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what to do with two million dollars  RSS feed

 
gardener
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I've somehow gotten in the radar of a Venture Capital group & although I'm not interested in their plot, the basis of it is worth consideration. If you had $2 million in you pocket, setting up a committee that would consider applicable land for sale, purchase it and then accept applications for young permies to lease that land. Their approach is 2 fold: 1. farms that are in already in the throws of converting from convential to permaculture, organic or biodynamic (or have accomplished it) but the land owners have reached an age of transitioning out of farming (average USA farmer is 58 ). That land is explored for purchase. 2. A list of potential applicants that want to lease a farm to grown, expand and improve etc. With this approach, the $2MM could be converted into hard assets with a return on investment that could allow this "trust" to continue....forever. If I won the lottery, I think this may be something I'd consider: investing in hard assets (land), creating income for the "trust" so that it could continue (lease) and most importantly giving dedicated knowledgable people land to develop, expand and share their knowledge - with perameters of course.
 
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I would put 1.5 million in ethical businesses stock and or municipal bond funds. This will create the basis of a trust to promote the ethical use of the land, scholarships and a research or innovation based award sort of like the Nobel prize but for permaculture, agroecology, sustainable farming practices.

Maybe an adopt-a -farm program- that will assist traditional farmers who are risking the loss of their farm to move toward a more sustainable agricultural system through baby steps. From traditional to no-till with cover crops, then to alley crop systems and wean them from chemicals in the process. The success of that farm through word of mouth would be the best advertising for sustainable systems.

With the remaining 500 k I would speed up the development of my small property to its fullest permacultural potential.

 
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How about 100 skiddable bee huts plus the process of creating bee habitat. Then maybe how a gapper is going to be able to run with trying to sell Wheaton Labs honey.
 
                    
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paul wheaton wrote:

I thought my answer was poor each time. I guess I'm just used to trying to do everything on the cheap.

So I kinda want to open it up. Two million bucks. What would be good use of such big money?

(I have now typed and deleted a bunch of different things here - and doing so led to better ideas ...)

963) Set up a contest to build five 10x10 wofatis. Each contestant will be paid $10,000 to build their entry. The best wofati will be awarded a $40,000 bonus. Point are awarded for low materials cost (25%), low man hours (25%) and most comfortable through the montana winter (50%).


Any other ideas?



Evidently from other posts in this thread, it looks like your talking about some kind of TV show or something.

So the question is, what do you learn quickly from? Your success or your mistakes?

And which is 'the most interesting'?

I would venture to say mistakes are those funny, sometimes painful things people do that hopefully lead to success. With that in mind, and lets say you have a 10X10 wofatis build going~~~ why not show the mistakes as the theme of the show~~~? Wheaton mentioned in original post "I thought my answer was poor each time. I guess I'm just used to trying to do everything on the cheap."

Could that be that there are some tremendous mistakes, attempting to overcome, in order to 'grow lemons in MT'? Of course, you should show the successes too, but glorified by all the mistakes that came first. I suppose there is an interesting 'story' for different characters but the character striped with the marks of adversity is common of all men, and commonly at Permies.com it is the experience of others, that presents a viable solution, that happily steps in with a well intentioned suggestion. Why not mirror Permies.com attitude of struggling to overcome everyday problems?~~~isn't this what those shiny red apples kind of stand for next to a person's handle?

And with that in mind, (as was mentioned previously in this thread) 'most of us don't have $2m bucks', so show processes 'on the cheap' some that work, some that didn't, and just for laughs...some that never will.

james beam

p.s. I vote for girls in bikinis
 
master steward
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Let's suppose that a permaculture show is made that is like mythbusters. What would be some of the myths that we would bust?

333) you have to water a garden
334) cfls save energy

...

My understanding is that the two million dollars is for projects. They have more money for production and marketing and stuff. The question that was directed to me was not "how do we pay for a show with two million dollars." The question was "if we gave you two million dollars to fill a tv show with cool things, what would those cool things be?"




 
pollinator
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If your turned each of your "bricks" into a show, you'd have enough material for 6 years!
 
Cj Sloane
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Hey, here's your pitch:
 
                    
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Oh I kina 'get it' now kina like mythbusters...whatever that is. hahaha

333) you have to water a garden. ~~~I think that is a viable theme, that I might know a little about.

So I would suggest the 'wicking bed' as part of this solution (lots of different methods are used practically), and consider 'water sheds' as related part (roads, roofs, natural spring water) to fill the wicking bed.

