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Joshua Msika
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In parallel with permieobserver's thread "Industrial scale permaculture", I would like to start a discussion on the following transcript of a part of Bill Mollison's lectures. Please take the time to read the whole thing through, read everyone's comments and post coherent, constructive and in-depth answers answers. Permieobserver says he has a chance to talk to someone owning a huge property and many businesses, a Millionaire. Write so that you can be quoted during that conversation, if it happens, or another conversation down the road.

Link to the transcript: http://nmag.soton.ac.uk/mollison/html/15-millionaires.html

Some parts of this do not apply to the situation we are looking at: sail freighters, tropical plants, etc.

Many other parts of it do.

I tried to write my thoughts about this down but I realise that I need more time to organise them. As I said above, replies to this topic should be essay-like, worthy of presentation to interested millionaires. Maybe a forum is the wrong place to do that, but I'm giving it a try.
 
Tyler Ludens
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The ethics and principles of permaculture can not be discarded and the process continue to be called "permaculture."  To do so is a perversion of the concept of permaculture
 
                                      
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i think a millionaire investing in a project would not mean pc principles can not be taken care of.

also the amount of land wouldnt.

the motivation to invest is what wonders me, if a millionaire would be so enthusiastic about pc that he would like to invest in a filantrophic fashion, this would not prevent setting up pc systems i guess.

but trying to convince him that he would make a profit (currently the most common motivation for millionaires to invest) will be a hard one.

Especially with the cheap energy rates and big equipent possibilities right now. much bigger profits are possible through conventional cropping methods.

this is the thing, permaculture is undoubtedly  more efficient, but efficient in what?: imo in meeting the needs of nature (and its inhabitants, including us) in meeting real needs like food, shelter, comfort, health etc.

conventional methods are less efficient in this, but more efficient in making profits, specially for smaller groups or even individuals (the less people to share, the bigger the share).
a (or a few) person(s) on huge combi's or other equipment can work big plots of monoculture. a polyculture, especially permaculture will need and feed many more people, but will not enable big profits.

dont get me wrong, i think it would be great to get this millionaire down with PC, and start setting up economically viable and ecologically sound worker/farmer co-operatives (still think you will need many people, and thus house them, and in the end the economy of this would become a localized economy and decentraly organized.) but i truly dont think the possible profit is very interesting compared to what he could be getting of it.

......................................................................................
for me, something that is less bad then the current situation is not necessarily the right thing to do. it might even bring you further from achieving your actual goals.

forgive me for building castles in the sky, but i would like to think that working towards a society where earth care, people care ánd taking notice of our fair share are more important then profits...
 
Tyler Ludens
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Joop Corbin - swomp wrote:


forgive me for building castles in the sky, but i would like to think that working towards a society where earth care, people care ánd taking notice of our fair share are more important then profits...


100% agree.

Profits be damned. 
 
Mekka Pakanohida
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The ethics of Permaculture are the mainstay of the whole system.  It is a change in being, in consciousness, and in the area around you.

With that said, I know it is difficult to get other people to understand this, but as the zone system goes, we need to start with zone 0 and work outwards.  IE, to the larger community near our homes. 
 
Josiah Maughan
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investment is good for millionaires.

but what is better than charity work for them?    in the u.s. anyway, we're talking about less taxes. currently a system being employed by millionaires across the land is to give a certain amount of money away per year to tax deductable organizations.


the challenge in getting millionaires involved in permaculture are the same challenges associated with setting up a charitable organization, and marketing it to millionaires that want a tax write-off they can feel good about.

pc on a large scale is what we have to tackle here.

or do we? in greening the desert, with geoff lawton, he took 10 acres of desert, anc called it in the end "small"

imagine, he said, if we had whole canyons to work with. a real plot of land (no quotation marks, because i'm unsure of the exact quote)

a millionaire, under these circumstances could be persuaded into donating a portion of money for the develpment of lands which can later be made into showcases of permaculture.

it can end up, more or less, as a campsite, where fee's are paid to camp.  around harvest time, nobody owns fruit, or vegetables which are perrenials, and all are welcome to harvest if there fast enough.

since permaculture is a self sustaining system, an area would have only to be maintained by making sure fee's are paid. 

something that is merely optional anyway!

as a bonus, those campers, if they bring a camper, can dump their sewage into a large tank that works back into the system.

a place that can expand more and more as time goes by, that can hold various parts of nature, and also be a food forest. hunting is not discouraged in these hundreds of acres. because the game is plentiful

one could go on and on about the idea's of a millionaire putting money towards something like that.

the only problem is funding.
until it's profitable.
the easiest way for it to be profitable is of course, calling it a charitable donation
 
                                  
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It it isn't profitable, it isn't sustainable
 
                                      
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really?

but that would imply that a family living on a smallholding that enables them to be (almost) self sufficient, practicing near-permaculture methods with a deep understanding of their land, in a way that 4 generations before this one have worked it, is NOT sustainable?

because they dont make a dime of profit?

strange...
 
Tyler Ludens
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Leucaena wrote:
It it isn't profitable, it isn't sustainable. 


