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master steward
Posts: 26715
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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All gappers will be invited to my table where I eat three meals a day, six days a week on a schedule - and on sundays (when we don't have a workshop) we sorta wing it.

We will be hosting gappers all year. I like to think that all gappers will eventually become permanent fixtures here - but at the same time I suspect that most will probably move on before the snow flies.

During the workshops, some gappers will be treated like students and others won't. Or maybe all will, or none. Or maybe sometimes. It depends on a lot of factors.

There is wifi at basecamp.



 
Posts: 4
Location: New Orleans
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Hey Paul,
These are my questions about becoming a gapper.

Is experience in permaculture/farming a prerequisite for being a gapper, or is it acceptable for me to arrive with no plans but a willingness to help others with various projects to the best of my ability?
I'm interested in staying a full 8 weeks, leading up to and including the wofati workshop. 8 weeks straight camping in a one man tent seems a bit rough, is there a possibility of me spending some of this time indoors (I could bring an air mattress or bring my sleeping bag inside)?
You said, "I think it is clear that this arrangement would continue as long as both parties groove on it." This makes me think I could (and it may be better for me to) arrive without definite planning for the length/duties of my stay, but play it by ear once I'm on the land, do you agree? (I would not be standed if I needed to leave)

Looking forward to getting this ball rolling.
Thanks again for this opportunity.
 
master steward
Posts: 5410
Location: Missoula, MT
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Joe Molnar wrote:8 weeks straight camping in a one man tent seems a bit rough, is there a possibility of me spending some of this time indoors (I could bring an air mattress or bring my sleeping bag inside)?


Quick note: we have 7 people living out of a 1400 square foot double-wide with a large RMH through the middle of the living room. There is no floor space available indoors. You would be stepped on or a tripping hazard if someone gets up to relieve themselves or get a drink of water in the night. The question about floor space tends to come up a lot and until you see the space, I suppose it's difficult to imagine just how little floor space there is.

During the day, there will likely be space indoors for computer use, etc.

Yes, play your schedule by ear. Those who have listened to most or all the podcasts do better/best here.

No prerequisites.
 
Posts: 9
Location: Ivoryton, CT
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I will be leaving Washington state come October after a year on the road, heading to a more permanent gig at a fledgling community in Georgia. My friend and I have been WWOOFing since September. As my fellow traveler and I are really, really interested in working with you, I decided to research the possible existence and see if you had an internship program--it seems we're in luck and out of luck at the same time! $100 each is quite a lot for the budget we're working with. Any chance we could work out something where we tent, feed ourselves, and put in workweeks of at least 40 hours? Maybe a reduced fee? We're interested in staying for around two weeks.

We've got a ton of passionate energy and then some. Minds open for shaping, too. We'd be incredibly excited for the opportunity to work with you guys at the lab--we're fans of the podcasts and dig the style. It would be great if we could work something out.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Have you seen this?
 
J. Henry Harris
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Location: Ivoryton, CT
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That looks great. Unfortunately we are in Arizona at the moment and won't even be up to the Northwest until July.
 
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I'd be willing to donate $25 each for you two to help out if you're serious about being infected and helping Paul out.
 
J. Henry Harris
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I sincerely appreciate the offer, Mr. Johnson. Maybe we'll take you up on the offer when the time comes around
 
Joe Molnar
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Hello,
I have a few more questions.
Now that I have sent the $100 what is the next step?
Is it definite that I am invited to come work at Wheaton labs for a time, sort of a "come and see how it works out" situation, or is that still unknown?
Is it possible to schedule a phone call with someone to sort everything out? I often prefer talking to communicating with text, it feels more fluid or efficient.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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You should get an email within 48 hours of sending in your hundred bucks. Hopefully in much less time than that. But if you have not heard anything within 48 hours, email me and I will find out what happened.
 
Joe Molnar
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Location: New Orleans
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I emailed paul@richsoil on the 2nd and this morning. I used the subject line "$100 for gappers" this morning.
 
paul wheaton
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It looks like you got a response a few minutes ago.

 
Joe Molnar
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Yes got it thanks.
The Gapper Program email was exactly what I was looking for.
 
