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deep roots - an alternative to buying land at wheaton labs  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Rather than rent by the month, rent by the quarter or rent by the year, this would be rent by the life. Your life. Think of it as a gift to your future self.

My general expectation is that you would drop your coin, pick your spot and then you express your permaculture vision in seed and soil. This is your canvas. I think most folks on this path would have a big berm put up around their canvas and then put in a wofati. There will be opportunities for rotational grazing for animals outside of the canvas.

Scenarios ....

A) The canvas is a vacation spot for now. It could be a retirement spot (ERE?). It could be a bug-out spot. When you are not there, it might be possible to rent it out for people attending workshops and what not - so possibly an income stream.

B) Primary place to live.

C) Plunk down the coin and wait until you decide what you are going to do. If you never pick a spot, you still have the option to get all of your money back. Even ten years later. Maybe you plunk your money down and come out this summer and think "this guy is an asshole - no way!" and then you get your funds back (probably within 90 days).

D) In a few years I hope that we are able to do the 20-people-under-one-roof thing. So folks could do A or B now with the idea that this fills a gap until they can transition to 20-people-under-one-roof. Maybe the canvas will then be something of an income thing.

The plots will be circular/hexagonal. One acre has a radius of 118 feet. Two acres has a radius of 167 feet.

There is a requirement of understanding. People can purchase "a plot" but they cannot pick the physical location of the plot until they have listened to at least 200 of my podcasts and are willing to perform their artistic vision within my comfort zone.

Either party can terminate at any time. Upon termination, all of the land and improvements revert to me and what is left of the money is returned.



FAQ:

Q) Can I have a workshop to build my wofati and thus possibly get a free house?

A) Yes, but participation in the workshop could be restricted to people that qualify to be on the section of land your canvas is on.


Q) I'm not a builder, and I want a proper comfortable place, what do I do?

A) My impression is that there are a lot of people moving onto the land with construction experience and would like an income opportunity. You can explore having something built for you.


 
paul wheaton
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(note that the numbers on this post are the most recent - this post was updated may 16, 2014)

$21,000 will for one acre (or, $15,000 for one acre on Oehla land or basecamp (payback schedule would be prorated)).

Here is the price schedule for what the rent will be for the land over the next 12 years. So if the arrangement is ever terminated, this schedule is used to determine how much is returned.

2013: $500
2014: $1000
2015: $1200 ($100 per month)
2016: $1400
2017: $1600
2018: $1800 ($150 per month)
2019: $2000
2020: $2000
2021: $2000
2022: $2000
each year beyond: $2000

So, after seven years, $9500 would be used up. So $11,500 would be paid back. After 12 years, $19,500 would be used up, sp $1500 would be paid back. After 13 years, it would all be used up so nothing would be paid back. No further rent is paid and as long as neither party objects ....


 
paul wheaton
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If this is something you are interested in, please contact me privately: paul at richsoil.com

 
paul wheaton
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I've had lots and lots of questions ... and here is one thing that I thought of that could be important.

If you wait five years to pick your spot, you will be starting at year 6 which is $1800 per year.


From my email ...

Q: Will this be a hand shake deal, or some paperwork to sign?

A: Both. Handshake now. Paperwork when you pick the spot.


Q: Are you okay if I buy now, but don't move up for several years?

A: Yes.


Q: Can I do this just as an investment where I pay for deep roots, then do a wofati workshop and then just rent it out forever?

A: Yes. Although be aware of the restrictions of who is allowed onto which segments of the land.


Q: Can you rent it for me? I'm thinking that the renters would be workshop people or people that might be building their own wofati. I'll split the income.

A: I think that sounds like a smart arrangement. I like the idea that somebody might do some tidy or maintenance as on on-land income stream.


Q: It is possible that in five years I will need to go to a family thing and exit out of my deep roots package.

A: That's what the rent schedule is for. Things change. At the time you choose to exit, we can probably talk in detail about options.


