Hi! I haven't seen you respond to any of the prior posts, so I am wondering if this is still up as an offer. I am a homeschooling mom and I have four kids, including a teen who likes to do woodworking. I am wondering if we could stay, not permanently but occasionally. Please let me know if you are still offering this land for use!
Mike Barkley wrote:What state or USDA zone are you in? How much soil do you have available?
I am in Western Washington, Zone 8, and we have excess soil I have been 'borrowing' from the front lawn, it is very sandy and needs LOTS of amending which is what usually holds me up - we don't produce enough compost waste ourselves =)
TL/DR: My chickens got to my new hugelkultur bed and I don't know what to do before I lose this growing season, too!
I have been here for almost four years and worked my way up to a Hugelkultur bed, I tried to make mine 3' tall (using only woman power here!) BUT, as you'll see, I had a hard time getting enough soil and the chickens loved digging out all the worms and critters out of the compost layer. In September 2021 I almost died - literally - spending 6 weeks on bedrest as our hospitals were overwhelmed and my husband was providing round-the-clock care. 4 weeks in PT to be able to walk out of my house. It was January before I could "clean up" my chickens' coop and the fall garden chores didn't get done. My hens went from rotating patches to free range - and destroyed my new, true hugelkultur bed. Somehow, my volunteer peach tree (that I found in the chicken run last year!) is surviving! We recently had an Alder tree cut down and I want to make REAL 4' hugelkultur beds this year. . . and I have already lost much of the starting season!
My Dilemma: Do I dig up this bed and start over with my new alder logs, transplanting the peach tree? Do I make it longer, with the peach-tree in the middle? Do I just leave it as-is and 'redo' the chips/compost/soil?
I am third-year hugelkultur gardener =) My 2 cents is probably worth about that much, but I will address one question: what to plant where? Well, that depends on how you orient your beds! Mine run north/south, being in Washington State that means I put tall plants on the north end (rosemary and Lovage), squash plants on the south side (they run downhill), lettuces on the east/morning sun side and beans/peas on the west/sunset side to help shelter the other plants from the scorching afternoon sun. Other than that, it's not really vertical gardening - it's sloped gardening. Radishes go on the top. I still grow carrots and potatoes in the ground.
I found that something like thyme creeps its way down,
Hey, to make things easier for y'all sorting through the data, maybe we should all make our first name "BugTest" so you can easily sort through who the bug testing new accounts are (and potentially remove them after 30 days or something)
Apparently "BugTest" is a realistic enough first name.
Shaun Darbonne wrote:I work at an oilfield mancamp in New Mexico and would like to go for a week during one of my breaks( I work 6 weeks and off 2 weeks at a time). I paid 100 already to get on the list, but I'd enjoy just taking a trip and going spend some time checking it out if it's any possibility. I have a van conversion and can buy or bring my own food if that's any concern.
That is all going to depend on if Boots are needed. October through March, probably; in the summer, maybe not. But I did go for 1.5 weeks last year - it was lovely, we camped in our van, and I brought my own food (and chocolates to share with the resident boots.)
I was wondering if Paul would let me come back in March for 2 weeks if a bunk is available =D
Melissa Ferrin wrote:Is boot camp family friendly?
Melissa- I posted some of my experiences from August 2020, when I went with my 15 and 4 year olds (oldest and youngest of 4 boys.) They treated us as a total "one" boot, we car-camped and provided most of our own food. It was an AWESOME experience.
We plan to send that oldest kid back for a "Gap Year" and he is already on the waitlist =D
At 15 - an active Boyscout who lettered in swimming - it was mentally a bit much for him. He would fall asleep after lunch and miss the afternoon shift, which was fine because we were each a "half" of a boot. It was the physicality of the work - and tracking the toddler - that wore me down, but I would go back in a heartbeat! Going during a sabbatical would be great, but your kiddo wouldn't really be a full boot, that is something you can work out with [Lara?] =)
Few people know the word "permaculture", they are searching things like "organic farming" and "sustainability" - knowing the word permaculture is almost automatically a "level 2" or "3" on your scale, but most boots are coming in level 1, right?
If the goal is "young people" (those who are going to find out about this who are NOT already on permies.com) then Instagram is more popular than facebook.
I agree with Mike. Get rid of the "Who is it for" section, moving the "Why" section up (so it appears on the screen first.
Given all the uncertainty in the world, people may be nervous to try something this different. (Especially something like going to Montana in December/January!) The ideal Boots are those without kids, but everyone I know learnt about permaculture while raising children.
I am surprised that "preventing waste" isn't mentioned yet. Composting is a big CO diverter, especially with so much food waste in the US. Many homes throw food in the garbage. We have bought and built worm bins and chickens to ensure no food ever goes to waste. Then, their "waste" goes back in the garden.
I remember my dad saying "The first R is reduce. Bthe second is reuse. Recycling is a last-ditch effort, it was never supposed to be the default."
Paul mentions an Electric Car, but what about motorcycles, or bicycles?
