I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

PEP1 -> 2 weeks; PEP2 -> 3 months; PEP3 -> 1 year ... PEP4, PEP5  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22623
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is something that rolled through my head a year or two back.   I ran it by lots of people, and chewed on it myself several times ....   I thought I had posted it here, but just now I looked and can't seem to find it.

The idea is that PEP1 could be some basic experience.   Something that could be accomplished in a really packed two weeks with instruction.   A little bit of everything.   PEP2 would be a packed summer.   PEP3 would be a full year.     

The real program would be for PEP4.  If a person would start off striving for PEP4 from the very beginning, they would happen to complete PEP1, PEP2 and PEP3 along the way, but not as quickly as if they were focusing just on those.   And the full PEP4 program, if worked intensively, with instruction, could be completed in 3 years.   But if a person chooses to start PEP4 after completing PEP3, it might still take three years. 

PEP1:  2 to 6 weeks
PEP2:  3 to 9 months
PEP3: 12 to 24 months
PEP4: 3 to 5 years

PEP5: completing a collection of projects that could span a year or two past PEP4

PEP6:  TBD


The idea is to come up with systems where people can either attend a particular class to build these experiences, or they could do it on their own.  With the class, the instructor would validate that they have completed certain tasks to build up to a PEP level.   People doing independent study would provide pictures of what they have done to get certified at each level.   And people at the higher levels would need to certify a few people at lower levels to move up to the next level.

Currently, we have talked about "badges".  The permies.com software now has "badges" built in for this, but we have not yet implemented it.   I have spelled out a system where we have four badges: sand, straw, wood and iron.  The "sand" level would require 4 to 12 hours to complete for a badge.   The straw level might take 3 to 10 days.   The wood level could take a month or two.  The iron level could take 6 to 18 months.

We seem to have defined about 40 different paths for badges.   Green woodworking is one.  So there would be a sand badge for green woodworking, a straw badge, a wood badge and an iron badge. 

A year or two from now, we might 50 badge paths defined.

For PEP1 we might require sand badges in 20 different things.  Maybe 12 are "required" and 8 are "electives".

For PEP2 we might require straw badges in 12 things and sand badges in 24 more things.  

For PEP3 we might require wood badges in 24 things, straw badges in at least 12 things and at sand badge or higher in all things.

For PEP4 we might require iron badges in 12 things, wood badges in 24 things, and at straw badge or higher in all things.

PEP4 might also require some experiences that are an amalgamation of things.  


----

So there you have it.  My ideas for an improved PEP program.   Easy to get PEP1.  PEP4 is the key piece.




 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6797
Location: Left Coast Canada
858
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like that time frame.  It's going to be more accessible for people earning their badges at home, then what I thought (PEP1=4 years). 

Looking at the earlier discussions in the PEP1 - clothing thread, maybe we were too ambitious?

The goal for the clothing path would be by iron level, to have enough skill to make an outfit, from scratch, out of locally sourced materials? 

Something like this for the clothing path?

The "sand" level would require 4 to 12 hours to complete for a badge.
  
Sand - dyeing: gathering 4 natural dye plants from the grocery store and dye wool with them. (about 12 hours)
Sand - spinning: make a spindle and spin 100g of wool.  Ply the wool (about 6 hours)
Sand - weaving: make a loom (about 2 hours) weave cloth on it (about 10 hours)
Sand - sewing:
Sand - cloth mending:
...


The straw level might take 3 to 10 days.  

Straw - dyeing: create two mordants and ethically wildcraft enough dyes to dye 1 kilo of wool.
Straw - spinning: spin one kilo of yarn.
Straw - weaving: create 6 yards of cloth suitable for clothing
...

The wood level could take a month or two.

Wood - spinning: source locally, process and spin 2 kilos of yarn.  One-kilo animal fibre and one-kilo plant fibre.
Wood - weaving: weave 20 yards of cloth from handspun yarn
...

The iron level could take 6 to 18 months.

Iron - clothing: put it all together.  From locally sourced raw material, create an outfit that contains one item of clothing made from plant fibre, one made from animal fibre.  (about one to two years)


It seems the further we go up the path, the more categories merge together. 

To get each PEP level, they need x badges from this section, y badges in that?  PEP4 gives one a general education in permaculture techniques?