Or placing your garden in an advantageous place, actually finding & growing in, or near a natural underground water source (like in a riptarian valley or landscape, creekside, near a pond, or just plain old 'flat land'...does witchazel, willow, or sweetgum grow there already? {water indicator plants}), and then there is mulch and shade and ground covers to consider.

Very little store bought material could be demonstrated, various labor techniques, I've even heard here at Permies.com that some folks made their wicking beds with their own clay as a liner (I used plastic (minus 3 points)...so don't use my example)...you could even go into the process of refining dirt thru screens and such to obtain water holding clay from ordinary clayish dirt. (because we all don't naturally have a great source of clay dirt) And I wouldn't leave out those folks in AZ or desert situations that have a great challenge storing water, that have developed their own ways.

When you tackle 333) don't forget about 'well drained soil' ...because we don't want to suggest root rot is a good way to go, what the heck show root rot as a big mistake and probably not the way to go.

Also just by the way about 333) I've been toying with the idea of using 'used clothes' (that are bound for the recycler) as a wicking material...so there is that!

james beam

p.s. I vote for girls in bikinis
 
steward
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Garden Myth Buster
#335 Yield of Natural Agriculture vs yield of Green Revolution Agriculture
 
garden master
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Myths:
#336) Fueling a car is expensive
#337) Heating a house is expensive
#338) Owning a home is expensive
#339) It is too cold to grow _____ where I live
#340) Nothing will grow in _____ area
#341) Growing your own food is a ton of work (could talk about how setting up the system initially is a lot of work, then it pays off later when the system matures)
#342) Homesteading means I will live like a pioneer
#343) One can't live in a home with twenty people comfortably and sustainably

I think the topic points that Paul covered in his Permaculture Keynote presentation are some good things to fill a show with:

Somehow each topic point could be expanded into a half hour to one hour overview of that concept, maybe?
 
pollinator
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Small idea...showing just exactly how much food can be produced, realistically, in a urban/suburban lot, including livestock (bees/chickens/ducks/rabbits/potbelly pigs ?). Could start from scratch with an ambitious single or couple, working 40 hrs as most do, and follow their progress with a 3/5 min per show, "and now let's check in on how our City Farmers are doing." I'd like to see the actual amounts... pounds, volumes, preserved count, etc. I think the 'what did and didn't work' part would provide plenty of drama, including the 'learnings' and 'fixes'. A biocharred vs un-biocharred bed comparison would maintain some suspense.... not to mention the invasion threats from quack grass, bindweed, knotweed, etc. Of course, I'd like it to be a PNW region ;) A short 'check in' would not interfere too much with the larger portion of the program....two birds :)

I'm hoping there's a feasible middle point between the Pasadena (Path to Freedom) and Portland (permies couple who tracked their produce) folks to demonstrate the impressive possibilities... for the ordinary folks who would never read the many how-to books out there. A tv program might just be the hook that brings a lot to the YT videos, websites and books!

"Growing a Greener World" program does show these kinds of things, but just quick, short overviews... in fact I think this December they'll air one they recently filmed at ERICA STRAUSS' Seattle urban homestead !!! Now she (and many others) are doing just this, minus the data tracking and close monitoring. (see her website.."NW Edibles"... it is super, including a podcast with Paul :)

I'm also hoping that this 'following and tallying' would convince a lots of people that permaculture is feasible (maybe even fun) and economically attractive for the 'ordinary' person.... there a lot more of us than acreage owners.... I think.. ?
 
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I'm sure the networks want drama, so why not give them drama. Give grants to 10 groups with the opporutity to show of their permaculture pathway, and give the other 1 million to Paul and his efforts to make the lab something Epic. Focus each episode on one of the groups efforts which I'm sure they could find some drama within, as well as Paul focuses on informing the world about skills associated with permacuture such as wofatis, cfls, seed saving , hugelculture, rocket stoves etc.

Keep on kicking butt wheaton labs!

 
Dave Burton
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I'm kinda stealing part of your idea dan and mashing it up with Paul's statement about "doing things on the cheap"

What about creating a budget that Paul thinks is appropriate enough to establish a permaculture site and challenge x-number of people to create entire permaculture sites adapted to their climates.



