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Congratulations on getting your land! I'll be sending vibes for a smooth close.

I have listened to all your podcasts and been absorbed into the hive mind. Oh to be 30 years younger without my current responsibilities. I'd be begging to get in.

I look forward to hearing about this marvelous adventure as it unfolds.

Julie
 
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Graham Robertson wrote:Hi Paul, I was directed here form your email entitled "a paul wheaton community." The C Word always piques my interest, because of my trials within that realm and learning about all kinds of images and definitions that people build around it. I am 21 and quit school 6 years ago to pursue a life more connected to nature, myself and others. I have been part of a forming group of an off grid community and natural building business from the ground up as an apprentice with a man who says and dreams about a lot of the things I am hearing you say. I left that "community" because there was no concrete vision agreement, or established decision making process (at the least) before moving onto the land. We both had very different ideas about our values, visions, goals, interests, and most importantly what we share in common. This lack of understanding will slowly but surely erode group coherence.

I spent six months at Open Source Ecology's research center, Factor E Farm as a fabrication apprentice and learned what Marcin's idea of community looked like (basically the same as the former). Both of these places had the same traits in common, and more importantly the same results (very different visions though): development is at a virtual standstill, conflict either abounds or people got so fed up with power imbalances and shattered expectations that they left, or and both places have been completely deserted (at times), due to conflict. Neither have a committed forming group that shares a vision for the community. OSE has a very concrete vision, but do not be confused: OSE and Factor E Farm are two very different things. OSE is a global vision, FeF is one man's property where he plans to demonstrate the mission of OSE.

I have done a lot of research on what it takes to form a successful, resilient, working community, and it starts with a devoted forming group with a written understanding of the vision they share. Only 10% of ecovillages and intentional communities succeed, and that is what they have in common: a written vision statement BEFORE buying land TOGETHER.

I am writing this with the deepest concern and care in my heart, The one thing I have learned with the most conviction over the past six years of searching is the importance of revealing your deepest vision to others so that you can figure out where you want to take it. Alone or together?

You'll go fastest by yourself but farthest together.


I have talked to about a dozen people. Talked with voice. While standing next to them. Face-to-face. And they said "let me know the moment you have land, I will be there." They did not say "let me know the moment you are under contract and then give me details so that I can figure out if I want to be there."



I hear a lot of different expectations from you. On one hand you say you want to hold workshops and to start building stuff, and I understand that to mean dedicated visits from people,

but if you mean what you say in the title of your email: "paul wheaton COMMUNITY," I take that to mean a place where people share responsibility, legal, financial and decision making power. If we agree on that, then I suggest you read Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian. I believe it is the single most thorough and enlightening source on the topic.


there have been the dozens of people that have said that they want to come and be a part of what I do."



My advice is to find that devoted forming group and take time to decide WHAT your shared vision is and HOW to execute it, before even thinking about land buying. You will have your hands full if you invite people out onto your land that think they are joining a long term community. If you do not plan to share financial and legal responsibility, make it clear.


Maybe in a few years I could be paying people. And maybe this summer a bunch of people will move in and the idea of paying people will be silly. If nothing else it seems as if you are not familiar with WWOOFers or interns or organic volunteers.



There should be no maybes if you are in the land buying process and have remote expectations of people living and working on the land for any amount of time longer than a month.

If your intention is to invite people to volunteer, intern, or be farm hands for short periods, then agree to those roles and responsibilities in writing. But I also hear you saying that you envision people coming to stay for the long haul, which implies that you expect them to submit to your decision making process. How much responsibility are you planning to share with these people?


I've been planning this for a very long time. It sounds like my approach to this will be very different than your approach would be on the same land.



Do not call this a community if it is just you who has been planning the vision and direction, and only you who will hold legal and financial responsibility. You might do better to look at the centrally controlled spiritual communities and ashrams, as I am gathering that the ones who want to come out to stay are following you as a leader. What decision making process do you have in mind if you are inviting people to come out for extended stays?



Oops, sorry Paul, most of my questions have been answered upon reading more of your posts in this section. Glad you are making all of this clear.
 
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kadence blevins wrote:
i dont have tons of tools or anything but i'm certianly good at stretching money wherever i can.
i dont have money to rent but i am more then willing to work on anything that needs done. and what i will be able to bring i certianly dont mind trading or sharing. heavens knows two people cant go through 2 gallons of milk per day and without fridgeration the milk/cheese/butter wont last too long anyways. and with the meat rabbits i should have plenty to bring live and butcher for eating as needed. and i'm currently working on getting some sheep which will be able to provide milk and meat and wool in time, meat probably being soonest depending on what becomes available to me.



