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the permaculture bootcamp in winter (plus half-assed holidays)

 
master steward
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Some people seem to think that there is nothing to do here in winter, but there is LOTS to do:

  - keep that sawmill running!
  - frost seeding
  - garden planning
  - permaculture designing
  - the festival of shelves
  - junkpole fence at basecamp:   Winter is the perfect time to build junkpole fence at basecamp
  - interior natural building
  - equipment maintenance
  - we run rocket mass heaters and other rocket contraptions. Winter is the best time to really understand the value of all the rocket mass heaters we have.  And to build experience with each of them.   And because we have so many rocket mass heaters, this place might be one of the best cold climate places to be in the winter.
  - as we use firewood, we try to replace it for fuel to be used next year
  - Winter is a good time to make skiddable structures next to the shop.  When the structures are done, we can move them where we need them.
  - Experience the ATI of the wofati and the wofati greenhouse  
  - Plow some snow with the tractor from time to time


The great list of half assed holidays!

Updated for winter of 2021/2022

thu nov 25 - thanksgiving

fri nov 26 - day of fire - a half day of improving fire stuff

 - build indoor and outdoor firewood racks
 - do all rocket spots have
         o a kindling cracker
         o a poker
         o an ash bucket
         o ample fire starting paper and a propane torch
         o a nearby fire extinguisher
         o good firebricks for the wood feed
 - find quick and easy ways to upgrade rocket mass heaters
 - make improvements to the bun warmer space
 - evening with the bun warmer
        o plus a tiny camp fire in the middle (with our little camp fire contraption)
        o smores
        o hot dogs
        o hot drinks (tea, spiced cider, etc.)

wed dec 1 - day of light - a half day of improving the lighting in and around our nest

 - add mirrors
      o on walls
      o in window wells
      o lots of creativity
 - add lights that are more efficient by lighting people more than the room
 - add solar night lights outside - find artistic themes
 - different sorts of prisms in the windows
 - add indoor night lights
 - make full room lights that can be turned on at the source that add HUGE light to the room
 - light experiments
 - possible candle lit dinner
 - an evening campfire (bun warmer or pavilion)
 - maple foods
      o maple meringue cookies
      o maple rolls
      o maple cookies
      o spaghetti with each person adding about a tablespoon of maple syrup (tip of the hat to Elf)
      o horchata sweetened with maple syrup
      o fresh bread served with whipped maple butter
 - hot spiced cider

wed dec 8 - wooden spoon day - half day

 - we all carve wood kitchen utensils
 - maybe one cutting board
 - make lots of soup that people eat with wooden spoons!
        o make bread bowls for soup
 - ice cream to test the strength of wooden spoons

fri dec 10 --  christmas decorating day - a half day of

  - setting up a tree and all the decorating
  - popcorn
         o +maple syrup to make popcorn balls
  - make a wreath
  - convert a cubbie into a "nativity" featuring wheaton labs stuff
  - christmas movie

wed dec 15  - christmas stocking day - a half day of

  - making christmas stockings (for current and future boots)
  - baking
  - further cool decorations
  - christmas movie

wed dec 22  - christmas baking day - a half day of baking

  - and a christmas movie

fri dec 24  - christmas eve - half day of (i need ideas)

  - I will go into missoula and get chinese take out for everybody
  - egg nog
  - fudge
  - confections
  - add an ornament to the tree
         o must be something that can be used for many years
         o says your name plus "christmas 2021"

sat dec 25 - fancy foodening

tue dec 28  - wood box day (half day)

  - try to replace plastic bins with wooden crates and boxes
  - maybe try to make a box that will almost hold water
  - maybe even try to make some dovetail joints
  - some boxes will be quick and some will be very nice

fri dec 31   - half day of putting away christmas stuff plus movies

  - black eyed peas, greens and corn bread
  - spaghettit

hot springs day - mixed in somewhere.  Surprise half day

wed jan 5   - fermentation day (half day)

  - water keifer
  - kim chi
  - miso
  - kraut
  - sourdough
  - keifer

  (i need ideas to flesh this out)

mon jan 10  - national houseplants day (half day)