Can you explain more what you mean?

Thanks.

 
                                  
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Joop, that family still profited from their gardening endeavors.  Profit doesn't have to be measured in dollars.  Spending an hour planting carrots to get a yield of carrots that will sustain you for more than an hour is a "profit" as well.

"Obtain a yield" means "make a profit" in my estimation.

Mollison gave many examples of profitable farm setups in his books.  I don't understand why this question would even come up.
 
                                      
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Joop, that family still profited from their gardening endeavors.  Profit doesn't have to be measured in dollars.  Spending an hour planting carrots to get a yield of carrots that will sustain you for more than an hour is a "profit" as well.


I completely agree, as i argued in the mirrorthread about industrial scale agriculture here: http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=4960.80

but then using the word 'yield', i guess in this type of discussion it is valuable to first determine how we define words as yield, profit, industrial or large scale. it prevents people misunderstanding each other.

though i did assume a different definition of profit since we are in a thread called 'permaculture for millionaires', because i think there will be not many millionaires who consider the lifestyle of the family i described as profitable...

therefore i prefer the term yield because it is less likely to be misinterpreted for profit moneywise...
 
paul wheaton
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Ludi wrote:
The ethics and principles of permaculture can not be discarded and the process continue to be called "permaculture."  To do so is a perversion of the concept of permaculture.   


I would say to do anything without ethics is wrong.

I am very concerned about talking about ethics on these forums - specifically around permaculture because it has so far been my experience that for a majority of people they have a clear definition of what ethics means to them - and if anybody chooses a lifestyle that deviates from that one spec, then they are gonna bring the holy wars down on us.  And permaculture is hard enough to get one's head wrapped around without the threat of a holy war. 

And, frankly, I cannot help but think that if we travel into this space, 90% of the people here are going to find that my interpretation of mollison's ethics could vary from their carved-in-stone interpretation and soon people will leave in droves because they cannot bear to be "in the same room" with a heathen like me. 

So while I encourage everybody to support ethics and decency in all things they do, I would like to ask folks to take discussion about specifics to email or someplace else.  These forums are dedicated to the nuts and bolts of permaculture.  Many of the other aspects of permaculture are left to other parts of the internet.


 
Tyler Ludens
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Ok.  But are we allowed to mention them as part of permaculture

Are we allowed to list them (without our personal interpretation)?

 
paul wheaton
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I think it is fair to acknowledge them.  I think it is fair to say that most permaculture folks make the ethics the core of how they solve all problems. 
 
Brenda Groth
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Being from Michigan it is hard for me to think palm trees, however if i think about the types of things that do grow here on a monoculture basis..i can see that there are areas all over our country and others that could be diversified to creat much more sensible use of the land as well as more food.

In the area I live..there are orchards of mostly cold weather tree fruits like cherries, apples, pears, etc..and I can see where these orchards could use the soil beneath the trees and such as an undercrop area, however, would it interfere with the harvest of the particular fruits..This could also be done in the south where the citrus orchards are I presume.

My guess here is that you would either have to have something that would be either harvested BEFORE the fruit or put in after the fruit harvest to be harvested later.

One thought might be to put in things like rows of asparagus along the fruit rows, which would be harvested in the spring, and then also possibly herbs under the fruit trees, or later rows of lettuces which wouild benefit from the shade of the fruit trees..etc..

As the articele stated, there is a lot of chipping of forests around here for bio energy, which I find very distasteful. I would like to see the bioenergy plants burninig garbage from the garbage trucks rather than biochips..and maybe the forests that they have cleear cut could be planted with fruit and nut tree seedlings..which would then feed the areas of people and of animals/wildlife..rather than just cut forests for biofuel.

I guess the idea of monocropping is something millionairs have to abandon, for the sake of the earth, and well trained designers would be very helpful in bringing that knowledge to them.
 
rose macaskie
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jonthewhistler.
That was a cmplicated bit of writting , it is lucky i read a little about  Freud who talks about feeling ill but deciding t was his mind that manifesting its incomodity through ihis body. If i read anything complicated i start to have a hundred aches and pains. Still there is no other way to adquire some information.

  The way global warming is going, the floods this year have been terrible and all over the place,  we have no time for niceities, bring in the millionaires, though maybe this should be in the organics page, i don't think organics include that sort of social morality that is included in permaculture, they were interested in the earth or worried about the earth though sir albert howard worked, with indian villagers so hi sbegining was trying to better the lot of the poor, and studied and admired their technics. If we dont have to worry about all the permaculture ideals then we could forget about the ethics of including big businessand and center on how to include them.

        Whaat has happend with the flods this year in so many cuntries is terrible.  It is so frightening thinking  of starting again with children and so sad when all family members get seperated it is so hard to enjoy the conversation of those who have had a different education as you have to try to do if you are a long way from home so it is sad if they lose their houses sad and scary, more scary for adults than children probably children trust their parents will find a way but parent just look at all the frightening possiblities that are there if you lose your job and house. I used to try to explore sad situation wiht my imagination when i was a child i dont feel s if i need to now i feel as if the ins and outs are too painfully,.  If this is global warming the floods could happen every year in more and more places..

