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paul wheaton
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NOTE! The gapper program has now entered into "phase 2" - so the stuff in this thread is outdated. To see the gapper 2.0 stuff, go to

http://www.permies.com/t/46350/labs/gapper-program






After heaps of discussion, I now formally introduce our "gappers" program. Gappers are "Goofy About Permaculture".

A gapper forks over $100 and then we will work with them to make all the arrangements for them to come out. We will arrange a bunk (probably a spot to pitch a tent) and I will offer a bit of food at my table. If a gapper doesn't show up, we made a really easy $100.

Since gappers are so wild about doing permaculture, we will also try to get an idea of how a gapper might like to play here. Some choreography might be required to make sure that one gappers work doesn't collide with the work of others. Usually a new gapper will help with other stuff until they get the lay of the land. Some gappers arrive with a thousand ideas and some gappers arrive with lots of passion but nothing specific.

Some gappers will be here a few hours and some gappers might be here for decades.

Some gappers will want to be part of an upcoming workshop. Some gappers will want to "borrow" a piece of land to express their artistic vision in seed and soil. Some gappers are excited to meet and work with some of the people that will be stopping by here, like: Ernie and Erica Wisner, the leading innovators in rocket mass heaters; Steve Heckeroth, the electric tractor guy and inventor of some solar panel and battery designs; a few days ago Willie Smits (the global leader in large-scale permaculture) said he would like to come by; Owen Hablutzel, Jack Spirko and mike oehler have been here; Neil Bertrando might be by in a few days ...



Just to be clear (and, yes, we know that this will eliminate 98% of the people thinking about coming here): There is to be no tobacco, pot or drugs on this land. Small amounts of hooch are no big deal.


Pets are discouraged. We are not yet set up to deal with children universally, but some folks here are open to having more families here. Here is the thread for gappers with kids.

Ask questions in this thread. When you are ready, send $100 via paypal to paul at richsoil.com and somebody here will contact you via email.

- - - - -

I think the food at my table is excellent three times a day. Organic or better.



More about the food: http://www.permies.com/t/26147/labs/food-drink-project

Fun tools:



fun projects:



critters:



surrounded by thousands of acres of forest land:



tony-emily-tipi-rocket-mass-heater.jpg
[Thumbnail for tony-emily-tipi-rocket-mass-heater.jpg]
emily and tony staying in a tipi overwinter with a rocket mass heater
 
paul wheaton
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I think that if people are thinking about being a gapper here, you have to know that I am the high commander. So here is a video of me so you can get an idea of what it is like to suffer under my tyranny.



Here's more than a hundred videos of mine to give you more of an idea: https://www.youtube.com/user/paulwheaton12/videos

And a few hundred podcasts: http://www.permies.com/forums/f-88/podcast

And a whole forum just about stuff that we do here: http://www.permies.com/forums/f-102/labs

Some articles I wrote: http://richsoil.com

And a collection of forums: http://www.permies.com/forums

Occupy Monsanto calls me The Bad Boy of Permaculture. geoff lawton, the guy we turn to for clarity and definition of permaculture, calls me The Duke of Permaculture. I have given away more free information on permaculture than all other permaculture people combined. And there is lots more to do.

 
paul wheaton
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Jacob Fletcher
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So as a gapper I can send in $100, work for 4 weeks prior to the wofati workshops, and then attend the four week wofati workshop for free?
 
paul wheaton
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Jacob Fletcher wrote:So as a gapper I can send in $100, work for 4 weeks prior to the wofati workshops, and then attend the four week wofati workshop for free?


correct.
 
jesse leavitt
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Paul Wheaton wins!
 
A.J. Gentry
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I believe I can suffer the tyranny gleefully.

Is there a corporate gapper program?

(1) I am significantly goofy about permaculture, however I am also significantly less rugged than my exterior shows
(2) I can only gap for a week or two out of the year, but would very much like to
(3) I am happy to pay a hotel rate for 'indoor accommodations'. Even a floor would do for my air mattress. I just cannot sleep outside. (I am a wimp).