This sounds incredibly resourceful, kadence. Though I think it would be hard to commit - either on your side, or receive a commitment from Paul's side - without the two-week (or more?) trial period.

Even if you've listened to all the podcasts, there are certain things that won't work themselves out until both you and Paul (etc.) are living on the land together. So, despite all the information we could convey via the forums, podcasts, phone, skype or e-mail, 'the proof is in the pudding,' so to speak.

kadence blevins wrote:
question...
lets say things go well and the land goes through. are you looking at people moving in, in june?
and double checking, that will leave enough time to put in gardens along with starting building? as that will help immensely with feeding everyone and taking produce to markets would help with incomes as well.



Great questions. This depends on what happens with base camp (BC). The details are still being worked out on that, though currently, it likely means a later closing than May 31, which is the closing date for the land (TL).

Once BC closes, Paul will move in there first. (I'm still working out when I will move from the Seattle area to Montana. At this time, Paul does not have plans to move onto TL yet.) So, once Paul is set up at BC, people can join him for the two week trial periods. If BC closing is extremely rapid, or sped up somehow, I imagine mid-June might be plausible - though I really have no idea.

In addition, I think it will be even farther into the future before rental space, land lease space, or any other firm arrangements are completely clear and available.

Housing, poop management and earthworks are Paul's first priorities over setting up gardens or food systems. (Though hugelbed earthworks will likely be seeded and planted with food as a big part of some of the earthworks.)

Paul's first food production goal will be to feed the people on the land and those visiting the land for workshops, etc. Food for market might be a later goal of Paul's, or part of an individual community member's financial strategy - yes. Just not a main part of the first month activities in Paul's view (in my recollection - Paul can and will correct me where needed!).
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Graham Robertson wrote:...but if you mean what you say in the title of your email: "paul wheaton COMMUNITY," I take that to mean a place where people share responsibility, legal, financial and decision making power. If we agree on that, then I suggest you read Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian. I believe it is the single most thorough and enlightening source on the topic.



Hi Graham, it's heartening to me to hear of your path and how you're drawn to communities and learning so much in eco spheres. You're about the fifth person to suggest to Paul to read that book. Diana Leafe Christian is a friend of Paul's. In fact, on one of her recent visits to Seattle, we gave her my son's bedroom to sleep in.

Paul provided links to his community vision and more of his discussions on the community and decision making process in the thread the decision making process and conflict resolution.
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

kadence blevins wrote:
i dont have tons of tools or anything but i'm certianly good at stretching money wherever i can.
i dont have money to rent but i am more then willing to work on anything that needs done. and what i will be able to bring i certianly dont mind trading or sharing. heavens knows two people cant go through 2 gallons of milk per day and without fridgeration the milk/cheese/butter wont last too long anyways. and with the meat rabbits i should have plenty to bring live and butcher for eating as needed. and i'm currently working on getting some sheep which will be able to provide milk and meat and wool in time, meat probably being soonest depending on what becomes available to me.



This sounds incredibly resourceful, kadence. Though I think it would be hard to commit - either on your side, or receive a commitment from Paul's side - without the two-week (or more?) trial period.

Even if you've listened to all the podcasts, there are certain things that won't work themselves out until both you and Paul (etc.) are living on the land together. So, despite all the information we could convey via the forums, podcasts, phone, skype or e-mail, 'the proof is in the pudding,' so to speak.



i completely understand.

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

kadence blevins wrote:
question...
lets say things go well and the land goes through. are you looking at people moving in, in june?
and double checking, that will leave enough time to put in gardens along with starting building? as that will help immensely with feeding everyone and taking produce to markets would help with incomes as well.



Great questions. This depends on what happens with base camp (BC). The details are still being worked out on that, though currently, it likely means a later closing than May 31, which is the closing date for the land (TL).

Once BC closes, Paul will move in there first. (I'm still working out when I will move from the Seattle area to Montana. At this time, Paul does not have plans to move onto TL yet.) So, once Paul is set up at BC, people can join him for the two week trial periods. If BC closing is extremely rapid, or sped up somehow, I imagine mid-June might be plausible - though I really have no idea.

In addition, I think it will be even farther into the future before rental space, land lease space, or any other firm arrangements are completely clear and available.

Housing, poop management and earthworks are Paul's first priorities over setting up gardens or food systems. (Though hugelbed earthworks will likely be seeded and planted with food as a big part of some of the earthworks.)