        I should think the problem with the rich is getting organised, like it is with many others .They often work as individuals don't they, can they control their fellows?
        A government an d other people in responsable positions, always supposing they aren’t totally irresponsable like a lot of the people who work in finances recently, have so many reposibilities, so many pulls on their attention, schooling, roads, health and people expect them to face just one all of a sudden, the rich who are responsible are also looking at all the ins and outs of lots of things.

People who pretend it is all th efault of the rich nations and dont mention the fault of caotic political situations around the world are not usefull, shutting your eyes to the half of the problems is no good .
  Als the charitable are victorian they teach people to read instead of giving equality of oportunities there were always even when the countries had empires so very many miserably poor in europe till the universal suffrage and the uniion s and education for all the rich hwere so very condesending they didnot believe the poor had heads. Things were so very bad and now people talk as  if the changes were bad they are crazy. .

.
          I would have thought you have got some rich influential people on these forums,. they often like things like ecology. Land used to be the business of the rich anyway.



.The rich who are interested in permaculture already.
  Drawing on the things i have heard on the news and documentaries..
.    I like democrats but i heard that Bushes house was a marvel, full of  alternative energies and i heard that Gores house was useless as far as alternative energy were concerned, so its a strange world. 
.
        The story of  the french kiing planting potatoes and putting guards on them because he thought that would make people curiouse and they would steal them and start to eat them and it worked, is a story of techniques  that could work with the rich as with the poor. You need to think of tricks to get people interested, An exclusive conference were only half of the rich crowd were asked so that the others wanted to come in too.

        What about Gadafi, he wants to be like a islamic saint thats why this last phase in his life has been quieter and why he has built the canal in his country, Islamic saints ideally  make thousands of miles of country green. Remember the situation is dire we need help from all quarters. 
      Who else do we have on the prermaculture type side, Prince Charles for one and there is a London millionaire who is buying up bits of the brazilian jungle to preseve it for jungle.. Al Gore, Bush junior,. Bush junior knows saudi arabin millionaires, he would be a handy rich person to get in on the plot, He would bring in Haliburton and Dick Cheyney and  that would destroy everything. Speclating  is fun..
        There is the billionaire from texas who said he would fill the united states with windmills, what became of him? .
.

          Is it a question of packageing? Bill Mollison has so many ideas, he knows such a lot that he could probably change the australian desert as he says he can  in the paper that is the origen of tis thread.
        He says that they put cattle on the desert in Australia, too many i suppose and  that ruined it, that you have to get the cattle off and do somthing else. I bet he knows what, he did not say what unless i missed it. Well, he has to package the idea and sell it on the stock market. What about  co-opertives? The little woman and  man invests money too. He could sell the deserts of the world off to lots of little men instead of to the big guys.. Bill Mollison needs a young hanger on, one who has not established themselves yet, but is versed in the market. .

          Other rich entities  are the multi nationals, i see them as a bit unweildy and countries, the oil states ? . What about the insurance cmpanies? The petrol companises are going to need some new outlets so maybe he could sign them up .
 
 
            Maybe one rich man should take up bill mollison and put a guard on him to stop other rich men from talking to him so that all of them would try to talk to him and then he could sell his ideas to all sorts of millionaires, indian billionaiers for example, they say the number of indian billionaires has doubled during this crisis. There is a Majaraja involved in  the indian water harvesting project in the indian desert.but i am not sure that he is rich. I think i heard in a documentary that he was not rich any more.  .
          Bill Mollison should write a book a thousand ideas for making a mint out of the desert.
    In the parts of spain where an awfull lot of trees have been planted leaving very little room for shepherd to feed their flocks, the discontent of shepherds is given as one of the reasons for the high incidence of forest fires, so if you plant woods on all the deserts you should remeber to leave a certain porcentage of the land for the use of the locals. If you are pasturising in the desert i suppose you need  lot of land. The Irani program for reviving the desert  brings the villagers back to their villages.
.  The rich enclosed the land in england to grow grain crops, taking common land away from the people, We might take common land away from the people to help global warming if we aren’t careful. As i see it global warming is going to cause so much misery that anything goes to  reduce it,. But as were there is a will there is a way  if we ask for a lot more vegetation without hurting common lands, we can do both things. Agri rose macaskie. 
 
                                  
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paul wheaton wrote:
...These forums are dedicated to the nuts and bolts of permaculture.  Many of the other aspects of permaculture are left to other parts of the internet.





Very wise indeed.  We don't need to turn this into another version of the political re-education camp that permaculture.org.au has turned into.
 
paul wheaton
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Leucaena wrote:
Very wise indeed.  We don't need to turn this into another version of the political re-education camp that permaculture.org.au has turned into.


I've always thought that permaculture.org.au was (is) a great site.  Up until this moment I always felt a little bad that these forums got kind big before I realized there was already another permaculture forum.  And then we kinda grew bigger - and then I wasn't sure what to think. 

But, I think that if folks want to talk about the details of permaculture ethics (specifically, the third ethic), the twelve principles and, perhaps gift economy and the like - that might be better discussed there.
 
