Ben Falk TEDx Talk: Homestead Resiliency, Food Systems Regeneration
I understand your frustration. I think that Ben represents a different demographic than the medieval serfs and lords of times past. He has mentioned in interviews that he grew up in the suburbs and that his father is a physician. He was originally on track to becoming an architect in college but changed course and chose landscape architecture instead. He has a very successful permaculture design business because it is a professional landscape architecture business with an emphasis on permaculture.
As to how he got his start I have a few assumptions. I took his PDC last year and was fortunate enough to meet his parents who are very nice people! It was obvious that he has a close relationship with them. They, in fact, own the 2nd property where he now holds his PDCs and where his interns live and work. Based on my experience growing up in an upper-middle-class household, I would not be surprised if he graduated college without debt and received financial help when he bought his first home. If this were the case, should we fault him for it? Isn't the existence of working-class, middle-class, and upper-middle-class something we value as a culture? I think it's just a rare occurrence to see the upper-middle class in permaculture because there are less and less people in this demographic as the wealth gap expands. Also, many of them are off busy becoming doctors and lawyers… and architects.
I say props to Ben! His values led him down a path where instead of living in a McMansion and driving the newest Range Rover he created an amazing 10 acre homestead (slate roof and copper gutters included)!