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[permaculture] Re: Does Permaculture have to be so expensive???
> Dear Friends of Permaculture--
> I have seen course announcements here of some really marvellous courses,
> beautiful places and people-- makes one want to do ALL of them...
> But they all cost near US$1,000 or even much more.
> That is such an incredible amount of money ... Is that a normal price for
> courses in the States?
> Somehow it seems in conflict with the spirit of Permaculture.
Yes, Marsha, that is roughly the going price of a two week intensive
course. I have heard many people talk about how prohibitive it is. I have
passed up many interesting courses because of the price, and I have been
able to afford two courses! (Some teachers suggest that the sacrifice
necessary helps people value the information more. I'm sure many of the
teachers on this list can give many other reasons.) I agree that it seems
to be in some conflict with the general ideas of sharing and spreading the
word, especially in light of talk about how slowly the idea is spreading
and how hard it is get fill a course. I have heard it said many times, "we
need more teachers", but I think lower prices would work better.
So few people seem to "make a living" practicing Permaculture (if you do
not count teaching and related activities). And so, concrete examples of
lifestyles and occupations are scarce (or are they just doing it quietly
and unnoticed?). It seems like a person who is making a living "doing
Permaculture" could teach for free, in that they already make enough money
doing other things. This, to me, would best exemplify the ethics of
Permaculture: someone practicing Permaculture, with obvious hands on
knowledge, who can share it with others. There may still be some expenses
other than teaching, like food, but I never understood why camping was so
expensive. If teaching is a specialized skill and a full time activity, it
should be compensated as one (there are some very talented teachers), but I
am not sure it needs to be, nor should be, ones main source of income. The
costs of other seminars, for things like business, are also expensive, but
the ethics behind them fit the idea of charging the market price.
My two cents worth.
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