Aaron in Australia - a Permaculture Mission

A campaign by Aaron Martz

  • $2,450
    Raised of $2,250
  • 15
    Contributions
  • 0
    seconds left
108 %
Successfully funded on June 14, 2014
A campaign by Aaron Martz
1 campaigns, 0 contributions
  • Contribute $10 or more

    A warm heartfelt virtual hug, with all of the love, thanks, and news that I can offer you via email. Included will be periodic emails about my gardening/farming work and what ecological activities I am participating in.

    1 contributor(s) chose this reward.
  • Contribute $25 or more

    Limited to 50 Contributors

    4-5 pictures of nature per week, taken by me and used exclusively for my donors, sent to you via email for 10 weeks (that is 40-50 total!), plus a final e-book version delivered at the end. Each email will also include quotes that I find inspiring and beautiful.
    Also periodic email updates about my gardening/farming work and what ecological activities I am participating in.

    2 contributor(s) chose this reward.
  • Contribute $25 or more

    Limited to 50 Contributors

    A postcard, printed and sent to you anywhere in the world, taken of either a Sydney landmark or of the permaculture sites that are spread throughout Sydney. Each post card will be unique (one of a kind image), and will include a hand-written thank-you note.
    Also periodic email updates about my gardening/farming work and what ecological activities I am participating in.

    1 contributor(s) chose this reward.
  • Contribute $50 or more

    Limited to 20 Contributors

    Includes each of the $25 rewards, plus a packet of hand-harvested, hand-dried seeds from the next available farm that I work on, sent to you anywhere in the world.
    (Includes the picture emails, one-of-a-kind postcard, and email updates.)

    3 contributor(s) chose this reward.
  • Contribute $100 or more

    Scanned documentation of all of my notes, course materials, handouts and any other information received while I attend this design course. This is invaluable information that will be beneficial for anyone interested in learning what Permaculture is and some steps to implementing Permaculture in their own lives and their own outdoor space.

    2 contributor(s) chose this reward.
  • Contribute $500 or more

    Limited to 5 Contributors

    10 hours of design work for your property. This will, by necessity, be remote work, but includes using pictures, aerial maps, site plans and other information to start a design of your property. This also includes the $100 gift, giving you the foundation of what you need to modify your property with strong permaculture principles!

    1 contributor(s) chose this reward.
'If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal--that is your success.'
Walden - Henry David Thoreau

The Mission

Send Aaron to Sydney for a two-and-a-half week Permaculture Design Course co-taught by one of the co-originators of the Permaculture design concept himself, David Holmgren! Aaron needs $2000 for the tuition alone to make it there.

The Course

The course is hosted by Milkwood Permaculture (www.milkwoodpermaculture.com.au/) and runs from June 29th - July 12th in Sydney, Australia. Milkwood Permaculture is a highly respected permaculture and regenerative agriculture education site. It is well worth it to sign up for their newsletter. Here is the course introduction, straight from the Milkwood site:

'This 2 week intensive course will arm you with the design thinking and skills to create resilient, synergistic systems for living, working and community.

By observing nature we can use natural patterning to design and implement ideas and systems that build on natural processes with energy efficient, low cost and high yeilding results. Milkwood Permaculture PDC graduates leave this course ready to design and implement permaculture into a wide range of scenarios; from urban permaculture systems to small farms and community projects.'


Credentials / About Me

I am a trained engineer, graduating with five years of engineering training and five summers of internships (roughly a year and half practical experience). This engineering knowledge is integral to design, and the mode of thinking that is learned in engineering is beneficial in seeing the 'large picture,' the entire mural on the wall instead of just bits and pieces. And that is what permaculture is about (see the permaculture section below). Take different processes, designs, natural workings of nature, and molding them into one integrated design that works as a whole, instead of several  processes.

About Me

My name is Aaron Martz. I was born in the town of Wenatchee, of 50,000+ people, just on the Eastern side of the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State, USA. After graduating high school, I attended Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. From the start I pursued a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in the German language.

After university I decided I needed to find another path besides entering into the corporate world. I worked, stayed at home and planned. In November 2013 I flew to India. I came to work with bamboo, and at this I started. I learned building techniques, crafts, how to work with simple tools on a simple but powerful building material. I also gained something that I wasn't looking for. For two months I lived in a bamboo hut at the Bamboo Centre. Outside of my hut was a small garden with banana and papaya trees, tomatoes, basil, eggplant, chili, capsicum, mint. Slowly I started to help in the garden, watering here, watering there. Soon, though, I started spending more of my time in the garden, digging this and transplanting that. I gave up working with the bamboo, it didn't have the key to my passion. The key lay in the soil, with the worms and the chickens. This was the start of my obsession, and the root of my new spirituality. And this leads me to where I am now. Growing up when asked to dig a hole, I tried to shirk the duty. Now I do it with pleasure.

