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PEP1 - the initial thoughts  RSS feed

 
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And the actual Pep1 list so far:

Food Preparation-
Cook 5 meals with fresh basil
Use daikon in a meal
Infuse any herb into an oil 5 times
make tea from plants found on the land
Make an entire meal out of a haybox cooker
Incorporate fermented foods into a dish
Cook 5 meals with the rocket mass heater smoker
Butcher an animal on the land
Effectively use the pressure cooker to preserve food
Make 10 batches of kombucha from one scobi
Make 3 pounds of butter from milk
Make 3 pounds of yogurt from milk
Make 3 pounds of sour cream from milk
Make 3 pounds of hard cheese from milk
Make 3 pounds of soft cheese from milk
Effectively render lard from fat
Make 20 pounds of sausage from an animal raised on the land


Wildcrafting-
Be able to identify 4 different species of trees on the lab
Know what families 3 different plants on the lab belong to
Be able to identify 10 types of “indicator” plants- ex- lots of dandelion in a field indicates compacted soil


food preservation-
Make 10 pounds of sauerkraut
Make a ginger bug
Properly can 10 jars of vegetables
Dry out produce with a solar dehydrator
Ferment vegetables



Woodworking-
Make lumber out of 10 different logs with the sawmill
Create a hand tool out of a single piece of wood
Create 5 effective mortise and tenon joints
Create 5 effective pinned mortise and tenon joints
Create 5 effective dado joints
Create 5 effective butt joints
Create 5 effective finger joints
Make a shaving horse
Cope a joint without a coping saw

Greenwood Woodworking-


Hand Woodworking AKA “Proenneke” Woodworking-
Make 30 Shakes with a froe
Weave a fence out of saplings

Roundwood Woodworking-
Create a piece of furniture with roundwood
Create a wooden mallet within half an hour
create a piece of furniture without any metal used in the design.

Carpentry/Framing-
Tamp in one load bearing post
Make one effective load bearing wall
Construct a durable skiddable building

Clothing-
Knit a scarf
Repair a piece of clothing with a patch and sew kit
Make a natural dye entirely from materials on the lab
Dye a piece of fabric from dye you have created

Masonry-
Create a rubble foundation
Create an effective outdoor Rumford Fireplace
Create a level floor in a room


Tool Maintenance and Repair-
Clean a cast iron skillet with no water or soap
Clean a cast iron skillet in less than 15 seconds without water or soap
Maintain a tool with a wooden handle by applying linseed oil
sharpen 5 kitchen knifes
sharpen a chainsaw 3 times
maintain and add water to 12 unsealed battery cells
change the oil to a car
use the car jack properly
replace a bowsaw blade
sharpen a tool with an angle grinder
Add air to a tire with the air compressor
Patch a tire
Sharpen the drawknife effectively by hand
Sharpen a hatchet effectively by hand



Metalworking-

Cob Building-
Make 10 batches of cob by yourself
Make cob plaster
effectively apply cob plaster to a surface
Use cob in a structure or a piece of furniture


Food Growing-
Grow an annual plant from seed to fruit without any irrigation
Feed 4 people for a year from food grown on the land
Make a 5x5x5 compost pile that completely breaks down within 3 weeks
Identify items that are high and low on the C:N scale
Manage a ruth stout style garden that does not need any irrigation


Animal Management-
Clear brush from a patch of land using pigs
Raise 10 chickens to slaughter with no grain feed
Move chickens to another paddock without any escaping 10 times
Move pigs to another paddock without any escaping 10 times
Raise a pig to slaughter with no grain feed
Keep bees for a season


Vehicles-
Be able to haul sand with the electric tractor
Move 10 buckets of material with the excavator
Take either dump truck from the lab to base camp
Attach and detach items on the tractor PTO

Alternative Energy Generation-

Forest Management-
Limb 10 trees with a hatchet
Cut down 10 trees with a bosaw
Effectively cut down 10 trees with a chainsaw using the wedge cut

Food Growing Techniques-
Create a swale by using an A frame leveler
Create a hugelculture bed that is at least 3 feet high
Create a microclimate that is at least 10 degrees different than temperatures from surrounding areas
Sprout a tree seed without any irrigation

Miscellaneous-
Make soap out of animal fat from the farm
Make essential oil with a distiller
Make essential oils without a distiller
Make a salve/balm from ingredients entirely from the land
Light a rocket mass heater fire with no smoke entering the house.
Effectively take on and off the dump trailer
Be able to identify 4 different types of pins on the lab
Be able to name 10 different power tools used on the lab
Dig a working well
Be able to tell clay from sand from silt
Be able to level 10 square feet of land in under 20 minutes
Clean the kitchen with vinegar and baking soda
 
jesse markowitz
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Also, I'd think that most, if not all, the PEP1 tasks should be fairly quick and cut and dry- something like keeping animals for a whole season probably is NOT ideal for a PEP1 skill, at least in my mind. I feel like most of these tasks should be able to be completed within a week, and furthermore and lot of these tasks should be done within a weekend or even a day. PEP2 would be more of the things that would take a lot of labor AND a lot of additional waiting time.

There are some things on here that are clearly PEP2 ideas (make a shaving horse), but it’d be nice to see if someone can break down one of these skills into 5 or 6 smaller skills to work on.
 
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This is a great start.
Thanks for the lists, Jesse.

