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how do I get the hugelkultur article into the brains of 50 million people

 
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Talking about goodfinder reminded me of something.

Stumbleupon is a site that I have not yet figured out. But they have 40 million people.

Apparently 1,137 people have come to the hugelkultur article from stumbleupon already. I've been to sites where their stumbleupon meter shows something like 200k. But it must take somebody that knows how SU works.

Back to goodfinder: it looks like we are currently at the top of their home page. Traffic from yesterday: 2. Today-so-far: 24

They do seem to have "best of all time" and all we need is 52 more up votes to grab that all time slot.

I upvoted, although I was kinda thinking "who am I giving my email address to?"

I'll send something out on the daily-ish email today.
 
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I think with Stumble Upon you get more hits when people give it the thumbs up. So everyone here should hit their Stumble buttons on the article and ALSO give it a thumbs up. Then Stumble will distribute the link to more people. I posted two similar articles that I had written on Stumble--one got 8,000 hits in a day and the other got about 59. The difference seemed to be the # of thumbs up.

Paul, I just posted your article on my blog. You are guaranteed, oh, maybe a good dozen people from that . Yes, my blog traffic is pathetic-- but winning their hearts and minds, one person at a time!
http://woolyacres.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/hugelkultur/
 
paul wheaton
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Somebody emailed me and told me about some bad links on the page. About seven. they had to do with the move to the new forum software. I fixed those.

A possible thing to keep in mind is the idea that we might be able to get more traffic if the page somehow seems not just good, not just great, but super-duper-excellent. So this could be a really good time to explore polishing the page. Earlier suggestions were made that led to the "in a nutshell" at the top, and a FAQ lower down.

What are some things that could polish this page a little more?

 
paul wheaton
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Julie Helms wrote:I think with Stumble Upon you get more hits when people give it the thumbs up. So everyone here should hit their Stumble buttons on the article and ALSO give it a thumbs up. Then Stumble will distribute the link to more people. I posted two similar articles that I had written on Stumble--one got 8,000 hits in a day and the other got about 59. The difference seemed to be the # of thumbs up.



Maybe since the old version of the article was .... okay-ish, it just got a few thumbs up. So the ratio is only 10% thumbs up to views. So, not worth sending more people.

So, some thumbs-ups would, indeed help. And maybe the thing I should do is make sure the article is extra-extra-extra good and worthy of 90% thumbs up rate so that if more people come ....


Paul, I just posted your article on my blog. You are guaranteed, oh, maybe a good dozen people from that . Yes, my blog traffic is pathetic-- but winning their hearts and minds, one person at a time!
http://woolyacres.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/hugelkultur/



You should put your blog into your signature here on permies.


 
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paul wheaton
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Marianne West wrote:here is another one: be a presenter at the Mother Earth fair. http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/home.aspx

there also is a place for people to request what they like to see. So, everybody, request Hugelkultur



How many people come to the fair? A thousand at each stop?

 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Marianne West wrote:here is another one: be a presenter at the Mother Earth fair. http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/home.aspx

there also is a place for people to request what they like to see. So, everybody, request Hugelkultur



How many people come to the fair? A thousand at each stop?



according to the news article 8000 in 2 days - had about 200 exhibits
 
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Roger that PAUL

 
Dave Bennett
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Paul, I would suggest that you contact Keith Johnson. He uses StumbleUpon to link all of the videos he posts on the Permaculture Activists page @ facebook. He could give you some insight into the effectiveness of site.
 
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wow it got removed within 7 minutes

i think because of the name - saying it's unrelated to anything

which is what i was getting at before saying it sounds foreign

 
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Paul, I would suggest that you contact Keith Johnson. He uses StumbleUpon to link all of the videos he posts on the Permaculture Activists page @ facebook. He could give you some insight into the effectiveness of site.
 
paul wheaton
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Marianne West wrote:
according to the news article 8000 in 2 days - had about 200 exhibits



So, I remember there was one in washington state. If I were to do that, that would require two days of driving, two days of manning a booth. Printing for 8000 flyers. They charge for the booth .... So .... I'm thinking it is beginning to look like $1000 in cash plus four days of my time - but I do reach .... maybe half the people? 4000.

If I give the $1000 to stumbleupon, they will send 20,000 stumblers to the article and it will take only about ten minutes.

I guess I'm thinking that the whole spending money path is extra hard since I'm attempting to live so frugally. I am willing to spend money in this space. But I am trying to carefully measure ROI.


 
paul wheaton
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Raven,

I've never even seen that part of SU. Wacky.

