troy ostrander

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since Apr 29, 2011
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Recent posts by troy ostrander

An "advocacy" forum would be for discussions, strategies and sharing experiences about the introduction of permaculture to others. I am not crazy about the title of the forum. "Advocacy" might get confused with lawyer-ish type stuff. Maybe "spreading the word" is better.
Is there anyway we can add an "advocacy" forum on the permaculture forums?
Topic: Permaculture Advocacy

Audience: Wheaton Eco Scale 2 (30% of purchased food is organic and let's assume has no access to a garden)

Question: "How could you image getting to a world where permaculture is a household word?"

I think it is pretty cool that over the last 20 years the word 'organic' has become a household word and pretty much everyone knows that it is better to buy organic over conventional even if they seldom do. What I find most surprising is that these same people could not imagine something better than organic. I love Paul's HUSP story and in that same vein, I would like to imagine a story which takes today's reality as a point of departure and paints a picture over x amount of years resulting in making permaculture a household word. I would be less interested in a story of permaculture replacing the organic labeling or permaculture becomes a calling card for some "return to the land" movement. But by taking what we know today and the through the strength of permaculture's practical applications it becomes recognized as a counter to industrial food production EVEN if it is not viable one. I optimistically estimate, if we could get 600 million* people to the embody the following meme, we would have reached the goal:

"Yes, organic is the best thing going right now, but man, if we could just get our hands on some of that permaculture stuff!!!"

I would love to hear Toby's eloquence applied to the question.

*For my calculations goto:

Wow. Thanks for all the support. Right now, I would like to target a "quick start guide" for wheaton eco scale 2 people. I am one of them so I can relate. I will post a concept sketch and some research results, soon. I encourage everyone to think hard about how to make a "quick start guide" that they would like to see. You can just describe it here with plain old words. It would very cool to hear about it. Happy Holidays. Troy
8 years ago
Nancy, Great post. We gotta get it out of the meaningless drivel category. I wish we had an "advocacy" category for something like this here at permies. I don't quite see a clear profit model in permaculture, But I would like to imagine it. I could see cooperate media mentioning permaculture if there was this positive grass roots ground swell somewhere. Like a trend or the next big thing and then not have them talk about it again. But that would be cool. It would be like that John3:16 guy in the superbowl. Accept our sign would say "got permaculture". In light of a the grassroots approach, can I invite you to read a post inspired by this post and paul's podcast 099 about permaculture reaching a bigger audience? I would love to hear from you. Troy
8 years ago
I pressed pause on Podcast 099 to write this post. Paul is doing a podcast with Jack Spirko and I got inspired to get a permaculture advocacy thing going and I am looking for any collaborators.

Paul started a brainstorming session about making it easy for people to get started in permaculture with out feeling like they are an expert. The brainstorming starts at 1:21 in podcast 099 "lessons from the forest"

My notes on the terms Paul and Jack were using:
"(permaculture) on one page and phone it in", "a recipe card", "single sheet of paper" (permaculture)

My thoughts:
You know the two manuals you get with your electronic gadget. The multilingual paper back novel sized one: "The Users Manual" and then the one you use: "The Quick Start Guide" with the big pics and steps all on one page. This is what I am thinking of: "The Quick Start Guide to Permaculture"

I think there could be many ways to make this guide. It could be quite literal and make several different guides according to the types of people, bio-regions and living type.

I am most interested in a sort of questionnaire-driven-online-custom-guide generator with slider fine tuning...a Q-DOCGG Huh?

Here is a rough sketch with a hypothetical wheaton eco level 2 person. (OK. its me answering the questions)

Are you?
1. with a garden
>2. without a garden
Do you wanna garden?
1. yes
>2. no
How much of your food is organic?
1. none
>2. 30%
3. 80%
4. 100%
Where do you live? City, State, Country or just your zip code
anycity, anystate, anycounty

results for an wheaton eco scale 2 person:
imagine a graphically-pleasing, print-ready page with:

1. A custom quick start guide to permaculture tailor made for this person
2. Slider controls to advance (or retreat) to the next eco level and see instantly how the results change (what is slider control? see image below)
3. Lists of local stuff, facts and other links
+list local permaculture groups
+list of local CSAs
+list of local farmers
+“how to do better than organic” article

What do you guys think?
Does this exist already?
Is it worth the effort?
Who wants to help?

8 years ago
Wow! Geoff Lawton, thanks for the reply. I was hoping for more details, but this reply is interesting and hopeful.

My rough math is once 600 million* people know about the word permaculture we may have reached the tipping point.**

Let's think of it as story writing. We wake up tomorrow and permaculture is a household word. Remember it is only 600 million people that need to be reached. How did we get there?

In terms of reaching people, I am guessing that the 100 million people in wheaton eco scale 2 (where 30% of purchased food is organic) is a great place to start. They might not have heard of permaculture but have already made a conscious effort to buy less toxic stuff and may be receptive an even better idea.... permaculture, baby!

*(We would reach the 'tipping point' if 15% of the planets 24-64 year olds (which is 4 billion) would know about the word permaculture. Population data source:

8 years ago
How could you image getting to a world where permaculture is a household word?
9 years ago
Yes, Here is the website:

and here is Google's translation of the website:

I will be taking my PDC June 2011 here in Denmark:

and here again is you know who's translation of the website:

Please tell me if you guys need more information.

9 years ago