Food Growing
Grow an annual plant from seed to fruit without any irrigation
Feed 4 people for a year from food grown on the land




I won't say that this doesn't belong in PEP1 but there might be other tasks to learn/do first.
I guess it depends how newbie it should be, and how many steps a task should be.

I would suggest (some of these might be a little basic if you assume a basic knowledge in gardening):

- start a plant from seed (including a basic vegetable, a small seed like a petunia, and one that needs stratification like a fruit tree)
- grow a sprout to seedling, transplant successfully outside or in a larger container, grow to harvest
- learn about companion planting
- learn which plants can be used in your area that will: attract pollinators, attract beneficial insects, repel common insects like ants, aphids, cabbage moth, moths, mosquitoes, fleas, flies, fruit flies, weevils, slugs, snails, mice, white flies
- Design a garden with annual edibles using 15 different plants, keeping in mind companion plants, shading, plant sizes as the season advances, etc
- Plant and grow above using technique of choice (standard rows, square foot, condensed) to successful harvest and/or
- Plant and grow above using technique of choice (standard rows, square foot, condensed) to successful harvest including a variety of (non)watering techniques (wicking bed, hugel, ollas, drip irrigation)
- As above in some manner but for a perennial food garden instead of annuals
- Track a current (or above) garden to learn quantities harvested for a year and how long that amount lasts for your family.
- Based on above, design a new (larger?) garden to feed your family for a year (in those foods - not saying you can't have meats or other non-garden foods as well in the year). Keep in mind plant rotation for disease and critter prevention.
- Design a spiral herbal garden using 12-15 different herbs
- Create, plant and grow spiral garden to success
- Harvest herbs from above and use alone or in combination when preparing food/drink
- Successfully plan, plant, harvest a fall garden
- Successfully plan, plant, harvest a winter garden (using cold covers, hoop housing, bale greenhouses, etc where necessary)
 
jesse markowitz
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I won't say that this doesn't belong in PEP1 but there might be other tasks to learn/do first.
I guess it depends how newbie it should be, and how many steps a task should be.



I think it should be as newbie as possible, within reason. A goal of this list is to show someone the exact steps it would take to go from a complete novice to basic competency in any given category.

Thanks for the input! You have a lot of good tasks here, especially about the spiral garden. I'll add these to the list soon enough.

I'm not sure if Paul wants anything about transplanting however, since he's usually somewhat anti transplant. I'd think he'd be fine with it in someone else's list, but since he's planning on using this list for the farm here I think he wants to go more towards Fukuoka/Holzer route instead of the more traditional organic gardening path.
 
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Jesse,

Thanks for getting a list started! When we talked this morning, I had not yet seen this list.



Be able to identify 4 different species of trees on the lab



I think we need to leave the lab out of the list. After all, the list will be made public and lots of folks might find it to be of value and never come to the lab. There could be some folks that will choose to say that they have completed PEP1 and have never been here (and there will be others that will say that they have been somehow verified completing PEP1, maybe here or maybe far away from here).

 
paul wheaton
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We were talking about PEP1 at breakfast this morning. I think that there could be some folks that come here as gappers and express that they want to complete PEP1. After being here for, say, three months, I think it is currently plausible that we would assign them a raw acre. And on that acre, they would do their stuff. They would grow a garden, build fence, build a shed, build some benches and tables, plant some trees, build a hugelkultur, build a small pond ....


 
paul wheaton
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PEP1 tasks should be fairly quick and cut and dry- something like keeping animals for a whole season probably is NOT ideal for a PEP1 skill



I think I want to figure that achieving PEP1 could take three years. Within that time would be one year of trying gardening, helping with animals, building some simple things. Tinkering with food preservation. The second year would be to grow your own garden to come up with enough food to feed yourself, and to raise some animals mostly yourself. The third year would be the big test.

I suppose there could be some people that would be able to show up and crank it all out in one year - do the big test on the first year. Show up in, say, january ... get their plot in march. Build a LOT of food systems, build, build, build ... and then live through the wofati that winter and by march they have completed the whole thing. So, 14 months. I suppose if they paid for "shallow roots," they could show up in march and be done the following march. 12 very intensive months.


 
paul wheaton
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Maybe we need two lists. PEP1 and PEX1. The "X" would stand for "anybody". So it would be a massive list of stuff and then other people could decide on "PEG1" or "PEN1" or whatever. There could be one that is "PEV1" that is for vegans. There could be one that is "PET1" that is tropical.

I am thinking this because Jesse listed "Make 10 batches of kombucha from one scobi" which would NOT be on PEP1, but could totally be on other lists, so it is good to have on "PEX1".

 
paul wheaton
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Jesse was asking today about what all might be on a PEP2 list. My thinking is that it might be a lot more community planning, larger buildings, larger food systems.

I think PEP1 would be equivalent to a four year college degree. PEP2 would be equivalent to getting "a masters".

PEP1 would probably take most people three years. Some people might squeeze it into twelve months and others might take four or five years.

PEP2 would involve a list of things including teaching, doing bigger stuff, plus a big innovation - much like how with a masters or phd there would be a dissertation or thesis.



 
paul wheaton
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Starting with Jesse's list from above, possible categories (which could evolve into some sort of "badges"):

Food Prep
Food Preservation
Wildcrafting and guerrilla gardening
gardening
lumber woodworking
Green woodworking
roundwood woodworking
proenekke (all hand tools starting with roundwood)
cob
dry stack stone
fiber arts
leatherwork
rocket mass heater
small tool care (sharpening/handles/etc.)
large tool care (truck/tractor/etc.)
metalworking
chickens
pigs
cattle
rabbits
sheep
goats
dairy
beekeeping
electricity (including solar)
woodland care
community living
commerce
roads, trails and lawns
earthworks
aquaponics
greywater and poop safety
plumbing and hot water

And then the grande finale: wofati


What else?
 
