Interview with Dynamic Dean: The permaculture entrepreneur and surfer

Interview with Dynamic Dean: The permaculture entrepreneur and surfer

I had the privilege of meeting Dean Curtis, the permaculture entrepreneur from Newcastle, Australia. The 27-year-old took me through his journeys in life, from travel adventures to surfing and snowboarding the world. He is an avid believer in the philosphy of permaculture and wishes to share his ways with others. Full of life, Dean adds dynamic energy to everything he does, sharing goodness with mother earth. I sat down with Dean whilst he was doing his thing at the Doctor’s House, and asked him a few questions.

DD (Dynamic Dean): “Yeah let us do it baby”

Nana: “So Dean, what are your ambitions and passions? What is your path in life?”

DD: “I love to travel, snowboard and surf. I would say my path in life is to keep on improving myself as a human, that means being the best one can be by spreading positive vibes such as love and happiness, and seeking out better ways of living.”

Nana: “What brings meaning to YOUR life?”

DD: “Connecting with people is what it is all about. Looking at ways we can become better or live better. Have ways of freeing ourselves from defined things. Finding more freedom and exploring the way we do things. Permaculture plays a huge part of that because you can create systems of abundance (fruits, energy, water and landscapes) so you do not become a slave to a system and you can do what you want to do.”

Nana: “You have traveled a substantial amount, where have your travel journeys taken you?

And where would you like to return to and why?”

DD: “Indonesia for surfing. New Zealand (Queenstown and Wanaka) for snowboarding. Canada for snowboarding. USA for cultural. Central and South America for surfing, snowboarding, and travel. India, Nepal for meditation. I have no urge to go back to any places.”

Nana: “And where is your favourite place to ski and snowboard?”

DD: “Somewhere in South America. Surfing and snowboarding conditions are really good. Nice friendly people. Pretty friendly girls, what more can a man ask for? Girls, mountains, surf…”

(Was meant to keep that on the down-low, so compromised to South America.)

Nana: “What did you do in India and Nepal?”

DD: “I started a new travel journey (for an indefinite time). The first leg took me to India where a “Natural Building” workshop took place for 2 months.  The workshop was about building structures out of natural things such as clay, wood and stone. We built one of these structures, specifically to house WWOOFers and volunteers. There I learned from others. More specifically, I learned about manifesting dreams I have, such as traveling and spreading the philosophy of permaculture.

Nana: “What exactly is permaculture for those of us who have never heard of it?”

DD: “The word originates from permanent agriculture. It is a way of providing for all our basic needs as humans (such as food, water, medicine, and textiles). This way also needs to be in harmony with nature. A lot of it is about learning from nature, learning about how ecosystems work together then designing it based on these natural systems and designing for abundance. The aim is to live in a way that does not destroy life on this planet whilst meeting all our basic needs. The problem at the moment is the way in which we provide for our needs, it is destructive and out of harmony with our planet.”

Nana: “What stuck with you the most during your time in India during the 2 months?”

DD: “How powerful YOUR thoughts and beliefs are. Furthermore, what can physically manifest from itself and what we can attract solely from our thoughts. I also started giving some lessons on permaculture. Above all, what stuck with me the most, was how to manifest. One has to believe that you have already achieved what you want and that is how it comes to you.  The exercise was about setting an end date and place. It was important that you made it specific.”

Nana: “Tried this on anything personally and did it happen?”

DD: “Personally, I wanted to manifest a western man who had done a lot of permaculture and food forestry. I wanted to learn from this man and become his apprentice. In a way it manifested. My journey took me to Nepal, after 3 train rides, 2 bus rides and a rickshaw bike ride. At the right time and place, I came across a Workshop. Personally, I lacked the confidence to speak in front of people. The workshop gave me the opportunity to grow. For example, doing a meditation circle and speaking to an audience. Later on, there my dream manifest itself. 2 men came to the workshop. I explained my dream to them and they took me with to their workshop and tour around the Himalayas. They invited me to teach a few things about permaculture. Self-reflecting, I realised I was not ready to share with others and that I needed more practical experience and knowledge. “

Nana: “And then you came to Sri Lanka?”

DD: “Yes. My good friend Sam was there. So I went to catch up with him, cruise for a bit and surf. I was also wanting to practice permaculture. About a month later, I met Mick from the Doctor’s House and he was interested in working with me.”

Nana: “What has been your favourite adventure so far in Sri Lanka?

What would you recommend to do here?”

DD: “The “A-Bay” trips have been the best so far. We had amazing waves for 4 days and met an amazing crew. Wouldn’t say it is my favourite place. Madiha is my favourite place. The surfy, sleepy streets of Madiha. I also would recommend to get a motor bike with a board rack and explore the south coast for waves. Even inland, off the beaten track, is beautiful. Visiting little villages.”

Nana: “So what great plans do you have at the Doctors House?”

DD: “We are looking at how we can have “more” abundance with less input and with less of an impact. This means building up a vegetable and fruit garden, as the Doctor’s House is a restaurant producing a lot of food dishes. We are also going to make use of a grey water reed bed system which means we have to use biodegradable soap. It is a natural way of cleaning the kitchen waste water effluent before the water enters the garden. A biogas generator is also on the cards, maybe going to happen in the near future.”

Nana: “What is a biogas generator and where have you seen this done before?”

DD: “Essentially it is a chamber that hosts certain types of bacteria and takes in organic matter/waste and generates methane in the process of breaking down that organic matter. In India, Nepal and Australia.”

Nana: “How do you believe we as humans can be more sustainable?”

DD: “It takes a review of our current practices. We need to question “from where”, do a review on what we do, question the impact it has and the consequences that follow. Examples that need to be review are mass production, oil production, and monoculture farming.”

Nana: “Last question. What is your favourite fruit or vegetable?”

DD: “Mangosteen. The taste is so crazy and strong, so different and candy like. Looks like something man-made or comic like.”

Nana: “OK. This will be the last one.

What about a fruit/vegetable not specifically about the look or taste.

How about its properties too?”

DD: “Mulberry.  Delicious. It grows very easily. The plant is abundant with fruit and good around other fruits. It is a dynamic accumulator. Accumulates a lot of nutrients and is a good compost for other plants. Its leaves have medicinal uses as they are rich in nutrients. Used as tea and good against parasites (stomach). Just so easy to grow.”

Come join us for some goodness at the Doctor’s House where you will find Dean gardening, or surfing some waves up the coast. Hopefully, you will also have the privilege to meet this beautiful soul somewhere on your travels.



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