Permaculture Diploma

The Pathway

Primary permaculture design certification achieved in February 2012 with teacher Christian Shearer and Geoffroy Godeau.  During the following internship at Rak Tamachat Permaculture, a peer review and support group was formed between myself, Theron Beaudreau, and Chowgene Koay. The goal was to receive a permaculture diploma through the British Permaculture Association by completing 10 projects over 10 weeks. In the four years since that initial goal, Theron has entered a program with Gaia University as a Diploma Mentor. Chow has shifted his attention to managing the family business.

Through many conversations with students, friends, and colleagues, the most resonant path was an independent study and self-validation. The pathway came to completion in January 2016.

+Summary of field work 2012-2016

+Video thesis 2016

+Picture Gallery

+Budget Summary

Projects: One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten

My goal is to complete a two year study of Applied Permaculture Design using the standards of the British Permaculture Association, in association with materials designed by Richard Perkins,in order to become an accredited permaculture practitioner.

After taking my PDC, I realized that I had just grazed the surface of sustainable systems, and I was eager to put these new concepts and strategies into practice… we realized there are limited options for higher level permaculture education in the United States. We decided to break some new ground…

-Bright Sky, Page 1, Project 1


Project Seven Process Reflection

  1. Project report title: Project Seven: Gift Economy Career Year
  1. Summarize how and why you organized this Project Output as presented (Reflect on your design, process, method and purpose):  I organized the project report to give the most clear both chronological and context-based understanding through a combination of pictures, video & organizational links, and journal exerpts. The implementation of this project is almost an exact replica of project 4: the container of my season in Austin, Texas. I was using the same basic intuitive system of responding to arising calls for action, with variation in where my attention was listening from the previous year. With the goal as the context, and the analysis left to my intuition, the design is the implementation. This makes documentation of activities sporadic and sometimes incomplete. However when they are arranged over the course of several months, these glimpses become more coherent flashes of how events align with the original ideal context. This is meant for brief browsing, and not as an in-depth study into the systems testing & research that was happening congruently.


  1. How did this process go? Because I am repeating patterns with new systems & goals for integration, it’s fairly smooth on the baseline. It’s always a challenge finding out how to share a story the size of a galaxy, and over the past two months I have been noticing an emergence of this big-picture style in the mainstream information flows.
  1. What did you learn? II have more stability than I think I do. I think if I had to pinpoint the biggest “trick” I learned this season, it would be the overlaying of the spiral dynamic system color onto event organization, flowing into using coyote mentoring during the event, and giving a few pictures and a story onto a social media network afterwards.
  1. What tools did you use (An explanation of the technical side of creating this project report.  What software did you use? What digital literacy was required to put this together)? I upgraded to an Android this spring right before going to the Permaculture Voices Conference in California. I’ve used this in conjunction with my Macbook Pro to broadcast live from the conference, interview leaders in the community, and document present states of partner projects. Since Android and Mac don’t play nice, I’ve had to find creative solutions to upload capacities, such as using Bluetooth. This is actually a help because it gives me an extra stage of editing and I have the best to choose from when I publish.


  1. Did you find any people or tutorials particularly useful in creating this project report? The project report is pretty basic. It’s an accounting of where I spent my energy this season. WordPress is thankfully simple to use.


  1. How much time did you spend in creating this project report? Approximately 20 hours.


  1. How well have did you showcase your learnings in this project report? Would you consider this project report satisfactory if it was prepared by another person? My strongest point is definitely the mind maps. Since there is a lot of storytelling done in other projects, I actually like the final simplicity of this one. You know the deal – I’m a superhero who works in the permaculture field. This is evidence that a this world exists. It’s like finding a unicorn foot path. It’s not the most creative or beautiful or masterpiece of information dissemination AND it does its job. It fulfills its function. That was the goal, and it has been accomplished.


  1. Any final reflections on your pathway integration and development? Funny coming into the final stretches of this diploma. I am committed to finish documentation for at least 10 containers. It is becoming smoother as I’m finding the things that work, and modifying the things that don’t: habits, gear, tactics. I’m coming into my Saturn return years and can feel the test of time on the foundations of the systems I’m building for myself. This process has been invaluable in that way.

Miscellaneous Photos & Journal Exerpts / Quotes

Laughing at oneself is an essential component to self-compassion

Pattern is great texture

SAMSUNG SAMSUNGIllustrative Design


Body Temperature for January



Central Texas Permaculture Summit20140408_145701_Richtone(HDR) 20140408_145712_Richtone(HDR) 20140408_145724_Richtone(HDR) 20140408_145753_Richtone(HDR)Mysterious Coincidences20140326_105912_Richtone(HDR) 20140326_105710_Richtone(HDR)Microscope Friend


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Upcycle Organics Pilot Project.

