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Horticulture degrees & Permaculture

Ks Mama11


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 9
I have been seriously thinking of going back to school (mom of 4) to get a degree in horticulture, hopefully open my own greenhouse someday,something along those lines. I just recently discovered permaculture & am so excited by the concept.  Any tips about what I could do, what courses to take ,etc., that would help spread the idea of permaculture? I think there is enormous potential here in the midwest & would love to see it catch on here.
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 704
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  22
If the education is what your looking for than I think the most immediate and practical way of learning about horticulture and permaculture is to get good books, go to a summer course, and/or join forums and blogs.  I think a degree in permaculture is impractical because the extreme scarcity of a job requiring that degree.  A more applicable degree which dips into horticulture and permaculture would be agricultural science or bio-engineering. Because what you are asking for is very specific educationally, I don't believe you would find a college degree to either.


Those who hammer their swords into plows will plow for those who don't!
Ak Dave


Joined: Nov 17, 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Alameda, CA
Does your state have a 'Master Gardner' Program?
Ks Mama11


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 9
Yes it does, but the classes begin here in September,about the time I want to start taking the horticulture classes at the CC.
Ak Dave


Joined: Nov 17, 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Alameda, CA
Are  you looking at an MA, BS, AA, or Certificate?
AkDave
Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 839
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  12
To run your own plant production you would likely want to work for someone who is doing that work.  The education you need for hort can largely be had through motivated self instruction.  Obtain the reading lists for the classes you are interested in in advance so you can find textbooks cheap on-line.  A college credential may or may not be useful for getting into a horticultural profession.  A college credential CAN be essential for other ventures.  Therefor maybe you want a credential that supports a hort career, but perhaps provides other functions.  Could be a business focus, could be a science focus, could be something else.  Keeping your college credential flexible allows you to represent it different ways for different hiring processes.  Consider informational interviews with hort business owners you respect (and might want to work for), and ask them what kind of training they think you should have (and build your network) and who they recommend you talk to. 


Paul Cereghino- Stewardship Institute
Maritime Temperate Coniferous Rainforest - Mild Wet Winter, Dry Summer
Ks Mama11


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 9
Dave , would love to go for at least a BS, but it may take years, w/ the kids. My youngest (3)  has cerebral palsy, so my time is limited that I will be able to go to class & study. I seem to have 2 green thumbs, & have been obsessed w/ growing things & nature since I was a toddler, and really hope to make a career of it , & also do my part to help the earth & etc.
I am so excited to (YESTERDAY!) learn about permaculture, & hope to learn all that I can, & eventually help others learn about it. I already practice a lot of the same concepts, & am looking forward to learning more about it all.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 943
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
If your goal is to have your own business, you don't need the credentials, you 'just' need the education.  You can get that yourself -- and build a tremendous library -- for far less than the cost of a college education!  Read everything you can get your hands on (don't just read it, study it as if you really were taking a college course).  Watch videos (lots of stuff on youtube).  Read this and other forums and ask lots of questions (that's your classroom participation).  And probably most important, apprentice.  If you can't find anyone with permaculture skills in your area, then hook up with the Master Gardeners and pick their brains, take their courses.  You can use what you learn there in permaculture, too. 

Kathleen
Ak Dave


Joined: Nov 17, 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Alameda, CA
Well said, Kathleen! The major textbook in the Horticulture class I am now taking at the J.C. is the text for the Master Gardner's course that I hope to be accepted in next year. Here in CA the MG program is almost free (except for the text and forty hours of indentured service). Since KsMama can't take the M.G. program 'till next year anyway, she might as well be taking something that will make her more hireable, so she can begin that apprenticeship. Then she can get some dirt under those fingernails and money in the pocket ASAP! That said, I still think it important that she have something that establishes that she has completed a program that touches all of the bases in an organized manner.

I remember how it was, going to college with four kids at home. It was no picnic, but it was worth it.
Ks Mama11


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 9
Kathleen  -
Yes, I have been doing that, but thinking I might like to also get the added education that the college can provide, as well as maybe work for a few years before I strike out on my own. I  do qualify for financial aid, so the schooling will be paid for, as I am not working due to my son, & my husband doesn't make very much.  I want (need) the degree, as I may be looking at supporting my children on my own in the future.
I have learned SO much online already, you are so right, forums like these are a wealth of information!!  I am an avid reader,  I also have been watching a lot of Youtube, & would love to be pointed towards more!
 
