Friday, September 19, 2014

Permaculture Design Certification and Starting a Permaculture Business

I haven't written about it yet, but I received my Permaculture Design Certification from Geoff Lawton last month.  I've been wanting to complete a PDC for as long as I've had this blog, so it's pretty exciting for me to finally be certified.

I mentioned in my last post that I'm thinking about starting a permaculture education center someday.  While that is part of my idea for a permaculture future, it's not the whole thing, or the first thing.  I have some rather big ideas that I'd like to get started on right away when we get settled in Olympia.

First of all, I'm going to start a design business.  One of the most important things that can be done to turn our future around is to get permaculture into as many households as possible, particularly in urban and suburban areas.  I want to charge as little as I can for a design while still being able to keep a business going, so I'm going to work out of my home for a while to keep costs low.  I want to offer group discounts for neighbors who all want to get permaculture into their yards, because it's easier to design for 3 households right next to each other rather than 3 households far apart.  This can also help foster community amongst those neighbors, which is a worthy goal in my opinion.

Once my business gets its feet on the ground and has some traction, I'm going to start teaching classes and workshops.  Eventually, I have interest in becoming a certified permaculture teacher, even though it isn't really required to start teaching PDC's.  I think being a PRI certified teacher will bolster my credibility and the value I can bring to my students.

Once I'm an official teacher and have plenty of workshop experience, I'd like to expand into the actual education sphere, offering young people and alternative to college.  Initially it will probably be a design/technical school of some kind, but if it gains momentum I might someday consider going for accreditation, even though I don't necessarily believe in the merits of that system.  Accreditation would make my school more attractive to people who aren't quite sure about permaculture as a future.

From there, I'd like to work backwards from the college level to the secondary, middle, and elementary school levels, designing permaculture education for young people of all ages.  Part of my vision is to help young people see the world through a permaculture mindset from an early age, helping them interact with the world as an ecosystem rather than something to be exploited or taken from.

Obviously at this stage all of these things are pie-in-the-sky ideas... this blog post is the most formalized way I've described them so far.  But as everything progresses and opportunities open up for me, I look forward to fleshing them out more and more, and getting permaculture into as many brains as I can.

What is your permaculture vision?  What do you think of mine?  Please share your thoughts and feelings with me in the comments!

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