Mark Mulkerin
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I'm not sure how to add my thoughts to this thread without being misconstrued.

First, money or lack of money makes one neither good nor evil - just rich or poor.  If this weren't the case, we should turn away the interest and allegiance of celebrities like Daryl Hannah.  Also, wealth is relative.  To folks I know who's family home is a one room shack in a field without electricity or running water folks with cars and computers and coffee makers seem rich.

Second - the need for profits is a concession to reality.  When the county tax assessor asks for property taxes, I can't reply, but we are doing permaculture.  When the well breaks and you need to pay for a new pump, you usually can't barter with a corporation.  Profits are like food, you need enough to survive, but too much isn't good for you.

Third - one can be interested and committed to the notion of permanent agriculture, but derive their ethics and moral guidance from a differnt philosophical, religious, or spiritual tradition.  Persoally I don't believe a moral monoculture helps us anymore than agricultural monoculture.

Finally, if one chooses to believe in the ethics of fair share and redistribution of surplus, isn't it people with the good fortune to have surplus that we'd hope would embrace that ethic?  I say give them an opportunity to embrace it.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Third - one can be interested and committed to the notion of permanent agriculture, but derive their ethics and moral guidance from a differnt philosophical, religious, or spiritual tradition.  Personally I don't believe a moral monoculture helps us anymore than agricultural monoculture.


So we can discuss morals and ethics as long as we aren't discussing permaculture ethics?

 
paul wheaton
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To get clarity on what is okay to discuss, you really need to take it up in the tinkering forum.

In an attempt to come back on topic (permaculture for millionaires):  I like the idea that millionaires practice permaculture. 

I like the idea that a farmer can learn permaculture, and through those practices become a millionaire.

I hope Bill Mollison sells enough books to become a millionaire.  I hope that demand for his time becomes so high that he can earn $10,000 a day for consulting.  I like the idea that big corporations want to make more money, and to do that, they hire bill to help them find the way to bigger profits by eliminating chemicals.  And then the smaller companies jump on the bandwagon.  Their own drive for money turns out to be what drives them to permaculture. 


 
tel jetson
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paul wheaton wrote:
I hope Bill Mollison sells enough books to become a millionaire.  I hope that demand for his time becomes so high that he can earn $10,000 a day for consulting.  I like the idea that big corporations want to make more money, and to do that, they hire bill to help them find the way to bigger profits by eliminating chemicals.  And then the smaller companies jump on the bandwagon.  Their own drive for money turns out to be what drives them to permaculture. 


and what if it turns out that permaculture ends up hurting corporate profits?  what if, though it's an ecological and social success, permaculture fails to be an economic success?
 
Tyler Ludens
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For-profit corporations are generally required by their bylaws to turn a profit for shareholders, so I'm guessing they would have to turn to some profitable endeavor or dissolve the corporation. 
 
paul wheaton
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tel jetson wrote:
and what if it turns out that permaculture ends up hurting corporate profits?  what if, though it's an ecological and social success, permaculture fails to be an economic success?


What if it rains?

What if there is an earthquake?

What if aliens come from another planet and take over the world?

What if the terrorists win?

Starting to play the "what if" game is usually, in my experience, less than productive.

I would like to think that if somebody had a million dollars and they invested in permaculture, then in a few years they would have two million dollars.  Therefore, a better investment than in conventional ag.





 
Tyler Ludens
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Seems like you'd have to be doing something wrong not to get a profit from such a productive system.    My primary concern would be if you'd be able to successfully maintain fertility when you're exporting so much material to sell.  But if you were growing high-value products, maybe the quantity needn't be huge. 
 
tel jetson
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paul wheaton wrote:
What if it rains?

What if there is an earthquake?

What if aliens come from another planet and take over the world?

What if the terrorists win?

Starting to play the "what if" game is usually, in my experience, less than productive.

I would like to think that if somebody had a million dollars and they invested in permaculture, then in a few years they would have two million dollars.  Therefore, a better investment than in conventional ag.


rain isn't terribly unusual around here, so I plan for rain.  we design buildings to shed and collect water.  we manage dirt to store water and parcel it out to plants.  we also plan for the possibility that rain won't occur when we expect it to.

earthquakes are somewhat less common, but it's still reasonable to plan for them.  buildings, again, are constructed with the possibility of an earthquake in mind.  so are earthworks.  habitations aren't placed directly downriver of decaying hydroelectric projects.  evacuation routes are posted on the Olympic Peninsula to mitigate potential tsunami casualties.

likewise, actions that are economically expedient have frequently proven to be ecologically and socially disastrous.  the converse, that ecologically and socially sound practices are rather less than economically profitable, is also not at all uncommon.  so as far as I can tell, planning for such a possibility is not really in the same ballpark as planning for an extraterrestrial invasion.

in my experience, the "what if game" is quite productive.  it's akin to not putting all your eggs in one basket.  if we start making claims that permaculture is not only going to create a more verdant planet, but also enrich it's practitioners and their investors, then we open ourselves up to a huge loss of credibility should those riches fail to materialize.

if, instead, we focus on what we know is true about permaculture, that it can save and improve lives while supporting appropriate, responsible, and reasonable livelihoods, then if it turns out to be a huge economic success as well, we'll end up in a great place without having risked any credibility.

