My purpose in writing this is not to bash permaculture. I love permaculture, however it presents some pretty ironic economic paradoxes. Has anyone noticed that most, if not all, of the permaculture internship opportunities require you to pay to work!? How can you get involved in the permaculture world without having to pay your own way all the time? When I ask most people this question they say to create demonstration sites on your own land, and to teach others. However, this assumes two things: 1) That the person has land 2) That the person has enough free time and capital to do such a project As far as certificates go, the Permaculture Design Certificate is one of the least valuable certificates I have ever acheived. There seems to be no point to it, especially since there are no jobs to be gained with the certificate. At the best, there are work trade opportunities, which still do not cover transportation costs. Permaculture is still a very fringe thing to most people, and something that is hard to explain to others - a marketing detriment, if you will. On that note, the Permaculture Design Certificate doesn't seem to help out the entrepreneur very much either because most people would probably be more receptive to someone who advertizes their landscaping services with a "green gardener certificate" than with a "permaculture design certificate." What the heck is that?! Examples: I obtained an Oregon food handler's license once. This allowed me to get any sort of cooking-related job in the state of Oregon. I also obtained a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. This allows me to obtain international jobs, GETTING PAID to teach english overseas. The common denominator here is that I get paid in exchange for my skilled services. (Insert Sarcasm) What a concept! Where is the payoff from getting a Permaculture Design Certificate? It's not sustainable for someone to have to pay to make the world a better place. We need to be paid to make the world a better place, otherwise we will bury ourselves in poverty very quickly. Trying to relieve poverty with impoverishing mechanisms only creates more poverty. So, it seems permaculture is only for the economically well-off who already have a decent amount of capital and sound business skills to create a non-profit or other entrepreneurial venture. Hasn't anyone ever wondered how Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton have been able to travel all over the world, even after buying multiple properties in Australia and funneling their resources to create Permaculture farms? Zaytuna farm hints at how they might get some of these funds: $50 for a farm tour $6,660 for a 10-week Internship. There would be lots of hands-on practical work at this course, and thus first-hand learning. but that's a large investment (especially for someone not living in Australia) for dubious returns. So, Geoff trains people to work on the farm's projects, they do a lot of the work on these projects for him, and don't get paid. Instead, they have to pay $6,600. This is where something like agroforestry trumps permaculture on many fronts. Agroforesty is a well-recognized science taught in Universities, and an established career field. There are internatiol job postings for people well-educated in agroforestry practices. Is there one job offer out there that requires someone to have completed a 10-week internship course with Geoff Lawton? Is there one job offer that requires someone to have a Permaculture Design Certificate? No. However, Zaytuna farm gives you the opportunity to pay to do more permaculture-related work as long as you have the certificate. I've done internships at permaculture ecovillages before. I had to pay to travel to and from the ecovillage and do a full-time job of gruntwork in exchange for insubstantial vegetarian meals and a place to sleep on the floor of a living room where I had to sleep in full winter gear every night just to keep warm. If I'm just doing gruntwork for someone, then I better be getting paid at least minimum wage. If I'm learning and doing the work, then it should at least be free.