Hi, this is Geoff.

Despite today being Inauguration Day in the US, I’ve somehow avoided any mention of Trump in this Friday Five.

There should be a prize for that 🙂

Let’s jump straight into the Friday Five:

Oranges + Avocadoes = ? According to 16-year-old Kiara Nirghin, that combination could help with drought-stricken areas by helping soil retain water. Nirghin insight, detailed here online, earned her the grand prize at Google’s science fair, along with a $50,000 scholarship. This is the type of next generation thinking we need.

2016 Best-of: Modernfarmer.com put together a short, helpful guide to some of their most popular and interesting how-to posts of the year here. Some that they featured: Social Media for Farmers 101, How to Grow Microgreens, and The Guide to Grocery Store Eggs (on reading and understanding labels). Worth a glance.

Circular Design: IDEO, one of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley that helped innovate and popularize “design thinking” in business contexts, recently stated that the future of design is….circular? Here’s an example: “When Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam replaced its lighting, it didn’t pay for the bulbs. Instead, the airport pays for light as a service—and Philips, which designed the system, is responsible for recycling or reusing anything that breaks.” I couldn’t help but think about what Bill taught us about “pattern.” To read more about this, including a short video intro from IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown, check out their full guide here. And you can see my 30 minute presentation on “Pattern Understanding” here.

Earth’s (Deceptive) Twin: One of National Geographic’s most read pieces this week features Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, and what researchers are describing, “a surprising world of lakes, rain, winds and thunder.” And, as the first moon other than our own that has had a spacecraft land on it, it has attracted the curiosity and attention of researchers intent on searching for life beyond that on Earth. Maybe they’ll find a bizarro-version of a food forest 🙂

In case you missed it: A few interesting pieces this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:


If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five. Please remember to share your comments and thoughts on the this week’s Friday Five below this post.

Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,


PS: The “Pattern” video I linked to above is just one of (approximately) 500 videos, animations, and PDFs from my new PDC 2.0 course that started a couple of weeks ago. I’m still getting lots of inquiries about whether or not it’s too late to join, so I wanted to answer all of those questions here.

The short answer to, “Can I still enroll?” is: It depends on you.

Here’s why: The course is a hybrid course (part self-paced, part-scheduled). It is self-paced in the sense that you have an entire year to access and go through all the content, engage with me, the teaching assistants [“TAs”], and your fellow students, and complete your Final Design Exercise, which is the only formal requirement to complete the course.

And it is scheduled in the sense that rather than having the entire course content released at once, it is published once per week over 20 weeks, in part so that students don’t feel overwhelmed by the tremendous volume of content.

So even though everyone has an entire year to finish the course, it is in principle possible to finish everything in less than a month (even a few weeks if you have a lot of free time), and it’s equally possible to stretch it out over the entire year. In order to accommodate an average / median pace, we’ve suggested a 20-24 week pace to accommodate most people who have other commitments, work, family, etc. But again, everyone has one full year to do this, can start anytime, and can end anytime from now through December 31st, 2017.

What this means is that someone joining even 3 months from now is not “late” in the way that he or she would be in a conventional time-based course. However, because there is a nice dynamic in having as many students as possible all viewing, reading, and discussing the same block of content week after week, we would prefer that there not be such a significant, several-months’ gap between where students are.

The upshot is that, realistically, I don’t have an issue accommodating new students wanting to enroll all the way up through the 9th or even 10th week of the course; after that, however, I’ll formally close any further enrollment except in very special, exceptional cases that I’ll have to review and approve personally.

So, if you’ve been on the fence because you thought, “Too late, I missed it,” I hope the words above help give you the information you need to make whatever decision is best for you. If you’d like to enroll, you can do so here. And if you’re not sure and would like to see detailed samples of the course content, you can get this by joining (free) the Permaculture Circle (TPC) here. Finally, those of you who are alumni of any previous, accredited PDC courses [any accredited PDC course, not just mine] remember that once you can provide proof of your previous certification, you are eligible for a tuition discount here.

And if the PDC isn’t for you, no problem. I’ve said this again and again and will continue to say it: I’m here to serve you on your permaculture journey in whatever manner best fits your needs, abilities, and preferences. Feel free to continue enjoying all the complimentary content: the blog version of these Friday Five posts, our YouTube channel, the public FB page, and the Permaculture Circle’s growing library of videos, animations, and PDFs.

Have a great weekend, and remember: Enjoy the journey 🙂