educated community in Canada, according to Stats Canada. The island is called Lasqueti, a place where sustainability is the way things are done. A seed was planted and it would begin to germinate as I worked for 39 hours per week, for a year and a half, with Lasqueti in my periphery.
When the BC interior forest fires took over, turning the sky orange and smoke blocked Lasqueti from sight, turning the sun into a red circle for weeks, I tried to stay focused, to complete what I started, “only 2 years and a bit years left to go”, I told myself. The smoke cleared, and I was learning faster than ever before, but before long, the signs returned. The smoke came back, but this time, on the other side of the continent, the strongest hurricane to ever form in the Atlantic was also building momentum and was headed straight towards the Dominican Republic. It seemed like the school and farms I had worked at, and all the children and families the I knew and love, would inevitably be exposed to life-threatening winds, flooding and the diseases spread by mosquitos in the aftermath. I had to act, I had to get to working more directly towards a regenerative lifestyle, I couldn’t keep driving 1.5 hours each day in my gas guzzler to build luxury homes, no matter how epic the design, the clients, or the people I worked with were. The world is calling for regeneration and I’m a willing disciple. My boss Brian showed me greater respect than ever before and encouraged me with words affirming that being led with my heart, I would go far. I stuck with my word to finish out this project, what had turned in to the most complicated framing of Brian’s career (in terms of angles and details), seeing it as an opportunity to practice invaluable skills would aid in my journey while helping great people complete their mission.
The Dominican Republic got let off lightly by the hurricane, but, other communities didn’t fair well. A few month later of trying to remain present to the work I had chosen my truck seized on me, on the way to the same job. I decided I wouldn’t buy another machine that ran on fossil fuels, instead, I would stop contributing to the problem, and get back to being the change, contributing in any way I could to transitioning to an economy free of dependency on fossil fuels.
The last few weeks of the project got intense, the exposure to carcinogens and stress confirmed I had to move forward with other things, and like clockwork it all came to a close at the end of October around the time I was celebrating the life of my late childhood friend and brother (from another mother), Azzy. Azzy has appeared in the ‘field’ in other times of transition, as a voice of encouragement towards my own dreams.
I ended up being asked to do a basement renovation at my partners’ parents house, which along with other synchronistic odd jobs I’d attract with opportunities to practice homesteading skills and natural building methods, would see me through while I build TheHerbDispensary.com and select jobs that help with the road towards The Homestead. There are possibilities of doing some short weeks with Brian again in the new year, but he too is ready to regain his sovereignty and simplify for some time. It was an incredible and intense couple of years for everyone. So here I go, I’m now a part-time Regenerative Developer/Handy Dude, and part-time internet entrepreneur. It’s on.
- Time frame of projects and not spending enough time hanging out and learning
- Taking on projects without community
- Quick Fixes
- The Decision to live in a Yurt while figuring things out
- The Decision to collect and maintain ‘The bone yard’ (Reclaimed Materials & Milled Materials)
- Rocket Mass Heater
Sculpted by hand from a mixture of clay, sand and straw, building houses out of cob is a full mind and body experience; one that requires patience. But these homes are worth the wait!
Building on ancient traditions, today’s timber framers and selective loggers are forging a sustainable future. Visit the people behind some of the most intriguing wooden structures in British Columbia.
It seems counterintuitive that a framework packed with straw bales could create such a sturdy home. In fact, the straw acts as a natural vapour permeable insulation that allows these buildings to breathe.
A rammed earth wall is durable, energy efficient, and made from the most abundant material on the planet. Learn how these builders and homeowners applied this ancient technique to create timeless contemporary homes.
Although this is technically my 4th Permaculture design course, it is the first in this climatic zone, and due top the fact it was over an 18 month period, it allowed time to see the same sites in all seasons.
I really can not thank Kym and Delvin enough for encouraging my participation, and teaching such a great and essential course here on the coast! Here are a few photo highlights!