• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

ant village challenge

 
pollinator
Posts: 753
Location: Porter, Indiana
74
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:The "ant village challenge" is designed to award one ant a deep roots package.

Judging will be on September 10, 2016....There must be at least 6 contenders on September 10, 2016. And each of those contenders have been actively living on their plot for at least 12 months. This encourages a certain level of support from the ant community. So the latest a contender could start is in august, but I think it would be wise to start before june.



With the September 10, 2015 deadline to start quickly approaching I was curious if there was the absolute minimum six people to start threshold had been met.
 
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Wolfram wrote:
With the September 10, 2015 deadline to start quickly approaching I was curious if there was the absolute minimum six people to start threshold had been met.



The judging will be on september 10, 2016.

There are currently seven ants. I am told that there might soon be two more. I am drawing a line at 12 ants for this year.

Then there need to be six ants that meet the bare minimum requirements on september 10, 2016.

 
John Wolfram
pollinator
Posts: 753
Location: Porter, Indiana
74
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:There are currently seven ants. I am told that there might soon be two more. I am drawing a line at 12 ants for this year.
Then there need to be six ants that meet the bare minimum requirements on september 10, 2016.



Fantastic, glad to hear the challenge is happening.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are currently eight ants.

There must be six ants to get to the finish line on september 10, 2016. I think several will make it, but I don't think six will make it.

I had a visit with all of the ants and after a lot of pondering, I have come up with the following ... the ant village challenge will be extended one year.

So, the new finish line is september 10, 2017.

Further, we will allow four more ants to sign up, thus keeping the limit to 12. But the price will now be $1200. So if somebody plops down $1200 today to be an ant, that's renting a plot for 27 months which works out to $44 per month.

 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to become an ant! How do I apply?
 
steward
Posts: 4008
Location: Montana
355
fungi books food preservation bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thomas Wilkinson wrote:I want to become an ant! How do I apply?



Please see Paul's post here.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So the challenge is locked down.  We are past the deadline for people to enter.  

I was just asked for some clarification via email, and this was my response:

from the thread:

"There must be at least 6 contenders on September 10, 2017. And each
of those contenders have been actively living on their plot for at
least 12 months."

"The ant must spend the winter living in a structure built on their
plot." ... "Winter camping in a tent, tipi or yurt does not qualify."
... "A source of heat is not a required minimum. "

A rather permanent structure designed to get a person through a
montana winter.

When I say "a source of heat is not a required minimum" - I am
thinking that a person will come up with something so that they can be
comfortable through the winter.    ATI is one way.  Passive solar is
another.  Having a really small, but well insulated space space is
another - the occasional cooking will probably heat the space well.
I also say "Winter camping in a tent, tipi or yurt does not qualify."
My intent with this was so suggest that what is built is something
that could be a bit more comfortable.   So when I come up on friday,
if there is not an obvious heat source, I would like to hear about
what will be tried.  I would also like to hear of a possible "plan B"
if "plan A" doesn't pan out.



I have defined "the winter" as "October 15 to March 15".   So, winter starts this year, on friday.  On friday I will go up and look at the contenders.  

Jim:   I know that Jim is ready.  I've been to his place several times.

Evan:  I am pretty sure that Evan is ready.  I have seen his place as "near ready" for a long time.  

Sean:  I am told Sean has some door problems - but that sorta says that everything else is ready.

Janet:  Janet has a workshop going on right now.  Jim is helping and Jim assures me that she will be ready on friday.

Steve:  Steve has a small shed that he is going to winter in.  I was told "it only takes two days to put up walls" ??

Josh/Ben:  I think I heard that Josh started over on his structure.  At the same time, Ben is building something on Josh's plot.  Not sure what the status is here, but all I need is one ant and one structure.  I guess we will learn the particulars on friday.

Have I overlooked anybody?

This is barely squeezing in.  No room for error.  If even one of the structures doesn't meet the bare minimum, then the whole challenge is off.  I get the impression that the ants that have something standing are scrambling to help those that aren't ready yet.

