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200 times more permaculture  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 25656
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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We currently have a few people working stuff in our permaculture bootcamp.  We need to fill that out to six, and do it long enough that we might be able to handle 12.   And maybe two years from now, we might be able to carry 24.  

There are three pieces of property next to mine.   I like the idea that those properties are purchased by permies and they each carry out their own vision in community.  

I would like to see more ants and deep roots people on the lab, pushing projects forward.   I would like to get to the point that we have several natural building instructors and we have at least one person that manages the seppers program.



Another way of expressing this:  I like the idea that a community of 50 people continue to blaze a trail for permaculture here long after I have died.  

It seems that there are a lot of permaculture sites that will allow one or two people.  Or there are places where they will allow dozens of people and tolerate permaculture.  

I think about how ten years ago I wanted to move to a community where they were as bonkers about permaculture as I was.  And I just couldn't seem to find a fit.  So now I have created a place for people like "past me".  The idea is that this would be their permanent residence.  Where they would plant the seeds of permaculture and, in time, add to the greater permaculture knowledge set.

Permaculture, homesteading, self sufficiency .... all wrapped up in a flavor of community.  

I hope that my online efforts produce 200x in five years.    I hope that my on site efforts product 200x in twenty years.



As I think about what I need most right now ....   I need to fill out the permaculture bootcamp program.   I could use a few dozen ideas on how to do that.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 25656
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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How many people are at sepp holzer's place.  Five?

I like the idea that we have 50 people here.  We do everything sepp has ever done, and then we do ten times more than that.  80% of the cool permaculture stuff we do is stuff that sepp never got around to trying.  

How many people live at mark shepherd's place (3?)?  Or ben falk's place (3?)?    I think there are about a dozen people at any time at geoff lawton's place (??).

Can this property become something of a permaculture theme park of sorts (basecamp 20 acres) next door to the experimental lab (200 acres).  Maybe the properties next to mine get bought up and they do similar projects.  Maybe the greater community is hundreds?    Maybe there are a few hundred more permies that live nearby?

 
Posts: 52
Location: Western Side Of The Great Oak Savanna
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Permaculture by trickery seems to work well for me.

I've set up a few small gardens for people and shown them how best to operate/manage it, covering some permaculture basics and practical points for their specific arrangement.

About half keep it going.

While I wish they would get more in depth with their "garden", at least they're continuing, all the while not even considering the word "permaculture".

A rose by any other name is ALMOST as sweet.
 
gardener
Posts: 5096
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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One of the ways I've been working at getting permaculture ideas out in the public view has been through landscaping and farm consulting businesses.
It is amazing to see the faces of people who are used to "spray this now" thinking, when you change their landscaping and suddenly they don't have the bills for "spray this now" coming in all year long.
Once they see how nice their property looks without spending all that money, they want more of their land to be like that, and they tell their neighbors and friends.
Grass roots spreading of the word.

The same thing happens in farming, when I get one farmer to change methodology and they see black on the books instead of red, they become converts.
It takes time and diligence but once those bottom line numbers are getting better and better, they spread the word to their friends.
In the farm world, change comes as slow as molasses in January at the north pole, but it will gain momentum since the ice caps are thawing.

Redhawk
 
Posts: 80
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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Hello from the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  I am trying to permaculture my life.  Right now, I am trying to build a hugleKulture bed in my field.  I started this spring by laying old cardboard boxes where I wanted the bed, and then covering the boxes with raked up grass mowing piles. (I used an old child's sled we found at the dump. My husband attached a rope for me and I fill the sled up with the grass clippings and then pull it to the spot and then I pile the clippings on the cardboard.  I have been trying to get my hubby to help me with gathering the big logs for the hugel bed, but he is very sick (on oxygen for 3 years now) and stubborn. He won't read the permaculture books or let me get anyone to help me.  I am not allowed to use the chainsaw because is sure I will cut off one of my limbs if I do.

I just finished reading Josh Throght's book on his D-Acres project which isn't very far from me. Even though we have 13 acres (mostly forest) we would never be allowed (zoning) to have a co-housing community like that here.  So my plans to make my little farmlet (Moose Hollow Farm) a permaculture demonstration site is slow going.  I am willing to do what I can, but as an almost 60 year old. not very strong woman it is hard going.  

