Money of life

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by macousin, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

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    Hi everyone,

    My name is Marc-Antoine, I live in Sydney. I have a background in strategy advisory and I run a (very) small family office managing our family capital, quite successfully so far.

    I have recently become interested in Permaculture and Bees (last week-end I followed a course in Natural Beekeeping given by Tim Malfroy and organised by Milkwood, which was great and really opened my eyes on a range of issues around sustainability, natural system and just life in general).

    I am particularly interested in the investment side of permaculture. How does it work? What type of projects and structures exist? What are the investment models and returns?

    I am just discovering here and any information to get me started would be welcome.

    Marc-Antoine
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    https://www.trees.co.za/index.php?opt...ools&Itemid=96
    EduPlant Awards announce 21 winning schools
    Out of a record-breaking number of entries received in this year’s EduPlant Schools Competition, 21 schools have triumphed. The competition that recognises the year-long effort made by participating schools received 580 entries this year, proving that sustainable food gardening is not only prolific, but also motivating for well over 400 000 learners involved across all nine provinces.

    “We are delighted to see how the principles of sustainable living are being embraced across so many schools in South Africa,” said Joanne Rolt, Programme Manager for EduPlant. “This not only means we are strengthening food security for some of our most vulnerable communities, and providing a new income stream for many, but are succeeding in establishing a new mindset away from dependency and charity.”

    EduPlant is a permaculture food gardening programme initiated 16 years ago and developed and coordinated by greening social enterprise Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to motivate schools and their communities to grow food naturally and care for their environments sustainably.
    For the past 20 years FTFA has been contributing to sustainable development and mitigating climate change through greening, food security, environmental awareness and education programmes. As one of FTFA’s core programmes, EduPlant provides schools with the skills and start-up resources to help them establish their own permaculture food gardens. This year, 72 workshops reached 8 000 teachers as a result of the commitment to the programme from funding partners ABSA, Engen and the Woolworths Trust over the next three years.
     
  3. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    I would consider Early Retirement Extreme, investment in agribusiness, the Permanent Portfolio, and even real estate development to be workable within Permaculture.

    In my mind, beyond a few ethical concerns (who is invested in), what matters more is how the surplus is used and shared.

    Saving money and manipulating financial knowledge to achieve a more sustainable tomorrow is hardly problematic, IMO. You can invest in Wind Technology, or even Bee Keeping, or even in the Government (bonds) if you think the money spent on research and development is important and being used properly.

    Beyond that, tree (and by extension carbon) farms would be fine, IMO. There are also eco villages (one in Tasmania for example) that offer 6-7% returns, non-assured, though.

    I'd argue action that's more in line with Permaculture principles is saving and investing yourself, rather than going into debt and repaying that debt. Not always possible, but there we are.

    Interesting thread will be interesting.

    I recommend reading ERE (mentioned above) and Mr Money Moustache, both of whom aren't strict permaculturalists in any way, but absolutely have solid ideas about becoming financially independent, ethical and allowing yourself more time for what you want (becoming completely self sufficient, for example!).
     
  4. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    But broadly, there's nothing set in place, no established route. I'd be interested in getting something happening though!
     
  5. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

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    Thank you MA (I see that's how people call you),

    This EduPlant programme is interesting but it looks more like a non-for-profit endeavour and a carbon footprint abating scheme than an project into which investors could place some funds with the expectation of reasonable returns.

    Or maybe I am missing something profound here. Please don't hesitate to correct me.
     
  6. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I think, macousin, that permaculture is sort of antonymous with financial investment. There is not a lot of money in Earth Care, People Care and Returning The Surplus, and not a lot of Earth Care, People Care and Returning The Surplus in money.

    There is probably a lot of room for philanthropic funding of permaculture projects. Wouldn't that be great!?

    Maybe I should send Bill Gates a proposal.
     
  7. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

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    No money in permaculture?

    Hi Grahame,

    Please call me Marc-Antoine. :)

    "I think, macousin, that permaculture is sort of antonymous with financial investment. There is not a lot of money in Earth Care, People Care and Returning The Surplus, and not a lot of Earth Care, People Care and Returning The Surplus in money."

    My hypotheses about this are quite different.

    Money is nothing else than crystallised knowledge, people who have money have applied their intelligence and their intent towards changing the world to their advantage. When you put money into an enterprise, you expect it to be returned with a surplus. Now this is no different from a permaculture practitioner who studies and uses the schedules of the land to his or her advantage. Of course, there are sustainable and unsustainable practices, in agriculture, as in business, as in finance.

