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PDC With Income Generation

 
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I was wondering (for lack of a better term) what regular PDC graduates were doing to generate income, using their PDC?  I do not mean Passive Income, though it could eventually lead to that, more of action/active now.  I know that the well known teach PDC's, run intros, are doing consultations and the like, but what of the not so well known.  People in their home communities, who don't regularly post on-line?  I've noticed that on-line and in the Permaculture periodicals/literature it seems that month after month, year after year, you see the same offerings from the same people.  I know that there are some changes, but for the most part, it stays the same.  I am not downplaying in anyway the very important role that the well known play and this in no way disparages what they do. We need them!!!  I was just wondering what regular (terrible term) folks were doing?  Are you teaching, doing consults, demonstration sites, or?  Are you full time/part time?  And to anyone else out there, any ideas?    
 
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Hi Hugh,

I did a PDC in 2013, we bought a farm in 2014, and we've been trying to come to terms with that ever since. :-)

The thing is that a PDC gives you a huge amount of information and theory, illustrated with stories of your teacher(s), but very little practical experience. Before you truly understand how sectors and zones work together, or how your climate actually works when you see no year is ever the same... Or which plants grow in your soil and how that's not the same for your friends that live only a few kilometers/miles down the road... or so many other things...

I want to be a consultant, eventually. I think I'm getting close to be one for this area where we live. We'll see. Maybe after being a consultant for some time I could be a good teacher.

Just doing a PDC is not going to bring you a new career. But it will be the start of a new understanding and a new future. I never regretted doing that PDC!
 
Hugh Holland
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Greetings Rene,

I too never regretted taking my PDC!  I completed one last year in Costa Rica and I am very thankful for the course, the experience and the the friendships made.  We've recently purchased a new property down the road from where we live.  I've thought about contacting a pretty well known Permaculture teacher who lives a few hours south of me.  I do not know her, nor did I take my PDC through her, but I've considered reaching out.  My new property has got me thinking more on this.  Is there a strategy that perhaps we could implement to be a blessing to others and maybe turn a profit also?  I was really curious what others out there are doing?  I know that there are many graduates who are doing things, but who are less known to the Permaculture community as a whole.  Probably well known in their area, just not on a national level.  What are the regular folks out there doing?  I want to take an Advanced PDC in the future and I've a few ideas, but I would really like to know what others are doing?  Thank you so much for posting!  My roommate in my PDC was from Colombia and so is my probable future son-in-law;)

Blessings...Hugh  
 
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Rene Nijstad wrote:ust doing a PDC is not going to bring you a new career.



Unless your new career is teaching the PDC, which is the only reason one must have a PDC!  Anyone can teach or demonstrate permaculture if they follow the ethics and principles of permaculture.  The only need for a PDC is to teach the PDC, though I think having taken the PDC may give people some legitimacy in the eyes of other permaculturists and maybe the lay public if one wants to become a consultant.

I think people want the PDC to lead to a new career because taking it can be expensive, but that's not the main purpose of the existence of the PDC.  The PDC is not a business course.

 
Hugh Holland
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Hello Tyler,

I'll be the first to tell you that you don't need a PDC.  My bookshelf was filled with Mollison, Holmgren, Morrow, Crawford, Toensmeier, Holzer, Bane, Mars and many others that I read before the course and continue to do so.  I'm sure that yours is, too!  It was my understanding that Mollison didn't want anyone using the term Permaculture (teaching/demonstration) unless they took a PDC...but?  I didn't take the PDC as a buisness course and I'm pretty sure that none of my classmates did either.  I invested in myself and wanted that hands-on learning.  A Permaculture career was never in my thoughts.  Now that there are changes in my life, I am considering options that may include Permaculture.  I really wanted to know what other people out there are doing?  People like me, especially those who invested in a course.  It was a major investment and one that I will reinvest in the future.  No qualms about it! This was a topic about what has worked, what hasn't worked and ideas.  Lot's of ideas!  Something that we could all learn from, whether one has taken a PDC or not.

Blessings...Hugh
 
Tyler Ludens
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Hugh Holland wrote:It was my understanding that Mollison didn't want anyone using the term Permaculture (teaching/demonstration) unless they took a PDC...but?



"The word 'permaculture' can be used by anybody adhering to the ethics and principles expressed herein.  The only restriction on use is that of teaching; only graduates of a Permaculture Institute can teach 'permaculture', and they adhere to agreed-on curriculae developed by the College of Graduates of the Institutes of Permaculture."  Bill Mollison, Preface, Permaculture a Designers Manual

Geoff Lawton has clarified that by "teaching" Bill meant "teaching the Permaculture Design Course", not teaching people how to build and grow food, etc using permaculture principles.  Anyone can demonstrate permaculture if they adhere to the ethics and principles of permaculture.

 
Hugh Holland
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Hello Tyler,

I appreciate the fact that you are pointing out things in the replies that are very micro, but I was wondering what you had experienced with income generation through your PDC?  Or as I said at closing, anyone?  I'm just wondering what us regular folks have tried and especially what has worked or been learned?  I notice that you have almost 11,000 posts.  Surely you've learned something in your practice of Permaculture whether you have a PDC or not that you could share?  Just from all your post alone I'm sure that you could share some ideas?  I'm all about the learning and especially from someone with vast knowledge who is not a Geoff Lawton, but just a regular guy in Texas, Florida, or a continent away that no one is familiar with.

