Why Permaculture?

Why Should I Charge for Permaculture

As more and more people around the world begin embracing the ethical premise of permaculture design, the concept is offering viable ways for people to make a living while promoting an important, sustainable philosophy. Making a profit off your endeavor into permaculture is a great way to support the development of your own sustainable garden.

The theory of permaculture promotes the ideas of sharing, partnership, and community, but in actual practice, the technique should be valued as much as any other commodity – in order to help grow the movement.

Sell Excess

One of the ethics behind permaculture involves the concept of “fair share,” or providing your neighbors, friends, and surrounding community with excess produce from your sustainable garden. However, giving away the abundant yield from your garden takes away from the value of the product – making people overlook the practice of permaculture as an important and sustainable design concept. To help encourage more people to incorporate the ideas of permaculture into their own gardens, we need to charge for the delicious, organic products we grow.

Think about advertising online, setting up a stand at a farmer’s market, or talking to local restaurants and grocery stores to try and find a place to sell your excess produce. This way, you can still ensure that others get their “fair share” and redistribute your surplus while using the opportunity to encourage people to learn about the permaculture process. And you’ll be able to make a profit from your successful permaculture design, helping you fund future growth to keep your garden running efficiently.

Offer Expertise

As a permaculturist, you have tons of valuable information to share with other gardeners and producers in your area – so market it! You can offer your services as a permaculture design consultant and work with individual clients on their specific spaces, you can lead courses and workshops where you teach larger groups about the premise of permaculture and show them how it can benefit their production, or you can write guides for people looking to embrace the theory of permaculture, passing down your knowledge to give them a bit of a head-start as they incorporate the practice into their own gardens or farms.

Fair Trade Quality Products Matrix Choices Responsible Business

The knowledge you can share about permaculture covers a wide range of topics to help people create their own beautiful, edible landscapes while reducing their carbon footprint, saving them money, and potentially even making a profit off a future permaculture operation. However, you decide to share your information, make sure you charge for it. While it can be tempting to spread the word about permaculture whenever you’re given the opportunity, this information is valuable and important, and people need to understand that so they will take the philosophy seriously.

As a general rule, we don’t attach value to someone or something unless there is a financial commitment. Think about it, when was the last time you took a flyer from someone handing them out on a street corner? Treat permaculture as the worthwhile pursuit that it is by requiring compensation for your efforts – but don’t stop promoting this sustainable design as an important way to protect the earth and ourselves.

For More From: World Wide Permaculture

Website: https://worldwidepermaculture.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldwidepermaculture/

Originally Published: https://worldwidepermaculture.com/why-should-i-charge-for-permaculture/


  1. Intriguing perspective I haven’t considered, but there is no reason permaculture cannot be a service skill presented in the same way, for example, a medical doctor or engineer, offers their services to the community.

  2. Yes, interesting article and also a good pportunity for a preferably nice and not heated discussion on a fairly controversial in some permaculture, as well as other, circles. Myself, I like a balance…like weighing hands with one another, weighing up contributions to the overall table…, as well as utilizing many forms of ‘currency ‘. Currency brought to the table can include skills, kindness, something that gave a much needed laugh, something for din dins, information, hard yakka, a meaningful chat, a synchronistic direction pointer, a friend in need with a skill who holds a workshop at mine and brings people (I ask them to make their charges so the event is accessible to many and don’t ask for a commission), a plant/seed/cutting/tools etc, typing up stuff/promotion gratis, massage /healing, support (emotional /physical /spiritual /gifting something so It doesn’t need to be bought/ensuring someone has the ‘wheels on their bicycle’ so they can reach their destination more easily). Etc etc etc. Yes it is hard not to use money in what we are still in and were born into. But In my humble opinion we are brothers and sisters on the front line, bringing better ways forward which have first and foremost our planet which enables us to even discuss this, and we cannot afford to let each other fall. Time is of the essence. By all means, make a little money but balance it well with other forms of currency and make sure you are enabling keen folk who are interested but held back in some way to be involved. They may become a better asset than money in the pocket. It’s not easy to have one foot in what creates better while the other is in the mess of a system we were born into, which looks like it is on the way out but struggling to eke out what it can first regardless of the cost to life. Together we are strong, divided….as per the me, me, me adverts that have filled many a head…we fall and possibly fail like many before us have, trying to pave the way. We just have not got time for that anymore.

