Growth of Pc

Geoff King sai at
Sat Jan 10 12:47:13 EST 1998

YankeePerm wrote:
> 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.
> A list by topic of all Yankee Permaculture titles may be found at

	If growth of pc is a goal, why not put a pc course on the internet or
web, so people located throughout the world, dealing with their own
environments, markets, economies, strengths, and social situations,
could learn and impliment the principles... isn't implimentation of pc
more important than charging money, and setting up hierarchies for the
transfer of such knowledge and principles?  I have been on this
listserve, and am operating in a situation that surely could benefit
from such principles, but cannot afford to travel, or pay to learn; yet
what I learn and impliment, and share with others in the local
community, could further the goals of pc, moreso than the positioning of
titles or accredations next to my name, and the econmomic and
environmental benefits of implimenting such knowledge should be my
reward for pursuing and learning pc, not my expectation of financial
gain by charging others for such wisdom.  Granted information and the
dissemination of info has value, but with technologies available like
this, and the imminent problems we as a global community face without
implimentation of pc, isn't it a small upfront investment to be made by
the pc community that presently exists?  Further,  isn't it reasonable
to expect that the pc movement would see significant return to that
investment as the feedback from new practitioners validates or refines
certain practices or principles, so as to increase the underlying value
of its theories and concepts?

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