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Paul sits back down with Eliot to continue where they left off on the subject of gardening verses farming.

If you’re planning on running a permaculture farm, Paul recommends following Richard Perkins because Paul far prefers to have gardens that he can tend himself.  Having a farm of any noteworthy size means having assistants – paid, mechanical, or otherwise.  One could make a communal “farm” composed of a group of individual gardens that more or less do their own thing without being subject to a head farmer calling shots, but that needs a community to be set up and communities can be fickle things as Eliot has found out.  He has been getting good people via a site called Friends of Family Farmers of Oregon, which can sorta be summarised as “farmer dating”, but if SKIP can become a thing, being able to say “I’m PEP-1 certified and need a place to get PEP-2” would be a fantastic tool to weed out people that just say words to get in.

In regards to situations like Sean’s in podcast 574, Eliot’s advice is to always leave and “intern” at various permaculture places to get experience and then decide if continuing down the permaculture path is right for them.  If it is, then they’ll have the experience needed to pick out a good property before spending it all on a potentially bad one.  Paul’s is to stay and go as far into PEP-4 certified, at which point they’ll have a choice pick of various properties that an OTIS would be willing to will to them, or even just stick around on their current plot as by that point it’ll be spiffed out the wazoo with the aforementioned OTIS safety net.  To put it another way, the SKIP and PEP programs are a measure of “human capitol”, as economists would put it.

Relevant Threads

Friends of Family Farmers website

Richard Perkins' website


Podcast 574 - Should Sean Stay?

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