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gardener
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Creating the perfect footprint that uses the path but doesn't damage the path.

Imagine if you will a path with my permaculture plot represented by a small patch of thyme and your as another and eventually the entire path covered with all of our permie gardens creating the green the path. Resiliant enough for those that walk the path.
 
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    It is a nice thought that we could make a good path. Still it is part of the nature of ideas that they take unexpected turns and go wrong, change or weren't perfect anyway and another generation has to think what to do. I suppose that has nothign to do with us righting present wrongs in farming as faras we can.
        I say so because reality is good, as are dreams too.
          I learnt hisory of art and art movements start off cool, one example is the early renaissance painters, giotto and  michelangelo, they painted very expressive pictures so expressivity was part of the new movement in which humanes look like flesh and blood people instead of diagrams as they had before but in the end the pictures painted as a result of the renaissance started to look very over sophisticated and not very expressive, the painters started to pay more attention to painting every hair and wrinkle than to the meaning of the scene this is an exxample of how ideas twist with time. To take another art movement, the impresionist paintings in the end started to get too sentimental and people started to paint other paintings that had meaning again, the fashion changed.

      I hope that our efforts everyones efforts can change farming. 
      With global warming keeping the ground covered with plants that absorb carbon has become so much  more urgent and stopping the sun heating the earth too much by covering it with plants which are insulation rather than a substance that turns the light energy of the sun to heat energy as earth does, would help redue the effects of global warming too. agri rose macaskie.

 
 
rose macaskie
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h ludi taylor, it flumoxes me, i have know peoploe get some system into their heads and then they get very overbearing. I like the whole premaculture likfe style idea but the idea of a system scares me. I have known what it is to be pushed around so often that i have got prety feirce and very weary of group allegencies. People want to clock you when you dont think exactly like they do though they are your friends, it is strange but i find it is true and even if you think you have the same ideas they differ from you in some point and go for you it is best to establish that you cant think the same as them in every point.

      Though a healthy soils should make plants healthier and so reduce the need for pesticides and though  fungicides and humic acids help the plants pick up nutrients and a healthy balance of lots of life in the soil helps plants resist disease, I don’t think it is possible to convince most farmers of the necessity of organic matter in the soil for these reasons, even though healthy plants mean healthy people.
      I think the idea that organic matter helps retain a lot more water in the soil so plants don't suffer from a week or two weeks shortage of rain much and don't need watering, and that it breaks up clay soils so they are more airy and healthier for plants, might be a better way of convincing farmers who are not interested in more natural ways of doing things that they should put organic matter back in the soil than explaining complicated things to them about plant and soil health.
If you tell farmer who use a lot of chemicals about the superior absorption of nutrients in soils with organic matter they can say, "look we grow a lot in bad soils so we don’t believe that plants need a lot of organic matter and  microorganisms" but they might be attracted to the idea that their soils will hold more water if they are full of organic matter so allowing the farmers to reduce their need to keep their eyes on the sky the whole time.
       If they used organic matter which apparently farmers usually have a lot of, to better their soils, they would not need so much chemical expensive nitrogen for instance, so that would annoy chemical companies, who would try to persuade them they did not need organic matter. what the chemical companies feel about things is likely to influence how easy it is to presuade farmers to have healty soils. Without organic matter in their soils they are likely to ruin their land for their sons. 
beign worried about how to spread the health of soils without persuadign people to be totally permaculture is permaculture in as far as worrying about the health of soils is very premaculture though it does not include a lot of other parts of permaculture. agri rose macaskie.
 
gardener
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the article is about self-sufficiency vrs sustainability
http://www.activistpost.com/2011/04/why-self-sufficiency-should-replace.html


Sunday, April 17, 2011
Why 'Self-Sufficiency' Should Replace 'Sustainability' in the Environmental Movement


in the comments

Anonymous said...
This is the reason I have nothing to do with "Permaculture" anymore. Too many of the main permaculture groups are more interested in UN/NWO "social justice" behind the scenes. Do not trust ANY group that does not encourage or support self-sufficient independence. Thank you for the post and hope more like it will come.

