Susan Monroe wrote:
What I see people in permie and organic forums wanting is a real double-standard: they understand that the mega/chemical-farmer is getting subsidized to pay for much of his expenses, but they STILL think the small grower should do it all himself, NOT work outside the farm, NOT get subsidies, and do it all fast enough to make a decent profit.
And when they can't find people who are doing it, they say that larger-scale organic or permie methods aren't economically viable.
Just like ANY OTHER operation, it all takes money. Money, not some pseudo-religious spiel, not a double-standard, not a different set of rules.
Look at both of them with the same-colored glasses. If the rule for one is the same as the rule for the other, it will level the playing field. But to hold one group to one set of standards, and the other group to no standards at all, what are you accomplishing? NOTHING! You're comparing a bag of shelled walnuts to a stack of broken bricks. There just ISN'T a comparison that will hold water.
Try mentally reversing the situation and what do you think would happen:
Make the mega/chemical-farmer pay for all his own expenses, as well as for the cleanup of the contamination he's causing, and all the health problems he's causing by growing contaminated food.
Subsidize (even temporarily) the organic and permie farmer so he can move his farm along quickly enough to become viably operational and profitable. Suppose he can get a guaranteed subsidy for a certain amount of $ for seven years. After that, the subsidy ends, no excuses, no extensions.
What do you think would happen then?
What makes food production not sustainable is the act of commodifying it.
Susan Monroe wrote:
Most kids and many adults don't even know where their food comes from! And that is truly sad.
If "Permaculture" is a DESIGN PROCESS, than I would argue that the only way to be economically viable practicing "Permaculture" would be to offer DESIGN Services, Teach DESIGN Classes, or sell books that educate the public about all of the food production and exchange practices that have been successful (sustainable) around the world that might prove to be useful models to emulate today.
If Practicing Permaculture means designing a system carefully taking into consideration many variables, then maybe one could decide to grow crops in rows as a part of one's Permaculture Design if this would fit into one's larger situation. Have I just committed blasphemy with this statement???
Is Permaculture economically viable... ???
I imagine several ways of looking at this question. First of all, in practicing "Permaculture," would it be more appropriate for me to grow surplus to sell or trade with others or would it be best to sell my services as a Permaculture Design Consultant and teach others how to grow things for themselves???
paul wheaton wrote:
I think the first step of any permaculture farm should be to come up with at least 80% of your food from the farm. I see too many farms that focus on a market garden or CSA crops without regard for their own food first.
oh p.s. check out path to freedom I would call them very self sustainable.
in a small scale sort of way.