  - overhaul all of the houseplants
  - modify stuff to be houseplant pots
  - coleus seeds

thu jan 13 - proenneke day  (half day)
   - small roundwood projects all with hand tools
         o coat hooks (cut forked branch style)
         o coat hooks (dry pegs in green half-round of wood)
         o a kitchen chair (probably pretty big and blocky)
         o repair projects

wed jan 19 - quilt day (half day)
  - collectively make one quilt for one thing
      o maybe a window quilt
      o maybe a curtain for somthing
      o maybe a bed quilt
  - each person has their own square or two to be added to the quilt
  - they can add messages with laundry markers
  - each boot can add their name
  - somewhere it says "bootcamp 2022"

wed jan 26 - pina colada day (half day)

  - blended drinks (with umbrellas), pizza and the house is 80 degrees
       o beach music
       o drink from pineapple cups
  - improve the dock
       o add tropical somethings
  - improve the library
  - movie featuring pina coladas or beaches
       o shrek (plays the pina colada song)
       o pirates of the caribbean
       o lilo and stitch
       o fantasy island
       o swiss family robinson
       o guardians of the galaxy

wed feb 2 - groundhog day (half day)

  - the movie - duh
  - music "I got you babe" by sonny and cher
  - pancakes for dinner
  - if 6 more weeks of winter - build more shelves
  - if spring comes 6 weeks early - seed stuff
 
wed feb 9 - dye day dye dye dye (half day)

   - just one natural dye color for each year
   - a white t-shirt (or similar) for everybody
   - dingy sheets and other house fabrics could go in
   - everybody can bring their own stuff too
   - thai food
   - fruit punch color matches the color of the dye


Changes?  Stuff to add?

 
steward
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I gotta wonder, what happens on houseplant day???

Maybe paper-making or some fun crafty things on Valentines Day?

Maybe some more Christmas movies on the latter half of Christmas Eve?

I think you've added in a lot of fun, seasonal, community-building things. It sounds like winter will be a lot of fun!
 
paul wheaton
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I gotta wonder, what happens on houseplant day???



We buy a lot of awesome houseplants and pots and stuff.  Propagate a lot of what we already have.  Go around the house and charm the socks of our inside garden.
 
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I love the fun day ideas and I'm totally stealing them. My project list is painfully long and it can be tough to come up with relaxing ideas that aren't just vegetative.
 
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If there is still interest in the rocket sauna, my offer to put up the coin for needed materials still stands. Personally, I'd love to see a project just for the boots, by the boots, for the boots.
 
paul wheaton
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My impression is that once the greenhouse is done, josiah is gonna make his own rocket sauna.  Not one for everybody - just for josiah.  Like that?
 
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Rocket Sauna is an excellent winter project!  Combine with a polar plunge pool . . . .
 
paul wheaton
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Sofia is making a bowl by burning out the inside of the bowl






Indoor projects




winter harvested sunchokes




using the classroom as a theater ---  watching "Brave" from the couch balcony




I'm wearing my hot pants!





the snow can hide the tipi door





we saw cat footprints in the snow and eventually (months) managed to get this feral cat to come this close for bits of salmon





The snow melts and freezes a few times




winter is a great time to whittle up a spoon





we tend to make a lot of shelves in winter

 
paul wheaton
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Here is the tipi in the second winter - wow, this is old, it is still using that very first canvas with the weird green stuff




Everybody is headed up to do some lumberjack (lumberjill) stuff




Emily demonstrates how to "lumber jill"




winter fashion




Josiah saw a bobcat!

 
paul wheaton
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fred and josiah setting some posts at allerton abbey




allerton abbey in winter




some interior cob work in winter




lots of sawmill stuff





lots of planning and design in the winter




we do a lot of timber stuff in the winter




winter kittens




conducting experiments




allerton abbey in winter




basecamp is pretty overrun with wild turkeys all winter





doing a lot of winter timber work gives us lots of small branches which are excellent for winter paths




the first sign of spring


 
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I love the (new normal) Holidays!
Btw Jan 6th is my birthday so "Let them eat cake 🎂! I will bake!
I am already working on decorations! Also for the dock!
Awesome to be a part of this community!
 
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Julia Winter wrote:Rocket Sauna is an excellent winter project!  Combine with a polar plunge pool . . . .



Yes, Love a polar plunge!!
 
paul wheaton
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We might be inviting two more boots out in a couple of days.  Details:

https://permies.com/t/146876/permaculture-projects/bootcamp-waiting-list#1173660

 
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I heard through the grapevine that you have acquired some professional music equipment that most anyone could play. Why not have a sing-a-long with Paul leading as first voice. Please do not take this lightly for music soothes the savage soul, so I've read. Winter and cabins do have a fevered reputation. Eric
 
paul wheaton
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:)

I suspect that nobody wants to hear me sing.  