    As in traditional agriculture there is NO sustainable surplus, whilst there is a sustainable surplus in permaculture, I believe that intelligent investors would rather invest in a system where there is a surplus (once, the land, the plants, the animals and the men, women and children who live on the land have been provided for)?

    Let me give you an example: I like bees and I am trying to set myself up with Warre Hives (for my personal enjoyment and the knowledge that the colonies who would live with me would always come first and be as comfortable as possible). It is clear that if this approach to bee keeping was generalised we would not have monocultures but at the same time we might not have Colony Collapse Disorder and we would be less worried about beetles and even mites. Wouldn't a wise investor put his or her money on a network of Warre Hives knowing that his returns will be steady, he won't have to finance antibiotics and that the risk of total wipe-out is much reduced? ;)

    I would like to introduce a distinction between investing and owning. I know that, traditionally, these two concepts have been overlapping – shareholders are often referred as owners and bankers have a range of mechanisms in place to take control of your property if you stop paying on time. But it does not need to be so – risk capital has never meant ownership. There is a relationship between risks and returns. Risks can be diversified enough through investing in roughly 20 different enterprises with limited correlation among them. And as always, trust reduces risks and increases returns.

    Another aspect of this issue lies in the valuation of personal effort and wits versus injected capital. Through progressive mechanisation and automation, labour has been devalued and wits have been outsourced. As such, capital bringers tend to get the lion share of the surplus. Again, in a new frame of mind, where natural capital is accounted for, as is human wit and effort, capital becomes just one of the inputs. In a traditional system, where value added is limited, investors would not be rewarded in a reasonable fashion – the pie would be too small and too many would want a piece of it. However, in permaculture, the cost of inputs is very low compared to the surplus, therefore the size of the pie is bigger in relation to the money invested and everyone should be satisfied.

    If you look at the amount of land mass that has been impoverished and made sterile and worthless, that ought to be billions of square kilometres, millions of small farms, millions of people working off the treadmill and sustaining themselves in communities, billions of dollars invested and billions of dollars returned. That is a lot of money.

    Also I am concerned that you are pigeonholing permaculture as a charity or philanthropy of some sorts. It does not sound like a good idea to me.

    I think this should be the place where a new way of thinking can be found. Let's try, shall we?

    Kind regards

    Marc-Antoine
     
  8. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

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    Hi LonerMatt,

    This is helpful thank you.

    "I would consider Early Retirement Extreme, investment in agribusiness, the Permanent Portfolio, and even real estate development to be workable within Permaculture."

    I have looked at ERE, fascinating - a lot to read. The real estate angle is interesting, to some extend, if I understand the idea behind permaculture, land is the biggest commercial input (other inputs are only required in the start-up phase). Therefore models to finance the land othewise than through debt could be part of the answer. Some structure like the Islamic banking approach to financing maybe.

    "In my mind, beyond a few ethical concerns (who is invested in), what matters more is how the surplus is used and shared."

    Yes I think you are right as well as the issue of trust.

    "Saving money and manipulating financial knowledge to achieve a more sustainable tomorrow is hardly problematic, IMO. You can invest in Wind Technology, or even Bee Keeping, or even in the Government (bonds) if you think the money spent on research and development is important and being used properly."

    LOL. I am not sure about the latter.

    "Beyond that, tree (and by extension carbon) farms would be fine, IMO. There are also eco villages (one in Tasmania for example) that offer 6-7% returns, non-assured, though."

    Do you know where I can find more info about the Tasmanian eco-village?

    "I'd argue action that's more in line with Permaculture principles is saving and investing yourself, rather than going into debt and repaying that debt. Not always possible, but there we are."

    I think the key benefit here would be to enable us, collectively, to "hasten slowly" towards Mollison's vision.

    "I recommend reading ERE (mentioned above) and Mr Money Moustache, both of whom aren't strict permaculturalists in any way, but absolutely have solid ideas about becoming financially independent, ethical and allowing yourself more time for what you want (becoming completely self sufficient, for example!).[/QUOTE]"

    I am not 100% sure that being self-sufficient is the answer, I'd rather talk about "cooperation without co-dependency".

