Not Everyone Needs to be a Farmer

Larry Santoyo was a guest teacher at my PDC. He wanted us to understand that not everyone needs to be a farmer. Permaculture is such a huge beast. Because it is mostly taught as a design system for horticultural systems, students tend to be overwhelmed with how much they need to learn. I’m sure many struggle with the question of weather or not they want to learn what is required to be a farmer.

Larry said, “You don’t do Permaculture, you use it in what you do”. It is a decision making frame work for coming up with solutions. The solutions may be how to travel to New York City, how to design a small bio-plastics, or to slowly build a 200 acre food forest.

While listening to the Permaculture Voices podcast the other day, Diego was talking to Joel Salatin, and in the conversation there didn’t appear to be room for people who didn’t want to be farmers. This is a problem that we should stay aware of. (I’m sure both Joel and Diego are aware of this already.)

Yes, we need more young farmers.

Yes, the ecological crisis on our spaceship is bad enough that we need all hands on deck.

No, we don’t need the 99% all producing food.

We need Bio-remediation experts, bio-plastics researchers, greenhouse designers, educators, philosophers, adventurers, musicians, metal workers, and shamans (or priests depending on your personal preference).

So, we don’t all need to be farmers,

What we need is to find out what our gift is at this time, and then how we want to share it with the world. What is your passion, what are you interested in? Dig in, start slow and small. Integrate, and see what happens.

2 thoughts on “Not Everyone Needs to be a Farmer

  1. Milton Dixon

    Exactly! Permaculture is sustainable design for a permanent culture. Who participates in culture? Everyone! Everything we do needs to be refined so that it is beyond “sustainable”, it needs to be regenerative. If it’s just the farmers we’ll still have a major problem with industry, bankers, consumers,etc… And who better to design than the folks in the thick of it.

  2. permaculturesalad Post author

    Thanks for the comment Milton. I agree. PDC graduates are given tools to use the methodology, and they can apply it where they choose. Another thing is that we need to realize that design is a process. Design may never be finished, and should constantly evolve along with new incoming data.


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