For example, one permaculture site could be established per climate zone, and each site could have x-number of people (however many you think are needed) to build the site with x-time allotted. Each site would have basic requirements for shelter, food, etc. Deadlines could be set, like: have a shelter (e.g. cob house, yurt, adobe) in this time frame. I think the challenges at each site could be varied because, well like anything for site design, it will depend on where you are building. So a season chould start with with the design challenge, Paul telling them here is your site, prepare a design and show it to me. Then, sugestions from Paul could be given.

OOH! To demonstrate that anyone can do permaculture, there could even be quick permaculture crash courses and crash courses in various other things to prepare the people. Special days could be devoted to skilling up the people.

Like, each season of the show could be done in one climate zone, then when all seasons are done, Paul could tour all of the sites and showcase them, or showcase each site at the end of each season.
 
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Three comparative systems in multiple locations.

One mostly hand labor. One with mechanized assistance, one somewhere between. Vary the locations, but visit with projects in similar locations so that people in places of diverse climate can see feasability of growing sustainable amounts of food in their locations and have insights and inspiration to try new things where they live.

Love the girls/bikinis, but of course that would be a total lever to dismiss the validity of the concepts shown. (WHAT? Girls in bikinis? There can't be legitimate advice from someone just trying to titillate you!)

It would demand humor in presentation, NOT throwing out a ton of facts. We can't try to intellectually convince others - the visceral knowledge trumps the mind. Give them facts and they will KNOW things but be unable to process that because the internal landscape in their societally manipulated minds won't allow actions in that direction. Let them become excited about the interactions, processes, and intelligence needed to do things well in a permaculture framework before preaching to anyone. Then with their "internals" in line with the natural systems their minds can be aligned with subliminal beliefs and the deeper connections inherent in permaculture can water truth into the societal propaganda.
 
paul wheaton
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The folks that were filming here last year, were part of the "Gold Rush" production stuff. Because of that, I watched several episodes of Gold Rush. I don't understand the appeal. But, then again, I don't own a TV. Clearly there is much more to this whole TV show thing. It is beyond my comprehension.
 
brad roon
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Paul - what TV seems to want is faked drama showing that only people with zillions of $$$ can do anything - and it won't pay off. That is the gist of the gold shows. i have actually watched a few, but being a recreational goldminer on occasion they had to force people to do really stupid things - spend a quarter million getting heavy equipment up in the wrong season to rip up a river.
Intelligence would NOT tear up the river, but take a small suction dredge into the river and find the deposits. THEN if the deposit mandated - bring in the heavy equipment.
This sort of thing would probably happen to any permaculture show also. Production would eventually highlight, then develop personality conflicts and "nurture" those into petty fights and scripted irrelevance. The permaculture would take a back seat to the fake drama, and the implication would be that permaculture is not working and the people doing it are broken.

The way a permanent ecosystem takes years wouldn't play on the camera. If you, Lawton, or someone had control it could be good, but that isn't going to happen. You don't have the bucks, and the bucks are invested in Monsanto plant factories.
 
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Looking through the Doomsday Preppers wiki page, it seems like many of the episodes could be remade with an eco/permaculture slant. For example, instead of preparing for an electomagnetic pulse or the zombie apocalypse, you could be preparing for the Ogallala aquifer to run dry by building huglelbeds.
 
steward
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I think the reason this is so hard is actually a good thing - that most of the solutions permaculture employs just aren't that expensive. If someone had asked how Paul or any of us would burn through $100K or $200K, we'd all have answers.

As I was not sleeping last night, I was imagining how to get my neighbors to do one simple thing that would change our local conditions for the better, and that is to plant productive windbreaks along every fencerow. Simple, not so simple because they'd need irrigation to get established and some protection from livestock. Even more difficult would be to change mindsets. But that is the scale of project that takes large chunks of cash - at a community level. But while far more exciting to me, that's not good tv. (I just spent two weeks with family watching endless tv, spent much of it trying to reverse engineer the methodology)

I think the Mythbusters direction is a good one. Dramarama for tv, and something useful comes out of it. Outfitting a lab to do all sorts of measurements that turn anecdotal into measurable data would be a real contribution. Build a Wofati with 50 temperature and radon sensors buried with in the structure, all being data logged. Temperature probes in different RMH set-ups, and emissions collections. Compare the best available technology in EPA approved wood stoves. Water sampling, myco-critter data, pesticide and herbicide remediation methods. Where does the Round-up go when an animal eats fodder that's been oversprayed? How much is in GMO feeds?

