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PEP refinement ideas

 
steward
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As we're trying to get the PEP aspects and badges all defined, we are receiving lots of suggestions for adding this or tweaking that.  Many of the suggestions have merit, several might not be in alignment with what we're trying to do here.  Discussing them and sorting them out takes time away from getting the remaining badges finished.  Our priority has to be on getting the badges done.

So if something comes up with wording for a BB that is causing serious problems, we'll probably address it quickly.  Those should still be made in the BB or badge threads.  If it's a suggestion, recommendation, improvement, added item or other change, we'll start directing people to put them in this thread.

I imagine this will become a long laundry list of bits and bobs that we'll be able to work through next year.
 
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Would Red Haw berries count, I believe the Red Haw (aka Downy Hawthorn, aka Fireberry) be okay for fresh or dry?  They are also in Montana.
How about Avena sativa (common oat)?  

Thank you!
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

This is in reference to the foraging badge

 
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One I thought of was changing the "weld hitch ball to tractor bucket" to also include welding a receiver hitch instead, that way a hitch with any size ball or a hook can be inserted when needed. It's much more versatile.
 
Mike Haasl
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Dimensional Woodworking:  Maybe consider allowing some natural finishes (https://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com, homemade wax and oil blends, milk paint, etc) and hide glue for the projects.
 
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Hey, I noticed that Shear a Rabbit is not a BB.  I propose that Shearing A Rabbit be added to the Animal Care BB list as 1 point.  
 
Mike Haasl
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This looks like a good addition some day for roundwood woodworking:  https://permies.com/t/153537/Japanese-planing-board#1202036

I also think a lot of house remodeling work could be added to dimensional wood working:  Trim a window, trimwork on a room, crown moulding, build a staircase, trim a staircase, hang a door (maybe homesteading)
 
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For animal care, how about a sand BB for raising a weaner pig to market size?

For community, how about roasting a whole pig?

Building a woodshed?  I built one using lumber I milled with a sawmill and pegged mortise and tennon joints.

The sawmilling BB's lumber dimensions are so restrictive that milling 1x8 board and batten siding and 2x6 decking wouldn't count.  Why not measure based on board feet which is the standard measurement for measuring sawn lumber?
 
Jordan Holland
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I just re-remembered an idea I had a while back. I think it would be nice (over time) to phase out instructional websites and videos to describe how to do projects from outside Permies, and replace them with ones done by Permie members. Maybe someday have all of them by Permie members.
 
Mike Haasl
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Seems like making soap should be a BB somewhere...

Seems like making pottery should be somewhere...
 
R Parian
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+1 on BBs for soap and pottery making!

Also, how about BBs for what to do with extra milk if milking something?  Feeding cats, pigs, etc?  Cheesemaking?  Using whey?

And now that my mind is thinking about cheese, how about BBs for wine making and beer brewing?  Extra points for foraged ingredients - I have a dandelion wine recipe that makes a delicious dessert wine.

Thinking about wine now my mind wanders to wine cellars - how about a BB for building a root cellar?

I think this was mentioned before, but how about a BB for welding a trailer hitch receiver to a tractor implement (rather than welding a trailer hitch ball which is already a BB but is much less flexible than a receiver which is easy to swap out the ball size from 2" to 2-5/16" or a pin receiver for items with drawbars).  I've seen receivers welded to front loader buckets, skid steer plates, three-point box blades, three-point draw bars, etc).  Any of those would do.

How about a BB for training oxen?  If I were an Otis evaluating Peppers, I'd apply a lot of weight on the skill of training oxen - a type of tractor that you can eat and that doesn't need to be fed petroleum. A friend of mine trains oxen and stopped by today to pick up a set of log tongs he loaned me which is what made me think of this PEP idea. The oxen he trains seem like they would be safer to work around than the draft horses my dad used.

How about a BB for something about livestock guardian dogs?  I've never had one, but if I did I think I could have avoided spending a fortune on predator deterring perimeter fencing for my sheep.

So many things I want to do!
 
Mike Haasl
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There is a BB for that would cover cheese making (very lightly) in Food Prep Straw and one for winemaking in there as well.  Root cellar is in a badge somewhere, not sure if Earthworks or Nat Building or somewhere else...

Good list!
 
R Parian
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Should the Food badge have some desserts?  Like bake a fruit filled pie or a crisp or a crunch or a tart?