“Everything is music. The wind – that’s music.” – Riley AKA Nightvision
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Return Home, the Flag, and the Stone20140518_082623_Richtone(HDR)#1 20140528_151609_Richtone(HDR) 20140528_151557_Richtone(HDR) 20140528_151530_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_135846_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_113421_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_113318_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_113255_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_113212_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_113143_Richtone(HDR) 20140526_095733_Richtone(HDR) 20140525_145758_Richtone(HDR) 20140525_140517_Richtone(HDR) 20140525_140354_Richtone(HDR) 20140525_102015_Richtone(HDR) 20140524_112705_Richtone(HDR)20140524_103936_Richtone(HDR)

Playing with red capes & black hats.SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG


a dream from Friday, January 17:

“woke from a cide(?) dream where I’m in a single seat on a ground track armed with scissors, a cooking knifte, and colored light pads. a woman dressed as a ghost. dropping candy & money. tootsie rolls.”


a dream from Tuesday, January 21

“had a dream about a motorcycle, family vacation, a body of water, hotel room 444”




Partnership with Ape99

HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIES are more fun when your household is A) In the forest. B) With cool people. C) Papercrete. That’s how we roll. ONE FOR THE MONEY, TWO FOR THE HOOD. The economic flow of these classes amounted to me personally at $100 over 4 months.

January 25: Biochar & Berkeley Workshop. This first piece went through the washing machine and was totally unharmed. Pure carbon.


February 16: Seedball Workshop. Mixing clay, flower & food seeds, nitrogen fixers, minerals, love, care, azomite, coconut medium…


March 21 : Permaculture Voices Conference Report. 27.5 Hours of lecture time from many of the most commonly cited authors in Permaculture Design Courses. Crowdfunded the transportation costs to get there with two other Texans. Hosted by Emerald Village.

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May 4 : International Permaculture Day Perm the Park & Pizza Party. May 4 all day celebration, tours, site maintenance, pizza party.

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D continues holding “Perm the Park” Saturdays. Stop by if you’re in Austin, Texas.

Other pictures:

site analysis



flowforms – check out the foamy oxygenation on the left as opposed to the falling water on the right20140329_181323_Richtone(HDR) 20140329_181409_Richtone(HDR)

AISD, Ecorise, & St. Andrew’s Episcopal

I was invited to integrate permaculture experience with several schools, including Austin Independent School District’s Eastside Memorial & Travis HS, and St. Andrew Episcopal’s Garden Club.

AISD & Ecorise – Caving in Limestone Aquifers





Austin Permaculture Guild Permablitz @ Eastside Memorial20140511_122908_Richtone(HDR) 20140511_122942_Richtone(HDR) 20140511_123104_Richtone(HDR) 20140511_161335_Richtone(HDR) 20140511_163207_Richtone(HDR)



Semester Book List


Books Read From Cover to Cover Between January – June

Critical Path – Buckminster Fuller

“Any surface on which they scribed had to be a topological feature of a system… Systems always divide all Universe outside the system from all of the Universe inside the system.” -p.46


“Scientifically speaking… there are no directions “up” or “down” in Universe – there are only the angularly specifiable directions “in”, “out”, and “around”.. Our own misconditioned reflexes are powerful deterrents to our successful self-reorientation of our apprehending faculties to accord with the emerging truths.” -p.55


“In the effort to grow dividends to shareholders, engineering design was replaced with style design.”


“Most urgent scientific admonition towards successfully realizing any play is to take advantage of each of the trends and to develop them, no matter that it mat be in a novel manner, toward the advantage of the populace concerned.” -p.306


“…the war’s number one lessons, i.e., the advantage of employing science to satisfy needs stated as functions. Any economy… can out perform, per capita, any other economy in direct proportion to the degree of initial control in planning conceded to science by politics.” -p.307



Game of Universe: Individuality & Degrees of Freedom

537.41 We may define the individual as one way the game of universe could have eventuated to date. Universe is the omnidirectional, omnifrequency game of chess in which with each turn of the play there are 12 vectorial degrees of freedom: six positive and six negative moves to be made. This is a phenomenon of frequencies and periodicities. Each individual is a complete game of Universe from beginning to end. This is why each of us individuals is so much alike and yet completely different, a unique and individual way of playing the game with each of the omnidirectional degrees of freedom. With the six positive and six negative omnidirectional degrees of freedom moves to be made at each turn of the play, the individual can move to any cosmic point that is not occupied and can move back over the same points or move on to new ones. Intellect as “god” can play all these incredibly different games in all these different ways and at all the differential rates at the same time.


537.42 The individual differentiates the position in Universe. The six degrees of freedom operate at every turn of the play. Just think of the frequencies per second of each of the chemical elements that make up the individual human body and then think of the priorities of those frequencies.


537.43 That each individual is a complete integrity is one of the reasons I don’t have to make any effort in loving my fellow human. (In the first-person plural of we – even the I classes itself with the other. Each individual integrity has a steering effect, and like all steering effects, it goes from one (   ? ) to another. Certain individuals may be very mode aberrations from all the corruption that’s going on in Universe, acting as just one of (   ?)(   ?) and very wide aberrations so that Universe can hold its center. At that center (  ?) is the (   ?) and you turn inside out and only the tetrahedron turns inside out. The other side of the universe is not like the other side of the river – it is an inside-outing.


