Hello, everyone. I have just published my first round of preliminary results for my ongoing research on alternative agriculture systems in Western Canada on my blog. Please check out the link below, and share the information with anyone who you think might be interested. More data will be posted soon!
Here's a quick summary of the data:
The sample of permaculture sites in Western Canada represented in this data suggests the main purpose for permaculture projects is subsistence, or providing food for oneself and family. Education and environmental restoration are also significant motivators. A majority of projects are private house gardens. This could represent an opportunity to expand permaculture’s reach, and find ways for the permaculture community to utilize other public and private lands. Nearly two thirds of respondents keep no or infrequent records, demonstrating an area requiring improvement. If the movement hopes to move mainstream, data definitely supporting the success of their strategies is necessary to convince the masses. Forty-three % of respondents do not sell goods produced on-site, 36% sometimes sell goods, and 21% identify as commercial operations. Non-commercial sites have economic impacts, including offsetting food costs with produce grown onsite; however, fully commercial operations have the added opportunity of demonstrating permaculture as economically competitive. One third of sites reported being Organic, Biodynamic, Fair Trade, Non GMO, or Rainforest Alliance certified, but it is likely the question was misunderstood, as a majority of these sites were not commercial operations. Over 50% of sites reported no one working on the site holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. This could suggest that permaculture is perceived as approachable and informal education is adequate for individuals to feel confident applying permaculture strategies. This could also suggest formal permaculture training is inaccessible to a significant proportion of people interested in practicing the strategies. Hopefully this data will be helpful to permaculture organizations in Western Canada, and inspire other groups observe the permaculture community landscapes in their parts of the world. This and related data is feedback that can be used to help obtain the greater yields that all permaculturists are seeking!