If you happen to follow Paul Wheaton or any of the activities on Permies.com, you’ll be aware of the a program now referred to as SKIP. In it’s earliest form, it involved only the PEP program. That referred to the Permaculture Experience according to Paul. He loves his acronyms. Anyway, the idea of SKIP is that if you complete a certain level of the PEP program, you have proven that you have some of the skills and all of the interest required to work towards a permaculture-centric property.
Reaching a single level opens up a chance to inherit property from individuals who have no one else to give it to. This was inspired by Mike Ohler’s desire (and inability) to find someone who could carry on his legacy. I’ll admit I was surprised to find out just how many people there are out there who fit this profile. Older individuals and couples without children who don’t want to see their years of work plowed under for a monoculture, or worse, a subdivision.
One of the side elements of PEP is that anyone can create their own version, using PEP as a baseline. Obviously Paul’s version of things isn’t going to work in every location after all. With that in mind, I started creating the PEA version of the program. PEA can be interpreted two ways. The Permaculture Experience for Apartments, or The Permaculture Experience Anywhere. The idea is that it is a similar set of skills you can prove no matter where you live. This includes if you live in an apartment without even a balcony to work with.
Overall, the end result was something I am really happy with. Around 2/3 of the way through it, there was some major effort from a number of others to help finish it off, so I can’t claim it is entirely my own. Still, it was good enough that it became part of the official SKIP program. That makes me happy. If I had one regret about my contribution, it would be the food badge. Food badge was one of the badges I cared the most about, yet the final version included almost nothing related to the version I had forwarded. I’d like to think that future evolutions of the badge will include more of what I was pushing for, but since the project involves the entire community, only time will tell.
If you want to see the related kickstarter, you can go here. If you want to purchase the resulting book, this is the link for that. Lastly, you can go to Permies and see the various SKIP posts to learn more about the program as a whole and perhaps participate.