I'm not saying that permaculture shouldn't be pitched to wealthy individuals and corporations.  it should.  but I believe there is considerable risk involved if the pitch rests entirely on economic merit.

I also believe there is risk of losing sight of permaculture's true promise when wealthy folks get involved.  an organic herb farm I've had some interaction with seems like a good example.  a successful businessman took over the farm a few years back and really turned it around.  gross sales are now in the many millions of dollars annually.  10,000 lbs of chives are sold weekly.  what lost out in the process was what Rodale et alia had in mind years ago.  it's now a factory only marginally less damaging than a conventional herb farm.  labor is imported from Central and South America, so resources are funneled out of the local - and even the national - economy.  what started as an honest pitch to a wealthy individual based on organic agriculture's economic promise led to organic agriculture's ecological and social promise losing out entirely.

that doesn't have to happen, but it's a risk that is ignored at our peril.

Ludi wrote:
Seems like you'd have to be doing something wrong not to get a profit from such a productive system.


I disagree.  I think all you would have to be doing is operating in a place where economy and ecology are not synonyms.  that, unfortunately, describes most of our planet at present.  consider that many of the techniques used by permaculturists were practiced prior to industrial civilization but were then displaced by more profitable and damaging methods.  consider that mechanization is, at present, very much more economically efficient than human labor, though it causes all manner of negative impacts.  consider that ridiculous practices are encouraged through agricultural, infrastructural, and other subsidies.

Ludi wrote:
My primary concern would be if you'd be able to successfully maintain fertility when you're exporting so much material to sell.  But if you were growing high-value products, maybe the quantity needn't be huge. 


a reasonable concern.  it can be addressed through careful planning and design, but it would seem to preclude the sustainability of huge profits from sales of produce.

I've gone on too long.  apologies.
 
                    
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I think if I were trying to convince a wealthy person to invest in permaculture, it would involve a vineyard and winery - even if the vined area was only 10% of the land.
 
Tyler Ludens
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consider that mechanization is, at present, very much more economically efficient than human labor, though it causes all manner of negative impacts.  consider that ridiculous practices are encouraged through agricultural, infrastructural, and other subsidies.


But are those things permaculture?  I'm talking about profit from a permaculture operation, not profit from some other kind of operation.

 
tel jetson
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Ludi wrote:
But are those things permaculture?  I'm talking about profit from a permaculture operation, not profit from some other kind of operation.


I understand.  I'm not saying that permaculture can't be profitable.  what I'm saying is that other models are more profitable and, therefore, selling permaculture on economics might not be terribly effective.
 
rose macaskie
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If some people have an awful lot that does mean less for other people. If everyone has the same it maybe hard for anyone to get ahead and keep things going. I suppose we need some very efficient people around in such a stiuation as to enable them to do their magic but we don’t need the situation that has been normal traditionally in many countries such as india with a few very rich maharajas and the rest of the population very poor, ditto south America. 

  the lending schemes of the Islamic genius Mohamed Yunus who started the Grameen bank small loans to poor people because he found out the banks did not lend to the poor work, partly, because the more the merrier. When you have lots of people with businesses you are using the heads will power and imagination of lots. The heads and will power and imagination of a few are necessarily a bit less creative.

The factory farms that are big  belong to giant corporations who take the work away from a lot of farmers and are unhealthy. They are very big like the hated BP and such Multi Nationals that work in too many countries to belong to any country, they follow their own laws I have heard, two members of my family worked for Shell.
  I read that factory farm corporations, the only one whose, name i know of is Smithfield’s, I have found another name, Tyson’s Foods, buy one farmer in a village. They offer him a wage well above the amount most farmers earn, they build him a barn that will hold a massive amount of animals and they provide the feed and the farmer looks after the animals which make very cheap meat.

    The other farmers cannot compete and lose their businesses, the only way out is to see if the premiums on organic food can make their farms worthwhile if they go organic.
  These factory farms smell worse than usual, most live stock farms smell a bit, there is a lot of manure on them too much for the land.
      The smell can reduce the price of neighboring houses and it is unhealthy, hydrogen sulfide is unhealthy and if the ventilation in the pig houses fails can even kill the pigs.

  Pesticides accumulate in pig fat and in our crispy bacon.
 
  The factory farms use masses of medicines, overcrowding produces bored unhappy animals, they like to make nests in straw and Can’t on a concrete floor and they like to socialize but in less overcrowded conditions, unhappiness makes them more liable to illness.
    Environmentalists think there might be medicine resistant illnesses in the manure of big live stock farms. 
      The manure all piled on a piece of land too small for that many animals, escapes from the places provided for it and gets in to human drinking water.
    Land is usually like a big sand filter that cleans up the mess as it percolates through it but too much mess in one place is too much for the land.
  The animals eat food bought from far away when before they ate that produced on the farm so that the food instead of going back on the land that produced it is in lagoons of manure, far from the place it grew, so the land gets impoverished in areas that grow food. Susan Munroe mentioned the farms whose owners only grew poor thin hay, maybe this is why.