Paul's first food production goal will be to feed the people on the land and those visiting the land for workshops, etc. Food for market might be a later goal of Paul's, or part of an individual community member's financial strategy - yes. Just not a main part of the first month activities in Paul's view (in my recollection - Paul can and will correct me where needed!).



of course. i think you said what i was thinking, just more clearly then i could think to say it ;)
 
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I would like to donate huckleberry seed/cuttings and would also like the option of a working vacation camp
option.
 
Graham Robertson
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

Graham Robertson wrote:...but if you mean what you say in the title of your email: "paul wheaton COMMUNITY," I take that to mean a place where people share responsibility, legal, financial and decision making power. If we agree on that, then I suggest you read Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian. I believe it is the single most thorough and enlightening source on the topic.



Hi Graham, it's heartening to me to hear of your path and how you're drawn to communities and learning so much in eco spheres. You're about the fifth person to suggest to Paul to read that book. Diana Leafe Christian is a friend of Paul's. In fact, on one of her recent visits to Seattle, we gave her my son's bedroom to sleep in.

Paul provided links to his community vision and more of his discussions on the community and decision making process in the thread the decision making process and conflict resolution.




So what I am hearing from Paul is that he is choosing to make all final decisions himself because he thinks that the community works best that way.

I am thinking that this same framework that has served JavaRanch so well could be a foundation for an intentional community.



Yet, straight from the mouths of the people he praises, they admit that the optimal decision and the circumstantial happening are different things:

The JavaRanch dictator gets that role only because he got here first. Maybe that was lucky, or maybe it was unlucky. But he didn't get it because of being smart, or winning any beauty contest, or popularity contest, or race, or spelling bee, or .... anything that might be useful. He's the dictator due to a fluke.

You might wish that this fluke would have happened to you .... until you see what is required of the job and what kind of stuff this role gets saddled with. With this system, the dictator is the only person that says "no" to anybody (due to saying "yes" to others) - so you might be able to imagine how everybody else seems mighty nice, but there are lots of good folks spending a lot of time sharpening blades while thinking about that damn dictator.



"He has all the power because he got here first" is exactly how both of the places that I visited were operated. And they are pretty much one man shows today.

Paul, I am glad that you have made the most important part clear:

The site belongs to me. The only real option is to leave.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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kadence blevins wrote:

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

kadence blevins wrote:
i dont have tons of tools or anything but i'm certianly good at stretching money wherever i can.
i dont have money to rent but i am more then willing to work on anything that needs done. and what i will be able to bring i certianly dont mind trading or sharing. <snip>



This sounds incredibly resourceful, kadence. Though I think it would be hard to commit - either on your side, or receive a commitment from Paul's side - without the two-week (or more?) trial period.
<snip>



i completely understand.

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

kadence blevins wrote:
question...
lets say things go well and the land goes through. are you looking at people moving in, in june?
and double checking, that will leave enough time to put in gardens along with starting building? as that will help immensely with feeding everyone and taking produce to markets would help with incomes as well.



Great questions. This depends on what happens with base camp (BC). The details are still being worked out on that, though currently, it likely means a later closing than May 31, which is the closing date for the land (TL).

Once BC closes, Paul will move in there first. <snip> If BC closing is extremely rapid, or sped up somehow, I imagine mid-June might be plausible - though I really have no idea. <snip>
Housing, poop management and earthworks are Paul's first priorities over setting up gardens or food systems. (Though hugelbed earthworks will likely be seeded and planted with food as a big part of some of the earthworks.)
<snip>



of course. i think you said what i was thinking, just more clearly then i could think to say it ;)



kadence, I just want to add that your contributions sound absolutely amazing. Your skills, your animal and food systems - all of it. And I wish Paul (or I on his behalf) had a way to say there will be such-and-such a guarantee if such-and-such are met. It's just too hard to know any of those things without actually trying things on for size for both parties. I sent you an e-mail, so do give me a call, or send your Skype address if you want to talk more.

(Edited quoted text <snip> to trim out too much of my blah-de-blah-blah. See original post farther up in the thread for full text.)
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Marla Barak Sanders wrote:I would like to donate huckleberry seed/cuttings and would also like the option of a working vacation camp
option.



Marla, the seed or cuttings sound awesome! And I think a working vacation camp is a brilliant idea. It's going on the list.
 
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Graham, are you familiar with the concept of a feudal dictatorship? I think Paul's place might look a lot like that. His way or the highway, parameters set so that anything happening within those parameters meets with his approval, with final veto rights going to him. Full stop. No questions. Because those choosing to join him on his land have decided that his vision is superior to whatever else is available.

