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Please think about doing Badge Bits, commenting on them, liking them, growing and nurturing

 
master pollinator
Posts: 912
Location: Surrey, UK to Singapore to New Jersey
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I want to see more people doing Badge Bits . . .

From 2003 onwards, there was a massive growth in photography as digital cameras became more capable and affordable. The site I spent much of my time on had a forum, much like this one and a gallery. The gallery was a place you submitted your work and people commented on it. You could only post one picture a day. There was a virtuous circle. I spent time looking at other peoples images and mostly lurking. Then I started to develop a desire to post images. I liked the look of macro photography, especially the outdoor variety. I started a newbie post in the forum, bought my first macro lens and tripod and started posting pictures of tiny fungi, nuts, flowers, butterflies. My images initially were pretty rough but as time went by, I became a better photographer and my knowledge of macro photography improved. I started helping others out in the forum and eventually became one of the sites macro experts. I wasn’t ‘the best’ macro photographer and there were some individuals who work was simply breath taking. That didn’t matter though. It just inspired me and I could appreciate the art for it’s beauty and admire the artist for their dedication and vision.

So what does this have to do with PEP, PEA and Badge Bits.

Well, I see them as the gallery, it’s where you take the knowledge you find and discuss in the forum and put it into practice. Like photography, there are many specialities and you can become an expert, or maybe a generalist, or both. Some are linked. I took my macro skills and became an generic outdoor photographer and then worked on my Black and White skills becoming an expert in that area. And there’s a huge overlap. This week, I’ve built a nest box, using dimensional lumber, materials from PEA metal work to get a Badge Bit in Animal Care. I used tools I had sharpened doing Tool Care

Photography can be expensive, so can working on Badge Bits. Both can have a return on investment, not just financial, but mentally, a growth of mindset, acquisistion of skills, personal growth, a sense of purpose and well being.

I would love to see PEP, PEA and Badge Bits to grow in this site, to be the gallery of work, the place where skills are demonstrated. This is my mindset. I am investing time and money, I am learning, developing building life skills.

Here’s what I would like you to do.

If you’ve decided BB’s aren’t for you, you don’t want to SKIP and inherit property, you don’t have the time, you think they cost money, you’re scared of failure, then have a rethink. I have failed many. I learn from failure. Yes, there’s that initial rush of emotions when something you’ve planned for weeks, spent money on and then failed because you didn’t fully read and understand the requirements. But, you then walk away, reflect, learn and return.

There are ones you can already do with what you already know and wont cost money - anyone can wash dishes without a dishwasher. Even if you still don’t want to then think about commenting on what others are doing, add encouragement. When you see a PEP post in the forum, treat it like any other post, dive in and see, read, like, comment. Some of the early Badge Bits have great discussions, not so the later ones. They just sit there sad and empty!

If there’s an area you feel you are already an expert, then maybe you can help. Even if it’s a badge that you do day in and day out, post anyway and then it’s an example for others especially if you’re really good at it and can share some tips.

Why am I posting this? I dived into PEP a couple of months ago. This is my apprenticeship, it’s the practical to accompany my PDC. There is a virtuous circle but it could be so much better. Here are some reasons for my post:

1. Badge Bits posts are undervalued.
2. I’m a learner who learns by example and a teacher who teaches by example. The more people doing this, the more I learn and the more I can teach.
3. Badge Bits are more rewarding when you do them with other people which might sound strange as you’re not in the same space. When I worked on my first 60 badges there were two other people also working on their 60. I felt a mutual support and even though they probably didn’t know it, their work was an encouragement to me. The more people doing BB’s the more collective support there is.
4. I can learn more from a BB that someone else has already done, there’s a permie example not a none permie tutorial - although I must say, some of the examples are fantastic especially in Textiles.
5. I can’t save the planet. The people on the top of the Wheaton Scale can’t save the planet. What they’re doing is influencing others, spreading the word and ideas. Paul’s carbon footprint is now in the negative mega / giga tonnes just by building this awesome site. The ideas here spread and cascade. I want to help that cascade. It would be awesome if I can nudge one person to set up a elaborate clothes line and use it - I was already line drying clothes inside and out but I had crappy plastic and wire airers and just a piece of string across the lawn. Now I have 40ft of proper line inside and out. I can stand by the basement door on the dry patio and not venture onto the wet lawn to hang my clothes. I genuinely get a warm feeling inside, every time I hang laundry
6. I’d love to see some iron badge projects
7. I have an over active monkey brain. I suffer from instant gratification and the dopamine hits from likes and apples. I want more people to level up, be able to approve BB’s so I don’t have to wait for my fix! (Huge gratitude to the people in the background, especially Mike Haasl). I get sad when I spend half a day building a bird box and my post doesn’t get a single like. (I also love that permies gives me permission to be honest without backlash).
8. I really want you to experience the buzz of doing BB, not just the likes and apples, the knowledge of a job well done, the real reward, ignore my previous reason!
9. I want more developer time on this site in the PEP area. I want to see BB count on peoples profiles, along side posts, likes and apples. I want more milestones beyond BB60 to encourage the people who got to 60 to carry on!

