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gardener
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An interesting idea would be to form a co-op where everyone buys a share and sends one person to the workshop, who then comes home and teaches everyone in the group in a version of the original.  This would make it affordable for a group or IC.
 
master pollinator
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Jami McBride wrote:
An interesting idea would be to form a co-op where everyone buys a share and sends one person to the workshop, who then comes home and teaches everyone in the group in a version of the original.  This would make it affordable for a group or IC.



Wow, super idea, I love it!

 
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Jami McBride wrote:
An interesting idea would be to form a co-op where everyone buys a share and sends one person to the workshop, who then comes home and teaches everyone in the group in a version of the original.  This would make it affordable for a group or IC.


Yes, that's thinking like a village. 

Taking it further, over the years, each person would take a turn learning some useful skill or other...Bob does a PDC and shares his info, Sally learns earthen building, etc. etc. 

The sharing economy is the way to abundance. 
 
gardener
Posts: 1381
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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I don't have the ability to attend a course due to owning my own business. But there is a local Grange that is trying to attract younger members. I wonder if sending a Grange member to a PDC and they offered to teach locally it wouldn't reinvigorate that fading group.
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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HI FIshy! Hope you post more, for sure!

I hear your thing about money. Personally I think a person that knows how to learn can figure it out. There are plenty of resources on the web, and remember the first people just figured it out with smart thinking. This forum has a wealth of info, so use it!

I'm kinda in the Willamette Valley(Coast Range west of Mac). Haven't been to a course, dont' have the money, but it all kinda strikes me as summer camp. Now I'm ducking the tomatoes! Ha!

If you have any questions(Willamette valley growing thoughts) pm me.
 
            
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Location: Northport, Wash.
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If you are concerned about feeding your family, then focus on growing what you need first, and doing it in a permaculture manner second, although growing based on permaculture principles will obtain better yields in the long run.

A few fruit trees will provide all you can use for your family, and the cost for those is not really all that high, neither is it for bushes etc, when you only need a few to supply your needs.

Seeds are not that expensive either, and learning how to keep the  seeds from what you manage to grow is easy to find on the net.

Search permaculture principles and you will find a wealth of sites that outright tell you what they are, then you merely need to figure out how to apply them to your situation.  Mostly, you need to maximize what you can grow on your land. If you do not have the money to mechanically cultivate your land, all the better.  You do not need to tear up your land in order to grow anything.  One of the things nature teaches us is that just dropping seeds on the ground will eventually yield fruit.  Notice also though, that this means dropping many, many seeds so that some will sprout.  We can help this process along by providing a better environment for the seeds to grow by using compost, mulch, manure, etc.
So, look for the places on your land that are already growing a good variety of plants, doesn't matter if they are weeds or not, weeds actually help improve soil, and a few old time farmers actually found out that weeds can help your plants provide more abundance by bringing necessary materials to the roots of your plants.  It is a little more complicated than that but don't be discouraged by weeds, and don't go nuts over trying to remove them.

A lot of what we plant, now and in the past, are merely the results of what we have recently eaten.  For example, we eat an apple, and the core is tossed in a place we think likely to be a good area for an apple tree to grow.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

We are in almost the same place you are.  We recently acquired our land and have just spent the first winter on it.  We have used some heavy equipment to get things built, but all of our growing areas have been made by hand.  We use a chainsaw to cut the tangle up and reorganize it into huglekulture beds and compost beds, mostly to open up the ground for light for planting and access.  We do no mechanical tilling, although we may do some in the future, but not much since most of our ground is hill side.

Money is always an issue with us too, so we look for ways to do without or do with little.  We have taught ourselves how to do everything we know by reading books and using the greatest library on the planet, the internet.  Take your projects one step at a time and you won't get too overwhelmed.

Good luck
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Ludi wrote:
I guess I would like to see a system in which we don't pay for labor or goods because we're all supporting each other in a family or band sort of way - "give support-get support" in the Sharing Economy.  I know that's unrealistically idealistic and maybe could only apply to band-sized groups (under the Dunbar Number, almost certainly).



The sharing economy has always operated alongside the competitive economy.  For many people in the world, the sharing economy is central to their lives.  In the west, the US in particular, isolation and self-aggrandizement are taken to extremes not as prevalent in some other cultures and countries.  The sharing economy also operates among families, friends and neighbors.  No, it is not the dominant force driving society, but now that the global capital markets and ecosystems collapse are displaying the end results of the cash economy, I believe the sharing economy is going to re-assert itself in a more obvious fashion in the years to come.  We have, perhaps, 25% real unemployment...families, friends and society in general seems to pick up a lot of that slack through sharing. 