Paul, if I am wrong, please correct and enlighten.

-CK
 
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lets say things go well and the land goes through. are you looking at people moving in, in june?



I would be okay with that.

and double checking, that will leave enough time to put in gardens along with starting building? as that will help immensely with feeding everyone and taking produce to markets would help with incomes as well.



It depends.

I suspect that the first people probably won't arrive until mid to late june. The current land is forest and meadows. Not something you can simply throw seeds on. So I think the earliest steps would be berms and hugelkultur. Then planting food crops.




 
paul wheaton
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Marla Barak Sanders wrote:I would like to donate huckleberry seed/cuttings and would also like the option of a working vacation camp
option.



Like montana huckleberries? Or red huckleberries?

How long are you thinking of coming out?

How many podcasts have you listened to?
 
paul wheaton
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Chris Kott wrote:Graham, are you familiar with the concept of a feudal dictatorship? I think Paul's place might look a lot like that. His way or the highway, parameters set so that anything happening within those parameters meets with his approval, with final veto rights going to him. Full stop. No questions. Because those choosing to join him on his land have decided that his vision is superior to whatever else is available.

Paul, if I am wrong, please correct and enlighten.

-CK



Sounds pretty damn close.

I think the key is: listen to the podcasts. If you get ten minutes into the first podcast and cannot stand to listen to anymore, then it would be best to seek something other than this community. If you make it through all of them and still want to come, then it will probably work out just dandy.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
I still have this idea that i would like to build a rocket mass heater in a teepee and have somebody live in it all winter and then make a video at the end of the winter asking them how comfy they were through the winter.



I would do that. What do you foresee happening on TL during a montana winter?
 
kadence blevins
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paul wheaton wrote:

lets say things go well and the land goes through. are you looking at people moving in, in june?



I would be okay with that.

and double checking, that will leave enough time to put in gardens along with starting building? as that will help immensely with feeding everyone and taking produce to markets would help with incomes as well.



It depends.

I suspect that the first people probably won't arrive until mid to late june. The current land is forest and meadows. Not something you can simply throw seeds on. So I think the earliest steps would be berms and hugelkultur. Then planting food crops.



okiedokie. i was wondering as i wasnt sure the exact dates of frost and freeze there. and of course depending on the land as it is now and how much needs done before anything can be planted. makes sense.

FYI for interested parties:
missoula, montana zip code 59801
Average First Frost September 11 - 20
Average Last Frost: May 21 - 31


i for one wouldnt mind coming soon as i was able to. with finding a trailer and things first of course.

paul wheaton wrote: If you make it through all of them and still want to come, then it will probably work out just dandy.



hahahaha. well i've listened to about 30 of them i think so far and listening to parts of 5 more. i find them very interesting. not boring or annoying in the least.
 
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> feudal

Sounds like a good explanation point. It might actually be worth a small investigation of the feudal system to clarify for those historilogically challenged (myself in most cases...). I'm not an expert but I believe that a very important part of the deal was a publicly sworn contract between lord and vassal. It was a broad and general contract but it _was_ a contract performed in a traditional ritual (read "legal") fashion which connected it to things all people (mostly) believed and found relevant - eg. God, personal loyalty, money and power, danger of starvation and pillage. And it was understood well by all involved even if in practice the vassal would have problems enforcing it. In brief as I understand it the vassal provided grunt and blood for the lord's dreams and projects and the lord provided order, stability and physical protection (among other things) so the vassal could get on w/daily life in a manner and direction they found acceptable w/out wasting time arguing or politiking too much or looking over their shoulder all the time. Paul's note of the duties of the dictator probably applies here.

Not that anybody gives a hoot about history class, except... The feudal system _worked_ (depending a bit on your point of view, of course) for a long time. When trying to set up a working system it can be helpful to examine apparently similar ones to get an idea of what might be coming down the pike and maybe tweak things a little to improve ones chances of success.



FWIW

Rufus
 
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Congratulations on the land, Paul and Jocelyn. I'm excited for you. Paul can finally stop worrying about not having land to prove out his opinions and theories on, and just start building. (My vote is to begin immediately on wofati production once the critical hygiene and nutrition problem is addressed.)

It's funny how much discussion is already flying asking about how "feudal" your community will or won't be. I s'pose it's gonna be fairly obvious who's actually one of your pod people and who's not... you've explained your views on what your vision for community is in no uncertain terms, on enough occasions that it's crystal clear what your ground rules are. Guess members will be self-selecting, whether they're aware of it or not.

