[permaculture] Official Certification

Ron ron at urbiculture.org
Sat Nov 6 13:52:07 EDT 2010


I recently have come out of a permaculture teachers training with Dave Jacke
and I want to share some of my perspective on this subject. I agree that
background is important, however, I think that it can be in various forms.
For example, I am 41 years old and have an extensive business background.
The same thought processes that are permaculture are also those of many
experiences, because permaculture is a philosophy as much as it is anything
and we can share permaculture idea in all areas of life. When I first
learned about permaculture from my local permaculture guild, I thought it
was organic gardening and consensus, huh! Now, I realize it is more about
the systematic way we do things, in a natural way. At the same time that I
was attending permaculture training, 3 years ago, I started meditating and
getting myself back to nature. That, in my opinion, is where the truth lies.
>From there, we will know our part of ecology and wisdom will come, allowing
us to cooperate.

I also agree that there is much more to teaching than being able to explain
the elements, functions and principles of permaculture. I had a shifting
experience at my intensive, month long training during September. Dave used
"The Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively", by Robin Clayfield and
Skye of Earthcare Education. This material was presented at The Farm, in TN.
Along with the many creative ways of teaching, we taught and learned about
learning environments, putting ourselves into the "seat of the teacher"
through meditation, presentation skills and evaluation, universal feelings
and needs, ecological culture design, cultivating community visions and I
left with a huge toolbox and confidence that will allow me to progress in my
self-realization that I am a teacher. My training was 28 days long and was
integrated with a financial permaculture course and Gaia University
orientation. 

I am also a student of Gaia University, working on a Msc degree in
Integrated Eco Social Design. I recommend this applied learning style to
anyone who wants to learn to integrate themselves and others more with the
ecology we teach. I learned about participatory design, spiral dynamics, the
U theory, Kolb learning styles, learning personas and much more. It's a
holistic way of learning, in my opinion.

I think there will always be teachers that have more wisdom than others.
Some will gain wisdom while teaching others and be beneficial due to their
intentions. I also think that there will, at least for a while, be those who
cause disturbances and are eventually weeded out, not by our will but by our
allowing natural reaction.

http://gaiauniversity.org/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=
22&Itemid=33  action learning

http://www.gaiauniversity.org/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view
&id=56&Itemid=71  integrated eco social design - Gaia University

Good Day!

Ron McCorkle
ron at urbiculture.org



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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: official certification (Kelly Simmons)
   2. Re: official certification (Cory Brennan)
   3. Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert) (Kelly Simmons)
   4. Re: Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert) (Cory Brennan)
   5. Benefits of Biodiverse Forage (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
   6. Permaculture Review of _The Art of Not Being	Governed_
      (narthex dreams)
   7. Re: Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert) (Rhonda)
   8. Re: Permaculture Review of _The Art of Not	Being	Governed_
      (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 12:34:28 -0600
From: Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] official certification
Message-ID:
	<54B56D1E-EB49-4289-92AF-354BF07E786E at bouldersustainability.org>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=WINDOWS-1252;	format=flowed;
	delsp=yes

I am late to the conversation but I am glad it is happening.  So thank  
you Toby and everyone.

I would also like to open up the conversation about becoming a  
permaculture teacher and the current process of taking a one week  
course and then supposedly being ready to go out and teach.   I was  
told by my teacher that after my PDC I was expected to practice for  
two years before being eligible to become a permaculture teacher.  But  
I watch senior permaculture teachers letting newbie PDC graduates into  
permaculture teaching courses regularly.  I have met graduates of PDCs  
who cannot tell me the ethics, or anything about design.  They know  
the tools.  They can cite swales, and water catchment and sheet  
mulching, but can't tell me the difference between a zone and a  
sector.  It's disturbing.