  Very big things get out of hand they need breaking up. Factory famers repeat the Old American stories I have seen in cowboy films of big ranchers doing for little ones.

    He who pays the piper plays the tune, no money, not much liberty to speak of.

They are taking the farming multinationals to third world countries. Some say that is good, more cheap meat for all but some say supply is not the only thing that matters if stopping famines is your goal, if the population is not earning anything they have no access to the supply. The food multinationals in the third world promise to become a big problem, maybe are one already. rose macaskie.
 
Chelle Lewis
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Joop Corbin - swomp wrote:
i think a millionaire investing in a project would not mean pc principles can not be taken care of.

I agree. Investors want a reliable return. Permaculture gives a relaible return over time.

Bill Mollison speaking here.........

"I am going to give you an anecdote.

When I was in Toronto at the Futures Conference, one thing I discovered was that the people critically interested in futures are those people who are making large investments. It wasn’t a meeting of hippies. Hippies were in the two percent minority. This was the heart of Harbor Castle Hilton Hotel. I was in a pair
of thongs, the only barefoot slopping in there. Here were investment bankers mobilizing their capital, some of their principals -- not often many of their principals. These are people who deal in futures. Every businessman has a little clique around him. He has long term friends. If you meet one businessman, you have contacted somewhere between ten and twenty, intimates who are commonly ringing up and are doing deals, and who have had long associations. They are old friends.

I was one of the few people there who were giving anything positive. I think I was the only person there who was giving any indication of a future that you might be able to control. There were people there who were proposing ideas out of my control and, I’m sure, out of yours. There were proposals for a future that would need a huge amount of plumbing, technological fix.

Whereas, I was indicating futures well within every man’s capacity. I gave them the example of Babassu palm. It is within every investor’s capacity to organize the development of fuel supplies from biological materials. I gave them the example of the Babassu palm. The Babassu palm grows under the worst conditions on the exposed coast of India. These palms produce a high sugar sap. It comes down to a harvest of about ten to twelve thousand liters of fuel per acre annually. And they can be heavily intercropped. They furnish very good shade cover for intercrop; and there are vast areas in India in eroded seaside condition where these palms can grow. Besides, the palms give -- and for centuries have given -- a very large proportion of the building and thatch and carpeting material. So the situation is ideal, really, for an enormous energy
production coupled with food, and the material for people to build their own dwellings. For they are building entire buildings out of thatch, and they are appropriate dwellings, because that thatch is absolutely water tight, low mass, and ideal for that climate. It is extraordinarily good for dwellings. So we can do this. It is certain that we can put in something better than an oil well for an indefinite period, and with far less investment capital. Now there are dozens of these situations where we can operate, and they lie in all sorts of energy realms, including things like buffalo gourds and yallow trees in deserts, which are eventually going to out produce an oil well.............."

Anyone can use Permaculture. Economists are floundering. Yesterday's answers don't answer anymore. Food is the one commodity that will not go out of fashion. But the way it is produced today by agri-business will increase the rate of demand exponentially. At the rate the world is doing everything exactly wrong... those who catch on to how to do it right .... Permaculture.... will be the future millionaires. In a starving world the skillful farmer is king. It couldn't get to that? It is well underway already. Deflation or hyperinflation.... either way food is costing more than it did yesterday and even more than it did 6 months ago. Deflation and prices drop..... but job losses - or time and pay reductions - to maintain competitive low pricing.....so pro-rata portion of income rises to keep eating. Inflation... direct and obvious hit to the consumer in price hikes.

The investor wants to ensure a return...... Not such a hardsell once Permaculture is seen to really produce reliably. As Mollison has said so often... our problems are complex, but the solutions are embarrassingly simple. Start with feeding the people properly..... healthily, sustainably, productively. Deflation and hyperinfaltion out of control hurts everyone locked into the money grid. No one will escape. The millionaire will get poorer too because we are all now too interconnected. A world economic crash is a serious threat now. The tribe living sustainably on his land will remain untouched. Millionaires with any foresight will take cognisance of all this. It will never get to that? Who would have thought it would get this bad? Only one way to stop it getting worse... assume it will ..... and start doing something very different. Simple. Even millionaires can appreciate a simple, cost-effective solution. It can be done. Only what is sustainable is truly profitable. ROI is assured. Quick returns are gained by the same means that quick losses are too. How did our world get here anyway.... the grab for quick returns. No future... look around. Permaculture builds for the future... and commodities raised the permaculture way will stabilize pricing.... and benefit all.

Yes..... millionaires can be involved as much as anyone else. Wise millionaires will be. Some already are on a personal level.... the progression is inevitable when the large-scale benefits become more and more obvious. Monoculture is dead. The nature of agri-business just has to change. The millionaire can effect this faster than the poor..... but all can do it... that is what gives so much hope. The poor man who was not eating thinks himself wealthy because now he feeds his whole family every day. The rich man who thought himself untouchable can taste hunger if he doesn't perceive how fragile his bank balance really is. Neither will it feed him if there is no food. Extreme?... crisis usually is... and generally not expected no matter how many indications.

