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Richard Gorny
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I was searching for this for quite a long time, but it seems permaculture success stories are scattered over the Internet and there is no single place where someone could look and become overhelmed with permaculture goodness

I'm not sure if it should be a post, a forum, a database, but it would be nice to have case stories from all over the World gathered in one place in a form of links to their websites at least.

Apologies if such site/forum/post already exists, if it is the case, can you please point me to it?
 
Nicole Alderman
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This is not exactly what you're looking for, but here's a thread about large scale permaculture artisans, with people debating who they think the best one is. https://permies.com/t/42835/large-scale-permaculture-system I'll see if I can find some other good threads--I'm pretty sure there's at least one more on here along these lines.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Can you define "success" so we know what to look for? 
 
Nicole Alderman
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Here's a quote from this thread: https://permies.com/t/5718/feed-person-permaculture.

Travis Philp wrote:My farm could serve as an example for you:

We had a 22 member CSA foodbox program this year, and I would consider our farm to be practicing permaculture. Half the boxes were for singles and couples, and the other half were families. I'd estimate that would be about 60 people.

We provided an average of 7 items to our customers for 18 weeks on about an acre of cultivated land, as well as wild edibles.

We also sold extra produce to restaurants and had a weekly table at a nearby farmers market for about 14 weeks. And of course we ate a lot of veggies from the garden ourselves.

We probably could've been able to support more than the 22 members but wanted to start small as it was our first year on this farm.


The Garden of Eden farm is another success story. https://permies.com/t/18026/Eden-Garden

And there's Bullocks Brother's permaculture homestead: http://www.permacultureportal.com/

There's a lot more in this thread: https://permies.com/t/5718/feed-person-permaculture.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Can you define "success" so we know what to look for? 


I was thinking much the same thing. Is it being able to do it large scale? Is it feeding your family on just your land? Is it living a quiet, sustainable life like "Gert" (https://permies.com/t/55918/millions-permaculture-millionaires-story-Gert) ? Is it being able to continue producing food with very little effort? Is it living in peace and harmony with nature and your neighbor? Is it spreading the news and bringing more people to permaculture? What's your permaculture success scale? Is it like Paul's wheaton eco scale (https://permies.com/t/3069/Wheaton-Eco-Scale)? There's just so much to think about!
 
Richard Gorny
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This post is a result of a conversation with a traditional gardener, who told me a story. He is a friend of a couple that is fascinated with permaculture. They have completed PDC and they have bought the land. When he visited them after a couple of months they apologize since there was almost nothing to eat ....
I was challenged to show him examples of successful permaculture operations, so I have found links to sites of Joel Salatin, Mark Shepard, Gabe Brown, Curtis Stone, Gervais family, Paul Gautshi, sepp holzer, you name it ... It would be nice to have a repository of information about such farms, homesteads, CSA'a that use permaculture principles and are doing well and sustainable in the same time.
 
Peter Ellis
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http://www.geofflawtononline.com/

Geoff and PRI are pretty good sources.

However, when someone is using a single example of a couple of people new to doing permaculture as evidence that it doesn't work, you are up against bias.  Evidence from the internet is unlikely to overcome their personal observation combined with their prejudice.
 
Tyler Ludens
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"A couple of months"? It may take at least a year to set up the basic design of a permaculture system, and the kitchen garden (Zone 1) may only be able to produce some food in the first growing season.  There aren't many food plants that will produce after only a couple of months - what, radishes maybe?  I'd say it would tend to take 5 years or more to develop a really robust permaculture system, depending on the condition of the land and the climate. 

It's permaculture, not instaculture.

A couple of my favorite examples of permaculture success:

Happy Earth  http://www.happyearth.com.au/

Ben Falk  http://www.wholesystemsdesign.com/
 
Tyler Ludens
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More examples:



 
Travis Johnson
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I think part of the issue is, what constitutes Permiculture?

When I first got on here I thought I was miles away from what Permiculture is, and a few would argue that I still am. I might be, but at the same time, my farm does a pile of Permiculture practices like hugels, swales, keyline farming, rotational grazing, etc. There are many different aspects to it and I am not really sure what percentage of my farm is Permiculture and what is traditional farming? But then again, Gabe Brown does not consider himself a Permiculturist either.

But everyday I inch closer because I simply ask the question; how can the problem become the answer? Through that, I become more sustainable, and more profitable.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Travis Johnson wrote:I think part of the issue is, what constitutes Permiculture?


Permaculture is a design system invented by Bill Mollison.

"Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.  It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way." Bill Mollison, Permaculture A Designers Manual, Preface

As I understand it, if you're implementing the permaculture design system, you're practicing permaculture.  If you aren't, you aren't, but what you're doing may be equally sustainable, just a different system.  Many methods of farming are compatible with permaculture, though permaculture is not a method of farming, it is a method of designing farms and other human habitations.




https://permies.com/t/55751/Permaculture-design-basics
 
Travis Johnson
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One of the issues I have with this whole thing is this:

The most self-sufficient people I knew were my own grandparents. On this very farm they raised potatoes, had 50,000 broilers (their mainstay), had a greenhouse, cut 25 cord of wood for the greenhouse, house, basement and basement furnace, had (2) Jersey cows they got milk from and made and sold butter with, had 150 sheep, did craftwork with the wool and sold it at fairs, (25) pigs, 12 beef cows, (24) laying hens, and in the winter had a log truck and contract log hauling to log yards and paper mills. By doing all that, they were honestly; self-sufficient. They even had their own old fashioned phone line that went from their houses to their two sons (my father's house and uncle).