And I've met students who have been so angry and disappointed after a  
PDC, who, once the student gets out on their own, realize that they  
didn't learn what they should have about the fundamentals and  
designing.  It starts becoming "buyer beware" in PDCs and that doesn't  
sit well with me as a permaculture teacher.  It starts to feel like  
some students are getting taken for a ride to have warm bodies in  
classes, and they aren't learning the fundamentals that make  
permaculture more than organic backyard gardening with some self  
sufficiency  thrown in.

Without some knowledge of how people learn and how to reinforce  
learning, PDC's can become a mishmash of stuff that is difficult to  
sort through and prioritize for students.  The teachers really have to  
not only know permaculture but have to know HOW to teach it, and that  
isn't always self-explanatory.  Some of the concepts are quite complex.

I'm not in favor of a huge bureaucracy, but as permaculture gets more  
well known, those who are TEACHING it need to be top notch.  I am not  
in favor of letting newbie PDC graduates take permaculture teacher  
courses or even advanced design courses without at least some period  
of practice time and study beforehand, unless there are special  
circumstances, like prior advanced education in landscape design, or  
ecology, or education.

I don't have ideas for how to make this happen, but that is what I'd  
like to see.  Perhaps the teacher course needs to be two weeks with  
some  teaching ethics thrown in.

best,

Kelly







On Oct 23, 2010, at 3:54 PM, Jason Gerhardt wrote:

> I completely agree with Toby and others that the PDC was not  
> intended to
> qualify a person as a 'designer', but rather to certify individuals  
> as ?in
> training?.  It is after all what Mollison himself has written.  As  
> far as
> I?m concerned we are all ?in training? perpetually.  My guess is  
> that Toby
> was simply trying to suggest we be careful with our wording, and  
> rightly
> so.
>
>
> To the further dialogue that has mushroomed from Toby's post, I have  
> this to
> contribute.  We could just get rid of the word ?designer? and call  
> everyone
> ?practitioners?; we could use classifications like ?freshman  
> practitioner?
> and ?junior? and ?senior? and on and on.  I?m sure that would not go  
> over
> too well with all the triggering of repressed high school emotions.   
> The
> fact is we all have associations with words, some negative, some  
> positive,
> but a duck is a duck so let?s call it such.  Words like 'trainee' and
> 'designer' inherently break apart reality into little unrealistic  
> pieces,
> but hopefully we can use our insufficient semantic system with  
> honestly,
> clarity, compassion, and humility.  After my first 2 PDC?s and an  
> advanced
> design course I finally realized the challenges with the certification
> wording.  6 years later, now that I co-teach such courses I see the  
> same
> thing over and over.  To my experience, it all depends on the  
> person, which
> leads me to be in full support of a mentorship program for  
> permaculture
> design in the US.  Such a program would be best if it functioned as a
> person-to-person relationship where trust and openness can be  
> built.  I know
> my relationship with my mentors has been and continues to be  
> instrumental to
> my development as a competent permaculturist.
>
>
> I also agree with others that it would be best to avoid a hierarchy  
> and
> bureaucracy within the permaculture community.  I think the question  
> is how
> do we create a system that supports trainees with follow up  
> education and
> mentorships, rather than a qualifying and disqualifying agency?  In so
> doing, we move from control to support. As much as I dislike people
> highjacking 'permaculture' and taking it in unintended directions,  
> I'm not
> sure that can be prevented.  Having attempted to control many things  
> in my
> life I think I have enough experience to know that we should give up
> permaculture policing right now, but support and competence building  
> is a
> completely different animal.  Our goal should be to create  
> opportunities for
> those interested in furthering their studies and building their  
> skills.  It
> is my hope that we can build relationships instead of putting up  
> walls.  I
> can?t wait to see it happen and am fully willing to contribute.
>
>
> Jason Gerhardt
> _______________________________________________
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------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 11:53:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] official certification
Message-ID: <685020.34526.qm at web52603.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