For us long-time followers and supporters who are genuinely interested in jumping in and breaking ground for the cause, I've only got one question for now:
Since it'll take me a year to wrap up my commitments here and be able to sign on for a long-term stint furthering the empire. I've got three weeks of vacation saved to invest in your trial period, but would like to time it when I can add the most value. I know y'all are swamped, but do you have any process yet for folks like myself to forward a resumé of skill sets, background, resources, etc. that we can bring to the table? If you know what we're capable of, it might help y'all utilize us more efficiently during our "interview" phase.

Congrats again.
 
paul wheaton
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Emily Aaston wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:
I still have this idea that i would like to build a rocket mass heater in a teepee and have somebody live in it all winter and then make a video at the end of the winter asking them how comfy they were through the winter.



I would do that. What do you foresee happening on TL during a montana winter?



Emily,

How many podcasts have you listened to?

Would you be a renter or a worker? What's your story?

I reckon it will get to zero. It's possible to get to 30 below. Lately the thermometer doesn't seem keen on dipping below zero.
 
paul wheaton
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Kelly,

I'm trying to route interview stuff to Jocelyn.

I like to think that a few years from now, there will be great value to coming to the land. Thu hugelkultur will be several years old; there will be drinking water; there will be ponds and a creek will have been installed where the is currently a dry gully. There will be housing, food and a place to poop. We will have a community and we will be far more selective about visitors.

Right now I feel like there isn't much to see.

I feel like the stuff I say into my podcasts about permaculture is obvious. Plain and simple. I'm baffled that anybody has thoughts that are different than mine. I try to understand why they travel the path they do, but I think that if I say "soil on wood and you don't have to irrigate anymore" then *poof* they get it and we're all on the same track. How is it possible that I'm against using cardboard, but Holzer, Mollison and Lawton are all for it? When teaching the earthworks workshop, and for lots of other events - people seem POWERFULLY hungry for this knowledge.

So, I have this knowledge-stuff which seems like no big deal to me, but others are keen on it.

So, for a while, I guess that's all I have to offer.

So people can come to the land, and, I dunno .... hear me talk about stuff? And apparently, the things I have to say while staring at a blank piece of land is the best stuff.

But, the important part is, I think when we need help the most is at the very beginning.

Well ... I like the idea of taking a week or two to get settled at base camp. But I think most folks would need a week or two to get headed in this general direction.


 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Kelly Kitchens wrote:I've got three weeks of vacation saved to invest in your trial period, but would like to time it when I can add the most value. I know y'all are swamped, but do you have any process yet for folks like myself to forward a resumé of skill sets, background, resources, etc. that we can bring to the table?



paul wheaton wrote:Kelly, I'm trying to route interview stuff to Jocelyn. <snip> But, the important part is, I think when we need help the most is at the very beginning.



Initially, warm, able bodies are a big plus! Once we have a closing date and a green light on when folks can arrive, I'll be coordinating things so that we have enough food and shelter for those who want to help out. And, hopefully, we'll get a bit better idea of some initial main project time frames, too.

As for interview stuff - this is not formalized yet, though Paul and I have roughed out some general things. IMHO, Kelly, there are already some big upsides in that you have listened to the podcasts, are familiar with Paul's style and have the foresight and planning to work with vacation time and transitioning out of other responsibilities. Send me a private message and we can arrange a conversation if you'd like.
 
Emily Aaston
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paul wheaton wrote:

Emily,

How many podcasts have you listened to?

Would you be a renter or a worker? What's your story?

I reckon it will get to zero. It's possible to get to 30 below. Lately the thermometer doesn't seem keen on dipping below zero.



My boyfriend and I were at your earthworks workshop in March (Tony had crutches and I was one of the girls with the pick-axe). We have listened to about 100 podcasts and will continue to listen to more. We are basically professional WWOOFers, having worked on about 20 farms in the last 5 years so would love to work our tails off, as much as would be possible in winter, and test out a rocket mass heater in a teepee. We work in Wyoming until the end of October. I know this thread is meant to plan out the first month, so this would be a bit later and I am sure things will be shifting quite a bit as time progresses. Just wanted to mention our interest and will contact you again in a few months to see if we might be able to fit in over the winter.
 