And I saw the new musical instruments - which included a juice harp!  :)

 
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paul wheaton wrote::)

I suspect that nobody wants to hear me sing.  

And I saw the new musical instruments - which included a juice harp!  :)


Why wouldn't we want to hear you sing???
And is there a photo of the juice harp?
 
paul wheaton
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Why wouldn't we want to hear you sing???  



Because I cannot remember the words, and because I have no idea what any of this means:



There are several people here that are musically inclined.  I am not one of them.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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paul wheaton wrote:

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Why wouldn't we want to hear you sing???  



Because I cannot remember the words, and because I have no idea what any of this means:



There are several people here that are musically inclined.  I am not one of them.


Paul, you don't have to know what that means. Singing is just a way to use your voice. You know well how to talk, singing is like talking, only a little different. And for the words (lyrics) ... they can be written on paper :-D
 
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Is there room in the winter camp? I love the idea of tinkering with fences and rocket mass heaters. How abiut a winter solstice celebration too?? I'm in the Pacific Northwest and looking a working for Cob Cottage.

More community, more love, more productivity!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Last I heard, Paul sent out notice of 2 opening in bootcamp, and no one on the waiting list was able to come out. So, it sounds like there might be an opening.

Here's more about the waiting list: https://permies.com/t/146876/permaculture-projects/bootcamp-waiting-list

And here's where/how to join the Bootcamp waiting list: https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp/#Join

I hope that helps!
 
paul wheaton
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The half assed holidays are a big hit.  Jen told me everybody is enjoying them and everybody is jonesing for the one today.  Lots of talk about what to make.  I know I am giddy.  It sounds like there will be two hours dedicated to baking and then we will all settle in to watch "Love Actually".



 
paul wheaton
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So we just finished houseplants day, and we spent a couple of hours reviewing the half assed winter holidays.  

We have some ideas for next year.   So here is a slightly updated generic calendar:

---

thanksgiving - all day off (josiah offered to cook a magnificent dinner)

day of light - a half day of improving the lighting in and around our nest
  - maple meringue cookies
  - hot spiced cider
  - add mirrors
       o on walls
       o in window wells
       o lots of creativity
  - add lights that are more efficient by lighting people more than the room
  - add solar night lights outside - find artistic themes
  - different sorts of prisms in the windows
  - add indoor night lights
  - make full room lights that can be turned on at the source that add HUGE light to the room
  - light experiments
  - an evening campfire (weather permitting)


christmas decorating day - a half day of setting up a tree and all the decorating

christmas stocking day - a half day of making christmas stockings
    plus
        o baking
        o further cool decorations
        o christmas movies

christmas baking day - a half day of baking
    plus
        o finish stockings
        o further cool decorations
        o christmas movies

christmas - all day off - I will go into missoula and get chinese take out for everybody
   2020:  No chinese restaurants open on christmas day, so I ended up going into missoula and getting the chinese food on christmas eve - so that was our christmas eve dinner.   And then on christmas day i took everybody to a super fancy restaurant.

(new half assed holiday goes here)

jan 1   - half day of putting away christmas stuff plus movies

pina colada day (half day), blended drinks, pizza and the house is 80 degrees

houseplants day (half day)

---

We decided that there would be a hot springs day somewhere in the holiday season.  It would be a surprise.

Jen is super emphatic for the day of fire
  - build indoor and outdoor firewood racks
  - find quick and easy ways to upgrade rocket mass heaters
  - make improvements to the bun warmer space
  - evening with the bun warmer plus a tiny camp fire in the middle (with our little camp fire contraption)
         o smores
         o hot dogs
         o hot drinks (tea, spiced cider, etc.)