I agree that teaching is as much a skill set as knowing permaculture. The
subject is vast - what parts do you cover in two weeks, so that the person
walks out with competencies and being able to think with the subject, and
also "knows what they don't know" and where to find out about it??
I was deeply immersed in alternative education for more than 10 years, as
well as permaculture design for almost five years, before taking on a full
72 hour PDC. The alternative education background is just as important and
useful, to me, as the PDC knowledge. It helped me isolate what to teach and
how to get it across. I am still constantly tweaking and improving on what I
do and probably always will. I love educating people, I have a passion for
turning their lights on, and that's why I do it.?
Cory

--- On Fri, 11/5/10, Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org> wrote:

From: Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] official certification
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 11:34 AM

I am late to the conversation but I am glad it is happening.? So thank you
Toby and everyone.

I would also like to open up the conversation about becoming a permaculture
teacher and the current process of taking a one week course and then
supposedly being ready to go out and teach.???I was told by my teacher that
after my PDC I was expected to practice for two years before being eligible
to become a permaculture teacher.? But I watch senior permaculture teachers
letting newbie PDC graduates into permaculture teaching courses regularly.?
I have met graduates of PDCs who cannot tell me the ethics, or anything
about design.? They know the tools.? They can cite swales, and water
catchment and sheet mulching, but can't tell me the difference between a
zone and a sector.? It's disturbing.

And I've met students who have been so angry and disappointed after a PDC,
who, once the student gets out on their own, realize that they didn't learn
what they should have about the fundamentals and designing.? It starts
becoming "buyer beware" in PDCs and that doesn't sit well with me as a
permaculture teacher.? It starts to feel like some students are getting
taken for a ride to have warm bodies in classes, and they aren't learning
the fundamentals that make permaculture more than organic backyard gardening
with some self sufficiency? thrown in.

Without some knowledge of how people learn and how to reinforce learning,
PDC's can become a mishmash of stuff that is difficult to sort through and
prioritize for students.? The teachers really have to not only know
permaculture but have to know HOW to teach it, and that isn't always
self-explanatory.? Some of the concepts are quite complex.

I'm not in favor of a huge bureaucracy, but as permaculture gets more well
known, those who are TEACHING it need to be top notch.? I am not in favor of
letting newbie PDC graduates take permaculture teacher courses or even
advanced design courses without at least some period of practice time and
study beforehand, unless there are special circumstances, like prior
advanced education in landscape design, or ecology, or education.

I don't have ideas for how to make this happen, but that is what I'd like to
see.? Perhaps the teacher course needs to be two weeks with some? teaching
ethics thrown in.

best,

Kelly







On Oct 23, 2010, at 3:54 PM, Jason Gerhardt wrote:

> I completely agree with Toby and others that the PDC was not intended to
> qualify a person as a 'designer', but rather to certify individuals as ?in
> training?.? It is after all what Mollison himself has written.? As far as
> I?m concerned we are all ?in training? perpetually.? My guess is that Toby
> was simply trying to suggest we be careful with our wording, and rightly
> so.
> 
> 
> To the further dialogue that has mushroomed from Toby's post, I have this
to
> contribute.? We could just get rid of the word ?designer? and call
everyone
> ?practitioners?; we could use classifications like ?freshman practitioner?
> and ?junior? and ?senior? and on and on.? I?m sure that would not go over
> too well with all the triggering of repressed high school emotions.? The
> fact is we all have associations with words, some negative, some positive,
> but a duck is a duck so let?s call it such.? Words like 'trainee' and
> 'designer' inherently break apart reality into little unrealistic pieces,
> but hopefully we can use our insufficient semantic system with honestly,
> clarity, compassion, and humility.? After my first 2 PDC?s and an advanced
> design course I finally realized the challenges with the certification
> wording.? 6 years later, now that I co-teach such courses I see the same
> thing over and over.? To my experience, it all depends on the person,
which
> leads me to be in full support of a mentorship program for permaculture
> design in the US.? Such a program would be best if it functioned as a
> person-to-person relationship where trust and openness can be built.? I
know
> my relationship with my mentors has been and continues to be instrumental
to
> my development as a competent permaculturist.
> 
> 
> I also agree with others that it would be best to avoid a hierarchy and
> bureaucracy within the permaculture community.? I think the question is
how
> do we create a system that supports trainees with follow up education and
> mentorships, rather than a qualifying and disqualifying agency?? In so
> doing, we move from control to support. As much as I dislike people
> highjacking 'permaculture' and taking it in unintended directions, I'm not
> sure that can be prevented.? Having attempted to control many things in my
> life I think I have enough experience to know that we should give up
> permaculture policing right now, but support and competence building is a
> completely different animal.? Our goal should be to create opportunities
for
> those interested in furthering their studies and building their skills.?
It
> is my hope that we can build relationships instead of putting up walls.? I
> can?t wait to see it happen and am fully willing to contribute.
> 
> 
> Jason Gerhardt
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe, unsubscribe, change your user configuration here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Read the public message archives here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture
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archives:
> site:lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [search string (omit the
brackets)]
> List Usage & Guidelines:
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> Permaculture http://www.ibiblio.org/permaculture
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> List contact: permacultureforum at gmail.com