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Hello, I have yet another question to add about food. I'm set to help out as a gapper come June and I would like to know if there is a grocery store or regularly-occurring farmer's market in the area? I saw in the laboratory's food thread that there was a large, glowing store Jocelyn had bought from in the past, is that place close enough for a vehicle-less gapper to get to?

Thank you, I look forward to working with you all.

Erik
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 5410
Location: Missoula, MT
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books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
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Yes, that glowing storefront is the Good Food Store; plus there is a Co-op (both in Missoula) and of course there is the Missoula Farmers Market (which is actually 3 markets - Clark Fork Market, Missoula Farmers Market and the Missoula People's Market). Though these are not really reasonable to get to without a car.



We will have people driving to Missoula almost weekly for errands or groceries so gappers could easily hop a ride.
 
Posts: 641
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Paul wanted me to let everyone know that if you have been here before for a workshop and Paul okays it you can come here as a Gapper without paying the $100 fee.
 
Posts: 55
Location: Lake Arrowhead, CA
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I arrived at Base Camp today and was surprised to learn that I am the first Gapper to actually make it here. So I won a seat at the dinner table tonight! It was the best meal I've had in a long, LONG time. Apparently they do this sort of thing like, every day. Three times a day, in fact. I love it here!

So tomorrow we set out on the first day of the natural building workshop. Hopefully we will have pictures to post soon.

Anyway I'd really like to encourage all you individuals considering the Gapper program to go for it. I couldn't ask for a better group of people, or a better opportunity to learn and live permaculture.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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One of the deep roots people is going to pay folks to bring peeled logs to their site. So a gapper could come and do all the gapper things and their spare time earn a few bucks.
 
Posts: 20
Location: Dallas TX
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What are the work hours arrangement? I don't believe I've seen it anywhere...

Is it 4hrs/day, 8hrs, 15hrs? Or "whatever", as long as the progress is made? Something different altogether?

It would be nice to know this sort of information before deciding to make a commitment in the form of 100 bucks.
Any insight on the topic would be appreciated!
 
J. Henry Harris
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Location: Ivoryton, CT
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Sam Barber wrote: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.



 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
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Thanks to J. Henry for posting that quote from Sam. Note that this thread is now two pages long. There is a lot of useful information on the first page of the thread.
 
paul wheaton
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We are now transitioning into our "bread labor" and "soul labor stuff". People that want to arrange a trade for a workshop will be all bread labor. Other than that, we are currently doing bread labor 4 hours a day, six days a week, plus at least 12 hours per week of soul labor.

 
Sam Barber
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I just talked with Paul and he wants me to clarify that it is 12 hours per week of soul labor not per day.
 
paul wheaton
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fixed!
 
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Great thread!

I suppose I'm coming from a different angle. I want to expose my family to permaculture and see some in person for the first time. I'm hoping to bring my family up for a camping trip next summer as I'm in Afghanistan this summer. Would it be possible to work out something where we could pay to camp at the farm and use the bathroom and shower? We can provide our own food and will do fine without electric for the time. My main desire is to gain permission to camp on the farm and get a bit of a tour around. We love the outdoors and would love to see Wheaton Labs in action.

I've got a wife and 3 young kids and hope to bring them on a trip to inspire them the way permies/Paul inspires me.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Josh Ritchey wrote:Would it be possible to work out something where we could pay to camp at the farm and use the bathroom and shower? We can provide our own food and will do fine without electric for the time. My main desire is to gain permission to camp on the farm and get a bit of a tour around. We love the outdoors and would love to see Wheaton Labs in action.

I've got a wife and 3 young kids and hope to bring them on a trip to inspire them the way permies/Paul inspires me.



We could do that. What a compliment - thank you.

The gapper fee would apply: $100 per person. I don't know what we might charge beyond that - there are loads of variables - so e-mail me, jocelyn AT richsoil DOT com to discuss. Additionally, we would want to avoid workshop times which are currently all of July and part of September. Workshops just have us too busy to be touring or otherwise orienting/hosting non-participants at the same time.

