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the first month  RSS feed

 
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paul wheaton wrote:I'm not sure why a visitor would want to come. At this time it looks like forest land. Maybe a year or two into the future we could do visitors.

For now, the mission is to build community and build, build, build.






So wish you were doing this in Washington State, my husband and I would jump at the chance to help out if you were. Good luck to you on this most exciting endeavor.

Kat
 
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~ Congrats to you Paul on finding your land. Will you share a Google Earth image for us to see the location? I'm guessing you might hold your own workshops for some projects on "TL". It's going to be Awesome!!!
 
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Gosh I would love to come out. Between things at the moment and trying to figure out my next move. I fear that I am too green and would get in the way.
 
pollinator
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This is very exciting and I'm so happy for you and those that will join your evil empire. I had a thought that maybe I might be able to do some cuttingis of plants off of my property in the fall so that they might be ready for you the following spring, if my health holds out enough (recovering from pneumonia right now and lower back is in terrible pain)..can't do much but I might be able to do that. If I'm able to get you any cuttings that I could ship to you I'll let you know but you won't be ready for them until the trac work is done anyway.

 
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Well, this thread is not going in the direction I had hoped.

I thought there would be a dozen people that would each propose an arrangement of what they would like to come and experience.

So, I think I'll let this thread continue on the path it is on, and I started three other threads that are closer to the topic I was fishing for here:

rehusp: several artisans expressing their vision in seed and soil

a new home for the humble

the simplest renter

These are just a few of the scenarios I have imagined. In time I suppose I should create several more threads for several more scenarios.

 
paul wheaton
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I believe it is going to be necessary to implement some sort of trial or transition period both for you and for your residents sake.



Definitely. How things operate in the first month will be far less organized. Which is why I started this thread. I want to get an idea of how many people want to come, what are their needs and what would they like to see play out during the first month and possibly beyond.

Paying for food and "lodging" even if that is just a primitive campsite sounds totally reasonable to me.



I guess the key is that once we move onto the land, i will be seriously tapped out of cash. And projects will have expenses and people will need food. Somehow everything needs to get worked out. I have ideas on raising more funds through another kickstarter-ish program.

I guess I just imagine 20 people coming together and we just start to try to figure out where to go and how to start. i think the first month will have lots of changes.



 
paul wheaton
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My wife and I build TEEPEES, and would be happy to build some for you if you feel you need them!



Link?

I do think it would be good to have teepees. I had one once and I think it was one of the smartest purchases i made.

I could see getting a 20 footer and several people would stay in it. Maybe a few years down the road there would be five or six.

I still have this idea that i would like to build a rocket mass heater in a teepee and have somebody live in it all winter and then make a video at the end of the winter asking them how comfy they were through the winter.
 
paul wheaton
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You aren't the second old timer by any chance? ;-P



The second old timer will be announced soon.
 
paul wheaton
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I would love to hear what your list of priorities are, and what the land needs to fulfill your needs.



Throwing out the obstacles for a moment ...

I need to build several wofatis. The first one should be a standard 400 square foot open wofati for somebody to live in. The second should be a wofati root cellar. And the third should be a wofati freezer. The fourth should be a three bedroom wofati.

I need to start growing citrus, outdoors, in montana. I need to prove the value of tefa.

I need to get 20 people living under one roof without stabbing each other.

 
paul wheaton
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have you thought about a place where folks can drop you a line with their interest



I don't think I want to do that until after closing. There is a chance that this could fall through. For now I am trying to wrap my head around what people expect, what will work, what it might look like ... just for the first month.
 
paul wheaton
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Is it possible to rent out excavators for an extended period?



I prefer the idea of not renting an excavator for more than a week at a time.

after hearing about Sepp's complaints in Montana about the water rights, are you confident?



And yet Sepp created a lake in Montana that has no grief whatsoever around it.

I gave Sepp a bunch of advice in Bozeman which he ignored. I would have put in a pond. I'm going to record a podcast about it.


 
paul wheaton
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Dear Paul,

Congratulations from myself and Melissa! If I can be of any assistance, please let me know via email or PM. I have free long-distance.