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Congratulations on the 200! It sounds a lot like my spot in the Ozarks, rolling hills and meadows, forest and lots of springs. I will be following your progress closely, as I'm looking for "community neighbors" also, and I could follow your lead on my 200. Developing the springhead my first priority!
 
steward
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*EDIT* I was apparently responding to an out-of-date post by Graham here--I can see now that he read some more of the thread and reposted. I'm still curious about Graham's story, and concerned about the bootleg copy of Diana's book, so I'm not deleting, just addending up here:

If we agree on that, then I suggest you read Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian. I believe it is the single most thorough and enlightening source on the topic.



Diana Leafe Christian is a member here. She spent some time recently answering people's questions about community. This is a topic she started.

That Google Doc of her book - ? is that a bootleg copy? Because I'm thinking most authors like to get paid for their work. May I suggest that you edit your post to make that a link to its page at GoodReads.com or to a site where you can buy a copy, unless you know Diana is cool with free redistribution of her work.

You've had some interesting experiences in your young life (you left school at 15? Did you leave your family at the same time?) and some of your concerns are legitimate. Some of them are misplaced, however. I'd say that many on this thread are sort of parachuting in at the end of a very long process, not knowing what has come before. And of course, how could everybody know? My advice would be to do some reading and/or listening (podcasts) if you want to know more about what things could be like.
 
paul wheaton
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Emily, I remember you and Tony. I would definitely like to see the two of you up here. When august rolls around, please drop Jocelyn a note and we will make sure we have something for you for the winter.
 
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I've been noodling on this one for a bit. Was getting things together for a working vacation/permaculture related trip to the northwest. Then your farm came up
What I'd expect for the first month:
  • A place to camp/poop
  • I'd expect to pay for what I eat (Communally or personally).
  • Hard work and a little bit of play here and there
  • Lots of learning
  • Good people!


  • That would make me a happy camper.

    Concerns:
    Ideally I would fly in, but that would limit my camping capabilities. Driving in would cut a couple days out of my time.

    If the timing were to work out, I'd be able to do roughly 2 weeks.


    Listened to a good 70-80% of the podcasts and totally on-board. The science of things interests me. Current organizer of a meetup.com Permaculture group in Saint Louis and generally doing a lot of permaculturey things around here. PDC in sept-2012. Overalls are cool.
    -Ryan
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Ryan Barrett wrote:I've been noodling on this one for a bit. <snip>
    If the timing were to work out, I'd be able to do roughly 2 weeks.
    <snip>
    Overalls are cool.



    Sounds great! (I likes ya already! ) Drop me a pm for offline contact info. I'll also post more in the Paul's Farm forum as details become available.

    Same to Emily and Tony. And if I missed anybody else who offered to come out, or who would rather discuss visiting/helping privately, feel free to drop me a pm. Not a lot of firm details yet, of course, though I'll help where I can.
     
    gardener
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    Congratulations to everyone and their dedication to adventure. Jocelyn - if you have a donor of stuff list, please stick me on it - I have an organic orchard/berry farm/farm and nursery in VA. I'd be happy to send out black & raspberries, grapes (if they'd survive over & up there). could surely send over onion sets, garlic, hops etc. Early next spring makes the most sense, but surely your call.
    M
     
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    I am so happy for you Paul and the fellow "Paulites" or "Permites" who will build this community. If I was younger, had 5 fewer dogs and a small stream of income I would consider doing this. I have many skills.

    I am excited for you. If I can be of any assistance feel free to ask.

    All hail King Paul! King of the Permites/Paulites!
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Brenda Groth wrote:This is very exciting and I'm so happy for you and those that will join your evil empire. I had a thought that maybe I might be able to do some cuttingis of plants off of my property in the fall so that they might be ready for you the following spring, if my health holds out enough (recovering from pneumonia right now and lower back is in terrible pain)..can't do much but I might be able to do that. If I'm able to get you any cuttings that I could ship to you I'll let you know but you won't be ready for them until the trac work is done anyway.



    Marla Barak Sanders wrote:I would like to donate huckleberry seed/cuttings and would also like the option of a working vacation camp
    option.



    Marianne Cooper wrote:Congratulations to everyone and their dedication to adventure. Jocelyn - if you have a donor of stuff list, please stick me on it - I have an organic orchard/berry farm/farm and nursery in VA. I'd be happy to send out black & raspberries, grapes (if they'd survive over & up there). could surely send over onion sets, garlic, hops etc. Early next spring makes the most sense, but surely your call.
    M



    Brenda, Marla and Marianne (and anyone else I might have missed), first: thank you. Can't say that enough.

    I started a new thread called donations - seeds, plants, other things. There we will post more info about when to send and such.

