Monday, January 19, 2015

Ethical Abundance Permaculture Design

As I mentioned in last Monday's post, I'm working on starting a permaculture design firm that will serve the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Portland.  I'm planning on naming that business something like the title of this post, and offering permaculture design for properties as small as urban lots, and as large as 40+ acres.  Once I get an office location outside of my home, I also plan to retail select tools, books, and implementation services.

Eventually I'd like to branch out into having an officially licensed and contracted landscaping division, an educational department, and perhaps a larger piece of property which will serve as community farm, demonstration site, employee and family housing (for those who are interested), and educational campus.  As my company grows, so will the permaculture industry in the "west of the cascades" Pacific Northwest.  I envision local designers travelling small distances to their projects, which consist of as many as 6 or 8 neighboring families in some cases, or one 40 acre farm in other cases, or just an urban lot in yet other cases.  I envision those designers being not only permaculture certified, but also skilled handy-people with actual training in the arts and crafts of homestead living, such as carpentry, earthworks, electrical installation, plumbing, and other such trades.  Obviously not every designer will know all of these trades, but each designer should know at least one.

I want to develop guilds of these designers, all with permaculture knowledge, but each with knowledge in complementary areas of craft, such that a carpenter, plumber, and earthworker (or not these, but several others... guilds can be unique and will probably "evolve" over time) are coordinating on a project and working with the site owner to develop and implement an awesome permaculture design on their landscape.  My aforementioned design firm that includes education, demonstration site, training center, etc. will serve as a resource hub as well that can help connect these designers to each other and to their clients.

As it may seem, these thoughts are still rather fluid and the final form of my design firm may look rather different, from start to finish.  But I often find that my fluid thoughts are helped to coagulate by writing them down, and I can often find a jumping off point once I've read, reread, and gotten some feedback about the brainstormy ideas.  So what do you think?  Are there enough people in this world interested in getting permaculture into their backyards to support a local industry?  Is it possible to start a small business that grows and expands to include schools, tradeschools, networks, and a community of many other small businesses all doing much the same thing?  Specializations can develop, regulations can be loosened to include more ecological thinking, and the world can become slightly better all the time.  Is it possible?  I want to start trying, and any feedback you have would be awesomely appreciated.

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