Growth of Pc

YankeePerm YankeePerm at
Sun Jan 11 12:20:51 EST 1998

In a message dated 1/10/98 12:54:15 PM, you wrote:

	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?


Of course I HAVE put a PC course on the internet.  However, people DO have to
pay to participate, as there is no other way as yet for me to be compensated
for my time.  Also, I'm not sure that "free" would work anywhere the cash
economy has taken over.  We did programs in New Zealand on the basis of koha,
about 20 programs in 5 weeks it turned out.  Very intensive.  Koha is a Maori
word meaning, roughly in a language not equiped to convey the concept, a gift
returned for a gift received.   It is the way most sustainable cultures
sustain people on paths of service such as leaders, healers, teachers, etc.
With koha, you put in what is right for you, considering what you have
received and what you can afford.  Generally, parkehas (whites, the
priveledged groups) paid the minimum they could get away with, so that at some
presentations to parkehas, we did not even get gas money back.  OK, not
sustainable, I'd say.  And about what I'd expect in the USA, and inother
industrialized countries.  When we presented to Maori groups, the koha was
significant, whether given by individuals, or whether given by an association
and determined by komatura (recognized Elders, note the caps.)  In the latter
case, where the money came from the common pot, it was not uncommon for
individual students to proffer a small gift.  For example I still have and
cherish the first basket of New Zealand flax made by one woman.  While I came
to NZ prepared to work for nothing for the Maori, it turned out that without
their kohas, the trip would have been a financial disaster for the local
(parkeha) organizers.  

Free sounds nice.  However people have to be sustained and to sustain the
systems and resources they use to provide service.  I like the koha system and
use it wherever I work with people who are close to their traditional roots.
It is the basis of all scholarships to our programs, and we offer substantial
scholarships in terms of percentages.  In my experience, doing this work since
1981, you need to be independently wealthy to work on the basic of koha, or
the cruder "sliding scale," with Westerners and people whose economic
consciousness has become Western.  In the 17 years I have taught permaculture,
I have had just 1 student volunteer something like a koha, and one student
when given the chance to pay later actually paid.  

I think, also, that there are a number of people who have perhaps put
themselves out on a limb in the economic extremes to which they have gone to
be able to teach permaculture.  If we come up with yet another way to clear
cut the market for these people, I don't think permacutlure is served.  I
would be affected only in that I would have less work to do, though it might
be a shame that all the slides and outlines I've developed get tossed, but
everything returns to the one sooner or later and letting go is as imprtant a
lesson as any in permaculture.  I'd certainly not contribute to something
which was so avidly in competition with permaculture teachers worldwide as to
contribute to an effort which offers for nothing something they need to be
paid to do.  The result, if done, will be a further reduction in the number of
permaculture teachers and a boost to the anti-permaculture effort to
centralize and control permaculture as a movement.

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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