Joe from NC



I remember you and Melissa. That was a big chunk of travel!

Not sure what you have in mind, but I think it would be great if you guys could come out for a few days. I have no idea what we will do during those few days, but I suspect that there will be things to figure out and try. And I suspect that the two of you would be up for it.

 
paul wheaton
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If I were able to come out, I'd be so chuffed I would just dig holes or WHATEVER...There are a lot of things "newbees" can do w/o getting in the way..... You just need people who are willing to say, "Here I am....Give me a shovel and tell me what you want......."



That's the sort of thing i want to hear. A warm body saying that when the times comes, they might be able to come out and throw a shoulder in.



 
paul wheaton
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how about establishing a perpetuity of process to act as authority over any disagreements



So .... throw out all of the stuff I've been building for the last eight years?

At this moment, I think i am going to keep the decision making processes and conflict resolution processes I have already outlined on numerous occassions.
 
paul wheaton
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What are your thoughts on allowing teenage children



It depends. Some teenagers would totally fit. Most would be unacceptable. I think for the first month it is easier to come out for a week or so and see.

 
paul wheaton
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Wow! This is exciting!

What qualifications are you looking for? I'd love to help and be part of it. Do you have a form? Is there a way you are deciding if we 'qualify'?

Please let me know!




This is the sort of response I'm fishing for!

What sort of qualifications do you have? What's your story? Have you listened to my podcasts? There is no form. What sort of thing do you see for yourself in this project?
 
paul wheaton
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I'd suggest setting up some simple composting toilets like the buckets in the Humanure book.



I have plans for systems that i think are much better than that.


 
paul wheaton
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I had three questions about your personal feelings about solid human waste as it pertains to using it as fertilizer.



That really needs to go to a different thread. Possibly in a different forum.
 
paul wheaton
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Charging people to visit is fine: if they turn out to be really useful, you can always arrange rebates, discounts and so on.



That's kinda what I'm thinking too.

Some people are sure they are hard workers .... and then it turns out that they require more assistance than what they get done. I think anybody that has suffered through a hundred of my podcasts is more likely to be of value without needing training. But sometimes some people just show up and they are a flavor of superhero that you have not considered before.

So rather than establishing "this is how it will be" it seems like the thing to do is cobble something together and make the best of it.

 
paul wheaton
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need for construction/plumbing/design expertise



Yup, there will be that.

First things I'd say would be good to do is be on the land a month or so before building immovable anythings and learn the patterns of the land so when immovable things get started they get started in optimal places.



I think it would be okay to put in immovable things mostly because 200 acres gives lots of room for making mistakes and having a do-over.

At the same time, i don't think a building will go in until july at the earliest.

 
paul wheaton
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We can find each other and make it happen if you give us the opening. We will need a clean , warm and dry place to set up sleep places. The kitchen is sacred.



I remember I once lived in a community house where consensus ruled and we all did equal everything. But, of course, we didn't. There was one woman who loved to cook. She cooked three times more meals per week than was her fair share. Her food was always vegan and was always excellent. And she had particular ways she wanted everything to be in the kitchen. Officially we should all have an equal say and we should all figure out how things should be, but instead we all conceded to this one woman. It effectively became her kitchen and the rest of us were allowed to use her kitchen as long as she didn't get pissed at us. Nobody planned it or objected. It just sorta ended up that way. And it worked. She was a sweet woman, but the kitchen was just her thing and she was going to run it her way and that's all there was too it. There was something about her personality and her willingness to take on the lion's share of the work that just made that work out.

 
paul wheaton
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Planning is key and you cant' expect people chatting on websites to always be 110% committed. You are asking them to chage their lives with little more than 3 months notice. It is going to be hard work.



Dozens of people have told me, in the past, that the moment the land is purchased, they will be there. So the mission of the moment is to start getting a headcount and to start getting an idea of what the expectations will be. I think with 20 people there will be 20 different arrangements.

For some people, they will want zero arrangement - they want to show up and start. Maybe they will stick around and maybe they will leave.

