Profit from permaculture

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by SueinWA, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. tranquil

    tranquil Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    SueinWA, if that's what you want to do great, go for it! Like I said, that's not for me though and I think it's possible to birth another economy inside the old (in fact it's already being done, see freeconomy, freecycle, really really free market, etc.). Yes, unfortunately as of now I still have to participate in the old economy somewhat since it's currently extremely pervasive and global (i.e. totalitarian), that's why I'm still keeping my day job for now. But I still believe it's possible to move towards something new.

    It's like the idea of sustainability or self-reliance. It's never completely possible to be 100% sustainable or self-reliant, but I think it's possible to take steps and move in that direction. Besides, I've been fortunate enough to be given a lot in this life, so I feel the need to return the favor.

    Like I said, I think a diversity of tactics to spread permaculture is good though.
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    I don't know any one who doesn't need some type of 'profit' to live. By profit I mean money above what you absolutely need to live each week - house payments, rent, bills, food supply. Almost everyone needs some way to pay for things like membership to permaculture groups for example - it's not all about buying big screen tvs.

    Membership to a group isn't something that is absolutely necessary to live, it's one of the things we want to do above and beyond basic living expenses which we may (or more likely may not) be able to trade and barter within our immediate community. We need money to do those types of things.

    Earning money from permaculture is the most ethical thing I can think of. But there are expenses.

    If you are running a course, you need to firstly get your qualifications - CERT IV, PDC, creative teaching courses, etc - it could cost about $3000 to do that. Then you have ongoing membership to permaculture education groups, attending meetings, keeping up with what's happening in permaculture.

    Then you need to get your property ready - tidying up, getting systems in place, insurance to run courses, safety things like paths and paved areas, even making signs for parking costs $$. You may also need to spend money buying things like seedlings, seeds, things like that to have demonstration areas ready for the course or materials for the students to use during the course. Just the days spent working on tidying your property are days you don't actually earn anything.

    Then you need to advertise the course to get the people there and to let people know its on. Printing, paper, ink, running around putting posters up, travelling to do talks to groups to let them know that you are running courses, ringing people back who've left messages...

    Then things like education materials, poster materials, textas, handouts, blue tac, butchers paper for students to do group work on... plus books and dvds for students to use and refer to during the course. Even things like getting spare garden tools cleaned and working properly for the course all comes out of your pocket before the course even starts.

    Then you have an expectation in the community that it should all be offered free.

    How can you earn money from permaculture - by that I mean being able to work doing what you love, to be able to live and breath permaculture every day and make your living from it, not becoming so wealthy that you lose sight of the whole idea of permaculture and start suffering from affluenza, but enough so you can spend all your time doing it and learning about it - so how could you earn money from permaculture - either teaching it to people, by writing about it (being paid for articles or writing a book), by designing or by actually implementing the design in someone's backyard.

    Aside from that, permaculture principles can be applied to anything, even a business or a workplace. People are doing it.

    I read an article the other day about an ethical investment company who actually state that they base their business on permaculture principles and talk very openly about Bill and David in articles. Isn't it better to have places like that?

    Sonya
     
  3. ozneil

    ozneil Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    Hi Sue,

    I like to think of Permaculture as the science of sustainability. It is not sustainable to make a loss. So it is healthy to make a profit from Permaculture because it means you can continue with the work.

    Simple!

    Neil Robertson
    Chidlow, WA
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    bump
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    Good bump MA - I intend to give this some thought and respond in the vein of a "culture of sufficiency" Where do you see it going?
    regards purplepear

    intent-observation-intuition
     
  6. Brown grnthumb

    Brown grnthumb Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    I just finished reading this and wanted to say my bit on the matter.

    I find the prices to be way to much when really I can probably pay someone who just took the class to write notes I can read later. 4, 5 or 6 hundred dollar classes won't get the knowledge out to people who need it the most in this country; poor-inner city People of Color and rural reservation Indigenous Peoples. Many people claim that permaculture is essential for the survival of human peoples and/or culture but if the vast majority can't afford it.

    What makes this any better than the Prius of Agriculture?

