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permaculture and money.

 
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gobeaguru wrote:
i would just like to see an equal opportunity for all people in getting this information...



One way to provide informative and inexpensive exposure to this information is on a permaculture farm tour, which I went on the other weekend.  It cost a whopping $10 for a 1 hour+ tour.  The tour guide/farm owner is almost certainly not certified to teach permaculture, but she wasn't teaching it, she was just showing people what she was doing with permaculture on her place.  This would be affordable for many people. 

 
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gobeaguru wrote:
i would just like to see an equal opportunity for all people in getting this information...



I look forward to seeing what you provide that meets this criteria.


 
                                    
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i'm glad to see that this posting brought so many different opinions on the subject.... i guess it's up to me to take permaculture and sustainable lifestyles in general out of the sphere of the privileged to the needy... am i the only one that sees this though? subsistence farmers are not using permaculture... those impoverished people who are in your community that don't have access to fresh or organic food are not using permaculture... I guess I was wondering why... i think the limiting factor is money.... here in columbus ohio we have small community organizations working towards sustainability in the area... what i have noticed is that they are all in the nicer parts of town... actually the nicest parts of town.... sustainable westerville, sustainable clintonville.... but there is no sustainable this or that in the ghettos of columbus.... and i think that this is the case in a lot of other places.... so how do we bridge the gap? that's all that i'm asking.
 
                        
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I, too, would like to know how we bridge this gap.  I, too, am a Whole Foods shopper (I order off of UNFI actually through a local co-op, same thing, different name, slightly cheaper), set to inherit land, went to college; cards are stacked more in my favor than 50% of a typical urban inhabitant (I choose not to live in urban areas- I am lucky to have that option!).

I have considered volunteering through Americorps (I am 25 years old).  I have considered joining small community start up organizations.  I have considered moving into a city and working for $$$ and trying to organize.  I think it will take a multitude of approaches.

For now I am taking the rural, hole-up on a homestead approach.  I don't know that this is helping much.  In winter I hope to travel to an orphanage in Nicaragua that is a rural farm, or a permaculture community site in Costa Rica.  Perhaps we can all find places where we can pitch in to help make positive changes.  I do know there are groups trying to do so, though it hasn't all filtered through to the "people who need it most" as one poster above described.

To the OP, in addition there is a lecture series from UNC (I believe) that was a permaculture course, try this thread.

I appreciate where you are coming from as I do not pony up the money to take a course either.  I appreciate that people want to make money to pay for certain items that they need and want.  I do think there are work-exchange options for many courses.  In addition, you could try to find a permaculture site where internships or volunteer positions are available.  It would not be a PDC, but would give you more exposure to permaculture-related practices.  Lastly, libraries can be excellent sources of information.

I wish people would not get bogged down with terminology.  I think permaculture seems like a nice concept.  Nothing is permanent, so it is a little silly to hope to establish a permanent system.
 
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gobeaguru wrote:
am i the only one that sees this though? subsistence farmers are not using permaculture.



I'm guessing you mean subsistence farmers in the US aren't using it?  There's lots of outreach to subsistence farmers and gardeners in other parts of the world.  Maybe there needs to be more permaculture outreach to lower-income people in the US.  I think some permacultural community gardens would be a thing to try, but that takes a lot of initiative.  Developing one's own yard as a permaculture demonstration site would probably be a lot easier.  

http://www.communitygarden.org/learn/starting-a-community-garden.php

 
                                    
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@H Ludi Tyler-  yes I think that there should be more outreach to low income people in the us... specifically low income people in the neighborhoods of permaculturalists.... i think the more educated a person is on this subject the more of a responsibility there is to get it to people who don't have the time or resources to get it.... we can still afford to buy our organic food but i think everyone deserves it...
on subsistence farmers... I was talking about subsistence farmers in the us and the rest of the world for the most part... and those people who did receive permaculture outreach certainly didn't pay $1000 dollars to get the information... and why? because they needed it... i think that wherever you live in the us there is a part of your town where people need access to fresh food...
 
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gobeaguru wrote:
.... here in columbus ohio we have small community organizations working towards sustainability in the area... what i have noticed is that they are all in the nicer parts of town... actually the nicest parts of town.... sustainable westerville, sustainable clintonville.... but there is no sustainable this or that in the ghettos of columbus.... and i think that this is the case in a lot of other places.... so how do we bridge the gap? that's all that i'm asking.



This is not just the case in Columbus. Talk of being "green" or "sustainable" is not really engaging to people who are just hoping to God they can find a way to feed their kids this month and still pay rent. People in that position don't really give a hoot whether it's sustainable or unsustainable, they'll just do what they have to do to make it in the short term, ozone layer and the rest of it be damned.

