[permaculture] Thoughts on PDCs
leeflier at comcast.net
Sat Dec 12 14:55:15 EST 2009
Interesting thread, again. I'd say that probably how much someone would
benefit from a PDC depends entirely on the individual student and
teacher! I have no doubt there are some poor teachers out there, who
really don't stick to the curriculum and include a lot of fluff that
isn't necessarily relevant, or have their own agenda as to what
permaculture "should" be which may or may not be helpful. Not to say
that permaculture shouldn't continue to evolve in its specifics, but IMO
the PDC is meant to install general concepts which can then be applied
to specific things; it usually does teach some specifics as examples,
but the primary consideration should be in communicating the paradigms
and stressing that they can be applied to any endeavor in any field.
I also have no doubt there are some people, especially at this stage of
the game, who've learned enough from online discussions and reference
materials, books and perhaps shorter courses or permaculture gatherings,
that what they'd gain from an actual PDC is fairly minimal and may not
teach them anything they don't already know.
I feel fortunate that I was able to take a PDC straight from the horse's
mouth, that is from Bill Mollison, and it was co-taught by Scott Pittman
who was also amazing. I will say that at the time, even though I had
been gardening organically for a long time, was enamored of the forest
garden concept, had been studying anthropology and sociology and
ecology, had a keen interest in ecovillages, intentional communities,
and alternative energy, had done volunteer aid work... and even though I
am by and large a pattern based thinker... and even though I already
had an excellent weekend permaculture workshop under my belt... even
given all of that, the full PDC was a mind blowing and life changing
experience for me.
I'll also say that the level of BS was very minimal because Bill and
Scott kept things on track and did not mince any words. If people
brought up any kind of New Age stuff or anything otherwise not based in
reality (and some certainly tried...LOL), they were called out on it.
I'll also second what a couple of people said in that the point was well
driven home that permaculture isn't just about gardening or farming.
Its principles could be applied to any field of work and sometimes that
isn't emphasized enough. I think that a garden is a great place to
start, because a garden based in permaculture principles demonstrates
the ways that natural systems will work for you if you work with them
instead of against them. But natural patterns can just as easily be
found in any other area of endeavor, and once you understand that
they're there and can look for them, you can find them.
So I would say if you want to do a PDC, it's well worth it but you
should just be very careful choosing a teacher. Find some other people
who've taken the course from them and don't just ask whether they liked
the experience, but specfic questions about what activities the class
did, etc. It's like anything else, you gotta shop around.
More information about the permaculture