Dave,

Thanks for the info!

 
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Just visited stumble-upon and gave it the thumbs up, also made a positive comment. Great stuff.. having fun helping raise awareness..
 
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One idea for improving the accessibility of the hugelkultur article for urban gardeners:

Show pictures and ideas for small beds. I mean something that fits into a tiny city lot and uses the types of small diameter twig and brush wood that urban neighbors cull out of hedges and the semi-wild strips between garages and alleys. I can imagine too many people seeing those big beautiful logs and thinking "nice idea but we don't have any wood here". Mini hugelkultur beds with a shallow trench piled full of twiggy wood could help spread the general idea to and through people who normally wouldn't have easy access to wood lot waste.

The big logs also are intimidating to people like me who dislike heavy lifting and think building these beds will just be another favor to ask of stronger friends and family. Little "hugee" beds are less impressive but teach the same concept as the log beds.

I'm on a tiny urban lot and am also having a bit of trouble designing a lot of hugelkultur space on our small lot because the slope of the packed earth would probably direct water toward our foundation. Part of me wonders if it would be okay to just build a half hugelkultur bed right against the foundation (mounded up wherever there is not a basement window well), but no idea how that would affect a stucco exterior wall over time. Maybe some more info geared toward the smaller yard or gardening close to buildings would answer some of the questions I have about hugelkultur in my "zone 1" area.

Another question I still have is how hugelkultur might work on a somewhat steep slope where there are sidewalks directly below (in other words, if the hugel wood starts pouring down the hill, the city and neighbors will be rightfully annoyed with us). In the twin cities there are so many houses with these sloping front yards (sidewalk anywhere from 2-20' below grade of the house/main yard) that I wonder if hugelkultur + strong rooted perennials would be a better choice than a retaining wall and useless lawn (which is what most people end up doing here).

Those kinds of usage scenarios might be helpful. I love the example of the woman planting up her hellstrip bed with hugelkultur and edibles, but I also think a hugel bed of that scale with all those big old logs is beyond the scope of what the average urban/suburban gardener can fathom for a first hugel project. If hugel can solve some common landscaping problems elegantly, cheaply, and eco-friendlier than stone walls and drip irrigation systems, that would be a good thing to emphasize. I think when you show mostly wood lot and wide open spaces, it makes it look like it is not something for "normal" city people (which is all relative... we're putting in over 30 fruit trees this spring on a postage stamp lot... but even I wouldn't build a 3' high bed on the hellstrip because it makes the boulevard less usable for me and my neighbors (getting in and out of cars... we have elderly, babies, and handicapped people and I don't think they should have to climb over 3' logs to get out the passenger side). Maybe show an urban usage scenario that is more neighbor-friendly and realistic.
 
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it seems you need to do some basic PR if you want to get your stuff into the wider media Sending an email to Mark FRAUENFELDER at boingboing.net (http://boingboing.net/markf.html) might be a good start perhaps ask him for some suggestions about getting some traction for your article he seems to be pretty good at getting his stuff out there. Sending an email to Erik Knutzen at rootsimple.com is another he has a blog I read regularly and has a good following.

I just submitted it here:http://submit.boingboing.net/

cheers
 
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Oh and my experience with stumble upon is that there are a lot of people on there who are very unfriendly toward self-promoting sites (similar to some areas of reddit). I run a handful of adult sites and the general sentiment is that it is welcome for me to post other people's pages but not my own (go figure). We still got some good traffic from SU and reddit but they are both kinda hostile to honest self-promoters (a well-managed puppet account is going to be MUCH more effective at promoting your stuff than you could being transparent about your area of expertise/authorship).

Pinterest.com is a good place to share also. It has good audience overlap with etsy.com (crafts/handmade/vintage goods) so be sure to pin with titles like DIY No Irrigation Garden Bed, not hugelkultur. In a social media promotion context, hugelkultur is a crap keyword or title because people won't click or search a word they don't yet recognize. Stick with "raised garden bed" and adjectives like DIY, Water Saving, Money Saving, Best No Till, etc.

Also, this is the kind of article you could easily market the old fashioned way: local newspapers. Most community papers accept articles written by people in the area they serve. Maybe Paul could ask his loyal army to submit an editorial or feature to their local paper with a plug for the online article. A lot of old timers still read their local paper and come spring all the garden articles are popular.
 
