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Permaculture design plan

 
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I'll start a new thread to discuss possible new permaculture certification models. This is something I've been wanting to talk about for a while with other permies. So, I'm very happy to find that some others are thinking along the same lines.
 
            
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TheDirtSurgeon wrote:
I must be the only one who sees the positive side of that statement.  People with money can get things done.  Thus, if we wish to do more than spread ideas -- if we wish to actually terraform the planet -- then we get people with money to do it.  Am I crazy?  Because it seems pretty obvious to me.

And of course, any aspiring designers who hope to make it their bread & butter would do well to refrain from criticizing people of means.

Anyway.

I'm surprised your search for a qualified designer has proved fruitless.  I would have thought you were in a ripe area.  Strangely enough, there has been a conversation on another permaculture forum wherein is bemoaned the lack of work for consultants.  In your area! 

That doesn't seem to me the problem.  I could stay busy with tons of work, if I wanted to work for nothing.  (Not unique to PC design... it goes for any trade.)  The nice catch is the client with the means to implement my wild ideas. 

On a somewhat related note, I was talking to a friend the other day who manages a factory for a large company.  He's spent weeks trying to hire an engineer who understands basic ladder logic.  All the candidates look good on paper -- the right degrees, some experience, etc -- but put them to the test, and find they have no grasp of the necessary skills.  What's going on?  There are credentialed people everywhere, but skilled people seem to be in short supply.  Again, not unique to PC.

As someone suggested, you might have to put your own pieces together.  Talk to local organic growers, nurserymen, government scientists, etc. 

You probably don't want to pay Darren Doherty's fee... but take a look at his site & portfolio.  Might help.

http://www.permaculture.biz



I don't think you're crazy, and I can definitely see the positive side of the statement from the standpoint of a PC designer trying to make a living. I didn't at all criticize people of means either if you care to re-read what I said, though I'm not sure you were meaning to imply that I did.

If you know of a qualified designer in my area starving for work then by all means please refer them to me (or refer me to the forum where I can find them). And it does (lack of qualified designers) seem to me to be a large part of the problem, at least in my experience, though you seem to have had different ones. Agree to disagree I suppose.

Again, not asking for something for nothing, and I didn't mean to hit on a sore spot, seeing (or assuming rather) now you're a designer by trade. Just not impressed with what I've found on offer so far. Warren Brush's service (True Nature Design) sounds promising if I'm just judging by name recognition (though so far as I can see a comprehensive portfolio is absent from his site), but again, he's hosting the IP conference in Jordan currently and has been out of the e-mail loop for a handful of weeks now. I'd also have to wonder how much I'd be paying solely for the aforementioned name recognition factor.. but then, maybe it's been fairly earned.

I've not only talked with but worked for organic growers in our area (as well as conventional ones), as well as discussed horticulture with local plant experts, nurserymen, and old-timer farm boys. I think maybe you're right (Paul C. had mentioned it previously as well) in that I've got this Superman (or woman) fantasy in my head where I'm gonna hire on someone who is omniscient to assuage all my fears about implementing this design, when in reality that person probably doesn't exist outside of the celebrity instructors' circle (e.g. Lawton, Lancaster, Brush, et. al). Your link to the Ozzy guy with the impressive portfolio only further solidifies my point, I think. If there's this huge glut of qualified designers in my region starving for work, why link me someone's portfolio who's based out of Australia?

P.S. I didn't mean to fire you up with the, "Well, finally went and took TheDirtSurgeon's favorite advice.." bit. I think you're a sharp guy (or gal or whatever you prefer) and I enjoy your posts. I've just seen you offer that advice on multiple occasions. Maybe advocating a little for yourself while also trying to advance the profession as a whole? :wink wink nudge nudge:
 
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Mike E wrote:
But I think it'd be a shame to scrap or shy away from the P word in favor of another term just because it's copyrighted



The P word isn't copyrighted, actually.

 
            
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Actually, it was defined and copyrighted in 1975, and so far as I can see (unless I'm lacking a pertinent update) the copyrights still stand valid without having changed ownership as of my writing this post. Assuming we're talking about the same "P word"? (permaculture)
 
Tyler Ludens
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Technically, no it wasn't.  Copyright does not protect the name of something, only the expression of the ideas, and not the ideas themselves.  There is no copyright on the word or idea "permaculture."

This is one of those artificial roadblocks I was talking about earlier.  Copyright on the word or idea "permaculture" simply doesn't exist. Nor does any trademark on the word "permaculture."

We may have to agree to disagree on this one. 





 
                                
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Mike E wrote:
I didn't at all criticize people of means either if you care to re-read what I said, though I'm not sure you were meaning to imply that I did.



Nope, it was just a random comment, not directed at you or anywhere in particular. 


Mike E wrote:
And it does (lack of qualified designers) seem to me to be a large part of the problem, at least in my experience, though you seem to have had different ones. Agree to disagree I suppose.