537.44 We regard each individual as the special case, but consciousness as the generalization. Like the bumper sticker, “The Real World is Special Case,” reality is special case. You and I are sitting here, and no one else can be sitting right where we are. This is the kind of reality that the newspapers (   ? ). They write about realities, as if we were all the same things. If you and I are sitting here, we couldn’t possibly be anywhere else.


537.45 There are many different realities. This is the difference between reality and generalization. There is only one generalization. The only reason the radio works is that it has no interference. The game of Universe can be played on any one of the fantastically large number of the quadrillions of frequencies; the game can be played any way just so long as there is no interference on the frequency you are using, so long as there are not two pieces in the same vector equilibrium at the same time.


537.46 What is important about the individual and important about the universe is that neither is exempt from any of the rules. Universe is the (  ? ) and the individual is special case. Universe is the aggregate of all the generalized principles. Each is individual is one of the illotes(?) of ways the game of Universe could be played.

Paramagnetism: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Force of Growth – Phillip Callahan

“God probably has a hundred different ways of creating life, evolution being only one of them.”

Habibi – Craig Thompson

Festival Circuit

Burning Man was born a year before me in 1986. Buckminster Fuller, in his 1981 book Critical Path, insists that a design revolution must take place before 1989. The children of MOOP swooping, leave no trace, and radical expression have changed our culture to appreciate engineering design as well as style. Though I have yet to personally participate in a burn event, I can appreciate many of its ripples through the field.

I set up education space at two festivals this spring: Flowstorm, an event through Quilombo Paixao, and Texas Wild Rice Festival, near San Marcos Springs. Many core organizers for these festivals have been intimately connected with our permaculture courses, and certified through Theron Beaudreau.

+Flowstorm Schedule 2014

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+Texas Wild Rice Festival Schedule

20140412_095619_Richtone(HDR) 20140412_080419_LLSA journal exerpt upon first hearing of the Buckminster Fuller $100,000 design challenge:

TWRF: Display an artifact that will spontaneously cause all of humanity to abandon their destructive habits



solider – one who operates as part of an organized land-based armed force.


scientist – one who engages in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge


scientist-soldier – one who engages in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge as part of an organized land-based force. arms include pitchforks, shovels, and microscopes.


permaculture – an ethical design system known for ecological strategies





Project Phive Process Reflection

  1. Project report title: Project Phive: 2013 – Year of the Teacher



  1. Summarize how and why you organized this Project Output as presented (Reflect on your design, process, method and purpose):  It began in the first days of 2013 with an assumption by Theron in an email about an upcoming PDC at Creation Flame. That seed pushed me over the edge to really live into my growth zone. Now that there was a clear goal: teach this PDC! I could reverse engineer my time (A&A for places available to teach) to be the most effective facilitator possible. I did that twice – once with the PDC in Texas, and again with the PDEC in California. Since I was mostly in the Implement sector of direct-experience research, I thought a very simple outline of the year with accompanying pictures would accurately reflect my activities.


  1. How did this process go? At first I was only focusing on the main permaculture certification courses, but I realized I had material to show from various workshops and found myself expanding on what I did. There’s not a lot of explanation, just pictures of me teaching. I think that’s accurate for what happened – I got the experience that I needed, and I did it.
  1. What did you learn? I learned that I’ve come a long way in a single year, and that even though I was light on actual 2D designs, following my intuition and checking back with the process helped me reorganize and refocus in the moment. Also I’m really great at “bullshitting” and I need to be cognizant to give sincere and thoughtful answers.


  1. What tools did you use (An explanation of the technical side of creating this project report.  What software did you use? What digital literacy was required to put this together)? Wordpress, and linking to other sites.


  1. Did you find any people or tutorials particularly useful in creating this project report? Theron’s Eco-Pioneers diploma sector of the site is very helpful, and actually the first PDC output is just a link through his site. I followed his format and I think it turned out neat.


  1. How much time did you spend in creating this project report? The project report itself was created in under 8 hours.


  1. How well have did you showcase your learnings in this project report? Would you consider this project report satisfactory if it was prepared by another person? There’s almost no “explanation” or context. At first I thought I have to write out all these things, but the goal of the project report is just to show that I did the work – and the work was in the actual doing. These few pictures I think are telling and give a good feel to the work I did for the year.
  2. Any final reflections on your pathway integration and development? I documented both project 5 & 6 at the same time. I think a lot of the things I’m doing gravitate toward the experience and implementation side of things – kind of the same vein as getting a lot of input and understanding how things work directly, being in the flow before trying to conjure a flow that I have no experience with. Even though I’m at the two-year mark and have just completed 6 projects instead of 10, they have been enormously worthwhile and I can feel myself transforming and coming into my strengths as a facilitator.