(source Dutch Apple Pie)
 
Mike Haasl
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There are a few options for that in the Straw level, especially the baking section.
 
Mike Haasl
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Here are some from a friend:

Make a candle
Make a oil lamp
Make soap from wood ash and oil
Make a degreaser/paint remover from citrus peals and vinegar &/or vodka
Toothpaste powder or DIY toothpaste
DIY deodorant w/out aluminum
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:Seems like making soap should be a BB somewhere...

Seems like making pottery should be somewhere...



I'm thinking both of these probably fit the best in Nest. Maybe pottery could go in "natural building" (that's where the natural finishes are), but I think Nest makes sense, too, and Nest needs some love.

Pottery helps around the house a lot: storage for things, cups and plates for eating on, sconces, candle holders, etc. My husband wishes to say, "Pottery is nature's tupperware."

Stone wear would be a thing, too

Maybe Nest could be filled with more of the "things that make a house a home" that don't fit in other areas like textiles or woodworking. I notice that Nest has a "Making a house a home" section. We could add to this:



-- make an oil lamp that burns natural oil (lard, olive oil, etc)


Pottery:

 -- make a clay candle holder

 -- make a clay plate

 -- make a clay mug

 -- make a set of 4 matching/coordinating clay plates

 -- make a set of 4 matching/coordinating clay cups/goblets

 -- make a clay soap dish or soap dispenser

 -- make a clay oil lamp

 -- make a large clay pot for storage

 -- make a clay crock for fermenting (does woodworking have coopering/bucket making?)

 -- make a large clay serving bowl

 -- make a clay tea pot

 -- make a clay tea cup

 -- make a clay pitcher


Stonewear:

 -- carve a stone soap dish

 -- carve a stone toothbrush holder

 -- carve a stone mortar and pestle

 -- carve a stone bowl with fitting lid

 -- carve a plate

 -- carve a cup/goblet

 -- carve a set of 4 matching stonewear plates

 -- carve a set of 4 matching stonewear cups/goblets

 -- carve a stone candle holder

 -- make a grain grind stone

 -- carve a pizza stone

 -- carve a stone pot

 -- carve a stone teapot

 -- carve a stone pan/skillet

 -- carve a stone pot with matching lid


Candle making:

 -- make a dipped wax candle
 
 -- make rushlights

 -- make 4 votive candles

 -- make 4 tealights


Cleaner making:

 -- make a natural laundry soap/detergent using only natural ingredients that rank 2 or lower on the Environmental Working Group website

 -- make a "stain stick" laundry/dish soap bar (lower fat content to combat stains/fats better)

 -- make a "super fatted" hand soap that is gentle on the hands

 -- make soap with wood ash and oil or lard

 -- make a liquid hand soap

 -- make a natural hand sanitizer (essential oils, vodka, aloe)

 -- make a natural greaser/paint remover with citrus peels and vodka or vinegar

 -- make a natural dishwasher detergent using only natural ingredients that rank 2 or lower on the Environmental Working Group website

 -- toothpaste powder or DIY toothpaste

 -- DIY deodorant w/out aluminum


Glasswork?

 -- blow glass cup or goblet with a rocket glass forge

 -- blow glass plate with a rocket glass forge

 -- blow glass jar with a rocket glass forge
 
Nicole Alderman
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For natural building:

-- carve a stone mantel

-- carve stone bricks

-- carve stone keystone

-- carve complete set of stones for an an archway

-- carve a stone bench?
 
R Parian
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Has there been any discussion around adding a BB80 and/or BB100 badge?  I've surpassed BB60 and am not close to reaching PEP1 - I am 35% of the way to PEP1 to be exact according to the new and improved PEP1/2/3/4 Badge calculation from the PEP BB Calculator for Google Sheets (formula refined to account for partial badge progress and updated today, but still excludes the BBV requirement).  Having BB80 and/or BB100 would certainly be motivating/validating for continuing on the journey to PEP1.
 
Mike Haasl
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I experienced a similar lull myself.  At the time I was told that it only takes 80 or 90 BBs to get PEP1.  But in practice, if you are broadly getting BBs (not focusing on 16 specific sand badges) it takes many more.  I think I was at around 130 before I got PEP1...
 
Jordan Holland
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A wooden clamp could be added as a simple woodworking project.
wooden-clamp.jpeg
wooden clamp
wooden clamp
 
Mike Haasl
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Copied from another post in Tool Care:

Lew Johnson wrote:Just a few thoughts when I noticed the lack of Iron badge bits.