Penny Dumelie
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rabbits, sheep, goats
fish (aquaponics)
worms (both vermicomposting and growing them for fish/bird food)
butchering - this entails a lot of information so should maybe have its own category - include sections of an animal, methods of skinning, proper cooling of the meat, cleaning/hanging, aging
possibly related crafting skills? like knitting or fabric dye, when the products are harvested "from scratch" - for example harvest wool and turning it to yarn or harvest reeds to create a basket
 
paul wheaton
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Penny, I worked some of your suggestions into the list.
 
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This system does indeed remind me of the merit badge system somewhat. There a series of small tasks, both physical and mental, is asked of you. As you complete each (and this often includes subsections within a given aspect), it gets marked off. Eventually you get them all and get a badge. The up side is that it is motivating. Some for the badge, some for the ability to raise your overall scout rank.

I think that too is something to consider. Each level of scouting has requirements of its own. Some badges are required to get to the highest level, but some basic skills are required no matter which badges you are receiving. Lastly, there is a down side to scouting. Being an Eagle Scout myself from a troop that produced quite a few, I have witnessed a lot of people doing the absolute minimum to get badges (in some cases cheating their way through it) to gain a rank without any care for the skills involved. Those skills were quickly forgotten in some cases. Just a pitfall to be aware of.

I also compare this in my head with several other things. The achievement system from video games, which are surprisingly motivating for some people. The skill systems I have created in some RPG designs. As stand-alones, any part of it can be motivating to learn skills that may stick. Those who would learn for learning sake don't need them, but sometimes they do help for those who might otherwise hesitate.

One aspect of scouting (specific to our summer camp) that this reminds me of was the Frontiersman program. You had varied tasks that related to different aspects of frontier life and survival. At the low levels, things were pretty basic and almost anyone could get there. Level two was much harder and involved several tricky tasks each before your overall rank had a chance to improve. Once you mastered the second tier, the third started out only through invitation by others who had reached the third rank. You were observed and those who were practicing their skills, using those skills or helping others to learn them were those who were invited to rise to that final rank.

Once you were invited, you had tasks that were daunting to do by some standards. I still remember being involved in making a dugout canoe for example. In a way, each task set involved a number of skills and was like a merit badge without an actual badge. You were noted as having that skill at that level, but it led to a physical symbol only after mastery of a broad range. That in a way is like scouts in general as well. You get merit badges, but without a broader range, you don't rise in rank and the badges alone don't hold strong value.

Since I seem to be rambling a little, let me focus back on the topic at hand. I don't see this as being just 'here are some badges'. I see this as being more of a 'here are some broad skill sets and the mile markers to show how broadly competent you are in them. Whatever system of words is used to indicate levels, the first one or two might require only a little show of skill in several aspects. Further up the scale, you have progressively more difficult tasks before you can say you hit the mile markers. Finally you reach a point where you have gotten every mile marker on a single grouping (badge), but from there what?

I could see it having a certification system as a broad blanket over the whole thing. Basic understanding of everything gets you basic certification. It doesn't say you are super skilled, just that you know enough to help others. Another step up the ladder might require fully mastering all of the mile markers of several groups and being advanced in a few others. So on and so on. You never get a mastery certificate because even if you had every group (badge) filled up to the brim with every mile marker we can think of, there is always more to learn. Maybe broader groups with subgroups in them for related skills. Such and such is certified as highly skilled in <Insert list here>. That is your reward if you indeed need something beyond the knowledge itself. Certificates do have a place after all, pointing to them makes it easier to prove you can do a job you are asked to do after all.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. These thoughts are still lose in my head, but as I said, I have actually designed systems that look a lot like this before focused on how to motivate people as they progress through something towards better understanding. I halfway want to sit down with pen and paper for a few days and work out the idea just to get it to quit rattling around my brain now!
 
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This reminds me a little bit of PRI's Master Planned site requirements.

I like the idea. And I will also note that most ideas so far have come from the "small landholding" section of permaculture and apply to that model in a cool/cold temperate climate - in essence, what would apply to land like Paul owns.

So I was excited about the PEX1 aspect. What would I do...PEHD - Permaculture Experience - Hot 'n' Dry? PEU (heheheh) Permaculture Experience Urban?

Some things on my urban hot and dry list would included:
--understanding your climate (or, "Hey - you live in a place with very little water where it gets really hot!" or, "Do the opposite of what they do in cool, wet climates") - what are the limiting factors? What are the benefits? How do you work with each of them?
--understanding your setting (urban, suburban, rural) In an urban setting, there's a lot of physical infrastructure as well as a lot of levels of rules/laws - how do you make the best of these (Bill Mollison loved working with rules as he found he did his most creative work when he was limited).
--creating shade (with plants, with other things, how are deciduous plants useful, harvesting shade and sun throughout the year)
--calculating your water budget (how much rain, grey and stormwater runon you can harvest and use and what the appropriate use is for each)
--retrofitting your urban home to make it more energy efficient
--how to install a composting toilet and use it effectively
--how to build earthworks
--how to build a cistern
--how to conserve moisture in your soil
--how to use MINIMAL irrigation to grow your food
--identifying, harvesting and processing native foods
--understanding regulations (city, state, fed)
--engaging with your neighbors
--how to compost in hot, dry areas (including how to partner with local restaurants, schools and businesses to use their waste)
--how to repurpose common city affluvia/trash into something useful
--how to launch an effective campaign to change rules of an HOA, laws of a city, laws of a state
--how to build resilient communities (use of social media like Nextdoor.com, little free libraries, meetups, community gardens, community gleaning, community grafting, permablitzes, and on and on).
--how to work with local officials
--how to create acceptance of projects
--how to maintain public projects
--how to build leaders from all walks of life
--how to include the diversity of city life so that everyone feels like they have a place