Q: If we want to run some big animals like cows. What would the deal be to run them with the ones in your paddocks since only on 2 acres.

A: I am assuming that there might be two or three people running cattle. It is possible that they might be kept together or separate. As long as good practices are being done, I'm happy. In fact, I think most of the people would like to have their two acres pulsed too. In other words, I think you might have just two acres that are just yours, but by collaborating with me, we have 200 acres to manage.


Q: Weapons? yes/no, Firearms, bow and arrow, etc.

A: Yes. Although there will be some restrictions on huspa and possibly symboo. No lead bullets. I understand copper is a good choice.


Q: Hunting?

A: I am looking forward to tasting your game. I think that after a couple of years, hunting might be best in the bordering national forest land.


Q: Would the free earthworks start the rent clock?

A: The earthworks will be free for some of the earliest stuff. At some point that will change and I'm not sure when. The rent clock starts when you have picked out your spot.


Q: Limited to livestock animals, or are pets allowed on the 2 acre parcels?

A: If an animal harms livestock or turns out to be annoying in any way, the animal must leave within hours. I have a lot to accomplish and one bad dog can ruin everything.


Q: Is a greenhouse okay?

A: I will be requiring a greenhouse on the downhill side for every wofati. It will be small, oehler style, and will handle all of the greywater. As for other greenhouses - they will need to be small. But, of course, the uphill patio on the wofati makes for a pretty good greenhouse.


Q: Can I keep horses or donkeys?

A: A donkey is probably too loud - but a quiet donkey is possible. I can see allowing a horse for the first year or two, to be rotated with the cattle (provided that the horse doesn't hurt the cattle - unless there are multiple horses that have their own paddocks). And as we get much further down the road I could see some sort of horse based business. My crystal ball is cloudy on the years in between. In general, I see horses and donkeys as hay burners.

 
Garry Hoddinott
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I have to applaud since my post http://www.permies.com/t/24259/paul-wheaton-farm/BUY-Smaller-lot-farm Entitled "What About Pre-Paid Rental" is almost exactly what you have come up with.

Anyone interested in a similar arrangement in Australia can see details on garryhoddinott.wix.com/terra-hortus

Garry
 
Martin Vandepas
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Really cool idea. I like it, but I agree with the post in the earlier thread that something should be written down before the money changes hands. $20k is a lot to put on a handshake. Both sides will have assumptions that may turn out to be false. Writing everything down provides something to refer back to and clarify our memories about what was agreed. I learned that from Diana Leafe Christiensen's book "Creating a Life Together".

I'm not trying to be overly critical, I just think it's better to get concerns worked out in the planning phase of the project.

Another concern: Are there zoning or building codes on this land? What if the county or some other regulator comes in and decides that they don't like all the people or that they don't like what you are doing with all your poop? How would that be handled?
 
paul wheaton
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Martin,

How many of my podcasts have you listened to?

Does this thread not count as adding clarity?

I have received a lot of money in the last week from different folks on these forums. No signature. Some put in more than $20,000. I get the impression that they trust me.


 
Martin Vandepas
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Hi Paul, All the messages in the forums do add clarity. I wasn't trying to imply you are doing things wrong and I'm sorry if that's how it came across. I've listened to about 8 podcasts but not for a couple months. I should catch up with the recent ones. Maybe the issue of zoning/regulations has already been discussed in a podcast or another message post.

I'm happy you've been able to get so much money from friends who trust you and I'm really excited for you and your land. I'd like to come check it out sometime. I'm a very practical person so for me it would be hard to plunk down that kind of cash without a written agreement. Other than that hesitation, I think I'm the type of person you would want around.

One last thought which I hope doesn't offend: You seem to be attracting only people with a huge faith in you personally. You should take caution to avoid any cult-like dynamic from forming. Critical thinking, healthy skepticism, and questioning authority are good traits for community members to have in my opinion. Especially with the "benevolent dictator model" you are proposing. I'm just trying to add to the discussion, so I hope this doesn't come off as an attack.
 
paul wheaton
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So one requirement is that this offer is only for people that have listened to 90% or more of the podcasts.