PEP5 would be more focused studies on a person's interest?
For me, trying to earn PEP5, I could create a large textile project that involves woodwork (making tools), mechanics (repairing antique sewing machines), plant breeding, wildcrafting, animal husbandry, growing fodder for the animals, ... Incorporating the main categories into one big project that would take a couple of years?

Question:  For those of us working from home, must our projects be new or can we use ones we've made in the past? 
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22623
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
r ranson wrote:
Question:  For those of us working from home, must our projects be new or can we use ones we've made in the past? 


I think it can be stuff from one's past. 

 
Allison Gessner
Posts: 38
Location: Post Falls, ID
4
chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know what PEP stands for, but I like the idea of breaking permaculture skills acquisition into baby steps. After getting some badges in enough things, maybe ant life wouldn't seem so impossible.

And this acre is so big
And so steep and so raw,
I cannot build it up.
There is no way at all!
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1700
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
54
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I saw these ideas discussed when they first came round a while ago, and while the principal initially seems very reasonable, I found the actual proposals for the various badges unsettling. They seemed to say far more about the individual making the proposals than they did about any particular principal of permaculture - and in fact many of them seemed to be a long long way from permaculture as described in Permaculture: a designers manual.

One of the key themes of permaculture is the value of interconnectedness of systems, and complexity. Fragmenting permaculture into a collection of separate tasks seems to work directly against the philosophy of viewing a landscape as an integrated whole, and misses the point of it being a "landscape design science". When you divorce the skills being learned from the specific environment you introduce a fracture of sorts that can turn permaculture from being practical and relevant to becoming an arbitrary tick list of skills. And more than that, the skills listed sometimes read like a "prepper/survivalist/lonewolf - things I need to know to survive the apocalypse" list. Did I miss the memo about the zombies? I thought I was engaged in agriculture and community living?

I'm a beekeeper, and I paid close attention to the various proposals that were being thrown around for beekeeping badges. There were lists of particular tasks that a beekeeper "needed" to have done. There were lists of hive types that the beekeeper "should" use. But none of those things are by any means universally accepted in beekeeping, or even close to being universally desirable. For example, there was a lot of focus on top bar hives in those early proposals. In some climates top bar hives work well, but in others they don't do so well. In some regions of the world bees are traditionally kept in hollow logs pulled up into trees as a protection against predators. A top bar hive - as envisaged by the posters - would be ripped apart in short order. In some very cold climates - or very damp ones like we have in the UK - bees do much much better in polystyrene hives. They are an artificial material, but they easily last 20+ years so actually represent a good investment of petroleum resources. In some regions of the world bees are kept in heavy clay pipes, and honey is robbed from the end of the pipes.

Any yet, all this complexity and variety was lost in proposals for beekeeping badges. It felt like the proposals were "Here is what I do. Make a badge of that. Everyone else is wrong."

One of the earlier posters here mentions badges for "cloth". I agree, we all need cloth. I like wearing clothes. But is my understanding of permaculture really incomplete if I haven't done my own weaving? What relevance does this have for me making decisions about how to design my landscape? My own landscape has limited potential for fiber production, and if I decided to prioritise that I would have to do so at the expense of some other more productive activity. Even if I did go down the path of producing fiber (probably wool where we are), why would I do the hand weaving myself? Why would anyone do hand weaving at all, when I know that the house next door has a spinning wheel, and my wife can knit? Many activities "take a village" - not everyone needs to be a blacksmith, or a herbalist, weaver... but we do need access to them from time to time.

If I personally was to design an education course for permaculture it would focus far less on a tick list of individual arbitrary skills, and would instead focus on deepening understanding of underlying principals.
  • Can you walk through a dry landscape and identify how water flows when it rains?
  • Can you explain how integrating chickens into a farm might increase overall productivity? How exactly would you do it on your particular piece of land to maximise the benefits?
  • What water catchment structures would be suitable in your landscape? How would you go about building them?
  • What would you expect to happen to the micro climate if you removed that row of trees?
  • How would you design the layout of permaculture zones on this particular farm, given its setting in the wider landscape?
  • etc...


