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steward
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Mmmmm, roast beast.
 
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Location: Southern California (God Help Us)
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Hey all/Paul! How many ant spots are still open and if I were to secure a spot now, could I come out at the beginning of 2016 (after winter?)

I'm only on podcast #30 but have been gardening organically with guilds and humanure for a couple years and recently have really been diving into everything permaculture.

I plan on spending the winter listening to 300+ podcasts, studying all aspects of permaculture (natural building, hugelkultur, etc.) and reading Gaia's Garden and Bill Mollison's Permaculture A Designer's Manual which I already have.
 
master steward
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There are currently four spots left. First come, first serve.

Yes, you could secure a spot now and come out when you're damn good and ready.
 
Ryan A Miller
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Woohoo! Thanks a million. Since there are 4 spots left I don't feel the urgent need to secure one, but I'll watch this thread and make sure they don't disappear. I'll be more in touch after I further familiarize myself with everything here at permies and P.S. lookin' great ON The Search for Sustainability!
 
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Long story short we want to become ANTS
Were Josh and Mavin Giss, were Transplants coming to Missoula in the spring and are ready to grow roots. We currently live in an urban Intentional community, through it’s an awesome living example of a sustainable living we have plan-working to live a “beyond sustainable”. I spend way to long on I.C.org planning, talk, etc... Without giving away our planning history we being complied to make our future in Missoula. I have a history with the city and have felt the awesomeness of land. Our dream/ goal is to move this spring and at first live in or near the city, for my wife is a freelance programmer that will be creating income for the our plan to make a long term commitment to Permaculture land stewardship. I Joshua will be working full time in educating myself in Permaculture studies and working with whomever is dedicated to Permaculture life style.
We want to support the ant farm right away as we build up to a deep roots community role. We have become financially independent and would love to invest right away in a long term rental of small acre of land to have a living –in learning experience .In the long term when our knowledge and your practice of the land we would like to build naturally on the land and permantly live on it.
As for now we are very interested in learn more about the status of Ant village in hope to work together and invest with the system you are developing for world domination!
 
Ryan A Miller
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joshua cockroft wrote:Long story short we want to become ANTS
Were Josh and Mavin Giss, were Transplants coming to Missoula in the spring and are ready to grow roots. We currently live in an urban Intentional community, through it’s an awesome living example of a sustainable living we have plan-working to live a “beyond sustainable”. I spend way to long on I.C.org planning, talk, etc... Without giving away our planning history we being complied to make our future in Missoula. I have a history with the city and have felt the awesomeness of land. Our dream/ goal is to move this spring and at first live in or near the city, for my wife is a freelance programmer that will be creating income for the our plan to make a long term commitment to Permaculture land stewardship. I Joshua will be working full time in educating myself in Permaculture studies and working with whomever is dedicated to Permaculture life style.
We want to support the ant farm right away as we build up to a deep roots community role. We have become financially independent and would love to invest right away in a long term rental of small acre of land to have a living –in learning experience .In the long term when our knowledge and your practice of the land we would like to build naturally on the land and permanently live on it.
As for now we are very interested in learn more about the status of Ant village in hope to work together and invest with the system you are developing for world domination!



We saw it the first time, Paul will reply when he can! In the meantime you should check out Evan and Jesse's ant village logs / video logs.
 
paul wheaton
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Just a reminder: the price to be an ant right now is $1200. That covers an acre from now through dec 31, 2017. So, currently more than two years, thus less than $50 per month.

I feel the need to mention this because people are revving up to be an ant and talking about sending in their $800. $800 was the rate for ants signing up before october of this year and that went through dec 31, 2016. But we announced the change in october.
 
paul wheaton
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It's official: there are now nine ants. There are only three ant spots left.

The ninth ant is Steve Pierce. You might notice that the last name sounds familiar. I'll let Steve introduce himself.


Coming to the lab now is a very smart thing. This is a perfect time to gather logs and junkpole. Also a good time to see what you plot looks like and start making designs and plans.

I think a smart thing to do would be to get all your fencing materials set up. Plan out where your fence will be and where you build your hugelkulturs. You might even want to start gathering the rotten wood for hugelkultur. Then around mid-march the ground is ready. Put in those fence posts and get that fence up. Build the hugels and plant them. Mulching hugels will start in late june. But fencing and planting will keep you busy until july - and then you build.