The problem deep inside me is this; we never considered ourselves, or them, self-sufficient, homesteaders, or even successful farmers...we called ourselves/them poor.

In the rear view mirror of time, now I am not so sure. We dined on food like lamb, pork , and beef and never were cold inside the house. And then after "we made it" the divorces came, the bellies got big, and everything seemed like a "pain in the rump" and was no longer done. I think in review, my Grandparents were very successful, and as stressful as full time farming is, I think Katie and I are successful in our own right.

But I see success in the whole Permiculture Movement. Last Tuesday I had the honor of being at a luncheon with the State of Maine Commissioner of Agriculture and for two hours it was nothing but talk on sustainability and soil health. We are not talking micro scale here either, but big 1200 cow dairy farms digesting and making electricity for the grid, grants for small farms like mine getting collectively big market shares, and potato farmers winning soil health awards which is unheard of. This is not like the National Organic Standards either that turned a common sense approach to growing food and made it into 900 pages of bureaucracy; no this is fundamental change in how the soil is worked (or not worked at all as it may be).

 
Tyler Ludens
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Maybe permaculture can help get some of the stress out, Travis, and the "designer can become the recliner"* as geoff lawton says (though I think neither he nor you are really into the reclining thing, you're always going to want to be working!)

*originally Bill Mollison

Here's another video:  http://permaculturenews.org/2013/04/21/free-permaculture-videos-5-acre-abundance-on-a-budget-is-live/
 
Peter Ellis
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Permaculture is a design system founded upon three ethics - Care for people, Care for the Earth and return the surplus.  Whatever methods you use, as long as your choice to use them is grounded upon those three ethics, you are practicing permaculture.  Whatever methods you use, if you do not choose them with a grounding in those ethics, then you are not practicing permaculture.

Permaculture is not a set of techniques. It is an approach, a systemized method of designing for tremendous efficiency within its ethical parameters.  A good grasp of the implications of caring for people and for the Earth leads very directly to designs that maximize yield per unit effort.

Travis, Gabe Brown doesn't brand himself as practicing permaculture, but if you listen to his decision making process and look at his methods, it's pretty evident that his practices and his decision making processes are compatible with permaculture.  And - Gabe is making pretty good money as a very direct result of his decisions.

 
Travis Johnson
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Just for the record I was not saying that I thought Gabe Brown was NOT a permiculturist, I just know he never considered himself one, just as I didn't. Now I am seriously questioning that.

At the interest of sounding completely stupid (which is okay, I confirm the fact almost daily), I honestly did not know Permiculture was not a series of techniques. I was surprised to learn my family has practiced a lot of them, just under different names.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Here's another example:  http://permaculturenews.org/2015/01/30/re-greening-a-mountain/

The thing that strikes me about what I consider the best permaculture examples is all the beautiful water - water is the focus of the design and everything is built around that.

Water is also the focus of my own design efforts.
 
Craig Dobbson
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I've had a lot of successes (and failures) in the last six years.  Every once in a while I post a picture from my forest garden test space here My baby food forest

It's only one part of my homestead but it's the one that's the best looking so far. 

I hope this is motivational to folks who are just starting out.   You don't need a big budget or lot's of heavy equipment (I used a spade and a wooden A-frame level).  you just need to keep working away at it until food and smiles start pouring out.

Most important  is the smiles.  That's how you know you're on the right track.  SMILES  
 
Tyler Ludens
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote: SMILES  


I love that measure of success! 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh my, what a good question!

There are a gazillion examples of permaculture goodness, though I am certain I will not be listing all that I can think of. And of course I'm biased that I think a lot of this information is easily found here on permies.com.
  • Polyculture trials - Polyculture versus Block Planting by the Balkan Ecology Project
  • projects forum on permies.com
  • Bullock Permaculture Homestead Mini Tour
  • Podcasts 198-199 about Inspiration Farm - Biodynamic Farming in Bellingham WA
  • Sepp Holzer forum on permies.com
  • Grant Schultz discussing the Resilient Farm and Homestead on permies.com
  • summary of all things wheaton labs (Paul Wheaton's permaculture community and homestead near Missoula, MT)
  • The Permaculture Voices event and podcasts have highlighted awesome success stories.

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    Richard Gorny
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    Many thanks All, especially Jocelyn, great stuff.
    Locally, we have decided to insert a Google map window on our permaculture website. On this map people from our country can mark their location and insert links to their websites, blogs, facebook pages. This way anyone who wants to know if there is any permaculture farm, garden, teacher, demo site in his/her vicinity will be able to look at map and find out. It is limited to our country level (Poland). We have already a few entries. If you are interested, please take a look:
    Permaculture in Poland Map
    I think people who have marked their places on the map are the best examples of permaculture successes of all flavors, and they are willing to brag about that
     
    Tyler Ludens
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    Here's a global map of permaculturists, but there's no way to know if they will fit a particular definition of success:  https://permacultureglobal.org/users
     
    Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
    Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
    https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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