It sounds like Jesse's structure is up (I've been watching his videos), but I've heard, through the grapevine, that Jesse isn't going to make a go of it this winter.  



 
pollinator
Posts: 1699
Location: Denver, CO
78
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Could Jessie rent his plot to a less prepared ant?

If things don't come off this Friday, will there be a retry next year?

This is sure exciting!
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Suppose Jesse had a good friend, Betty, that was there most of the time that jesse was there, helping along the way ...    and then shit happened and jesse had to go away, but Betty was gonna make a go of it.  If jesse transferred the "ant crown" to betty, so that betty was now the official ant, then, I think that would be acceptable.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I get the impression that Jesse is not sticking around this winter because he needs to earn some coin.   Is it possible that the vicarious observers here could come up with a job?  Maybe a deep roots person would like to have some work done on their plot?  Maybe more support for jesse's patreon stuff?  
 
Lab Ant
Posts: 274
Location: Orange County, CA
159
hugelkultur forest garden trees tiny house wofati bike bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:I get the impression that Jesse is not sticking around this winter because he needs to earn some coin.   Is it possible that the vicarious observers here could come up with a job?  Maybe a deep roots person would like to have some work done on their plot?  Maybe more support for jesse's patreon stuff?  



I am indeed working at the moment to try and save up some coin.  I would like to have an emergency fund saved up so I am not left high and dry like last year when my truck broke down, I'm still recovering from that really.  I had this job lined up before I asked Paul for clarity on the dates for winter, I also committed months ago to helping with a gathering on the 15th here in california.  My plan was to get my house buried by the end of summer, and work into the fall before returning to the Lab for the winter deadline, which I falsely assumed would be closer to the actual calendar dates of winter.  Two weeks ago I was working all day with my shirt off.  Anyway, when I left a couple weeks ago it seemed pretty unlikely that the challenge would be happening this year, as two of the ants had only just started building their structure.  I guess I need some clarification on what "living in their structure over winter" means.  Does having a half finished structure at the start of winter (oct. 15th) count?

Right now my house is buried but has no walls, would sleeping in that in a sleeping bag be living in my structure or winter camping?  That seems to be the state of everyone's structures at this point, except for Jim and possibly Evan.  I have a stove and stovepipe ready to install when I return, which could heat the space while I am building walls.  If the challenge is actually going to happen this year, and it appears that everyone is going to be able to stay through the winter and not leave half way through, I would be strongly leaning towards returning before the end of october (using up my two weeks of allowed winter absence) and making a serious go of it.  Otherwise, its pretty tough to walk away from the chance to make good money out here, build my design business over the winter, and spend time with my family.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1808
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
746
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not here to question Paul, nor argue. But I've always thought of Thanksgiving as being an autumn holiday, not a winter one. Mentally, winter never "hit me" until December 1st. I suppose that was because the ground didn't usually freeze up hard until then, we didn't get into serious wood burning for house heat, and the outdoor cats didn't start trying to get into the house at night. And the horses didn't get looking like fuzzy bears until December.

Here in rural Hawaii, to be considered a livable house, it just needs four weather resistant sides and a roof. Interior walls not required. Siding not required. Flooring not required. Of course, I'm not talking about permitted buildings, but half of us live in unpermitted structures. Windows and doors are required for colder areas, but down by the coastline, they're even optional. So our definition of a house is quite different than mainstream society's.

Does a house require heating? Many of our ancestors didn't have the luxury of heat, and they survived their first year until they could get a chimney built. They toughed it out. Some of the homesteaders living their first year on their claims lived in very basic shelters. No heat. No plumbing. No lighting. Improvements were made as they go along.

As I said, I'm not looking to argue this issue. I just think that Jesse raised a few could points, and I'm sitting here thinking about them. I'm a fan of the ants and would like to see them progress on their projects.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 1808
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
746
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gosh, since posting my comments, I've considered many a time of removing it. I don't wish to upset Paul. But a voice in my head keeps reminding me that this forum is a safe place to discuss things, post ideas, opinions. So 1/2 of me says remove the post, the other half says leave it so that others can mull things over. Please understand that I'm not trying to cause trouble. By discussing things, I believe that we learn and grow, as long as the discussion is respectful.