There is a warm bunk for everybody. And lots of skill building happening.

 
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Congrats Steve! This is great news for the village, I can't wait to get back to work out there with all the ants from last year and the folks who've more recently jumped in to this big boat of adventure
 
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Hi Everyone. I am ant # 9. I had the pleasure of spending two weeks at the Ant Village last August and I got to see first hand and work alongside the "rad and industrious" Ants that were there then. I've been wanting to get back ever since. I've been especially impressed by the nature of the whole international Permies community and how encouraging and supportive they have been to Evan and the other Ants. So I am taking the words of one of Evan's most generous benefactor's to heart: Sue Ba says "It's never too late". I hope she's right. I'll be retiring from teaching this June and will hopefully hit the ground running when I get to the Lab. So much to do to prepare for next winter! Thank you, Paul, for the opportunity. And to all ya'll sitting on the fence out there: What are you waiting for? There are are only 3 spots left.
 
Lab Ant
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Yeah! Go Dad!
 
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Ok, first post, but I have been lurking for awhile, listening to some of Paul's recent rant pods, reading other forums, and of course Evan and Jessie's logs. I have some questions about some of the things I have read or heard.

1. It is hard to tell but it appears no ant is living out the winter on his plot, true? You know it is not the winter that kills you, it is not being prepared for winter that kills you.
2. I would thought the ant's would have looked at ant village living from more of a survival aspect...with permaculture. You know water, food, shelter...tying in permaculture. I may be wrong, and am a lot...but seems to me that the summer and fall for some reason was not enough time to make that happen:
A. Water, no one appears to has a current water system at the ant site (or at the lab it appears) so that is sort of a fail. I am not counting melting snow, but other season water, maybe the ponds will give enough to be sustaining next year. I am confused about the use of plastic at the ant site...I have seen Evan with a plastic milk jug in his hand and plastic buckets so I would think plastic sheet would be acceptable for setting up solar stills for the plots. The outhouse threads seemed to be for the one at the labs, but from the pictures there is appears to be another up by ant village? Either way what is being done with the collected urine? (Oh and on Paul's rant about women peeing on the compost pile...all you need to do is cut the bottom out of a five gallon bucket and mount that where woman can squat over it and then it doesn't matter if it is a stream or a cone...every woman I know that has peed on the other side of a car...has squatted and I have heard all American women have mad skills of hovering over a seat anyway...) Urine has tons of uses, but it could be used to seed a solar still.

B. Food, I never saw an amount of how much was raised at the ant site and how it was stored for winter. Did anyone harvest a nuisance deer for protein? Sorry Evan but when you were talking about planting seeds it made me cringe. It seemed a lot of the seeds you planted were wasted to me. Did you mark where the apple trees and other perennials were placed so you can beat back the native stuff next season and give them a chance? Do you know what a cold frame is? It is like a mini greenhouse for extending the season for some plants and early starting others and super easy to build. We have built them with old storm window...but if plastic sheet is allowed... Anyway the cold frame is where you need to plant the leaf lettuce, spinach, radishes and start plants like tomatoes. Save your tin cans, cut the bottom out and then in half and start seeds in these in the cold frame and then easy to transplant. I have seen tomatoes start from seed and produce (grape tomatoes that reseed as you never seem to harvest them all) but that is here in Alabama with a ~9 month growing season. How did the potatoes work out? I would have gone big on sweet and regular potatoes and the three sisters, corn, pole beans (with your sunflowers too, oh and I usually harvest the sunflowers when the birds start noticing the seeds, hang the heads up to dry or they will mold as you noted) and squash. And with care you could start all that in the cold frame and transplant. Are you going to frost seed some oats or something like that in the Marchish time frame...I would hit all of the roads and banks and berms I could. What would be the easiest way to for me to gift 50lbs of oats and potatoes?

C. Shelter, again is anyone living in their own ant plot shelter? I think I heard Paul say in one of his rants something about the true test will be keeping people there when the snow flys... And what is the deal with cement? It is basically a crushed rock mixture the Roman's invented, pretty natural, so I am not sure why it can't be used some...at least mix it with the dirt floor of the buildings to make a more durable floor and maybe a solar sink.

