Geoff Lawton: Permaculture & The Tipping Point

In quite an insightful speech, Geoff Lawton talks about what it will take to get Permaculture to the tipping point. The point where the masses start to adopt it.

Filmed at the PermacultureVoices 2014 Conference, Geoff takes his audience through a 30 plus year journey of his involvement with Permaculture. From the early days of still and slide cameras to the social media network.

For more information about the PermacultureVoices Conference and to register for the 2015 conference, visit:

www.permaculturevoices.com/info

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41 thoughts on “Geoff Lawton: Permaculture & The Tipping Point

  1. Such an excellent and candid perspective, driven from true conscience, fearlessness, urgency, and a spirit of risk. Exactly what is needed to make this discipline the status quo. Thank you for this!

  2. Ownership of the land can be a solution combined with the permaculture information.
    75% of the land is owned by governments that actually destroy the land cut the forest and prize themselves with the money they make out of the lumber.

  3. Dear Geoff
    Just watched your tipping point speech and would like to be part of the movement. Thank You
    Sally Neville

  4. The tipping point can not be reached without promoting the lucrativity of permaculture. Sure people want to save the world but the necessary motivation to take action just isn’t there for most people. We people are greedy and are more motivated by money than saving our planet. The answer is simple, we need to attract investors, we have to pitch large scale ideas to investors all over the world, especially in Silicon Valley where there is a current agriculture tech start up craze at the moment.

    Also, many people like myself who have interests in pemaculture and are willing to commit our lives to the practice have no idea how to monetize a simple permaculture related business.

    This is the main problem for me. I want to get involved but am not sure how I can make the transition from my current job to something simple related to permaculture that pays just as well. There needs to be a definitive course or two on how to make good money with permaculture and than once that’s established niche courses will drastically expand the outreach, but it’s important to have pilot projects displayed online and offline. An association for permaculture entrepreneurs needs to be established as well.

    1. Hey dan,

      You are exactly right. For most people, they find that change of lifestyle, and accompanying attitude changes, create a more simple life that costs far less, so there is no need to earn as much as before.

      We have started a group called Mekong sustainable farming forum, which is aimed at precisely the entrepreneurs you were speaking of, namely family farmers.
      https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mekongfarm

      1. David, sure someone who wants to live the permaculture lifestyle can live off of less than over consuming city folks but for those people with serious ambition who want to see real change in the world before the shit hits the fan; money is essential, with money you can buy energy, the energy necessary for the revolution behind the tipping point.

        1. Yes money is essential. But if you compare the costs of living a city lifestyle with a country lifestyle, then we see the immense difference.
          Rent for one – to rent a house in the countryside costs a fraction of renting in the city. Food is also cheaper, and there are less money-grabbing attractions around, so far less money is required. There is no need to think in terms of making the same money. There could possibly be more surplus with just a half the income. This surplus could then be invested in whatever takes your fancy. But if you wait for an opportunity that provides the same income, you may as well forget it – it will never happen.

    2. Maybe there doesn’t have to be money involved? Maybe someone can say to themselves “I’ll be the change I want to see in the world – it can begin with me”.

  5. To reach the tipping point and get mass appeal, you sorta need to introduce folks into the movement using a much more focused approach. Moreover, instead of looking to everyone to “save the world”, have them start with “saving their little part of the world”. Then help them do that (show them how to grow a garden – with perennials, annuals and orchards) without the need of chemicals or huge amounts of water. Once people start fixing their part of the world, they start to want to explore, expand and learn more. Let me elaborate.

    I came to learn more about Permaculture mostly due to Youtube. At first… I mostly ignored all of it. The focus was about principles of ethics… about a community based solution. I honestly did not care about this “big picture”. There is no community here that honestly gives a shit! (sorry for the language). Moreover, my personal world was a mess at the time. We had 3 very young children with serious food/chemical sensitivities. My wife and I had both long term battles with auto-immune. Our long and exhausting research led to understanding the poisonous nature of our modern food/medical/chemical system. We really got depressed. Our pediatricians had no problems with simply prescribing “medicines” with a list of side effects that are worse than the problem, to cope! Learning that you have been poisoning yourself over the course of your life is one thing. Learning that we were poisoning our children is what made us act. What really infuriated us is that our investigation showed that “organic foods” often is simply a USDA rubber stamp system (very much a joke). Buying more expensive “organic” foods really was not that much a better option. That said, I grew up with European parents that always grew a small summer garden with a few fruit trees, berries, grapes in the yard. I decided… I’m going to do this myself… but, at a larger scale. I wanted a lot more self sufficiency. Moreover, I wanted to learn to grow food without the use of ANY chemicals. Basically do this garden right – for the family.