I think that people that have only listened to a few podcasts would need more. I think it takes a certain kind of person to say "I have listened to all of them, when will the next one come out?"

As for cult stuff: I don't see anything like that happening. I do see a lot of people that want to be part of a group of like minded folks rather than what they are doing now.


 
Beverly Temmer
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Paul, I'm glad you have a vision. We need visionaries!

Thank you!
 
Len Ovens
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Martin Vandepas wrote:Really cool idea. I like it, but I agree with the post in the earlier thread that something should be written down before the money changes hands. $20k is a lot to put on a handshake.


I think what is written in this thread is enough that things are pretty much spelled out. The exit return vs. time spent is very clear... I think I might print it out if it was me though. I don't trust that the internet will be around forever... this project may outlast both computers and the internet.

$20000 is a lot of money... but not compared to buying a place at the lake for example. this is cheap. "but it's rent only, you never own", in this country (Canada) all land is really "rented" from the government for the yearly taxes, not paying yields an eviction notice. Most people with any reasonable job can get a line of credit for this much. (or two credit cards for half each) This is a one time payment... good deal. Most people could handle the monthly payments to keep the bank happy while they tried it out for a year or two. If you are renting somewhere else right away your rent drops to just paying off the loan (around here that would be a 75% decrease in "rent"). If you own, then if it works for you, the house can be sold and the loan paid off. You can choose to remain a part of this project and invest the extra money from the house sale as insurance, or use it as a starting point to save for your "own" land.

If this project was in my neck of the woods (I have health problems on the prairies/foot hills and I am not ready to move to the US), I would certainly be interested.
 
paul wheaton
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(note that this post is old and some of the numbers have changed)

I'm not sure if this is a change or a clarification. I think it is a change.

Anybody can plunk down $20,000 for the deep roots package. But you cannot pick your spot until you have listened to 90% of the podcasts.

(I think previously only those that have listened to 90% were allowed to plunk down $20,000)

Jocelyn is grilling me about more exacting details on how much the rent is for the first year, the second year, etc. When does the year start? What if somebody starts in june instead of january?

So, at this moment the current schedule is, that the rent for one acre is:

now through dec 31, 2014: $500
jan 1, 2015 through dec 31, 2015: $1000
2016: $1200
2017: $1400
2018: $1600
2019: $1800 ($150 per month)
2020: $2000

And every year past 2020: $2000.

I fully expect that these rates will change as the future unfolds. At the same time, once you pick your spot, there will be paperwork and those numbers will be etched in stone - in the paperwork.

So if a person puts up $20,000 now and then picks their spot on nov 1, 2016, then 2016 will be $200 (prorated) and 2017 will be $1400, etc.

 
paul wheaton
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I've been asked several times about being able to attend all of the workshops and classes on the land. I suppose there could be an assumption about free. I just want to be clear that this sort of thing will be free for the deep roots people this year. And probably even next year. I'm not sure how it will be beyond that. It depends on a lot of factors. We'll see how things go.

I know that ALL of the people that have either already plunked down the 20k or are on the edge of plunking down 20k are excellent instructors and each have mentioned that they want to offer workshops featuring their specialty. I imagine that as the community gets past jan 1, 2015, it will have a lot more character. At that point and beyond, I *FAR* prefer that the instructor can give a ticket to a person and then it is an act of their generosity. As opposed to an instructor being required to sacrifice seats to others out of obligation.

 
paul wheaton
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Another thing: to be able to get in to workshops for free, your post MUST be in the ground.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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With workshops coming up next month, I've been asked what is deep roots. Deep roots people get into the workshops for free this year and probably next year.

From Paul's 5/19/2013 post:
paul wheaton wrote:I've been asked several times about being able to attend all of the workshops and classes on the land. I suppose there could be an assumption about free. I just want to be clear that this sort of thing will be free for the deep roots people this year. And probably even next year. I'm not sure how it will be beyond that. It depends on a lot of factors. We'll see how things go.