I can identify. I've been broke and desperate. Making it until the next paycheck isn't the top thing on your agenda in those circumstances, it's the only thing.

If we want to sell permaculture to people who are hanging by their fingertips from the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, IMO we should probably scrap words like "sustainability," "green," etc and focus on free or cheap ways to cut heating bills, water bills, food bills using permaculture strategies.

I am amazed sometimes at how uncomprehending the privileged are about the concerns of the growing numbers who are barely scraping by. Last month in the Santa Fe "alternative" paper there was a lengthy article on how strange it was that the poor weren't showing up in droves at the local farmers market to spend their WIC coupons and food stamps, even though these are accepted.

The SF farmers market is in a bourgeoise area of town, far away from the low rent area, and is a fine place to buy that "beyond organic" $3 head of lettuce. When you have $100 per month to feed yourself and two kids, you're not going for a $3 head of lettuce. You're not shopping for nutrition, you're shopping for calories, and even assuming you have a car you're not driving clear across town to do it when gas is $4 a gallon, you're buying your food at the Walmart or maybe even at a corner convenience store. Lettuce be damned, if $3 is all you've got you're going for a whopper and fries, or a "nacho" made of corn chips glopped up with cheese wiz, because it will fill you up.

[And because if its a Whopper or corn chips with cheese wiz, our tax dollars already paid for it in the form of corn, wheat, soy and dairy subsidies. This is a rant for another day]

That's the world more and more Americans are living in, and if we want to help  we have to speak in a way that is relevant to their world. And we have to propose solutions that are relevant to their world.

Context - in my little community, we have a load of empty homes, about 25 percent of the dwellings in this town are vacant or underutilized. Some are virtually uninhabitable until someone with $$ buys them and spends the money to fix electrical, plumbing, etc. At the same time, a lot of residents are living in trailer homes far past their useful lives. Every winter, some of those trailers go up in flames due to improperly installed wood stoves or people trying to stay warm with cheap space heaters.

Real unemployment numbers here are likely also in the twenty percent range. About a third live under the federal poverty level. And poor nutrition is rampant here for the reasons previously outlined.

Really good permaculture design in this context might involve hustling grants to start up a combination trades education and home rescue program to help the unemployed and underemployed acquire OJT skills in masonry, plumbing etc while fixing up homes to get themselves and others out of the broken-down firetrap trailer homes. Talk about peak oil and similar will be more welcome when folks can eat a decent meal in a warm house in the winter...until then, it's an annoying distraction from the daily challenge of staying alive.

 
                                    
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thanks.... that's what I was getting at.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Not everyone on this messageboard is in a high income bracket.....

 
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gobeaguru wrote:
i think that wherever you live in the us there is a part of your town where people need access to fresh food...



Looking forward to seeing more about how you will be helping your community through permaculture. 

 
                                    
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i wouldn't say that everybody in on this forum is in a high income bracket.... but i would say that 9 out of 10 people on this message board aren't living day by day.... or even paycheck to paycheck.... it's our responsibility to lower the ropes and pull those below us up and out of their despair.... especially when our bellies are full.
 
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gobeaguru wrote:
it's our responsibility to lower the ropes and pull those below us up and out of their despair.... especially when our bellies are full.



Looking forward to more information about  how you'll be doing this. 

 
                                    
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i think your insinuating that i am just quick to criticize without solutions... this isn't the case... i started this thread to get input from people about what they thought about the subject ... not to throw anyone under the bus but to address some of these issues that i see in permaculture....

right off the bat i can say that low income neighborhoods have an excess of empty lots and open land.... at least it does here in ohio..... many city landbanks will lease the land to private individuals for a pittance..... some friends and I are now developing one of these vacant lots in a very bad neighborhood.... we are building up the gardens to give to the community... in the meantime we are trying to get individuals in the vicinity to value the garden
also... local non-profit groups are great... and they are often located in poorer neighborhoods... sometimes they have grant money...they almost always have a garden.... I am volunteering my services at two such places... these places are often very happy to get input from people with experience in producing food.
my main objectives for working with people in these neighborhoods is developing productive home gardens, seed saving, and maintaining fertility with cover crops ... (seed saving is essential!)
we all do what we can...
 
                        
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LasVegasLee wrote:
...

If we want to sell permaculture to people who are hanging by their fingertips from the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, IMO we should probably scrap words like "sustainability," "green," etc and focus on free or cheap ways to cut heating bills, water bills, food bills using permaculture strategies.
...