    We decided to move a bit further out from the suburbs into what I call the x-burbs. Higher end homes sitting on 2 acre lots with really great schools. It meant going further into debt. But, with the extra land we could start growing out own foods and the better schools means my wife did not nag me about “private schools”. That is exactly what we did. We learned about this one hidden community near us, and found a very nice place to buy. The yard was all bermuda grass (and some poison ivy). But, it was an empty canvas. The back of the property (facing West), had large (60 ft) established trees on the perimeter. This was nice as it gave shade at the hottest part of the day (as the sun was setting).

    I immediately placed an order for 80 bare root fruit trees from Van Well nursery (great prices). We wanted a mix garden/orchard with as large a variety of fruits and veggies would could think of. I started to prepare the beds for the trees that would be soon shipped. But, the soil here was horrible. So, spent a nice chunk of money on a truck load of solid amendments (sand, gravel, manure, compost) which I tilled into the clay (using a hand Mantis Tiller). I spent more money on the damn soil amendments than on the trees!!! First mistake in this journey… (one of many).

    When the trees came, I planted them, and cut them at knee hight as the nurseries recommended (another questionable practice for me now) … Soon, summer came and the heat! My watering bill was crazy ($400 in July alone). We had very little rain all spring and summer. The trees only had a very thin later of mulch on them. I decided to investigate what can I do about reducing our dependence on water. We had a few roof capture water barrels (those 80 gallon ones). But, hand watering 80 trees is simply too time consuming. Moreover, even these need to get refilled with rain (which did not come). I had to come up with something better…

    This is when I started researching water independence for a garden. Sadly, this was also my first mis-exposure to “Permaculture”. The first thing I heard was that “Permaculture” is not about gardening, it’s a set of principles, ethics… I did not care… I needed solutions for my garden problems. I did not realize, that had I listened 2 hours further into the lecture, I could pick up on some very useful “tips”. Instead, I found a link to http://www.backtoedenfilm.com . Please Note: I’m not Christian (movie throws a lot of Biblical quotes). But, this simple FREE movies changed our lives forever. For the non-believers – just replace God for “mother earth”. It does not matter. The point is that this man solved the problem I was facing with far less yearly rain than I get. For this, I am forever grateful to Paul Gautschi. It was, to me, the first introduction to looking to nature for our salvation. It completely changed the way I look at everything.

    After this movie, I started to want to learn more about how nature really works… how I can incorporate more and more of nature’s truly amazing tools into building the most abundant backyard garden/orchard ever. This led me to see every Bill Mollison video I can find (you too Jeff). The man was simply a genius. He too changed my world in ways I cannot begin to describe.

    I’m starting year 2 in this journey. The back yard now has 200 fruit trees (tons of berries, grapes, passionfruit, even banana and cherry trees (which Texas A&M says can’t grow in my zone), tons of hugelkulture beds for our veggies, my own apiary… and my water bill for the whole property (including home use) has never exceeded $50 a month. That is better than when I was living on an 1/4 acre lot before. I don’t have a PDC… nor do I care to get one. My goal is leave my world a better place for my children. I work on my garden daily… It’s my church, my gym, my sanctuary…

    When people visit to my garden (people love it)… I tell them about Permaculture, about Garden of Eden movie. Most importantly, I let them try the food. The most common comment I get is that they have never, ever tasted foods as flavorful in their entire lives. My food is ALIVE. The soil is ALIVE.

    Here is why I believe to reach the tipping point… Permaculture needs to radically focus and help people with their first step: Their food. Why?

    1) I will, nor will most people ever build my own Earthship home. I can’t build a compost heater, or a rocket stove. Would love too. But, zoning, regulations, etc… too big a battle for a single family who is simply trying to fix their own little part of the world.

    2) You may not realize it. But, most people today are sick. Cancer is going to affect 1 in 2 people. Children are subjected to chemicals, foods (if you want to call them that), and other poisons in their environments. Parents are waking up to this. People may not care about big environmental matters like “global warming”. But, they sure give a damn about their children. The problem is that they don’t know what to do. They are overwhelmed.