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 943
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
AkDave wrote:
Well said, Kathleen! The major textbook in the Horticulture class I am now taking at the J.C. is the text for the Master Gardner's course that I hope to be accepted in next year. Here in CA the MG program is almost free (except for the text and forty hours of indentured service). Since KsMama can't take the M.G. program 'till next year anyway, she might as well be taking something that will make her more hireable, so she can begin that apprenticeship. Then she can get some dirt under those fingernails and money in the pocket ASAP! That said, I still think it important that she have something that establishes that she has completed a program that touches all of the bases in an organized manner.

I remember how it was, going to college with four kids at home. It was no picnic, but it was worth it.



Yes.  My mother went to college with five children at home, and she was raising us alone!  Used to lock herself into the bathroom (the ONLY bathroom) so she could have some peace and quiet to study!

Kathleen
Ks Mama11


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 9
Opps Dave you posted while I was still typing!  Well, if something happens that I am not able to start at the JC next fall, I hope to be able to start the Master Gardener's course, so I guess I need to check into that as well! Glad you gave me the idea! 
  So you did the kids/college thing,too? My oldest is 23, & on his own of course, & the others are a girl 15, & 2 boys,  7 & 3.  I grew up in the country, & never feel as alive as when I am out in nature.  AT 40, this is a late start, but I have been digging in the dirt or as long as I can remember, & it's always been my dream to have my own greenhouse, or helping others w/ landscaping, creating gardens,etc.

Would really love to hear any & all tips you have ,since you are taking classes that I hope to be soon! Thanks so much!
Ks Mama11


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 9
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Yes.  My mother went to college with five children at home, and she was raising us alone!  Used to lock herself into the bathroom (the ONLY bathroom) so she could have some peace and quiet to study!

Kathleen


Ha ha ha haa...I do that!!! I pile my books up on the sink, & steal a sentence, maybe a paragraph or two  if I'm lucky, in the bathroom!
Metta GDD


Joined: Apr 25, 2011
Posts: 2
KsMama11, Dave and Kathleen,

Great conversation and KsMama11 I hope your coursework is going well for you in the Master Gardner's program. Gaia University also offers a Bachelor and Masters in Integrative Ecosocial Design with Permaculture study being a major component. You can also visit http://bit.ly/hRP9q0 to view more than 60 programs, workshops, courses and certificates in Permaculture, too!


Co-Founder
http://www.GreenDegreeDirectory.com
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  I remember someone saying permacullture courses are accepted at some universities, so get in touch with the Bill Mollison, Hugh Lawton lot and ask about it.
the advantage of a university is that it would make it easier to get a job advicing others i suppose, which gives you an alternative to running you own business.
  Lots of the permaculture lot seem to be teaching with no formal education on horticulture, though Bill Mollison himself got a university degree in agriculture or some such, it is after all easy enough though time consuming to study one self easier as an adult than as a youth.

    I think locking yourself in the bathroom to read dependes more on how much time you feel you ought to give to the children than on anything else and if there weren't allsorts of ways of bringing up children i think the world would lack people of different talents.  Very coddled children come out one way and very uncoddled ones another and their different talents are all maybe usefull, though if you want success for your children they need plenty of time to study so you should do the house work and child minding but who knows how to make them study when you do give them plenty of time, i don't.