    Permaculture has alot to teach but its far too limiting imo
     
  7. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    yep become a paying wooffer.

    if anyone becomes sustainable selling permacultur it may only make that person sustainable well in cash flow it will do nothing for permaculture or bringing about change, this is called killing the goose that may have laid the golden egg.

    i've had numerous e/mails over the years from new comers who won't come to these places because of the push to spend money on a course. i say again if we don't get the snowball rolling at grass roots level permaculture will never feature in change for the better.

    lots of forums out there with so little posting occuring they may as well be shut down and a few years ago they where very active forums, even here how much of the chat that occurs realy fits the p/c banner?

    sad how money rules hey?

    len
     
  8. gbell

    gbell Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    When does reading some notes ever substitute for serious study and experience?

    Permaculture is a huge subject, with many layers - you ain't gunna git it from reading some notes! That's why the classes are popular and probably essential. And they're attended by people from all socio-economic classes. Save up for one rather than trying to rubbish them by comparing them to a feel-good consumer product like the Prius. If there's no way you could ever afford one, at least pick up a good book on the subject (Earth User's Guide to Permaculture or the original Permaculture Designer's Manual).

    Wrong. The entire world needs Permaculture-based thinking and solutions. Look into it some more, and you'll see how the problems it addresses are currently being experienced, or will soon be, by all the earth's inhabitants - poor and rich alike.
     
  9. Brown grnthumb

    Brown grnthumb Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    Borrowed the three books from the library; it wasn't exactly what I expected, but still good.

    Umm; your wrong if anything. The people that deserve it the most and need it the most are peoples affected by this Western Dominated/Eurocentric way of doing things. But I might be biased as I am a decendant of both of them (And even the Manipulative eurocentric enforcers). Eithier way things need to be done; not through a few scholarships; but intense classes for these folks with them being the majority. Those who can afford it should pay more if they wish but the folks who can't shouldn't have to pay a dime (or atleast pay in small installements at a much lowered rate).

    But that is just me; I seem to notice these things more as I have family in various situations worry much more about food and in desperate need of some produce in their overly processed food, urban decaying, slowly gentrifying inner-city islands.
     
  10. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    There are plenty of places "bgt" that are not profiting from the PDC but run it in conjunction with community gardens and alongside other enterprises such as CSA as a contribution to society. To charge a price is necessary the cover expenses and does not necessarly mean profit grabbing - what is more people who have done their PDC will atest that even the most expensive are value for the knowlwedge and experience that has changed so many lives in as short as two weeks. I feel that a true hands-on experience is important to give confidence and knowledge is gained by doing.
    Len I think this forum does well in topic and comment - others are not even worth contribution. I like this forum 8)
     
  11. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    OK, I have an important question...

    What is Permaculture? :wink: It just seems to me that not everyone here is on the same page when it comes to that.

    Can you explain to me how permaculture is limiting? I sort of thought it was the opposite.
     
  12. Brown grnthumb

    Brown grnthumb Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    (Permaculture is more than just mulching and no-dig potatoes; that much atleast I am aware of.)

    As a school of thought by no means is it limited; the way its being implemented in the wider world however is a whole other matter.

    Slowly through people who actually are trying to improve the knowledge of the disadvantaged it is becoming more visible but I feel the vast majority of permaculture minded folks care little about other peoples may that be by ancestry, class, income, region or religion other than themselves and those like them (except Indigenous people which I feel is only so thanks to the romantic Noble Savage view or thought some sort of "guilt").

    Ofcourse this continual babble of "diversity" keeps coming up when I read about permaculture advocates but I wonder how much so they practice what they preach. How many try and make the people in charge or with some authority more "diverse", or try and do some outreach work that includes having the people being helped in total influence on whatever project. How much are permies trying to consolidate the widening divides and the continual displacements of disadvantaged people. How many are more than associates and are actually real friends with such people.

    Seems to me most care more about their herb spirals and allotments or even worse the smug attitude that they are saving the world or going against "Big fill in the blank". This though is just my life experience (a admittingly short experience) with certain types of people.
     
  13. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    but that's it hey grahame,

    it is whatever it needs to be to fit your needs, be it a tenant in units or someone on a 1/4 acre or more, nothing is black and white just diversified, pemaculture itself encompasses whole lots of disciplines or processes, all along eco' friendly and sustainable lines.

    len
     
  14. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    I think so Len.

