FranksFarm - growth of PC

Rene and Lorraine van Raders rvraders at
Thu Jan 15 01:40:38 EST 1998

Frank wrote:
> OK, I'm a newbie. I've read Mollison and want to learn as much as I can
> applying some of his principles, and evolved experinces, and insights
into my
> farm plan.

Firstly let us thank Fiona for her words of wisdom.  We agree.  But also
I'd like to apologise to you.  This discussion group is just what I've been
looking for... a place where experienced permaculture people can work on
ideas and get technical help.  I'm sorry that it doesn't fill your needs
(wishes).  I'd like to see your queries / desires answered somehow but my
time is finite.  You seem to want something that doesn't exist yet... the
database of information that we're discussing starting to compile.

For practical info, our advice is to get away from the computer and join
your local organic growers group, permaculture group, environmental group;
go and visit as many neighbouring farms and gardens as possible
(permaculture or otherwise).  Look at what works and what doesn't.  Go and
study your local natural ecosystem.  Commune with nature, and start
wondering.  Go and practice your ideas.. small cautious trails.  Then when
you have specific requests come back and ask.  This global network isn't
geared to design your farm... a course gives a design framework to work
with, then you want to get local knowledge. We've attached a file made in
MS - Works that is a checklist to help with the design process (a thematic
approach.. one way to start a design).  We use it to ensure we are
considering all relevant details.  I hope it helps clarify your thoughts.  

You don't need a course to design your farm; you don't need our help. 
However pc courses are informative and fun... I'd highly recommend one to
you to give you a kick start.   I really believe a teacherless computer
course, free or otherwise won't give you the help you are after.  That
doesn't mean it isn't a good idea, just that it is limited in value.

A word of caution... one of the prime principles of permaculture is that of
taking responsibility for ourselves.  That means not waiting for a freebie,
but actively getting what you want; not blaming others for any failures,
but only ourselves.  This principle acts to empower us... if it's our
"fault" then we can do something about it.  If someone else is to blame
then we are powerless.  

We've found in the past that when offering services for free they were
usually undervalued by the recipient... those people that had to strive for
something usually appreciated it and made good use of it... those that were
handed it on a platter often went no further.   

> But unfortunately imho ther'e just too much empty theorizing, worries
over not
> being paid, and fears of somehow passing on wisdom that other
sympathizers can
> use for fear they'll somehow not understand it or tell others about it at
> charge.

This isn't what I've been reading in this discussion group.  Most of the
contributors are very active permaculture doers (not empty "theorizers");
tapping away furiously on their screens after a long days work (at least we
are).  I've not seen anyone here not interested in passing on their wisdom.
 It isn't a fear of not being paid, it's a look at the whole payment vs
free issue.  No one here is frightened of not getting paid.. some just feel
that payment is the ethical and practical choice.  There's no such thing as
free in nature... everything is paid for somehow.

> Where are the free tools, the sites that can give us pointed , practical
> permaculture advice for our climate etc. I  realize that PC probably goes
> beyond agriculture, and holistic farm planning...but that's the kind of
> knowledge I'm looking for.

Free tool attached.  For a book that gives a basic permaculture self taught
course (esp concentrating on the gardening/agricultural side) we highly
recommend Ro Morrow's book : The earth user's guide to permaculture.  For
pc sites.. look at you busy forever!

Rene and Lorraine van Raders
The Green Piece Permaculture Garden
PO Box 389
Malanda, Beautiful Far North Queensland
4885 Australia
Int.  61 740 965138
Australia 07 40 965138
email  rvraders at
If enough people knock there heads against a brick wall, it will fall down.
Ashleigh Brilliant

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