The problem I'm seeing appears to be one of communication and definition.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I guess I need some clarification on what "living in their structure over winter" means.  Does having a half finished structure at the start of winter (oct. 15th) count?



They must live in their structure October 15 to March 15 - and not be gone more than two weeks out of that time frame.

So, on friday, I will pop up and verify that they are all settled in to their structure.  

On sunday I was visiting with jim.  It sounds like construction is happening at a furious pace right now.  I had heard that there were a couple that had everything but walls and that walls could be put up in two days.  So, five days to do two days of stuff.  

I fully expect that some structures won't be at 100%.  It is absolutely required that the structures must be finished enough that they are living in it.  
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I set this up, I thought that by september of this year there would be 12 well built structures ready to brave the montana winter.  And we wouldn't have a conversation about "when, exactly, is this 'winter' you speak of" because some people with to participate in the ant village challenge, but only to the barest minimum.  I'm kinda bummed that it is like this.  I was rooting for everybody to be hanging out here all summer, fall, winter, spring.  In a cozy little structure they built.  

So, when pressed about a month and a half ago, I thought about it a bit and felt that we start getting some serious cold in october.  And it breaks in march.   So I pulled it out of my ass:  october 15 to march 15.  
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 1808
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
746
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Overall, progress among the Ants  sounds like Laura Ingalls Wilder's description of the US homestead era. Some people worked hard to construct a shelter and equally hard to produce food, while others spent only the barest time of their claims (thus often forced to sell out and leave). Perhaps the Ant Village is an example of history repeating itself?

 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1699
Location: Denver, CO
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another thing that comes to mind; didn't some ants start late?

In any case, stuff happens! I've never got MORE forward progress then I expected!

The Laura Ingalls comparison is interesting.

And it also points up the difficulty of the competition; the ants don't have to fight off the natives, but on the other hand most of them probably don't have the skills of Pa Ingalls!
 
gardener
Posts: 230
Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
126
hugelkultur kids purity cat forest garden fungi books cooking medical herbs homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

If even one of the structures doesn't meet the bare minimum, then the whole challenge is off.



Gosh, I hate deadlines, even when they are not mine!  I hope you will let all of us out here in the ether know how the judging goes, tomorrow.

I hope (but have no data) that the Challenge is not the only stimulus moving Ant Village forward.  First place gets a huge prize, but then, only one ant would have ever gotten that.  Ants gotta wanna be there for other reasons.  Symphonies in Seed and Soil?

I'm very interested in the future of Ant Village.   But I'll save other questions for after tomorrow.
 
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just out of curiosity, were there any food requirements going into winter?  It seems like most of the gardens were still in a fledgling state this summer, given the soil disruption and water situation. Without a food system, is it a permaculture challenge yet or six souls sitting around for six months, waiting to plant food in April?  What are they going to be doing for the next six months or so?  Working jobs?  Projects around the place?  In other words, is there enough to live off of yet?
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 1808
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
746
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On a homestead, there's always things to work on during the winter. Some ideas that come to mind....
...draw up architectural plans for outbuildings, water storage, site plan, etc
...develop a work plan for the spring and work through scenarios in your mind in order to find needed adjustments and changes
...trim fence posts to size and shape
...fire harden posts and stakes
...split firewood
...gather kindling
...gather snow and/or water and move it to swales, pond sites, water storage structures
...build furniture and shelving for your house
...build interior house walls and insulation
...install housing plumbing and/or electrical wiring
...finish interior house trim
...sharpen, derust, repair tools
...make utility items such as spoons, plates, bowls, storage bins, seed starting trays, etc
...clean and recondition iron ware
...Make clothing
...map the surrounding area and note future foraging sites. Mark trees, rock sites, etc for future harvest
...go hunting. Practice making and using traps & snares.
...process stored foods (dehydrate, mill into flour, make into powder, etc)
...make livestock enclosures ( for rabbits, Guinea pigs, birds, etc) and livestock shelters such as windbreaks, run in sheds, etc
...learn and practice skills such as rope making, fire making, food preparation, etc.
...read books about building, farm skills, homesteading, gardening, chainsawing, furniture building, etc
...gather biomaterials for mulching and composting

Im sure there are lots of other things people could be doing. The list just needs to be tailored to each individual Ant. Most homesteaders don't see an off season being an idle time, but rather a time used for catching up and getting projects finished off.
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1699
Location: Denver, CO
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, winter is always too short.