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------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 20:06:42 -0600
From: Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: [permaculture] Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert)
Message-ID:
	<8AE1DAFC-2216-45C8-B204-AD9D7E3C22AA at bouldersustainability.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes

There is one little nugget  for me in what Killian was saying, that I  
would like to chew on with interested folks on this list and that is  
the over-riding "white middleclass" nature of many state-side PDCs.

I think I hear clearly what Toby was saying and I largely agree with a  
lot of it, but I confess that I am bothered by the lack of real  
diversity in our courses and students and leaders and teachers.  Not  
entirely, of course, but largely.

Is there a better way to energize more Latino or African American  
community members to come learn permaculture?, Is there a way to "make  
relevant" permaculture ideas to these communities?  [I admit up front  
that I haven't been to every community or every PDC, so please don't  
flame me, if your situation is a shining example, but I don't see much  
diversity reflected in teachers, photos, or students and people I meet  
who are engaged in permaculture].

Anyway, I see permaculture as a bottom up, empowerment tool and it  
bothers me that, except for some development work overseas, at least  
in the States, it is the more culturally privileged among us who are  
attending and teaching our PDCs.

These are observations and ruminations, and I am interested in what  
people think.  I agree that the hippie, flakey view hurts permaculture  
in some ways. Perhaps its a big turnoff to communities of color....

I am excited to be attending a Bioneers conference, where there are  
some presentations on indigenous ecological knowledge and I know there  
is great work going on up at Pine Ridge.

But perhaps we need to start making cultural diversity a priority -  
because missing a diversity of views impoverishes our thinking and our  
solutions.  For example Cory's reflection on listening and speaking in  
circle up at Pine Ridge.  Perhaps there is some "white middle class  
privilege" embedded or woven throughout our teaching or how PDCs  
operate that we are blind to.  And this blindness makes participation  
more wearing and difficult for people of color.  I wonder.

Or perhaps I am somehow blind to all the cultural diversity in US  
PDCs......

Thoughts?

Kelly



On Oct 24, 2010, at 3:53 PM, paul wheaton wrote:

> I think, Killian, you should take on the task of getting the
> permaculture word to those folks that you see as unable to afford the
> work that others are providing.
>
> If everybody spreads the word according to the ways that they are
> comfortable with, it should reach a lot of people.
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe, unsubscribe, change your user configuration here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
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> archives:
> site:lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [search string (omit  
> the brackets)]
> List Usage & Guidelines:
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> List contact: permacultureforum at gmail.com



------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 19:40:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official
	cert)
Message-ID: <400461.95536.qm at web52607.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