It is starting to assert itself more and more through open source movement, first software and now hardware such as RepRap and the Global Village Construction Set.  The wealth of free information on internet in virtually any field of knowledge is stunning.  In fact, this site is a great example of the sharing economy.  While Paul probably makes a little off the ads or selling books (I hope), the cash value of the info shared here is many multiples of whatever profit he makes.  That is the sharing economy. 

The competitive cash economy is vast waste of resources, both natural and human.  The haves spend so much money on protecting their wealth from the have-nots, when they would have far more security and peace of mind by living simply and fostering the prosperity of the whole society.  The have nots spend so much time whining about being victims, when they could be creating abundance for themselves using this amazing thing called human intelligence. 

I believe the key shift in consciousness we need to make is from being a consumer to a producer.  When more people arrive at producing for the sake of producing, not to get something, then the sharing economy will have arrived.  When we realize that making everyone us richer and happier is the thing that enriches our life more than anything else, well then we are having fun. 

Money is not the root of all evil, however, use of national currencies as opposed to barter is a vote of support for the policies funded by the creation of that currency.  In the case of the US, that is military empire, corporate welfare, etc. etc.  Furthermore, because every Federal Reserve Note is actually debt, using FRN's supports a system of lenders and debtors, masters and servants.  We are forced to use this cash system by the tax system, unless we choose to be landless and jobless.  At the very least we have to pay Caesar his due. 

So, I'd much rather barter than use dollars, though it is often not practical.  Alternative currencies and alternative financial structures are an absolute must for our future.  Local currencies are a great way to get past the us-and-them mentality, because they drive home the point that this is just energy circulating within a community.  If I buy something with local currency, I feel happy that I am enriching my neighbor rather than sending my money into the credit derivative black hole of some zombie mega-corp. 

Live long and prosper!
YK
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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I like your ideas, yukkuri_kame.  My only difference of opinion is to make a strong distinction between barter and sharing.  In my view, barter is not sharing because one expects something in return.  When sharing, one does it to share, not for something in return. 
 
pollinator
Posts: 105
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Fishy,
I had a similar problem, but it was more time than money - I just can't take the time of of work right now to attend a PDC.  Here is what I've done:
- I researched as much as I could on the internet like Permies (and asked a few annoying questions)
- I read a lot of books,
- I took an afternoon class on raising chickens
Since I still lacked some confidence:
- I hired a PDC certified person to come over and help me layout my design for my house.  He helped me figure out the right species for my area, etc.  Even having someone over for a few hours to help you come up with a plan my be within your budget and maybe you can barter a bit. 

Starting out small isn't a bad suggestion either.  Having 3 chickens has been better learning than reading 30 books about chickens.

When the time is right I do hope to take a PDC class and I think I will be a look better prepared for it.  It will be a lot less theory and a lot more guild specific questions.

Good luck and keep the faith.

Patrick
 
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Hi, a bit late with this, however
There are many pc books that are great resources regarding the ethics, principles, systems and elements of a great design, though not much on the approach and the process.
My teacher, Aranya, is one of the foremost pc teachers in the uk and is working on a book,
"Permaculture design - A step by Step Guide to the Process"  it should be out this year and will be available from www.green-shopping.co.uk and other suppliers - I have proof read the final draft and it is very clear and simple how to that compliments earlier works by Bill mollison etc
 
Posts: 518
Location: Eastern Kansas
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Johnzilla has given good advice: I have been listening to the permaculture course and it has filled out the gaps the books left.

I have seen too many permaculture books that claimed to teach how to set up a food forest, but used a medicinal forest as an example. So I learned how to set up a medicinal forest, when I WANTED to set up a food forest! The permaculture course took an approach of hours of sunlight and water and such, so it worked for anything.

Also,  have you tried your state forestry department for permaculture edibles? I ordered 25 plums this year through mine: mind, the trees will be very small but they will grow! And, at about $1 each they were a good buy. I also intend to pland elderberries and service berries this year.
 
                        
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FYI: The Possibility Alliance in NE Missouri, working with a PDC teacher, puts on a by-donation course annually.  I followed the post in the Midwest forum on here about a course in October, got curious and started checking Couchsurfing.org for potential hosts in the area, came across Possibility Alliance's contact information.  I initially called to see if I could attend a visitor session later this year, because even though the October course at Singing Prairie is wonderfully priced ($650 compared to the usual, what, $1200, 1500?), I thought I would like to avoid paying out so much cash.  Lo and behold, one spot opened up for a by-donation course starting this Fri!  I'm on my way on Wednesday.