What happened at the great inspection?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I head up for inspection in about 15 minutes.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went and looked.

Everybody (Jim, Evan, Sean, Janet, Steve and Josh) will be sleeping in their structure tonight.  And if the ant village challenge continues, they are all willing to stay in their structures through the whole winter.

Jim is ready for winter.  The others ... are willing to "rough it" until their structure is ready.  

Some people are missing walls or windows or doors.  Some people have a roof that is just wood and a layer of plastic.  

Josh and Ben had a big, amazing surprise.  It is beautiful and awful.  

We took video of everything.  

If I wanted to call this the end of the ant village challenge, I only need to disqualify one person.  As is, there were five that fell short of what I expected at this point.   For the ant village challenge to continue, I have some figuring to do.  I have spent some time with jocelyn and fred talking about some possible paths.  I need to talk to jim next.

 
master steward
Posts: 14314
Location: Pacific Northwest
6482
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
 
John Wolfram
pollinator
Posts: 753
Location: Porter, Indiana
74
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:Jim is ready for winter.  The others ... are willing to "rough it" until their structure is ready.  
Some people are missing walls or windows or doors.  Some people have a roof that is just wood and a layer of plastic.  


So, one complete structure and 5 sorta-maybe complete structures in the ~18 months of the ant village challenge. While not as much as you had hoped, it seems that the permaculture velocity has increased relative to the previous period. Well done!
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had a brainstorming session with jocelyn and fred, and then a visit with Jim.   Last night, all six of the ants that are here came to feast night and I proposed the following which they all accepted:

There are two pieces that need to be done for the five non-compliant ant plots to be winter ready:

1)   complete the shell to the point of "uninsulated shed or better".   For some, this means adding windows and maybe finishing a small bit of a wall or two.  The final structure should be "mouse tight" with "a good hat" (roof).

2)  each structure needs the ability to be brought up to 75 degrees F on a whim.  So, a heat source.  

Each of the five will have one of these two done within 7 days and both done within 14 days.  

I heard a rumor that they are already strategizing to do this "amish barn-raising style".  Neat!

The tradeoff is (and this is what I asked jim about) that the $10,000 cash prize is off the table.  My finances have dramatically changed and this would be too difficult for me.

Yes, we took video of the way things are now, but right now I am putting a lot of time into income streams rather than putting out new content.   So I think you all should not hold your breath for video.

 
Kerry Rodgers
gardener
Posts: 230
Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
126
hugelkultur kids purity cat forest garden fungi books cooking medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

There are two pieces that need to be done for the five non-compliant ant plots to be winter ready


I'm glad you found a way for the Challenge to continue.

we took video of the way things are now, but ... you all should not hold your breath for video.  


I totally understand, and thank you for setting our expectations.

they are already strategizing to do this "amish barn-raising style".  Neat!


That's awesome!  Best wishes to all the ants on this!

I wish there were some ultra-light way to post minimal documentation for the next two weeks.  Several ants have mentioned how "time consuming" it is to post.  I don't know why that is, so I don't know how to help.  And now is probably not the best time to tackle it.  However, it does seem like a significant missed opportunity.  

If there is a barn-raising every day, two snapshots a day (resized before uploading) would be a lot more than zero.
 
gardener
Posts: 155
28
transportation tiny house bike solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:

I heard a rumor that they are already strategizing to do this "amish barn-raising style".  Neat!



Yes! That's super awesome.

paul wheaton wrote:

The tradeoff is (and this is what I asked jim about) that the $10,000 cash prize is off the table.  My finances have dramatically changed and this would be too difficult for me.



If there were a sort of crowdsourced escrow for the prize, (antscrow?...); I'd love to kick in a few bucks.


-Ryan

p.s.