    Cheers

    Marc-Antoine
     
  9. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

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    Dear Grahame,

    I have, since posting my response, read more of what you have written and in particular your posts about the Green Temple. There is a spiritual quality to what you are describing there. A sense of purpose, peace and honesty.

    By contracts, my word must have seemed cold and superficial. An indeed, with hindsight, they were. I guess, I missed an opportunity to shut up and listen. ;-)

    If that is OK, I would like to go back in time and start again. You wrote: "permaculture is sort of antonymous with financial investment. There is not a lot of money in Earth Care, People Care and Returning The Surplus, and not a lot of Earth Care, People Care and Returning The Surplus in money".

    Reading these words, I feel that you are speaking from direct experience. Can you tell me more about why that is the case?
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Now we have 2 MA's! Neat!
     
  11. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hi Marc-Antoine,

    Somehow I missed your original response. I have to admit though, that when I did read it, my eyes glazed over a little. I find economic theory umm, is nauseating too strong a word? :) I didn't get at all offended by your posts though, mine is just an opinion. Just one view of what permaculture means.

    I've often wondered if I read back over my posts over the years, how often I might have contradicted myself!

    I guess I don't have a big problem with money as such, but I think of it more as a battery - a place to store energy for later use. Only it is a very leaky battery and I think it takes much more energy to fill it than it holds. It also tends to lead to disproportianate value for things - over-valuing intrinsically valueless things and under-valuing intrinsically valuable things. This is a particular problem in this crazy corporate business model. For a purely random example. If I spend say 3 hours growing, harvesting, curing, braiding and selling 10 garlic bulbs I might get a return of say $10. Whereas an advertising executive who produces nothing of intrinsic value from 3 hours work may earn anything from $100 to a $1million. That is insanity surely?

    If we could dismantle the Corporations of the world, which are basically miners of all sorts (you name it they mine it with no thought for the future), we would do a lot more to bring about the goals of permaculture than any sort of investment using that same business model. When there is a shareholder expecting a financial return, there is a problem. I've heard the term triple-bottom-line bandied around for years now, but lets not be fooled by that rhetoric.

    To me permaculture is a hands-on thing, it's a lifestyle choice, it's an ethical position. I think the best investment is in our daily choices, how we live, how we interact with the world. And by that I mean the real world, soil, sand, water, plants, animals, rocks. When our life is mostly about interacting with computers, paper, cars, machines, TV's, furniture and buildings then we are very disconnected. When we get all our food from a refrigerated supermarket we have no idea about the real world.

    The best investment in permaculture is the investment of your hands in the soil. It's the investment in your neighbours. And when you get a great neighbourhood together, you can start to talk about cooperatives.

    Sustainability is in direct opposition to economic growth, because economic growth is based on depletion of resources. So what self-respecting capitalist would truly be interested in sustainability?

    But I'm happy to be proven wrong. After all this is just my current opinion.

    Purpose, peace and honesty - now that is something to base your life on.
     
  12. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    Grahame,

    With all due respect, and as you've later admitted, investment and economics isn't your schtick - and you're almost infinitely broad use of the word investment only makes this discussion more difficult.

    Furthermore, ant with respect, the idea that investment is completely in conflict with permaculture is naive and silly. Permaculture is, first, a series of ethics that are applicable to almost any field - investment among them.

    Secondly, you're ignoring that there are companies/products/ideas that can be invested in (and provide good returns) that are synonymous with permaculture. Alternative energy, green builders, real estate rejuvenation, etc, etc, etc.

    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly from a personal perspective, is how the surplus is used/shared. Implicitly, if you've savings in the bank, you're part of the evil financial investment cycle, probably with shares in some mining companies, etc. In Australia, we are part of a capitalist work horse, for better or worse, and unless all your money is in cash, some of it is invested, I'll bet.

    So, control where it goes, and what you do with the returns. Again, if I invest and buy gold, that's hardy exploitation (since most gold on the market isn't newly mined, but bought and sold 2nd hand, so to speak), but if gold rises, I sell and use the profit to improve my land and sufficiency, surely the ends (non harmful, purely supply/demand, non exploitative if buying 2nd hand and not propping up mining) justifies the means?

    Also, the vast majority of investment is non-exploitative, and functions more on taking advantage of price changes than anything else. A change in price is a fairly non-destructive thing - not all investment is created equally.

    Exactly, buy land dirt cheap (or as cheap as it can be, pre-cleared if possibe) and turn it into prime farmland using permaculture. I don't know what the returns wuld be, but it's certainly possible to get 6-10%, I'd think.