Would something like welding on pieces of broken tools be in line? Or even perhaps reforging. Or maybe more complicated mechanical repairs. How about identifying stones usable as whetstones or making your own ceramic stones? Or making or even repairing files!

 
Mike Haasl
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Copied from a post in Community:

Daniel Kruzliak wrote:We are having a community garbage pickup in our local forest next weekend, I image its in line with permies values and could be possibly added in some form to BBs.

# Sand -  Collect garbage in your area - at least 1 full shopping bag.  / solo mission - for good of everyone
# Straw / Wood -  Orginize / Attend garbage collection event in your area.   /  community interaction neccesary.

 
Nicole Alderman
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I was thinking about the woodland care badge, and how there was a straw bb for "1 five-foot tall tomato cage and 1 eight-foot tall pole bean trellis" and then in the Wood badge there's "six five-foot tall tomato cages and three eight-foot tall pole bean trellises."

I wonder if it might be good to focus on different types of trellises, instead of just doing more? Maybe there's a 5 foot tall tomato cage and 6 foot tall pea trellis (those need to be made differently so the peas actually cling). And then one for a Bean tipi and 8 foot-tall bean trellis and a garden oblisk?

I think it'd be neat to have one for wattle fencing. I know Paul like's junkpoll fences, but little wattle fences are really handy for keeping ducks out of a garden or for growing things on. They're also good for using twigs and other such sticks.
 
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I've noticed a bit of a disconnect. In the woodland care badge, one BB is planting cleavers and nettles, presumably because they're edible and fairly prolific. However, the foraging dry harvest list mentions nettles as a valid option, but not cleavers. So should cleavers be added to the forage list?
 
Mike Haasl
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My guess (and it's just a guess) is that cleavers might not normally exist in Paul's area.  If you plant them, they don't count for foraging.
 
Malek Beitinjan
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Mike Haasl wrote:My guess (and it's just a guess) is that cleavers might not normally exist in Paul's area.  If you plant them, they don't count for foraging.



I see. I think there could be some clarification for what counts as a foraged item. In the foraging BB for wet gathering it says "Apples that are the result of guerilla gardening do count." So presumably, if I scattered a bunch of nettle seeds in an area, and then didn't tend to it for a year and came back to a bunch of nettles, would it then count for foraging?  But what you're saying is that things you plant don't count for foraging.
 
Mike Haasl
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Oh, I found out cleavers do grow naturally in Paul's area.  I suspect it didn't make the list cuz he didn't see them as a major food source.  But they likely could have value for the "forage a cup of tea" BB.  Since we're just trying to get the whole SKIP system done enough to publish, this falls into the camp of "we'll improve that bit later on".  Feel free to post suggestions and curious differences that you find in the PEP Refinement thread.  Thanks!
 
Opalyn Rose
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R Parian wrote:Has there been any discussion around adding a BB80 and/or BB100 badge?  I've surpassed BB60 and am not close to reaching PEP1 - I am 35% of the way to PEP1 to be exact according to the new and improved PEP1/2/3/4 Badge calculation from the PEP BB Calculator for Google Sheets (formula refined to account for partial badge progress and updated today, but still excludes the BBV requirement).  Having BB80 and/or BB100 would certainly be motivating/validating for continuing on the journey to PEP1.



I too would love more encouragement towards PEP1 with a BB80 and/or BB100.

I've been logging my BB progress in an excel spreadsheet where each BB gets a line (row) and I discovered that you can get PEP1 certified by completing as few as 83 BBs or as many as 135 BBs if you focus on only 16 aspects.  This is because of the number of BBs required by different sand badges varies from 3 for gardening to 14 for nest.

I have completed 104 sand level BBs and am 86% percent complete with PEP1 (according to R Parian's amazing spreadsheet linked above). I have completed at least one BB in each aspect and have not been limiting my BB activity to only the 16 aspects that I will likely complete for PEP1.  In fact, I am 71% complete in my goal of earning all 22 sand badges - about 150 BBs for me.  This number varies depending on how many BBs you get in Metalworking and Electricity for example (both require 5 points but some projects are 1/2 point and some are higher).
 
Nicole Alderman
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Maybe making a wooden shovel would be good for roundwood?



Maybe making a wooden wheelbarrow would be good for dimensional lumber?
 