    Permaculture should be viewed as a “journey”. Some people think that you should take the fast track and take it all in. I suggest that you offer a slow train for the majority of people who are simply awakening to the fact that their world is broken and are overwhelmed by it.

    1. Hi Josh,
      for keeping your family sound take a look at the following documentary (it also has subtitles in English):

      Die 5 Biologischen Naturgesetze – Die Dokumentation (4h11min)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z57uBCcOdvI

      It’s about an 34 year old theory of a german doctor (*1927) who lost his son and discovered due to this horrible event this theory.

  6. So inspiring! thanks Geoff.
    One question about the online PDC: any chance that students who took a physical PDC with an accredited PRI teacher in the past can take the online PDC at a discount price (covering the materials,…)?
    In theory, old students with a certificate should be able to follow the next PDC at a cheaper price, but in practice I paid full price for the 2 others I took (it was worth it though :)
    thanks, and keep posting great videos!

  7. Don’t expect or seek government aid, they don’t like competition.
    Take it to the homeless and those on their uppers and raise their esteem, knowledge, ability to look after themselves. Perhaps every paying PDC student could be given a pass or permission to do their course with a room full of folks, say 10, who could never afford to do the course themselves. Their only commitment is to use what they learn in any way they can.
    I reckon some of the best potential teachers are to be found amongst those in despair.

  8. oops missed one..
    Do a group session pass where a group of folks get to buy the online course collectively and if they want to proceed through to taking the certificate then they pay extra for that. Naturally Geoff wouldn’t be able to answer every single question from such a group but perhaps previous students could be assigned to the group from start to finish only taking things through to Geoff if they feel they are unable to answer or if the group participants have a new question that needs to be shared with a wider pool of knowledge.

  9. Things wouldn’t change much even if all 7 billion people got a PDC by tomorrow.

    Here’s the problem in my opinion.

    Permaculture is still seen as “hippie backyard gardening” and there’s a good reason for that.There’s no commercial scale permaculture farms out there. Farms that produce a decent amount of food to make a living off of. Until we have a a whole bunch of 100+ acre farms showing that p. is a great alternative, I don’t expect much change. I mean think about it.. how can you expect a regular farmer switch to p. if you can’t show ANY examples??
    Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough, but I couldn’t find ANY commercial p. farm yet. Please post links if you know any.

    Education is great and so is backyard gardening, but if we want to make a real impact we must go commercial.
    I’m trying to go commercial with my 5 acres in south Florida right now, if it’s going to work I’m planning to go larger scale and group purchase a 100+ acre farm.

    It’s tough because there’s no advice and no real life examples out there on how to grow high density commercial style, without spraying and synthetic fertilizers.
    There’s no topsoil on my land just sugar-sand and I will NOT wait 10 years to build up the soil from scratch. Planning to bring in hundreds and thousands of tons of mulch from the county landfill and organic matter that other farms and packing houses throw away.
    We’ll see what happens..

    1. Hi Rawbert. Read the book “Regenerative Agriculture” by Mark Shepard. That is a 100 plus acre farm that is profitable using permaculture principles, no chemicals. It’s called New Forest Farm. It would be great if you could do that same. Sounds like you could.

      1. Correction “Restoration Agriculture”. Just found out about this and just finished the book. Out of the box thinking for sure.

      1. Mark Shepard is just beating around the bush.. give us some hard numbers Mark!

        How much is the lease?
        How many man hours you and your crew put in?
        How many people worked on the farm?
        How much you payed them?
        How much you spent on equipment, supplies, fertilizer, etc.
        How much profit you made on how many acres?
        Etc, etc..

        Nobody is answering these question in permaculture circles. No wonder it’s not catching on and still seen as backyard hippie gardening..

        I spent about 10K in the first year, zero return on my 5 acres.. the second year is going to be pretty much the same.. major expense in the first year was a backhoe, second year a dump truck.. lost a couple of hundred trees to flood and frost.. nature is a bitch.. looks like I’m going to spend a few years building up the soil.

    2. Hi Rawbert
      Just wait for some of my new films on this subject. Large profitable permaculture farms and large farms that have failed and not profitable being converted to large permaculture farms that are profitable.
      We also have to realise that you do not need to have a big farm to earn a very good income as it can be quite easy to earn $25 per square meter a year but possible to earn $50 per square meter a year.