A.J.
 
Sam Barber
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A.J. Gentry wrote:I believe I can suffer the tyranny gleefully.

Is there a corporate gapper program?

(1) I am significantly goofy about permaculture, however I am also significantly less rugged than my exterior shows
(2) I can only gap for a week or two out of the year, but would very much like to
(3) I am happy to pay a hotel rate for 'indoor accommodations'. Even a floor would do for my air mattress. I just cannot sleep outside. (I am a wimp).

A.J.

I don't know about a corporate gapper program. But we have alot of awesome projects that we are working on right now in particular hugelkulturs and planting! Also we should be able to find you a spot to set up your air mattress inside somewhere. Contact permiespa@gmail.com if you have any more questions.
 
Pam Marshall
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These all sound great! Some day I imagine there will be a workshop on how to get citrus to grow there too.
 
Dane Whitman
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Would it be unorthodox for me to cancel my Summer PDC at Whole System's Design to become a gapper?
Have you not already received 1000 responses to this opportunity?
Might I perhaps reserve a spot for next summer?
I have a lot more questions, but these ones should be answered first before I spill my guts on the forum.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Haha, as "Volunteer coordinator" I enjoy your post, especially the bit about tyranny and absolute power.

We got too many volunteer enquiries this year. It's good to have the people do all their questions on a forum and you don't have to work with them personally till they've already ponied up cash. I waste a lot of time answering individual emails about travel, climate, food, etc, from people who later cancel.

You didn't mention what might happen if too many people just send $100 and show up. And what about the volunteer who is irritating without breaking the smoking and drugs rules, but you just wanna be rid of them after a while? You might want to have a limited time period initially, which can be extended only on invitation/approval...? Considering that $100 is a whole lot less than enrolling in a permaculture course, these could become issues eventually.
 
paul wheaton
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A.J. Gentry wrote:
(1) I am significantly goofy about permaculture, however I am also significantly less rugged than my exterior shows
(2) I can only gap for a week or two out of the year, but would very much like to
(3) I am happy to pay a hotel rate for 'indoor accommodations'. Even a floor would do for my air mattress. I just cannot sleep outside. (I am a wimp).


It depends on lots of things. Mostly, the date and availability. The earlier we know the date, the earlier we can lock down an actual bed.

Besides, AJ, your efforts during our last kickstarter put money in the coffers. We'll give you preferential treatment!



 
paul wheaton
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Pam Marshall wrote:These all sound great! Some day I imagine there will be a workshop on how to get citrus to grow there too.


We have done a fair bit of the earthworks for that project. Emily and Tony have done a lot with dry stacking rocks for where the citrus tree will go. If a gapper were already here they might get to learn about dry stacking rocks, planting seeds (annual and perennial) and maybe even get a chance to drive an excavator.

 
paul wheaton
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Dane Whitman wrote:Would it be unorthodox for me to cancel my Summer PDC at Whole System's Design to become a gapper?
Have you not already received 1000 responses to this opportunity?
Might I perhaps reserve a spot for next summer?
I have a lot more questions, but these ones should be answered first before I spill my guts on the forum.


I don't know who "whole system's design" is. But I suspect that they might be further along than we are. We've only been here a few months. And a PDC can be a very lovely thing.

As for being full up: we have received responses, but we are no where near full. Remember, no tobacco and no pot instantly turns off about 98%. And my own personality will probably drive away 99% of whoever is left. Most permaculture people are really lovely, sweet people - so setting up anywhere else will probably be better. But there is a rare person that finds those folks too "purple" and they prefer the company of the no-tobacco/no-pot crowd, and they have listened to my podcasts and find me to be tolerable.

 
Cj Sloane
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paul wheaton wrote:
I don't know who "whole system's design" is.