And 8/1/2013:
paul wheaton wrote:Another thing: to be able to get in to workshops for free, your post MUST be in the ground.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Some additional questions have come through about deep roots. First, here are some key factors about how we operate (lifted and condensed from a reply in the rules for renters thread).

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:See Paul's thread about decision making process, etc. He's pretty clear about how things will work.

If you're looking for a community based on consensus, Paul's property will *not* be that. Again, see the link above, or go Paul's thread about his independent/consensus/dictator hybrid community design.

I thought Paul wrote somewhere that he'd prefer it if folks who live here and have a day job primarily work from home. (Though for the life of me, I cannot find that comment!) Lots of commuting creates too much traffic on the site and really isn't very eco (ecologically sound).


There are no payment plans for a deep roots package. If paying for deep roots in one lump sum is out of the question, perhaps being a simplest renter or looking at a "shallow roots" plan via the rehusp ideas might be a better option.

Reminder: the lab will be divided into four pieces, and if your deep roots spot is in a more restricted zone, you will be limited on what and who can be there.
 
paul wheaton
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All deep roots people get to attend all workshops this year at no cost. This includes, but is not limited to: the wofati workshop, the solar workshop, and the rocket mass heater workshops (and innovators gathering). But you do need to properly register to hold a spot.

Also, we will be having some special guests coming by outside of the workshops. Some extra famous people - we will let you know dates and such so you will have an opportunity to meet them.




 
paul wheaton
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The land deal for the hundred acres next door was closed a few weeks ago and Armin came out and spent some time bonding with his land. I spent a few hours with Armin talking about how he wants it managed. And today we wrapped up with how he wishes to proceed with deep roots.

For deep roots, in the first section, one acre will go for $8000. For sections 2, 3 or 4: $16,000.

One important difference between my section and Armin's section is that Armin wishes to encourage families more.

Post questions in this thread.

Make check payable to "paul wheaton" and send to:

paul wheaton
2120 s reserve #351
missoula, mt 59801

 
Julia Winter
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Can you please go back over section 1 versus sections 2, 3, or 4? I'm familiar with HUSP, but I don't know which way your numbers go, if you can follow my (sometimes twisted) thought process.

In other words, is section 1 the most restricted section, or the least? (paint, plastic, etc)
 
paul wheaton
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Section 1 is the least restricted. Section 1 is the only section that allows petroleum powered cars.
 
Natalie Kulik
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What is the difference between section 1 and the rest 2, 3, 4 for the deep roots? Is it location, quality of land, size? Also, if we plunk down the coin can we get a legal papers for the payment, before choosing a lot?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Natalie Kulik wrote:What is the difference between section 1 and the rest 2, 3, 4 for the deep roots? Is it location, quality of land, size?


Hi Natalie, I guess the link in my reply above:

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Reminder: the lab will be divided into four pieces, and if your deep roots spot is in a more restricted zone, you will be limited on what and who can be there.

was lost in other details here.

If you click on that link, it takes you to this post in the four pieces thread:

paul wheaton wrote:The old thread is here (there was link at the bottom of this thread).

Let me update it a bit here:

oehla

- attempts to promote a lifestyle better than that found on typical organic farms
- petroleum fuel allowed
- must have listened to at least 12 podcasts to get on land

perm

- ten times "better" than oehla
- paint is allowed, but not much. Maybe ten times less than you would find on a typical organic farm
- imported organic matter is allowed (very carefully selected)
- electric vehicles allowed
- must have listened to more than 90% of podcasts to get on land


symboo

- ten times "better" than perm
- very little paint is allowed
- imported organic matter is not allowed
- limited use of plastic
- small electric vehicles allowed
- use of a trac hoe once a year is acceptable.


husp

- ten times "better" than symboo
- zero paint allowed
- no plastics
- no galvanized stuff
- stainless steel and glass are okay
- no electricity
- no plumbing
- nothing is ever burned (no fire, no candles)
- clothing restrictions (no synthetic fibers, shoes, etc.)
- no trac hoe


Where oehla is section 1, perm is section 2, and so on.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Natalie Kulik wrote:Also, if we plunk down the coin can we get a legal papers for the payment, before choosing a lot?