You have of course Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty and many others who go to
culturally diverse areas to teach. I create cultural diversity in PDCs, by
holding them in culturally diverse areas (Little Haiti in Miami, Pine Ridge,
etc), by offering scholarships to people to ensure there is a socio-economic
mix, and by ensuring the content of the course is culturally sensitive and
relevant. And by visiting minority communities and introducing permaculture
in a culturally relevant manner, understanding what problems are considered
important by observing and asking. And doing projects in minority areas,
which is very powerful because then they see for themselves how it works and
get their own creative ideas about it and expand on it. I know a number of
permaculturists focused on cultural diversity, they are definitely out
there! ?There can always be more though! ?C?

--- On Fri, 11/5/10, Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org> wrote:

From: Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org>
Subject: [permaculture] Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert)
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 7:06 PM

There is one little nugget? for me in what Killian was saying, that I would
like to chew on with interested folks on this list and that is the
over-riding "white middleclass" nature of many state-side PDCs.

I think I hear clearly what Toby was saying and I largely agree with a lot
of it, but I confess that I am bothered by the lack of real diversity in our
courses and students and leaders and teachers.? Not entirely, of course, but
largely.

Is there a better way to energize more Latino or African American community
members to come learn permaculture?, Is there a way to "make relevant"
permaculture ideas to these communities?? [I admit up front that I haven't
been to every community or every PDC, so please don't flame me, if your
situation is a shining example, but I don't see much diversity reflected in
teachers, photos, or students and people I meet who are engaged in
permaculture].

Anyway, I see permaculture as a bottom up, empowerment tool and it bothers
me that, except for some development work overseas, at least in the States,
it is the more culturally privileged among us who are attending and teaching
our PDCs.

These are observations and ruminations, and I am interested in what people
think.? I agree that the hippie, flakey view hurts permaculture in some
ways. Perhaps its a big turnoff to communities of color....

I am excited to be attending a Bioneers conference, where there are some
presentations on indigenous ecological knowledge and I know there is great
work going on up at Pine Ridge.

But perhaps we need to start making cultural diversity a priority - because
missing a diversity of views impoverishes our thinking and our solutions.?
For example Cory's reflection on listening and speaking in circle up at Pine
Ridge.? Perhaps there is some "white middle class privilege" embedded or
woven throughout our teaching or how PDCs operate that we are blind to.? And
this blindness makes participation more wearing and difficult for people of
color.? I wonder.

Or perhaps I am somehow blind to all the cultural diversity in US PDCs......

Thoughts?

Kelly



On Oct 24, 2010, at 3:53 PM, paul wheaton wrote:

> I think, Killian, you should take on the task of getting the
> permaculture word to those folks that you see as unable to afford the
> work that others are providing.
> 
> If everybody spreads the word according to the ways that they are
> comfortable with, it should reach a lot of people.
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe, unsubscribe, change your user configuration here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Read the public message archives here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture
> Command to put in your browser's Google search box to search these
archives:
> site:lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [search string (omit the
brackets)]
> List Usage & Guidelines:
> http://ibiblio.org/permaculture/documents/permaculturelistguide.faq
> Permaculture http://www.ibiblio.org/permaculture
> Permaculture Mailing List Blog
> http://permaculturelist.blogspot.com
> permaculture forums http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums
> List contact: permacultureforum at gmail.com

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List contact: permacultureforum at gmail.com



      

------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Sat, 06 Nov 2010 00:20:58 -0400
From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lflj at bellsouth.net>
To: Market Farming <marketfarming at lists.ibiblio.org>,	permaculture
	<permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: [permaculture] Benefits of Biodiverse Forage
Message-ID: <4CD4D7AA.7020908 at bellsouth.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


Benefits of Biodiverse Forage
Oct03_Forage.pdf (application/pdf Object)
http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/Oct03_Forage.pdf