3. Did Tim and his animals leave? I thought I caught that from one of the podcasts. If so, will that affect future cobbing?

I have more questions but I think that will do for now.

Keep up the experiment, I like it.

Rob

 
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Hi Paul, I'm going to ask these questions here because due to the apparent volume of email sent to you, I suspect you'll see this post sooner than you would if I emailed.

My husband and I are blown away by the opportunity this ant village represents. We're very interested in taking one of those last three ant spots. Last night we listened to both podcasts on the ant village and I am left with a couple of points I need cleared up.

First, some background on us: We're a couple with several young kids, the oldest two of whom are smart, capable and old enough to help with a lot of what we would need to build and do. We spent the majority of 2014 living in the woods here, the kids in a tiny cabin and the two of us with the baby in a tent next to it. The land had no power or water piped in. We built a cob oven in which I baked our bread; foraged for wild foods; cooked entirely outside on the two brick rocket stoves we built; learned about food storage without refrigeration; created braziers to heat the inside of the cabin; collected our water via a rainwater catchment system; created a working relationship with a colony of soldier flies, who ate our waste and provided us with a nice quantity of castings for our poor sunstarved potted vegetables; handwashed our laundry, etc. We weren't able to do nearly what we would have wanted because of misunderstandings with the owner of the land, in that everything was prohibited including basics like putting in a garden and keeping a milk goat or some chickens. We even had to ask which particular trees we could cut and which piles of deadwood she wanted left alone. We left that place for town during 2015. We want to get back to what we were trying to accomplish as quickly as possible, in a place where we can keep some interest in what we have built and raise these kids in a chemical- and radiation-free way, while teaching them how to feed and care for themselves in a society that knows nothing of self sufficiency.

My husband is beginning a new post-injury career as a fiction author, and has a book on Amazon and its sequel in progress as well as a related website for which we are actively seeking contributors other than ourselves. I would be able to get up there with a small reserve of cash, and we have a Dodge Durango which we would be willing to volunteer for carpooling purposes. Since we have our kids to shelter, and since we have been working on the assumption that our next stop would be bare land, our plan has been to purchase a used camper trailer within the next month, with the intention of pulling it up to a semipermanent parking space on the land until we have a small home built. (I was happily shocked to see that you not only advocate but prefer underground housing.) Would we be able to park a 25-30 foot camper trailer on our plot until we build? I would want to get a home excavated and roofed in as quickly as possible, but I have lived largely in the southern parts of the nation and I don't know how early in the year the ground on the plot could be worked. That along with providing our food needs makes me unsure how quickly the camper could be gotten rid of. If there is another option for sheltering ourselves until we can get something built I am open to it, but I do feel it necessary to have some type of shelter in place from the beginning for the sake of the family. If it were just him and me we could sleep in the car, but you know, babies.

So, question 1: Being that you have had some time to see how the ant village will develop, are families still welcome?
Question 2: Would we be able to bring our own temporary shelter? You said in your most recent post that there are warm bunks for everyone, but we have 5 kids age 10 and under, and the youngest is about a month old. I feel pretty strongly that a separate building for sleeping would be important. We would keep the camper self-contained with the intent of getting rid of it as soon as we could; or we could occupy something separate you might have on the place already.

I'll want to move forward with any plans as soon as the finances settle, which should happen within a month. We're doing something of this sort next, either digging into the anthill you've got going or finding a low cost plot of our own in the area, but as things stand right now we would far prefer to join forces with some like minded folks and build some assets before we get our own place.
 
Lab Ant
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Thomas Griffin wrote:Ok, first post, but I have been lurking for awhile, listening to some of Paul's recent rant pods, reading other forums, and of course Evan and Jessie's logs. I have some questions about some of the things I have read or heard.



Hi Thomas, or Rob, not sure which so I'll use both. Thanks for following us in the Ant village. I'll try to answer some of your questions as best I can.

1. No one is living on their plot this winter, exactly. Evan is the only ant currently at Wheaton labs and I believe he is staying in Allerton abbey, just down the way from his plot and his ducks. None of us were quite prepared for winter, and didn't think dying was a good idea, haha. Evan was the closest, getting his structure ready to bury just before winter hit, but a heavy rainstorm came through and soaked the ground. Evan didn't want to bury his house in cold, wet earth, so he is waiting until next summer.

