Recently, a gentleman suggested to me that permaculture was too important to make money from it. But in my response I disagreed because it would basically negate the second principle, Catch and Store Energy. When energy is expended by teaching or consulting, both which take a tremendous amount of energy, and there is no reward, or replenishment of that energy, with a surplus (known as profit) then there is no yield. Having no yield, besides being unsustainable, goes against the second ethic ‘Care for People”. Remember, the self are people too! You must first take care of yourself to be able to have the energy to create a permaculture farm, school or consulting business.
In writing the permaculture principles, David Holgren, Co-Founder of Permaculture wrote “A yield, profit, or income functions as a reward that encourages, maintains and/or replicates the system that generated the yield”.
“But you teachers make a killing teaching permaculture!” How many permaculture teachers do you see driving BMWs? None! That also goes for most other teachers. I also teach English and own an English language Center in Vietnam. I have yet to make a profit on it, never mind afford to even own a Scooter!
But the ethics ensure that we are not driving around in BMWs. The third ethic, Fair Share” is for setting limits to consumption.
David Holgren states it succinctly, “This principle reminds us that we should design any system to provide for self reliance at all levels (including personal), by using captured and stored energy effectively to maintain the system and capture more energy” (Emphasis mine)
How do you obtain a yield?