and from another

Anonymous said...
Agree with above comment on "permaculture". In fact I posted on the australian PRI site a couple of weeks agon. They had ANOTHER global warming write up. If they have not deleted it you will see it is very much like this article. Avoid "permaculture" groups or buying their products at all costs, they are a "face" for UN/NWO


I can sympathize with the poster above, I have an exchange with several people there over global warming a few months ago


so permaculture's beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
 
Robert Ray
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I personally see permaculture as self sufficiency with a sustainable requirement.
  I can be self sufficient and burn up or waste resources.
  My definition would include both words.
  I think social and environmental justice should be part of the movement. However once you start talking social issues it can be a sticky wicket. I would hope the social justice would fall into palce on it's own. I prefer to talk nuts and bolts of the garden, food production here, and is one of the reasons I like this forum no real political infighting
  Global warming? Was 28 degrees here last night.
 
                        
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10,000 years  ago humans grew food?? maybe 5k or 6k ago they grew mostly wheat, and harvested whatever else grew in the wilderness in season.

anyway permaculture is a lot of things to a lot of people, it is not however a religion or a worship belief sysem, it is not also then about man created design, it is however about doing things simply and the simplest way is to mimic as best we can the natural system. it brings together other might i say phylosophies under the one umbrella.

it is all about keep it simple s.....

len
 
Robert Ray
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Creating that mimicry of nature does take a little fiddling by man.
Nature has it figured out we just need to bring it together with a friendly tweak or matchmaking if you will.
 
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just found this great interview with Mollinson where he grapples with trying to define what he created

http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC28/Mollison.htm

enjoy!
 
                                    
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Thanks for sharing that article, it was a good read for me at lunch. Really made me think about what my kids and their kids are going top have to endure because of our selfish choices.
 
pollinator
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I hope with our less selfish efforts we might make things a little less horrible for them. 
 
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This thread is an oldie but goodie! 

I spent yesterday in a booth at the Spokane Public Market doing "outreach" for the upcoming Inland Northwest Permaculture Conference.  There were LOTS of folks who had never heard the word "Permaculture" before and wanted a one or two line summary of what it is about.  Good thing I read this thread before I went!!

But there was always a second question that followed the first ... "so, what's in it for me?" or "why should I care?" 

Here I stumbled, for the "why" of Permaculture is so intuitively obvious that I've never come up with a succinct "reason" for it.  What I'm looking for in this post are your thoughts about how to answer the second question when talking to someone not familiar with Permaculture.

tia
Bill Kearns
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Why permaculture from a self-centered point of view?  To save money, have healthy homegrown food, more wildlife and beauty around the home.  But I don't know if those reasons will appeal to everyone.

 
gardener
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What is the foundation of a thriving and self-reliant community?
What is the alternative to improving the function of land?
Is there some other plan you had in mind?
Either we do permaculture the easy way, or we do it the hard way.
 
Tyler Ludens
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In my experience, answering a question with a question is just about the fastest way to alienate someone.
 
Paul Cereghino
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My point being, the question 'whats in it for me' is hard to answer meaningfully without undestanding your partner in conversation.  I'd suggest honestly and curiouslly learning more about the person you are talking with, and their values, and where they think we are going, using more socially gentle language than presented above.
 
Bill Kearns
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Thank you H Ludi Taylor and Paul Cereghino, for your insightful responses.

Paul, your last response is particularly relevant;  when I read it I said, "aha, apply Permaculture principles!" by using techniques of social observation to determine appropriate responses!  Each response will be tailored to the particular situation of the questioner.  There are no sound bites ... one-liners won't do it for the situation-specific, self-oriented question of "what's in it for me". 

Good stuff.

I also found this piece by Michael Pilarski that is relevant to the original thread topic:  http://www.inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com/?q=content/well-rounded-permaculturist

 
Tyler Ludens
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Paul Cereghino wrote:
My point being, the question 'whats in it for me' is hard to answer meaningfully without undestanding your partner in conversation.  I'd suggest honestly and curiouslly learning more about the person you are talking with, and their values, and where they think we are going, using more socially gentle language than presented above.