      1. Looking forward to see those films Geoff!

        I know we don’t need to have a big farm, but I don’t think we can get the regular farmers to switch over to p. without showing them that p. isn’t just for hippie backyard gardeners, but works on ANY scale.

        I know it works, I just can’t prove it to them! That’s why I say the world needs to see a bunch of 50-100-200 acre p. farms producing 100’s of tons of fruit and veg in a sustainable, affordable and attainable manner.

        What bothers me with the very few larger scale p. farms is that nobody puts out any objective numbers.. people just beat around the bush when asked about money.. like Mark Shepard in that video linked above.

        If my plans work out with the high density planting on my 5 acre lot, that will make enough food to eat and sell to support myself, but I’m a minimalist vegan, I only eat fruit and veg and I shit in a bucket lol.. but other people might want more and if they have the land they can grow more.. they just need to see some real life examples and some objective numbers too.

        1. Hi Rawbert,
          Permaculture does not work on any scale, the landscape and its profiles, which are very relevant to production efficiency. The larger the land the more it needs diversity and way beyond just fruit and vegetables. If you want a good efficient production then animals are going to be needed for nutrient cycles.
          We serve 30,000 meals a year from our kitchen at Zaytuna Farm, and we record all production, all vegetables, fruit, eggs, milk, meat as rabbits, chickens, ducks, fish, goats and cows.
          We mostly do not need farmers in their present form or their land, in fact we can produce the same amount of nutrition globally on 4% of the equivalent area presently used by agriculture in its present global monoculture form, we need production close to populations.
          Monoculture farmers do not what to hear that, of course not. They are basically not needed. Their system is out dated and irrelevant.

          1. Hi Geoff,

            “Permaculture does not work on any scale, the landscape and its profiles, which are very relevant to production efficiency.”
            —> That’s like saying nature doesn’t work on any scale.. what if all my neighbors started to convert to p., then the whole city, the the whole state, then the whole country.. isn’t that what we want as permaculture advocates??

            “The larger the land the more it needs diversity and way beyond just fruit and vegetables.” If you want a good efficient production then animals are going to be needed for nutrient cycles.”
            —>I don’t grow “just” fruits and vegetables, but that’s the main focus, because I gotta eat.. and I gotta make money.
            Domesticated animals are NOT needed for nutrient cycles, Bill Mollison himself said that in his book.

            “We serve 30,000 meals a year from our kitchen at Zaytuna Farm, and we record all production, all vegetables, fruit, eggs, milk, meat as rabbits, chickens, ducks, fish, goats and cows.”
            —>That’s great, but how much did you invest? How many employees & man hours, equipment, etc., profit and loss statements, etc. objective numbers.
            I bet most of the income is from the classes not from the farm production.

            “We mostly do not need farmers in their present form or their land, in fact we can produce the same amount of nutrition globally on 4% of the equivalent area presently used by agriculture in its present global monoculture form, we need production close to populations.
            Monoculture farmers do not what to hear that, of course not. They are basically not needed. Their system is out dated and irrelevant.”
            —>I don’t think we can win over many farmers with this attitude.. Telling people they aren’t needed and irrelevant isn’t going to change them.

            A better approach would be to set an example and show them 100’s of profitable permaculture farms, small to large from 5 acres to 100 acres and beyond.
            Unfortunately up to date I couldn’t find ANY objective numbers from ANY permaculture farms that would show they are feasible and profitable. I’m trying to do that on my 5 acres but after nearly 2 years in I don’t have much to show.. my “profit and loss statement” will remain a “loss statement” for a few more years..

      2. Ok Geoff now you got my attention. $25-$50 gross or net? This is what I’m talking about, once we talk numbers it becomes a potential game changer. Every seasoned investor out there wants to know the precise profit margins before even considering an investment, we need to always emphasize the numbers first to attract the angels.

        Set up a video course for earning $25-$50 per square meter that makes sense to me as a newbie and for my location (Edmonton Canada-Just north of Calgary) and I will buy it off of you in a heart beat.

        1. Dan,
          The $25-$50 must be purely theoretical numbers as I never heard any real world permaculture farmer producing those kinds of numbers.. I’d be very happy if someone could prove me wrong though so I could copy their system!