If you’re still undecided, then check out these great threads that have helped me:

All about PEP, SKIP, Badges, BB’s and More! - the master wiki page

PEA: The Core Philosophy and Badges

What would get you doing PEP / SKIP BB

PEP BB Google Sheet Tracker

PEP Trello Tracker - this is what I use and it’s awesome

Why you need to get a move on:

Hey all you PEP people - you might want to get a move on

And there’s a book so lets make sure that PEP and PEA is a buzzing area before it’s launch!

SKIP: A book connecting industrious people with land owners

So please head over here and pick a really easy Badge Bit - it will give you a bigger buzz than anything Black Friday has to offer.
 
pollinator
Posts: 375
Location: SE Indiana
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I've thought about it but just not interested in spending that much time. Maybe this winter when I don't have much else to do I'll look into in more. As far as participating in the forum goes I like reading about a lot of things and occasionally comment but I'm mostly interested in plant breeding, seed saving and other garden related stuff. I'm sure if I dug into old files I could come up with enough pictures and stuff to get all kinds of bits in those areas, I guess I'm just too lazy to mess with it.

Other stuff too, like wood working and metal working, I make cool things out of silver. Everyday stuff like fixing a broken tool, a leaking faucet or a leaking roof, cutting firewood, building fences, there is always something to do.  I just can't justify the time investment in documenting it.

 
pollinator
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I accept your challenge. Sort of. I am at a place in life where I have SK's and have IP'ed... many badges I have already done years ago, without documentation, which is a stumbling block for me as well.
Although, documenting my projects with photos has gotten better since the advent of PEP. It is a habit that is still forming, and I forego pictures in favor of progress, especially if my phone is not on my person. Often I have only an "after" photo, but that is at least something. (If I can find it later, and know what it is about...)
I may "skip ahead" and do some of the more advanced badge bits, that I'm skilled at to have more examples for up-and-comers... that might be more my speed. Who knows, there's probably some of the lesser BB's along the way...
 
pollinator
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I've done a couple but it doesn't interest me as there's no reward, there are very few badges that can be completed where I am as it's not designed for my climate, laws or customs and I refuse to buy useless junk just to get a digital pat on the back.
I don't have a smart phone I only have a proper camera so I normally do not have any means of taking a photo on me when I do things as I'm not about to risk an expensive piece of equipment out in a muddy field.
 
pollinator
Posts: 117
Location: Southeast corner of Wyoming
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I would love working on more of the PEA gardening badge bits but I keep running up against the no plastic constraint. My setup is all based on the use of plastic  and has been for a few years.   That means my PEA gardening work gets complicated.  I have to find/buy something that will work with the no plastic requirement, find a way to fit these odd shaped/sizes containers among my carefully planned out plastic pots that fit under my LED lights in winter.   I did get a few things this spring but decided it was more hassle then I wanted at that time.    The badge bits have of course made me think about things I can do such as a poly culture pot or an inside herb garden but they will be in pots I already own so won't count.

I did get one badge bit and may work on a few others this winter but it will be very hit or miss not solid plans at this time.
 
pioneer
Posts: 189
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I like seeing the passion! I've been doing BBs for a good while now, but I've found it's important to pace myself. I got really into it at first and kept trying to come up with ways to accomplish them, but I did start getting burned out on it. I know I could knock out a lot of Nest or Food Prep BBs, but it starts to get boring, plus I'm not learning much by doing it.

The badges that involved things I have zero experience with (which is most of them) have been a lot of fun to dig into. But it also takes me a while to do them, since I have to learn it all from scratch.

Attending the SKIP event at Wheaton Labs was awesome, because I had a dedicated two weeks plus all the infrastructure/equipment I could imagine to do it with. Mike and Fred were super knowledgeable and good at teaching, plus everyone else there was helpful. Basically everytime I started working on something someone walking by would stop me and suggest a better method/tool to work with.

