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Chris Gains
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Hi everyone Chris here from Liverpool UK. Im just starting off on my journey to become self sufficient and could do with a little advice. Probably a lot of people here have many reasons for being here, but I think the one thing we all have in common is we recognise we need to change how we treat everything around us. That is exactly where I am now. The only problem is I'm caught up in the rat race and its hard to break free. The main cause is money.

I have debt but my full time job is help pay this off (which nearly 2 thirds will be clear by July). I have been looking for ways to get into permaculture but cant find a way of leaving my old job behind, learning and still getting by.

Heres my plan up to now:
1. Pay my debt off
2. Be taking my PDC while doing the above (online with Patrick Whitefield)
3. Get some hands on experience through volunteering
4. Complete the permaculture diploma

Now Im happy to work hard and get my hands dirty in return for food and board with some volunteering (WWOOFing) but I cant do that for the length of the diploma which takes the minimum of 2 years to complete. Also I would need to quit my job once I got to stage 3.

So my question is has anyone been a situation like mine or similar a found a way to learn and earn? I wouldnt be expecting to earn a lot. Just to enough to get by.

Apologies if this post is in the wrong place. Thanks in advance for any help
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Chris and welcome to Permies!

First of all - great job paying down so much of your debt in such a short time.

Second - some of the most wonderful things about permaculture are learned for free - even before you have a PDC. (not saying you shouldn't do a PDC - I'm a PDC instructor myself - but don't put off getting your hands dirty).

Do you have volunteer activities you could engage in where you're at now? I know here in Phoenix where I live, there's usually AT LEAST one permaculture volunteer opportunity per week during the not-freakishly-hot season. For instance, we may have seed swaps/seed saving workshops, community garden workdays, tree planting parties, water harvesting installations or just get-togethers of like-minded people for a pot luck. These events could last an hour or two or may take a weekend. They don't involve giving up your day job.

Wishing you the best,
Jen in Phoenix.
 
Chris Gains
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Hi Jen

Happy to be here, thanks for quick reply. That sounds great where you are. Unfortunately where I am opportunities like yours are few and far between. When they do come up they are usually a few hours one day a week (when I am working). There was some weekend events but they got cancelled due to small interest. Sorry if it sounds like my glass is half empty, but I assure you I would jump at the chance to get involved in some of the opportunities you mentioned.

I dont have any land to work with, but I have just acquired a plot of land on a allotment. There was a big waiting list, but I was put the front because I was keen. I was going to use this in my PDC.

Did you complete both the PDC and Permaculture diploma to become a teacher?

Thanks
Chris



 
Josh Pasholk
gardener
Posts: 139
Location: Southern Oregon
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Hey Chris,

Sounds like you have a great plan going and are just looking for more! It seems as though you and I are in a similar situation - I am currently paying off student loans and finishing paying off my lease to owned car (worst decision ever) before any of my real work gets started.

By real I mean on a larger scale and/ or on my own farm someday. For now I am lucky enough to have a house with some space to play around with - I have installed a number of hugelkultures and herb-spirals among other things and it's already gained me a bit of a reputation around my small town - I think it's just because I am actually doing something - and people seem to respond.

My garden is on a fairly well traveled foot path so it enjoys the traffic of curious onlookers.

My best advice to you is to start digging and planting, anything, anywhere it doesn't even matter just that you actually are planting and getting your hands dirty - you will feel like something is happening, and it will just spiral from there.

I wish you the best of luck and you're in good hands here at permies.
 
Chris Gains
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Hi Josh

Thats sounds great what your doing. Part of my debt is a car also! Bad choice on my part too. I think once people can see for themselves how you can change a small piece land, it sparks interest. I could imagine some opportunities be offered to you, to replicate what you have done on your own land.

I have just acquired a small plot of land. Not very big but I can get started doing something like you mentioned.

My dream like yours would be to eventually have acres to design something on a larger scale. Then be able to teach and help people like myself now. I have found some volunteer opportunities which look great but they cost a lot. Jen who posted above seems to located by some great places to get your hands dirty and learn a lot.

Do you work full time Josh?
 
Elissa Teal
Posts: 128
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Welcome, Chris! Just curious - what permaculture books (or other resources) have resonated most with you?
 
Chris Gains
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Hi Elissa

I am currently reading Ben Falk the resilient farm and homestead. I have also watched a lot of Jeff Lawton videos. I was trying to find something to study which was had similar temp/whether conditions as myself.

I have found it a bit over whelming with so many choices and different practices. I have heard the mention of Gaias Garden and maybe this would be best suited to start me off as I have small allotment plot.

I am also planning to start an online PDC with Patrick Whitefield and I know he has books available.
 
Elissa Teal
Posts: 128
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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If you are a plant-lover, I highly recommend two resources: Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel and Paul Wheaton's 11-part podcast wherein he and Neil Bertrando go through the book together and discuss each section. You can find the permies thread here: http://www.permies.com/t/24542/podcast/Podcast-Botany-Day-Review-Part#281392 And in that link you will find the link to purchase (for $3) the podcast bundle: http://www.scubbly.com/item/76894/

If you are more interested in other topics within PC, you should definitely ask around in the appropriate subforums about which resources (books, etc.) are highly prized.
 
Chris Gains
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Thanks Elissa

I am interested in both but permaculture mostly. Will check those links you sent, because its always to good to have an all round view.

Im new to the forum so will be need to put some time aside to get really involved. Looks a great place to learn. Its also nice to speak to like minded people.
 
Josh Pasholk
gardener
Posts: 139
Location: Southern Oregon
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Criss,

I actually just lost "full-time" at the place I work at - long political story - but I am seeking a new job as well as working at numerous different gigs including farms, moving companies and data entry type stuff.

I hope I get back to full time soon though as I am behind on pretty much all bills. :/

 
Chris Gains
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Hi Josh

Sorry to here you lost your job. I hope you get back to work soon so you can get back to paying your bills. Have you ever tried Freelancer.com or oDesk? You can get data entry jobs on a freelance basic. As long as you have the internet you get started.

 
I've never won anything before. Not even a tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
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