Different places.  I live close to Boulder, Colorado... a place just chock full of hippies.  It may have the highest concentration of PDC holders in the USA.  There should be a lot in the Bay area, but I suppose it's erroneous for me to assume you'd be anywhere near there.  Central CA covers a lot of ground. 


Mike E wrote:
Your link to the Ozzy guy with the impressive portfolio only further solidifies my point, I think. If there's this huge glut of qualified designers in my region starving for work, why link me someone's portfolio who's based out of Australia?



I just thought you might be able to steal some ideas, should your quest fail.   

Anyway, I said there were designers starving for work.  I didn't use the word "qualified."    Meaning, of course, that I don't know who could design a commercially viable system over your acreage.  There may be some.  Or maybe you'd be willing to take a chance on a new graduate?  Ya never know.  Everyone starts somewhere.


Mike E wrote:
P.S. I didn't mean to fire you up with the, "Well, finally went and took TheDirtSurgeon's favorite advice.." bit. I think you're a sharp guy (or gal or whatever you prefer) and I enjoy your posts. I've just seen you offer that advice on multiple occasions. Maybe advocating a little for yourself while also trying to advance the profession as a whole? :wink wink nudge nudge:



Fired up?  Me?  Pssh.  I like the attention. 

Everyone advocates their profession.  Doctors recommend bad diets to get more customers, psychiatrists put out a new DSM with new disorders to diagnose, politicians invent new ways to employ more bureaucrats, lawyers lobby for more laws... 

... well, those are the bad examples, but ya get the point.... 
 
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if the f#&$@%g idiots in power would put some subsidy moneys in the right place (like transitioning from industrial to sustainable ag, teaching sustainable design whether you call it PC or not) then we could really get the ball rolling.



Thats the funny thing.  I have observed that the movement of public money is determined by the influence of people with economic, legal, or populist power, and they are not idiots (at least in the way I usually picture an idiot) -- they are looking after their perceived interests in a systematic and organized way.  They are utilizing flows and dynamics of systems through intense observation.  Governments are complex, and the reason they don't function well (from our perspective) is that there are multiple parties vying for influence and control.  If it wasn't for that minor ethics and sharing piece, I would say that the power elite are the ultimate social permaculturalists.

The reason there is any NRCS money in the farm bill to pay farmers to take care of land next to streams, is that populist farm leaders and bureaucrats got together with enviro lobbies and leveraged it into existance in in the halls of government, and only half for the benefit of the earth.

I am starting to suspect that the real problem with Permaculture movement, might be that WE are not fully developing and exercising our design skills in socio-economic settings.  We certainly don't control much land base, which is the foundation of our art.  I am not particularly convinced that when times get bad, a weary and confused populace will suddenly awaken, springing forth fully formed from the head of Zeus waving the flag of permanent culture -- I suspect we need to lay as much groundwork as we can while people are behaving semi-rationally.

Regarding the struggles of being poor: I suspect that having no land over which you have durable tenure actually a big problem.  I suspect that poor people would be better served organizing politically and fighting for land soverignty WHILE learning to grow food, if not before.  I am starting to suspect that there is no power in having no access to health care, worrying about rent every month, working two jobs to feed your kids, and not having an education, while growing your garden on someone elses land.

How do we work together to secure land and pay for its improvement within existing communities?
 
            
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@Ludi: I don't really understand what you're getting at and I'd rather come to understand your position than agree to disagree. How is it that something can be copyrighted but not technically so?

Paul, the "minor ethics and sharing piece" that you refer to sarcastically (in protest, I'm sure), is precisely what I'm referring to in labeling these charlatans as idiots. Maybe, more accurately, self-serving masters of obfuscation? I think idiot was probably a bit sloppy. And regardless of what paltry breadcrumbs they scrape off the table for the NRCS to peck up, not enough people care about installing native plant-based riparian corridors on "valuable farmland" to even take advantage of the subsidies that are on offer through that agency (just to name one.. maybe a bit sloppy and general like the idiot statement, but I'd like to think you can feel what I'm getting at).
 
Benjamin Burchall
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MIke,

Ludi is right about what copyright means. A word cannot be copyrighted. Copyrights cover expressions (i.e. the specific verbiage of a piece of writing). So, even though Permaculture One is copyrighted there is no legal protection from someone expressing the material in the book in their own way without plagiarizing the verbiage.

A trademark can cover a name, title, or coined word or phrase if it uniquely identifies a specific business, good or service and is not a common word or phrase or a no-brainer combination of common words or phrases.

So the question I'd ask, "Is 'permaculture' a trademarked term?"
 
Tyler Ludens
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And "permaculture" isn't trademarked either.  There's an informal understanding among the permaculture community, as far as I can tell, that we don't use the word "permaculture" to make money unless we've got a certificate, but there's no legal means by which The Permaculture Institute can prevent anyone from using the word however they want.  Bill Mollison wanted people to only use the word if they adhere to the ethics and principles he discussed in "Permaculture: a Designers Manual" but he has no way of enforcing this wish.
 