Chelle
 
Mekka Pakanohida
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I agree. Investors want a reliable return. Permaculture gives a relaible return over time.


I whole heartedly agree.

If an investor came along, and wanted to hand me $1,000,000 to start permaculture where I am, I would make damn sure the investor understood permaculture along with me.  Contracts would be written to protect the investor and I of the "what ifs" which all can be simply minimized.  In fact, I am kinda shock as I skimmed above at people missing the very basics.

First, design 101.  I saw someone was worried about fires as an example.  Well, I remember the PDC manual as parts about firebreaks, what to plant, etc.  However, what about your ponds?  The moisture from the trees, and so on.  Fires are a threat that can be minimized and so on.

What about return?  What about it?  Isn't one of the major design points is to increase biodiversity to have a healthy insect population that can control itself?  So one crop does poorly that year so what?  With proper diversity of food plants and other sources of income on the property you by pass the monoculture farmer who relies on a price that fluctuates on a market that knows nothing about growing food other then add more chemicals!  This is what makes sepp holzer a larger success over the long term over his fellow monoculture farmers in the area.

With this all said, if a millionaire would like to contact me about starting a Permaculture farm in Southern Coastal Oregon, hit me with a PM! 
 
Kay Bee
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Wise words, Chelle.  Couldn't agree more.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Chelle Lewis wrote:Investors want a reliable return. Permaculture gives a relaible return over time.


In these times, a significant number of investors are willing to settle for a reliable loss.  For example, government bonds are selling at auction with a negative rate of return. That is to say, investors are willing to take significant losses, so long as the rate of loss is reliably small. However, these investments are still only as reliable as the current US government-plus-financial system: if the bonds go into default, or some new currency becomes the reserve currency, losses might be greater than anticipated.

For people with a certain amount of wealth, permaculture might be the ultimate hedge investment. Not just recession-proof: collapse-proof.

Setting up an eco-village, recruiting a core group with the appropriate skills and attitudes, and bringing in whatever outside help is necessary to stabilize its operations, would not cost very much more than the increase in market value of the real-estate used minus the property offered to residents. Wise investors in this sort of activity would also find a way to integrate their families into the eco-villages. This would have the added benefit of guarding against most of the worst hazards of raising children in wealth and privilege: one design consideration would be a group of adults that more-closely resembles Aristotle, than Gamin the locksmith.
 
Chelle Lewis
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
In these times, a significant number of investors are willing to settle for a reliable loss.  For example, government bonds are selling at auction with a negative rate of return. That is to say, investors are willing to take significant losses, so long as the rate of loss is reliably small. However, these investments are still only as reliable as the current US government-plus-financial system: if the bonds go into default, or some new currency becomes the reserve currency, losses might be greater than anticipated.
When China is already looking to be tentatively pulling away from the dollar, and there is already global talk of looking to change the dollar as the reserve currency I think no sane investors will be taking the risk. Permaculture raised commodities look better than blue-chip in comparison..... low cost and high yield over time. China is already voicing concerns that the US might monetize her debt... deflate the dollar to decrease this enormous debt load. Obama has directly promised China that this will not happen.... but it is easily seen that the man is a political chameleon.

For people with a certain amount of wealth, permaculture might be the ultimate hedge investment. Not just recession-proof: collapse-proof.
I am convinced of it. There is so much redundancy and back-up built into a well designed Permaculture system to ensure stability against any trauma to the system. The ultimate Permaculture system for me is the Food Forest. It takes some time and a little finance to establish but has proven to be a truly self-sustaining system on maturity. Does it not seem strange to speak with such certainty in these times? We have been so conditioned against it by the mainstream media. Politicians love a crisis.... a good [??] crisis is never to be wasted ..... the resultant insecurity brings increased control. Sustainable methods are not welcomed although they are hard pressed to hide this agenda. Mollison has avoided governments most places he has gone for a reason. Real answers are not really popular. Sustainability is productive and wealth creating. Poliitcal agendas cannot fight that unless controls tighten quickly. I am seeing controls tighten very quickly......Joel Salatin has declared that everything he wants to do is illegal.... go figure. There really is no time to waste and no time to be silent. The message of Permaculture must go out in every way possible. It can feed the nations.

Setting up an eco-village, recruiting a core group with the appropriate skills and attitudes, and bringing in whatever outside help is necessary to stabilize its operations, would not cost very much more than the increase in market value of the real-estate used minus the property offered to residents. Wise investors in this sort of activity would also find a way to integrate their families into the eco-villages. This would have the added benefit of guarding against most of the worst hazards of raising children in wealth and privilege: one design consideration would be a group of adults that more-closely resembles Aristotle, than Gamin the locksmith.
The premium on such an enterprise would be high. It would catch on too. Golf and equestrian estates are already popular.... why not Permaculture Estates? Unlike the regular green movement, Permaculture is people friendly.... in fact family friendly...... and it would not take 5 years before the multiple sustainable benefits of such a village would be clearly seen. Direct involvement in sowing for and reaping the benefits could bring meaningful socialization in community. Children would be occupied productively in following the example of their elders. Aristotle or Gamin the uncouth locksmith..... across the board ...... from the most wise to the most foolish of this world ...... all would still better hope to best resemble Jesus Christ. That is a standard most worth aspiring to. Another strangely unpopular opinion in the world today I have noticed.