------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2010 03:15:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: narthex dreams <narthexdreams at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] Permaculture Review of _The Art of Not Being
	Governed_
Message-ID: <707717.96105.qm at web51605.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
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Please read my blog post reviewing (from a permaculture angle) the book The
Art of Not Being Governed, an Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. My
thoughts on Permaculture's relationship to social systems and alternative
society.

http://fireflower.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/the-art-of-not-being-governed/

The Art of Not Being?Governed
			By Eric

			
				

?Of course, the overall resistance of swiddening to state 
appropriation lies both in its hilly location and dispersal and in the 
very botanical diversity it represents. It is not uncommon for shifting 
cultivators to plant, tend, and encourage as many as sixty or more 
cultivars. Imagine the bewildering task facing even the most energetic 
tax collector attempting to catalogue, let alone assess and collect 
taxes, in such a setting. It is for this reason that J.G. Scott noted 
that hill peoples were ?of no account whatever in the state? and that 
?it would be a sheer waste of energy in the eyes of an official to 
attempt to number the houses or even the villages of these people.? Add 
to this the fact that nearly all swidden cultivators also hunt, fish, 
and forage in nearby forests. By pursuing such a broad portfolio of 
subsistence strategies they spread their risks, they ensure themselves a
 diverse and nutritious diet, and they present a nearly intractable 
hieroglyphic to any state that might want to corral them.?

?After a demographic collapse following a famine, epidemic, or war ? 
if one were lucky enough to have survived ? swiddening might become the 
norm, right there on the padi plain. State resistant space was therefore
 not a place on the map but a position vis-a-vis power; it could be 
created by successful acts of defiance, by shifts in farming 
techniques, or by unanticipated acts of god.? (emphasis mine).

I?ve been reading The Art of Not Being Governed, An Anarchist 
History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott. It is full of 
fascinating food for thought. One of the most interesting topics it 
raises is the relationship between socio-political forms and 
agricultural strategies of certain peoples.


Scott makes the point that in Southeast Asia ? and fairly generally 
worldwide ? the food system that has historically been part and parcel 
of the state and state-making is sedentary agriculture, usually of a 
grain monocrop. This allows for legible, taxable, storable food 
surpluses and requires a dense peasant population close to the state 
core, which feeds the state?s need for manpower. It is the foundation 
for standing militaries, large building projects, vast solidified 
hierarchies, dense populations, etc.

The food-system strategies used by non-state, often egalitarian 
peoples are foraging, hunting and gathering, nomadic pastoralism, and 
shifting agriculture (a.k.a swidden).

Scott really starts to get somewhere interesting with his discussion 
of ?escape agriculture? and ?escape crops.?

The traits of escape crops being:

? crops that cannot be stored long post-harvest without spoiling

? crops that have low value per unit weight and volume

? root crops: easy to conceal and storable in-ground.

? crops that grow on marginal land

? crops that require less care

? diversity of crops: provide more health & nutrition and mature 
unevenly.

Escape agriculture usually provides a higher return per unit labor ? 
it is consummately ?lazy gardening,? and the reason so many marginal 
groups have been seen as lazy by state-makers.

By being the opposite of sedentary grain monoculture produced by 
peasant cultivators, escape agriculture becomes ?a form of wealth 
inaccessible to the state? (and one might widen that inaccessibility to 
encompass capital as well. The ?appropriation-resistance? of this form 
of agriculture often also means resistance to commodification. )

I have been pondering the question of what food system, then, would 
be part and parcel of a social form that was both egalitarian & 
state-resistant and sedentary. Not because mobility is undesirable, but 
because it is probably not possible for all of us to practice mobile 
agriculture considering the present world population and the degraded 
state of our ecosystems.

It would be good to know more about non-state societies that were 
sedentary, or at least not primarily mobile ? it was suggested to me 
that Native Americans in the Northeast (pre-Columbus), and Hawaiians 
(?pre-warlord take-over-and-enslavement-of-the-peaceful first 
inhabitants?) may have fit this bill.