Being hard of understanding (especially in this written format), I was not able to glean that from your previous response.....   To me, your response was opaque and confusing, almost the exact opposite of your intention.

 
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I like Mollison's definition from the article linked by Brice.  "The rational man's approach to not shitting in his bed."
 
                            
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Permaculture is a creative way of living that involves careful planning, better use of our resources and maintains a respect for life. It is using common sense in preserve life in all domains.  Right now it is being applied to food production, which happens to be the biggest activity on the planet.  In producing food permaculture uses a form of no no dig, no-till gardening or farming.  It is a techniaque that the forest uses to replinish the land.  Thte forest floor is a perfect example in using rotting organic material.  Permaculturists design their gardens according to zones, sectors and edges. 

ecoinallways.com
 
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Jd J wrote:"Permaculture is about reversing this process"

Surely with the number of people on this planet, meaning the need for more food, there is no way we can reverse the process?



So what's the alternative? Why make kids when you know they have no chance? And any reasonable human can see that so far we destroyed ourself (as a part of nature), imo we passed point blank but .. that's just my opinion

sorry nothing dis respect, just got here(haven't read whole thread..) .. best wishes ..
 
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I think this film (aside from the religious overtones) makes for some very good permaculture lessons to learn.

http://backtoedenfilm.com/
The theories and results are sound, and its so amazingly simple. I have been following the lessons in my own garden ( and a container veg garden at that) to much success. Due to my physical limitations I cannot incorporate this into an actual "in-ground" approach... but if it can work in 48 5-gal containers... Im sure it could work normally as evidenced in the video.
 
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Permaculture gardening is growing a synergistic food producing perennial polyculture with mid-succession species and soil covered with late succession mulch.
 
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Permaculture is anything you don't feel like weeding.

"hey what's all that hemp nettle and garlic mustard over there?"

"oh, that's my PERMACULTURE garden!!"
 
Theodore Heistman
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David Walking Turtle wrote:I think this film (aside from the religious overtones) makes for some very good permaculture lessons to learn.

http://backtoedenfilm.com/
The theories and results are sound, and its so amazingly simple. I have been following the lessons in my own garden ( and a container veg garden at that) to much success. Due to my physical limitations I cannot incorporate this into an actual "in-ground" approach... but if it can work in 48 5-gal containers... Im sure it could work normally as evidenced in the video.




That video is awesome btw!
 
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I am actually a huge fan of permaculture i love how well it treats the environment. However, one new piece of technology I have actually been using lately that reduces a ton of water when planting is using a gardening cube.
 
pioneer
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jordan darko wrote:I am actually a huge fan of permaculture i love how well it treats the environment. However, one new piece of technology I have actually been using lately that reduces a ton of water when planting is using a harvest cube. These work really well when you want to grow tomatoes or anything similar at all. harvestcube



Do you have any photos of these? What are they, and how do they work?

I noticed that the site said they weren't available yet. Have you been involved in the testing of them?
 
steward
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permaculture is a more symbiotic relationship with nature so I can be even lazier.
 
paul wheaton
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A field of corn sounds like dial tone.

An untouched field sounds like white noise.

I think God wants me to create symphonies in seed and soil.

--- and THAT is permaculture

dial-tone-seed-soil.jpg
[Thumbnail for dial-tone-seed-soil.jpg]
symphonies in seed and soil is permaculture
 
paul wheaton
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Permaculture is .... obsessing about gardening to the point that you have grown a home and a community.



Permaculture is .... obsessive gardening paired with a twisted sense of patience.







 
paul wheaton
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What if you plant a garden and love it. So you make a bigger garden and you plant more and more .... and then your little urban lot is packed so that every possible space taken up with adventures in gardening ... and you wish, wish, wish you had more sun, more soil and more space ... so you find ways to squeeze more and more and more into this tiny space .... and then you move to a lot that gets a lot more sun and has a lot more soil and a lot more space and start over doing things even better than before .... and then every little space is packed with growies and you dream of an even bigger lot with even more sun and more soil .... and you optimize everything to be able to pack even more growies into this space and make the best of all the limitations and manage do double the productivitiy .... and then you move to a bigger lot with more sun and soil and do it again, only now you have mega skills in polyculture, hugelkultur, pioneer species, paddock shift and cuttings from all of your favorite plants ... now it is permaculture with homesteading ... and you do all of your earthworks first .... and there are ponds and dribbles of water and natural buildings and a plethora of joyous life .... and that is permaculture.
 