Chelle
 
paul wheaton
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In email somebody asked me about a scenario of an investor situation.  This is part of my response on what I think could be a possible path:

Rather than control the whole piece of land, lease a bunch of chunks out.  Vegans would want just 10 or 20 acres.  Omnis would want 80 or so.  Each chunk of land would be leased for ten years (or more).  Each farmer would agree to not bring any gross stuff onto the land.  And some land would perpetually be zone 5. 

Within a 50 acre parcel, there would need to be two to six year round residents to manage everything.  Some folks would hire farm hands, and other folks would have interns, etc. 

If you have lease schedules that start off easy and then make progressively more, then the land is improved and you get paid and the land appreciates.  Sounds like big money to me. 

Looking at a 50 acre plot, the lease schedule could be $100 per month for the first year, $200 per month the second year, $400 per month the third year, $600 per month the fourth year, $800 per month the fifth year and $1000 per month every year after that.  So, over ten years that would be $1200 + $2400 + $4800 + $7200 + $9600 + ($12,000 * 5):  $85,200.

10 plots makes for $852,000.

The permie gets something that is easy to get into.  With 50 acres, they should be able to build enough habitat for 10 people.  At ten people, that's $100 per head for rent - which seems really easy.  And even at $1000 per month, that is $20 per acre. 

If the permie sucks at permaculture or business or whatever, then they aren't gonna get the land to sing for them and $1000 per month is too much.  Off you go. 

In the meantime, if there have been some improvements to the land and some outbuildings have been created ... maybe even something that can be lived in, the improved land could be rented to the next person for a little more than $100 per month.  Maybe start off at $400 per month?

In the end, an excellent opportunity for an industrious permie, and an excellent investment for person looking for ROI.    Of course, this doesn't work at all of somebody who wants to sit on land for free and do nothing for the rest of their life. 

For the chronically lazy, they could possibly sub lease an acre - or half acre from somebody that is leasing 50 acres and pay, say, $50 per month.   


 
Tyler Ludens
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Chelle Lewis wrote:
Last I heard the agenda was to aim for only 1 in 11 to survive and have rights to live on this Earth.


Wow, I'm having trouble believing that is in fact the agenda of the Green Movement.  Do you have any sort of evidence of that being an actual position of the Green Movement? 

Maybe from this sort of website:  http://green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html

 
Chelle Lewis
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That website is new to me. Interesting list of members in the Club of Rome. I would like to see who the members of the Bilderbergs are too....

Not surprised you baulk at that statement. I did at the thought too at first. The stated agenda of the green movement is to protect the Earth.... a worthy cause...... but the continual implication is.... protect the Earth from mankind. 1 in 11 has come up many times in my reading as the right population count for the Earth's resources.... I did read once 1 in 12....... keep reading their stuff and you will see it too..... so the solution is seen to be .... reduce the population. Life has little meaning these days to many in power. Legalised abortion has certainly helped their projected solution that "the death rate must rise again".  Not interested in going there now ..... what is relevant is the hypothesis that the resources cannot meet the demand. Flawed. Doing everything exactly wrong in terms of meeting the demand on resources - as we are doing worldwide - will obviously lead us to the wrong conclusions. Who will argue that the status quo is sustainable? It isn't. It is not meeting the world needs and it cannot. But Permaculture can.... !!! Frustration. I understand many of Bill Mollison's comments the longer I work with Permaculture and encounter the mindset of those who cannot conceive that such simple answers can solve so many complex problems. Sure it takes time. But a lot can be done in only a couple of years. Time passes for all of us.  Use it developing Permaculture eco-systems. Go for bust even if you think there is not enough time.... you will still be better off than the man who didn't. If a simple man in Zimbabwe can do what he did.... we can all do it. Most of us have a whole lot more to start with than he did. The man who farms water.....
http://ag.arizona.edu/oals/ALN/aln46/lancaster.html

Chelle

 
Tyler Ludens
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Hmm, nt sure how "reduce the population" turns into "kill people."

I'm pretty sure Bill Mollison mentioned limiting population.....

Oh yeah, here it is:

"The Ethical Basis of Permaculture:

1. Care of the Earth
2. Care of People
3. Setting limits to population and consumption"

Chapter 1, Permaculture: a designers manual by Bill Mollison

The people you seem to be reading seem confused.  The death rate doesn't need to rise, the birth rate may need to drop.  Nobody needs to be killed because we all die eventually anyway.

<<<<<  reducing the population by not having kids.  Nobody was killed.   
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Look how the population of the former USSR declined, when they went through similar difficulties to what the US is currently facing.
 
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