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009 – Making the big bucks with permaculture, part 1

Paul recorded a presentation he gave on How to make the big bucks with permaculture in Missoula, Montana. He starts by doing a quick show of hands from the audience with regards to who has what experience. Paul discusses how we can use permaculture to make more money. Paul explains how some people want to compete with commercial food producers like Safeway. He also has some ideas on how to increase the profit growing food. Paul notes that he is not uncomfortable talking about making money.

Next, Paul asks the audience if they know who Larry Corn is? No one knows except Paul. Paul talks about Masanobu Fukuoka. Larry wrote a translation of Fukuoka’s book. Paul explains how Permaculture can be used to improve soil and reduce our dependence on oil. Paul explains how wind rows help increase production by harvesting other crops within the wind rows. Paul reviews the multiple phases of a Permaculture design over several years. Paul reviews a cost comparison with conventional agriculture vs permaculture design. Income vs expense shows permaculture comes out ahead. Harvest cost are typically more expensive with a Permaculture system. In Permaculture design, wildlife is utilized to help with the work. Paul compares how much of the sunlight is utilized in a monoculture versus a poly culture. Mono uses about 30% where Polyculture uses near to 100%. Paul then reviewsSepp Holzer’s farm status and some of his tax problems and ways Sepp works around the system. Sepp prefers to sell animals full grown so he can collect the maximum amount of money for his product.

Paul then discusses types of labor, volunteers vs wwoofers. Training volunteers can be problematic at times. How to manage staff is reviewed. Permaculture seems to attract more volunteers than organic farms. Woofers usually like to be grouped with about six people for social reasons. Paul discusses patterns in Permaculture versus conventional agriculture. Paul says that we need to feed ourselves first. Then we can sell the excess. Fertilizer costs and irrigation costs can make conventional agriculture cost prohibitive. Permaculture can minimize those costs or eliminate those costs. Paul doesn’t like the idea of feeding chicken parts to chickens although he is okay with feeding chicken parts to pigs. Paul then discusses Joel Salatin and Mike Pollan.

Relevant Links
Farm Income Forum
Conventional Ag vs. Permaculture
Is Permaculture Economically Viable?
Permaculture Jobs

Credit: Kevin Murphy

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