I would say that 95% of Boots spend 95% of their time working on things that directly benefit Boots. Because: it depends on the Boot =)
When I visited (it was very short-term but I wanted anything I could get!) there were woofers there, too. I got to see both sides and learned more than my brain could process. Boots were assigned to work on the Wofati Greenhouse, and boots were occasionally helping with the Abby (which, if I remember correctly, is NOT a boot benefit). Then again, the lessons working on the Abby and making Cob were beneficial in an educational sense but not in a 'this project will benefit me directly' sense.
I could never fully enjoy the Boot Benes because of my medically required diet- I cannot eat the plant-based diet and live well. So while I worked I was learning, but was relying on outside resources. As much as I want to spend 6-12 months being a boot, I would have to provide a lot of my own food (and take the time to prepare it separately, daily- leaving me with far less time to actually enjoy being a boot).
As a more outside-observer, I had issue with lost productivity (i.e. re-working the patio, too many Heugel Beds not producing well, planting with poor pest management.) Reflection has provided insight in that this is part of the design of Wheaton Lab: Boots have choices in what they do, so choose what they enjoy and what gets short-term "PEP" badges, sometimes over what is most beneficial and productive; which is another way of saying they do what benefits the individual whether or not it most benefits the whole Boot Camp. Much is learned making mistakes =)
I love the idea of having a woman (boot or staff or volunteer) be the point-of-contact for your women guests! Paul, you are right it is a little more awkward asking a man for "How does this work?" and having a woman who is already there ready to answer/explain is a much better experience for everyone. After all, the goal is to help move us towards sustainability. If someone who lives there has more experience to share, that is amazing!
Even just emailing ALL participants both of those docs before they come would help prepare them mentally for that shift in thinking. It wasn't something I thought about when I came last year, only staying for a week.
Now I am over here rethinking our bathroom usage again. . . .
First, I am curious as to why you want to shorten it. As a visitor last year, it wasn't too long of a read for me =) Is it for others?
Maybe put the "Pee outside" part outside, on the door? It can be split in two that way.
I still think it is very helpful to have a boot give the visitors a tour, including a brief tutorial on how the willow bank works.
As a woman: the Shark Week paper looks fine. It is very helpful to know that it's okay to dump the moon cups into the cans.
I will say, that the little sink I remember would be insufficient to rinse out cloth pads well. In my 20s, I would have been very insecure about using the outdoor sink and drying lines, but now I'm 40 I would be fine with it =)
paul wheaton wrote:Click on the thumbs up for this post if you think it is fine to start a new kickstarter even though the last kickstarter has not yet been fulfilled.
As someone who backed that previous kickstarter, and getting to travel out there to see, first hand, what is really involved in such a project, I am okay with backing a new kickstarter while I haven't gotten "everything" I 'kicked' for with the greenhouse =)
I would likely jump in at $100 on the new one. I think we did $150 on the greenhouse. Especially if that could get me and Eli invited out for a week or two again? =D
My SO and I have become more permie minded since we married. He was a little more 'prepper' and I was more "Tree Hugger" so Permie was in the middle for us. As we've grown (together, and as a family!) we both see the advantage of a permaculture lifestyle. SO: Don't discount someone who isn't a permie, as long as they are supportive of you. It started with my husband telling me "The more you garden, the less I have to mow." We no longer need a lawnmower =D
Hi Paul! I came out last summer for the Wofati build with my teenage son (and four year old!) We only made it one week but we are absolutely planning to come back (when I don't have a 4 year old).
I have lots of experience cooking (worked both restaurant and bakery) and regularly prepare meals for 10 people. Our family budget is $7/person/day for similar "Organic or better" food (our disagreement on eggs and Scratch and Peck feed notwithstanding.)
I understand that, ideally, you want someone who can do all three sessions. I can commit right now to either PDC or PTJ but could not do the SKIP due to prior commitments. And I would bring my "bonus" helper again - aforementioned teen who only needs to be fed =) (Eli would love to shadow Josiah again, but I understand he's probably too busy during the expos).
We have a similar issue - septic tank is basically Zone 1 for me because we spend so much time out back (not so much out front). I am going to redo our porch to redo some zoning and make the front/side yard an easier "zone 1"or at least Zone 2 because I need more garden space.
We overseeded clover, triticale and alfalfa over our septic tank and use it in our paddock rotations for chickens =)
I really wanted to upload some more pictures, but I am experiencing technical difficulties just slightly more difficult than this tired, mom-brain can handle.
We only stayed one week. Had my husband been with us, I believe we could have stayed much longer. After four days, my four year old was missing his brother and father too much. When the water pump was shut off and my son had an 'accident' because he couldn't make it from one bathroom to the other to do the doo, it caused him so much embarrassment that he was throwing fits every time we left his 'comfort zone', which was far too small a radius.
TIPS for coming with kids:
*They must be comfortable with peeing (and pooping) out of the house and in odd places. Using the Willow Bank Toilet wasn't too hard, but peeing when out working was a stretch for my little guy, and not something I have ever considered an issue before.