If you contact the Possibility Alliance (you can find their contact info by googling their name) you can get your name on their list for next year's course.  As of this moment, the list is empty.

I hope I did not offend any Possibility Alliance folks or those running this year's course by posting the above.

There are ways!
 
                                
Posts: 15
Location: central NYS - USDA Zone 5a
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I mostly lurk on these forums but wanted to point out an excellent resource: Will Hooker's 610 Kirby website. On it, he links to the latest version of his videotaped Introduction to Permaculture course. This is the third version of the course that I've seen - field trips are video taped as well. All are free. http://web.me.com/will_hooker/610Kirby/Dist._Ed.html

I've never taken a PDC and I'm starting to think it really isn't necessary. I have no intention of teaching it and I've read so many books and seen so many videos at this point that I think I might actually be bored with the basics. At this point, I'm most interested in seeing actual examples of permaculture in action - which is as hard to come by around here as an actual PDC. I also think unless you just want the adventure of an exotic location, it makes sense to take a PDC close to where you will be gardening, or at least in a very similar climate.

And you know, just cause someone's taken a PDC doesn't necessarily mean they can teach it. I mean, lots of people get college degrees - but I wouldn't necessarily hire them. It's still pretty much theory until they've had lots of real-life problem solving on their own projects. contrary to the old adage, those that can, do... AND they should be the ones teaching it.

Somewhere at the beginning of this thread, someone said something about doing it "wrong". I don't think there's any right way to do it anyway. Since permaculture is more about design relationships rather than dogmatic rules, no two properties are alike so what works for one probably won't work for another. Example: Toby Hemenway talks a lot about straw mulch...well, I tried that and for my efforts was overrun with voles that chomped through every root crop and all the beans. (Straw is the perfect habitat for voles - if you spread it, they will come.) What the voles didn't get, the slugs went after. Then again we get 40+ inches of rain annually in this area, predicted to increase as the climate continues to destabilize. So what works so well for TH out west maybe needs some adjustment here in NY. Different mulch materials, less of it, whatever. (Can't get a cat to get the voles because I'm on a busy highway and the cat wouldn't last long. Ditto ducks to eat the slugs.) Next year I hope to have 550 gallons of rain storage though.
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I like Will's approach to teaching the subject.  Rather than getting bogged down on specific techniques and methods (which would be a boring class), he outlines the general principals, and points his students to the tools (books/websites) they need to accomplish their goals.  By not giving exact formulas, his methods are not restricted to a region, climate, or specific goal of a project.  As he states, it is an introduction to permaculture.
 
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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oh cool , thank you for teh link to Will Hookers site, didnt  know he had one 1 !
 
                              
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fishyculture wrote:
OK, I am going to lose you here, most likely... I have surrendered to the truth that the earth owns me. I participate in the charade that I own property, I must with the current societal condition. I am very suspicious that the current condition is about to come apart. Most people expect blood in the streets and chaos, I expect a new love based paradigm to emerge also. Maybe instead, if people catch on and embrace it, but that seems unlikely. When the new society is formed, I will be telling folks about "property stewardship." Maybe if I tell the hungry people my story over the dinner I grew and fed them, they might hear me.
And in the interim, the answer is "sell the food." Knowledge is what we need to freely exchange, and seed / rootstock out to be given out like an old school 'barn raising" to people ready to spread the Garden. I hope to always be able to give food to hungry people who come to my door, but if I need to barter, food is a real commodity, and I will use it.
Oh, and heirloom seed will be more valuable than gold in our lifetime, I suspect.
Idealistic? Yes, and I compromise just about every time I breathe. But not impossible, and if I compromise without trying for the ideal, I sold out.



There is nothing to fear...really, people will recognize their natural right to stewardship...it is inevitable.
Also consider growing fruit trees from seed,(those that grow true-to-type) this will be alot cheaper way, they may take longer to bear, but they will be healthier and live longer than their grafted cousins!
Peace
 
                        
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An un-requested follow up post: if you build it, they will come.  There are plans in the works for a free Peace and Permaculture University.  I hope any reader worried about finances will try to have some hope that money does not determine everything.
 
She said she got a brazillian. I think owning people is wrong. That is how I learned ... tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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