Since we are still building a lot of infrastructure (and experimental infrastructure at that) and have only been here a year, we have had some visitors surprised that we don't have more going on - as in an insta-permaculture site or something! If you're familiar with this forum, the podcasts and such, you might be better versed in where we're at, though it's worth mentioning since it has come up.
 
Sam Barber
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I just wanted to let everyone know that we have some openings for more gapper's still. If anyone is interested now is a great time to sign up! If you are looking for something to do with your summer this would be a great opportunity to expose yourself to some Permaculture, Natural Building and many other things!
 
Sam Barber
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One of the things Paul wanted me to make clear was that we haven't been here that long. This time last year Paul and Jocelyn were just moving in to Basecamp and Tim and his family were here a few weeks later. We have done some amazing things here in that year but most of it has been infrastructure related. Housing, repair, improvments and the like. This year we have been making huge advances in building earthworks all over the property we are also working on more infrastructure as well. So if you are expecting a paradise in a year I think you will be dissapointed but I know that in a few years that is what it will be and I hope that you will want to come here and help us move closer to that goal.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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A bit of refinement/clarity ....

12) for the first week, you will be expected to put in 36 hours of bread labor. After that, it is 24 hours of bread labor and 12 hours of soul labor.

12.1) if you can't quite figure out what your soul labor is, just keep on doing bread labor.

13) In addition, you will be expected to help out in the kitchen and with general cleaning stuff. You will probably be assigned two or three meals per week to help in the kitchen and you will probably be assigned something to keep clean every day. In theory, everybody is expected to clean up after themselves, so there should never be anything that needs cleaning - but, hey, sometimes things need a bit of extra cleaning.


 
Posts: 605
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Perhaps someone could point out some stuff going on currently thats bread labor? Like planting hugels, treeing for wofatis, etc..?

I check in every so often and each time i just want to drop everything and come up (: hopefully soon i will be able to plan for a gapper visit.
 
Sam Barber
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So currently the gappers are working a lot on wofati prep, preparing logs and such. Yesterday they also worked on building camping pads on base camp for people to set up there tents on. Some of the soul labor projects that some gappers have started on include Building a treehouse, debris shelters, cold smokers, rumford fire places, and many more interesting things.
 
paul wheaton
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Justin is transitioning into the position of "Gapper Commander". The idea is that he will learn from each gapper what all they want to do for their soul labor and see to it that they get the materials they seek.


 
kadence blevins
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Stole this from another thread but thought better to ask here...


((Ann Torrence))
This sounds like a part-time job/contract waiting to happen, preferably on profit-sharing so that the person has an incentive to promote, fill seats, and make it fantastic. Maybe some compensation based on feedback. Believe it or not, there are people who thrive on putting on events.

((Jocelyn))
I had hoped this would be my role here at wheaton labs, with the assistance of one or more of our PAs. I even started a calendar at one point, listing eco events (now seriously neglected) in my dream of doing this work back when I lived in the Seattle. Currently, my multiple roles as wheaton labs bookkeeper, household/communications manager, back up cook, and groceries and household supplies procurement officer, in addition to still taking care of my own accounting clients, leaves me precious little time for workshop/event management.

Paul really likes the idea of someone taking this on and making it sing. Which would be very cool."

((Me))
Jocelyn could any of this be put on a gapper? Like someone setup to be a gapper and then while they are there you can put anything that needs done to them. Like you/and pauls go-fer person to be around for whatever comes up? At least they could pick up the kitchen help and pickup etc or be there to help and make things go faster. Then if theres none of that to do for a day or something they can do more outside planting/building help.

I know i would be up for anything that needs doing when i finally can make it out (:

So if one comes as a gapper.. as a "got no plans, stay until i want to leave or they want me to leave" pretense... the person could very well be there several months and have plenty to keep busy filling in for varying commander people.. am i right?

Currently i am tying up ends and saving money. I could very well see myself in this scenerio. Haha and i know what ya mean about people not runnin their own place before! I havent full on run my own house with any amount of people but i am runnin our tiny place currently. And i grew up with tons of people always comin and going and am used to that.
((And boy do i get bored now just cookin for one or two!)) "


Would this be appropriate under a gapper pretense?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
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kadence blevins wrote:Stole this from another thread but thought better to ask here...
<snip>
Would this be appropriate under a gapper pretense?