  My parents shrugged off a lot of work on to the children, more onto some  than onto others and i am the result, can't spell or punctuate, they said as i did badly at school i could wha tdid it matter some people can argue the hind leg off a donkey as i was bad at written work i shoul dhave been doing less  house work not more. I am getting better at spelling and punctuating now and not rushing through things so that i leave out half the arguement.
      I spent an awfull lot of time cooking and washing up i also iron hung up clothes and took them down and other jobs. My parents were very unreal about studying, they seemed to think you could fit it into short spaces of time or they said i went out, so obviously i  had time to wash up and cook. It was bad for formal studies but my mother read an awful lot herseflf and passed on a lot of information to me and that is why I am good at somethings and i did read a lot, so win some lose some. What makes me cross is they got me to do so much house work and then called me lazy for doing badly at school. Cross enough to talk about it  here. On top of doing a lot of the menial work keeping up standards because your children help you to keep them up, reeally complicated meals, i got done down as lazy. Till women are paid a good wage for house work that will go on happening though i should think it can happen in any feild.
  The worst thing about my childhood and work is that my parents thought you could do everything in a flash, and when they weren't beign unreal about how long things took they were doing what lots do to persuade you to do what ever job it is they want done pretendign it is less arduouse than it is, as they wanted me to hang up the clothes iron or whatever, they always said it just took a minute or two. If you want people to work well you should make them real about how long each job takes so they are not always cross with themselves for doing so little in half an hour when really they have done all they could, being real about how long each job takes makes you work happily and proudly with a sense of having been good and responsible and feeling good about what you do helps you to work well and to be happy. this subject makes me a bit sad.
  If you use the trick a lot of people seem to use, of saying just do this and that for me it only takes you two minutes, you will educate people who will do jobs for anyone without asking for any sort of recognition, who others can manipulate, though it may seems to the parents they are just teaching you to be good. When my husband, before we married, got me to do a lot for him and would never do anything for me or recognise anything i had done, i was quite willing to do everything and then have others call me lazy into the bargain, that just seemed normal to me, so i did not get out as i should have done. It is not healthy not to ask for a return for what you do it makes others spoilt, it was not healthy for him to be able to do as he pleased with me nor was it good for me, i got so unhappy, though i just thought ¡t was  that a relationship was so i thought beign unhappy was not too worrying, but if you get that unhappy however determnined you are to go  through with the relationship, everytime another man is nice to you you fall for them, it does not  happen very often when you are in a relationship you are not given much oportunity to be with others. agri rose macaskie.
      I would have thought the easiest way to learn to run a business is to get a job in a nursery garden or shop or some such, you need to get a feel of how selling a bit every day really does bring in the dollars. rose macaskie.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 94
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
rose macaskie wrote:
  I remember someone saying permacullture courses are accepted at some universities,

http://www.beaverstatepermaculture.com/events/permaculture-design-course-1
http://www.midwestpermaculture.com/PDC-UWRF-March2011.php

I am the first generation of my family to grow up on the grid eating out of the super market. I hope to be the last.
anndelise McCoy


Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 25
Location: near Bellingham WA
Also keep an eye out for upside-down degrees.
In this type of degree, they take your work experiences and other trainings, apply a creditation to it, then you take the typical general ed courses, and you get a bs/ba degree in whatever your field of work/experience was in.


Dealing w/ less than .17 acres, mostly shady, sun blocked by trees, annoying by-laws, about 1/3 of land covered by house and sheds, and very very minimal finances and labor options.  Time to get creative!
Mary James


Joined: Mar 18, 2011
Posts: 136
Location: NW MT zone 4/5
    
    1
I guess I am going to kind of pass along the same as above.I did the MG program, I attended a few years of hort classes, I studied a bit of landscape architect,,,I found out something about myself and the knowledge that I had from experience.. All these classes did not even touch on the knowledge I had from my years of experience from hands on..As a matter of fact I was informed I was wasting my time attending some of them unless I really needed the "degree"
 My suggestion, read of course,, but hands on in your local area is a must.If you need more experience find some you can work with part time.With children especially a CP child the time factors are important.We have a 12 year old grandson with CP and they take much more time then children with out the challenge.However you can help them grow in amazing ways by having them out in the gardens with you.We have ours handicap accessed and the works so he is a part of it all.
Learn that gardening is  your grounding point and a wonderful way to share with your children.For years I ran my own organic greenhouse, and 1.5 acres of vege gardens, 5 acres of flower beds , an acre of fruit trees landscape design and installment..Just by having the hands on you grow in ways that are not possible through the books, talks and lectures..
 My children and grandchildren are all a part of the gardening world for me.The gardens we share as a teaching garden are memorial garden to our son who died 2 years ago.He was a huge helper in the gardens and greenhouse through his lifetime.'
I guess what I am saying is that those who utilize my talents do not ask about my pieces of paper after they see my gardens..My work stands alone with out the need for that piece of paper or reading off my credentials.
 I hope you can  find your way to what your searching for in this busy world..Just remember that degrees and classes are nothing with out hands on..And experience itself is what helps to build your reputation.So start working on hands as much as possible..The rest will follow

Hugs,Laughter,Light,Love
 Mary
 


of the
Happy House
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
gosh happy house your posting made me feel sad.
      would it be the same advice on universities for everyone, are some people much better at gettign all the hands on bits done than others, would everyone make a success of making the garden? It takes me a long time to pick up new skills. I have a friend who goes at thigns in a very all out sort of way and i am inclined to doubt and hesitat and fear at least til i get better at somethign so it would take me ages to get employed because anyone like my garden. agri rose macaskie.
 
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