My Life, My Direction

Discussion in 'General chat' started by insipidtoast, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. insipidtoast

    insipidtoast Junior Member

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    Hello,

    My name's Scott, I was born and raised in the sunny town of Santa Barbara, California. I discovered the joy of gardening when I was 16, and within the next year had discovered permaculture. But enough with the blah, blah background, biographical info... In December of 2008 I graduated from Santa Barbara City College with an AS degree in Environmental Horticulture. I've worked for a California Rare Fruit Growers' member on his orchard, and also at the world famous, Ganna Walska Lotusland...but enought blah blah biographical backround info...I mean business!

    Right now I'm in the Basque Country improving both my Basque and Spanish. By only studying the Basque language, I have nearly received a minor from the University of Nevada at Reno. Although I have a passion for languages, I have a bigger passion for permaculture and the natural world, but I'm worried my decision to study in the Basque Country is going to force me to study at UNR upon returning to the United States. I don't see UNR as a school which can teach me something to get me closer to my life goal.

    I am very goal-oriented... Excerpt from last month's goal writing exercise:
    "I live in a food forest which I built with friends and we share the abundance and are not dependent on mainstream society. I have a vast, comprehensive knowledge about edible, medicinal and nutrient-fixing plants in a wide variety of climates, and understand how these plants interact with each other to create stable (egonkor), productive (emankor), sustainable (iraunkor) food forests. I research plants and designs for specific regions, and I travel to those regions to implement the designs. I build food forests all over the world."

    I will stop at NOTHING to attain this reality.

    Are there any schools or Universities I can go to in order to help move me in the right direction? I'm not convinced that a typical university ecology or environmental studies program will be the best decision. I want to receive a college degree for studying permaculture, and, more specifically, food forests. How can I do this?
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: My Life, My Direction

    Why study? Why not just start planting and learn from the experience?

    What do you think a piece of paper will achieve for you that experience won't give you?
     
  3. Noz

    Noz Junior Member

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  4. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: My Life, My Direction

    I'm with you eco - you most certainly do not need a uni degree to plant food forests all over the world you need a ticket and a will to start. A strong back may help also. I would consider the good I could do by saying home and save all the fuel I would use in my wonderous quest.
     
  5. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: My Life, My Direction

    Scott,

    There are many like yourself that wish to attain academic qualifications. Read up on Bill Mollison & David Holmgren both highly educated, articulate and published scholars. These two came up with the concept of Permaculture and also how Permaculture qualifications could be attained. This was done about 30 years ago and both still write.

    We have all sorts of scholars now - architects, scientists, town planners, teachers and others which practise their profession and live their lives through the filter of permaculture principles.

    As far as universities teaching permaculture - they wont do it because the ultimate permaculture qualification is a two-week PDC. There are no degree courses [yet]. Given your drive to attain goals this may be one you wish to set for yourself - get a University Permaculture Degree. I cant envisage that happening given that currently there are Permaculturists who span the economic, religious and social spectrum.

    I would highly recommend you do a Permaculture Design Course and I have no doubts that it will answer many of your questions. Doing a PDC and then creating course notes into Basque would be awesome. Running a PDC in Basque would make you a legend...:) Understand that whilst technically anyone who attains a PDC can then teach them. Very few of those who attain a PDC have the inclination or ability to teach and we do need more PDC teachers.

    Hope this helps somewhat.

    cheers,
    ho-hum
     
  6. thepoolroom

    thepoolroom Junior Member

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    Re: My Life, My Direction

    Look at people like Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty, etc as role models. They started by doing, learning as they went, then sharing what they had learnt with others. If you blog about your learnings, create useful web videos, etc you'll soon earn a reputation as someone who knows his stuff. Then you could eventually be selling your own videos online, consulting around the globe, etc.

    A university degree can give you an "air of authority", which might open doors in some quarters (ag industry events, conferences, mass media, government work, R&D, etc). The practical experience will be of more use if you want to work directly with farmers, landholders, and the people doing the actual work. It just depends how you see yourself contributing.
     
  7. Wyche

    Wyche Junior Member

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    Re: My Life, My Direction

    If you are in a forest, food or not, you are in the best university you could ever attend. The fact that you are living with friends who are working with you is awesome. It sounds as though you have enough formal school, it may be time for hands in the dirt observation thoughtful design class.

    I am in the process of starting a permaculture farm with a couple of families. I feel like I am going to be in university for the rest of my life. I am in awe of how much the land has to teach me. Thoughtful design is a slow process. My first response is to organize, then I remember what I have learned about inputs and outputs entwining and I stop, think and observe. For example, the road and where it goes to and how it gets there and what does it touch along the way and how do the wildlife interact with it. Plus, how do I incorporate water management, eroision control and sound road with all of these and many more factors. This is just the road that leads to the houses. I am learning I just need to show up and see what happens. As a permaculture student I am learning physics, geology, architechture, landscape design, biology and so many other subjects, it makes my head swim. Head swimming, you'll enjoy it. May you have peace along the way.....
     
  8. gemjill

    gemjill Junior Member

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    Re: My Life, My Direction

    G'day and welcome
    Oh Lotusland, I love that garden, though i've never been there I've admired it in books and tele etc and just love it. What a visionary she was, it's great that it is being maintained in all it's glory.
    I'm with the other posters re actual qualification, especially as that the theory of permaculture is actually very simple, the important thing is making it work as a reality for a specific site.
    A Permaculture Design Course qualifies you as a teacher - at least they do here in Australia - but the best qualification is the evidence of a functioning permaculture property
    good luck
    cheers
     

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