*Pack bug bite kits EVERYWHERE. I am the only one who got stung, but having the kit handy was amazing.
* Really listen to the podcasts. Seriously. Paul is the same person on podcast as he is in person. Don't expect anyone to be any different around your kids, and you'll be totally happy! (AKA - people swear; have different spiritual/religious backgrounds, different politics. None of that mattered to me - we were there to learn. If it matters to you - don't come, you'll be offended/triggered/insulted, guaranteed.)
* The area is FULL OF DANGERS. Natural (rocks, wasps, mountains, etc) and man made (sharp/heavy tools, possible Legionella exposure, fire/hot stuff) Basically, assume the whole place is booby trapped for kids because there is NO WHERE that is "kid proofed"
* Realistic Expectations: Having kids isn't had. Having kids while trying to do anything else is difficult. My 15 year old was able to work half days consistently, but he wasn't acclimated to the heat and still needed "mom" to help him; that meant I was parenting two kids, and couldn't really be a boot. I really, really wanted to be a boot. I chose to be mom.
* When well fed and working WITH someone they like, more gets done. Choose your projects based on your kiddo's interests, and you can do more!
*Extra clothes for littles - they just get SO DIRTY and it's easier when you can just enjoy it.
*Portable toys. I wish I was better about bringing things the 4 year old would play with - the reality is, he wanted his brothers and no books, Legos, or dinosaurs were enough when he was with only me.
I was overwhelming blessed by the BOOTs and WOOFs who were there. Several of them helped my kids do BOOT activities and my boys both loved it! My boys are used to being outside, used to using tools, and used to doing what they are told. If you are even CONSIDERING coming, your kids had better be much the same - more Boy Scout of the 50's than millennial cub scout.
I will ABSOLUTELY COME BACK in a year or two. . . without the little kids. They will stay at Grandmas for two weeks while I bring my Eagle Scout and CAP kids to learn alongside me and my husband. If you have a partner who can also take the time off and travel with you, it may be worth bringing a kid or two. But don't expect to be able to get much out of it for yourself. It is hard work, and harder to do while raising a kid.
Yeah, but it happened Just posting a range "summers are typically in the 90's from 2-5 p.m., with occasional bouts up to 100. Evening lows range from 45-60.
Winter lows are typically (what, 10 degrees?) and dip as low as (-20?)
When it is 90 before lunch, the work happens in the morning! We stayed close to camp today because Benya was not ready to get up!
Benya helped Dez and Jen move rocks, and Eli got to use a fire truck to water the 10 foot tall huegel beds.
After lunch, both boys napped and I harvested alfalfa seeds- apparently they are one of a few soil building plants that survive the rocky, dry climate so these seeds are being scattered everywhere.
Speaking of everywhere- grasshoppers! Apparently they really like rhubarb, and bathroom doors.
When Paul invited me to the Wofati groundbreaking as a Kickstarter bonus, I asked "can I come with kids?" And, of course, the answer was a back-and-forth over two days that resulted in both Paul and my husband answering with a resounding "YES!"
For context: I am a 40-year-old mother of 4, homeschooling and urban homesteading north of Seattle. My oldest, Eli age 15, and my youngest, Benjamin age 4, made the 500 mile trip with me. At home, I feel like a country-girl in the city; arriving here, I feel like a city-girl in a country utopia.
2 hours in to our arrival, the 15 year old introvert has pitched a tent, made friends with 3 cats, and seems to be enjoying the "pee everywhere" instruction once he got over his shyness! The 4 year old has found several hills to run up and down, found a bone he uses as a pick-ax to "slay monsters" and hid from the two couples who helped welcome us and showed us around. He has successfully deposited into the composting toilet, and had an amazing conversation via video phone with Daddy about the "2 toilets IN THE SAME BATHROOM! One for pee, and one for poop!"
More posts as I can, perhaps the teen will let me picture him while working. For now, I am praying the excitement wears off and the 4 year old sleeps soon. . .
Did the 3rd meeting (Monday) get posted somewhere, or is that not part of the package?
Am I understanding correctly that the beds have all been removed and replaced with Tubs, or is that just some of them? If there is no beds, then we can't plant a tree, right? The roots just won't be able to go down long enough to be successful.
Is Eastern Washington "cold" enough? We have a variety called Red Haven peaches. Elberta's also do well (and usually what I can) but this spring frosts hit late and destroyed the Elbertas but not the Red Havens. I was going to can the last dozen I have from last week's purchase, but maybe I'll just bring them with me. They are starting to wrinkle but still taste good! I am not sure I will make it to the organic farm I get them from as it is an hour off-road (on 20, not on 90).
Are there any good (read as: organic and nice people) farm stands along I 90 that we could stop at to grab a box of something to share on our way out? My favorite is on Hwy 20 and I'm debating adding an hour to my drive just to bring fresh peaches! Unless you have peaches to share