    In Australia, the largest provided of research money is the Federal Government, if we want to develop more efficient use of technologies, the Government's really the only body that will fund that.

    In the classifieds section here there was an advertisement several months ago - I always forget the exact name of the village.

    [quoteI am not 100% sure that being self-sufficient is the answer, I'd rather talk about "cooperation without co-dependency". [/quote]

    I think there's plenty of room for investing in that framework.
     
  13. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    That's cool Matt, I guess I just don't understand how people could have money to "invest". It doesn't really fit in with my simplistic view of things; of permaculture; of how it could be. I suppose there could be instances where people offer investment opportunities that might fit in with said naive view, but I'm yet to be made aware of any.

    In my case it's moot though as I don't have much money and certainly not enough to invest in anything other than a new pair of socks every now and then. I'd be more than happy to have someone 'invest' some money in my property! I'm not sure I could guarantee a significant return on investment though. ;)

    Where does the money come from when the price of gold changes?

    Per year? I'd love to hear how that might work. I could do with a few pointers on that.

    Why would you choose pre-cleared over vegetated?

    Anyway, I'm clearly out of my depth here (I suspect it is beyond my comprehension) so I'll sign off this one.

    Sorry if I seemed to be a permaculture-investment cynic Marc-Antoine I didn't mean to say it wasn't possible. I'm more of a grass-roots get-your-hands-dirty kind of person and from my experiences I can't imagine permaculture thriving inside a capitalism. Exploitation is just too easy, it's why most of us cling to it I reckon. I've often thought about packing up the family and moving into to town to 'get a job', but in the end I think it would kill me - death by a thousand cuts.

    Giddy up!
     
  14. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    While I agree with a lot of what Grahame has been saying, I do see how investment could play a role. This thread is a bit strange, to be honest.

    Being new to permaculture myself, if I had money, I'd be looking to invest as well. Its a darn good concept. But asking for financial tips right off the bat? What an odd way to introduce oneself.

    I'm not trying to accuse you of anything, or be disrespectful. Just sayin' its not every day someone posts "I'm here with money to help your cause!"

    Woo us a bit first dear sir!
     
  15. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    In the case of people like me, who are urban dwellers, permaculture at the moment is a full time obsession, but not a full time occupation. I earn more than I need (as do pretty much most people in Australia, let's face it) so I get to choose how to distribute my surplus. I'm not sure if the sell all and flee to a farm life is for me (it might well be), but in the mean time, since I'm not 100% sure what the future holds, investing is a good way to future proof money. If I want to buy some land and turn it into a permaculture paradise, well, that takes $$$ I don't have. I don't really have a viable alternative, at the moment at least.

    As I said, "I'm" already investing (that's what the banks do with savings, either buy investments or lend it, which is an investment in of itself), so I'd prefer to control those investments myself, rather than implicitly be part of something I dislike.

    Few returns are guaranteed, and investment doesn't need to be returned in terms of cash. I take your meaning though. But it's not impossible to, say, ask for $100 for a year's worth of eggs (or whatever the price might be) and then use that money to improve your chickens' lives and well being and numbers, and there's certainly no reason this has to turn into a chicken factory. I hope that makes things clear, there's a whole lot of alternatives between 0-100. Selling solar energy into the grid can net $10,000 a year in Victoria fairly easily (but the start up costs are not friendly), I thing you'd be hard pressed to find a permaculturalist that wouldn't say more solar and less coal is a better thing!

    Let's say I bought $1000 of gold when the gold was $1000 an ounce. Gold is worth $1800 an ounce now so I made $800. the extra cash comes from people's desire to own a finite resource. The money comes from the sale. Again, everyone understands that the prices have changed, and that someone has made (and someone has or will lose) money in fluctuations. Investment seeks to either make good on the changes (I made $800 and that's enough, sell), or various other, near infinite strategies.

    Per year usually on works with real estate in terms of rent, otherwise it's a total return on initial investment. i'd love to give pointers, but I'm out of my depth with real estate. In theory it operates like all other real estate investment. Buy something no one wants (desiccated over grazed farmland) and turn it into something people do want (soil rich, productive, self reliant).

    Two reasons. Cheaper (as I understand it) and less harmful than buying something and clearing it.

    You should ask to understand, I used to be of the mentality that investment was 'something for nothing' and thus I didn't want anything to do with it. But there are definitely successful ethical strategies out there. It's not all consumerist madness, and more more more at the cost of us all.