For other people, they will want to rough out what the next three years might look like.


 
paul wheaton
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I am curious to know if you've already designed the landscape?



No. i want to close on the land first.
 
paul wheaton
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Bill Kerans wrote:Gosh I would love to come out. Between things at the moment and trying to figure out my next move. I fear that I am too green and would get in the way.



Have you listened to my podcasts?
 
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Paul - considering the need for finances - is it possible for some members to work on the outside to bring in cash?
 
paul wheaton
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Ellen Marks wrote:Paul - considering the need for finances - is it possible for some members to work on the outside to bring in cash?



I do not want to encourage somebody living on the land and driving to work each day. That seems contrary to what we are shooting for.

I do want to encourage people to build residual income streams. And I like the idea that we facilitate people who are able to work remotely.

 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:

Dear Paul,

Congratulations from myself and Melissa! If I can be of any assistance, please let me know via email or PM. I have free long-distance.

Joe from NC



I remember you and Melissa. That was a big chunk of travel!

Not sure what you have in mind, but I think it would be great if you guys could come out for a few days. I have no idea what we will do during those few days, but I suspect that there will be things to figure out and try. And I suspect that the two of you would be up for it.



Awesome, we'll have a chat over here and keep monitoring the situation. Thanks for the invite! Maybe I will bring more seeds this time
 
Ellen Marks
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I am very interested. Have some skills and a little money, plenty of ideas. And a teenage daughter. She is quiet and not a typical teenager - she has been homeschooled. How are people going to apply for your consideration?
 
paul wheaton
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Ellen Marks wrote:I am very interested. Have some skills and a little money, plenty of ideas. And a teenage daughter. She is quiet and not a typical teenager - she has been homeschooled. How are people going to apply for your consideration?



Before this point, the idea was that the people allowed on TL would have listened to most of the podcasts. I think that BC does not have the same requirement.

For the first month, i think stuff is gonna be looser. I think the idea is that we definitely are not running a vacation spot.

When I've been speaking, or teaching a workshop, or answering questions, my impression is that folks feel like I have a lot of stuff in my noggin that they want in their noggin. And these folks area willing to pay quite a bit of money for this knowledge transfer. At some recent events, some people traveled across the country to hear some of my stuff - plus paid the price to be at the event.

At the same time, I am powerfully compelled to change the world. And I cannot help but think that I am not the only person that feels the same way I do. there is stuff to get done that has not yet been done. Then we video/podcast/whatever and tell the world. If we can get 20 like minded people there the first month, I suspect we will be able to make some damn good progress.

So .... I feel a bit like I'm gonna open the door, people will show up, and we will all start making plans. At some point in time, we will think of something more formal.

I started this thread to try to get an idea of who might be coming and what they expect/need/whatever.
 
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Paul, et al,

I'm glad to see the Lammas community and their organization efforts mentioned. We've been organizing for a few years to build an ecovillage in SW Wisconsin's driftless region. I want to recommend two books, both of which you may have heard:
Creating a Life Together by Diane Leafe Christian-- she is thorough, and reports on dozens of communities in the U.S.: how they started, how they failed (most of them), how you can methodically build for success.
We the People, A guide to sociocratic principles and methods by Buck and Villines. The best English-language guide to a complete, radically inclusive and efficient system of governance. It covers both organizing your operations and decision-making that is way beyond simple-majority voting.

Last, I want to echo the recommendation to live with/observe closely your particular piece of land through the seasons as you are planning locations for pasture, food forests, ponds and homes. Principle 1, as you know.

All best wishes in this pioneering work!

Jerry
Stones Throw Ecovillage
Viroqua, Wisconsin
 
Vicky Barton
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26 years ago, I heard about a place that offered room and board, or camping space, in exchange for a certain amount of labor, involving cleaning cabins, weeding, and other chores within the workshop community. I wanted to go there for cob and straw bale classes, but that didn't happen. I can't remember the name of it but it was near this place which seems to be fairly new. I perused the website, Paul, and I believe some of this may apply to what you need for proper leadership and goal setting. http://www.emeraldearth.org/mission.htm
 
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Anthony Anderson wrote:. . .

after hearing about Sepp's complaints in Montana about the water rights, are you confident?

