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Labour for a Permaculture Course  RSS feed

 
Lee Morgan
Posts: 35
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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I was listening to Paul Wheaton's discussion on people who want to freely distribute other peoples product without paying for it like the guy giving away free pdf copies of Toby Hemmingway's book. (Which I do not like by the way)

Here is my question:

Are there any people in Ontario, or elsewhere for that matter that offer Permaculture certification in exchange for labour or whatever on their operation?

Nothing is free. I was thinking that how much would my skills as a Graphic Designer be worth in exchange for someone else's product or skill. Like if I needed something wired in my house and I needed an electrician, how much of each other's time is worth. I came to the realization that no one would think that they are getting a good deal, the more experience you have the more your skill can be marked up in a money based economy. It is a hard problem. And there are a lot of lazy people out there. So my question is if you were hard working, and not a lazy bastard could you get Permaculture Certification in exchange for labour, for example digging ditches, building hugukulture beds, filling tires with dirt, etc. Would that even be the education itself at the same time? Keep in mind that if money were tight but you had time to use.

And my question relies on doing that work within the reachable area of Northern USA and Canada because I cannot drive all the way to Mexico, I have a family, etc.

I was at the Tracker School in New Jersey and they offered volunteers free education and a place to hone their skills in exchange for labour and prepping course material for people who had paid.

Thanks

 
LaLena MaeRee
Posts: 148
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I don't see this as impossible, I watched my dad do it to feed us. My parents owned several different businesses over the years, they installed some of the very first satellite tv "dishes" in the 80's. Still in their living room hangs a picture of an old man panning for gold, it is a beautiful painting. Dad had met an old lady who needed her satellite worked on, she had no money but she had a house full of paintings she had done. Dad fixed her dish, she gave him the painting he wanted. A year later he again helped the same woman in exchange for a big rock she was using as a door stop, the rock had gold in it, not enough to be of value but to my dad it was amazing because of its beauty. You can ask my dad today about that old woman or any other of the trades he made and he will say he didn't get ripped off, they were valuable exchanges. My dad even traded installation of a sewer and water system for dental work on my sister and I, I personally would say that one was a rip off though because that dentist put metal fillings in my head. For the most part though exchanges of labor always worked well for our family.
Edit: I left out the most important one, when I was 14 he plowed the snow for the local butcher, we got free new york steak for a year, DROOL.
 
John Wright
Posts: 17
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I do workshops for the ecology center i work for on sustainable ag, no till, polyculture, hugelkulture. . etc
I don't charge for my time in doing this and I don't feel cheated.
Meeting people who are into this kind of stuff is awesome for me, I love to talk with them and learn about what they are doing to become better at what I do
And build community.

Is your time really worth that much that you can't go out of your way to help someone else learn about permaculture? Especially when they want to learn, it will help them decrease the amount of money they will have to spend over time and make them healthier. I think building community is worth my time.
I believe these things are inherant in permaculture. In listening to Bill Mollison speak i think he has made it clear that there are class issues that need to be addressed in all of this.
I see information about permaculture as getting out to mostly white, middle to upper class people who constantly making the type one error of buying a beautiful piece of paradise, chopping it all down and growing a poorly designed food forest in it's place with tons of material brought from off site.
It boggles my mind.
I think if we put this information in the hands of people who are actually resource strapped, don't shop at whole foods, and who are actually feeling the brunt of this slave wage system that they will show us how it's done. Remember theses are the people who make something out of nothing every day.
 
Rufus Laggren
Posts: 481
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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John,

Agree, mostly. But it's better not to break societal rules (eg. "pirating" intellectual material) if your life and family's well being can be served legally. Bad karma.

Lee

I'm sure there's people out there to trade with. Barter is totally personal - you just have to get out there and make it happen with somebody. And I see you're on it - started the net working and cold-call process already. <g> Money streamlines, regularizes and speeds the process, though.


Rufus
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22482
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I was directed to this thread because somebody was worried "things might be getting out of hand."

So i wish to express a couple of important things:

1) I think it is awesome that some people go out and help others. They put hundreds of hours per year to helping others. This is excellent.

2) I think it is awesome that some people put together books, dvds, food, etc. for a price. Their choice.