Not exactly. We create a straight-forward, one page document about the agreement after the stake is in the ground marking the center of the acre. Once the stake is in the ground, the clock starts ticking on the reimbursement schedule (as outlined in Paul's post above<<-that blue underline is a hyperlink).

Listening to 80-90% of the podcasts is highly recommended before getting to this point.
 
paul wheaton
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So far, none of the deep roots people have required any paperwork before plopping down a check. I think this is because they have listened to all (or most) of the podcasts.

I wish to be clear: You cannot put your post in the ground until you have listened to at least 90% of the podcasts. This is to make sure that anything that you do on the land fits within my values.

And, this is a very important part of this experiment: if everybody that lives on the land has listened to 90% or more of the podcasts, then everybody has something in common. Plus everybody knows what to expect from the evil, tyrannical ruler.

The theory is that this commonality is what will reduce conflict between everybody. And so far, it appears to be working. Not only here, but in cases where people have come together without me, but they have listened to all the podcasts.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is a video of Armin and Lori's land. I took this video a while ago. Armin and Lori bought the land before seeing it - although they have been to the lab in the past.

"Section 1" (Oehla) includes everything in the northeast corner (including the meadow there), everything in the northwest corner ....

3:03 through 4:46, that which is on the uphill side is part of "section 1". 4:46 and on is not part of "section 1"



So here is what seems to happen:

1) Somebody says "I've listened to all the podcasts and I want in. I sent a check."

2) Months later they show up, pick a spot and put a post in. Jocelyn puts together "the paperwork" which is mostly just detailing "the burn rate" in case either party wants to end the deal. Everybody signs.

After that, some deep roots people come by once a month and do fun things on their spot; some come every few months; others have not been back yet. We have conversations about plans and stuff. Easy peasy.

 
paul wheaton
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Something that somebody brought up that I thought was an interesting idea:

They would sign up for a deep roots spot, build a wofati and put in hugelkultur. Then sell their spot and move on to a new spot.

If you think that you might pay, say $10,000 more for a deep roots spot with a tiny house wofati and a bunch of hugelkultur beds already pumping out food, please click on the "thumbs up" for this post.


 
Josh Ritchey
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Honestly, I think it is a great idea in every way except for the time. I personally would be afraid of rushing somebody into it and the agreement going south. Either they are upset because they misunderstood some part of it or you come to learn that they are a real terd or something and you're just stuck with a jerk neighbor then. One aspect to think about in a lot of this is your target audience. Many of us place less value on money and things, not to say we don't want to make money, but we tend to make choices in life for reasons other than money. Many permaculture folks it would seem don't have much money, likely because we're donating and doing good things instead of dedicating that time to more lucrative opportunities. Or maybe I'm totally off base with all of this, and maybe the gapper opportunity totally addresses this concern as well. I think your price is right, just not for the audience, hopefully you can sell it for more though.

Regardless, I would be all about your Wofati and hugel deal if I were in a position to do it. I aspire to accomplish something very similar to what you're doing, hopefully within the next 5-10.

Thanks for all the excellence.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I just want to add that the video was taken almost days before things really greened up and began growing this spring/early summer. It's much lusher and healthier looking now.
 
Taylor Taranto
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I'm coming out tonight or tomorrow morning, be in relatively soon to check out that acreage (2@$8k). That price is right for me, thankfully, I'm already inbound and stayed back a few hours to receive this notice. See you for the second time at the lab, wofati-'prepared,' I hope.
 