    Brown grnthumb, I really want to understand your point of view, but unfortunately I can't quite follow what you are saying...

    Are you saying it is the 'disadvantaged' who are the people that most need to understand the underlying importance of permaculture or are you saying they are the ones that need to implement the practice of permaculture more?

    Actually, either way I would contend that it is the supremely advantaged, the somewhat advantaged and the slightly advantaged who most need to understand the underlying importance of permaculture and who most need to actually implement the practice of permaculture.

    As Muhammad Yunus aptly said...

    Poverty has been created by the economic and social system that we have designed for the world. It is the institutions that we have built and feel so proud of, which created poverty. The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world.. all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them.

    As for your premise that most [permies] care more about their herb spirals and allotments. Well, that seems like a pretty sweeping generalisation, possibly based on a small sample size. I agree some folks do love their herb spiral and feel good about it, and that is great. They have made a shift. Some people are only ready for a herb spiral or an allotment, but give them the room and freedom to evolve at their own pace. Rome was not built in a day, and if getting three acres up and running is any indication I can just imagine how long and how many slaves it did take to get Rome happening.

    I suppose what you are finding is that within any movement there are those who talk and those who walk. I think that those who are busy walking often have little time to talk. But when you see someone really walking, they are an inspiration. And to me inspiration is one of the greatest ways to catalyse people into making real change in themselves.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I have no idea of your personal situation, in many ways it is irrelevant to me, because I can't change you even if I wanted too. But if you can sit there and tell me that on any given day you do nothing to continue upholding the economic and social system that has created poverty and climate change; that you have extricated yourself from the systems that create the very things you rally against, then I honour you my friend. If you live in a home that is totally sustainable, with a lifestyle that is totally sustainable in the context of environmental and social equity, then you are a diamond, I will happily place myself at your feet and ask for your blessing. If not then I can understand why it is you get angry at people who have difficulty walking the noble walk of a permacultural purist. As Carl Jung said, and I paraphrase, 'The wannabe in him is the wannabe in you'
    but hey, that's my personal philosophy...

    I'm not saying you are wrong to be angry about the state of play in the world, if that is what you need to feel, then feel it. I'm not really that stoked about a lot of things either, but I am willing to give it my best shot to do something about it. I have done a lot of internal searching, a lot of meditation, a lot of philosophical dredging and it seems to me that Gandhi and Einstein can pretty much speak for me in these two quotes...

    BE the change that YOU wish to see in the world.
    Problems cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness that created them.

    Peace
     
  15. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    Thank you grahame for your sensitive response to the answer by browny. I wrote two replies that were both targeted and hostile before rejecting them prior to submision. Permaculture is a system of design and has no leaders that I am aware of but your response is both sympathetic and encuraging and in the words of the great Fernando Pessoa, I have to consider a bromantic relationship - well done.

    Browny - please get onboard - this is a beautiful thing if we work together.
    purplepear
     
  16. Brown grnthumb

    Brown grnthumb Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    Well I said that permaculture was limiting which then got purplepear to ask how so; I replied that as a school of thought its great and the down fall is how its spread is minimal and doesn't get to the people who need it most. So I went further into my reasonings.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    But I call that first quote as a cop-out; people need to be taught management techniques if their cultural practices that deal with the matter are lost (if they're even there in the first place). Which is why I feel the peoples I specified should be given these teachings. They should be the first to be taught self-sufficiency and/or food security and making the folks who need this the most pay major prices for courses is insane imo.
     
  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    G'day All

    Mind if I jump into this 'oldie, but a goodie'...

    G'day Brown grnthumb :)

    How do you qualify the above statement? The "wider world" is indeed a very broad sample base. I personally know of (and have visited during the previous 10-years-or-so) hundreds of examples right here in Australia where permaculture ethics and principles (according to the Holmgrenian school of permaculture, the only one in which I am qualified to comment upon) are being implemented in a very sound manner.

    The "vast majority"? I have no data to qualify this response, but my experience tells me that the "vast majority" of people who truly subscribe to the ethics of permaculture - they being the three broad (Holmgren, 2002) maxims: Care for the earth, Care for the people, Set limits to consumption and reproduction, and redistribute surplus - do in fact care a great deal about other people, and this is regardless of demographic profiling bullshit.

