[permaculture] Permaculture standards a la ...

Daniel Jager dfjager at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 30 07:52:15 EDT 2012

Dear Scott, (and others)

First of all, and for the record, I do NOT teach "permaculture" (nor do I want to) and I do not practice "permaculture", and I never claimed I did. I am here because I was invited to do so, and because "permaculture" holds closest to the ideas I have discovered myself.
I studied Physical Geography / Landscape ecology, and spent much time in different ecosystems in many places on the globe. Due to my own observations I came to some insights very close to that of Fukuoka (to the dismay of my university Professors). Only later when I read the One Straw Revolution, did I realize that Nature communicates the same thing, over and over, to those who are AWARE. Sure, Fukuoka saw much much more than me, but that is not the issue. The issue is reaching understanding on one's own, not through being 'taught'.

The problem is that the indoctrination you speak of runs deeper than most people think. Even systems-thinking, and learning biological processes, etc, can again lead to 'organizations' that are stuck in a rut. I can already see it happening in Permaculture (even if permaculture still just has marginal influence). Larger movements and organizations always draw in a certain caliber of people, that will send it slowly on the decline. This is so because most people lack Self-knowledge, and adore 'systems', 'protocols', 'methods' and the like. Yet without adequate Self-knowledge, any endeavor to 'improve our lot' is doomed to fail.
Ideas form the basis of organizations, organizations create systems, systems become solidified, dogmatic, authoritarian, and we're back to square one.

This whole issue with PDC for instance. Now you know I do not have one, and I never will get one either (no need; I have nothing to prove). But will you listen to me, since I do not have one? Or do you feel comfortable dismissing my ideas, precisely because I do not have a PDC certificate. With the latter, it would really rest my case, wouldn't it?

I am very well aware of what Bill and Fukuoka did, and what they taught, and how. I have been in contact with the people after them. The problem is: No one after them is A Bill or A Fukuoka. Do we really need more 'Permaculturists' or 'Natural Farmers', or do we need more "Bills" and "Fukuoka's"

I personally had several run-ins with PDC-graduates. A few even advised me to plant Black Sapote, and other species for a food forest (using the exact sequence of species as listed in a popular publication). I got very enthusiastic, and asked if they had Black Sapote seedlings for me. Answer: No, they did not have this tree on the property. Upon further probing, they never even seen a Black Sapote tree.

I think the idea of teaching is noble and based on a genuine desire for goodness. But I severely doubt its effectiveness to truly change our relationships to the ourselves and the planet.


> From: Scott Pittman <scott at permaculture.org>
> Actually it equates to educate all who have been
> indoctrinated in the
> current educational system.  Who in most cases are
> totally ignorant of
> biological processes and ecological systems, let alone
> systems thinking, or
> pattern literacy.
> It was a combination of Bill being very well educated plus
> his observations
> and experience plus intellectual collaboration with many who
> preceded him
> like Odum.
> Masanobu Fukuoka was a plant geneticist who worked for the
> Japanese
> government before he inherited his farm and started with his
> system of
> farming.  He also was preceded by generations of Asian
> farmers who informed
> his own methods.
> Actually Bill Mollison and Fukuoka educated hundreds of
> students in their
> methodology and taught observation skills to all their
> students.  If you
> don't know this then you have not been a good student of
> their writings let
> alone their classes.
> It seems to me you yourself are referring to the "ignorant
> masses" with your
> last paragraph, and I have to disagree with your premise and
> your conclusion
> regarding permaculture education.  It has been taught
> since the beginning of
> the '80's and there are tens of thousands of students now
> practicing around
> the world and if anything they are responsible for a slight
> uphill movement.
> You remind me of so many people I have met who say they have
> always done
> permaculture and just didn't have a name for it - generally
> they are
> speaking of organic gardening not permaculture.
> Scott
> "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
> On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."
> ~Arundhati Roy

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