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Why are there so few profitable Permaculture Farms?

 
gardener
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someone new to me
he has some interesting videos




 
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I wonder if he has heard of Justin Rhodes and the great American farm tour?
I had no idea that there were so many small , profitable, permaculture farms out there until Justin showed them to us.
I think this guy might be surprised to see how many other folks are doing well out there if he went on a great far tour himself.
 
duane hennon
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so how many small profitable permaculture farms did Justin visit?
20?, 50? 100?

none of those numbers are very impressive
if permaculture wants to change the world

with permaculture being around since the early eighties
one could reasonably  expect, if permaculture was so hot shit
that those numbers would be the percentage of farms doing permaculture
not individuals successfully  doing permaculture

IMHO, that is
 
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Mr Perkins there seems to provide several feasible answers in his video, I think.

The larger issues are probably the same as the issues that plague every new organization. Most permaculture farms probably fail because most new businesses fail. A perfectly workable solution for a given landscape might fall on its face in the marketplace; a perfectly workable plan may work in the orchard and at the market, but require more (good) help than someone can find; Maybe everything adds up, but the person comes to find out they're not cut out for self-motivated manual labor, or extreme attention to accounting; maybe everything adds up AND the person is a great worker, but doesn't know how to manage people and things inevitably break down; maybe it's all sunshine and rainbows, until the marriage ends and the property gets vivisected. There are plenty of known threats to the viability of a young farm, and while Permaculture can help provide the tools to overcome many of those challenges, it's a little unreasonable to expect Permaculture to immediately and drastically fix everything.
 
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Why are there so few profitable small farms of any type?

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/03/468887506/with-economy-stuck-in-the-mud-farmers-sink-deeper-into-debt

Why are permaculture farms held to standards of profitability which don't apply to all other kinds of small farms?  

 
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Why are there so few profitable small farms of any type?

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/03/468887506/with-economy-stuck-in-the-mud-farmers-sink-deeper-into-debt

Why are permaculture farms held to standards of profitability which don't apply to all other kinds of small farms?  



Excellent point Tyler!!!  If "conventional" farms with their subsidies, efficiencies of scale, technology, chemicals and government support are barely getting by, why are we so disappointed when un-subsidized small permaculture farms sometimes also fail to be profitable as stand alone businesses?
 
pollinator
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Mike Jay wrote:

Tyler Ludens wrote:Why are there so few profitable small farms of any type?

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/03/468887506/with-economy-stuck-in-the-mud-farmers-sink-deeper-into-debt

Why are permaculture farms held to standards of profitability which don't apply to all other kinds of small farms?  



Excellent point Tyler!!!  If "conventional" farms with their subsidies, efficiencies of scale, technology, chemicals and government support are barely getting by, why are we so disappointed when un-subsidized small permaculture farms sometimes also fail to be profitable as stand alone businesses?



Both, excellent points. Seems large-scale farms have entered the "too big to fail" category and must be propped up along with many other enterprises that 'enjoy' that status.  Personally, I just don't feel it to be a an mangos-to-mangos comparison.
 
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I think part of the lack of 'profitable' permaculture farms is that most of us are not farmers. I do not want to be a farmer. It is a good and necessary profession, both my folks grew up on dairy farms.

I just want to feed my family and emulate Gert.  https://permies.com/t/55918/millions-permaculture-millionaires-story-Gert
 
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Our current accounting systems don't work for permaculture because in permaculture negative externalities (environmental damage, unnecessary petrochemical use, etc.) are an expense.

Industrial agriculture works on "broken window" economics. Those "expenses" are subsidized by the general taxpayer and are counted as a positive aspect economically because they cause economic churn, keeping more people employed fixing things and making unnecessary products.

Eventually, the worm will turn and our accounting system will change. Hopefully the ethics and principles of Permaculture will be given their dues.

While I don't believe it will happen soon (or even in my lifetime), I count my profits in the good sleep I get, good food I produce, the land i repair and the good will I encourage using the principles of Permaculture. It's true wealth, not profitability.

Bankers and tax collectors can't take those things from me.
 
duane hennon
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Mr Perkins there seems to provide several feasible answers in his video, I think.

The larger issues are probably the same as the issues that plague every new organization. Most permaculture farms probably fail because most new businesses fail. A perfectly workable solution for a given landscape might fall on its face in the marketplace; a perfectly workable plan may work in the orchard and at the market, but require more (good) help than someone can find; Maybe everything adds up, but the person comes to find out they're not cut out for self-motivated manual labor, or extreme attention to accounting; maybe everything adds up AND the person is a great worker, but doesn't know how to manage people and things inevitably break down; maybe it's all sunshine and rainbows, until the marriage ends and the property gets vivisected. There are plenty of known threats to the viability of a young farm, and while Permaculture can help provide the tools to overcome many of those challenges, it's a little unreasonable to expect Permaculture to immediately and drastically fix everything.




well, at least someone watched the video before commenting

in order for permaculture to move forward, IMHO again, people need to stop getting
so butt hurt and defensive  whenever there is criticism of some aspect of permaculture

it makes no difference what conventional ag or big ag does or gets
permaculture isn't in the same market
does big ag offer non-gmo, organic, pasture raised , no hormone anything?
does big ag work directly with the consumer?

one doesn"t have to engage (argue) with anyone
let the results do the arguing

as seen from the comments here,
most folks do not want to do permaculture as a profession
but just as a secondary income or hobby
which is OK (I'm the same)

but in the bigger picture
permaculture should be encouraging, training and supporting
those who want to "make the leap"

which is what the video is about
 
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