DH (research director for an academic science unit and co-owner of our little biotech start-up) says that $100K could go a long ways toward a basic lab set-up that could do a lot of interesting things. A lot of data stuff can also be outsourced. The tv show ends, the lab stays. For example, a PCR machine, a basic tool to detect characteristic gene sequences, which you could use to detect various strains of e coli (compost or humanure management bake-off?) would cost maybe $10-15K. Training would have an additional expense. But there are loads of folks with lab expertise dying to work on projects like this.

With a real lab attached to the Wheaton lab, the bake-offs and innovators' events have a potential to get more traction in the mainstream. Let's do an EPA-scale test on a shippable core, prove that it's good enough to meet UBC. And take down an agro-chem company along the way. Talk about using money for good.

And with all this equipment, we could probably discover why pie crust made with lard is flakier.
 
pollinator
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Thats a hard one.

From a straight permaculture POV, as to what would be best for a property, I think using it to buy as much adjacent property as possible would expand the local ecosystem and give a better chance of controlling local weather and environment. I think most of the other projects work best with as little money input as possible because money in general is only needed for things that are man made of steel and plastic. Having said that, I do not think that applies to this particular question and, if it was me, I wouldn't do that either because I would be starting from scratch and I can only live so long, I would need machinery to work fast enough. Large scale peraculture while less meaningful to most of us because they are so out of reach, are probably needed by this planet in general because government reserves have had a bad track record of becoming commercial use with enough money. 2M doesn't go very far that way though and probably wouldn't get an OK from the donor

The suggestions (above) to add more measurement to the mix such as embedded temperature sensors or moisture sensors makes a lot of sense to me. This might mean building a wofati over two seasons to make sure everything was done just right and as many things as possible would be known. It may also mean hiring someone(s) with the expertise to set this stuff up or at least design it (though there seems to be quite a broad set of skills represented in these forums). Or using more mechanization/people to get what needs to be done finished in one season.

I would suggest some of these same measurement techniques might be helpful with RMH too. Though there is already a lot of this happening.

I get the idea though that it is small quick to complete projects, not one thing. A lot of things I can think of are things that have already been done... look at Lawton's videos. Some of those could be reproduced using variations as required by the climate.

Use chickens to reclaim soil. Purposely remove topsoil and then use chickens to make a vegetable garden out of it.

Use cows to reclaim soil.... same as above, but much harder as it would take more land. Make a desert and graze it back to health. (on the other hand, it's been done and not too many people care)

Some of the really useful things to learn would take a long time. Often even 8 years is a short time in the permaculture world. Finding something that yields results in one season is not easy. Most things start to show signs of something in two years but the most dramatic results take longer.

A sawdust toilet and its contents dealt with in different ways. Actually do lab tests to see how clean the end result is and how good of soil/compost it is. Maybe even seal the output and add bad stuff to the input to see if the composting technique does take care of pathogens and worms. This would include the subjects of separating urine or not (by tests, not opinion). Waste (making waste of something that is not in this case) is (in my opinion) one of the biggest problems we face.

It seems the things I can think of require destroying something before fixing I feel uncomfortable suggesting the destruction of anything.

An interesting problem for sure, what projects would get good use from a budget like that. I would say places where money can be exchanged for speed. That is projects that are still doable by an individual with more time than money, but use money to speed the process.
 
Len Ovens
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Further thoughts... I mentioned Geof's videos and what stands out to me is that he didn't do all of this stuff, or let it happen on his own property. Rather he searched out what was already being done. This gives a much faster turnaround as the work has already been done.
 
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I like Len's idea.

Use some of the money to interview people who have inspired projects on the Lab. Go visit their finished project. And then show how that is being applied on the Lab.

For example:

1. Meat -- Farmstead Meatsmith, someone doing Holistic Management, etc. Then clips of moving cows, pigs, and butchering at the Lab.

I think it'd be inspirational to see the in progress nature of the Lab so people can see all the steps it takes to get to something like the Kramatertoff.


 
pollinator
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Random thoughts.

1) bring in the bigs (as mentioned)

2) send Paul to the Holzerhof / Krameterhof. Kicking and screaming.
... 4 times... one for each season.

3) 5 minute segments, you know, for the kids!
- Permaculture, getting from level 0 to level 1.

4) Paul going out and doing consulting gigs places.

5) permifying a double wide.

6) I love the idea of starting each episode with some Permaculture observation. I wonder what American audiences would do looking at a nice scene of some bees mobbing some bee balm for 60 whole seconds with no words. They'd go crazy.