...there's a reason why PRI says that it urgently needs more master planned urban sites RIGHT NOW - not all of us have a burning desire to move out to "land" somewhere. But we still need a certain skillset.

Like Bill Mollison said - create paradise where you are.

 
jesse markowitz
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D.- I think we are going with the merit badge idea, or something similar. First we'll focus on the actual list itself, and once that's set we'll figure out exactly how the badge system will work. I'll bring up your idea. But the main thing right now is getting a good, complete list set. Which leads me to why I'm posting-

Does anyone with experience want to make a list out of any specific category? Any of the categories posted by Paul or I would be great. There are probably some other categories we haven't listed that could be added. Specific ones that could use a lot of work are:



Metalworking
Leatherworking
Electricity
Aquaponics
Greywater and poop safety
Plumbing and hot water
Dry stack stone
Fiber arts


I figured it'd be way better for someone with some experience in these fields to make a list over a total newbie in these like myself.

So how about it? Anyone want to contribute to our Pep1 project? I bet there's an apple in it for ya! The more people we get involved in the creation of this, the more complete the program will be.

Thanks!

 
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Scout merit badges intentionally split like roots, allowing alternates based on preferences.

If growing small animals for food and fertilizer was a choice it might include chickens,rabbits or goats or even fish. Each would have care requirements, yield, return etc.

I guess I just have an issue with the subjective nature of what is valuable in each space.

I wouldn't suggest every PEP1 milk a cow for 90 days and make 10 lbs of butter and 10 lbs of cheese; milking 3 goats and making 10 batches of kefir and 10 quarts of yogurt may have equal or more value (I'd rather have the cheese and butter but I respect other alternatives).

I only grew 10 out of 20 lbs of potatoes but I grew 40 lbs of herbs, where only 3 lbs were required. Did I fail?

I'm a meat-a-tarian, I don't need 10 different ways to eat chick peas.

My son is a vegetarian, should I force him to help me smoke bacon? (yeah, I was trying to change his mind), it's bacon!

I think peer or mentor approval for a task would be useful as check but it would require a lot of code to make a valid website that could handle the check.

 
paul wheaton
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I think a good one at some point would be to drop trees and limb them with a bow saw.

And then another one (probably under tool care) would be to drop 40 trees and limb them with a bow saw using just one bow saw blade. The primary function of this exercise is to show tool care.

 
paul wheaton
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A new forum has been created called "PEX /PEP1".

In that forum, I like the idea that we can have a thread dedicated to a great list of "merit badges" (categories). And then there can be a thread for each "merit badge" which details each of the tasks that must be completed for that badge (usually one or two dozen tasks). Then there can be a thread for each task. Within a thread for a task a person could post to say "here is a picture of the five mallets I carved up - can anybody verify that I have done these correctly?"

When that person has had all of the tasks for a merit badge verified, they can post to the thread for that badge "here are the links where I have completed the tasks and they have been verified. Can somebody verify that I have completed what is needed for this badge?"

The JForum developers are saying that they might add a badge verification system to our software. So then there could be a day where a person could post to a PEP1 thread and say "Please verify that I am a PEP1 graduate."

 
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paul wheaton wrote:click on the thumbs up for this post if you just like to click on the thumbs up thing.



The 21 thumbs up made my day
 
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Ken Peavey wrote:Word of the Day: Competence

The Boy Scout merit badge system is recognition of a minimum level of competence in a particular area.

Plenty of trades have a graduated level of mastery.
Apprentice...The new guy
Journeyman...Some skills
Tradesman...Competency in 1 or more skills
Craftsman...Competence in several skills
Master...Competence in all skills associated with a craft



That would be the trades. Speaking at least partly in fun, my father who used to hire people from university had this to say:

A bachelors degree, means the person knows a lot and has a good starting knowledge.

A master's degree mean the person is a master at what they do.

A PHD means they know, they know nothing. It generally also means that even though they have studied more than the master, and know more than the master, they tend to be more willing to learn more.

One of my tech school instructors (I took Broadcast Electronics back when everything was still analog) used to say: "The more you know, the more you know you don't know."

I agree it is important to learn new skills and have a verified level of competency. I also would want people to continue to have a thirst for learning no matter how much they already know. To understand that the balance in nature has more components than we are ever likely to know, though we might know enough to make use of what we do know to thrive.
 
jesse markowitz
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Okay, here's a list made up for greenwood woodworking. The tasks are listed in order of increasing difficulty, at least from what I can tell. If anyone has any items they'd like to tack on, please let me know! Any input is appreciated:


Greenwood Woodworking

make 50 shakes with a froe and wooden mallet
make 5 wooden mallets out of a single piece of wood
make 5 wooden mallets out of 2 pieces of wood
Create a wooden mallet within half an hour
grind and hone 5 hand tools to shaving sharpness using only sharpening stones/sand paper
carve a spoon using hand tools only
make three greenwood benches or tables without any screws or nails used for joinery
make a pole-lathe
Bodger 4 chair legs using your pole lathe
make 5 bowls using your own pole lathe
Create a shaving horse without any screws or nails used for joinery
Make two different types of chairs (ladder back, bow back, comb back) out of greenwood without any screws or nails used for joinery


I was also thinking about adding planing with a hand planer, but I'm not sure about that one yet.