    3. Hi Rawbert,
      there are at least two big farms, each one the biggest in their country and both situated in desert regions, which rely now on permaculture methods:

      Letters from Jordan – On Consultation at Jordan’s Largest Farm, and Contemplating Transition
      Posted August 6, 2010 by Craig Mackintosh
      The Wadi Rum desert in the south of Jordan happens to be the site of Jordan’s largest mixed farm – Rum Farm. It might, for good reason, seem odd that this beautiful but largely abiotic location would host a large scale farm, let alone Jordan’s largest, but it begins to make sense when you learn that under the Wadi Rum desert (and stretching under the border mountains and well into Saudi Arabia) is a large aquifer.(…) Rum Farm is owned by Astra Farms, who have what is possibly one of the largest mixed farms in the world, in the Tabuk region in the north of Saudi Arabia. To give you an idea of scale, they have 3,000 workers, producing 10,000 tons of grapes per year, 22 million quail per year, and the list goes on with dozens of other crops.
      https://permaculturenews.org/2010/08/06/letters-from-jordan-on-consultation-at-jordans-largest-farm-and-contemplating-transition/

      And the sequel (the proof of the efficiency of permaculture) is here:

      Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)
      Posted December 10, 2013 by Geoff Lawton
      As soon as we got a productive result, the farm management wanted more and faster — thinking only about production out to organic fertilizer in, and not wanting to wait for long-term productive stability. Polytunnel organic crop systems were proposed to intensify and boost production. The polytunnel systems used in dry lands work because they are sheltered from the hot drying winds which increase evaporation — a large proportion of the humidity created inside by irrigation condensates back to the soil and the light is defused and softened, even shaded in Summer when shade cloth is often added to the top.(…) There is also interest in extending the system, which can be done more easily now. Overall I think we have achieved a great result so far, and in an extremely difficult landscape.
      We also have two years of production sales records that verify the system’s commercial viability.
      https://permaculturenews.org/2013/12/10/desert-food-forest-organic-commercial-production-three-years-update-wadi-rum-consultancy/

      1. Staphan,

        “there are at least two big farms, each one the biggest in their country and both situated in desert regions, which rely now on permaculture methods:”

        —> Which two? Definitely not Astra and Rum Farm. Both of those are monocrop farms.
        Geoff did some consulting for Rum and they experimented on 5ha (of the total of 2000ha) for 2-3 years. With not much success I say as I just looked up some recent pictures and they are still spraying and they are still a monocrop farm.
        There wasn’t any mention of any experimentation at Astra so I don’t know why you say two. Rum is owned by Astra it seems but other than the 5ha trial at Rum I didn’t see anything else.

    4. So there are quite a few permaculture farms around. There is one fetured on one of Geoff’s films, I believe it is in Wisconsin. There is also Masanobu Fukuoka (? on spelling) in Japan who had a farm (he has passed) and Sepp Holtzer in Austria who has been doing this for several decades. So there are examples out there. The hitch is that your self reliance doesn’t make me money, so I am not going to advertise it. But your reliance on my product (i.e. herbacide/pestacide/fungicide) makes me money so I will buy up full page adds and minute long commercials to try and convience others to get dependant on it.

      1. “So there are quite a few permaculture farms around.”
        —> Yes but are they feasible? Can they turn a profit? Non of them show us any numbers that would prove they are. Most of them make money via consultations, courses, tours, book sells, etc. not by actually selling food.

        I don’t expect a p. farm to have yields as a fully mechanized modern farm on steroids, but if it can’t produce enough to fully support a family – not just food, but to cover all the expenses – than it’s a failed system.
        And up to date I wasn’t able to find ONE p. farm that would fully support it’s owners and their lifestyle choices.