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Re ideas for the article and putting it out there... Paul have you been interviewed on local TV? Surely you must have. How about making a much better video than the current hugelkultur one. And produce, at the same time, a short step by step, bullet pointed document to go with it. You could have a one day hugelkultur bed creation thing and invite the local TV to film it.... I got loads of pr for myself years ago by always inviting press to my seminars, workshops.. totally free of course... or offer a free place on the course for the most deserving case to be made.. and put it out there for judging... make it a national competition.. so lots of pr. Don't underestimate the power of the press and the media other than online publicity.... lots more you can do..

After all, is it the article you want to go viral or do you want more.. to have 50 million people making hugelkultur beds.. now that would be some great goal!!!

xx sunny
 
paul wheaton
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SU: it looks like I paid about $20 for 458 stumbles in august. Currently, it shows 1139 views. It was "discovered" in april of 2005. I'm not sure how many "likes" there are, but there are pictures of 42 people who apparently "like" it. Oh wait! I see it. "Liked by 130"

I added a comment complete with a tag for "gardening".

I don't see how to add other "interests" to the side. I would think "gardening" should be one.

I'm thinking of shelling out another $20 to SU and see if we might get more likes-per-views than in the past.



 
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I, for one, would love to see this in practice in my semi-arid climate. I'm sure it works great for folks that have plenty of trees they can cut down, but we can't afford anymore deforestation in the name of agriculture here. Without wood, does it work? Are there alternatives to wood?

So, how can we implement these methods on brittle/dry lands (the vast majority of the world's land)?
 
paul wheaton
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I think there are some good comments and questions about hugelkultur here. And I'm getting a whole bunch in my email too. I'm thinking it would probably be best to keep discussion about hugelkultur itself to the permaculture forum - where we have gobs of threads about it. And in this thread we can talk about polishing the article and getting the article into 50 million brains.

 
paul wheaton
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peter eller wrote:it seems you need to do some basic PR if you want to get your stuff into the wider media Sending an email to Mark FRAUENFELDER at boingboing.net (http://boingboing.net/markf.html) might be a good start perhaps ask him for some suggestions about getting some traction for your article he seems to be pretty good at getting his stuff out there. Sending an email to Erik Knutzen at rootsimple.com is another he has a blog I read regularly and has a good following.

I just submitted it here:http://submit.boingboing.net/

cheers



Peter,

I think that since I'm not familiar with either of these, my contacting them would seem .... like I just want to use them. "Hi I don't know you, and I don't care. I just want you to promote the hell out of something that I made!"

Since you are familiar with both of them, it seems that if you contacted them, that would be appropriate and excellent "Hi, I'm a big fan of your stuff - I've read almost everything. Hey, here is something that I think fits your stuff ..."

Would you be okay with putting in the good word for hugelkultur with these folks?



 
paul wheaton
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Kelly,

Adult ... as in naked people?

puppet account: I far prefer being open. I recorded a podcast with jocelyn a couple of days ago that goes into this a lot. You are, of course, 100% correct. And I think the solution is that it may be most appropriate for me to use these things less and lean on others to convey my stuff to these sites.

Pinterest: Somebody earlier in this thread set up the hugelkultur article there. I'm starting to see a fair bit of traffic! This one is still brand new to me. Maybe I should poke around a bit more.

Local newspapers: I already talked to a local reporter. he wants to create an article about hugelkultur when it gets a bit warmer.



 
Kelly Rued
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Paul, sorry I went OT with my hugel questions here. My point was that as an urban person with mostly urban/suburban friends and family, I don't have many people to share your page with (that I know will care and use the info).

I don't think the page really speaks to the landscaping/garden needs/wants of urban/suburban folks without more info about small scale, how these big mounds affect your drainage (on smaller lots people are deathly afraid to mess with the "grade" and risk flooding their own basement). The resistance isn't just that the mounds look weird, it's that they look impractical and wrong for any lot that doesn't have acreage (basically people who only have zone 1 and 2 under their control... which is most Americans).

In permies I think a lot of people have a big land holding and forget how these articles look to people on normal sized lots. They look cool but not like something to try or share at home. Sorry I don't know how to use that feedback to make the article more share-able but it's hard to make something viral if it doesn't resonate deeply with people. As someone into permaculture, this resonates and I know I can adapt it to my constraints on our land, but as a marketer, I think the article looks like it's for a certain audience and not something everyone and their mother should know about.

Keep emailing everyone with voting links too. I click through and vote up your stuff.

Also, although Huffpost can be annoying, they seem to publish and republish a lot of green articles with WAY less merit than your hugel article. Might be worth the traffic.
 
