Growth of Pc

YankeePerm YankeePerm at
Sat Jan 10 11:24:26 EST 1998

I don't think that playing numbers games and thinking success/failure is the
way to go.  Of course we have to look at what works and what doesn't work.
Quickie mass courses don't turn out qualified people, in my view.  There are a
number of designs for short programs, not for certification, that suit people
who just want to design for themselves.  We need longer, more customized,
courses for people who will teach others.  Professional designers, well we
don't need many designers at all or we have failed.  Only when everyone can
design for him/her self have we taken permaculture as far as it can go.  

Manwhile it is more important to do our best than to think we understand if we
have succeeded or failed.  The only real failure is failing to do our best.
If the world goes down the tubes anyway, well that is the final lesson in
humility.  We REALLY are not in charge, except that we have the power and
responsibility to use our personal gifts as effectively and appropriately and
consistently as possible.

Who knows who is teaching out there and how?  How many of my 30 extension
agent students from the Philippines are teaching permaculture.  One, maybe.
Twenty, as likely.  Even people I think won't do anything with the material
surprise me by suddently blooming forth, a decade or more after the course.
Nothing done as well as we can from our deepest convictions is done wrong.

As far as Bill's mass permaculture baptism experience in California is
concerned, well it is done.  It isn't anything that should be repeated, but
we've got to live with the results, and we'll find out over the next few years
what the more conspicuous results are.  Personally, I'm glad it was California
and not Florida.  

What permaculture needs, in my opinion, is not better numbers but better
teaching.  This goes for Bill as much as anyone.  We need longer programs
where people have more shared experience, longer times to integrate new
experiences, longer times to form questions and protestations and extend
discussions, and longer times to do at least one really good design as part of
the certification process.  We also require our students to practice
explaining permaculture a few times during the course and then we discuss how
it when, techniques, etc.

In general, I'd like to see someone organize a program some of us with long-
term and diverse experience to come and teach--a workshop or series of
workshops for teachers.  And I'd like to see everyone in permaculture, form
Bill on down, take the spirit of the non-competition ethic a little more
seriously.  This includes cutting back, at least, on the behind the scenes
backbiting that is in fact an aspect of competition in this movement.  While I
have come to learn not to be surprised that we bring the flawed behaviors from
the mainstream society into permaculature, I think it is very useful to
identify these behaviors and start to eliminate them from our own behaviors.  

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 1982),
Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
courses via email.  One is now underway.  Next Live program:  Paraguay,
8/10-22/98. Internships available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway,
P.O. Box 52, Sparr FL 32192 USA  YankeePerm at  

We don't have time to rush.

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