This resonated with me, thank you.  There is a great little book called Toolbox for Sustainable City Living.  I don't agree with all of the ideas within.  I think the folks live somewhere in Pheonix or Albuquerque or Dallas.  I think they have some fantastic and relevant ideas that a person grounded in permaculture could explain the long-term benefits to be reaped.  The ideas are also explained so that a person with no foundation in permaculture or agriculture or construction can understand both the practical "how to" of re-creating the concept and the theoretical benefits.

I know we are a long way off from sustainability.  This thread is giving me some hope and, something I find much more rarely, some practical advice on how to contribute positively toward environmental and social change.

I know permaculture conveys benefits, if I may I would like to slightly de-rail by posing a question.  Do you (the reader) consider it manipulation to spread permaculture to poor people by way of explaining its benefits in economic terms, such as it providing necessities and luxuries "cheaply" or for "free"?

Gobeaguru, thank you for the posts and the information and thoughts.  May I ask, do you work for money within the city you live?  I wonder about moving to a city to try to make use of some of the vacant land and/or foreclosed properties I know are out there, yet I wonder how long I could keep it up given that my savings are diminishing daily and I would have to search for a source of income to maintain a city lifestyle.
 
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If you are working with a non-profit, I suggest contacting some local businesses for some assistance.  A local garden shop may donate left over seeds at the end of the season.  Contact Seed Saver's Exchange - they often give seeds to projects like you are talking about.  City Parks Dept might bring tree trimmings, mulch etc.  Once you introduce yourself, you might be surprised how many doors open up.  Local churches in poor neighborhoods are quite often willing to assist once they see a benefit for their local members.
 
                                    
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i do work for money in the city where i live but i would say that it's actually cheaper for me to live in the city than in the country... i grew up in the country and while it was nice to have land to provide some of the things I needed it was harder to get to amenities such as gas stations and grocery stores on bicycle... whereas now that I live in the city I don't even need a car and those amenities are right down the street... there is also more communal housing.. my overhead costs are low... I work 4 nights a week and it pays for it all... and I have my days to do this stuff.

to answer your question... i do think that to a certain extent it is manipulation to spread permaculture to the poor just for the sake of furthering permaculture in the world... if nothing else it breeds more resentment... like we the rich are now here to pull all you poor people out of the gutter... but I try to look at it as them being in the same boat as myself... I came to permaculture out of a want to create my own supply lines so that I could have more economic freedom... and I think this is a good thing... especially for those in poverty.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thanks for sharing more information about what you're doing, gobeaguru. 

 
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You have heard the expression, "death by a thousand paper cuts".

I think long term success in rehabbing the biosphere is the positive analog to that expression.  Success by a thousand tiny victories.

We need people with money and influence to adopt the mindset and lifestyle. That will help change the culture and the media.  If they need an "expensive" class with a star presenter, so be it. 

We need the bulk/middle class to spread this virally, like through this very forum.  Low, cost, informal, with or without certification, etc.  Teach your neighbor how to garden.  Teach your co-workers how to plant trees.

We need missionaries to the food deserts of the inner city/poor rural areas/distressed neighborhoods.  Take a look at the Urban Farming Guys:

http://theurbanfarmingguys.com/forum-2

They're taking the message to the most distressed zip code in the country.  They started with 6 or 8 committed families.

ALL of these paths are absolutely necessary.  None are better than the other.  We don't have time to dicker about who's charging too much and who's giving it away and teaching it "wrong". 

I've been gently encouraging my local church for 11 long years.  Two or three years ago, they started catching on.  Now we're starting a community garden with a planned outreach to some low income housing and a terrific boy's club for kids at risk.  Think about that, eleven years, eight of which appeared to bear no fruit.

Do you think the traditional media is going to pay more attention to the urban farming guys, compared to the big-name "successful" "expensive" projects like Sep Holzer?

If it makes you feel better about the expensive path, think if them as the self funded public relations arm to the traditional media.

Finest regards,

troy
 
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I had the luxury of spending 2 weeks doing my PDC at CRMPI (Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute) and studying under Peter Bane, Andrew 'Goodheart' Brown, and Jerome Osentowski. The site was a true testament to the awesome power of nature and what simplistic human involvement can achieve.  This was almost two years ago, and the class cost $1200. (though probably more around $1800 when factoring in travel/incidentals)

$1200 is a lot for many... I know it was for me, a 21-year-old college drop out serving tables to get by. But think about the incredible costs of formal education. At that point, $1200 is simply a drop in the bucket. The experience and education that I had over those two weeks was, I would argue, more uplifting and empowering than all my years of conventional education combined. At many venues, there are also work/trade programs that can benefit you if you have time, but no money. What I learned in the class was far beyond the practicalities of permaculture. I gained a new type of vision over those two weeks; a new pair of goggles, if you will. I learned about some of the more abstract realities of our society as well as patterns and their language. This is something I want to stress, because patterns have a very profound effect on the human psyche. In sowing the seeds of change, we must be aware of these patterns so we can toss or alter the ones that don't work and adopt new ones that do.