A few more possible holidays that would need some more details:

  wooden spoon day
     - we all carve wood kitchen utensils
     - maybe one cutting board

  roundwood brik-a-brak-day
     - coat hooks, curtain rods, bathroom hooks, towel racks, etc.

  fermentation day

  wood box day
     - try to replace plastic bins with wooden crates and boxes
     - maybe try to make a box that will almost hold water
     - maybe even try to make some dovetail joints
     - some boxes will be quick and some will be very nice


The mission for next year is to make the winter at wheaton labs so enticing that we have 12 people staying here through the winter.  The nights are long and cold.  And it seems like for most of the half assed holidays they really brightened the winter!  And this was our first try!  It was a success!   Let's do more!

 
paul wheaton
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Apparently, January 10th is international houseplant day

https://permies.com/t/220/146265/permaculture-projects/Dez-Bootcamp-Experience-BRK#1208538


 
paul wheaton
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(notes for next winter)

(note that a "half assed holiday" (HAH) is an afternoon (4 hours) of required bootcamp labor spent on something a bit less boot-ish)

a possible 2021/2022 calendar:

thu nov 25 thanksgiving (full day off)

wed dec 1 day of light (HAH)

tue dec 7 day of fire (HAH)

fri dec 10 christmas decorating day (HAH)

wed dec 15 christmas stocking day (HAH)

wed dec 22 christmas baking day (HAH)

sat dec 25 christmas (full day off)

tue dec 28 wood box day (HAH)

fri dec 31 christmas undecorating day (HAH)

sat jan 1 new years day (regular saturday stuff)

tue jan 4 fermentation day (HAH)

thu jan 6 wooden spoon day (HAH)

mon jan 10 international houseplant day (HAH)

thu jan 13 roundwood brik-a-brak day (HAH)


plus, surprise mystery day:  hot springs day


 
paul wheaton
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Maybe we need a tie dye holiday.  Something where we can pick a single color and lots of stuff can get that color - thus some dingy white stuff can get a whole new life!  And if people wanna do rubber bands to get the tie dye effect, that's cool too!
 
Sonja Draven
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paul wheaton wrote:Maybe we need a tie dye holiday.  Something where we can pick a single color and lots of stuff can get that color - thus some dingy white stuff can get a whole new life!  And if people wanna do rubber bands to get the tie dye effect, that's cool too!


Sounds like a fun day for late winter when it's dragging along and spring isn't in the air yet.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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paul wheaton wrote:Maybe we need a tie dye holiday.  Something where we can pick a single color and lots of stuff can get that color - thus some dingy white stuff can get a whole new life!  And if people wanna do rubber bands to get the tie dye effect, that's cool too!


In my opinion a tie-dye-day is more for spring or summer. After dyeing all those things have to be dried on the clothes line. And in warm weather you can do the dyeing outdoors.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Apparently, Montana gets a lot of snow. And snow=sledding fun! Josiah made this great video of Clayton and himself sledding!

 
paul wheaton
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another idea for a half assed holiday:  proenneke day    
 
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paul wheaton wrote:another idea for a half assed holiday:  proenneke day    



Is this *DO* be a Dick day?
 
paul wheaton
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:another idea for a half assed holiday:  proenneke day    



Is this *DO* be a Dick day?



It could be a sub title!
 
paul wheaton
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i have updated the half assed holidays in the first post.
 
paul wheaton
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More ideas for a HAH:

   lawn chair design day

   warm our nest day
      - contemplate ways to insulate better and stuff like that

   labels day

   energy footprint day
      - find ways to reduce our overall energy footprint

   free shelf day
      - expand and tidy up the free shelf system?
 
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Are there any plans for us to join in on any of these virtually?  :)

Sandy
 
paul wheaton
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S Smithsson wrote:Are there any plans for us to join in on any of these virtually?  :)

Sandy



Give me an idea of what you have in mind.
 
S Smithsson
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The  dye day caught my eye.  Perhaps a thread posting recipies and pics on that day, kind of a dye-a-long?  :)

Sandy
 
paul wheaton
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I got an email with suggestions for christmas eve.

I feel like the half assed holidays must include something that fits the bootcamp at least a little.  When we make christmas stockings, they are for future boots.  Dye day will bring some life back to some of our linens.  Groundhog day has us building shelves or ordering seeds.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm wondering if maybe, since Christmas Eve is pretty much a holiday everywhere (when I worked in a preschool, we had 4 holidays off a year: Christmas, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving), maybe Christmas Eve could be a "whole-assed" holiday?

Other ideas if a whole-assed holiday isn't a good idea:

  • Paper making for cards/wrapping paper. Use old scraps and such to make better paper
  • Making cards for each other!
  • Maybe everyone picks a name of someone else and makes something random for them out of just what's available at Wheaton Labs. Being able to give and receive gifts can really brighten people's day and help with a sense of community...even if the gift is just a bar of soap, or a spoon, or knitted hat
  •  
    No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
    paul's patreon stuff got his videos and podcasts running again!
    https://permies.com/t/patreon
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