2. I can't speak for everyone, but I was coming at the Ant Village as more of an oportunity to carry out some of my own experiments and projects in permaculture, with the resources paul has offered making that a whole lot easier. There is food and water close by at the time, so I am more into using the abundant resources available now to build a homestead which will provide me with those resources in the future when they may not be available elsewhere. Besides, it's not really a survival situation when you are using an excavator.
None of the ants were anywhere near ready to face the winter in a survival situation, and most of us got a pretty late start if that was the goal. To be honest, most of the guys who became ants didn't have a whole lot of money, so most of the summer was spent doing bounty projects for Paul so we could buy food and tools.

A. There is no water on the lab at this time, but there is a well at basecamp. We go to basecamp so often that it is easy to just fill up water jugs when we are down there and bring them up to the lab. I have a couple of 55 gallon drums. One for my truck, and one on a stand with a spigot. I just siphon water from one tank into the other and I'm good for a while. Paul doesn't really want to drill a well on the lab, as that comes with all kinds of permits and departments of making you sad. Getting water to the Ant Village has been one of his priorities, which so far has focused on trying to get the creek ,which goes underground about a half mile from his property line, to stay above ground or somehow make it to where we can install pipes. Plastic is allowed in the Ant village, though looked down upon by the mighty dictator. We could set up a solar still, although that might violate Paul's guideline that anything we build has to be "invisible from space" or earth integrated. A big sheet of plastic doesn't really match the earth integrated ascetic, and neither does a metal roof to collect rainwater, so for now hauling water ain't so bad.

B. Not much food was grown in the Ant village. Evan got a few radishes and squash out of his garden but that's about it. No one shot any deer or turkeys, although there are certainly plenty around. The problem is storing the meat without a freezer, and no one had montana residency or a hunting licence. Im not sure what the laws are in montana regarding nuisance deer, but I will be looking into it for next season, and getting a deer tag if I can. Most of the work this year was done on building structures and doing major earthworks with the excavator. The earthworks were done late in the season since the excavator was broken for much of the summer.I think a lot of the seeds that Evan planted were cover crops to help cover the new earthworks, so a low germination rate is to be expected. I think this next summer will see a lot more food being grown in the village. The easiest way to send big bags of oats and potatoes might be azure standard, the bulk food mail order service. You would have to arrange with Paul and jocelyn for that I think. Otherwise it's just regular mail to Paul's reserve st address.

C. Evan, Jim and I have structures that are near finished, although Jims is the only one I would consider spending a winter in since it is buried and has a stove installed. Cement is allowed in small quantities. The problem is in the huge amount of energy it takes to produce it. Also, modern cement often has additives of questionable toxicity. Personally, I think a cement floor is a bad idea. Ever worked in retail? I would much rather put the effort into a cob floor, or lay down polyethylene and carpet like Mike Oehler recommends.

3. Tim and his animals left last spring. There is still plenty of bullshit on the labs for years to come.
 
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Shan Renz wrote:Hi Paul, I'm going to ask these questions here because due to the apparent volume of email sent to you, I suspect you'll see this post sooner than you would if I emailed.



Hi Shan!

Paul probably won't be able to address this for a while - he's having some health issues right now. So I'll do my best to give you some answers, keeping in mind that I'm not in charge of anything and haven't checked with Paul.

I would say that if you guys are serious about this ant village thing, don't buy an RV until you get Paul's go-ahead. Aside from issues that he may have with parking one on the land, there is wofat 0.8 which is, in a word, large. I don't know the status on its long-term availability, I just know that it's currently unoccupied. It does need work, but that doesn't seem like something that will intimidate you guys.

Secondly, I'd say don't get too serious until you've listened to more of the podcasts, maybe even all of them.

Third, if your hubs works on the internet he may struggle with that on the lab. Cell and data signal up there ranges from acceptable to pathetic to non-existent, and that's in the patches where you can get it at all.

From what I hear the ground won't be workable until late March, but this is my first winter here so I'm not speaking from experience.

As far as families being welcome, I'm afraid I don't have any intel on that. I don't recall anyone saying anything that would imply that they're not, but that doesn't mean anything.