Blessings...Hugh
 
Rene Nijstad
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Hi Hugh,

I think I needed that PDC, to connect all those little things into one big understanding and to then understand a little better those things I didn't really get before. I can now read Bill's manual without getting tired fast of the huge flow of information. Seeing it all connected really helped me and without the PDC I would still be struggling right now.

That said, I understand your question now too. We took the most difficult road so maybe I'm the wrong person to answer. On the other hand, if you see extremes maybe it helps too. We have a Wet-Dry tropical climate which can be extreme (either dry or wet). Our terrain is very mountainous and in combination with the sometimes very heavy rainfall this creates hazards that you have to address before you get anywhere (think water retention and erosion).  Then our soil is pretty alkaline, so not all plants grow here. Oh and did I mention that we live in a developing country where money is always missing because nobody has any and everybody wants some?

To me Permaculture is not just science or method, but Applied Science in capitals. I think you have to live it, to sort of "be" it before you can teach it. That's why we set out to build a demonstration farm first, before capitalizing on anything. You know, to just stand there with your boots in the mud wondering what theory you know of even applies to your current situation...

My advise to you is:
- life is a huge adventure if you want... Go for it
- answers come over time if you care to pay attention
- Permaculture as a whole is a pretty damn good way of looking at life and our planet
- no matter what anybody says you still have to follow your own path

Good luck man!
:-)

 
Tyler Ludens
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Hugh Holland wrote:
I appreciate the fact that you are pointing out things in the replies that are very micro, but I was wondering what you had experienced with income generation through your PDC?



Never took one, never will.  The only income generation I get from permaculture is savings in energy, food, and probably medical expenses, since I'm convinced I'm healthier living a permacultural way to whatever extent I'm able (improving all the time).

 
Hugh Holland
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Hugh Holland wrote:
I appreciate the fact that you are pointing out things in the replies that are very micro, but I was wondering what you had experienced with income generation through your PDC?



Never took one, never will.  The only income generation I get from permaculture is savings in energy, food, and probably medical expenses, since I'm convinced I'm healthier living a permacultural way to whatever extent I'm able (improving all the time).

Great!  Any ideas, or do you generate or derive any income through Permaculture that you would like to share?
 
Hugh Holland
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Rene Nijstad wrote:Hi Hugh,

I think I needed that PDC, to connect all those little things into one big understanding and to then understand a little better those things I didn't really get before. I can now read Bill's manual without getting tired fast of the huge flow of information. Seeing it all connected really helped me and without the PDC I would still be struggling right now.

That said, I understand your question now too. We took the most difficult road so maybe I'm the wrong person to answer. On the other hand, if you see extremes maybe it helps too. We have a Wet-Dry tropical climate which can be extreme (either dry or wet). Our terrain is very mountainous and in combination with the sometimes very heavy rainfall this creates hazards that you have to address before you get anywhere (think water retention and erosion).  Then our soil is pretty alkaline, so not all plants grow here. Oh and did I mention that we live in a developing country where money is always missing because nobody has any and everybody wants some?

To me Permaculture is not just science or method, but Applied Science in capitals. I think you have to live it, to sort of "be" it before you can teach it. That's why we set out to build a demonstration farm first, before capitalizing on anything. You know, to just stand there with your boots in the mud wondering what theory you know of even applies to your current situation...

My advise to you is:
- life is a huge adventure if you want... Go for it
- answers come over time if you care to pay attention
- Permaculture as a whole is a pretty damn good way of looking at life and our planet
- no matter what anybody says you still have to follow your own path

Good luck man!
:-)

Awesome and thank you so much!  Checked out your web-site and I must say, wow!  You sound like you are a little hard on yourself, but it looks amazing none the less.  I pray that you are rewarded for your hard work and effort and please brother, stay encouraged!

Blessings...Hugh
 
Rene Nijstad
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Thanks Hugh,

Very nice words! I don't think I'm too hard on myself, because we had to rely on help from outside which was also pretty difficult... That said we're finally getting somewhere after 5 years on this project.

I'm wondering why you get so few replies. My guess is that everyone here shies away from standard answers. You know what we permies say: it depends...

On your climate, your interests, the time you have available, on so many things...

What people here seem to like and respond to very much is if you show what you do and what problems you encounter. Or better if you do something and you can show off your success! You'll get much more attention with either one of those...

But you know, you still have to follow your own way, no matter what anyone says.

Success is always somewhere out there! Go for it! :-)
 
Hugh Holland
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Rene,

I don't worry about the replies so much.  It would be great to receive and see more, except for some of the previous replies.  Some folks just want to be heard and pay no mind to the subject matter.  I too am guilty of not replying to great topics, only peaking in and out.  My topic really got me to wondering, so I posted.  In the least, me and you learned something and we got to encourage one another on each others trek.  I appreciate your comments, your sharing and I hope that you stay the course!  It can be daunting I'm sure, but it can be so rewarding too!

Blessings...Hugh
 
Tyler Ludens
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Hugh Holland wrote:
 Any ideas, or do you generate or derive any income through Permaculture that you would like to share?



As I said above, the income I get from permaculture is in savings in energy and food and probably medical expenses. I used to think I wanted to sell vegetables with a roadside stand, but I realized I'm probably not a good enough gardener to produce a reliable surplus of things people would be willing to pay for, so I've decided I will just share any excess with neighbors.  Maybe that might generate "income" of goodwill, though we're already on good terms with the neighbors.

If I were a different person, an outgoing person, I think it would be great to work as a consultant on landscape design, helping people make water-retentive landscapes on the home scale.  In this region especially we need this because of our cycle of flood and drought.



 
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