PDC – Week 7

This week’s PDC was back at FERN with a session on designing for disaster (fire, flood) in the morning with Greg Knibbs  and an afternoon session on permaculture in community including alternative economic systems (LETS, share registries, gift cultures, collectives/co-ops, etc). We also made a little more headway on coming to agreement on and finalising the permablitz site design which is coming up soon.

Debate become a little heated when discussing “the evils of money”. Of course, I couldn’t help myself and stoked the fire a little bit by playing devil’s advocate (just call me Capitalist Joe), which got a few people riled up. Unfortunately but understandably, the conversation was nipped in the bud but I would happily have debated the subject further.

I just find it amusing (or should i say bemusing) that some people can be so black or white about a subject, professing to HATE money (while obviously needing and using it) and vehemently disagreeing that money can be useful, can be used for good and, like it or not, greases the wheels of just about everything. I think i can safely say that it’s impossible to live in a country like Australia without it. So while I agree with the sentiment of promoting alternative economic systems like LETS, bartering, gift culture, community share etc, I think you need to be realistic about life as it currently stands. Personally, I’m not going to waste my energy railing against the system and getting upset about all the “capitalist bastards” out there (because I am one) but rather put my energy towards trying to do some good in the community by helping to generate and support alternatives and options. It’s a bit like Bill Mollison (the co-founder of permaculture) who was so upset with the way the world was that he lived like a hermit in self-imposed exile for a number of years. However, he eventually realised that hating the world and going underground wouldn’t make it better so he  actually DID something to change what he saw was wrong – he developed permaculture…what a remarkable and worthwhile achievement.

The permablitz on 15 October marks the end of the course which I am a bit sad about. The PDC has been something to look forward to each week; a time to re-engage my brain and do something just for myself. I know Jeff will be relieved to have me back on deck on Saturday though.

There is an accredited Certificate III Permaculture course being offered soon which I am interested in. It’s run in a workshop format; 13 workshops over a year or so on weekends. So it’s doable, I just have to decide if I want to keep going. I think I probably will. If this is going to be a new career path for me, I feel like i need to swat up. The more i learn, the more i feel i don’t know. Same old story i guess. The Cert 3 course is supposed to be really practical and puts into practice all that we’ve learnt in the PDC. Plus it’s an actual accreditation, i.e. a piece of paper should i need it down the track.