Monday was a public holiday and a few of us in central Victoria celebrated by gathering to discuss permaculture education across the region. There were lots of ideas canvassed, but one interesting theme was how to make the Permaculture Design Course more relevant to renters. One of our current PDC students came across with us and presented her view that permaculture sends a strong message that only those with land, or access to it, can have a permaculture lifestyle.
Rowe Morrow, who is visiting the region for a week or so, dropped in on the meeting and her comments about making permaculture relevant to nomads and the landless in developing countries echoed the point about renters.
David Holmgren described how renters are woven into the stories in his upcoming RetroSuburbia book. There was general consensus that long-term renters (as opposed to those who are renting short term before buying land) are not well served by the current PDC syllabus. I wondered whether there should be a PDC just for renters. Wouldn’t the dynamic in the room change if everyone didn’t own land? …and maybe had little prospect of ever doing so. What would our design projects look like? Would we see less landscape-based work and more designs in other domains? It could be a very interesting project. I’m on the plane in four days, though, so I don’t need a new project to keep me busy… might have to ponder on all this while I’m away.
oh, and at the end of the meeting a few of us ended up in Joel’s shed getting excited about a hand-powered milk separator he’s using to extract olive oil. Check it out… 🙂