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Well when I tell others about permaculture online I am usually restricted to a certain number of characters or want to keep it short and sweet so they don't get bored and stop reading.
I usually say/type..... Permaculture is an ethical design science based on nature/creation.
I could also say..... Permaculture is the word created to describe and remind us of the whole systems approach to thriving in abundance through natural living using our common senses and imitations of already established symbiotic and synergistic examples found in nature.
Let's see....Permaculture might also be described as right brain connecting and realization applied through left brain thoughts and understandings channeled through simple body skills and abilities.
Just a few descriptions that come to mind.
 
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Permanent Agriculture or culture of every sort. Permanent also means sustainable, meaning really thriving with no signs of eventual collapse. TLL ORDER. OH, TYPO MISSED THE EH. Y'ALL KNOW THIS, ANYWAY I'M SURE. We know now agriculture can encompass forestry and that is what turns the trick of building fresh water stores, O2 content in atmosphere and towards restoring ozone layer in stratosphere. This would include novel ways of regreening the desert, considering the potential of microalgae, the fastest growing plant known, so fastest at fulfilling our greatest needs, making oxygen and sequestering carbon. I just wanted to answer this Q without reading. Now hope this was all redundancing OgreNick
 
pollinator
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Good to bring this very old (13 years!) topic back up again!
It seems there are as many definitions / explanations for 'Permaculture' as there are people. Of course! Permaculture is different for every different environment, climate or region ... So it's different for every individual person too.

For some the most important part is growing their own food in their garden. For others it's making a living in agriculture while restoring the natural resources. For others it's about the way they interact with other living creatures ... etc.

For me the three ethics are very important. I try to apply them in my daily life. Which is fairly difficult living in an ordinary neighbourhood of a small town in the Netherlands (a country with many rules & regulations).

Being self-sufficient is not my goal. Spreading the knowledge and interest in permaculture is much more important to me.

I'm doing my best to apply the principles of permaculture on a small scale, as far as possible, and educate others in my surroundings about them. In fact we do this as a group, called Permacultuur Meppel. We have a community garden together; a free educative garden. The town council supports it (not so much with money but we are allowed to use a corner of a public park).
 
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Permaculture is a lifestyle that can be maintained indefinitely.
That is, it can build a culture that need never change. to remain permanent.

This requires:
symbiotic relations with nature instead of our current parasitic one.
Every extraction must have an equal return.

Renewable resources be renewed or nature given time to renew them.

competition be replaced with creativity and art

Knowing that we, being the most capable intelligent species, have a responsibility to nurture ecosystem health and clean up after ourselves.
 
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I think that Permaculture is the acknowledgement by a person, a group, a community, or a nation that our every action has a direct impact on both our environment and on future generations.  Further, beyond acknowledgement, it is the conscientious design and creation of all life-ways so that these impacts are eliminated, or that the various impacts of our actions actually boosts the creative potential inherent in nature (both human nature and the greater body of the Earth), beyond sustainability, to regenerative resilience. 
 
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I read how the replies have shifted in focus from Permaculture being an agricultural element to it's impact on any environment. No one has mentioned that it started out as a PhD thesis that was written by David Holmgren and he failed to understand why anyone would be impacted by it, let alone have it published as a book, Permaculture 1 was born. That originally it did start out as Permanent Agriculture but has been transformed, when, I am not sure, into Permanent Culture.

I am so puzzled how Bill Mollison's 72 hour original PDC is being transformed into a course which is becoming bigger than the production of Ben Hur, and with a price tag to match. Originally it was a Permaculture Design Certificate, but now that is mentioned in small type and has been replaced by Permaculture Design Course. 72 hours is now running at anything upto 120 to 160 hours and I wonder if people are turning away because of the cost.