In this sense the ?permanence? referred to in the word Permaculture 
has to signify permanence of place, in addition to sustainability or 
permanence over time. One of permaculture?s original definitions was ?a 
perennial agriculture for sustainable human settlement.?  
Indeed, Bill Mollison, the co-founder of the permaculture concept, 
sources its genesis for him in the anger over the ecological devastation
 that made a mobile, dream-like life now impossible. (?As a child I 
lived in sort of a dream, and I didn?t really awaken until I was about 
28 years old, I spent most of my early life working in the bush or the 
sea, and it wasn?t until the 1950s that I noticed that large parts of 
the system were disappearing. First fish stocks became extinct. Then I 
noticed the seaweed around the shorelines had gone. Large patches of 
forest began to die. I hadn?t realized until those things had gone that 
I?d become very fond of them?Fury is what drives me; not love of people,
 not love of the earth.?)

The escape agriculture described by Scott is mobile, indeed must be 
mobile to escape the state?s grasp. But for most of us, there is nowhere
 left to run. If we are to live in an egalitarian, free social form the 
whole world must be turned upside down. Out of this we must design a 
kind of permanent escape agriculture that incorporates state- and 
capital- prevention into its core strategies. Permaculture could, and I 
think, should, be seen as this set of strategies.

Permaculture is frustrating precisely because it does does not jive 
with the routines and patterns of capitalism. Organic farmers attempting
 to make a living by growing food for the market are rightly annoyed 
with its prescriptions which mostly do not fit the geometry of commodity
 food production. It is a food system more appropriately aligned 
explicitly with a social form that is yet to be created. In its ideal 
form it shares many traits with the ?escape agriculture? outlined by 
Scott: extreme crop diversity; patterning that is illegible to 
state/capital; appropriation-resistant, non-commodifiable crops; crops 
that require less care, that have a high productivity per unit labor. It
 starts to resemble permanent foraging within an artificial, recombinant
 ecology.

We should start thinking and talking more about what it means to have
 a system of cultivation that is state-resistant, commodity-resistant, 
that is suited for free and egalitarian social relations ? because one 
thing I have learned from Scott?s book is that the one is inextricably 
tied up with the other.

Peasants of the world, self-abolish!



      

------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2010 05:47:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rhonda <rk.baird at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official
	cert)
Message-ID: <209113.37864.qm at web34303.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Kelly, and Cory, I agree with most of what you say.?
And I think there is plenty of room for everyone to learn permaculture. The
one thing that I would add is that just because a permaculture teacher looks
a certain way in a photo, doesn't mean he or she does not have an element of
cultural diversity to bring to the table--or that he only has a "white
middle class" perspective. I organized for ACORN in Chicago and Milwaukee
black and Latino neighborhoods over a decade ago. Consistently I was told by
community members to go home and organize my white, rural, (often poor)
community--that the urban communities would organize themselves.?
If you want to see the work of a former student/friend doing just that--see
Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living.
(http://www.blackoakscenter.org) ?
warmly,

Rhonda Baird
Sheltering Hills Design
Permaculture Designer & Teacher
Editorial Services
Fiber Artsshelteringhills.net

This message may contain confidential and/or proprietary information, and is
intended for the person/entity to whom it was originally addressed.?Any use
by others is strictly prohibited. 

--- On Fri, 11/5/10, Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert)
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 10:40 PM

You have of course Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty and many others who go to
culturally diverse areas to teach. I create cultural diversity in PDCs, by
holding them in culturally diverse areas (Little Haiti in Miami, Pine Ridge,
etc), by offering scholarships to people to ensure there is a socio-economic
mix, and by ensuring the content of the course is culturally sensitive and
relevant. And by visiting minority communities and introducing permaculture
in a culturally relevant manner, understanding what problems are considered
important by observing and asking. And doing projects in minority areas,
which is very powerful because then they see for themselves how it works and
get their own creative ideas about it and expand on it. I know a number of
permaculturists focused on cultural diversity, they are definitely out
there! ?There can always be more though! ?C?