Kerry Rodgers wrote:
I wish there were some ultra-light way to post minimal documentation for the next two weeks.  Several ants have mentioned how "time consuming" it is to post.  I don't know why that is, so I don't know how to help.  And now is probably not the best time to tackle it.  However, it does seem like a significant missed opportunity.  



This would be great! I've used a feature that tumblr offered where you could email posts, including pictures, to your page.
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 14314
Location: Pacific Northwest
6482
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:
Yes, we took video of the way things are now, but right now I am putting a lot of time into income streams rather than putting out new content.   So I think you all should not hold your breath for video.



Totally understandable, and thanks for the heads-up!

Maybe you could post the un-edited footage in the "Pie-Only" forum, so that you don't have to deal with cranky youtube posters complaining about volume changes, lack of editing, etc. And, you won't have to put in much time/effort on the video. But, those of us that really just want to see how the houses/structures are coming along and what the 6 ants have made, can wade through the video to see the content?
 
steward
Posts: 6344
Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
1709
hugelkultur purity forest garden books food preservation
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last night, Paul helped me do a 'drive-by foodening' in ant village.

I brought a big pot of warm, curried squash soup with toppings of pumpkin seeds and/or bacon, pumpkin bread from a Missoula bakery, and freshly baked homemade blueberry scones.

They are working hard, and it was my way of trying to help a bit.

Evan and Kai's ducks liked the pumpkin seeds, too.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last night was feast night.  Lots of status updates and information ...

A few weeks ago Jim told me that he would like to be involved in the next ant village challenge, if there is one.  I think he is itching to build another cabin, better than the previous cabin.  And do better on the next challenge.  He is full of ideas.

That idea has been rattling around in my head.  

This morning I woke up with the idea of people registering for the next ant village challenge.   Maybe the idea is to say that people put in some odd number of dollars ... like $187 ....  some amount so there is no confusion what it is for.   But it says "when the next ant village challenge happens, I am in."   And when there are 12 contenders, then we set the official dates, price tags and a starting date a couple of months out.  Each of those 12 then need to kick in the full amount (whatever that is) and each ant starts with a fresh acre.   I suspect that two people will then drop out (not pay the full amount) so there are 10 ants.  And I suspect that before things really start, two more ants will pony up.   Before it starts, the plots will be mapped out and people will arrive knowing which plot is theirs and start making plans for what they will do.  Then it starts.  I suspect that most ants will start on the first day, but there might be a couple that will be late for some reason or nuther.

Just guessing and making stuff up:  maybe the whole thing starts on april 1.   Some people will come and camp in the week or two before hand, select their plot, get a clear idea of the resources available, make designs, schedule times with equipment ...  

And then at the crack of dawn on April 1 it begins.  People move onto their raw plots and get started.  

---

The big difference is that the whole event doesn't start until we have at least 12 contenders.  

People will have six months to have a winter shelter ready.  They will probably also build some food systems with a lot of emphasis on building soil.   And then go through the montana winter in their shelter.   And then they have until september to get their food production up.  Then we select the winner(s).  The entry fee covers plot rent through dec 31.  

So 21 months of rent for, probably, $1200.  Which would include a certain amount of trees, clay, sand, excavator time, sawmill time, tractor time, truck time, etc.  Plus access to the ant and gapper tools.  Plus, ant love that seems to continuously flow in many forms.  

---

Just a rough idea.  But the first thing to do is guage interest and fish for feedback.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Click on the thumbs up for this post if you think that you might be an ant in the future.
 
Posts: 192
Location: Missoula, MT
hugelkultur trees rabbit tiny house bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does the new challange have a quarum of 12? Say it began with all 12 ants and then life happens. Perhaps one or more of the contenders must choose family or health over the challenge. Would the challenge be over if not all 12 were present?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Janet Branson wrote:Does the new challange have a quarum of 12?



For the new thing, I think it would still be for six to reach the finish line.  I think the rules would be almost identical to what we have now, only I think we would spell things out more at the beginning.
 
Lab Ant
Posts: 64
Location: montana
42
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since being mentioned, I would like to clarify and say I am incredibly enjoying living in my current cabin and in Ant Village as it is. My cabin fits all my current needs. Of course after building it I have brainstormed many upgrades and a larger version. The idea of a new village does sparks my interest. But thinking on it, I have requirements for my long term homestead which probably dont align with the proposed village. Specifically, I intend for a deed or lease, and more autonomy on materials etc.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's official, the current ant village challenge (scheduled to end on september 10, 2017) is over.  