I do believe that once there has been a successful land transfer via SKIP, it will legitimize the program and make it easier to get folks interested.
 
pollinator
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Skandi Rogers wrote:... there's no reward, there are very few badges that can be completed where I am as it's not designed for my climate, laws or customs ...


Skandi, I thought so too when PEP started and I read about what to do to get Badges ... But then I first started by doing things I already did, with the only difference I photographed every step of it, instead of only the end result. Many of these things I did were ordinary household ('nest') activities, done indoors. F.e. washing the dishes and then pouring the water in the garden, it was such fun to photograph all of that!
Yes, there are BBs I will never have, because of the climate, laws, customs of the country I live in (the Netherlands). But there are still many I can do, which are useful to me. And then I'll be rewarded with a nice new icon here below my signature!
 
steward
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Thanks for the great post Edward!  

There is another reason to do PEP even if you're settled on a property and have skills.  We're continuing to plan PEP events at Wheaton Labs.  The planned format is to have one super facilitator (maybe like me) along with several assistants.  Those folks get to come to the event for free.  Half their time they would be expected to guide people doing BBs.  The other half of their time is their own.  They can work on BBs along with other participants or go off and do more advanced things that they can't do at home.  As long as their advanced activities don't tie up a tool or workspace that is needed by the paying participants.

So if you establish your capabilities enough you may be able to get a free event at WL where you can work and play.
 
pollinator
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That is great to know, Mike! The SKIP event has been a little tempting, but too expensive for me, so I now have becoming a SKIP assistant as a goal to further motivate my skipping.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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Mike Haasl wrote:Thanks for the great post Edward!  

There is another reason to do PEP even if you're settled on a property and have skills.  We're continuing to plan PEP events at Wheaton Labs.  The planned format is to have one super facilitator (maybe like me) along with several assistants.  Those folks get to come to the event for free.  Half their time they would be expected to guide people doing BBs.  The other half of their time is their own.  They can work on BBs along with other participants or go off and do more advanced things that they can't do at home.  As long as their advanced activities don't tie up a tool or workspace that is needed by the paying participants.

So if you establish your capabilities enough you may be able to get a free event at WL where you can work and play.


Now I feel sad I live so very far from Missoula ...
 
Edward Norton
master pollinator
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Mike Haasl wrote:Thanks for the great post Edward!  

There is another reason to do PEP even if you're settled on a property and have skills.  We're continuing to plan PEP events at Wheaton Labs.  The planned format is to have one super facilitator (maybe like me) along with several assistants.  Those folks get to come to the event for free.  Half their time they would be expected to guide people doing BBs.  The other half of their time is their own.  They can work on BBs along with other participants or go off and do more advanced things that they can't do at home.  As long as their advanced activities don't tie up a tool or workspace that is needed by the paying participants.

So if you establish your capabilities enough you may be able to get a free event at WL where you can work and play.



I read that soon after you posted and it made my head spin. Being able to help others with BB’s would be amazing. I’d love to get to a level where I could be considered for an assistant role. I really wanted to join the SKIP event in 2022 but it’s really bad timing for me, just when I’ll be handing over the keys and moving home. I’m sure I’ll figure a way to make it to Wheaton Labs at some point.
 
pollinator
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Location: Michigan - Zone 6a
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I've done a few (and plan to do more), but like others said, a lot of them are out of reach either due to regional restrictions (such as foraging plants that don't grow here), space/land restrictions (no room for larger projects such as a 'proper' hugel or most of the natural building bits), and the lack of plastic (making it harder to reuse and/or find free materials).

Also time, which is always hard to find
 
gardener
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I really think the PEA program needs more attention from us. It's the more accessible to the average person of the two programs.

I would have put more energy into those badges than the PEP ones had they been finished or visible when I started.

I understand that PEP is designed completely around Wheaton Labs, and that is both its greatest asset and weak point. It is purposeful, useful, and specific, exclusively so. Nevertheless I do the PEP BBs because I like to provide examples for other people and especially when the BB covers something I was already planning on doing but procrastinating (I have about 100 projects or tasks on the backburner at any given time.)

PEA could really fill the gap.

To OP: I'm working on them Edward... it's just taking me a long time... I'm hoping to have all of the Tool Care - tool handle jobs done by the end of January. That's 5 wedge handles and 4 pin handles. Assuming my castanopsis log provides enough material. I also want to use that same log to make a wooden spokeshave to make the handle making easier... which might delay the completion of the handle BBs. There's no badge for making a spokeshave though, unless I post it to oddball. It's hard to keep pace with you good sir, your work is great and inspiring.

 
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