    Once again, no figures available to qualify this response, only personal experience: In my opinion, if local people do not 'own' the project from the very outset, then it is not a permaculture project. Personally, when I involve myself in a project, I always build-in (plan for) my own demise. I also find Arnstein's classic 1969 'A Ladder a Citizen Participation' (see: link below) helpful in encourageing people to aim for the 'top rung'.

    https://lithgow-schmidt.dk/sherry-arnste ... ation.html

    In terms of 'friends': It would be impossible for me to maintain a 'friendship' with the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people I have had contact with during the previous 10-years. People come, and people go; all we (as permaculturalists) can do is try to remain faithful to the ethics.

    I truly hope you live long and well enough to learn that the above people you speak of are by far measured in the minority.

    If you have not already, may I suggest you source the following from your library, read it and add to your knowledge of permaculture, both its theory and its practice:

    Holmgren, David (2002) Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. Hepburn Springs: Holmgren Design Services.

    Peace and happiness to you, Mark.
     
  18. Brown grnthumb

    Brown grnthumb Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    ^ Read it; seemed abit better than I, II, and the designer manual.

    I speak broadly becauses I don't know every single person and will not say things that imply an entire supposed group feels, acts, or are a certain way which is why I said in MY experience x,y,&z happened. As I said "feel" I mean it on an emotional level that can't be measured by percentages.

    Also on the figures part yes I do not have any; but can't figures be manipulated? Can't they make what ever you say proven to be "true"?

    We all have to make that bread somehow; though I might not agree with how you get that you can do what ever you please really. The need to get defensive is not the point to what I said and it was not to argue or debate over. :D
     
  19. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    G'day Brown grnthumb :)

    Fair enough. I guess then that you may just need to take a bigger bite of the permaculture pie before you can in fact qualify your 'feeling' that the majority of its adherants are selfish bastards?

    So, you have read Holmgren's Principles and Pathways? Well then, you should already know that the answers to the questions you ask (particularly with regards to empowering the disempowered) can be found within this, and about a thousand other published works on the subject?

    Seriously, my friend, what is your problem? You come on here, bitching and moaning that 'permaculturalists' are not doing enough to help the disempowered...
    Are you suggesting that you need the money? Are you suggesting you are one of these "folks who need this the most"?

    Or are you suggesting that in your experience ("feeling"), that providers of PDCs do not give enough places for those that can not afford the fee?

    Honestly, look around you, California is a big state. I am sure you could find someone who is prepared to sponsor (either individually, or collectively) PDC fees for those that need a hand. I'm not talking charity, just the third ethic: redistribute the wealth. Plain and simple.

    Many people I know who have not been able to afford a PDC, have 'paid' their course fees 'in kind'. That is, they have volunteered their labour/skills in exchange for their PDC. Is this something that the people you write of could do?

    Just for the record, I do not charge for my services (statutory and strategic land use planning, among a million other things) when dealing specifically with a permaculture project. Some people choose to give me money, others it may be a bed or a feed (I have WWOOFed since 2001). And no, I do not 'teach' (not yet, anyway...) :D.

    I guess what I am asking you to do, Browny, is look around you. If you feel that there is need, then go and find something (or someone) to fill that need.

    On another note:

    Daz Doherty (see: https://www.permaculture.biz) is in Califoria a lot during the month of October 2009. Now there is a fine example of a 'permaculturalist' who gives much more than he takes. Why don't you see if you can catch up with him while he is in your part of the world? You could do a lot worse.

    With a genuine wish for your peace and happiness, Mark.

    ***edited to clean up (most of) my aussie varnacular; in the reading interest of all the world's people***
     
  20. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Re: Profit from permaculture

    I call that contradictory.

    I'm actually interested in having this conversation with you Browny. So perhaps we could set the issues out in a way that allows us to have a thoughtful go at it. Lets leave emotion out of it for the moment and see if we can come up with some solutions, some ways to move forward. Perhaps we can work out some ways that you can help the people you are interested in helping?

    The offer is there if you are interested

    Grahame
     

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