Does any other task need to be in this category? Currently, I see this list as being a little light, both with the number of tasks on it and the difficulty of the average task. It might just wind up that Paul's list will have some categories that are just way more detailed and complex than others.

I also think that many of these tasks should have lots of stipulations that go along with them- g.e. do this task in under x amount of time. Part of being competent at something is being able to do it in a fairly simple and quick manner.

 
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A generalized thought or three.
Equivalency - say someone is a trained chef, would they need to meet the requirements or would they be able to get credit for what they already know, and how would that be managed? I think that with many people, it would be likely that some aspect of the PE curriculum would already be in their skill set. A certified welder, a licensed electrician, an operating engineer - in their field, each qualified to teach the PE skills. Just as examples.

"Degree of difficulty " for lack of a better term. In reading thought the thread I noticed some disparities. For example, growing food for four people for a year on one hand and cooking five meals on the other. I hope it is obvious that growing a year's food supply for four people is on a completely different level than cooking five meals. I think trying to equate elements across subjects is not always necessary, but if we are talking about the sort of basic level skill set here in PE 1, it might be good to keep it at a basic level, for each subject. I think growing food for four people for a year is a pretty advanced level of skill, but I am a noob

Breadth versus depth: how reasonable is it to expect one person to have the skills to: raise the sheep, shear the sheep, cut down the tree, build the loom from the tree, spin the yarn, weave the fabric, sew the clothes, milk the sheep, make the cheese, slaughter and butcher the sheep, cook the shepherd's pie with the vegetables they raised in the garden they planted on the berm of the swale they dug with the excavator, using dough for the crust that they made from the grain that they grew and harvested, threshed ,winnowed and ground into flour? It would sure be impressive, but could any one person actually accomplish all of that in one year? 😃

As I see it, being a good permaculture designer absolutely demands a very wide knowledge base. You need a breadth of knowledge such that you can recognize what options you have for dealing with a situation and are able to make good, informed, choices among the options. But you do not necessarily need to be able to execute every single one of these options yourself. Quite a few of these things are lifelong subjects for study and practice in and of themselves.

Were I to design an educational program based on this general concept, I might try to build some areas of concentration, say, for example, an animal husbandry curriculum that would incorporate enough electrical skill to be able to set up and maintain electrical fencing, but not enough to design and build a solar power system for a home. It might include enough construction knowledge to build animal shelters, but not go all the way to building a house. Enough plant knowledge to manage grazing land, know what trees are good fodder, recognize toxic plants, but not how to grow all the plant food needs for four people for a year. But it would cover the care of livestock in depth.

Certain basic skills that are fundamental across many fields would be required for all, but one would not have to complete all the "classes" for all of the subjects to be "certified".

Just grist for the mill.
 
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Jesse, one way to manage the competency aspect from a distance would be to stipulate a number of items rather than a time, since one can see the items but not confirm the time taken.

Peter, maybe PEP1 could consist of a set number of skills from a much larger list, with maybe a minimum number of skills over a minimum number of areas eg 100 skills completed with at least 5 skills achieved from at least 6 of the different areas. If there's any certification, the skills achieved could be listed on the individual certificates, so that a person could use that as part of a CV or whatever. It would allow a person to tailor their PEP1 to their needs. Eg it's not much use being able to identify and use cold climate plants if one lives in the tropics and vice versa.
 
Peter Ellis
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jesse markowitz wrote:Okay, here's a list made up for greenwood woodworking. The tasks are listed in order of increasing difficulty, at least from what I can tell. If anyone has any items they'd like to tack on, please let me know! Any input is appreciated:


Greenwood Woodworking

make 50 shakes with a froe and wooden mallet
make 5 wooden mallets out of a single piece of wood
make 5 wooden mallets out of 2 pieces of wood
Create a wooden mallet within half an hour
grind and hone 5 hand tools to shaving sharpness using only sharpening stones/sand paper
carve a spoon using hand tools only
make three greenwood benches or tables without any screws or nails used for joinery
make a pole-lathe
Bodger 4 chair legs using your pole lathe
make 5 bowls using your own pole lathe
Create a shaving horse without any screws or nails used for joinery
Make two different types of chairs (ladder back, bow back, comb back) out of greenwood without any screws or nails used for joinery


I was also thinking about adding planing with a hand planer, but I'm not sure about that one yet.

Does any other task need to be in this category? Currently, I see this list as being a little light, both with the number of tasks on it and the difficulty of the average task. It might just wind up that Paul's list will have some categories that are just way more detailed and complex than others.

I also think that many of these tasks should have lots of stipulations that go along with them- g.e. do this task in under x amount of time. Part of being competent at something is being able to do it in a fairly simple and quick manner.


I keep coming back to this and seeing another element. Other tasks that need to be in this category - this category essentially calls for being able to use all hand woodworking tools, from saws to planes to chisels to gouges to mallets to axes to adzes to drawknives, so lots of pieces missing oh, and I was forgetting braces and bits.
I would suggest that making a bow saw and a frame saw might be good skills, although not especially "green" woodworking skills.