Do you mean Ann Torrence's idea of an event/workshop coordinator or the roles I mentioned: kitchen, household, communications, bookkeeper, errands, etc.? Or both?

Yes. These all could definitely be examples of gapper roles - bread labor or soul labor. The event coordinator role as Ann described - should we do a similar model - could even earn a commission.

Some things, like the bookkeeper, are just going to be done by me (or Paul) only, and would take some time before a gapper moved up to where we felt comfortable delegating those kinds of things.
 
paul wheaton
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I am getting several requests from people and it seems that the gapper program is the answer. So I have several points to make.

49) When a gapper arrives, they do their bread labor and soul labor and they can then sit back in a hamock the rest of the time they are here. Which drives Tim nuts "Don't they understand that until all of your systems are in place that they are resting on your wallet? If they had their own raw land, they would starve to death the first year. They would never make it." Tim works a hundred hours per week. Some people come to the gapper program and put in their gapper time and then they do a lot of other projects in addition - just stuff they want to try.

50) People call me and say that they have land (or are about to buy land) and would like somebody to manage that land (or possibly they could give the land to them) - they just need to know that the person is going to **DO** permaculture instead of just talk about doing permaculture. They would like to have somebody that has come here and done a good job. "Do you have anybody at Wheaton Labs that you trust to manage a piece of land on their own?" I kinda feel like there will be people that have been here 18 months that would be good to send out like that.

51) People contact me to say "I am willing to pay a huge amount of money to have you come, look at my property and give me advice." And I don't like to travel. But I feel that there might be people that have been here for 18 months that i would be glad to send out.

52) We had somebody ask about the gapper program and say "will I have a bunk this winter?" And my response is that we will have bunks this winter. The question is, how many gappers and how many bunks. If we have more gappers than bunks, then somebody isn't going to make the cut. On the other hand, if a person creates a winter shelter, then I think it is only fair that they get first dibs on that winter shelter. (of course, if they piss me off, I reserve the right to boot them and stuff) I made a new thread just to talk about quick and easy shelters.



 
Dmitry Markov
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I have a question that I would title something like "Multiple gapper visits on one fee - possible or not?"

Specifically, I mean the following.

I am visiting Missoula for a week in mid-August - and would love to check out The Land, as a gapper, and don't mind at all paying the $100 fee.
However, I will need to be back in Dallas in early September. After I am finished with the business in Texas, I am considering a possibility to spend more time on The Land later in the fall (contingent upon my impressions during the first visit and approval by the leadership almighty), hoping to get a practical exposure to permaculture (have had a good amount of theory, but haven't applied it all .

So my question is: Would I have to pay another $100 gapper fee for the second visit (assuming it is approved and all), or is that fee waived?
 
paul wheaton
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You pay just once.

And for people that are taking a workshop or have been here before, they don't have to pay the gapper fee.

The function of the gapper fee is to have conversations, schedule stuff, give you a tour, possibly pick you up at the airport - do all sorts of stuff to get you started on your first day.

When you come the second time, you don't need all that stuff.
 
Dmitry Markov
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Thanks, Paul!
I'm honored to receive such a speedy response from you .
 
Dmitry Markov
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Just wanted to post a review – if it’s not the right place for it here, feel free to moderate!

In late Sep – early Oct, just recently, I paid my first short-term visit as a gapper to the Dukedom of The Land under rule of His Majesty Mr (Duke) Paul Wheaton himself. I enjoyed it immensely and am very grateful to Paul, Jocelyn, and everyone else at The Land without whom this experience wouldn’t have been possible.

It is a great community of great people and the food is marvelous and by the way, Paul is a great boss – in spite of his own claims of his tyrannical rule. I can’t help but appreciate the fairness and reason, with which he treats his people and rules the dukedom.

And yeah…thanks Paul for helping me resurrect my dormant work ethics somewhat! I hope to have the privilege to join you guys again next year!
 
His brain is the size of a cherry pit! About the size of this ad:
100 Chestnut Trees for 299$ or 50 for 195$ + Free Shipping & more
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