Carolyn Elliott
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Why is a parcel on the new land so much cheaper than a parcel on the original land -- instead of $10,000 or $20,000 for one acre, it's $8,000 or $16,000 for two acres. Is there something less desirable about the new land?
 
paul wheaton
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Carolyn Elliott wrote:Why is a parcel on the new land so much cheaper than a parcel on the original land -- instead of $10,000 or $20,000 for one acre, it's $8,000 or $16,000 for two acres. Is there something less desirable about the new land?


The new land is owned by Armin and Lori. The original land is owned by me. So part of it would be that there is an extra layer of who-all-is-involved-in-the-deal.

More:

it is further away from basecamp

Armin and Lori would like to start getting some return on their investment

The "two acres" will be dropped to "one acre" in a few days.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Some additional questions arrived by e-mail last night.

Q. What is the reality in terms of offgrid power/power/water and living on the lab?
A. There are currently no utilities on the lab. Your own solar set up is a decent option for off-grid power. Generators are discouraged for the noise, and the spill potential. We hope to dig a well or find water this summer (2014), but that has not happened yet.

Q. I like the idea of eating at the common table, could we do this?
A. Currently, those who contribute a significant amount of bread labor toward wheaton labs projects are invited to dine with Paul. These are usually gappers, volunteers, or workshop participants. We do not yet have deep roots people dining with us on a regular basis though I suppose it could be worked out.

Q. Do you have suggestions what a family could do to both help build/support the empire/wheaton labs and earn money?
A. Paul supports and envisions people coming up with their own homestead-style industries or work. We do not want folks living here and commuting to a job in town. Paul outlined some paid job ideas in the paid job on lab / build infrastructure thread which are construction-type jobs. One example of a homestead-type income is that Paul's household here currently purchases meat from his brother Tim's cattle.

Q. Can the check be post-marked by June 30th or does it have to arrive by June 30th?
A. It could be post-marked by June 30th.
 
paul wheaton
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Here are few recent questions and points:


Q: What assurance do I have ... (this question is from somebody that has listened to 20-some podcasts)

A: None. For any normal person, this is a terrible idea. Utterly crazy. Surely disaster. Don't do it. The people that are doing it have listened to all or most of the podcasts. They send a check and ask for no paperwork in return. So, by any normal person standards, those people are crazy and you probably don't want them as neighbors. From our perspective, I guess we are all the exact same flavor of crazy and this works for us.


Q: can I pass this on to my kids?

A: Can you pass a rental on to your kids? Have your kids listened to 90% of the podcasts? Are they cool community members or jerks? I think the hard rule is "hell no". Mostly because kids have to grow up different from parents in order to be able to leave the nest. Since you are awesome, therefore your kids must be monsters. On the other hand, I have seen a rare thing of some cool people have some cool kids, so I am open to the idea of it being possible. So, in the end it will be my call on what happens.



Started to get into some math with one person and the bottom line was: Let's suppose that after five years I hate you and want you off of my land. You shelled out $8000, then got, say, $5000 back. So for five years you paid $50 per month in rent. And if things worked out and it ended up being 30 years, it would have been $22 per month rent.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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More questions!

Q. What are people doing for water on the lab?
A. Currently, they are bringing it in for themselves. Though a water drilling rig is en route!

Q. How far is base camp from the lab - especially section 1?
A. Base camp and the lab are close together: a little over a mile as the crow flies, and a little over two miles by road. Which is a comfortable biking distance apart, though a bit long to walk on a regular basis. Section 1 in both the laboratory and the new Armin property next to it are the first part that you reach at the lab.

Q. Do you have parcels for sale? Where are the section 1 parcels?
A. Deep roots is not a parcel sale. It's different than that. We are not selling land. We're calling it a deep roots spot, not a parcel, and the spots are selected out of many acres by the person signing up for deep roots. Currently, there is a lot of acreage to choose from in picking your spot, though this is likely to change as time goes by. The section 1 spots at the lab are in the first part of the land that a person reaches at the lab and Armin's adjacent property. As you go further into the property, the restrictions tighten up.
 
They weren't very bright, but they were very, very big. Ad contrast:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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