Jocelyn Campbell wrote:It seems we are in need of a "house commander" sooner rather than later.
Cool, amazing people are coming out to help - though they are falling trees, making shakes, using a draw knife on logs, digging tank traps, etc. all up on the laboratory, and not so much around base camp.
Paul was thinking it's time to pay someone to come out, live here, and take care of the following (they would be paid poorly for now):
70% cooking, food preservation and sourcing, kitchen management
10% wild food gathering, prepping, storing
20% people space care/management
(these percentages are, of course, estimates)
paul wheaton wrote:I think about 25 to 45 hours per week of my time gets burned up dealing with stuff that I would like to be dealt with by the kitchen/house commander. I feel it in my bones that if we can get a good person in for this position I can get back to cranking out videos, dvds, books, articles, world domination, etc.
I like the idea that if we have a workshop, all the food and cleanup stuff is all taken care of. I never hear a peep about it.
I like the idea that if I go into the kitchen and nobody is there, the lights are off.
I like the idea that everything is clean and we run a tight ship.
My understanding is that nearly every other permaculture place is set up so that the land owners are the only people allowed in "the house" and all the dirty interns are kept outside under a tarp. And they are on their own for food - or the food is really lame (while the land owners eat really well). I've invited everybody to my table. Many sleep in my house.
I think a good house commander will make all the difference. All of this stuff would get taken care of so well that I will never hear a complaint. And a good house commander will probably expand our knowledge horizons about wild foods, fermentation, alternative cooking, etc.
Somehow when I thought of getting property, I thought it would be easy to get somebody in this position. When speaking it seems like there were always women in the 40's or 50's that are bonkers about permaculture, have an empty nest and are looking for something like this. I thought that when I moved here there would be a hundred women wanting this (and, I have to confess that saying "women" instead of "people" is rather sexist of me - but the time here on the lab with hundreds of men and women coming through have exposed me to some very interesting things about women vs. men).
My house has become gross. The plants are dying. And I watch good people work harder to cover for others. I see the people that are loudest about "clean that!" be the people that make the biggest messes. The people that do the work are starting to want to break out whips and clubs to persuade the others to clean. There are times that a person will take on a huge, gross job, but they make 20 other messes.
Take a look at this thread about kitchen towels. I have always taken care of my kitchen towels. They will give me many years of faithful service before they are downgraded to rags. But now, apparently, all towels and washcloths are rags. We have no "kitchen towels". Apparently nearly all of them disappeared in a week of somebody wiping out dirty cast iron with a clean towel several times a day. So I am asked to solve this problem. Clearly, buying new towels will just lead to having more rags in a week. That's not sustainable. I could build a big, wooden box covered with labels, but if the label is ignored even ten percent of the time, we still have system failure.
I'm not thinking we need some sort of actual military commander. The idea is that the title is funny. The real position is that of a mom. Somebody that wants to nurture this space and the people within it.
D. Logan wrote:
I know I have spent the last year cooking for just two families and the differences in eating styles along with personal likes and dislikes is daunting. It is especially hard on a budget. The unfortunate effect is that with each person added, more items get moved on the do not cook this list or on the rare food list to only happen once a month or less. One person is allergic to fish, another refuses to eat anything with onions, tomatoes or mushrooms, yet another hates pasta and only wants rice with most meals (along with lemon juice in everything). I picture in my mind having ten or more people, all from different walks of life. Each has expectation and each has an opinion of what things like good food or clean are.
simple food guidelines
No dairy in main dishes (except butter; butter is okay)
TELL PAUL IF DAIRY IS IN A SIDE DISH
Grain/gluten free main dishes - thicken with tapioca, arrowroot or potato
Paul and Jocelyn want to eat high fat and LOW carb
Most everyone else seems to enjoy lots of carbs and this keeps grocery costs down
I'll take a hand full of burn blisters, some achy knees and the hankering for a cocktail at the end of the night, over ever having to sit at another desk miserably debating whether or not to shove needles through my eye balls. Living this life means we get to be creative...Even if it means suiting up for brunch every now again, we get to make a difference in the lives of people around us, in the best way we know how. We get to make them happy.