  • And these might be tested through conversation. You go for a walk with an experienced permaculture practitioner and talk about what you see. You discuss the interconnectedness of the concepts and systems being discussed.

     
    r ranson
    master steward
    Posts: 6797
    Location: Left Coast Canada
    858
    books chicken cooking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    My guess is that the idea is to have lots of little areas we can earn PEP badges in.

    For me, being a textile person, my iron badge project for earthworks would look like - terracing a section to grow flax (with a control group to show that the terrace improves the crop).  Or perhaps, create a suntrap or u-shaped berm to capture the heat and grow cotton without a greenhouse

    Maybe someone else is market garden focused but hates watering, so their Iron badge might look like creating a hugelkultur that can grow the biggest tomatoes without irrigation (with a control group to show that this really does improve the situation).

     
    r ranson
    master steward
    Posts: 6797
    Location: Left Coast Canada
    858
    books chicken cooking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Michael Cox wrote:
    If I personally was to design an education course for permaculture it would focus far less on a tick list of individual arbitrary skills, and would instead focus on deepening understanding of underlying principals.
  • Can you walk through a dry landscape and identify how water flows when it rains?
  • Can you explain how integrating chickens into a farm might increase overall productivity? How exactly would you do it on your particular piece of land to maximise the benefits?
  • What water catchment structures would be suitable in your landscape? How would you go about building them?
  • What would you expect to happen to the micro climate if you removed that row of trees?
  • How would you design the layout of permaculture zones on this particular farm, given its setting in the wider landscape?
  • etc...




  • I like these topics. 

    To me, though, what works in theory seldom works in practice.  I would really like a certificate to show that one has actually done these things and shows what they (and more importantly that they can) learn from doing. 

    What water catchment structures would be suitable in your landscape? How would you go about building them?
    I would add - here are some examples of ones built by the student and the results from these. 

    The examples would be based on the level. 

    Maybe sand would be drawing a map
    Maybe wood would involve making building a structure
    Maybe Iron would involve a larger structure, grow things on it, and a control group that grows the same things without it.  Write a report with pictures (aka, a post) showing what you learned.

    But PEP is paul's things and I'm still learning what his vision for this entails. 
     
    Kevin Young
    Posts: 35
    3
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Michael Cox wrote:I saw these ideas discussed when they first came round a while ago, and while the principal initially seems very reasonable, I found the actual proposals for the various badges unsettling.

    I agree with your concerns, and I inherently do NOT like badges. I loved scouting and worked at a Boy Scout camp for 3 summers, but I was so opposed to badges that I refused to turn in my cards and advance in rank. My main issue is that boys were pursuing badges as though they were the end product that mattered, without recognizing that the only thing that really mattered was the development of the underlying skills and traits. It took me several extra years to get my PhD in biology because I was so opposed to the idea of getting a rank and of having to "prove" to my committee that I had done work that was "worthy" of a PhD. On the other hand, creating a structure to describe all the different skills and different levels has value. For example, it would give me a much better framework of all the things I may want to consider before buying some property or building a house, or if I developed an interest in beekeeping it would open my eyes to all the possibilities as well as guide me through things to consider at the outset and things to consider as I advanced. I would love to see the ecosystem of skills mapped out in some way, along with all the connections between skills. I also like the idea of seeing who has skills in different areas so I know who to consult. Further, if I had some skills and wanted to teach others for a fee it would be nice for others to have confidence that I really had some authority and experience to talk about those things.

    One idea I have not seen thrown in anywhere concerns how to verify whether or not someone has a particular skill. Yes, it has been said that someone already qualified can certify someone else, but how is this documented? What is the official record? My idea is to incorporate the certifications into a blockchain of sorts using a cryptocurrency so there is a permanent, verifiable record.  I don't want to start down the deep, deep rabbit hole of cryptocurrencies in this thread, so I will avoid details but this could serve as a means of payment between teachers and students as well as a means of being officially certified in any skill.
     
    r ranson
    master steward
    Posts: 6797
    Location: Left Coast Canada
    858
    books chicken cooking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Kevin wrote:
    One idea I have not seen thrown in anywhere concerns how to verify whether or not someone has a particular skill. Yes, it has been said that someone already qualified can certify someone else, but how is this documented? What is the official record?


    this thread might help.  It's where Paul talks about his idea and how it forums into the PEP1 concept.

     
    permaculture is giving a gift to your future self. After reading this tiny ad:
    Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
    https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!