I hope I don't sound discouraging! You folks seem passionate and experienced and like we'd be lucky to have you here.
 
Sharla Kew
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Thomas Griffin wrote: What would be the easiest way to for me to gift 50lbs of oats and potatoes?



Jesse Grimes wrote: The easiest way to send big bags of oats and potatoes might be azure standard, the bulk food mail order service. You would have to arrange with Paul and jocelyn for that I think



Donating foodstuffs through Azure standard is a brilliant idea, Jesse! I think I know how to set that up, but I'll check in with Jocelyn to make sure. I'll post an update when I've got it sorted.
 
pollinator
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I'm not there at Ant Village, but my viewpoint is that Ant Village is a learning workshop where one can live, experiment, try out permaculture ideas, share information, make mistakes, learn how to live in a community....all in a safe environment. Based upon my own experience of creating my own homestead farm, I wouldn't have expected a lot of success the first year. In my own case, I was too busy making mistakes, learning how to do things, solving problems, getting into shape and toughening up, adapting to minimalistic lifestyle, etc. My second year I finally got things going together a lot more. But it took more years to learn how to really survive and become self sufficient.

I think the ants have made good progress. They're learning construction skills, how to handle some big equipment, how some things work, how a lot more don't, and how to improve upon their projects. Their learning to work along with others in their new community, how to be helpful and functional, and seeing firsthand what sort of behaviors and personality don't work and fit in. And learning the value of their tools and possessions. They're testing their ability to rough it, make do, create from minimal supplies, and to appreciate what they have. So I'd say that they are well on their way, but have a long adventure ahead of them.

Surely there are a lot of things that they need to tackle. Shelter. Food. Water. Energy. Each one of those is a big project, especially on a severely limited budget. I commend each ant who steps up to those challenges.
 
pollinator
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Thomas/Rob,

IMO, Ant village is not a 'survival' situation with added permaculture, if by this you are implying a castaway/naked and afraid/Alone type survival situation. It is in fact pretty much the opposite.

In an isolated survival situation, generally the people involved rather promptly disregard the pesky laws about what and how one may hunt, fish, harvest, dwell. These are not very important if you are staring starvation in the face... plus, if the game warden shows up... hurrah, you're rescued! Furthermore, the goal is generally to survive *until* someone finds you, rather than living alone in the wood indefinitely. This tends to involve calorie conservation and a lot of sitting around once water and basic shelter are sorted.

In Ant Village, the opposite is true. Not only do Ants need to deal with, for example, hunting regulations, they need to deal with Paul's rules, too. More laws, not less. Take water. In a survival situation, when the creek is a ways off from where you are... pack up and move, fool! If the owners show up and ask wtf you're doing in their creek... hurrah, you're rescued!

In Ant Village, not only can you not up and move to where the water is, cuz property lines, you can't drill a well, either, cuz Dept. of Sad is verboten! And you can't build a roof visible from space, so household water collection is hard! And you can't move ahead with excavating for water purposes very fast because breakdowns, all summer! And ditto for earthworks for collecting water! And... well, you probably get the picture.


The goal is very, very different as well... nobody's coming in a helicopter to save them, so quietly fasting in a debris shelter doesn't get you very far. To thrive, producing a surplus of calories and a dwelling and plot that will bring visitors, helpers, babes, attention, Patreons, and a chance at winning the contest... you need to put in a lot of effort and a lot of time. And in the meantime, an Ant's gotta eat, and buy tools, and bounties take time too. Hell, even keeping a forum thread going is work when you're doing it on a cell-phone with a crappy connection!


Cheers, Ants. You're doing awesome shit, and I hope to have a chance to visit again.
 