. . . /quote]

Don't mean to hijack this celebratory thread, but most interested in learning more particulars (from the poster or anyone else who knows about this reference) about Herr Holzer's experiences with and/or opinions about Montana water rights - as I prepare to go out this morning to build more "leaky" check dams on my south-central Montana property. Been building these trencheras (sp?) all over this property since reading Dan Dagget's book (Gardeners of Eden), but have not yet undertaken any large earthworks - waiting for my Holzer books to arrive as I write this.

BTW, congratulations on finding The Land and good luck on the closing!

 
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dear paul,

firstly congrats! i had missed this thread and someone pointed it out to me on another forum even. very glad to hear things finally seem to be falling into place!

ok i didnt get through the second page or the other threads yet but have some thoughts...

~i hadnt seen anywhere but you should probably get set up an email or something for people wanting to come live there and people wanting to come help work for a time. maybe even two seperate emails. like send in a video submission of what they have to bring and what they hope to be able to help accomplish at the farm.

~personally i would be interested quite possibly the biggest question is where exactly is the farm so i can get there, getting a trailer to bring my animals, and money to make the trip.

~brings me to my next question of if you are set on people can bring livestock, etc or not. personally i have 2 milk goats, 3 young future milkers, and a future buck to breed them. plus a starting herd of meat rabbits. and a small herd of guinea pigs i've started raising for meat.

~i think you will most definitely need a top ten list of things to do for people to start working on when they come. i imagine it would be 1)bathroom systems... 2)starting pasture fencing for livestock that starter people bring... 3)kitchen setup of some sort. this way a group of people can be put together to possibly make group meals. seemingly most efficient since people will be everywhere with projects going on to get set up.... 4) wofati housing... etc i cant even think straight hardly i'm getting excited about this! haha!

~i think you are going to need a sort of "thought box" at the farm once people are there. like a big box for people to drop in ideas on paper for future projects. and perhaps something like a "problems box" for when you have a billion people wanting your attention for things and people can put notes in it for you on things that are more serious and urgent. like disputes among people and urgent things like too many people and need more bathroom management, etc.

 
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Paul, sorry things are not working out the way you intended. If I wasn't taking care of my elderly parents, I'd be over there in a heartbeat to help you. I just can't escape, no matter how much I'd like to, at the moment. I also own 5 acres in the Ozarks.. that is sitting unattended as well at the moment.
 
kadence blevins
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paul wheaton wrote:

Paying for food and "lodging" even if that is just a primitive campsite sounds totally reasonable to me.



I guess the key is that once we move onto the land, i will be seriously tapped out of cash. And projects will have expenses and people will need food. Somehow everything needs to get worked out. I have ideas on raising more funds through another kickstarter-ish program.

I guess I just imagine 20 people coming together and we just start to try to figure out where to go and how to start. i think the first month will have lots of changes.





you definitely need some livestock then. people coming to the farm will need to know this for sure.
if other people bring livestock as well and there was groups got together for things like milking and teaching others to help care for the animals that would be good.

my goats do well on eating woodsy forage as long as its green. start fencing off sections close to where the initial home wofati's will be and i dont mind helping get people fresh milk/butter/cheese but i would need help with puttin up fence.

i got small herd of rabbits for meat and wouldnt mind also sharing the bounty with people who are there.

i got running knowledge of most any animal and how to care for it, milk it, feed it, dispatch and butcher, and cook it. and i'm a pretty good cook so i'm told.

paul wheaton wrote: it seems like the thing to do is cobble something together and make the best of it.


HAHAHAHA yes i imagine a whole lot of cobbling will be done the first year(s)!

 
kadence blevins
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paul wheaton wrote:

Wow! This is exciting!

What qualifications are you looking for? I'd love to help and be part of it. Do you have a form? Is there a way you are deciding if we 'qualify'?

Please let me know!




This is the sort of response I'm fishing for!