We did get apples from our tree for the first time this year. Our green beans did great and are canned in the pantry. Zucchini relish, crabapple, and grape jelly canned. Because of my hubby's lung issues we can't have chickens or farm animals anymore.

Frustrated in the mountains, plugging along.
 
pollinator
Posts: 145
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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Steven Kovacs wrote:

Maureen Atsali wrote:I am all in with this idea, although I am under qualified and stuck out here in the sticks of Africa... If I can help, here I am.



You mean, you're ready to learn, not overconfident in your capabilities, and located in a frontier for permaculture where you can spread the word?  Perfect!  



I totally agree - we need to get a few Seps, Bills and Pauls going in other parts of the world. Where do we find them and get them going? No chance they will hop a plane to the Alps and learn something usefull for Kenia.

In my view education is everything. I was doing permaculture stuff before i even knew the word. Just common sense, some observational skills, scientific knowledge and generally a lack of time.
A lack of time can be valuable This is where i'm going. There is lots of stuff out there on the net but little quality control. What really works ? What really works 'here' (wherever you are) ? How to adapt techniques ..... Someone starting with this is overwhelmed. Just having access to peer reviewed stuff is a lot of help.

Coaching and connecting trough the net is also a good way to multiply our way of doing things. In Africa, Parts of Latin America and Asia - the Monsanto's of the world have not yet established their way. Getting permaculture ideas going there could do the most good. Coincidentally, climate change is hitting there hardest. The traditional hoefarming is under pressure so people there are ready for change. There is of course a language gap. A Bantoe farmer in rural Niger is not exactly equipped to understand an english spoken You Tube documentary. If he has any education it is likely to be french based.......
So our understandings, if at all relevant, can not find their way to the farmers who needs them.

Indexing or decent crossreferencing information/you tube films/products/ etc.... might help to. I'm not helped by knowing Joe Something is located in zone 8b. In Europe i can not place that, let alone an African farming community. So if i produce a documentary - I could crossreference by using the location as a minimum, further cross-reference points could be - 'local climate', 'ingredients/materials' needed, 'food preservation methods', 'scale of operation', 'funding/finance', 'marketing info',....

F.e. Stinging nettle tea is great but along the coast of the Indian Ocean those are in short supply.
     A permie farmer coop needs an organic food distributor/importer ....

People like you Maureen could be the translator/indexer/conduit of ideas.... If you can speak with the locals, you can help them find ways to reach the net. You are there, even a casual remark to a farmer might do good.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Posts: 5096
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I totally agree - we need to get a few Seps, Bills and Pauls going in other parts of the world. Where do we find them and get them going? No chance they will hop a plane to the Alps and learn something usefull for Kenia.  



Well, actually there are quite a few Permaculture folks spreading the word by doing the work out around the world.

Neil Spackman is in the Arabian peninsula working on a big project with the Bedouin.
William Horvath is "eastern" Europe and has the Permaculture Apprentice web presence.
Aaron Elton is in Uganda helping the people there establish permaculture Moringa farms for food and fuel wood.
Nicolas Netien is promoting Dry Climate permaculture in Africa.
Peter Allen is working to restore some of the African Savanna's.
Jon Liu is in China doing the massive restorations there.
Thomas Fernley-Pearson is doing work in the Mediterranean.
There is a group that is concentrating on rewilding parts of Siberia.

And there are more, with others getting into it every month or so.
These are some of my colleagues and friends spreading the need and how to of restoring the earth mother to health. (and showing people how to make a little money and feed their people all at the same time).
It is interesting that most of us are not widely known, but that is probably because we do more works than writing, except for Neil (Sustainable Design Master Class) and William (The Permaculture Apprentice), most are out of the spotlight except for the country they are working in.