Rob Griffin
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Sharla/Dillion/Shara,
I go by my middle name “Robin” but mostly “Rob”, but “the man” wants me to use my first name “Thomas” more and more.
Sharla, I was actually asking about seed stock for next year. Looks like I can just buy it online and have it shipped there. But if the ants are starving…and from what Jessie wrote…sounds like not much bounty was reaped from the land…I will look into that too.
I am actually on Jury duty this week and I had prepared this big response then we lost power in the Courthouse and I lost it  I will see if can be like Joseph Smith and put my head in the hat and reproduce it.
Jessie/Dillon, I have listen to Paul’s rant pods on the Ant Village Challenge and have read as many forum entries on it I could find. I have a good handle on the ground rules, an ant picks his plot and that is the hand he is dealt from then on. And I have heard Paul say that he hoped it would be a sustainable village, with maybe specialization and commerce going forward (forever?). Look at what Paul says to start this thread about what he thought ants would do to start. I did not get that Paul was looking at Ant Village as it was just a learning experiment. I, like many others probably reading this have thought “If I was doing it, I would do….” and of course be in it to win it. It sucks about the excavator, hopefully that did not impart an advantage to one ant vs another. I would hate to think this challenge is like a car show where you might as well stack up the money spent and who has the biggest pile wins. I gather from listening to Paul that whatever criteria he will be using to judge he probably will be looking at capital input vs permie design and function.
So Jessie/Dillon do you think an ant can win the challenge if they do not winter over on their plot next year, show they have a sustainable water source, and eat or barter for all their food with resources raised on their plot? Looking at those three aspects. Shelter, if you can win it without building and living in a shelter, why waste the energy during the challenge? Just live in the Abbey and work the other parts of the land. As for water, I almost believe that if an ant comes up with a sustainable water source for the challenge equals practically a win. If the ponds and water management stuff already put in and having the winter/thaw to fill is a huge leg up on any of the later ants joining the challenge. The best the later ants can hope for is that the work done this year did not pan out or Paul comes up with an Ant Community water source and all things are equal again on water. How huge would that be if one ant has water for their crops and an excess to barter with the other ants? I know this is not a true survival situation, but in some ways it mirrors it. And go back and look at Paul’s expectations from the first page of this thread. Seeing how I am not probably going to be an ant I will reveal my strategy. I would not have built a shelter the first year, but would have done nothing but drainage ponds (hopefully picking a plot I could have maximized that on), hugle beds and gardens. Then come up with shelter the second year. I understand having to do it on the cheap, but efficiency of one’s time and mistakes do matter that is why it is a challenge with rewards. But I digress…ok so the third thing…growing your own food. Basically as the ants all found out this year…no water equals little to no food grown. Again the earlier ants will have a leg up on this with the hugle beds they put in this year and if the beds soak up and hold enough water over the winter to really produce big next year. Going into next winter if an ant has food that will sustain them plus surplus they can barter (or use for babes, as that idea did not sound that bad to me) that too is huge for the challenge.
Hypothetically speaking say next winter one ant has produced enough food on their plot to have a surplus to barter to another ant who lets say is surviving the winter, because his crops failed using milled lumber he sold or bartered for food. Which would look better for the challenge?
As for the deer, I just did a quick search and it does not appear Montana has a nuisance program like that for farmers, but they do have a big intown deer problem they also don’t know how to fix either. That is a story you will probably never see in Alabama much…there are too many people that would love it if the deer came to them within bow or crossbow range. It is a shame that none of the ants got a hunting license after 6 mo residency as that would been another chance to have surplus to barter. If deer are as thick as everyone talks about I think I would have found someone on the lab or base camp that was eligible that I would have guided to harvest one and split it with them. One elk will go a long way too. I also saw that Montana has a spring and a fairly long fall season for Turkey. Fred seems to be a good canner…I never heard if it was a pressure canner to be able to can meat.

Had to cut this short as have been selected for jury…glad to know there will be no wanting for BS at the Lab for the foreseeable future.

this is good stuff
Rob
 
Jesse Grimes
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Rob, you can not win the challenge without overwintering in your own shelter. In fact, the challenge will not even take place unless at east 6 ants live on their plots for the entire winter before judging takes place. That's the reason we were focusing on shelter the first year.

I agree with you that a sustainable water source would be a big step towards winning the challenge, however, there are other aspect to be judged on, along with minimum requirements in order to be judged, such as having at least 300,000 calories of food produced on your land and preserved or stored so it will last through the winter. Ponds seem like a reasonable choice, and a few of us are putting ponds in on our plot, however in this part of Montana evaporation is nearly twice precipitation, so it is likely that whatever water is collected by a pond would evaporate before the next rainstorm. I focused a lot on bringing water into my plot via the roads, and my plan is to store it underground in the soil where the plants can reach it instead of above ground where it would evaporate. Paul isn't a fan of irrigation, so I imagine you might even lose points for having a tank for watering your garden.