What sort of qualifications do you have? What's your story? Have you listened to my podcasts? There is no form. What sort of thing do you see for yourself in this project?




aha! i missed this before somehow *facepalm* oops!
oooh this is gonna be weird listing this all....

~i know all about all livestock but some i havent had my own yet. like i've got about 12 years experience with milk goats. i know how to butcher them but have never done so myself. i milk my 2 by hand, have 3 young ones growin up to be milkers, and one buck growin up to be herdsire. i make butter and cheese by hand with minimal equipement. teachin myself how to make yogurt currently with mixed success though i'm workin on that.

~my goats were trained to pack and i have 2 sets of packs. in the future if i had 2 wethers to keep i could train them up good to carry loads and pull a wagon.

~my neighbors have milk cows and i grown up around cattle but all my family ever had was one beef steer. i'm very interested in havin a steer to train to ride and pull wagon. also very interested in milkin cows as they make more milk then goats and cows and sheeps milk is better for yogurt makin.

~i know alot about rabbits. have had mine just over a year now. working on getting mine over to as much forage based feeding as possible. been looking into your "ideal" rabbit system with having them on pasture. have looked a crapload into colonies and have done a small one myself with okay results. have butchered several of my own.

~i have done tons of research into sheep for milk and meat and wool. have not had one myself but very much like to. i know how to process the wool from sheep to yarn to item. though i've not yet sheared a sheep myself though i do have a pair of hand shears.

~i spin yarn by hand

~i knit, crochet, sew, quilt, weave, embroider

~pretty good gardener, have a bunch of ideas i want to try out

~i took a year at the local career center for food processing (basically butcher class) and grew up butchering chickens and turkeys and deer. i'm not afraid to shoot "bambi" or his cousins. and i'm not squeamish of dispatching any animal i've raised up. no offense to anyone but i know not everyone will be able to do this aspect of the farm life. people who can dispatch, butcher, and package meat will be worth more than gold.

~i'm told that i'm a good cook. i have a mortar and pestle for herbs, a noodle roller/cutter,... i've not used a mixer in years, stir everything by hand. can cook bread from scratch, though i've not yet cooked it with a fire. i have a set of cast iron pans and 2 dutch ovens. and a small cookin tripod.

~i know how to tan a hide. i've not yet done one but i have a groundhog, deer, and many rabbit hides in the freezer i am going to try. i know the method by heart and several different ways of doing it i've just not had the chance to actually do it yet.
also with this, i know several methods of clothesmaking from hides/furs and other product making from them. and as i said i can sew.

~i'm soon to be 21, engaged to a young strong guy who also wants a simpler life with better community.

i'm not sure what else to say now haha. i have alot of knowledge of alot of things. i'm one of those "fountian of 'useless' knowledge" kinda people. though most of that knowledge is very useful, some of it is just wacky is all haha.

here is a link to my youtube channel. to sort of show what i've done with what i have to work with here. i have tons more videos but my laptop takes hours to upload short videos so they are not up to date that much /: but sort of shows what i've done. although i've gotten alot of progress done since my last video.
http://www.youtube.com/user/girlwalkswithgoats/videos?flow=grid&view=0

 
steward
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Location: Missoula, MT
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So cool to hear about folks' skills and enthusiasm! I hope it helps to mention that it's likely easier for 12-20 people to each listen to Paul's podcasts and watch his videos than it is for him to review all the projects of 12-20 people (or more).

Once the land is actually in Paul's name, I will organize who's on first (or in the tent behind the shop, bedroom #2, etc.) and a bunch of the other details. From what Paul is describing so far, I think most folks, if not all, will initially be at BC (base camp) not TL (the land). You know, if all the pieces fall into place as planned.

If we have a nice robust group show up, I'm thinking the food is going to be even more of a logistical challenge than what projects to do first and where.

Paul and I are also talking about workshops on Paul's farm. Though Paul is thinking the initial projects will not be organized enough to be an experience worthy of a workshop fee, which makes sense. We'll see how quickly we can gear up for rich, well-organized workshops and events. Again, once he actually owns it. Then I'll coordinate this fun stuff, too.
 
