Why should I do a permaculture design course?

Discussion in 'General chat' started by cottager, May 17, 2012.

  1. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    Part of how I think about things is doing a cost/benefit analysis of any major choice I make.

    So, please, give me reasons why this would be good for me (I WANT it, but wanting something won't cut the mustard in my world ... I need solid why's ... please?).

    Background on me ... been a gardener for a very long time (grew up on science and gardening ... funny mix).

    I have been teaching food production for nearly two decades now, with the last few years in a dedicated kitchen garden program.

    Just need an excuse really ... please give it to me :D
     
  2. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I grow food with out pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, ((IE - Fukuoka / Hazelip)) My bills have dropped tremedously & my health has gone up. If that is not a good enough reason I do not know what is.

    However, I have 1 more reason. When you have your own healthy food growing without chemical or any other inputs then the stuff on your property, and you are generating your own electricity, what is left to buy? Who do you really need to rely on besides yourself? When you get to a point when you make your own food and power, that's when you become truly free, and that to me is the best reason of them all.

    Freedom.
     
  3. labradel

    labradel Junior Member

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    yes pak all that can be done without chemicals without a pdc. so why is a pdc required
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    For some people having the certificate gives them business opportunities to market themselves. Like setting up a design business, or adding it on to their landscaping business.
    For others they don't have the basic knowledge to design their own place for more effective production and can learn those skills from the PDC. I don't know what you know, so maybe you wouldn't get anything out of it at this level. But I have just finished my PDC after reading / talking / watching permaculture for almost 4 years and I learned new things. That will also be dependant on the quality of your teacher.
    If you study locally, you are supporting a fellow permie (your teacher) to progress the permaculture message. You will also establish networks with other students that may bear fruit in time.
    If you study exotically (i.e. Malaysia, Namibia etc) your fees will subsidise a local person to attend who would otherwise not have been able to do so, and they get to take permaculture back to their village / town and pass it on.
    It is also an excellent opportunity to stop for a while, and instead of being busy with do-ing, think about why and how you do things, and whether there is a better way. And if you have a good teacher (thumbs up to Tom Kendall at Kin Kin) its fun too!
     
  5. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    i'm like you cottager, I've never taken a PDC and I would like to. For me there are a couple of compelling reasons. One, to meet and spend some time with like-minded people. I think we under-estimate how important networking and building a 'community' of permies is. Two, you can always learn more about permaculture, gardening, anything and people with experience are the best ones to teach you. Everyones experiences are different, everyones problems and solutions are different and we can learn from all of them.

    Money and time are the main reasons I don't do one.
     
  6. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    Thank you for the help!

    Positives so far:
    1/ Supporting a fellow permie (being short on funds, this one has to be relegated to nice-to-do);
    2/ Learning something (that's a given!).
    I would need to justify this new knowledge with a return for learning (in other words, not just for my own benefit, but to incorporate in teaching).
    3/ Fun (this it would be! ... also on the nice list :) )

    Negatives (potential) so far:
    1/ The cost could be better allocated to solar energy
    2/ Money ...

    I'm still having trouble making the pdc hit the top of the list of things I should spend money on. Don't get me wrong, I WANT to do the pdc, with a passion!

    How can I make it pay for itself? Will my learning benefit others? How can I combine the three concepts of self-education, educating others and income streaming?

    Someone suggested (because of my long-term volunteer community work) that I could perhaps apply for funding (a grant) to cover the cost. Has anyone done this?
     
  7. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I think that if you need others to convince you then you are not yet ready for the information. When you are ready then making the time and money available will be an easy thing as it will have prioity. So dont do it till you are ready.
    For me and for many I have taught, the PDC opens doors to knowledge that you already have and that you have access to, and you start to "know" stuff you have no business knowing.
    It is not that likely that a PDC will "Pay for itself" unless you consider a planet saved payment. Your learning will defiantly benefit others and even now your passion for Pc is more than likely changing people around you.
    Our PDC costs as little as $10 an hour and you will not find education that cheap often but in time you may well change your mind. Remember that you can do so much from a Permaculture perspective without a PDC - just join a local permaculture group, transition towns, organic growers. or participate in a permablitz or two. You will contribute heaps and learn heaps too.
    The door that a PDC will open for you will be ready when you are.
    I love your passion.
     
  8. labradel

    labradel Junior Member

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    i had been practicing permaculture approx 19 years before i did my pdc i think that doing the pdc after a good time for some practical experience is of help to get better value for the time/money spent doing the pdc
     
  9. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    You utterly missed the point. For me, it's about learning how to truly be free while living with my environment.
     
  10. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    I'm a fledgling PDC teacher, so I have a thumping great bias, but here's a few reasons:
    - if you do a local PDC you will help build community for yourself and others
    - a good, part-time PDC will let you appraise what you have while you're standing in it: permaculture is a design science. I was a gardener and scientist who had read a lot about permaculture before I did a PDC. After the PDC I saw the whole system, not just the parts. The PDC will give you the tools to improve on what you already have, and a part-time PDC will let you apply your knowledge progressively, without overwhelming you.
    - permaculture is about more than gardening and growing food. A PDC is often life-changing, causing students to re-examine many facets of their lives. For some, it is an emotional roller coaster. Its a journey enhanced by sharing with others.
    - your knowledge will be really valuable to others on your PDC. Think of it as your part of Fair Share.

    The UK Permaculture magazine published 10 reasons to do a PDC a couple of issues ago. I'll track it down......

