i am 23, live in des moines washington just outside of seattle. the college i am attending is in the process of getting a grant to fund an orchard project. the project is not official yet but i was fortunate to hear about it from my professor and am now attending meetings to get the project going. i am also in the mist of establishing a permaculture club/organization at the school which will provide funding once the group is established. i have no experience in permaculture besides being self taught, i do landscaping(which i disagree with but thats besides the point). my question is how i should structure the club to fit the permaculture design as well as get people interested. my goal is to build a community on campus, help people learn how to use there potential and try to steer the orchard project as well as future projects toward permaculture and away from the urban agriculture.
Permaculture is not structuring as far as I can tell, it is observing and replicating Mother Natures methods.
Of course this is just my opinion and that is also what permaculture is all about too.
You do realize that you can landscape within the ideas of permaculture yes?
I would structure a club along normal club type guidelines, they work well and have been tested over a long period of time. Robert's Rules of Order come to mind.
If i were in your position i would figure out what exact grant they are going for, and who is giving it, along with who is doing the work to get the grant. My impression of a grant is they set the parameters for how the money is used, which will be the main force in dictating what is done. Along with that, the person working to receive the grant will have their own goals and ideas, or specific people they plan to hand it off to. I would get the club established right now and start meeting, because being established is the only way anyone will take your input as a club seriously. If a permaculture club could taut that they had successfully planted a thousand trees in community projects it'd be better than coming in and saying "we have never really done this but we want the orchard planted this way"
Not to mention if you want to build a community you must start somewhere, with events, seminars, presentations, movie watching party, etc. in order to get people on the same page.
I call many permaculture things i do landscaping because people know what landscaping means generally, no reason to hit unsuspecting or uncaring people with terminology they don't understand. At least thats the case in my political climate.
As for the structure of the club itself, without quoting the entirety of David Holmgrens principles and pathways beyond sustainability its hard to say how you can infuse your group with permaculture thinking. Some buzz ideas that come to mind would be his section on "patterns of competition and cooperation in nature and society"
that is a good point, people respond well by example and showing them you can do what you say. the grant goals are: develop an urban agroforestry program with demonstration site(the orchard), greater access to information learning about small space food production and creating web of community partners.
as for the club i just met with the facilitator and he says that looking at the big picture the club can potentially become a restoration project for the whole 88 acres of campus. i would really like to achieve this goal, as well as leaving a community for future students when i am no longer there to run the club. i have the energy and ambition however i am having trouble getting other students interested. what would be a good way to peak peoples interest. we have a event week the begining of fall quarter, where we will have some sort of demonstration to present our club