    Gosh, Brenda; I do hope your spring is brightening up for you, too.
     
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    I was not sure where to post this as relates to funding of agricultural land option I have not read of on the forums?

    Agricultural investing, the simple way - Fquare

    Onwards to all...

    Brian
     
    paul wheaton
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    It is possible that we will close early on TL. Possibly this week.

    So my thoughts are turning to the stuff at the top of the list:

    1: security. TL is a beautiful spot. The public has clearly been going there for years to bask in the beauty. Apparently, the previous owner put up a gate to keep the public out and the public ripped out the gate. We went to look at TL yesterday and there were some teens on four wheelers enjoying themselves (well, we saw one teen on a four wheeler). So there is one gate currently in place, and a need for two more. I think that the gates should be closed the moment a few people are prepared to be present on TL (near the gates) so that folks will get the idea "oh, I guess this really is private." Of course, for people to stay there, they need a pooper ...

    2: pooper. I think the best thing to do is build a portable wheelie bin pooper. But if we build it up there and leave it there, then it could be vandalized or something. So it seems like construction on this might begin the moment that the gates close.

    A sort of catch-22 thing.


     
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    Latrines?
    Small housing trailers to be moved to the BC ASAP?

    Exciting news!
    kj
     
    Chris Kott
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    It seems to me like what you want is a berry/fruit tree hedge, maybe on top of a series of barrier hugelbeets, encircling TL, with a strong component being (I know you'll hate this, Paul) black locust and/or osage orange, or other suitable pillars of permaculture that happen to have thorns that could easily double as nails and, thus, would be a real downer for ATVs. You like trac equipment anyways, right?

    -CK

    Addendum: I had a thought in the spirit of the observation that the most important part of residential alarm systems is the stickers you put on doors and windows. While I wouldn't suggest any claims you couldn't at least bluff through credibly, I wonder if large signs, probably under the NO TRESSPASSING signs, indicating DANGER, or BEWARE of:

    dogs
    bull
    free-range pig
    ostriches (the females are apparently a danger in breeding season, and with a flying kick can rupture a person's internal organs)
    bison

    In the appropriate contexts, I think that all of these could easily be adapted to a zone 3-4 moat of oak savannah-style food forest along the inside perimeter which would serve as a real barrier, and as rotational grazing for community herds, for instance.
     
    K. Johnson
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    For a hedge, as Chris suggested, Caragana would be a way to go. It is tall, knarly, incredibly durable, can grow dense thickets, and most importantly it is a legume N-fixer and produces abundant little yellow flowers that the bees can the honey bees love it.

    You can see a house surrounded by it a 1640 S 8th (look for a little log house behing two giant fir trees) or a very long stretch of it, nicely pruned, along the golf course on the backroad behind Bitterroot motors. Missoula Country Club maybe? It is possible that the seeds are edible, but that should defintely be checked out. They look like lentil seeds. The starts are inexpensive to buy by the bunch - long straight 3-4' branches that cost about a buck a branch. Best to have soaker hoses on hand to get them established. Also a single strand electric or string fence, that I read about here somewhere (?) to keep the deer off them. I think it would be worth the effort.

    The more I ponder the goals of permaculture, the more I think I should be OKAY to break the rules with some ‘artificial' inputs to get the system to pull itself up by its bootstraps so it can commence to self-sustain. ‘Bootstrapping in permaculture!'

    kj
     
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    I'm not sure if it would grow there... but maybe blackberries?
     
    Chris Kott
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    Lol. Aren't the himalayan variety an invasive? I think they will do fine, provided that they can be kept from spreading with applied browsing after they're established.
     
    K. Johnson
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    I'm not sure why, but blackberries dont seem to do well here in western MT. Maybe not enough moisture to produce juicy berries plus foliage? Winter kill? High soil pH? When I was a kid in western Oregon blackberries were a summer staple of many youngsters with black juice stains all over fingers and faces. Then we built tunnels and 'forts' in the giant spreads of brambles (wearing thick hoodies, of course), The later, in adolescence, we tunneled into those same old forts and got stoned and contemplated our navels. And stuff...Then there were the hazelnuts, and corn on the cob, raided orchards, and salmon. Life was good. Pink Floyd and back-to-the-land-vibes emanating up from SoCal. Ah but I digress...

    kj
     
    kadence blevins
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    paul wheaton wrote:It is possible that we will close early on TL. Possibly this week.

