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PERMACULTURE



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Scott Pittman of The Permaculture Institute writes about Permaculture Standards and Principles. This document and others from P.I. can be read here:
Definition of PDC Standard.txt
https://sites.google.com/site/permaculturelist/home/documents-from-the-permaculture-institute-and-scott-pittman
And here:
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture/2014-September/045235.html

"This a a follow up on the North American Permaculture Convergence workshop titled “Permaculture Standards and Principles”. We did not complete the agenda I had set forth but I would like to elaborate on what was discussed with the addition of my thoughts on issues not covered in the workshop.

What is a PDC?
A Permaculture Design Certificate Course is the gateway to understanding permaculture design. On completion of this course a certificate is issued to acknowledge that the participant is now a permaculture apprentice. Following the course one is expected to continue their learning process by directly experiencing all of the categories covered in the PDC i.e. becoming pattern literate, understanding the principals and how they relate to human space, methodologies of design, hands on experience in the techniques of gardening, building, site development, and etc.

Who is qualified to teach a PDC?
Traditionally it was taught that whoever was certified through a PDC was qualified to teach the PDC and to engage in professional design. This was established by Bill Mollison in the late seventies in response to his feeling of urgency about the deterioration of the world’s
ecosystems and the break down of human social justice. While the urgency still exists it has become clear to senior teachers of permaculture that a two week course is insufficient time to confer on students the authority to teach or design. In no field that I know of is two weeks an adequate amount of time to turn a novice into a professional.

This tradition still exists with some teachers of permaculture and has lead, in my opinion, to a deterioration of the quality of information being transmitted as well as designs that are not truly representational of permaculture design. Some Permaculture Institutions have established a much higher standard for entering into the teaching and design profession.

The Permaculture Institute of North American, a fledgling organization, has published their standards for teaching and design and it is available on their web site at
http://www.permaculturenorthamerica.org.

The Permaculture Institute established in 1997 by Bill Mollison, Scott Pittman and Arina Pittman have also published their standards at www.permaculture.org. We only recognize those teachers and designers who have completed their Diploma of Permaculture in either teaching or design. This is typically a two year process following the PDC and for teachers a Teacher Training Course. We will not accept most PDC certificates for Diploma application unless they were issued by a teacher with an existing Diploma.

How much time is required for a PDC?
Traditionally the PDC takes two weeks of instruction to cover the curriculum. According to the “Foundation Yearbook of The Permaculture Academy” 1993 edition states that the basic Permaculture Certificate Course is 72 hours to cover the basic curriculum. This time does not cover any experiential learning, design practicum, field trips, videos, talent show, and other extensions beyond the 72 contact hours necessary to cover the curriculum material. I, personally, feel that the original 3 week PDC was a more appropriate time period to cover all the material. I do not believe that anything less than 12 full days of instruction can adequately cover the material necessary for a certificate. The Permaculture Institute does not recognize PDC’s issued for less than 12 days of instruction.

What is the curriculum of the PDC?
The PDC curriculum was officially endorsed by the International Permaculture Convergence in 1994 and most teachers utilize some iteration of this curriculum which has remained pretty much the same since the early 80’s. I have posted the Curriculum for Permaculture Institute

PDC at www.permaculture.org and Robyn Francis’ curriculum is available for those interested. I do not have other curricula to share. Sometime in the early 90’s Bill Mollison declared that “Permaculture a Designer’s Manual” was the official curriculum for the PDC.

Many teachers do not accept this change and continue to use the old curriculum with those additions that are necessary to stay up to date on new scientific data (ie climate change), and new information on “invisible structures”.

I think it is critical that teachers of the PDC share a curriculum that contains the same material and rigor as the original that was developed by Mollison. There will certainly be some differences depending on the ecosystem one is teaching in and the cultural context. Overall, all PDC certificates should represent a specific body of knowledge presented over a minimum period of time.

Part of the curriculum has to include design exercises based on the land one is teaching on, hands on exercises of various “techniques” practiced by permaculture ie swaling. All courses should include a talent show to wrap up the course. The talent show is the first time many in the course have ever faced a group of their peers and given the gift of themselves; they are opening their hearts to their fellow classmates and teachers and this is part of the community building that has been taking place over the duration of the course. The talent show is as much a part of permaculture as is the “herb spiral”!

What exercises are required for a PDC?
A PDC should have a design practicum as part of the curriculum. Traditionally it was a site design of the property on which the course was held and came at the end of the PDC. This was fully drawn out and presented to the class towards the end of the PDC. Some teachers give several small design assignments based on different environmental influences ie mapping out the water shed and interventions necessary to conserve runoff and put it to beneficial use.

With the development of the extended classes over a few months there is a better opportunity to really develop a design because there is considerable time between each class and the students have the opportunity to get together in design teams and really do the research necessary for a complete design. I have found that without the benefit of good drafting skills that most designs coming out of a residential PDC are poorly done.

There should also be several “hands on” exercises to demonstrate various techniques articulated in the classroom ie pruning, banana circle. Many teachers use the evenings to present more in depth explication of subjects with power point presentations and videos.

What is the price of a PDC?
Most PDCs in the developed world seem to range from US $1,700.00 to 2,100.00 but it really depends on the costs to put on the course. If it is a residential course then 3 meals a day are provided plus snacks and beverage. Rooms or camping facilities add cost to the course.

PDC courses that are not residential tend to be less expensive with fewer expenses.

I believe that the PDC is one of the best instructional bargains around; it is certainly cheaper than a two week yoga retreat! I follow my own ethics when determining the price of my own courses and base it on an annual target of what I need to live and raise my family.