People talk of the fourth ethic of Permaculture the one of spirituality and how that must feature more in this course.

Courses are popping up with topics in them like The social landscape, Strategies for building social capital, Economic systems and communities, Economic regeneration strategies,. This is a huge expansion on finances and money as in the original 72 hour PDC. I shake my head as to where this is expansion is going and do subjects like this belong in a PDC. Surely a PDC is about design. Yes, it could be argued that this is about designing community, is designing an economic community, to this extent, what a student is expecting on a PDC which started out in the realm of Permanent Agriculture and growing things and designing landscapes?

To me something has to give. I write because I am becoming disillusioned and confused, I have trodden the permaculture path for a long time and yes I do hold some permaculture quals, all the way up to  a diploma. Every section so very different from the Design Course. The advanced was all hands on .. the diploma was more tertiary based but really in the end it was project managment.

Thanks for listening to my frustrated demented ramblings. 
 
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Susan Hutson wrote:I read how the replies have shifted in focus from Permaculture being an agricultural element to it's impact on any environment. No one has mentioned that it started out as a PhD thesis that was written by David Holmgren and he failed to understand why anyone would be impacted by it, let alone have it published as a book, Permaculture 1 was born. That originally it did start out as Permanent Agriculture but has been transformed, when, I am not sure, into Permanent Culture.

I am so puzzled how Bill Mollison's 72 hour original PDC is being transformed into a course which is becoming bigger than the production of Ben Hur, and with a price tag to match. Originally it was a Permaculture Design Certificate, but now that is mentioned in small type and has been replaced by Permaculture Design Course. 72 hours is now running at anything upto 120 to 160 hours and I wonder if people are turning away because of the cost.

People talk of the fourth ethic of Permaculture the one of spirituality and how that must feature more in this course.

Courses are popping up with topics in them like The social landscape, Strategies for building social capital, Economic systems and communities, Economic regeneration strategies,. This is a huge expansion on finances and money as in the original 72 hour PDC. I shake my head as to where this is expansion is going and do subjects like this belong in a PDC. Surely a PDC is about design. Yes, it could be argued that this is about designing community, is designing an economic community, to this extent, what a student is expecting on a PDC which started out in the realm of Permanent Agriculture and growing things and designing landscapes?

To me something has to give. I write because I am becoming disillusioned and confused, I have trodden the permaculture path for a long time and yes I do hold some permaculture quals, all the way up to  a diploma. Every section so very different from the Design Course. The advanced was all hands on .. the diploma was more tertiary based but really in the end it was project managment.

Thanks for listening to my frustrated demented ramblings. 


I really appreciate how the permaculture design course (PDC) I took was done. It was an extensive PDC taught over the course of various marathon Sundays: 3 hours in the morning - break - 3 hours in the afternoon. The PDC was taught by a "guild" of teachers: a Master arborist, a PhD in anthropology, a retired engineer, a LEED AP certified architect, an off-grid farmer/homesteader, etc. Best part of all, it was half the cost of a PDC... how? You ask. Well, we didn't have to pay room & board! It was specifically designed for working class people & families who could afford to dedicate their Sundays & save money by not paying for room & board. This affordable PDC model is still successfully being taught today by the very same guild.

The PDC scope has been controversial since the very beginning. In fact, the original PDC's were longer than the 2 week intensive 72 hour courses that have been the staple since the mid-80's. Bill Mollison started off teaching 3-week-long PDC's that ran well over 72 hours. He stopped because he realized that most working class people could not, in fact, get 3 consecutive weeks off of work to take a course. Thus, he shortened it to 2 weeks. He turned against the university degree plan model, creating a short intensive course with the intention of it going viral, which it has. That said, it has been so successful that permaculture is creeping into the university systems & is becoming institutionalized. But even then, some of these university professors are giving the content out freely to the world with an OpenCourseWare model. See Andrew Millison's free content permaculture at Oregon State University, for example.