Ben Falk
 
Daniel Clifford
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Hi Paul,

I just thought I would fill in some quick gaps for Dane since I had been doing a little research on summer PDC's etc. Whole Systems Design's PDC was hands down my top choice barring expense however due to my finances I will be pushing off my PDC another year entirely. I hope to possibly take some 1-3 day classes at whole systems design instead. I opted to take a position working for a local organic farm, its a pay cut but I get to learn, earn and get free produce.

Anyway Whole Systems Design is Ben Falk's place up in Mooretown VT, you would have seen it in Geoff's Cold Climate permaculture video, that was Whole Systems Design research facility, it was planted approximately 10 years ago. Dane if you cancel the PDC and you have already put down a deposit I believe you lost that deposit and considering the deposit is almost $300 it might be a better to follow through with your PDC plans.

In the end it is up to you, I think that Ben is running an excellent PDC, he has some extremely interesting systems that he is operating and living with and I think that Ben is a pretty far cry from the "purple breathers" but still probably a bit less confrontational than Paul.

I think Paul has a good point about personalities, and perhaps you could choose based on that but I also think he is a little hard on himself. It appears he is putting up with a fair amount of shenanigans since the lab got up running and just cause your lovely isn't quite the same as everyone else's Paul I think many of us here on permies appreciate it and could put up with it.

Personally if I was so lucky as to have the option of picking between either of those amazing places I would have to do a careful evaluation of what I was intending to learn and then do an analysis of the projects that will be occurring at both sites during that time frame and make my decision based on that.

Anyone would be extremely fortunate to have the privilege to learn from either Paul or Ben and I hope someday I get the opportunity to meet them both.

Daniel

*edit* I got ninja'd by CJ....
 
paul wheaton
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Rebecca Norman wrote: I waste a lot of time answering individual emails about travel, climate, food, etc, from people who later cancel.


We've already experienced a fair bit of that.

It's not their fault really. There are things they need to figure out. At the same time, I think the people that pony up $100 will be people that have $100 to pony up. And they will probably be more interested in coming here than just anywhere. The people that cancel probably told six different people that they were coming and in the end ditched five.


You didn't mention what might happen if too many people just send $100 and show up.


They don't know our address. Once they send in $100 we will learn what sort of relationship they want and we will go from there. We do have a lot of acreage for a lot of tents. And then winter comes and thins the herd.


And what about the volunteer who is irritating without breaking the smoking and drugs rules, but you just wanna be rid of them after a while?


Perhaps the reason that they are irritating is that they find me irritating. And so they self prune. But we have asked people to go.


You might want to have a limited time period initially, which can be extended only on invitation/approval...? Considering that $100 is a whole lot less than enrolling in a permaculture course, these could become issues eventually.


When I worked in the corporate whore world, there were "permanent" employees and "temporary" contractors. And the contractors usually had contracts with a time limit. As the years passed, I realized that it didn't matter what label you sported or what the date said on any contract. When there was a re-org or there were big layoffs or whatever, "permanent" and "temporary" were let go and "permanent" and "temporary" would survive the cuts.

I think it is clear that this arrangement would continue as long as both parties groove on it.


 
paul wheaton
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Cj Verde wrote:
paul wheaton wrote:
I don't know who "whole system's design" is.

Ben Falk


I would think if a person could get in there it would be groovier than here. Ben Falk's stuff has been established for many years now. We're just a few month into this.

I don't know enough about Ben's stuff to make a fair comparison. I do know that Ben is doing a lot with rice. We're going to be doing a lot with rocket mass heaters, wofati, electric vehicles, electric sawmills, hugelkultur .... Maybe somebody that is familiar with my stuff and Ben's stuff can make a comparison. The bottom line is that his stuff is established and we are just getting started.

 
paul wheaton
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Good response Daniel. Thanks for the comparison between us and Ben.
 