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Paul Cereghino wrote:

I am starting to suspect that the real problem with Permaculture movement, might be that WE are not fully developing and exercising our design skills in socio-economic settings.  We certainly don't control much land base, which is the foundation of our art.  I am not particularly convinced that when times get bad, a weary and confused populace will suddenly awaken, springing forth fully formed from the head of Zeus waving the flag of permanent culture -- I suspect we need to lay as much groundwork as we can while people are behaving semi-rationally.



I really like what you've said there, Paul. 
 
Paul Cereghino
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Maybe we are looking at the same elephant.  I detect less some singular 'they' but rather and distinct absence of 'us' in the political life of the community.  From what I have observed, politically involved people cover the spectrum from charlatans and self-serving masters of obfuscation to permaculture designers.

"not enough people care..." -- who would we be if we didn't have that opinion?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EgtRexthsM
http://vimeo.com/24074377
 
            
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Cheers to that Paul, I think you're dead-on. And I think people get caught up in the doom and gloom of our corporate plutocracy and get depressed and apathetic.. I know that I for one have been there and I still struggle with it. I like to remind anyone who'll listen that there are a multitude of political actions you can take daily in your own life/community without ever having to give your vote of confidence to a politician.
 
Benjamin Burchall
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
And "permaculture" isn't trademarked either. 



According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture , you are right! Is says:

There has been contention over who if anyone controls the legal rights to the word "Permaculture", meaning is it trademarked or copyrighted, and if so, who holds the legal rights to the use of the word. For a long time Bill Mollison claimed to have copyrighted the word permaculture, and his books reflected that on the copyright page, saying "The contents of this book and the word PERMACULTURE are copyright." These statements were largely accepted at face-value within the permaculture community. However, copyright law does not protect names, ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something; it only protects the expression or the description of an idea, not the idea itself. Eventually Mollison acknowledged that he was mistaken and that no copyright protection existed for the word "permaculture".[15]

Mollison explained that the word "permaculture" was copyrighted to protect the quality of teaching, particularly with relation to the Permaculture Design Course (PDC), a 72 hour course usually taught over a period of 14 days. The PDC is a formal means of training an individual the ideas and techniques associated with permaculture. Mollison's argument was if the word was copyrighted, then only those who had been trained and shown to have a reasonable level of proficiency would be allowed to teach the PDC. However, some of those who taught the PDC wanted to adjust the curriculum to better reflect the local conditions of where it was being taught. For example, should a course taught in an urban setting such as New York City be unchanged from what is taught in rural Australia? Mollison was adamant that the curriculum should be taught as he had designed it, without being altered.

In 2000 Mollison's US based Permaculture Institute sought a service mark (a form of trademark) for the word permaculture when used in educational services such as conducting classes, seminars, or workshops.[16] The service mark would have allowed Mollison and his two Permaculture Institutes (one in the US and one in Australia) to set enforceable guidelines as to how permaculture could be taught and who could teach it, particularly with relation to the PDC. The service mark failed and was abandoned in 2001. Also in 2001 Mollison applied for trademarks in Australia for the terms "Permaculture Design Course"[17] and "Permaculture Design".[18] These applications where both withdrawn in 2003. In 2009 he sought a trademark for " Permaculture a Designers' Manual"[19] and "Introduction to Permaculture",[20] the names of two of his books. These applications where withdrawn in 2011. There has never been a trademark for the word Permaculture in Australia.[21



Essentially the same thing is said here: http://www.waterwomanproject.org/?page_id=19

Unless there is new contrary information, that settles it for me. I knew "permaculture" wasn't copyrighted, but I didn't know if it was trademarked.
 
                                
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Paul Cereghino wrote:
Thats the funny thing.  I have observed that the movement of public money is determined by the influence of people with economic, legal, or populist power, and they are not idiots (at least in the way I usually picture an idiot) -- they are looking after their perceived interests in a systematic and organized way.  They are utilizing flows and dynamics of systems through intense observation.  Governments are complex, and the reason they don't function well (from our perspective) is that there are multiple parties vying for influence and control.  If it wasn't for that minor ethics and sharing piece, I would say that the power elite are the ultimate social permaculturalists.



Mr Cereghino, I have only snipped your post for thread brevity... but by the Allfather Odin, every word rings true!

As for the NRCS, I find their strategies mostly useless in a permaculture context.  A farmer friend of mine is paid by them to not graze his lands, not hay them... and to till them for "weed control."  He's paid by NRCS to destroy his topsoil and contribute to atmospheric carbon.  What absolute bullshit.  Except there's no bull shit on those parcels to fertilize them.  No bullshit.  Egads.  What a clusterfuck.  The CRP program at least doesn't require pointless tillage, though that's the best you can say for it.

Spreading permaculture is inevitably going to come down to how well we can manipulate the political system to support our goals.  That's just the reality of it.  And that part relies on our ability to transmit to the political class that our goals are in THEIR self-interest.

We had better start thinking about that... as a *political* permaculture design plan.

[/threadjack]

 
I have gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, keep me here with this tiny ad:
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