The joinery skills for making chairs, stools, benches and tables are essentially the same, so it may be redundant in a sense to ask for all of them. Boxes and chests call for different joinery than is used in chairs and tables and I might suggest adding something like a blanket chest to the list of things to build.

And in general, the time element, while I recognize the importance of getting work done efficiently and its connection to competency, is difficult to manage remotely and presses for a certain "racing mentality". I might suggest that rather than "make x in half an hour" the requirement be to "time how long it takes you to make x" with a requirement to post the photos of the project, the time you took to complete it and your comments about what you would do differently next time to improve on the time, the quality, or both. Rather than racing against the clock, this asks people to examine their own efficiency. I think it might be a more productive way of getting to the goal.
 
Peter Ellis
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paul wheaton wrote:click on the thumbs up for this post if you think you would like to have officially completed the PEP1 stuff.



Saying I might like to complete an as yet unknown list without anyone certifying it is easier than saying I would like to have officially completed an as yet unknown list

Once there is a relatively final (I expect this might be an evolving thing) list, I look forward to going through it and checking off all the bits and pieces I have already completed and then reviewing the stuff I have not yet done and, at that time, deciding whether it looked like a list that I wanted to fully complete. In the event that it did look like something I wanted to do, then I might as well get the cookie for doing it.

One aspect of completing the list - the more closely it aligns with the things I need to do for my given situation, the more likely I will be to complete it. The pieces that align the least with my path would be the pieces that waited the longest to be accomplished, as I expect that once the homesteading starts happening for us, our time for things that don't directly advance our projects will be at a minimum.
 
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Very interesting and a huge subject area to cover.
I would not rule out home brewing, its not all about drinking beer especially if you look at the bigger picture which involves distillation. And again thats not about drinking vodka but about making fuel, carriers for medicine, essential oils.... the list here goes on and on. Its a more important subject than you think.
 
Penny Dumelie
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I think maybe a section related to overall planning, designing and connecting systems could be beneficial.

I suppose it's not really a skill but it could help people decide what they need to work through now and what can wait until later.

A basic outline that covers looking at what you have to work with and what you are trying to achieve, and the path to get there whether you are in an apartment, a small farm, trying to start a community or other project.
Plus how the different parts interconnect. Maybe a flow chart. Do this if that else the other thing?
Hmmm. I guess some of this might be considered the reading/knowledge gathering stage of multiple categories.

This post might be the result of my desire to bring order and logic to chaos and endless variables.
 
Peter Ellis
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items that might belong on the list:
rammed earth construction
timber framing
round wood timber framing (may or may ot rate its own entry)
roofing (personally, i see this as the hardest part of any home construction)
 
Peter Ellis
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Penny Dumelie wrote:I think maybe a section related to overall planning, designing and connecting systems could be beneficial.

I suppose it's not really a skill but it could help people decide what they need to work through now and what can wait until later.

A basic outline that covers looking at what you have to work with and what you are trying to achieve, and the path to get there whether you are in an apartment, a small farm, trying to start a community or other project.
Plus how the different parts interconnect. Maybe a flow chart. Do this if that else the other thing?
Hmmm. I guess some of this might be considered the reading/knowledge gathering stage of multiple categories.

This post might be the result of my desire to bring order and logic to chaos and endless variables.



Penny, at some level you described permaculture and the ability to do overall planning, design and connect systems is not only a skill, but a difficult one that is not commonly found and not commonly taught. Hence the design science that teaches just exactly that.

But, for a person to really see the big picture and be able to create the complex multi-faceted and multi-level systems that need to be integrated to best achieve the overall goal and to do it in a wide variety of circumstances, that person needs a very broad grasp of many subjects. if you don't know what kind of materials in what combination make up cob and rammed earth and adobe, how would you know on a given site which would be the best match for the materials available? And if you dont know about strawbale or timber framing, you might not recognize that in this location, while the soil might work for rammed earth, the availability of strawbales and the cold winters argued for building that way?
that is both the fascination and the nightmare of permaculture from my view. So much to learn, so many ways to solve the puzzle, so many choices, so many decisions, so many variables..... 😜
 
Len Ovens
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jesse markowitz wrote:Okay, here's a list made up for greenwood woodworking. The tasks are listed in order of increasing difficulty, at least from what I can tell. If anyone has any items they'd like to tack on, please let me know! Any input is appreciated:

Not to pick on this particular list, I think there is some of this in all of the lists




Greenwood Woodworking

make 50 shakes with a froe and wooden mallet
make 5 wooden mallets out of a single piece of wood
make 5 wooden mallets out of 2 pieces of wood
Create a wooden mallet within half an hour


Why would I make so many mallets? I only need one or two... and besides I already have one that I made shakes with.... now what do I do with these shakes, I can't nail them to my wofati roof (it being all dirt).

