Over the last 7-plus years, Becky and I and our Midwest Permaculture team have hosted 49 PDC Courses. Course #49 graduated today (July 13, 2014) and with it our 1000th student earned their PDC Certificate.
As most of you know, Midwest Permaculture was started on a shoestring with the belief that permaculture was an ethical-based design tool that could be applied to most challenges facing us in the 21st century. We felt that this brilliant approach to creating security and abundance on our planet needed to be shared with the larger culture.
When we first started offering PDC courses in 2006-2007, there were only a handful of other courses, books and videos offered in the entire US. Today, there is a bountiful abundance of all including a growing number of experienced permaculturists sharing their wisdom, design skills and teaching abilities. This is really good news.
In 2004 we offered our first workshop on the subject of permaculture at the MREA Energy Fair up in Custer, WI. The fair offers over 200 workshops on sustainable topics over a three-day period each year. Since then the number of permaculture workshops has risen. This year we counted over 30 permaculture workshops listed and over half of those were offered by us or by graduates of ours. This is really good news as well.
Though the word ‘permaculture’ is not a household word yet, it is becoming more known in the greater culture. There are mainstream horticulturists, gardeners and farmers who are starting to embrace permaculture thinking and designing as a clear alternative to many of the established methods of growing. The results of permaculturally designed plant systems are providing demonstrative yields without pollution and degradation to soil and land.
At a recent PDC course we taught up in Prescott, WI, we had 3 people who had earned their PhD’s and another 3 with their Masters Degree. We also had householders, retirees, college students, teachers and a motorcycle mechanic. All got along beautifully and enjoyed their training immensely.
Permaculture is the great equalizing language that cuts across so many divisions in our culture. If you are a person that cares about other people, about the condition of our planet, and about the future, then it matters little the reasons or the way you have come to those values.
In the same course we can have students of opposite political and religious views, different ethnic, social and economic backgrounds, and people of all ages. Together we quickly find the common ground of what it is we need to do to live abundantly well while also leaving the planet in better condition than when we arrived on it.
At the Prescott PDC Course we had a young father who asked if his wife and new baby daughter could join us. Certainly. Penny’s mom would whisk her up if she started to get noisy but otherwise she was a very welcomed part of the training. Everyone felt Penny added a valuable dimension to the course. I was not able to grant her a PDC Certificate as she slept through almost all of my lectures (if you can believe that) but I very much hope to see her in a future PDC Course in about 15 years. I expect to be here.
Cheers…. Bill Wilson