    1. I appreciate what was shared in your response, Diane. Thank you.

      When I moved from my small town to the city, I noticed my mind had over a number of years, shifted to begin measuring things in time and money so much more than the relationships that get built. These relationships are more often so much more valuable, and not just in a warm fuzzy way (though that is a great thing too). I notice how many aspect of my life had degraded from this and how it became more difficult for me to accomplish things as I no longer had those rich relationships of goodwill and willing support around me (I was no longer cultivating them as much). I was in the race of building a business, money became more of a metric of success and everything was thought about in a much more disconnected, independent way (rather than interdependent). But I’m back in a place where its so obvious that it starts at home and begins with relationships, that I must work from patterns to details, allowing the core of items to guide the details of what I do and how I make money: planet, people and fair share so all can have the ultimate needs met through reinvestment of what we don’t need in meaningful ways. I know how much I need to make to be happy, and I know that the rest can be reinvested back into a healthy, strong, anti fragile and regenerative community. Just as you are sharing the space you have in your house and don’t need at certain times for the right causes, instead of renting it out.

      “Compensation for our efforts” and other resources we offer can be measured in so many ways. My neighbour may not want to purchase a permaculture design because she does not see the value in it, but if I offer it for free, or for exchange of some food from the system knowing that it won’t just end up making her a believer but documenting of the process and final outcome could make others believers and spread something that needs to spread as fast as possible – than I am, in my mind, not devaluing my worth in my potential to spread this incredibly meaningful work and way of thinking.

  3. There’s some worthwhile points here. I do feel that in some aspects the ideas presented in this article are a result of the same framework of thinking that permaculture is meant to replace – one where money is the major value we can receive for our efforts, and where “I deserve, and so giving should only result in a direct and obvious return”. I understand you are partially talking about supplementing an income so we can thrive…

    However to me, permaculture is asking us too look at, and respect, the intrinsic values within systems and exchange, beyond our capitalistic conditioning. This is not me saying capitalism is the devil, I’m not of that mindset at all. I do believe that with proper scale and understanding it is natural. It is me saying that even us “permaculturalists” are still wearing classical capitalist glasses, thinking “why shouldn’t I get paid for my efforts”, thinking in modularity rather than connectivity. This established thought pattern leads us to overlook the true economy of an exchange, the power of goodwill in behavioural cascades, and the shift of values and cultural thinking (that needs to happen) that comes when we receive something as essential as healthy food from a neighbour who grew it, down the road and gave it to us, selflessly.

    There are hidden returns and benefits even when we feel we are “losing” (ex.goods or services without payment), and—more often overlooked—hidden costs and losses when we feel we are “gaining” (ex. getting paid for goods or services). Either one has the potential to create behavioural cascades. Yes, financial yield is sustainable. However, goodwill, increased openness to new knowledge and its application (such as permaculture), and a neighbours chance to experience permaculture as a regenerative investment does more than just build relationships of trust (though, as permaculturalists know, building good relationships is on the forefront, but not just in a food forest).

    Ultimately, I feel the “return of surplus” is not a selling it back to the system. It’s knowing how much we need to live well, then giving the rest, in a thoughtful and well designed way to increase potential for expanding regenerative systems. With true accounting, one can see there’s likely far more leverage in this little bit of “loss” that actually makes a big difference to our movements bottom line.

    Just some food for thought from the other side.

  4. Well done Tobias, i could not agree more!
    When your lifestyle, passion , knowledge & experience can combine to offer a worthwhile service on so many levels, i think it is only reasonable to value it as such!
    This is what we do at Limestone Permaculture and we strongly believe that the value is totally outweighed by the benefits…. making it Great Value!
    Cheers Brett

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