The truth of the matter is, you don't need a certificate to PRACTICE permaculture. You need it only if you plan on SELLING permaculture in the way of services rendered or goods provided. From my perspective, permaculture in its application serves many purposes, though is impractical for generating income for the broad majority of its applicators. I see the community building, sustainability efforts, general lifestyle choices and shared vision as tantamount. Give yourself wholly to one of these, and I'm sure the income will find its way in there somehow. (For inspiration, check out this website: www.plantingjustice.org) I had a friend in my class who said to me, "permaculture is a blueprint for revolution." I whole-heartedly agree with his statement. It gives us the tools and vision for creating a world that one day, may no longer require the institution of currency, a cutthroat political agenda, or the tears of laborers across the globe. We should strive to reach that dream.
 
Tyler Ludens
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kevin wheels wrote:


The truth of the matter is, you don't need a certificate to PRACTICE permaculture. You need it only if you plan on SELLING permaculture in the way of services rendered or goods provided.



This seems to be different from when Bill Mollison wrote the "Designers Manual."  Then you only needed certification to TEACH.  Who is saying you can't use it when selling permaculture services or goods? 
 
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It bears remembering that you actually don't need to take a PDC to learn about permaculture. After all, its inventors came up with the whole thing by looking at nature and certain nature-friendly techniques and doing a ton of messing around. Looking at the books really cuts down the need for messing around, so I'd say you could learn permaculture on your own fairly quickly (so long as you worked hard and practiced).
 
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
This seems to be different from when Bill Mollison wrote the "Designers Manual."  Then you only needed certification to TEACH.  Who is saying you can't use it when selling permaculture services or goods?   



I think in order to sell goods and services that explicitly use the term 'permaculture' you must have a design certificate. The teaching certificate is necessary for teaching, of course, but if you planned on starting a farm that sold some type of permaculture 'labeled' produce and you've only read about it and don't have a certificate, you cannot legally market it as such. That is my basic understanding, but I could certainly be wrong.
 
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kevin wheels wrote:
I think in order to sell goods and services that explicitly use the term 'permaculture' you must have a design certificate. The teaching certificate is necessary for teaching, of course, but if you planned on starting a farm that sold some type of permaculture 'labeled' produce and you've only read about it and don't have a certificate, you cannot legally market it as such. That is my basic understanding, but I could certainly be wrong.



In the "Designers Manual" Bill Mollison says anyone can use the word "permaculture" if they adhere to the ethics and principles of permaculture.  He says the only restriction on use is in teaching, which requires certification.  Has the Permaculture Institute changed the rules and when did this occur?
 
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I wouldn't know exactly when the change had occurred, nor could I say whether it has occurred at all... I took my PDC almost two years ago and I remember when researching the program, one of the primary incentives listed was to "be able to use the word 'permaculture' in your work."

Of course, this could have just been advertising rhetoric taken to some level of misinformation, and if that is so, I would be disappointed. Then again, I am all for the idea of permaculture being open-source and readily available to anyone. Whether it's knowledge or some form of goods/services rendered in the economy that is being passed around, it should be accessible. To make it inaccessible would seem to me contradictory to the very ethics and principles that permaculture is based off of. Though also, I suppose that if anyone could use 'permaculture' in their work, we could see it taking the same route as 'certified organic' or 'cage-free.' Perhaps that's soap-boxing a bit, but I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.
 
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kevin wheels wrote:
Though also, I suppose that if anyone could use 'permaculture' in their work, we could see it taking the same route as 'certified organic' or 'cage-free.'



Not if they adhere to the ethics and principles of permaculture. 

 
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Not if they adhere to the ethics and principles of permaculture. 




That's true. Permaculture is a philosophy as much as it is a practice. Certainly not a vague loophole term such as "cage-free." 
 
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"Cages?  No, those aren't cages.  They're nesting boxes."

It is not a permaculture course.  It is a Permaculture Design Course.  If your work is selling designs, then, yes, you do need the certificate.  If you practice permaculture on your own land, no, you do not need the certificate to call your work permaculture.

Kind of like a degree in medicine.  You can (try to) treat yourself at home, but if you are charging others to treat their illnesses, you'd better have the shingle on your wall.
 
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John Polk wrote:
If your work is selling designs, then, yes, you do need the certificate.  If you practice permaculture on your own land, no, you do not need the certificate to call your work permaculture.