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I am thrilled for you, Paul! Being that I am far from Montana and not moving from here (nothing personal. my dear sir), the option of visiting is really my only option for the future. That being said, when I do I want to know what my jobs/responsibilities/obligations would be so that everyone involved is happy and gets what they need out of the deal. You definitely should have some sort of "commune contract" or list of expectations for permanent and temporary folks joining you. What did the ecovillages you visited do? Does Sepp have people stay/work at Krameterhof, and if so, what are the rules there?

How soon can you set up an educational support system, perhaps in conjunction with colleges or universities that have permaculture/sustainable design degree programs? When I was completing my BA, one of my internships was with an environmental non-profit organization involved with a historic wooden boat restoration - they used us interns for labor, we learned about historic restoration got a juicy CV addition and a grade as well. I don't see why that won't work for you at several levels, especially if you can tie in with a college program. This would also allow for you to implement your projects in stages, but with your oversight and planning, and constant and timely progression.

(sigh) How I wish this was happening 20 years ago, when my life was not tied to aging parents and in-laws, a business that I cannot move, and many other bonds...but I can still take vacation and visit, and when I do, I plan to get out there and see your success!
 
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My observations of this remarkable conversation so far. I am a local. I will not be able to join the farm, but I have grappled with the land hereabouts long enough to contribute some ideas based on local experience. I could be a small part of the lateral rigging. The origin of my viewpoints: I am a grower and kitchen person at heart and I see the world through the eyes of a biologist and ecologist by habit and by training. Some of what I know was learned since childhood, some of it, I genuinely believe is innate, and I was able to nurture this art and skill by being blessed with the liberty to choose my paths in life. Never made much money though. Was never driven too. I am not maternal so not yor garden-variety eart-mother. More of crone. Problems of human social structures are not very interesting to me. Talk of "hierarchy" bothers me and I'm not convinced it happens widely in nature anyway. So it becomes a necessary evil? The biggest primate? Cooperation - reciprocity - symbiosis - does occur widely in nature and humanity. Alas so does sneaky deception and parasitism. Symbiosis and parasitism can also flux and morph into one another depending on stresses among the elements of the community. Plant or human. It happens in the domain of mycorrhizal fungi, for example (my dissertation) and intentional human communities.

So this news of Pauls's fledgling good food farm is quite exciting and utterly appropriate to the times. What troubles me about some early ideas appearing in this forum is the repeated mention of excavating, constuction and "building building building" just because you have a whole 200 acres to play with. Consider treading lightly for the first seasons and rethink this attitude od altering the landscape so quickly. One other thing. Does all of this social structure and governence stuff really need to be established at the outset, if the modus operandi is simply to proceed thoughtfully and with caution? So much depends on the personalities and skills that appear.

A light hand on the land should be central to permaculture in tough climates like this one. Sepp's climate is tough, for sure, but his soil is clearly deep, fertile and moist. WE DON"T HAVE THAT HERE. Western Montana is rarely fertile and lush unless you happen to live in a river bottom protected from harsh montane elements. Even then the soil/veg complex may have been badly altered by a hundred or so years of heavy-handed abuse. If you dig a well and apply abundant water to damaged, thin, structureless soil you will end up with a giant mudpie. In the Northern Rockes cold dry weather is a fact of life and topsoil is geologically young and ultra thin The organic and bedrock decomposition that creates soil happens so slow most humans can't get their head around it. "Restoration" in a human time scale is magical thinking (repair and resilience do happen). So please you goodhearted pioneers, remember that in this territory every square inch of topsoil lost to machination or overgrazing is essentially lost for good.

Hopefully soon Paul will tell us something about the topography and trees and how tall the meadow grasses are therefore how deep the soil is. Wild grasses and topsoil are functions of each other. Fine root turnover and decomposition. A feedback. Hence the deep midwestern Breadbasket soils. Surely there is plenty of disturbed area already present on the 200 acres to commence this excavating and building? Composting and cover crops are not glamorous work, but the task at hand is to build build build soil. And get some fruit trees started.

I'm hooked.
Kathy J.

"A person with ecological training lives in a world of wounds" Aldo Leopold

 
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