I feel there are people making a profit with Permaculture but you must define profit. Do you define it as what is left after you pay the bills that are required? Most permies from what I see are making a lifestyle choice rather than a business. My case it is a lifestyle choice out of fear of peak oil, future job loss or what have you. I grew up at the tail end of my family being permaculuturlist with out knowing it. We gleaned much of our food from the forest and grew gardens. If some one was hurt and could not work then a simple care package out of the cellar was arranged from everyone’s excess and the canning jars returned after the product was used.
The laws and regulations are stacked against the small time producer. I can not buy raw milk in the state of WV to make my own cheese. I can not go partners with someone one a cow and we split the fresh milk according to the law.
According to the USDA a family of four living very conservative will spend over $600 a month on food. So let’s break down profit. One household eliminates one job. The former bread winner devotes a full time project to feeding the household.
Two kids so we are starting with a base of 600 now throw in day care expenses saved. $300 plus a month for two kids. We are up to 900. One other car is another $500 or so. So now we are up to $1400 a month. Depending on where one lives the total taxes on income could easily top 50% so the real replacement value of income is $2800 a month.
So the value of Permaculture to a family could easily top 30k a year with out ever selling a thing. Do some home made soaps, preserves, eggs or any other small money making endeavor then the profit defiantly comes through.