    So my thoughts are turning to the stuff at the top of the list:

    1: security. TL is a beautiful spot. The public has clearly been going there for years to bask in the beauty. Apparently, the previous owner put up a gate to keep the public out and the public ripped out the gate. We went to look at TL yesterday and there were some teens on four wheelers enjoying themselves (well, we saw one teen on a four wheeler). So there is one gate currently in place, and a need for two more. I think that the gates should be closed the moment a few people are prepared to be present on TL (near the gates) so that folks will get the idea "oh, I guess this really is private." Of course, for people to stay there, they need a pooper ...

    2: pooper. I think the best thing to do is build a portable wheelie bin pooper. But if we build it up there and leave it there, then it could be vandalized or something. So it seems like construction on this might begin the moment that the gates close.

    A sort of catch-22 thing.




    first, SWEEEEEEEEEEEET!

    second... sounds like my family *rolls eyes* but anyhow...
    i think if people moved onto the land and there was a "for now" "pooper" system (like humanure in the 5gal bucket style, closing up the buckets and setting them aside to compost) would be good. at least initially until things can get setup and moved in and not worrying about vandalizing.
     
    Kelly Kitchens
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    There's no security like full-time human presence. Struggling with that same issue now, as a close relative's home is vacant... tough to effectively deter two-legged critters.

    An idea might be to think more along the trailer suggestion above. Start building infrastructure now (wheelie compost outhouse, RMH components, teepees, field kitchen or chuck wagon, etc) on property that you occupy currently, but make it in transportable ways... mounted on a trailer OR build it in halves easily bolted together on-site, etc.

    Then when you get your first cadre of teepee-dwelling volunteers there's only deployment to accomplish and you're up and running, and until that time it stays away from vandals and under your supervision.

    That's how I'm building my camper now, actually.
     
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    Howdy Paul and Jocelyn (and fellow permies),

    First, congratulations on finding land!

    Secondly, I might be a potential minion/renter/empire builder. Coincidentally, I'm in Missoula now, just finishing up the Master Gardener program, and leaving my apartment at the end of the month.

    I'm pretty new to the forums but I've been eating up your AMAZING podcasts and articles as fast as my strained brain will consume them. I've listened to about 30 podcasts so far, but I'm committed to finishing all the podcasts and articles, as well as Sepp's book, by the end of May. I'm finding the podcasts so informative... and so freakin' entertaining. Thanks for all the great work you're doing and sharing with everyone. This is EXACTLY what the world desperately needs. I'm fully convinced permaculture is one of the most powerful practical and philosophical frameworks for positive cultural change. I'm so convinced that for the past couple of years I've been refocusing my own life around permaculture in a personal quest for right livelihood, ethical entrepreneurship, and sustainable living. You might say, I've been drinking the "Permaculture Kool-Aid" from a fire-hose.

    To that end, for the last couple of months I've been living in gorgeous Missoula, Montana. I came here for the Master Gardener program and to try out the town as a place to relocate. I've been scouting for land with the idea of creating my own off-the-griddle permie homestead in a community with other permies. But now that you've already found land, you've got me noodling on whether I should instead join with your intentional community/empire (assuming you'd have me)... or at the very least try to find my own place close enough to yours so we might help each other.

    Up to now, I've been assisting a few of my permie and farmer friends in the Puget Sound area with some of their projects and learning from them about food forests, aquaponics, chickens, alternative currencies, seed saving, and anti-GMO efforts. Right now I'm trying to decide on my next steps to take with permaculture and homesteading, as well as my other passion, documentary filmmaking.

    I *had* been planning to take one of the upcoming PDCs on offer by Skeeter, Rick Valley, Larry Korn, or Aprovecho. Maybe take a wilderness skills program, too. But perhaps this is the wrong approach. Maybe it would be better to apply my resources and efforts toward building some lasting relationships in one place, be part of a community that I help to build, document, and share with the world. I've just had a hard time deciding where that might be and with whom; still looking for my tribe and my own private/communal Idaho/Montana, I guess.

    Like Paul, I'm a former software and internet engineer, a detoxing urban refugee of the consumer, cubicle psychic wars, a recovering "corporate whore" as Paul might say, though in my defense I did try my best to do work for worthy causes, with mixed success. I also have a little background in film, video, and documentary production, my first and true calling, so perhaps I could be of help with some of the video, podcasting, and web stuff you do.

    So if you think I might be "minion worthy", please let me know here, or PM me so we can talk about what I might bring to the Empire of Paul. (I also have some of my stuff I need to move from Seattle to Missoula, so maybe Jocelyn and I could split the cost and effort of moving, too.)

    Cheers,
    Charlie
     
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