Can you link to the Permaculture Institute page or publication which states this rule?  Thanks.

 
            
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Lots of free permaculture resources online.. doesn't take much digging.

PDF incl. transcripts of Mollison's original seminars (something like fifteen of them I think) w/illustrations:

http://www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org/PDC_ALL.pdf

 
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That looks like it might be a corrupted file. 

 
            
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Loads fine on my iPhone. It's a 155 page PDF so it might take a moment to DL.
 
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I guess it's just my computer doesn't like it. 
 
            
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Wanted to also add the PermacultreNet channel on YouTube has a bunch (like half a dozen or so?) of free DVD's for your viewing/learning pleasure. I particularly enjoy the two produced by Geoff Lawton.
 
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M. Edwards wrote:
Wanted to also add the PermacultreNet channel on YouTube has a bunch (like half a dozen or so?) of free DVD's for your viewing/learning pleasure. I particularly enjoy the two produced by Geoff Lawton.



Not any more, they've been taken down a couple of days ago...
:-/
 
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OK guys & galls, enough complaining now...

Are we serious about wanting to change the world and bring permaculture out there, or are we just discussing for discussion's sake?

With all our combined intelligence and experience on this forum (face it, together we're awesome!), why don't we walk our talk and do some kind of wikipedia stint about all aspects of permaculture? for free, for the masses without the money, for everyone's benefit (including ourselves)?

It need not take more of anyone's time than they want to. Everyone who feels like adding an article, a picture, a drawing, a video or a paragraph can do so, and sure, edit or add to other people's information too. (A bit like these forums, but without all the waffling, LOL: just pared down to objective info: We really HAVE all the info we need, it's just that it's scattered, each of us holds little pieces, some more than others  )
And sure it will be a mess in the beginning, but so was wiki, and now it's a premier reference on the net...

So, who's on the waffling side and who's in favor of taking action?
And if this thread dies after my post, that will be a statement as clear as any...
 
                        
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I'll support you if you know how to get a wiki started.  To follow up my previous post about a by-donation PDC (and those people do not use computers out of principle)- I got back from the course three days ago.  It was wonderful.  If you can get yourself to north-east Missouri, contact the Possibility Alliance to get on next year's by-donation course list... I am sure if you call now you will have a guaranteed spot!
 
Saskia Symens
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I have no idea how to get a wiki started, but I will check it out and report back...
<Jeez what am I getting myself into now???>
donation course: great idea, but I'm in France, it will be cheaper to get a paid course here for me!
 
Saskia Symens
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Jeez Kazron, this is for tech wizards! Do we have some technical savvy people around who feel up to the task of handling the administration side for a wiki page?
Frankly, I have NO idea how to do this...

I own a domain name changingmylife.info (how apt!) and can make a subdomain "/permaculture" on it
I can set up a wordpress blog on it: changingmylife.info/permaculture/blog, ask a question per post, and people reply in the comments. The info from the comments can be compiled into webpages.
Downside is: sounds like a whole bunch of work for me alone, and I already have too many projects going on in my life, am trying to cut down on computer time, and anyway, the whole point was a collaborative effort, as in "Many hands make the work light.." 

So.... What about this website? We've got all the people we need right here, with logins and everything. Paul Wheaton might be persuaded to dedicate a subforum to this? the noble art of distributing permaculture info for free to the masses, in a simple and structured enough way that kids can apply it? If Paul wants to appoint one or two admins it could be self regulatory (no extra work for Paul, yes?) It could become famous in time once people start linking to it? Does it sound like I am luring him? 
Paul? Are you there?

Should I message him or does he read every post on the forum???
 
Tyler Ludens
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Is there a need for more than one permaculture wiki?  

http://permaculture.wikia.com/wiki/Permaculture_Wiki
 
Saskia Symens
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Hi Ludi,
The site you link to says "the free permaculture designers manual", not exactly an entry level course, but it's not even what it claims to be...
While I applaud the effort, the information is not presented in a structured way, here's no clear path (you don't know where to begin), and the search doesn't seem to work (I searched for "rabbits" and for "apple", something pretty basic people might be thinking about, and both searches said there were no pages matching these words, although I saw apple mentioned in several places...)

I thought we were trying to build the resource that will give people the knowledge you get when you attend a (paying) permaculture starter course, that is HOW do you get people from "knowing nothing" to becoming wildly enthusiastic about permaculture and confident that they can apply the principles in their own garden...
but maybe I misinterpreted?
 
If you like strawberry rhubarb pie, try blueberry rhubarb (bluebarb) pie. And try this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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