Daniel Clifford
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You are very welcome Paul,

I am glad you found it helpful in some way. I think that whatever Dane decides he will have a really amazing experience and learn a lot, you really can't go wrong between you and Ben.

I wish you the best of luck in finding the right people for this summer and in completing your planned projects. I hope that sometime in the near future I will be able to come out and throw my shoulder into some work out there but it doesn't look like that will be feasible until next year possibly At least I will be more useful by then I hope!

Have a lovely day and thanks again for all you do.


Daniel
 
Dane Whitman
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Thanks for the replies everybody!

Being a college student, I'm in the bizarro world of the government, non-profits, and my loved ones supporting my education, Ben Falk's PDC included.

You make a good point with the deposit, and that it would be good to spend a summer at an established sight. Plus I'll be able to chip in on the PDC with what I'll earn the rest of this summer being a farmhand on organic farms.

However, if the invitation is still extended next summer, maybe I'll come check out Paul's place. It sounds awesome, and like a lot of stuff I have absolutely no experience with (construction, machinery), but its about time I got familiar with.

Cheers.
 
A.J. Gentry
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paul wheaton wrote:

It depends on lots of things. Mostly, the date and availability. The earlier we know the date, the earlier we can lock down an actual bed.

Besides, AJ, your efforts during our last kickstarter put money in the coffers. We'll give you preferential treatment!



Now that is super cool!

Thanks.

I will check the old work schedule and lock down my days.

A.J.
 
Jeff Millar
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It's a fascinating concept and a promising opportunity. I understand about the illegal narcotics and small amounts of alcohol, but what's wrong with tobacco? Seems that in the videos featuring Ernie Wisner( especially the Wood Burning set, which is great by the way) he is either smoking his pipe or relighting his pipe. I'm fully aware of the "Paul is the supreme grand poobah" concept, but this selective prohibition is puzzling. I'd love to share a pipe one day with Ernie if that possibility ever presented itself.
 
paul wheaton
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Ernie goes and stands at the edge of the county road for his pipe. He is on public property there. One of these days we might set up a bit of a shed for him there.
 
Sam Barber
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I believe that one of the main goals at wheaton labs is the reduction of toxins as much as possible. We also want to provide a safe environment to anyone who might have chemical sensitivities as well which might be set off by the after smell of tobacco products. As well as the rest of not wanting to smell lingering tobacco smoke.
 
Enrique Garcia
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I LOVE that you have the no smoking rule !! (Pot or otherwise) We have the same for our 40 acres in AZ which we are turning into a Permaculture Learning Center ... we also had smokers go to the edge where the public road is to smoke .. we also have a no alcohol, meat or guns rule ... People think we are freaks but i think it's kinda freaky to provide the space for people to harm themselves & the environment .. they are free to do so any where else .. so they aren't being controlled ... but trying to create a totally loving space where we can teach how to make the world a better place .. it ain't easy .. but now I can say Paul Wheaton does the same !! Thanks !!
 
Tara Jupp
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Oh my Gosh! Thank you so much for this opportunity, wow!
I do have a clarifying question... If it is ok to smoke cigarettes off property, I'm assuming one can store one's tobacco on the property. Does the same apply to pot? I'm a medical marijuana patient (not sure if they have medical in Montana) so I was wondering if I can store it in my tent and smoke it off property like tobacco? Or if it is not allowed around at all.
Either way I am planning on coming (and of course obeying the grand poobah), but I wanted to clarify. Thanks!

*party dance*
 
Burra Maluca
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Tara Jupp wrote:
I do have a clarifying question... If it is ok to smoke cigarettes off property, I'm assuming one can store one's tobacco on the property. Does the same apply to pot? I'm a medical marijuana patient (not sure if they have medical in Montana) so I was wondering if I can store it in my tent and smoke it off property like tobacco? Or if it is not allowed around at all.


This thread might answer some of those questions a bit better for you - smoking, pot, hooch, drugs...
 