When folks bring up permaculture to me describing it in stereotyped form as simply a sustainable/regenerative model for gardening, I point them to David Holmgren's permaculture flower with its 7 domains. Permaculture is so much more than just "Land & Nature Stewardship". In fact, "Land & Nature Stewardship" is but one seventh! It was Holmgren who put "Health & Spiritual Wellbeing", "Land Tenure & Community", "Finance & Economics" into the flower. Holmgren & Mollison both agreed later, in the 90's, to include "permanent culture" in the definition because, "without sustainable culture, there can be no sustainable agriculture". For example, Mollison was a big proponent of cooperatives & often cited Mondragon in his PDC's. Mollison himself critiqued "Holzer Permaculture" for only focusing on ag.

A PDC is about design. As Geoff Lawton has stated, "The most important chapter in the Designer's Manual is Chapter 4: on Pattern Understanding & literacy. Everything else is just application of pattern!" Pattern is the very core of the PDC. That is to say, observing nature's thriving patterns of abundance & applying them to our lives... all domains of our lives.

There are multiple alternative affordable PDC models that are currently working & evolving - work exchange, sliding scale price tags, extensives without room & board, OpenCourseWare, etc. Trying to live off the land & make money solely off of permaculturally grown vegetables & fruits using mostly human labor while competing with heavily subsidized, mechanized big ag is not easy. I don't fault folks for charging a large price tag for PDC + room + board to folks who can afford it. These homesteaders are often times essentially subsistence farmers barely making ends meet. Many of the large price tag PDC's do offer work exchange opportunities &/or sliding scale price tags for those who cannot afford it. I thank the "social permaculturists" for introducing these working models of affordability to the PDC. I know I wouldn't have been able to afford my PDC otherwise. I'm glad there is a growing abundance of thriving models that have diversified the original ideas & scope of the original PDC.

Anyhow, that's just my understanding of the history of the PDC & the current PDC landscape.
Pc-flower.gif
[Thumbnail for Pc-flower.gif]
permaculture domains flower, by David Holmgren
 
Susan Hutson
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I appreciate all you have said Loxley. However, I did some checking up for my own clarity. Bill's initial 3 week course was all class room based as were his courses at Melbourne Uni. Apparently, the reason he switched to the 72 hours was that the timing became perfect for a semester at Uni and that was always his intent, to have it in the formal education system. To this date, here in Australia, they are still trying to achieve that. Other forms have emerged at TAFE, and participants are issued Certification on various levels from level 1 through to 4. 
Permaculture is becoming an in thing to be a part of, at the moment. My original comments were meant for the everyday person. The ones with mortgages, kids, time constraints and backyards maybe even hobby farms. The ones with money commitments or life style commitments. Not young people who can do it whilst doing other studies or the older person who does it after the kids have left home or they have retired. Amazing how many older people are on PDC’s.
It would appear that David Holmgren's new book is more focused on these people when he talks garden farming & having a zone 3 on the nature strip. It would appear to me we have a long way to go to realise that a PDC is a degustation menu for what Permaculture is, and that participants come away from one (PDC) without a rounded education in any of the  topic within the curriculum. While there is an outline of what should be taught in a PDC, it is not set in stone and is left to the individual delivering the session. So, do we focus more on Garden Farming as a way to educate people and run courses which also contain the ethics and principles, which educates and broadens the participants knowledge of a topic which is not fully understood by anyone, due to the vastness of the topic.
Cheers
Susan
 
Jotham Bessey
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While permaculture is becoming a "in" thing. I've seen where people think if they do companion planting, that's permaculture.
In permaculture, you basically aim for a garden disguised as a natural ecosystem. That would vary from place to place.
 
Nick Dimitri
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Surely the end product (here farm or garden) that you got/work is gonna be reflective of where you're at re permaculture, but I believe it's more the process in how and what we do and how we prioritize that makes it moving towards sustainability/permaculture, or away from it. Like right now this writing here isn't sustainable so i'd better stop, but taking a break from moving things fwd vs the tide of the whole rubric/matrix/infrastructure and group think that's unsustainable is necessary too. Makin' permaculture real aint easy, so back to work...
 
Are we home yet? Wait, did we forget the tiny ad?
Self-Sufficiency on nearly 10 acres of Eden
https://permies.com/t/95939/Sufficiency-acres-Eden-renter-utilize
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