7) Call in the Ecology in action guys to make some bricks.

8) Something monstrous, and welded. Think at-at walker of Permaculture.

9) bricks, I like the one brick a show thing. First episode, put one brick on the ground. the second episode put the second brick on the ground, the third episode, put the third brick down in the growing wall.

10) suburban Permaculture on a shoestring budget.

11) Iron Permaculture!
- given a wacky ingredient, do Permaculture.
constraints help right!?

12) 24 hour long episodes of peeling logs...

13) A short lesson on building a 16 brick rocket stove (for the kids!)

14) Milk carton scale Permaculture.

15) Walk through the stages of a site survey and then do it. Bring along
a cartographer to make maps as Paul points and waggles a finger.

16) Some hugleculture variations, layed out for science!
a) normal strait off contour
b) normal strait on contour
c) Bigger,
d) smaller
e) more bendy
f) variations of wood composition


17) Build a hugle bed maze, It's like a holiday corn maze, but all year round!

18) a 12 inch RMH, just to watch it burn.

19) Spares for things.

20) Build out the Permaculture kitchen for serving 20.

21) Build out the mobile Permaculture field kitchen for serving 50+ ( or workshop sized ).

22) I like the outreach idea. Try random outreach. Randomly select addresses, then go
talk to them about Permaculture and Permaculture up their lives.

23) Helicopter landing pad on the volcano. Just cuz'. Maybe find a biofueled copter
to take a ride in. Do some aerial seeding or something. Cuz'!

24) Get a new submarine for the good submarine access?

25) Take a trip to PV2!

26) Visit Willie Smits!





 
pollinator
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I would use the money to expand the missoula /paul empire .
Both in size and infrastructure .
I think for any community or group of communities to survive basically for ever and become self replicating with like minded folks feeding off and feeding each other the empire needs to be bigger than it is now . Think of the size of amish communities for example . How did or do they keep going whilst others failed ?
Maybe for 2 million buy some land and set up a company making little houses to populate it and sell to other locations in missoula

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Tom Rutledge wrote:
11) Iron Permaculture!
- given a wacky ingredient, do Permaculture.
constraints help right!?



Oh I love this one!!! I suspect Paul may have never seen Iron Chef though! The idea is you take 2 master chefs, provide 1 special ingredient and a 60 minute time limit, and they make a meal featuring that ingredient which then gets eaten & judged by some celebs.

Here's the Iron Chef Pork Belly Battle:


What would a permaculture pork battle look like? Would you have 2 masters working in the same location or different locations?
 
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This discussion brings to mind Wheaton Podcast #279, in which Geoff Lawton answered a few questions of mine. Thanks to the fantastic transcription job by Adrien Lapointe, we have a bit of the conversation:

I asked:

What would Geoff do with a million dollars?



His answer:

A million does not go far in the aid world. Paul asks if he would set up a few projects. Geoff would like a few billion and would extend permaculture sites all over the world with training centers. They would set up kits with really capable people set up in all the climates and all the different landscape profiles. Paul has an idea about how to prove permaculture can work by buying 2 million acres in the desert. Geoff suggests trying it in Neveda or Arizona maybe.



 
paul wheaton
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One of the tv people contacted me yesterday and we are going to do more skype today - apparently, this is a bit like "callbacks". I made it through the first round and they want to see more of my face making wordy sounds.

I directed her to this thread.

What makes for an excellent television show? What makes firefly so fucking good? A group of mostly decent people (would you call jayne decent?) trying to conduct business despite people trying to make them stumble.

But that's fiction. What is the very best non-fiction? What is the best non-fiction show that has ever been made? I'm trying to think of a show that I've seen that I really like. I like "Alone in the Wilderness". I like the Sepp Holzer 3-in-1. I like "The man who planted trees." (even though it is fiction, I believe it is based on a true story)

I remember one time, many years ago, I was visiting with a friend who was writing a book. I gave him lots of advice and he appeared to value my advice. He then asked me to write a chapter of his book. I had never written for a book before, but I wrote that chapter. In one day. I felt really good that i wrote it in one day. Maybe six hours. I thought it was fully polished and ready to go. He told me "You wrote it backwards. You explained the solution and then listed the problems it solved. You have to spell out the problems and then describe the solution." It took me another six hours to rewrite it and it was published verbatim. I have since been involved in other book projects and I've never been able to repeat that level of productivity.

