Hey, thanks for posting about our course! We've totally filled up enrollment after having it out in the world for about a month, the first class is starting in a few hours...
The extended schedule is going to be a challenge but that was a direct result of how we went about creating the course. We got a group of educators together and asked them what it would take to make this course possible. Four hours a month was what was reasonable for them and that's what we went with. They were also able to offer resources to make the course viable at the price it was.
I think the response speaks for itself. It just makes me wonder why, as designers, we haven't done more to iterate the format of the PDC. I think there is a great need to get this information/knowledge/experience out there but the standard course design just doesn't work for so many people.
For sure we're going to have to tweak things so that we can use the extended schedule to our advantage but that seems a reasonable task.
I've worked for a long time to transition from the existing world into a more permanent one, recently made the jump to full time permaculture. That does not mean I'm a farmer or only teach PDCs but those are two elements of my overall design plan. Right now I'm looking at myself as a producer of media: anything from videos & websites to gardens & community groups (gardening people).
You are the only one that can know how best to do that for yourself. How can you leverage your existing skills and situation into permanence? Where are the major leverage points of action so you can get the most reward from your efforts?
I would propose that you shouldn't try too hard, instead let the information wash over you. Let it naturally make connections with your existing and growing knowledge base. Sometimes trying too hard actually works against your ability to retain something important.
Keep building your experiential knowledge as opportunities present themselves. This should be your primary focus as what you learn will be much stronger and more useful!
This is what I do, it has worked pretty well for me.
To me using EM is similar to making pickles with a starter culture. If you've ever done it you'd know that they're just not as good as the real thing. Why not connect directly with your environment and establish a symbiotic relationship with your local microorganisms?
Not sure where you're getting Virginia from. The Permaculture Project is in Carbondale, IL but is teaching a bunch at Kinstone in Fountain City, WI in the Driftless area. Midwest Permaculture is in Stelle, IL just SW of Chicago.
I don't recommend any kind of a PDC in order to obtain a design. A first design is usually not peoples best. What you want is to get educated so that you can make better decisions around how you put your ecovillage together. You'd probably best be served by some sort of design that comes together over the span of several years. That's a lot of money to spend on a consultant, better get educated!
I'm a little late to the party but wanted to get in on things!
I've recently moved to Ann Arbor from Chicago. Decided to make a go of full time permaculture, trying to figure out what that means. Right now the main priority is observation, lots of observation and interaction. It turns out there is a food forest 10 blocks from my new home and lots of permaculture in this region. Making plans for bees, gardening, and social permaculture. Very excited for the coming season and all the new things it brings.
What's already on your property? Like Mollison says "wait one year before doing anything". That might give you some great clues as to what will grow there or you might find you already have something productive growing there.
Strategies such as building up mounds or hugelkultur might be appropriate too. Would ducks work? There are lots of possibilities, you just have to be open to them.
A general location or planting zone would be useful for anyone to give recommendations...