--- On Fri, 11/5/10, Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org> wrote:

From: Kelly Simmons <kelly at bouldersustainability.org>
Subject: [permaculture] Cultural diversity in PDCs (was official cert)
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 7:06 PM

There is one little nugget? for me in what Killian was saying, that I would
like to chew on with interested folks on this list and that is the
over-riding "white middleclass" nature of many state-side PDCs.

I think I hear clearly what Toby was saying and I largely agree with a lot
of it, but I confess that I am bothered by the lack of real diversity in our
courses and students and leaders and teachers.? Not entirely, of course, but
largely.

Is there a better way to energize more Latino or African American community
members to come learn permaculture?, Is there a way to "make relevant"
permaculture ideas to these communities?? [I admit up front that I haven't
been to every community or every PDC, so please don't flame me, if your
situation is a shining example, but I don't see much diversity reflected in
teachers, photos, or students and people I meet who are engaged in
permaculture].

Anyway, I see permaculture as a bottom up, empowerment tool and it bothers
me that, except for some development work overseas, at least in the States,
it is the more culturally privileged among us who are attending and teaching
our PDCs.

These are observations and ruminations, and I am interested in what people
think.? I agree that the hippie, flakey view hurts permaculture in some
ways. Perhaps its a big turnoff to communities of color....

I am excited to be attending a Bioneers conference, where there are some
presentations on indigenous ecological knowledge and I know there is great
work going on up at Pine Ridge.

But perhaps we need to start making cultural diversity a priority - because
missing a diversity of views impoverishes our thinking and our solutions.?
For example Cory's reflection on listening and speaking in circle up at Pine
Ridge.? Perhaps there is some "white middle class privilege" embedded or
woven throughout our teaching or how PDCs operate that we are blind to.? And
this blindness makes participation more wearing and difficult for people of
color.? I wonder.

Or perhaps I am somehow blind to all the cultural diversity in US PDCs......

Thoughts?

Kelly



On Oct 24, 2010, at 3:53 PM, paul wheaton wrote:

> I think, Killian, you should take on the task of getting the
> permaculture word to those folks that you see as unable to afford the
> work that others are providing.
> 
> If everybody spreads the word according to the ways that they are
> comfortable with, it should reach a lot of people.
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------------------------------

Message: 8
Date: Sat, 06 Nov 2010 13:09:12 -0400
From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lflj at bellsouth.net>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Permaculture Review of _The Art of Not
	Being	Governed_
Message-ID: <4CD58BB8.6060307 at bellsouth.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed

On 11/6/2010 6:15 AM, narthex dreams wrote:
> Please read my blog post reviewing (from a permaculture angle) the book
The Art of Not Being Governed, an Anarchist
> History of Upland Southeast Asia. My thoughts on Permaculture's
relationship to social systems and alternative
> society.
>
> http://fireflower.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/the-art-of-not-being-governed/
>
> The Art of Not Being Governed By Eric

WONDERFUL! Thanks for posting this.

> Scott makes the point that in Southeast Asia ? and fairly generally
worldwide ? the food system that has historically
> been part and parcel of the state and state-making is sedentary
agriculture, usually of a grain monocrop. This allows
> for legible, taxable, storable food surpluses and requires a dense peasant
population close to the state core, which
> feeds the state?s need for manpower. It is the foundation for standing
militaries, large building projects, vast
> solidified hierarchies, dense populations, etc.

Exactamente!

> The food-system strategies used by non-state, often egalitarian peoples
are foraging, hunting and gathering, nomadic
> pastoralism, and shifting agriculture (a.k.a swidden).

Much better!

See my earlier posts on terraced rice farming in the Phillipines,
good tie-in to your post/book review.

More discussion on this!


------------------------------

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