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Pep, American only?

 
Alex Moffitt
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Hey,

In my opinion the Pep badge system is heavily directed towards, the American environment.
I feel many of the challenge aspects are not really applicable to people from other parts of the world.

I would like to take part but it seams challenging to have to follow the rules of the challenges when Many of the aspects include animals, plants, clothing, that is not applicable to my region.

I would like for More options to become available,
I believe that by expanding the choices and options for the challenges it would not only be more inclusive but would add value!
 
Luke Mitchell
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Hi Alex,

I had the same feelings when I started. Someone explained to me that PEP is Permaculture Experience according to Paul and, because of this, it's heavily geared towards his local environment and his experiences.

In theory, there is also PEx (Permaculture Experience according to... someone else), but I've not seen any progress towards an alternative curriculum. Regardless, I don't think it would have the shiny badges on this forum which, for me at least, are a nice, visual way to represent progress.

I live in the UK where many of the plants and, in particular, my access to large areas of land are not appropriate for some of the PEP Badges (and Badge Bits). I don't have the space to build enormous brush piles or create hugelkulturs because I have a tiny garden on a steep slope with no trees (well, some saplings!). My method has been to explore the curriculum widely and find those Badge Bits that I can complete and to work from there. It's certainly pushed me to explore more widely.

As a starting point, why not look into the Tool Care, Round Wood Woodworking and Textile Badges? I'm sure you'll also find some in Nest (looking after the home) and Food Preparation and Preservation.

Most of the Foraging badge bits have lists of plants that might not be easy for you to find but some, like Seedballs, Saving Seeds and Fish/Rabbit hunting would work for you.

Alternatively, you could work on your own curriculum, possibly finding an Aussie group to help.

I hope this helps.
 
Nancy Reading
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I`ll agree with you partly on this one Alex. Particularly for the badges relating to growing things; gardening and foraging for example. I had a look at the foraging badge `fresh harvesting`, and most of the plants in the 1kg category are not applicable to me in Scotland.
I suspect that most of the craft, nest, and building badges would be pretty applicable to anywhere in the world however, so these might be a good way to start.
Alternatively, PEP did start out as Permaculture Experience according to Paul. Maybe you could look at the badges that you should be able to do but can`t because the plants, or other situation is country specific and make a  Permaculture Experience according to Alex (except PEA is already used I think). The point is to develop skills in different areas of life/homesteading, not to be prescriptive. Maybe some of the people who developed it so far can chip in as to how best to use the system outside North America. There are wildcard badges which you can make your own, and maybe indigenous wisdom `down under` in natural building or food preservation that are more appropriate or otherwise worth developing skills in and sharing.
I hope this helps.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Hi. I live in the Netherlands, in a small ground-floor apartment with 'garden'. So there are many BBs in PEP which I can not do. There is the possibility to do PEA (Permaculture Experience for All / Apartments), but I like doing what I can in PEP. I don't do this because I want to inherit land, but to do some interesting experiments / challenges.

For a large country (continent) like Australia, I think it would be best to create your own PEXs (several, because there are huge differences. Also in the USA there's room for much more PEXs).
 
Skandi Rogers
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We did try talking about making some PEX's and were told to wait until PEP is finished. PEP is not possible to complete for me and I wouldn't wish to complete it as several of the badges require me to buy useless items and be a consumer just to complete the straw badge.
As it stands PEP would not make me want to give land to anyone as all it does is show you can conform to someone elses idea of a homesteader, for me to gift my land I would need it so somehow show that the person can think of alternatives, think round a problem, not follow a set formula, their school grades show me they can do that.
 
Edward Norton
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Reading through early PEP threads, this conversation came up many times. I wasn’t around here then though so don’t know the full story. I’m pretty sure Paul’s ok with the idea of PEx. I’m excited to see the development of PEA as a gateway drug.

I’d also love to see a framework for creating alternative permaculture experiences. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes though.

Personally, I’d like a food prep and preservation broken into two badges. Preservation could include koji, smoking, curing, preserves and jams, chutneys, brewing . . .  Just of the top of my head. I could in theory, write up a whole curriculum. Which raises other questions - do you have to have done the tasks your self to set the standards?
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi there!  As mentioned already, PEP is geared at a Rocky Mountain USA site that has the stuff Paul has laying around.  So it won't be very applicable to the tropics, desert or even places a state away from Montana.  It's taken years to develop PEP fully (which it now is).  Crafting a single PEX for the whole world is nearly impossible (in my opinion).  It's much better to have ones that are suited to different people's areas.  