As this campaign gets under way, I am working on an organic permaculture farm in Nepal. That is where I will be staying until I attend, hopefully, the permaculture course in Sydney.


Bay of Bengal, Visakhapatnam, India

'Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself... to harm the earth is to heap contempt upon the creator... contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.'  
(Chief Seattle, 1854) 

What Is Permaculture?

'Permaculture uses a set of principles and practices to design sustainable human settlements. The word, a contraction of both “permanent culture” and “permanent agriculture,” was coined by two Australians. The first was Bill Mollison, a charismatic and iconoclastic one-time forester, schoolteacher, trapper, field naturalist, and author of the dense and encyclopedic bible of the field, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual. The other is David Holmgren, one of the first of Bill’s many students, who has brilliantly expanded permaculture’s scope.

Permaculture began, then, as a set of tools for designing landscapes that are modeled after nature, yet include humans... But Mollison, Holmgren, and those who came after them quickly realized that even if we learn to create farms, gardens, and landscapes that mimic nature, a sustainable land use that is embedded in an unsustainable society won’t prevent our tenure on this planet from being short, increasingly impoverished, or both. However, it turns out that permaculture’s principles—since they are grounded in nature’s wisdom—have breathtaking scope, far beyond permaculture’s origins in agriculture.
Permaculture has been used to design buildings, energy and wastewater systems, villages, and even less tangible structures such as school curricula, businesses, community groups, and decision-making processes.

How does permaculture do this? Though on one level permaculture practitioners design with organisms, buildings, and those less tangibles that we refer to as invisible structures, they focus less on the objects themselves than on the careful design of relationships among them—interconnections —that will create a healthy, sustainable whole. These relationships are what turn a collection of unrelated parts into a functioning system, whether it’s a backyard, a community, or an ecosystem.'
Extracted from Gaia's Garden, by Toby Hemenway, copyright 2009


Red Flower, Visakhapatnam, India

'Earth teaches me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teaches me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall... Earth teaches me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.'
-William Alexander


Course Costs

Here is a breakdown of the costs:
  • Course fee: $1,926
  • Flight: $700
  • Lodging/Food: $600
Total: ~$3,250

To help fund this course, I am using the money that I saved for travelling (cutting my travels short), but my savings are not enough!

My campaign is set for $2,250, mostly to cover the course fee, and a bit of food while there. If I do not reach this level, I will not receive any of the contributions donated so far, which means no course.

During my travels in India, I have met two people living in Sydney, and I am in contact with them to find low-cost

Progress

I have applied for my Australian Work and Holiday Visa, and it should be processed and approved shortly. As soon as that is approved, I will purchase my ticket to Sydney.

Rewards

$10
A warm heartfelt virtual hug, with all of the love, thanks, and news that I can offer you via email. Included will be periodic emails about my gardening/farming work and what ecological activities I am participating in.

$25
4-5 pictures of nature per week, taken by me and used exclusively for my donors, sent to you via email for 10 weeks (that is 40-50 total!), plus a final e-book version delivered at the end. Each email will also include quotes that I find inspiring and beautiful.
Also periodic email updates about my gardening/farming work and what ecological activities I am participating in.

Check out my Flickr account (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ammartz/) to see what I have been snapping recently.

$25
A postcard, printed and sent to you anywhere in the world, taken of either a Sydney landmark or of the permaculture sites that are spread throughout Sydney. Each post card will be unique (one of a kind image), and will include a hand-written thank-you note.
Also periodic email updates about my gardening/farming work and what ecological activities I am participating in.

Check out my Flickr account (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ammartz/) to see what I have been snapping recently.

$50
Includes each of the $25 rewards, plus a packet of hand-harvested, hand-dried seeds from the next available farm that I work on, sent to you anywhere in the world.
(Includes the picture emails, one-of-a-kind postcard, and email updates.)

$100
Scanned documentation of all of my notes, course materials, handouts and any other information received while I attend this design course. This is invaluable information that will be beneficial for anyone interested in learning what Permaculture is and some steps to implementing Permaculture in their own lives and their own outdoor space.

$500
10 hours of design work for your property. This will, by necessity, be remote work, but includes using pictures, aerial maps, site plans and other information to start a design of your property. This also includes the $100 gift, giving you the foundation of what you need to modify your property with strong permaculture principles!