The excavator was a bummer, but I don't think it gave anyone much of an advantage, more of a disadvantage all around. Evan got to use it for a day or two early on, but it broke soon after and no one got to use it until late summer. Paul has said that someone could come in with a load of cash, hire someone to build their structure and do most of the work, and still win the challenge based on what has been created. I think he wants infrastructure and full time residents more than anything.

As for food, getting lots of hugel beds built seems to be the popular strategy. I'm not sure if trading lumber you milled for food would qualify for the minimum calorie requirement. I think you need to either grow it or forage it yourself. You can purchase feed and then run it through an animal to create calories.
 
Rob Griffin
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Ok, got narrowed out of the jury selection and am done...but I have done one of my constitutional rights.

Jessie,
I was going to talk some more water stuff. I saw a video Paul did where he was talking about a stealth pond or something like that. Basically you dug the pond, filled it with rocks, then covered it back up with a earth cap. Again I am giving away my "if I would have been an ant secrets" as I would have tried to build several of those stealth ponds on the plot along with other standard ponds,and maybe gray water marsh. One thing I have noticed from your videos is that land seems to grow rocks rather well. As for standard ponds, you want to minimize air flow across the the surface as the saturated air layer right above the water is fine until it gets mixed the dryer air above it. So on all your standard ponds build berms around them to cut the wind. I remember there was a dairy farm when I was growing up that floated car tires, buoyed by wine bottles, later then had pond lilies all over them to cut evaporation losses. The pond was fenced to keep the cattle out too. It always seemed to be full even during the really dry years. I am not sure why he could not have done it with lilies, but I think it took them awhile to get started (but they really took off, probably tons of nutrients running in there). And most of a water lilly is edible and they are hardy, I am sure you can find some up in MT. For the challenge besides the stealth ponds I would also have had a couple of small open ponds I would have bermed, floated tires, heck build a shade trellis over them, and try growing water lilies....That over the last couple of years after spending some time in Israel I am a huge fan of drip irrigation.

Anyway those are just my ideas. I have a bunch of use or lose leave this year so I am planning on coming out to gapper for several weeks in the April to June time frame. I think it will be good to get a close look and help where I can. I can't wait to peel logs for days on end...

Rob
 
Rob Griffin
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Sharla,
I set up an Azure account and I have your address as:
Sharla c/o Paul Wheaton
2120 S Reserve #351
Missoula Mt 59801

However they want a contact number at the receiving address, I guess if something goes wrong. I don't think using my number will help. You have a number there I can give them?

Rob
 
Sharla Kew
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Hi Rob,

Jocelyn and I have been trying to figure out how to make donating though Azure work. The telephone number isn't the only problem, and we're finally giving up on it.

So no donating though Azure =( but if you want to donate money to be put towards food for the ants, there's a variety of ways to do that. The ant love forum - http://www.permies.com/t/45973/labs/ant-love - has more info on that.
 
Rob Griffin
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Sharla,
I guess you were tied up with helping Paul so I rolled the dice and just went ahead and bought some stuff and had it shipped to that address....It actually was not that painful and if it gets there let me know. It was like 30 lbs of dry stuff and spices. If it somehow it does not get there, I will chalk it up to experience and will go a different route next time.

Rob
 
paul wheaton
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Forgive the poor grammar and poor spelling. I am using the voice recognition thingamabob.

As for kids, I think we've written about kids at here many time. I wish to make it clear that there have been some kids out here that have been just awesome. But for every awesome kid there's been five that have been icky.

One of the most important things is I am very concerned that people will choose to not try innovations because it could introduce dangerous for children who happened to be walking by. I wish to make it really clear that innovation is 100 times more important then the safety of unsupervised children.

In fact, I think that's the key phrase unsupervised children. For supervising children. The primary function of this property is permaculture innovation. When children are there, it's very easy of the safety of children take a priority over all of these things. So if a parent comes with assurances that that is not something I need to worry about then I feel far more comfortable.

If you are thinking of coming out that, then of course it would be too cold to stay on your and plot. We have bugs in space. Something could be arranged for both body 0.8.

Bunks. Bunks and space.

4 people staying and are already constructed spaces I am now getting very strict but that is just great provided that those people can keep those spaces tour ready. That could be very challenging with children.