We have PEA for apartments defined but all the BBs aren't written up quite yet.  I'm looking for help in that department (wink wink).

I could certainly imagine someone coming up with a PEL that focuses on things that work in Wales.  It might totally copy/reuse a third of the badges from PEP and then craft new ones for the other aspects.  Some may be hybrids where they copy some BBs and have other new ones.  Other badges may be new entirely (Food Prep on its own and Food Preservation on its own).  Perhaps Rocket is absorbed into Natural Building?  

I'm guessing these new PEXs would be able to live on permies.com.  I'm not sure how the signature line badges would work or the approval process.  Some money for the programming time may be needed.

Back to the original point, imagine how hard it would be to come up with a single foraging badge that is relatively equally hard for people to do everywhere in the world?  Figuring out all the stuff that you can forage in Brazil, Egypt, Scotland, India, Alaska and Texas (plus 100 other places) and then getting the amounts of each to be somewhat similar.  
 
Skandi Rogers
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Mike Haasl wrote:

Back to the original point, imagine how hard it would be to come up with a single foraging badge that is relatively equally hard for people to do everywhere in the world?  Figuring out all the stuff that you can forage in Brazil, Egypt, Scotland, India, Alaska and Texas (plus 100 other places) and then getting the amounts of each to be somewhat similar.  



Really easy actually, you just are not specific, you say X amount of X number of different plants. and do not specify which plants, you could further specify fruit, seeds, leaves etc. One could also require pictures of 50 different usable plants and the person doing the PEX rather than actually harvesting them as some will be illegal or immoral to pick.
 
Mike Haasl
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Let's say the X's are 5 pounds of 5 different plants.  I'm guessing that's much easier to do in the jungle than it is to do in the desert...
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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Perhaps a PEC, Permaculture Experience according to Climate, might work? So, PEC-Temperate, PEC-Desert, PEC-Tropical, etc.
 
Mike Haasl
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You can try that.  I think the issue comes along when people from different parts of the world, but with similar climate types, start to argue about which plants make sense.  Then you also have to break desert up into high and low.  Tropics probably have a few subclassifications as well.  

As soon as you say that you are the decider of all things for a country, state, city or climate type, people will line up to tell you you're wrong.  If you say that you're just the decider for your PEX and it kind of applied decently to a given climate type and area, then they can't complain.   Well, they'll try but it's easier to deal with.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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It's an interesting discussion, from the first start! When you're new to it, it takes some time to understand: this is only 'according to Paul', it's the way Paul wants it, there at his place (Wheaton Labs and the Base Camp).
So if you are one of those people with land who are thinking 'who'll inherit my land in the future?', than best thing for you to do is to make your own PEX (Permaculture Experience according to X...).

 
paul wheaton
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I feel like getting PEP to the point it is now has been about 40 times harder than I thought it would be.  And that was with an enormous amount of help.

I also think to make something fully universal would be about 60 times more work than all of that.  

A tall order for something free.

 
Mike Haasl
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:So if you are one of those people with land who are thinking 'who'll inherit my land in the future?', than best thing for you to do is to make your own PEX (Permaculture Experience according to X...).


Or just select an heir from the people doing PEP since it's a pretty good list of stuff and it's easier than making your own PEX
 
Alex Moffitt
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paul wheaton wrote:I feel like getting PEP to the point it is now has been about 40 times harder than I thought it would be.  And that was with an enormous amount of help.

I also think to make something fully universal would be about 60 times more work than all of that.  

A tall order for something free.



Hey Paul,

I wrote this forum thread,
Not Meaningfully understanding the amount of difficulty involved,
I have since learned of the significance in relation to the SKIP program,
I feel the need to apologise for writing this forum thread, because my understanding was immature, I was looking at it thinking it was a fun way to build community and show off cool badges.

I want to apologise for my immaturity, and lack of understanding of the amount of effort and energy that I was asking for!
I want to apologise for all lack of gratitude for the work which has been put into the badge system and especially this community!
My apology is addressed to all the people who Have invested so much time, energy, money into this!

My motives were well meaning but lacked understanding!

I also would like to thank the many people who posted on this thread showing me ways in which I can be included in this community and in the badge aspects!

Sincere regards,
Alex


 
Mike Haasl
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Hey Alex, no worries!  It's such a complicated "thing" to try to explain and folks come to it from many different angles so conveying all the into to all the people is a bit tricky.  Apologies accepted
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