Monday, January 05, 2015

Plans I Have After Taking a PDC

I signed up for and completed a PDC last year that has shaped my thoughts about my future tremendously.  Although I haven't had much opportunity to write about it because of everything I had going on with buying the house we're now living in, I have come up with several ideas and plans that I think are going to shape my future to a large extend.  Today, I'll share a brief description of each of those ideas as they are now, but I expect they'll continue to grow, evolve, and expand.  At some point in the future, I'll probably extrapolate each topic into it's own post, especially as I flesh these out a little more.

So in escalating order of scale, but not necessarily the order I came up with them in or will implement them in, here are the topics that will shape the future of my permaculture explorations, my business aspirations, my finances, and my Permie Homestead.

My "Personal Permaculture Curriculum"

During the PDC I took last year, I was reading the Permaculture Design Manual along with each chapter of the PDC released.  It was a TON of work, and I admit to falling behind a couple of times, but it was amazing to get the context of the PDC within the framework built for me by reading the corresponding chapter of the Designer's Manual prior to watching the PDC videos.  What Bill wrote and Geoff taught wove together beautifully, and I learned a bunch.  I'd venture to say that anyone who is taking a PDC will come up with a lot of moments when they think "wow, I'm going to have to look into that some more."  If you note these moments of wanting deeper knowledge, you'll be able to go back to them later and expand your knowledge in an area of interest to you.  This is the direction I'm taking my near-future permaculture research.  I think it'll be the beginnings of a curriculum.

I'm going to document this research in the form of blog posts.  If the direction is something useful or of interest to you, my readers, please leave comments about anything catches your attention and makes you want to delve deeper.

Starting a Design and Consultation Firm

What good is a permaculture design certificate if I don't do anything with it?  Sure, I'll be using the knowledge I gained to design my own homestead better than I would have otherwise, but permaculture and ecological design are not meant to be done in a vacuum.  If I want to get the most out of my training, and contribute the most I can to a world in need of ecological thinking, I have to get my hands dirty in the service of others who may not have the time to dedicate to permaculture that I have taken.  Starting a design firm is one of my top priorities after I've gotten some work done on our new place, so that I've got advertising in the form of my own homestead.

Long Term Permaculture Educator Goals

Eventually, I want to expand my design firm to include some permaculture education.  Permaculture classes, design courses, and skills training will all be a part of it.  But I have bigger plans.  Eventually, I'd like to design a permaculture oriented curriculum that is so robust it could nearly be a college alternative.  And I'd like to make it progressively educational as well.  Come study at my "institute" for a year, and you'd be qualified to work as a permaculture landscaper.  2-3 years, and perhaps you're a certified carpenter or earthworker who can build more robust systems with the assistance of a designer.  4 year "degree" and you've learned everything you need to know to build a business of your own that is geared towards making the human ecosystem a more ecological place.  Obviously at this point it's every rough around the edges, but I think an entire educational system can be created around permaculture, and that that alternative educational path will have direct paths to comfortable, earth-enhancing livelihoods.

A Permaculture Industry

I use the word industry here not in irony, or in analogy.  I believe that even the word industry can be reclaimed if it is an industry forged in the ethics of permaculture.  Along with the educational opportunities I envision for permaculture training in many fields, I imagine an entire segment of society beginning the work of permaculture with well-paying jobs as designers, tradespeople, crafters, naturopaths, nurses, permaculture farmers, engineers, infrastructure specialists, and teachers.  The more people that are out there making a living doing things a smarter, healthier, easier permaculture way, the more other people will get interested in how their lives and their jobs can become more fulfilling and meaningful.  The best way to show how the future is permaculture is to show what a tremendous positive impact it will have on your life, along with tremendous positive results for the environment.  If my long term educator goals can be as successful as I plan, I think that together we'll grow an entire industry of people working to make the world a little better, one homestead at a time.

So, those are some brief outlines of the major ideas I have after taking my PDC.  What do you think?  Have you recently gotten your permaculture certification as well?  Do you have any big goals and dreams that it inspired you to?  Please share your thoughts in the comments, and thanks for reading!


  1. For your education aspiration, I'm all for it. Take a look at what Paul Wheaton has talked about in this field;
    Create your own permaculture experience you want your students to be able to do for your clients.

    1. Thanks Doug! I've checked that out on I think I even have a post in that very thread. Paul has great permaculture ideas, and I've learned a lot from him and his forumss

      Tell me more about your permaculture experience. Do you have a Permaculture Design Certificate? If so, how are you expanding your knowledge?