    There are many people writing on the internet at the moment who feel the same about 9-5 as you do. I've already recommended two blogs to look at: Early Retirement Extreme and Mister Money Moustache. Neither of these people work full time, or even really part time anymore, both don't need to work, and get to spend time doing what they love. Neither are selling anything but free ideas on how to reach your own freedom, and both would say a piece of land to grow food on is a tremendous advantage in securing a lack of work.

    Broadly things work like this: work a job for 5 years (ignore this part, it's not super important), reduce expenses while making yourself more useful (don't get a car fixed, learn to fix it, then fix other people's cars once in awhile if you want), live off the profits of your investments (for example, if you've got $100,000 stashed away, it's easy to get $3000 a year from the bank, if you only need $3000 a year to live, you've already made it). The figures can get a little daunting, but there are many people who have successfully left a corporate life they hated, quickly, and then retreated into their passions, forever.

    The start up costs for what many of this board envisage (as close to self sufficiency as possible, or at least a fairly intense and productive permaculture project) isn't free. Somethings are blissfully cheap (seeds), others can be cripplingly expensive (land, infrastructure, buildings, etc). Investing is just a way for people to obtain their dreams, if the dreams are ethical, so too can the investment be.
     
  16. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Junior Member

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    To me, this is almost the missing piece of the puzzle. Investment can, and maybe should, be used to make permaculture more powerful and widespread. Look at Joel Salatin, for example, it's not as if all those improvements on the farm came from nowhere: capital is needed. Some people can sell surplus and find capital to create a more harmonious life, others need capital injected.
     
  17. ilesmatthew

    ilesmatthew Junior Member

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    Hi Marc,

    On the topic of investing in Permaculture, i suppose you mean 'investing in specific permaculture ideas that may turn a profit'.
    I recently read Paul Stamets' book titled Mycelium Running. There are earth-shattering concepts Paul has developed that i'm sure would need venture capital to get started. Geoff Lawton alludes to some of them in his video 'Soil' so i know these ideas are widespread but still in their early development stages.

    -matt
     
  18. floot

    floot Junior Member

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    Marc-Antoine,

    Thank you for posting in this forum. It is an interesting question you pose. I have followed the thread since you started.

    Some years ago a young lady, by way of inheritance, finished up with a tiny farmlet and 2 sets of shops on a suburban sydney intersection. She sought much advice along this lines and it always came back to the standard accountants advice. Anyway, I suggested to wait and see, she had shop rental income and a nice [I think 4 acre farmlet] which she was permi-ing and enjoying. We lost contact but our last contact she was excitedly talking about her ducks and worms and fruit trees. She was very much enjoying that part of her life.

    I just give this as an example, she had good income, she didnt need to subvide and sell up and 'move'.

    Marc, in permaculture one of the resounding themes is zones. Zone 1 is outside the kitchen window/door somewhere very close to where the produce will be used. I believe in your situation, if the Sydney area, were your Zone 1 then look for an ethical/permaculture investment close to your door. You can keep an eye on your investment, enjoy your investment and bring your family along with you on this conceptual journey.

    I say this because if you were to invest in a permaculture property, as a partner, that was in the Northern Territory or say outback NSW. You may not get to enjoy that investment and be concerned when you do not quite know what is going on. You have shown an interest in native bees, you may be able to invest there as a partnership with an existing apiarist. Someone based close to Sydney. It would give you an insight into permaculture investing, potential returns etc.

    There would be technologies currently being developed in Sydney you may consider. As always, caveat leptor, long distance investing in agricultural pursuits is littered with the bones of emu farming, red-claw farming, aloe vera, bluegum lots etc etc. Certainly some people in these industries did make a return on their investment but many did not.

    Just going back to your interest in native bees. There may be a market you can invest in and develop. I believe there would be a huge market for native bee hives, ie packaged, in a box and ready for sale at nurseries. The spin off would be for someone to reliably breed native 'queens' for sale. You would need an experienced apiarist. Bees are like any other livestock, you can 'leave them in the bottom paddock' but they really should be managed and tended to to keep them healthy and thriving. An experienced apiarist should be able to know how and when you can 'shake' the hives and divide them.