Opalyn Rose
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Textile Refinement Suggestions

add a BB for shortening the sleeves under the repairs list - there is already a BB for shorten pants (into shorts)

 
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I made some of these suggestions elsewhere, but as even I can't find the thread, I thought I'd restate them here

Lots of woodworking items are currently not covered by either dimensional lumber or roundwood. Both of these badges are currently very prescriptive, and I imagine more projects will be added with a points system similar to the textile badge in a future revision. Some items to consider adding:
 - Kuzka (or other hand-carved small bowl; straw level roundwood)
 - A barrel or cask (in iron badge)
 - A wooden tap for a cask/barrel (straw/wood)
 - A solar still (in dimensional lumber--or perhaps homesteading? Clean water is essential to life)
 - A solar oven (dimensional lumber straw)
 - A solar dehydrator (dimensional lumber sand/straw)
 - A haybox (dimensional lumber sand/straw)
 - A bow for hunting (roundwood straw/wood)
 - An indoor table (dimensional lumber straw/wood)
 - Seedling trays (dimensional lumber sand)
 - Dibber
 - Wooden pulleys
 - Shaker chair (or perhaps make the phrasing just "chair" rather than "Adirondack chair")
    - Brings up further issues of chairs with turned elements not being represented in PEP. If someone made a shaker chair, captain's chair, or rocking chair, none would count! Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me as each of these requires a much more refined woodworking ability than the listed chair
 - Spinning wheel (wood/iron level of whatever badge it's in)
 - Wooden wheelbarrow (wood level--have to make the wooden wheel)
 - Wall-mounted cabinets (kitchen, shop tools, so many uses for wall storage)
 - Adobe brick mould
 - Hutch or similar piece of kitchen furniture to hold dishes etc
 - Rabbit hutch, chicken coop, etc. Animal shelters are in a tough place between woodworking and animal care. The versions in animal care are very specific, and there would ideally be some way for people to earn badge bits outside of the narrow 'paddock shift' housing options suggested


The following could be twofers for roundwood or dimensional lumber and metalwork (or possibly in tool care):
 - A pump drill or bow drill (like these)
 - A drill press for a hand brace or hand drill
 - A hand auger (like this one)
 - A block plane
 - A spoke shave
 - A mitre box
 - Crop harvesting / processing tools (shucker, thresher, breaker, etc)
 - Dimensional lumber option for frame saw
Bicycle-powered devices should be somewhere. Bicycle-powered threshing machines, or wheat grinders should feature in metalwork or homesteading (or somewhere else?)

Why does the dimensional lumber PEP series have both a "mediocre folding chair" and  "good folding chair" under the wood badge? An error, perhaps?

And finally, why on earth is a broom at the iron level of the roundwood badge? Compared to the sliding dovetails, it's dead easy. Should be at sand/straw level. Also, there is a separate broom task in Nest, at the more appropriate straw level.

(edited to fix weird url situation)
 
Mike Haasl
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Great suggestions M!
 
Opalyn Rose
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Natural Medicine additions/suggestions

Harvest, Dry, and Store ...
Yarrow Leaf or blossom

Oil Infusion
Chamomile (it is on salve list)
Uva ursi (for face care)

Salve
Uva ursi
 
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Grow a luffa sponge.  Grow a dipper gourd...
 
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I posted in the chisel box BB, but realized this might be better thread for it.

The requirements say start with "firewood". Firewood however by definition is wood used as fuel for a fire. We don't want to use the chisel box as fuel right?

So what does that really mean? A chunk of unmilled wood? A piece of wood that is checked and nominally worthless for anything but firewood (can we really use this to make a chisel box? I doubt it)?

The video that someone posted from youtube as a response to my question in the BB thread showed a very very decent piece of wood... I'd be surprised if any woodworker would have burned it.

Seeking clarification.
 
Opalyn Rose
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Textiles
add straw level BBs for the wood - seed - foundation garments so that there is a reference for these items like there is for all the other seed list BBs.
 
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I noticed that out of 7 pages of submissions for the dry foraging bb, nobody has tried anything from the 20 lbs list. I was tempted to try it myself because it hasn't been done, but that's a huge amount of fruit to dry. I collected 50 lbs of apples from public land today, and just finished slicing about 2.5 lbs (as much as I could fit in the dehydrator.) The amount of work that goes into the 20 lb list doesn't match the 1 lb or even 5 lb lists, in my opinion. Could this be adjusted a bit? Or is the idea that all the fruit, even apples, would be dried whole?
 
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