Richard Kastanie
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I am pretty interested in being a gapper sometime this year. I have a few questions first, and hopefully asking them here may help others with the same questions.

I've read through most of the threads on this subforum, and your articles on richsoil.com, as well as some of the podcasts, but nothing close to the majority of them. I've seen different information from you from last year about how many of the podcasts people should have listened to to visit. What is the idea for the gappers program? I have enjoyed the podcasts that I have listened to, but it would take me a lot of time to listed to all the rest all the way through and I don't think I'd make it this year. Are there certain podcasts that you think are particularly necessary for people to have listened to?

I read through the food and drink thread and it loos like you have some pretty great food, but i was wondering how suitable your kitchen is for someone with a gluten intolerance? I have to avoid wheat, spelt, rye and barley (oats are OK for me). I am used to a shared kitchen where I simply avoid certain things, but some places are so heavy on the gluten that it's hard to get a meal.

Also, what is your current source of drinking water? I'm just wondering because I generally avoid treated (chlorinated, fluoridated) water as I react adversely to it.

Can a gapper arrange a ride from a nearby bus station? That's how I most likely would be traveling.
 
Sam Barber
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Hi Richard,
Great questions Paul hasn't set a quota for gappers so as many podcasts as you can listen to would be great. The important thing is that you know what we are all about here and know the basics of Paul's philosophy and personality. The water here is not chlorinated or treated other then filtered. Jocelyn doesn't eat gluten so someone who is gluten intolerant would be able to eat comfortably. Also we can arrange transport from a near by bus station.
Oh my Gosh! Thank you so much for this opportunity, wow!
I do have a clarifying question... If it is ok to smoke cigarettes off property, I'm assuming one can store one's tobacco on the property. Does the same apply to pot? I'm a medical marijuana patient (not sure if they have medical in Montana) so I was wondering if I can store it in my tent and smoke it off property like tobacco? Or if it is not allowed around at all.
Either way I am planning on coming (and of course obeying the grand poobah), but I wanted to clarify. Thanks!


http://www.permies.com/t/23888/labs/smoking-pot-hooch-drugs
Hear is the thread about this topic. Just to summarize there is no pot allowed anywhere on Paul's properties. Even if it is legal at the state level it is still illegal at the federal level and can still be prosecuted at the federal level which is something that we don't want to have to deal with. So no pot or illegal drugs of any kind. You can still come but you can't bring anything illegal with you.
 
alex ekins
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Hi Paul!

I am a pod person who just created a permies account so I could tell you that I have observed that you rule!!

You've had me ever since poop beast. There is no turning back!

Seriously man, you have a heart of pie. Way better than that gold stuff.

What an aaaaamazing offer you are making to the world. Holy cow. Here is my deal. I want to be a super sonic twin turbo jet pack. In order to do so I need to accomplish a short list of things.

I am taking Geoff Lawtons OPDC now.
In addition there is an awesome heavy equipment school offering eight week certification courses on excavators, dozer, grater etc.
Several other practical local workshops and field work.

I am 32, living south of Bellingham and am managing a local organic and nongmo feed company which does better than most things but its not my passion. I grew up in west Spokane on 30 acres. I have been living in a small cabin on 46 acres off grid without electricity for two years now. I share the land with the older couple who developed this site many years ago. I am living proof that with proper systems you are not want for much and gain incredible life value with a deep connection to place.

Paul you are a wonderful, silly, caring man. I mean you are the tyranical overlord of all. And I have listened to almost all of your podcasts, read your articles and have to say, I like your take, and you make me laugh "ALL THE TIME." For three years I have thrown myself deep into permaculture, homesteading, gardening, animal husbandry and all that Carla Emery goodness. I have given myself a sound base of action by living off grid for two years, paddock shifting chicken, raising growies and getting over the offgrid stumbles and bumps. Now I don't want it any other way, only enhanced.