        1. Dear Rawbert
          There are so many ways I could answer your doubts, lets start with the square meter of production of vegetables which can easily be from $25 to $50 per year. A student of mine in Sydney produces 70kg of food a year on a 20 square meter balcony.
          Integrated diversity that builds soil fertility is the key to permaculture farm and garden design and the diversity of yield that goes with it. Many farms use Permaculture design on quite large scales. Check out http://mullooncreeknaturalfarms.com.au. There is a vast number that are integrating Permaculture design. It is true that there is an enormous enquiry from people to be educated and for consultancy so many successful Permaculture farm enterprises would literally have to lock the gate to keep people out to JUST operate as a farming enterprise only and most feel obliged to help people. It would much more efficient for us here at Zaytuna Farm to run the farm without students, interns and WWOOFers because permanent staff are so much more experienced, skilled and disciplined.
          The marketing of that diversity is the most difficult not the production, and now there are more and more interesting variations of that being developed, check out http://www.organicfarmshare.com which I have been part of since its conception and we are now in 2015 about to roll out globally.
          If you have so much doubt in Permaculture farm design working and making a profit after providing most of the needs of the farming family, you probably need some practical experience yourself, starting with small space gardening.

          1. Dear Geoff,

            What I would like to see is profit and loss statements, not anecdotes. Hard numbers that show the feasibility of permaculture farms.

            Growing food on the balcony is great, but living in a city apartment is quite contrary to permaculture. And it doesn’t answer my questions.

            Mullon Creek doesn’t claim to be a permaculture farm at all. They’re more like a “natural factory farm”/slaughterhouse selling pig, cattle and sheep carcasses.
            They don’t show any numbers on their website and it seems like they are also more focused on tours/classes, etc.

            Organic Farm Share is a nice idea, but again, barely any info on their site and no numbers whatsoever.

            Education is great, I don’t have a problem with you or anybody else providing classes, PDC, etc., but what I don’t see is those 1000’s of students you educated over the years/decades running permaculture farms and producing food on a consistent basis, backed by actual objective hard numbers.

            So the problem is not “my doubt” in p., but the lack of empirical evidence that would validate the claims.
            We cannot even remotely talk about a tipping point until we actually have some evidence and some market share.

            Not having a measurable market share after 4 decades of permaculture education and promotion is an obvious sign that something isn’t working. Can we as the permaculture community be open about it, discuss it, tweak it and make it work? Or we’ll continue chanting that p. is awesome without being able to show measurable results?

            Imagine if we had a few thousand p. farms working tens of thousands of acres, producing food in a profitable manner, on a consistent basis, backed my numbers. Now that would make an impact!
            Instead here we are struggling to find ONE feasible permaculture farm that is self-sustained by actually growing food and can provide profit/loss statements..

        2. I think it’s an incorrect stating point to ask whether ‘Permaculture” is feasible, or whether it can turn a profit. The fact of the matter is that everything else that we are doing now won’t be feasible in the near future and this is greatly due to our conventional notion of “profit.” You cannot have economies without the environment. It is our ultimate capital and all our economic growth is predicated on it, so just business wise it makes little sense to destroy our most vital capital. So once you have established that you have to turn to some alternative, and permaculture or permaculture type thinking (it doesn’t matter what you call it) is the only viable option we have.

          Nevertheless, your concerns are still valid. People are motivated by short term profits and they want to see return. Folks also need to support their families and pay bills. Are there many examples of people meeting ALL their financial needs through quote unquote permaculture? Yes, and no. Depends on how you frame it. Are you referring to people selling veggies from their permaculture designed backdoor garden or 2-acre farm and meeting all their needs? Because if you look at it that way you would be hard pressed to find too many examples. But that is not only not the point of permaculture, but also unreasonable to expect within the current socio-economic paradigm that we live in. This is a pertinent fact to understand and appreciate, and in all honesty it took me a while myself. We are not going to achieve it all over night or even a generation or multiple generations, but what needs to happen is that there are enough people moving in the right direction. If a family farm can meet a good part or some of their financial needs through pc that to me is a success. And like ecological systems we too will need to diversify and seek multiple sources of income to support ourselves, especially in these early stages while we are still developing and experimenting with these systems working in isolation. (pc is not just about food. it encompasses all areas of life so education & consultancy & other services are all very much a part of it)The truth of the matter is most farmers are having difficulty supporting themselves through farming for a variety of factors. The only ones who can stay in business are the big agras, who are subsidized with out tax money (in america). In the third world too where I have worked farmers are some of the poorest people who are barely surviving. So the problem isn’t permaculture. it’s everything else. and we need to work on all fronts to tackle the beast.