I think what I am saying, it that the tasks should have some use to the person completing them. Someone who loves wood work in the first place may think it is great fun to make a bunch of something and generally have the skill and "bent" and artistry that would make the finished stuff saleable, but many people are just trying to expand their skill set and will just be happy it works and does the job. Making things in the order that one project can be used for the next may not put them in in order of increasing difficulty, but order of usefulness just makes more sense to some of "hard nosed" no churn folk.


grind and hone 5 hand tools to shaving sharpness using only sharpening stones/sand paper



taking care of tools (such as one has) would be first for me. In fact I would suggest one of the requirements be that no borrowed tools are used. It is better to make your own tools, but buying them is ok too. First choice is used/reconditioned, but new is ok. Passed down is the best as generally a tradition of good care gets passed down with the tool.


carve a spoon using hand tools only
make three greenwood benches or tables without any screws or nails used for joinery
make a pole-lathe
Bodger 4 chair legs using your pole lathe
make 5 bowls using your own pole lathe
Create a shaving horse without any screws or nails used for joinery
Make two different types of chairs (ladder back, bow back, comb back) out of greenwood without any screws or nails used for joinery



These are great. Everything is useful. One could call it the make an outdoor kitchen. This is one of the first things one might do if they bought land and lived in a trailer (rv) while setting a home up (wofati I am thinking). Very quickly the plastic chairs that came with the rv will start to crack and the tent will sun bleach. The table should be well enough made one can set cups or bowls on and they stay level. The chairs should support people and not make them feel like they are falling over. The fact that they are used every day will show up their weakness very quickly. In other words, the person will learn how good their skills are and will practice the ones that need it.... because it will ease life. So a pole supported roof to cover the outdoor kitchen would be good practice for the wofati build as well... it could even use shakes. Quite honestly, beauty is not the first thing I would look for. utility and the beauty that comes with that is more important. Also taking one project and doing it in two stages... a table could be made of "saw horse" style where the saw horses are made first. These can be rougher, but as ones skills improve (or one has time) the wood could be planed and stained and oiled. The top could be made after... and fixed table legs could be added at a future date.


I was also thinking about adding planing with a hand planer, but I'm not sure about that one yet.


Yes, people think sanding is fine, but once they learn to use a planer..... I would add a broad axe in here but the cost of entry is much higher than a hand plane, a draw knife might be better and is also a good smith project.

Anyway, my comment is that the project should be something the "trainee" will actually use. Each step could have a group of ideas that the person could pick from that use the same skills. Maybe I am being overly practical, but from my POV, I am not interested in getting credit for something I find useless, call it stacking functions.

I would not add time to the equation. If the person is going to teach or help others, those others will choose the person based on how good their work is anyway. There will be some who are good enough to earn a merit badge but not good enough to sell stuff and I think that is ok. There will be areas in life where each person shines and while they should expect do be able to do a number of basic skills, the one who teaches others, should love that particular activity. It should be the area where they shine. I guess I am starting to leak into the whole idea of community.

No it is not all "cut and dried" as that.
 
jesse markowitz
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Great stuff from everyone. Thank you.

So to sum up what I'm reading so far, one thing I notice is the need of a culminating project to tie everything together. That makes sense to me. What about make a structure (not necessarily a house but maybe a shed, pavilion, Len brought up an outdoor kitchen) out of 90% greenwood?

Another thing- People want things that apply to all areas of woodworking included in this list- eg mortise and tenon joints included to the list. Initially, I wanted the greenwood woodworking list to only contain items pertaining to just greenwood woodworking, but I guess that was a silly idea. All of these categories at some point will bleed into each other, and we'll just have a bunch of overlap from category to category. At this point I don't see any problems with categories overlapping, at least to a degree.

As for what Peter said-

But, for a person to really see the big picture and be able to create the complex multi-faceted and multi-level systems that need to be integrated to best achieve the overall goal and to do it in a wide variety of circumstances, that person needs a very broad grasp of many subjects. if you don't know what kind of materials in what combination make up cob and rammed earth and adobe, how would you know on a given site which would be the best match for the materials available? And if you dont know about strawbale or timber framing, you might not recognize that in this location, while the soil might work for rammed earth, the availability of strawbales and the cold winters argued for building that way?



This is one thing I was trying to get at when I posted some education jargon last week. If you can make an amazing bridle joint, and can make them faster and better than anyone else on the planet, you are well trained, but that doesn't make you well educated on joinery. Being well educated about joinery would be if you could explain to me why using one joint over the other would be beneficial in a given situation. Training deals with the 'how' of something, education would deal more with the 'why'.

Seeing as completing this list is supposed to be comparable to a bachelor's degree, I think that we should be making sure that we are thinking about education during its construction. I'd like to avoid the whole list turning into 'do this' 'do that' and 'do this 3 times'. That stuff is all great, but for a complete picture we probably need more of a variety in the types of tasks listed. Although, on the other hand, maybe the process of doing these all tasks will naturally lead people towards educating themselves in whatever category they're working on. I'd just thought I'd bring this up to see what everyone thinks.
 
jesse markowitz
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And i notice the 'do this in x amount of time' idea isn't so liked right now. I'll probably take it off for the next greenwood woodworking list I put up.
 
D. Logan
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One I thought about that might be interesting is a Stacking Systems badge. If you have other badges already, you take the skills you mastered in each and combine them in various ways. It would be hard to write requirements on this other than perhaps X number of stacked aspects over time. The simplest example I can think of is something like Basketry stacked with woodworking can create some really interesting old school chairs. Another might be stacking your rabbit system of meat production with your vermiposting so that you are getting more for less. It was just a thought batting around my head that tied to the PEP badges idea.
 
Penny Dumelie
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I agree Jesse. I think it would be a good idea to add "book learning" in some form to the beginning of each list.
Book learning being the quest for information and further education, oc.

It provides a basic starting point for the newest of newbies.
It offers a placeholder where people who have knowledge to share can provide the list of books, videos, websites or w/e they think will really help people.
The best of the best for resources.
Everyone learns differently so I think the "book learning" part is important.