Redhawk
 
Posts: 113
Location: Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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Travis Johnson wrote:The United States tends to drive the rest of the world, and as such we tend to be fickle people. What I see happening is a resurgence away from the traditional Kubota-Organic farm to a more Fossil-Free Organic Farm type system. Sepp might have proposed using more people to replace fossil fuel powered machinery, but there is one inherent problem with that concept and this is...people suck. quote]

There is actually a lot of progress that Paul and other leaders cannot see. Yes, the nature of people is a problem, but as a retired teacher, let me tell you:
1/ a great idea has a lot of power. People easily get discouraged and always have self doubts, but once they latch on to a winner of an idea, they will never let go. You can kill people a whole lot easier than you can kill a good idea. And permaculture is a great idea.
2/ People rise in an organization not just on the terrific job they do but on KNOWING that they do a great job, and while awards are fine, this inside little person inside you that lets you know: "Hey, you did well there" is a lot more powerful than all the naysayers put together.
3/ In order to rise in an organization, or even to join in, folks have to sense that success is possible and have the right personal skills for that organization. I have that sense [that Permaculture is the only way to go], but while I know I can raise bees and chicken and have a beautiful raised garden bed and a small forest I'm still trying to grow into a farm forest, all of it without chemicals, I do not yet have the confidence to be a leader in the field. I suck at creating videos or organizing in general and I really do not have a head for business. Learning how to work my 7 acres observing the best principles of Permaculture is in itself a daunting task, but progress is happening out of sight: I advocate for clean water and clean air in Central Wisconsin, and I make suggestions here and there at town meetings. Voltaire once said "you must cultivate your own garden". and indeed, each one of us is focused on his/ her tiny world, and it is all of us, each one of us in our own puny ways that end up changing the world. This is the real way that things change. Some, like the great leader in the Permaculture movement are the visionaries. Here, in the trenches, so to speak, we are the ones absorbing the ideas and communicating them, little by little, through friendships. Just this year, I had a person who came to visit on a different matter and while she was waiting for her husband, I showed her my garden. Raised beds, watering from barrels in which I steep comfrey, a rebar at the corner of each bed and a short piece of PVC impaled on it so I can drag hoses around the beds without killing plants, gathering clean leaves at the end of the season. Simple stuff, really. Nothing revolutionary. She was all ears and kept saying "Ooh, I like that. I'm going to do the same thing in my garden". My husband later told me that she was a Master Gardener. She gleaned at least half a dozen ideas. Will she follow through? Maybe. Maybe she will pick one or two and feel she can improve her garden. I approached my town board about not putting chemicals to rid the ditches of certain weeds and pointed out the savings the town could make if they seeded the edges of the ditches with short flowers, perhaps Birds' foot trefoil, which never needs mowing and is good for pollinators and won't poison the ditch water. Some listened attentively, others were looking at their watches, but there will be other town meetings, and I'll keep pounding on that nail.
4/ The other difficulty is the sheer vastness of the task and of the field. Permaculture is a huge idea, with lots and lots of components, and what works here may not work in the next county, with a different fauna and flora. And so we hesitate and spend a lot of time thinking and rethinking the ideas we think we understand until it fits just right... for each one of us.
So in short, to all of our great leaders in Permaculture, let me say: It is working. You may not see all the progress being made quietly at the local level and I'm sure it is disheartening at times, but each and every one of us is gleaning new ideas, new ways of doing things. Montaigne once famously said that we should travel and "rub and sharpen our brains against other people's brains". In this very excellent forum, that is what we are all doing, and that is really the way that we get the best movement going and progressing. Thanks for creating a place where we can all grow in Permaculture.

 
Posts: 79
Location: Melbourne Australia
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Joel Bercardin wrote: Not everybody has a rural acreage, and not everybody has even a back yard (many condo and apartment dwellers do not).



People often post on permies offering free land in exchange for working it.  Permies.com could become a clearing house for connecting land-havers with land-needers.  There's no lack of land available for people who want to work it.  It just might not be in their personal yard.



Whilst I am a believer, I am lazy and I don't wish to be a farmer.  I am retired with enough money to buy a property that could be good for permiculture.  I would be happy for "others" to live off the land if I could have a house and a nice view.  I think I might be a permiculture resource but as there is no clear way for me to set up something that might work I will continue to live in the city and consume resources.

Is there a solution?