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With your efforts to bring more traffic to this page, there will be people viewing this page who have never heard of you, permaculture, hugelkultur, Sepp Holzer, etc., and I would give them a concise, introductory starting point to begin to understand the concepts you are promoting.

With that in mind, my idea is to include a ""mission statement"" of some sort right after the heading 'raised garden beds:hugelkultur instead of irrigation... something to 'very' briefly explain the concept and reasons for doing this - like "A low/no maintenance way to grow veggies, fruits, etc., in a permanent bed"
This would tell someone with no permaculture background the goal of this method so they can decide if they are interested in reading more. A brief statement about permaculture might fit here, too, like "This is one method of using Permaculture, a creative way of living that involves careful planning, better use of our resources and maintains a respect for life." (permaculture statement borrowed from PMinx Hatfield on the 'what is permaculture' forum)

So the header would look like this:

raised garden beds:hugelkultur instead of irrigation (in the bold font, with the next text in regular font))
a low/no maintenance way to grow veggies, fruits, etc., in a permanent bed.
this is one method of using Permaculture, a creative way of living that involves careful planning, better use of our resources and maintains a respect for life.

(followed by the 'nutshell' section...)

I know, this isn't technically a way to bring more people to the page, but I feel strongly that it would help those who do visit to more quickly understand and feel comfortable with the concept, and thus be more likely to cause them to share or give it the "thumbs up"...
 
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At the risk of sounding stupid, what are you talking about. I would be more than happy to support this website as I have received some valuable information. Maybe there are more out there like me who are far from computer qeeks and would like to help but don't know how. Give it a thought.
 
paul wheaton
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Sunny Soleil wrote:Re ideas for the article and putting it out there... Paul have you been interviewed on local TV? Surely you must have. How about making a much better video than the current hugelkultur one. And produce, at the same time, a short step by step, bullet pointed document to go with it. You could have a one day hugelkultur bed creation thing and invite the local TV to film it.... I got loads of pr for myself years ago by always inviting press to my seminars, workshops.. totally free of course... or offer a free place on the course for the most deserving case to be made.. and put it out there for judging... make it a national competition.. so lots of pr. Don't underestimate the power of the press and the media other than online publicity.... lots more you can do..

After all, is it the article you want to go viral or do you want more.. to have 50 million people making hugelkultur beds.. now that would be some great goal!!!

xx sunny



I've been on tv, but not about hugelkultur.

I keep inviting them to my stuff and they keep not showing up. I think you are right, there needs to be something that better gets their attention.

 
paul wheaton
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Kelly Rued wrote: My point was that as an urban person with mostly urban/suburban friends and family, I don't have many people to share your page with (that I know will care and use the info).



Ah.

I think most hugelkultur use is urban. I think most of the pics and videos are urban. Urban is where it really sings.

I think the pictures show big wood, small wood, tall beds, short beds. Is the opening image not urban-ish enough?

Huffpost: link? When I have my blog/press release ready, I take it that that might be one place to hit?
 
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Kj,

An opening paragraph. I can see that happening. I'll try to think of something.

Mary,

I'm not sure what you are suggesting. Do you mean money?

 
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Paul,

RE:"Kj,

An opening paragraph. I can see that happening. I'll try to think of something."

I think the shorter the better, just a 'grab line' for a person to scan quickly. 2-3 sentences at the most would be about right, I think..
 
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thank you so much for the info on hugelkultur. I live in Florida and have been gardening hit or miss for over 20 years. I have been collecting neighbors leaves for a long time, also various manures. I have read A LOT of books on gardening, but NEVER heard of hugelkultur before seeing it on permies. I am a little sad that I have not been enjoying the fullness of gardening. Needless to say I put the link to richsoil.com on my facebook page. Also I am quite the little hugelkultur evangelist. I tell everyone that I see. I am currently burying bark by my road. It is limerock. I have built up some fairly decent sand/soil over the years. But now I am letting all my neighbors know that I am collecting wood for hugelkultur. I told one of my neighbors to save me the newspaper for my "hugeling". Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:SU: it looks like I paid about $20 for 458 stumbles in august. Currently, it shows 1139 views. It was "discovered" in april of 2005. I'm not sure how many "likes" there are, but there are pictures of 42 people who apparently "like" it. Oh wait! I see it. "Liked by 130"

I added a comment complete with a tag for "gardening".

I don't see how to add other "interests" to the side. I would think "gardening" should be one.

I'm thinking of shelling out another $20 to SU and see if we might get more likes-per-views than in the past.