I have no trouble sleeping in a teepee and working for my keep. Neo feudal paradise as far as I'm concerned. But this is my catch. I don't just want to come now because I can. I want to come when I got my Rocketeer outfit on! Does that make sense? I want to bang a gong, be the biggest kick in the overalls I can be. I accept that I have a bit more work to do. While at the same time knowing I might be better prepared than most for rugged living.

Paul, just know we love you and your vision and many of us have you in mind as we work towards our goals which for me may very well include the opportunity to be a real asset for you into the future.

Sincerely,

Alex Ekins


 
Chris Sklarski
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I am extremely interested in the GAP program this summer. I wanted to come out last summer but I had already bought tickets to Colorado to go WWOOFing. It was an amazing experience and think this will be even better. I just have a few questions before I commit.

When you say three meals a day, what size portions are we talking? It seems silly but I had one bad experience at a WWOOF farm and I want to be sure I can get my fill. I'm a skinny dude but I work hard and eat like its my job. I love food and would love to help in all aspects from soil to plate.

What about transportation? I am in New England and will have to take a greyhound unless there is another option you can facilitate(carpool?). Also on the property, how far are you from civilization? Do you have loaner bicycles? None of these are deal breakers, I'm just curious of what I'm signing up for.

What is the work schedule like and what can I do with a day off? What should I bring to the lab?

I hope we can connect.

-Chris
 
Sam Barber
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Hi Chris,
We eat really well here at wheaton labs and you will too! If you are in the gapper program we would be able to pick you up from the nearest greyhound station Missoula probably but we will work out those details once you sign up and have dates set. On the property we do have several bicycles that people are welcome to use. As far as civilization goes we are outside of missoula a little ways so that is the nearest medium sized city. There is a lot to do there as well as a lot to do around here such as hiking biking fishing and so on. Gappers will be expected to work around 6 hours a day and have two days off a week. Hours will vary for several reasons though if someone is staying for a short period thing may be different hours are also dependent upon what is going on the property at the time but in general we gappers will work around 30 hours a week of bread labor. On your day off there are any number of things for a person to do you could have your own side projects that you are interested in, we call that soul labor. There are plenty of things that could be soul labor for people to do it alll depends on what you are interested in. We have a ton of materials and equipment here that people are welcome to use for there own projects and experiments as well as Paul's vast knowledge to help you and give you advice.
What should I bring to the Lab? Well yourself as well as what ever clothes you want to bring work clothes are recommended. Toiletries (we have toilet paper here so don't worry about bringing that) for personal hygine. Camping gear (tent, sleeping bag ect.). Some comfortable boots it gets muddy around here sometimes so they would be helpful.
 
Curtis Hutchinson
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How do I sign up? I'll be passing through in July or August. I would like to check out, and help your operation. I've got a shit-ton of skills and a big truck I'm moving back to Nevada and will have everything I own.

My skills;
Firefighter
Mechanic
Industrial Seamster
Animal Husbandry
Sailer, both land and water
That's the short list.

Thanks Curtis.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Curtis Hutchinson wrote: How do I sign up?


Check the first post in this thread.
 
Derick Greenly
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Would you folks use the help in the winter months? How completely do things slow down then?
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Winter is a good time to fire up the sawmill. Although this winter we were so swamped with projects that we didn't fire up the sawmill even once.

Currently, the winter crew is building lots of berms and hugelkultur. There was a flurry of seed planting a week or two ago. I think this forum is packed with updates of stuff we did this winter.

 
Joseph Rasband
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Hello!
Is there a food/trade program for after the four weeks of work, will the program continue through the workshops, and in between?

Is food provided 3 meals a day 7 days a week? I am anxious to join, but I am on a tight budget, and will be traveling from WNC.

Is there WIFI for communal use at the lab? I am taking Geoff Lawton's online PDC.

Food is my main concern if you could go into more detail that would be awesome.



 
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