It seems to me that there might be a way for me to use my retirement money to setup a property that could sustain me and "others"  There are lots of people like me that could help establish permiculture properties if we could get a system that gives us old "rich folks" what we want.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 5096
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
618
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hau Alan Loy, I like your idea.
You could buy the land and set it up as a "Live in Learning Center".
This could work really well if you found enough other people that share the idea of yours, where you could put funds together to buy large blocks of land then you could either lease parcels or set it up as a school setting.
The one issue you would have is whether or not those "students" would remain once they learned the permaculture methods they came to learn.
If they didn't then you could start a new "crop" of students, which would make it like a Permaculture University.
 
pollinator
Posts: 738
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Alan Loy wrote:...
It seems to me that there might be a way for me to use my retirement money to setup a property that could sustain me and "others"  There are lots of people like me that could help establish permiculture properties if we could get a system that gives us old "rich folks" what we want.



Alan, I think this is a very good way to use your 'richness'!
You only have to provide the money to a group of people who know how to start this Permaculture Property (maybe as a Course Centre, as Bryant suggests, or in another way). Have a little talk together, so they know what you want and you know what they want, find a 'common ground'. And then they start!
Probably you'll find those people at Permies. (I'm sorry I live too far away)
 
pollinator
Posts: 546
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Alan,

I think this is a valuable idea. There are many people who lack resources to get started but may have expertise and strong work ethic. The question is how to find and incentivise them.

I would suggest you reach out to Geoff Lawton (or his entourage) and see if there is a way they could pair your resources with their product. Local knowledge is key, and maybe you avoid kissing too many frogs...

 
pollinator
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Allow me to resurrect this old thread.

In the past 12 months, I was able to teach a course at the University where I work titled "Strategies for Sustainable Agricultural Development".  There were initially 21 students who signed up for the course, and 16 that stuck with it to the end.  For many of the students, it was the first time they'd grown anything from seed to salad.  The students were required to read broadly in the permaculture and agg development literature, and spent at least 4 hours a week outside in the garden.  The last week of the course, we ate a bunch of food that the students had grown themselves: a nice coleslaw from a couple of fresh cabbages they'd grown, a big green salad, and chicken tacos from birds we'd grown all semester.  The buzz from the course was significant across campus: dozens of their friends were inquiring about the class—"When is it going to be offered again?"  

We did a bunch of different projects throughout the semester: hugel beds, a chicken tractor, a grey-water system off the kitchen sink, fermentation/drying/canning/food preservation, biochar . . . but the thing that they talked about most in their summary paper was the magic of seeing a compost pile go from just a pile of biomass, to 160 degrees, to crumbly black garden gold within 3 weeks.  They kept talking about the compost pile!  OK -- if that's their biggest take away, then that's cool.  They'll never forget that.  

We are now on summer break, but I'm hearing by e-mail from some of the students about the projects they are taking on as they return home for the summer.  From Texas to Belgium to Hawaii, students are taking what they learned and putting into practice.  I exposed them to this web-site/forum.  Some have created accounts.  Hey guys.

Further, because of the word-of-mouth-buzz on campus, I've had a couple of conversations with faculty and staff who didn't know that i was "such a gardener".  Well -- I suppose its gardening, but more than that, I'm a systems-designer: a permaculturalist.  Last week, one of these people came over for a "tour" and asked that I help her re-design her back yard for food production. Food is just one of the outcomes.  In the next academic year, I'm slated to teach the course again in the Spring semester (Spring 2019).  I'll cap the course at 25 students, and this time, I'll do a much better job of publicity as well as making expectations clear: this course will require a lot of work, so don't sign up for it unless you are ready to get dirty.  I'd love to offer a one-week intensive for faculty and staff: something of a PDC.  Maybe in a year or two.

So . . . bringing this ramble back to the OP, is that 200 times more permaculture?  Well, there are 16 students who now know that permaculture is, as well as a handful of others who heard about it through via word of mouth.  Next year, we'll double that number -- perhaps triple it.  As they share with their friends, their families, their circle of peers . . . now we are approaching the 200X multiplication.  In 3 or 4 years, I'll have reached that many people.  Depending on how aggressive these students are in sharing with others, the exponential growth will easily exceed 200x.

Change is like an infection.  (I'm stealing this from Malcolm Gladwell's "Tipping Point").  The key is to get critically important infectors to adapt the change, and then they'll be like Typhoid Mary -- setting of an exponential wave of change far in excess of normal one-by-one adaptation and change.
 
When I was younger I felt like a man trapped inside a woman’s body. Then I was born. My twin is a tiny ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
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