It’s Not About the Money

Dear Reader:

To paraphrase a song, the Permaculture Incubator Program (PIP) isn’t about the money. It’s like this, man, you can’t put a price on the life. We do it for the love, so we fight and sacrifice. But, having said that the trainees still must make a living.

Not just that; after two years, the trainees should have saved enough money to lease farmland; make a down payment on property; or to purchase farming equipment.

The formula for computing potential net farm income from the PIP program would be: Total Cash income – Total Cash Expenses.  So, let’s do the math together and see how if how it shakes out.


The first element of the equation is Total Cash income. The 03/15/23 edition of the NYT published an article, by Margaret Roach, entitled Is ‘No Dig’ Gardening Really Possible?  It’s an article about an English man named Charles Dowding. I have written about him before calling him the “Mr Rogers” of organic gardening.

According to the article, he harvests 25,000 British pounds’ worth of organic edibles annually from a third of an acre. Because of Brexit, the value of Pound Sterling is down (.83 against the USD). That works out to be US$20,750 from a third of an acre.

PIP trainees will have plots that are larger than that of Mr Dowding—they will have half an acre on which to farm, so their prorated income could be as much as $31,439.

If you have read previous blogs, you know that CCPP hopes to build a climate battery greenhouse that would allow trainees to grow food in the winter, which means they would have year-round income.


To compute Net Cash Farm Income, one subtracts Total Cash Expenses from Total Cash Income. Trainees will be asked to pay the Climate Change Permaculture Project 10% of their income for programming expenses. That works out to $3,144.

If trainees want to live in the lake house that is right across the street from their plots, they will have to pay $500/month plus utilities[1]. Rent could be $7,000/year. Trainees are not obliged to live in the lake house. They can find other accommodations.

Trainees can eat from the food that their produce on their plots. So, food expenses will be low.

CCPP will try to obtain donations for equipment, supplies, compost, amendments, seeds, seedlings, hand tools, etc. Trainees will not have to pay for any of that stuff.

Net Cash Farm Income

Rounding the income and expenses, trainees could bring in about $30,000 and could have about $10,000 in expenses for a Net Cash Farm Income of about $20,000. But then, it’s not about the money.

[1] We are renting the house on AirB&B for $175/night with a two-night minimum until the PIP program begins in early 2024.

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