  10. Its very interesting to read the comments here and on youtube as well about Geoff’s topic.I left my PDC with Geoff November of 2009 and have been living my purpose ever since FULL TIME Permaculture: Designer/Teacher/Farmer/Business Consultant all from one 72hr PDC. I run a website http://www.permaculturebusinessworld.com sharing my entrepreneurial skills with folks from the USA to Bulgaria, Greece, South America to downtown Sydney Australia and I can keep up with the demand. I’m turning out active Permaculture Business people who have found there purpose in life. They have shopped telling them selves the BS stories as to why they can leave there JOB (Just Over Broke). Jobs for which support there permaculture hobby. This poverty mentality!! As a designer I am engaged to design abundantly productive systems. Our business systems must be the same. I don’t get this crap about, living in the country and its cheaper. Try living in Australia , I can tell you its not!
    @ Dan, your on the right track. If you would like to make the effort to email me I’ll give you access to every bit of information I have written for my online business mentoring course for free. Why? because I’m earning between $100,000 to $120,000 Aus Dollars this year and I did the same PDC as you, and everyone else in the world.
    Now, before I get bombarded with comments please note this: I’m so busy I don’t get involved with long winded rebuttals. If you would like to bash what I have said or congratulate me, please email me, set up a Skype meeting. I offer a free 30min online consult. I’d rather talk in a rational conversation to the bashers than sit behind a keyboard, because I know once they see the power of what I do and the systems I have developed, they become great supporters or they fade off into the matrix and keep them selves and the BS story about why they can’t do anything alive, at a whimper.
    Geoff and I keep in regular contact about this topic, because we both know its so important.
    ps.. I challenge anyone to contact me. Within 10min I’ll have a rock solid business idea and 7 ways to get instant clients with out fail. [email protected] or http://www.permaculturebusinessworld.com

  11. Its a while since I read the book so there may be some serious paraphrasing going on here. The thing about tipping points is that it relates to netwoworks and connectivity. The idea of small worlds networks. The number of teachers is prety much irrelevant.Small worlds networks come about through short circuits across a network. In otherwords its not what you know but who you know. Unless permaculture can infiltrate spheres of influence, no amount of teaching will help. Main stream TV with a well known presenter or getting someone in the whitehouse interested in permaculture for instance. Hubs talk to nodes. The number of hubs is important. These are the people who count. One big connection between hubs is worth thousands of node to node connections.

  12. Thanks Geoff for another great video, I was one of the few students (if not the only one) who took your first PDC course but never sent in the project work – it was a miracle I ever got the course done, with my work load, but it was so so inspiring – and now I’m really glad to be one of the pioneers!

  13. “biodynamic farm”, “organic farm”, and “permaculture farm” tell the tale. “permaculture based farm” is a bit better but not a lot. I do not consider Mark Shepard’s farm to fit the bill. As far as I know, Mark is not part of the mass food production/distribution network. As long as the current reality of having the bulk of our food grown for us continues to exist, we will have the supermarket chain and its need for large, reliable sources of produce. The challenge, as I see it, is to convert that carrot field to a regenerative, soil-building operation that makes a profit while maintaining its current distribution.

    Geoff, is it possible to convert that carrot field? If so, how would you do it? Could you get the same current yield?

  14. Thank you Geoff. I am one of the students from your 2013 online course. It had not been possible up until you offered the option for online study that I could do my PDC.

    I had extensive hands on experience and had been teaching organics and kitchen gardening for years, all the time including permaculture design and theory that I had picked up along the way.

    I had attempted a number of times to attend courses but family commitments needed to come first.

    I was continually hearing about people I had introduced to Permaculture over the years obtain their PDC and going on to teach Permaculture, even sharing their skills world wide.

    So thank you for taking the step to provide the course to the masses. I see an online course as a particularly good option for parents of young children who can not leave their responsibilities to attend a course but can fit an online version around and between their life’s commitments.

    I felt so inspired after listening to Permaculture and The Tipping Point, and thought about what could I do right now that might help expose the wider community to permaculture and allow them to discover this amazing design system.

    I decided to organise at my property a monthly shared lunch and farm tour for the public as a way to reach people who may not have directly come across Permaculture yet and encourage information sharing amongst all.

    My property is 18 months into implementing a Permaculture whole farm design which came about due to a local Permaculture Design Course being hosted at my property. The design is the result of the energy, passion and design skills of 15 amazing people.

    Time to share the fledging design with the masses and let the wider community find out about options of learning more about Permaculture Design and the options available to participate in courses!

    Thank you again, I look forward to the next inspiring video!

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