3) I become really uncomfortable if anybody tries to shame somebody from group 2 to living according to group 1. It seems to me like that is a choice.

Is your time really worth that much that you can't go out of your way to help someone else learn about permaculture?


I'm not sure who this is directed. Toby? Me? I'll just assume it is me:

I think I go out of my way to help several million people learn about permaculture. At the same time, I get individuals that are certain that I need to stop work on helping millions, to answer their questions privately and personally. Many of these people insist that I am obligated to come to their property and give advice for free. I then choose to take that time that would be spent helping one person, and, instead, focus that time to help 10,000 people. The one person gets pissed and says things like "Is your time really worth that much that you can't go out of your way to help someone else learn about permaculture?"

So perhaps you can understand how I've become a little sensitive to this sort of thing.

-------

To the original point of the thread: I do see MANY farms offering a work-trade for a PDC. Generally, folks come and work for a couple of months and at the end of the summer there is a PDC and the workers get that for free!


 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
Posts: 107
Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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I love this old chestnut;
"We don't work for free for nothing"
 
Lee Morgan
Posts: 35
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Thanks Paul,

I just wanted to know if PDC for labour was offered and if any were in Canada and if anyone knew any.
 
John Wright
Posts: 17
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let me make it clear that I am not giving away copies of anyones book or anything like that
the information that I present in my workshops are from a number of sources and personal experience.
we do the workshops at the farm. . people come outside and see things in real life after we talk about them
it's a personal choice for me to do it this way. . i just really enjoy it and i don't understand why courses and talks can be so expensive when now is the time for us to get together, put the bs aside and work to make this world better. . .i'm not saying that your not really trying to do that. . i'm just saying that you would reach more of the people who really could benefit from permaculture by including people who didn't get all the breaks that we did.
i think there is so much in economic savings that you and others have developed to save you money in your daily life that a lot of poor people would benefit.. . but they can't afford your talks or a pdc course. .i just think that shouldn't be the case.
2nd ethic
care of people: provision for people to access those resources necessary to their existence
i think permaculture could be that resource.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22482
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I agree with geoff lawton: there really needs to be a PDC that is offered for $50,000 per student: Super fancy food; technologies are presented in a first class way; a collections of the very best instructors ..... Something for Oprah, Tom Hanks and a billionaire or two. Because when this information is in their head, they will then share it through their avenues.

That said, I think there are lots of farms that offer a free PDC to their farm workers. And some PDCs are offered super cheap. And if anybody thinks PDCs should be offered for free, I am not aware of anything stopping them from doing just that.

Of course, when somebody suggests that I need to drop all of the work that I am doing, and then live my life a way I don't want to (such as teaching PDCs) - that seems a bit like slavery. I'm not into that.

I put a lot of time into finding ways to put the word "permaculture" (and bits of what that means) into a lot of brains. For free. The only time I have charged for my time is when people want a large chunk of my time for just a very few people. This is the path I have chosen for myself.

i'm just saying that you would reach more of the people who really could benefit from permaculture by including people who didn't get all the breaks that we did.
i think there is so much in economic savings that you and others have developed to save you money in your daily life that a lot of poor people would benefit.. . but they can't afford your talks or a pdc course


So far I have conveyed permaculture information to about 20 million people for free. Plus, I have given a LOT of talks that were free. And I have been to PDCs and shared information at no charge.

So I am having a really hard time following your point.

Oh wait: perhaps you can share with us what your contributions are so that I can better understand how you are an example that I should be following.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22482
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Lee Morgan wrote:Thanks Paul,

I just wanted to know if PDC for labour was offered and if any were in Canada and if anyone knew any.


Lee,

I suggest that you post your query to the "Great White North" forum: http://www.permies.com/forums/f-22

 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 774
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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I think Paul is doing an excellent job of spreading the word
we each do what we can
if we all did the same thing only one thing would get done

here is a video showing another way to spread the word economically

http://vimeo.com/51977924
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
184
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I can't watch the video because of slow internet (can't afford faster internet)

 
Isaac Hill
gardener
Posts: 357
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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To the OP, I interned all summer at Three Sisters Farm in exchange for a free PDC, so it definitely happens.
 
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Some poems rhyme. But this is a tiny ad:

The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:
http://richsoil.com/cards


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