I suppose the movie "broken limbs" tells the story that way. You start the story with his ties to the area - a happy beginning. Everybody is getting rich growing apples. And then it gets harder and harder. Orchardists are living hand to mouth and one bad year and the bank seizes everything. There is a lot of re-organizing to try to combat "globalization" and everybody just seems screwed. Frankly the show turns into a big stomach ache. And then the story line changes. We visit with weirdos that go and do everything very different from the way everybody else is doing it. I'm sure they are warned by the others that they will go under and lose the farm! But they have run the math and they are gonna lose the farm anyway. This is more of a hail mary. And it works! Now they own the farm outright - they CANNOT possibly lose the farm. They are cash positive. And the best for last is the permaculture guy who has so many resilient systems that when they try to screw him on price for apples he just says "nah, it ain't worth the hassle. I'll just let my pigs have the apples." And the store caves to him! The best solution turned out to be utterly obvious and simple. But for some reason 99.9% of the people suffering from the problem could not see such an obvious and plain solution.

So, maybe that's the thing to do. Each episode starts with a global problem. There can be "experts" showing the debate points and the viewer can get a powerful sense of the dilemma. Build that stomach ache.

Episode 1: the mercury in our atmosphere is making it so that even the fish from wilderness lakes would be toxic to eat.

Episode 2: cancer

Episode 3: world hunger

Episode 4: global warming / climate change

Episode 5:

Episode 6:

Episode 7:

Episode 8:

....

Each episode could start with a stomach ache. Maybe most of the episodes would go with "to be continued" and the next part of the episode would start with "last time ..." and have a quick summary of the stomach ache part, moving on with the solutions being attempted.



 
Cj Sloane
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paul wheaton wrote:Each episode could start with a stomach ache.



A stomach ache isn't much of a hook, more of a channel changer.

You said Broken Limbs started with a happy beginning. Anger is good if it builds slowly.
 
paul wheaton
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Cj Verde wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:Each episode could start with a stomach ache.



A stomach ache isn't much of a hook, more of a channel changer.

You said Broken Limbs started with a happy beginning. Anger is good if it builds slowly.



I suppose I should further qualify this stuff: I really don't know what makes good tv. I'm guessing.

 
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To make it appealing you might want to consider having the show focus on people. Whether its a competition, a documentary, a drama etc people seem to like watching people. So if one could find a way to include permaculture stuff wrapped in a jacket of Paul's belly laugh, or wedged in with a tension filled conversation between a couple "I don't care if there's a plastic fastener holding the door on the pooper closed, you need to get that solar powered chainsaw out and get that construction done!"
 
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What I'd do with 2 million dollars? I'd be buying massive amounts of fruiting trees and shrubs (bare-root, seeds and cuttings), and show the world how to plant the permaculture way. I'd also hire a smarty pants fabricator to make some of Sepp's special solar powered butterly's to demonstrate alternative power sources, and other needed gadgets of Paul's fancy. maybe the RMH fridge
http://permies.com/t/9922/rocket-stoves/Rocket-powered-refrigerator
You probably also need an excavator with the swiveling scoop.. the kind Sepp says we need for expert contouring. I often realize that I am not ready to answer such a question quickly enough.. this was a good exercise for my brain as these things actually do come up (not usually 2 mil, but investors who want to know right away what you'd do w/ their money) we need to be ready and have a plan.
 
                    
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paul wheaton wrote:Each episode could start with a stomach ache.



333) Oh Ok, I'm still trying to 'catch it', so I guess for me, my stomach ache was the severe drought of 2012, it affected many areas, but I happened to be 'in it' that year. And I realized quickly that my 'aussie rain gutter' and a couple hundred water jugs, is kind of miniscule compared to 60 days during the growing season...with no rain.

Therefore I decided to install {fall-winter 2012}the 'wickingbed' solution that Permies chat about on this website. My crop for 2012 was toasted early, but I had hopes for 2013, knowing full well that the drought conditions could easily repeat themselves.

Luckily 2014 we did get a lot of rain...LOL and I thought it was kind of funny that I now have (2) wickingbeds installed (which hold about 400 gallons), and my crop did fairly well. Now the satisfaction is that if, and when, another drought presents itself, I expect to be better prepared for it. I'm presently (fall-winter 2014) installing yet another wickingbed ditch in my garden , and I'm working on improving drainage routes into the wickingbeds. And I should mention that garden mulching when used in conjunction with the wickingbed, prevents evaporation, wind blown topsoil loss, & seems to promote soil conservation in general.