    It upsets me to see people holding off doing a PDC because of money. Can I have a brief vent? I run a really cheap PDC. It costs $600, the same price I paid Rowe Morrow and Lis Bastian when I did mine. I simply can't justify charging more than they did. I offer one free place per course to a local community garden. I'm struggling to find students, yet courses that cost 3 times as much fill up quickly. Is the permaculture community "brand obsessed" too?
    D
     
  11. Rad

    Rad New Member

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    Ive seen permaculture courses that go for (online) $500 with a sliding scale if you cant even afford that... all the way up to thousands (i think the full permie course 10 weeks at zaytuna is about $6K)

    but there are affordable options if u want to do it there is even one australian based online course that lets you pay in installments of 200ish x 3 just pay as you go.

    if you can get away for 12 weeks there is a free PDC course at sadhana forest at both their Indian and Haiti communities. www.sadhanaforest.org

    I think you should do it because as someone else pointed out it is much more than just gardening
     
  12. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    I've taken the funding side, and had a good look at solar. Doable, so it's one or the other (for me, this year). It's pretty much narrowed down to energy systems vs. more study.

    There is a lot I can share, 'tis true. And so I do, share the knowledge.

    This week I taught about cotyledon leaves (I can't tell the difference between seed baby brassicas ... they all look like apples/hearts to me!, until they grow their first, true, leaves) ... next week maybe I might teach about the allium family ... I teach. I keep teaching. But I have a hunger to learn ...

    I would like to see this ... thank you [in advance] for taking the time to present 10 good reasons to do a PDC!
     
  13. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    https://www.permaculture.co.uk/back-issues

    Sadly, it is not an online version article.
     
  14. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    Found it:

    To understand that permaculture is much more than growing food, it is about intelligent life design - it can help you design your own life, the one you want to lead, not the one you are forced to endure.

    With oil prices beginning to soar and water ever more scarce, it helps us develop greater food security all over the world, from our backyard gardens/yards to broadscale projects in even the most fragile climates.

    To learn to apply permaculture principles in a variety of practical and technical ways to design ecologically balanced systems.

    To open our eyes to the myriad ways each and every one of us can live a life that is not only healthier for ourselves but healthier for our planet.

    To learn to be more aware of all of nature so that we can work with her rather than against her to create greater biodiversity.

    To learn how to apply systems thinking - seeing the whole first rather than trying to put disparate parts together.

    To appreciate that permaculture needs to be taught in every school, beginning with preschool, so that children can take their learning and experiences home to their parents and the chain of awareness can grow longer.

    To experience the joy of knowing the only limit to your designs is your imagination.

    To value your community and be a part of a global movement for positive change.

    To know that there is hope - that we can heal broken landscapes and rebuild communities - and to gather together to do just that.

    From Permaculture Magazine, Issue 72, Summer 2012.
     
  15. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    Thank you deee!

    I've had a quick read of the 10 reasons, and appreciate the effort you went to, to post them ... thanks!

    I started teaching food production [literally] a dozen years ago (in the school system). Wow! I didn't know I'd been at it for so long :rofl:

    I really do believe that education leads to doing, in a very real sense. And the first step is creating awareness ...

    Ponderings.

    I was having a bit of a chat to a friend of mine about the people she knew who'd done a PDC. Appararently, to a person, they expressed enormous enthusiasm for having done it, and all said it was worth doing ... an eye-opening experience for them.

    These 10 reasons seem good, but perhaps to encourage new growth, rather than harden a bit of old wood ;)

    So ... thanks again and I'll add them to my growing list of "for" reasons :clap:
     
  16. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    You're very welcome.

    "to encourage new growth, rather than harden a bit of old wood "

    I love this! Can I borrow it?
    D
     
  17. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    Borrow?

    How long before you bring it back? :rofl:

    (yes)
     
  18. Tildesam

    Tildesam Junior Member

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    I agree with Purplepear here...

    I think you just have higher priorities than a PDC at the moment.
    I haven't done one yet either because I don't think it's the right time for me. I'm learning and listening but I haven't had the opportunity to put much into practice. When I have room to move (Eg more space than a balcony to try gardening properly) I think a PDC would be more helpful. That may not be for years!

    I'm sure that you will either have enough to do one when you have other stuff out of the way, or you'll suddenly see a higher importance in the course which will take priority over other things you want to do.
     
  19. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    Hi Cottager,
    I was going to ask if I could pinch the quote, but I thought that would be presumptuous given we haven't been properly introduced. So I guess the short answer is never!

    Sammyjo, I think any time is a good time for a PDC and you will get different things of it depending on where you are in your journey. You really don't need to have a garden to practice permaculture. I would have made very different decisions about buying our property if I had done a PDC first. Think of the PDC as the beginning, not the culmination, of your education. Having said that, I had spent years reading and listening before I did mine.
    Cheers
    D
     
  20. cottager

    cottager Junior Member

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    I think this is possibly a component of my motivation. I want to step off the train, stop for a while, and simply reflect and consolidate the knowledge that I already have.

    It is time I took the leap ... I can't afford it, I don't have the time to do it, and my energy reserves are very low. Which says I should do it.

    Thing that bites me, I took a bit of a look at what David is doing ... and he's teaching at an Ashram I've been to a couple of times, around the time I reckon I need to be doing ... (I probably last met him in the late 80's, around when I visited Ted's property in NSW).

    I want this sooooo bad ... but can I? How can I?

    That is why I asked the question. Because I wanted reasons that would enable me to find a way ... to provide the push, the going beyondness that I need to find. to actually get it to happen. I already know it will hurt, financially and physically.

    And so, I have asked the question ... is it worth it? (Silly me ... I already know it is, and isn't as well ... so what am I waiting for?).
     

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