I have never expected to become rich teaching permaculture nor do I think that I should live in poverty.

There are those who teach the PDC who are unapologetic capitalists and charge as much as the market will handle or seek large numbers of students for each course, some have started to use the internet for conducting the PDC on line. I think a lot is lost with on line courses and the Permaculture Institute does not accept the on line PDC as fulfilling the requirement of a PDC for Diploma application.

Who may issue the PDC certificate and under what authority?
Traditionally anyone who completed a PDC was authorized to issue certificates and to declare themselves a permaculture designer. This practice was started by Bill Mollison in the 1980’s and was followed for many years by his students. Currently many teachers around the world are establishing professional associations to inject more professional standards in both teaching and design. The Permaculture Institute was founded for that purpose. We do not recognize any certificates unless the teacher has a Permaculture Diploma. We do not recognize lead teachers of the PDC unless they have a Diploma in education. For more information on our diploma process go to http://www.permaculture.org.

I believe that those teachers who encourage their students to go out and teach after receiving a PDC certificate are doing a disservice to their students. There are few PDC graduates who have sufficient knowledge or “experience” following a two week course to teach or design.

The ethics of permaculture are the primary guiding influences in all aspects of permaculture and that certainly applies to teaching and design. One has to be thoroughly grounded in Earth sciences, as well as the invisible structures to adequately convey the incredible diversity of permaculture. Permaculture as a whole has suffered very little diminishment of its ethics and principals since its inception but there is a disturbing trend developing of bottom feeding marketeers entering the ranks that predates on peoples good intentions to profit without providing fair value for their clients. There is a clear need for the old aphorism of “buyer beware”. Fortunately this trend is limited and many of the followers of permaculture have started to work to weed out unethical predators, it is part of being a good gardener."
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Additional website accompanying this forum:

The permaculturelist website accompanies the Permaculture Mailing List at ibiblio, http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture, and offers a small library of supplemental reading on Permaculture for its subscribers and the public-at-large.
https://sites.google.com/site/permaculturelist/
And:
https://sites.google.com/site/permaculturelist/permaculture-mailing-list-at-ibiblio

This forum exists for individuals and groups interested in the study and practice of permaculture.
It will be a useful resource for consultants, designers, writers and teachers of this discipline,
conceived and stewarded by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and enhanced by a growing global community, offering their knowledge, skills and experience.

An introduction to permaculture might involve educating and energizing those who want to provide for themselves and live sensibly, sustainably and renewably using systems that regenerate themselves. We should grow as much of our own food as possible and help provide for others seeking high quality nutrition through donation, sales, barter, food hub and consumer and marketing coop. A society's worth can be measured by how well it takes care of those in need and those who can not take care of themselves. This is the essence of the permaculture third ethic.

Natural biointensive gardening and permaculture, activities that generate interest easily and fill a need, go hand in hand and provide a starting point in learning. Permaculture will prove to be a useful resource, offering gardening, homesteading, agroforestry, farming and renewable energy knowledge and methods as a means of achieving good health, self-sufficiency and independence. It can be practiced actively at home, throughout communities and bioregions by offering design tools for the creation and maintenance of ecologically-oriented land use systems comprised of integrated elements for synergy, sustainability, regeneration and enhanced nature-compatible human habitat. Integrating permaculture into one's lifestyle can lead the way to self sufficiency, independence, robust health and well-being, effective medical self-help, personal sovereignty and active participation in all categories of local networking, community building, renewable energy, water conservation and land stewardship projects.

Lawrence London
lfljvenaura@gmail.com
http://www.avantgeared.com
avantgeard@gmail.com
https://plus.google.com/+Avantgeared

United States Permaculture Directory

Wikipedia permaculture entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture
"Permaculture is a design system which aims to create sustainable
human habitats by following nature's patterns."

Definitions of Permaculture

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.

Buddha


Fukuoka san's comment in an interview where Fukuoka san, Bill Mollison and Wes Jackson were present:

"The confusion started when humans ate the Fruit of Knowledge. Adam and Eve were thrown away from the Garden of Eden.
The only way to get back is to throw away the knowledge! Just become foolish like a bird or baby."


Commons Thinking
Commons Thinking
Justin Kenrick The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy, Arran Stibbe.
Supported by University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts: Sustainability Network.

"Commons Thinking: the ability to envisage and enable a viable futur through connected action,"
Justin Kenrick, University of Glasgow, and PEDAL Portobello Transition Town

"What is Commons Thinking?
The Commons are life-sustaining or life-enhancing resources and services that have not
been divided up and assigned a monetary value in the global economy but instead are shared
freely among members of a community or group. They range from the air we breath, pollination
provided by bees, land that provides food for gathering and sharing rather than selling,
to words of comfort given freely and willingly rather than at an hourly rate.
Pitted against the Commons, however, are the forces of Enclosure, which attempt
to appropriate, own and sell resources that were once freely accessible, often breaking
up communities and displacing people in the process. Commons regimes are communities
which resist these forces and meet people's needs primarily or significantly through the
Commons rather than through monetary exchange, existing both in the forests of the Amazon
and in the last remaining tight-knit local communities in cities around the world...
This chapter aims to describe one important skill for rebuilding political, community and
personal resilience."

Click for pdf download of the full chapter 'Commons Thinking' from the
Handbook for Sustainability Literacy

PermaSphere
-- portal to an expanding global network of landtech pioneers --

ecolandtech: designing ecological land use systems with integrated elements for synergy, sustainability,
regeneration and enhanced nature-compatible human habitat

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