We have spent so much money cleaning up after people here, I'm I'm concerned about adding to that with children.

I suppose another way of looking at it is that having children here is great provided that the parents will thoroghly take care of my stuff and leave no impact from their children. I like the idea that families with children will lead to beautiful things and will not lead to me spending $5,000 to clean up after them.

Ask for something like an RV: I don't mind something small for a few months, with the long-term idea is to not have something and on the lab.

Sorry for the bad grammar , bad spelling, and even bizarre word placement. I cannot use the keyboard right now now. So I'm trying to use voice recognition software / my cell phone.
 
paul wheaton
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Spring came early this year. There are bits of green everywhere and the ground can now be worked.

This is the time of year to peel logs. For the next four weeks or so the peeling should be much easier than any other time of year. About twenty times easier. The bark almost falls off.

There are only 3 spots left for ant Village. Another way of expressing this is that we currently have 9 ants.

There must be six ants that go through this winter and arrive at the finish line in the fall of 2017 in order for the grand prize to be handed out. More information on that is in the ant village challenge thread.



 
paul wheaton
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Sean Pratt is ant #10!

2 spots left!
 
Lab Ant
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Omg omg Paul Wheaton said my name! I'm semi famous by default!!! Oh yeah I'm also now an ant which is also very awsome!
 
evan l pierce
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Woohoo! Congrats Sean!

Sean is a grade-A badass yankee and I expect he'll pull off some wicked cool shit here in antville.
 
Jesse Grimes
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Welcome to the village Sean! It will be great to have more people around this year. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I believe there are some posts in this forum by some current ants about what to expect out here and how to best be prepared. PM me if you want any more advice. I look forward to meeting you.
 
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Would it be possible to join the ant village after the PDC and AT courses? (After listening to all the podcasts of course) And could I pay in cash at the PDC?
 
evan l pierce
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Sam, I would recommend becoming an ant before the PDC/AT so that you can attend them for FREE, rather than paying for the PDC/AT and then paying again to become an ant.
 
Sam Phillips
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That would be ideal. The thing is I already paid for half of the PDC and AT and I thought Paul said the cutoff date for that had already passed and I won't be able to arrive until shortly before the PDC. My finances are pretty touch and go to be able to cover everything so being able to get in on that offer in some way or something would make it a lot more feasible for me. I appreciate the suggestion.
 
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How do I find out more current information on the Ant Village, if you are you still taking 'Ants' for your contest & how much is it to sign up? Thanks.
 
paul wheaton
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There are two spots left. To grab one, you need to send $1200

Send payment via:

paypal: paul at richsoil.com

bitcoin: 177pNU2a9iCpUXQwXX9EbtA2UwZpgeqcMT



To get recent info about ant village, one way is to watch this thread of evan - he has posted a LOT of pictures. This link is from the last week or so:

http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/840/45960


before that:

http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/800/45960


a few others put pics here: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/160/24511


And then there is the forum dedicated to pics, videos and whatnot from wheaton labs: http://www.permies.com/forums/f-102/labs

ant-village-sign.jpg
[Thumbnail for ant-village-sign.jpg]
 
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I would like to become an Ant.Currently am unable to come up with $800 but I do have a partner,a vehicle and two lifetime s of homesteading skills.Would it be possible to exchange work for an acre plot or we also would be very happy to sublease a portion of another Ants plot.We are just about 1/2 through the required podcast listening and we are positive that we would be a perfect fit for your amazing community.Thank you so much for all that you have done to open our eyes and mind to the benefits of permaculture.
 
paul wheaton
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Vicki Marie wrote:I would like to become an Ant.Currently am unable to come up with $800 but I do have a partner,a vehicle and two lifetime s of homesteading skills.Would it be possible to exchange work for an acre plot or we also would be very happy to sublease a portion of another Ants plot.We are just about 1/2 through the required podcast listening and we are positive that we would be a perfect fit for your amazing community.Thank you so much for all that you have done to open our eyes and mind to the benefits of permaculture.



It sounds like you would like to talk to evan. That sounds a lot like what evan is trying to do.

 
Vicki Marie
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Thank you so much for the rapid reply.I will contact him via his regular updates and through the pm.
 
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