Not as inspiring as preventing cancer, or avoiding mercury toxins but it was something one guy can do with a few hand tools. I also believe that these wickingbed 'fixtures' once installed have a permanence even if they silt in solid 100 years from now, the fixture if still there in the future, will contribute to the area, on top of a clay gravel hill.

james beam
 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
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There is a So.Colorado ghost town for sale!
http://www.toptenrealestatedeals.com/homes/weekly-ten-best-home-deals/2013/10-1-2013/4/
slides of the place; http://www.ajc.com/gallery/classifieds/real-estate/photos-buy-ghost-town-2-million/gCDyX/#3950454

I think if the TV folks buy the whole town, you could make a show out of transforming it to a permie paradise. I have heard there are other ghost towns for sale.. some much cheaper, but this one looks ready to house some people already.

I think that would be awesome TV.. people love DIY and fix-er-up shows.
Episodes could be about things like, trash issues and how we buy to reduce trash how we compost and reuse stuff
another plot line about the lightbulbs, about heating the person not the whole house. Making paint from milk.. RMH ... all the stuff that comes up when permie-izing a place.

Roxanne
 
                    
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As far as 'formatting an episode', you might consider how your normal TV cop show formats, they typically open with act 1, and work thru the normal processes & gathering clues, the final act is either catching the bad guy, or having a drink at the sunset bar. Are you expecting to write each episode script yourself? Permaculture is the overriding theme, each episode should mention more than once, why each subject/episode is a permaculture process.

I suppose a farming episode could be similarly formatted, act 1 might demonstrate 'the problem', and with detective-like deductive reasoning and a strong back, the protagonist seeks responsible solutions in subsequent acts, setting about gathering clues, supplies, helpers, and doing the work. Those insights & clues are what make a good TV cop show, and I think unique farming practices are quite interesting, based on reality of course. Show the problems that arise, like the TV cop show does, show personal & commercial relationships like TV cop show does, show the success & hard earned celebration of it, just like a TV cop show would do.

One thing I have noticed about some TV shows is they will open with a 'captivating picture with dialog' and then a subtitle is inserted and it might say '2 weeks ago' or '6 months earlier'...then the plot begins, expecting the finale' to resolve back to the opening 'captivating picture'. I really think this 'captivating picture' emphasizes the theme thru out the show. Nothing bugs me worse than trying to follow some fast paced conglomeration of clues & processes without recurring reference to the theme...if the crux of the theme has not been borne out clearly in the first place how is the viewer supposed to understand what is happening? Think of it like a college thesis, properly define the theme with a statement like: 'the purpose of this paper is...', occasionally thru the show-- briefly redefine what the purpose is.

james beam
 
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The legend of Mick Dodge





Paul check out some of these shows. This is the kind of stuff they might be looking for. Interesting off beat charactors, life in the woods, projects that most peole wouldn't think of, funny , thats good TV!
 
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I was watching the "stairway to the canopy" episode and thinking "How do these guys get money for such projects?"

Duh.

T.V. show! Look at the title of this thread!
 
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Hi everyone! This is my second real post here, but I have been stalking a long time. I really didn't have much to contribute to most other conversations, but thought i might be able to further this one a bit.

I think it is important to define the target audience for the tv show. Once you know who is going to watch the show, it makes it easier to decide on the content for the show.

It is easier to put a name and a face and make up a bio for the target audience. I think that possibly I am a good model for it.

I am 30-something, and work in traditional 40-hr per week job. I commute 50 miles each direction to work every day, so half of the year, I leave for work when it is dark outside and also get home when it is dark outside. My gardening/dabbling happens primarily on the weekend. I live in an old farmhouse on an acre in central Pennsylvania. I think by the definition of most permies, I am mainstream and watch a fair amount of TV. By the definition of most mainstreamers, I am a permy

The TV I do watch has a tendency to be educational and entertaining. I do enjoy Mythbusters, Nova, Nick Dodge, and in the past watched shows like Dirty Jobs, and Gardening by the Yard (samples below).

Paul James, the host of Gardening by the Yard helped me transition from gardening the way my grandparents did it, to at least using compost and mulch. Over the course of a few years, I found Permies, and have grown to love permaculture, and read about it daily, and practice it in a typical weekend warrior approach.

I grow some of my own food, and purchase as much local food as I can, but my family still eats a bunch of food from the local grocery store.