Now 1742 views and 158 likes. So 603 new views and 28 new likes. Wow - less than 5%.







 
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Well, I am thinking (always a dangerous thing, right?)

You may find 20,000 minds right here: http://kitchengardeners.org/
This says they have 32K Twitter followers: http://www.thedailygreen.com/

So I wonder if someone were to get anyone's attention in these places what could happen!
 
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Lisa Allen wrote:Well, I am thinking (always a dangerous thing, right?)

You may find 20,000 minds right here: http://kitchengardeners.org/
This says they have 32K Twitter followers: http://www.thedailygreen.com/

So I wonder if someone were to get anyone's attention in these places what could happen!



Wow, those are both jumbo sites!
 
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Monte Hines wrote:
I registered and commented:



That's my strategy, one that I recommend to all participating in this action. Follow the link to the new post, register and comment, THEN SHARE IT to all my networks -- FB, Twitter, Portland Permaculture, etc., etc.

FWIW, I use the AdddThis toolbar on my browser. Makes it wicked easy to share sites to your followers. In Firefox, it's an add-on or extension. IE/Chrome/Safari geeks, please share your expertise on this!

 
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Paul,

Regarding your request for input to imprve the article: I'd like to see a link to the "hugelkultur raised garden beds FAQ" so that can be share as well, esp. since the frst question has to do with dealing with HOA restrictions...
 
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I haven't read all 5 pages of suggestions, so perhaps these have all been suggested previously.

1. Write a Hugelkultur article for Mother Earth News. MEN, is more advertising-driven now than it used to be, but it is still the first back-to-the-land type read that most people see.
2. Hell, write an article for any magazine that has garden content. Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, whatever. It'll be considered a "quaint" way to eco-up your garden. Doesn't matter to us if they view us as quaint as long as they're helping to spread the word.
3. There needs to be a concise and pretty Hugelkultur book with all the details, around 200 pgs and available for $20 or less. I know we have a lot of the info in Sepp Holtzer's Permaculture, but for the message to succeed it needs it's own book on the lines of The Humanure Handbook or Becky Bee's The Cob Builder's Handbook.
4. You're a Reddit user moreso than a Twitter user, but try to get some Twitter word of mouth going with a #hugelkultur hashtag.
5. Get 100 people to pledge to put in a Hugelkultur bed in 2012. People naturally talk about the projects they're working on.

Good luck!
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Jackson Barnett wrote:Paul,

Regarding your request for input to imprve the article: I'd like to see a link to the "hugelkultur raised garden beds FAQ" so that can be share as well, esp. since the frst question has to do with dealing with HOA restrictions...



I think what you are suggesting is that there is richsoil.com/hugelkultur#FAQ which takes you straight to the FAQ. Is that what you are asking?

 
Jackson Barnett
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Location: Foothills of SW Maine - Zone 5a
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paul wheaton wrote:

Jackson Barnett wrote:Paul,

Regarding your request for input to imprve the article: I'd like to see a link to the "hugelkultur raised garden beds FAQ" so that can be share as well, esp. since the frst question has to do with dealing with HOA restrictions...



I think what you are suggesting is that there is richsoil.com/hugelkultur#FAQ which takes you straight to the FAQ. Is that what you are asking?



Umm... Yes, I guess so. So the first thing I saw when I clicked on the link would be:

"hugelkultur raised garden beds FAQ

"My HOA won't allow anything like that, what do I do? (my neighbors would freak out, what do I do?)

"There are many possibilities. Some people dig a trench five feet deep, fill that with organic matter and have some... "

... right?
 
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In the spirit of brainstorming...

Start a "Kahn Academy like", chalkboard videos from your experiences for permies.com & richsoil.com ...

"Paul Academy"

Slowly build a list of "Kahn Academy like" videos that are the building blocks for you changing the world...

Long term resource for young... middle... old... What a Legacy for you / world!!!

Paul - I KNOW YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO GET DONE WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW...

You are good at getting help... Maybe support & help could be volunteered...

I think you have all the skills for Chalkboard videos...

Chalkboard videos once done can be viewed by thousands multiple times... They will multiply your effectiveness greatly...

YouTube advertising off your academy might bring income to further your efforts...

Your arsenal for saving the world - 1) On site technology videos, 2) Audio podcasts, 3) Paul Academy chalk board videos 4) ...

What do you and others think?

PLEASE DON'T YELL AT ME! Thanks in advance for not... :

Regards.
Monte Hines
Hines Farm Blog





 
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