    Anyway, just my two cents worth..:)

    cheers,
     
  19. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    One of the unfortunate results of Australian land laws is that once land is re-zoned for a"higher" use higher rates become payable.
    This is not the case in USA and UK. i was surprised to see a 5 acre strawberry farm within a stones throw from Disneyland, and Intact English villages surrounded by farmland with little or no urban encroachment on the productive farm land. There rates are levied on the actual improvements on the land rater than the zoning potential of the land.

    Our system eventually forces people to "develop" their land. Although you can defer rates, interest on them still accrues, and as Einstein said, there is nothing as powerful as compound interest.
    IMHO Unless we change these draconian rules we will loose most of our food producing and rural land in the Sydney basin and eventually the whole Newcastle- Wollongong conurbation for example. Food will then need to be trucked from inland or Far N /S
     
  20. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

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    Hi Grahame, LonerMatt, Floot, MichaelAngelica, IlesMatthew,

    First of all thank you for thinking about this and sharing your thoughts. A lot to absorb there and a lot more thinking (and feeling) to do. Nevertheless, I thought I'd try to summarise some of the take-aways from this discussion, for me. I saw some distinctions popping up, which I would like to explore.

    Transactional versus relationships. I could sense especially from Grahame and then Floot really called it for me, that PermaCulture is the antithesis of a transactional based system. And this at all levels: in traditional agriculture, I can go and by some systemic pesticide from a supplier which I pay for (transaction) and that pesticide will do its intended job (kill bugs) reliably and nothing else (another transaction, a clearly defined service for a clearly defined payment). Then I will need to transact with another product to, say, try and prevent honey bee colony collapse syndrome. It is a little bit like calling the electrician and then the mason to fix the groves made by the electrician and then the cleaner to fix the mess left by the mason. In finance, I can invest money in your business (transaction) and you promise me that you will give me a return (bond) or your profit, after all costs including your salary have been paid (another transaction: predefined benefit for a defined price). Then whether you have hail or snow or a tornado, I don't really care, I expect that you will do good by your promise. Now the idea behind a relationship world is that through good design and mutual responsibility the farmer will do the right thing by the land, flora and fauna as well as the people on the farm and the investor; and the investor and the farmer will work together to generate surplus for everyone. This is the opposite of transaction and can only work through relationships.

    Money versus value. LonerMatt with your comments of the $100 worth of eggs and my step daughter (I am involving my whole family is thinking about this) made me understand that there are many more things that can be of value to an investor beside money. If we remember the old saying that money is a mean to an end rather than an end in itself, a Permafarmer can meet his investor needs in more than one way: money (yes), fresh high quality produce, education, hospitality, a sense of fulfilment, carbon credits (like the EduPlant project?) etc. Again this is only possible if a relationship has been established.

    Greed versus fear. I got a bit puzzled by Grahame’s concerns about greed. Fundamentally, greed is not a bad thing, it motivates us to excel, invent, discover. I imagine that if a Permafarmer did not feel any greed, he or she would not think and work hard to improve the land, get the animals happier and the plants more productive and resilient. Maybe you are talking about pathological obsessional greed. Or maybe you are alluding to fear disguised as greed: “I don’t know what tomorrow will bring therefore I must, like a squirrel, stock as many nuts as possible. I can’t trust this guy so I will make sure I get my money back asap. etc. etc.” I suspect, if we get a relationship based on value going, greed won’t be such an issue. Or did I miss something?

    Income versus growth. I am with you here LonerMatt, investment is like a catalyst in a reaction or an amplifier in a stereo, it allows more power and faster results. There is a huge mismatch between the landmass that needs PermaCulture for whatever reason and the number of people who have the will, the knowledge and the money to reclaim that land for life (and sustainable surplus, remember we are 7bn people now). The challenge here is that the Permafarmer is a farmer and a farmer is focused on sustainable income not growth. Investors exist in both hues: growth and income. It will be easier to match investors and Permafarners around income (whether financial or in kind) than growth. But somehow, I feel that we also must find a growth story otherwise we may miss the objective. I am not sure here, please feel free to comment.

    That’s all for now. I also think that we can do a lot of thinking and nothing happens. It is tme to build a prototype and test all these ideas. Any interest anyone? Should we talk about next steps?

    Cheers,

    Marc-Antoine

    P.S. Grahame, you may know little about economics and finance but I know even less about Permaculture. LOL.

    P.P.S. IlesMatthew, I am reading Mycelium Running… and I am gobsmacked. That’s really powerful stuff.
     

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