I think the majority of your target audience is like me. They are at varying levels of being interested or susceptible to the ideas of permaculture, but years from practicing it in a significant way. Think back to the days of Paul Wheaton, the programmer

I think the format of Dirty Jobs would work really well for a permaculture tv show. Imagine an entertaining host (Paul?) traveling all over the US to share examples of permaculture in use by everyday people in many different types of environments. Maybe once or twice a season the budget goes towards a larger trip abroad.

I think the permaculture tv show could be quite boring watching people build new stuff, and then not really have the payoff on film. It really takes years to see final product for many/most permaculture systems. That is where going to visit the final product of many types of people in many places sounds appealing as a tv show. Permaculture appeals to me, because it is low cost in time and resources for the potential output.

I think the potential trap with this tv show is that established permies don't really watch tv that much. TV channels are in it to get as many eyeballs as possible, because the more eyeballs watching the show, the more advertising dollars roll in. That is why I think the potential audience are the people that permies would view as mainstream, and mainstreamers would view as permies. I think anything too controversial would potentially cause this audience to turn the channel.

I would be concerned that topics like curing cancer through nutrition would like feel too much like quack or infomercial (too good to be true), especially in a half-hour or hour episode. I think tv is the wrong soapbox for that type of topic.

I think this tv show offers an amazing opportunity to help permaculture become more mainstream.

As a side note, The Dirty Jobs show changed Mike Rowe's life in a positive way, this link is worth a read:
http://mikerowe.com/about-mike/bio/

<iframe width="420" height="315" src=" [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/embed/rEpeX8DNCPk"[/youtube] frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Dirty Jobs won't let me embed:(

 
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If I were in Paul's place, I'd hire experts like Ernie and Erica, Tim, maybe Geoff Lawton, etc. plus people to do manual labor. Then I would have these folks do a bunch of the projects that need to be done on at the lab. This could include things like hugelkultur, swales, berms, wofati, rocket mass heaters and the like. Ideally, the people hired to do the manual labor would also be interested in permaculture so they would be a learning experience for them in addition to earning some money. If there was additional money, I agree with those that suggested probes and other equipment to show how well the permaculture designs are working. The biggest downside I can see for this is that way too many people would know where Wheaton Labs is.
 
paul wheaton
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Somebody said something that reminded me of this thread.  So here I am looking at it again.

All of the TV stuff turned out to be a waste of time.  I met Mick Dodge and he was telling me a list of reasons to avoid the tv stuff.  Therefore, I want to add to the list:

980) a full time videographer.  And youtube is our friend.  Maybe a wee bit of kickstarters complete with future dvd projects.

981)  PR.  To get the stuff we come up with into millions of brains.

982)  I have an idea for a massive event which is all about water.  Humus wells, Sepp's terrace wells, air wells, natural swimming pools, creating a creek where there is a dry gully ...  kinda like our rocket mass heater jamboree, but with water.

983)  PEP1/PEP4 going into full production


Looking at some of the stuff from the first post.  I would change 963 to:

963)  a contest with four 400 square foot wofatis.  Each builder is paid $20,000 for each structure.  And there are five $20,000 prizes.  One for the most efficient ATI.   One for the easiest/fastest build.  One for the lowest materials cost.  One for the most beautiful (my standards).  One for the most innovative.    It is possible that one build can collect multiple prizes.






 
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If a show ever happened I could really see some highlighting of community where viewers get to know a core group of people who are working to demonstrate the projects being developed/competed on over the course of the season(s).  People would get to know and like the folks and want to see how they're doing/progressing.  I also like the idea of having some repeat segments in a show such as visiting demonstration sites that might be famous to permies (or not), but not to the general public, in order to highlight something that site does that's awesome.  Another repeat segment each show could be going to the kitchen where, for example, this week a pile of persimmons came in and a bunch of cooks are showing off what they can do with them...maybe the community members vote for best recipe of the week....maybe that turns into the base for release of the Permies.com Cookbook and is a new revenue stream to fund projects?  Would also be great to get people salivating for all the wonderous new foods that they've never heard of before which would make them want to get cracking on planting out their own edible landscapes.  That gets me back to the 2 million question....investments in lovely edible landscape designs and that kitchen investment to host the cooking segment could be candidates.

I also very much like the idea of doing your own version of the program on YouTube.  So many potential things to do, so little time.  Neat topic!
 
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