When we think about a category, I suggest including everything needed even if some skills will overlap from group to group.
Think of each one like a singular, stand-alone list. Some people will work through the whole PEX list but others will pick the parts they want to learn and leave it at that.
If I finish one list and move to another, and it has two items listed I already know, then bonus for me. I'm ahead of the game in my second list.
 
Penny Dumelie
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Peter Ellis wrote:
that is both the fascination and the nightmare of permaculture from my view. So much to learn, so many ways to solve the puzzle, so many choices, so many decisions, so many variables..... 😜



Yes. Not just a rabbit hole, but one with infinite tunnels and loops.
 
paul wheaton
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I just posted a thread about different levels of badges here.

I think that it is possible that there could be a lot of overlap.

To complete the white belt level of merit badge ZZZ:

--- task A
--- task B
--- task C
--- task D
--- task E


To complete the white belt level of merit badge XXX:

--- task A
--- task C
--- task F
--- task G
--- task H
--- task I

To complete the green belt level of merit badge XXX:

--- white belt in merit badge XXX
--- white belt in merit badge ZZZ
--- white belt in merit badge YYY
--- white belt in merit badge VVV
--- four more of task A
--- two more of task C
--- two more of task F
--- task J
--- task K
--- task L
--- task M
--- task N







 
Peter Ellis
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I think with many of these "subjects" we will find that there are areas of overlap, because we are making arbitrary distinctions among things that bleed together. Wood working is one example, because whether you are using hand tools or power tools, dimensional lumber or round wood, a chisel is a chisel, a tenon is a tenon and a mortise is a mortise. Exact shapes differ, ways of cutting them may vary, but principles absolutely carry through.
Look at cooking as another example. Where are the lines between cooking and animal husbandry or gardening? Which side of the line is butchering, or vegetable storage?

So we should accept that overlap is part of te process and that we cannot divide some of these things After all, the great strength of permaculture is the ability to achieve synergies across many disciplines/activites/practices.

It seems to me that the upper levels of the merit badges should all be expecting us to combine multiple disciplines. Certainly "grow food for four people for a year" is not just applying conventional simple gardening skills. It would, almost certainly, require water management skills, soil improvement skills, animal husbandry skills - synergies.

Building a shed/barn/outdoor kitchen or whatever is not simply an exercise in construction, but one in design as well, requiring an understanding of the function of the building, of where it fits into the overall design of the system, of the specific needs for thenparticular function. Everything is interconnected and seeing those connections is the functional heart of permaculture design, as I see it.

As for a merit badge in "book learning", I think some of the value I see in this whole idea is that it asks us to apply our book learning and demonstrate practical applied understanding. As I sit here, I have a pretty darn good set of book learned skills in things I have not yet been able to test in application - suburbia is not the place to install single line electric fencing to keep pigs contained I also happen, through various avenues, to have a pretty broad set of applied skills. It is not every desk jockey that has refurbished a pneumatic nail gun or forged a spoon. So, in my case, there are some of these skills I alreeady have in an applied and functional sense, and others wehre all I have, for now, is the book learning.

From my perspective, until I can apply it, the knowledge is only theoretical. Once I have actually done it, the knowledge takes on a whole new life.

So in terms of the current exercise, the badges are levels of applied testing of theoretical knowledge. I don't see it as mattering where we get our theoretical knowledge, whether from books or videos or the more directly applied version of hands on learning from a skilled mentor, what matters is can we actually build a working cob oven - or whatever else anyone plugs in to the gap.
 
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I had an idea for something that could go in PEP2: something like building an electric tractor. Its defininitley not something for beginners, obviously. BUT, what if it was done Open Source Ecology style? What OSE wants to do is create an open source network for hardware. This means that with their plans, someone could build their own peice of equipment for the cost of the materials in a few days or even hours because everything is designed like an erector set. Not only that, its modular to the point where the same engine can be used for several separate machines. Even though the focus here is electric only, maintaining only one engine on 10 machines vs. 10 engines on 10 machines reduces the impact dramatically in itself.

I'm wandering.... My point is that seemingly advanced projects have the potential to have a lower required skill level by using said open source plans.
 
paul wheaton
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These take a lot of time.

Could somebody put together rough draft versions for:

Food Prep
Food Preservation
Wildcrafting and guerrilla gardening
lumber woodworking
Green woodworking
roundwood woodworking
proenekke (all hand tools starting with roundwood)
cob
dry stack stone
fiber arts
leatherwork
large tool care (truck/tractor/etc.)
chickens
pigs
cattle
rabbits
sheep
goats
dairy
beekeeping
electricity (including solar)
woodland care
community living
commerce
roads, trails and lawns
earthworks
aquaponics
greywater and poop safety
plumbing and hot water



If you are interested in trying to flesh one of these out a bit, please say so and you will have dibs on that one. Then post your suggestions for white belt, green belt, brown belt and black belt into this thread.

So far, each of these is taking me about two hours. Maybe if folks flesh them out and post them here first, it will take me just a half an hour for each.

Here are two I have so far:

http://www.permies.com/t/41588//PEP-gardening
http://www.permies.com/t/41724//PEP-rocket-mass-heater




 
Sue Rine
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I could have a go in the food prep and preservation areas. I'll post and others can add things in since I'm sure I don't cover all the ground that could be included....this is a little scary after seeing your lists Paul.....weak smile!
 
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