12 slots.  The rules specified that there needed to be six ants to make it to the finish line.  That would include six that would overwinter in their winter-capable shelters.  On October 15 I went out to see the shelters and we had exactly six ants in the running.  

And then one ant had a family emergency.  

I came up with some changes in an attempt to keep it going, but ....   and this is where the story gets interesting ...  

It looks like Evan has a strong lead.  His plot is really cool.  Jim has a strong lead because he is winter ready, but it seems that folks think that Evan is gonna win.   So part of the challenge rules is that we say that people stayed in their shelter "all winter".  And by "all winter" we mean that they can take two weeks off.   And some people really wanna do other stuff this winter - but they were willing to stay "all winter" so that evan can collect his prize in september.   When evan learned of this, he withdrew from the challenge.  

---

Ant village continues.  Several of the ants mentioned that they are part of ant village for just "ant village" and the challenge was never a big deal to them.  

 
Posts: 947
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
53
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Perhaps expecting a 50% success rate for ants is too high.

Might it be better to take on 18 challengers for a minimum of 6 ants or keep 12 challengers for a minimum of 4 ants?
 
Lab Ant
Posts: 753
Location: ephemeral space
588
greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the opportunity, Paul.

While the challenge and the possibility of a deep roots prize were definitely what first persuaded me to drop everything and move to montana, (and having to wait until there were 11 other people until I could start building and planting, (per your suggestion for a future challenge,) would have been a deal-breaker,) now it's the community of awesome people here that makes me glad I did.

In a way it's a bummer that the challenge is off, but in other ways it's actually a relief. Less stress and more opportunity for traveling for all the ants. Now that I'm not rushing to get Siesta ready I can take care of a lot of things that were falling by the wayside, and finish Siesta at a slower, more strategic, pace. Now that I'm not obliged to stay in Siesta this winter it will be easier to finish certain things, (like sealing the earthen floor.) And once Siesta is completed to my satisfaction, it can be a hobbity bed and breakfast. I'm looking forward to being an innkeeper and camping this winter. And of course all you lovely permies who've been so supportive and encouraging along the way will get some sweet discounts on staying in Siesta Inn.

Edit: I feel like the way Paul worded that bit about me "withdrawing from the challenge" makes me seem more self-sacrificing than is really warranted and might be in need of some context. I didn't "withdraw from the challenge" until after Paul removed the deep roots prize and replaced it with 6 years of rent when one of the ants told him that they would need to attend to a family emergency this winter. I feel like the new prize isn't worth the stress and feelings of obligation involved. I apologize to the other ants and anyone else who was intent on the challenge happening.

As I mentioned above, I still intend on spending most of the winter on my plot, but mostly camping out instead of staying in the house I built (Siesta). I hope to complete it in a way that fulfills my aesthetic desires and then to have it open for friends, family, and the occasional eco-tourist to experience and hopefully enjoy.
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1699
Location: Denver, CO
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So if a current ant wanted to be in on the challenge, would they have to start over, I assume?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 32709
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kyrt Ryder wrote:Perhaps expecting a 50% success rate for ants is too high.

Might it be better to take on 18 challengers for a minimum of 6 ants or keep 12 challengers for a minimum of 4 ants?



While we did end up with 12 ants, it was "just barely".  And several of those never came out to the property even once.  So if we said "we will take in 500 ants" it would have made no difference.

As is, for the first round, ants paid $800 and got 16 hours of excavator use.   I think that if a person tried to rent a 14 ton excavator for 16 hours, it would have cost more than $800.  So, in a way, it was as if it was free.  And then for several ants we provided additional "candy".  In other words, I think the price is already about as low as we can go.





 
The problems of the world fade way as you eat a piece of pie. This tiny ad has never known problems:
Call for Instructors for the 2021 RMH Jamboree!
https://permies.com/wiki/149908/Call-Instructors-RMH-Jamboree
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic