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How to add Permaculture to local mindset?  RSS feed

 
Kelly Ware
Posts: 68
Location: Flathead Valley Montana
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Booth time, Info flyers, classes, Local papers articles, Local blogs, build mailing lists, run a professional event,  join a local blog, chamber of Commerce, Newspaper articles, and calendar of permaculturist events, links to articles, Bookstore, CSA information, Missoula eco forum, permacluture Montana,  Go to events to collect emails, Schools, PTO's, Adult Education paid mailings and ads in paper- Throw a ecoforum of classes.  Schools to colleges, citywide.

What brainstorming can you contribute, what worked and what didn't?

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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what works best imo is just doing permaculture, and when people see/hear what your doing. they will want to know more.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Especially if you can do it in your front yard where people can see it. 

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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link my  blog address on all forums and emails and then link to permie sites on forum
 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 769
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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make it fun
don't tell people they're doing it wrong
"here's another way"
 
Derek Brewer
Posts: 113
Location: Hatfield, PA
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Depends on the locale, but in most of the rural areas I've been in: Don't be an Activist.
Get excited, show folks that you know and let the grape-vine do what it does best. If you have something better and it works, people will see it and hear about it. Just become a member of your community and you might be surprised how well things go.
Oh, and demos/discussions at county fairs would work well.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 659
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I'm suburban, but I know our city South Seattle Community College has trial beds to assess the effect, if any, of biochar on plants.  Plus I just posted a link in 'farm income' titled '$100K on acre?'  about Ohio State U  6 year 'ecologically designed' polyculture plots that could/can make $.  Tours are mentioned..... nothing impresses like looking at success  - and comparisons are pretty convincing.

OT - do you think it is true that city folk are much more open minded and inquisitive than country folk? toby hemenway seemed to think so.  Kind of a bummer.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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In my experience, country folk are extremely inquisitive (though they don't usually let on) - there are few secrets in the country; folks like to know what their neighbors are up to.    But country folk aren't big on "new ideas." 
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 659
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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LOL Yes, Ludi, my friends raised in small towns would never move back because of the long noses   It was the interest in better ways of doing things that I was hoping they were interested in.... but not so, I'm thinking.
 
Benjamin Burchall
Posts: 182
Location: Long Beach, CA
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I think we need to do more than just "doing" permaculture. Most people will never see your home or ever ask you what you're doing. If we don't get out into the community with information and invitations, our success in transforming our neighborhoods will probably be very limited. Look at what people are doing around the world in terms of spreading permaculture. They are doing a heck of a lot more than just working in their yards. We can learn something from their successes.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Many farming folks will refuse to try anything new.  "If grandpappy didn't grow it, it probably wont grow here."  City folks who have never gardened are more open to suggestions.

The past couple of years, seed vendors are reporting +/-20% increases in sales each year.  Between the high price, and low quality of veggies in the market, combined with a faltering economy, more people are starting to grow their own.

The time is ripe for converting backyard gardeners.  Many have been spoiled by the better products in farmer's markets (that they can no longer afford), and want to try it at home.  ("For what you paid for asparagus this spring, you can start a life time supply!"
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I agree with John, and I think this is significant - farmers in the US comprise about 1-2% of the population.  Most are near retirement age.  This is a tiny population of (pardon me) stubborn old folks. In my opinion it's unlikely these folks, the least likely to change, will want to apply permaculture.  To me it makes more sense to focus on the majority of people, who don't farm, and who are more likely to change.  By this I mean city people and suburbanites. 

I live in the country and I don't intend to try to influence my ranching neighbors.  I do hope to influence some of my ex-urban retiree neighbors, if I can ever achieve anything worth showing.

 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 769
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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i think most people here are gardeners rather than farmers or ranchers. so i makes sense to promote permaculture gardening to those who want to grow their own food and/or for farmers markets.

broadscale permaculture, of the Sepp, Alan, Judy or Joel style should be preached by someone who is actively doing it
 
Kellic kelwen
Posts: 27
Location: Northwestern Ohio, US
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I live in a suburban-rural area of the midwest and most people are pretty resistant to new things. Probably the best way to introduce something new is to hang up fliers in a local public hang-out area or go to the county fair and do demonstrations. Really the only way I found out about permaculture is through the internet (just like everything else).
Really you should try to appeal to gardeners not farmers. As farmers are more worried about making money than gardeners.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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To add to Ludi's statistics, I read a USDA blurb that said the average age of a US farmer is 58 years old.  Their children have found easier (and better paying) jobs in the city, and have no desire to continue the family farm.  Three fourths of all family farms have at least one spouse working an off-farm job to help make ends meet.

A family that has toiled all of their lives, and have loans on a quarter million $$ of farm implements is unlikely to turn their backs on what they understand, and start a new venture.

A small holder with a half acre of "edge" is more likely to experiment once they realize that the non-productive edge can save them $1,000's per year on groceries.  As they observe the results, they will probably expand their food forest.
 
Kelly Ware
Posts: 68
Location: Flathead Valley Montana
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Thanks Y'all.  I'm going to make flyers for some of the most important aspects to introduce to locals.  Here are some on my late night brainstorm list, add your concepts too, at least for ideas on the poster:

Hugelkultur, natural beekeeping, swales, keyline, polyculture, multutiered food forests, seed balls, living mulches, chop and drop, seed broadcasting,....   help:
 
Kelly Ware
Posts: 68
Location: Flathead Valley Montana
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Ah! rocket mass heater! cob ovens, alternative construction....
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 296
Location: New Zealand
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Hey Kelly. I just listened to the podcast you did with Paul and I'm wondering how it went with the flyers?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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