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permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Jay Frenier wrote:Hey guys and gals, I'm curious as to how well the program is filling up.


It is full.  We do have a waiting list.



I've tried to amass a small community of workers of like minds to do something very similar. I've found that the biggest deterrent is land ownership. You have obviously taken care of that part (and I would hope that you give more than just a verbal agreement for this),


I own the land.   So I think this is a well documented thing between me and the gub'mint.  Is this what you mean?




but suppose someone does the numbers in their head and decides that all the work they provide isn't worth 1 single acre?


Then they don't come. 




I'm honestly curious as I have been a farm manager in Haiti for 3 years and also WWOOFed around the NE for 2 years now. I was basically WWOOFing before that before I knew of that organization. I've built up peoples' lands, farms, homes, businesses, customers, etc. But I've found the greed of owners too much and expectations way too high, while they are never willing to do something even remotely similar to what they expect you to do. So, what makes your place, in a very cold area of the country, worth it all? This is coming from someone who doesn't walk away from a very shitty experience before at least a year has passed so I can feel I had stamina and perseverance and gave it a go. Been burned, sounds wonderful, but still sounds the same as many places I helped build only to be left out in the cold.


I think you should fully expect me to be evil, greedy and an overall monster who will leave you out in the cold.  Start there.     The odd thing is that for every evil, greedy monster that will leave you in the cold, there is one person in 20,000 that thinks that same person is not just okay, but pretty fucking cool. 

So, I wish for most people to be utterly certain that I am an evil, greedy monster that will leave you in the cold and those people will go elsewhere.   The bootcamp program is for people that think I might be tolerable.  The boots-to-roots stuff is just for the people that think I am fucking awesome.

It sounds like you don't know much about me, so I strongly discourage you from being involved in this program.
Staff note (paul wheaton):

Note that this post is outdated. As of june 2017 there are spots available.

 
Jay Frenier
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I think you should fully expect me to be evil, greedy and an overall monster who will leave you out in the cold.  Start there.     The odd thing is that for every evil, greedy monster that will leave you in the cold, there is one person in 20,000 that thinks that same person is not just okay, but pretty fucking cool. 

So, I wish for most people to be utterly certain that I am an evil, greedy monster that will leave you in the cold and those people will go elsewhere.   The bootcamp program is for people that think I might be tolerable.  The boots-to-roots stuff is just for the people that think I am fucking awesome.

It sounds like you don't know much about me, so I strongly discourage you from being involved in this program.


Ok, I admit to playing a slight devil's advocate here. Seems to bring out what I seek and those are core beliefs. Technically, I'm one of the those that think you're awesome. If anyone is considering permaculture my research list consists of these names (in no particular order):
Sepp Holtzer
paul stamets
Paul Wheaton

Everyone seeking this lifestyle I think wants a few things. Two of those being freedom and security. You also want these things. The ability to terminate contract at any time gives you and the ant freedom. It just doesn't necessarily provide security. Some of us inderstand that if you prove yourself a needed asset, that is security.
I hope you don't judge me for my questions and push me away from the program if I do choose to come out in the future. I'm sure you wouldn't push a helping hand away at least.

I have only a couple other questions if you don't mind?

Is there a location on your land where stone can be quarried? Large stone, that would have to be cut. If so, what kind of stone is it? What is the bedrock made of in that area? "Made by One Man" (Scott), myself, and a couple others are seeking land where we can demonstrate how the Coral Castle was built by Edward Leedskalnin. Scott has Ed's cutting/quarrying apparatus down pat. His buddy has electrical stuff done. I have magnetics and resonance and moving and stacking of large stone under my belt.
Would you be opposed to a large stone structure being built there? One that could be covered by earth and made into a wofati or wallapini?
 
paul wheaton
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Jay Frenier wrote:
Everyone seeking this lifestyle I think wants a few things. Two of those being freedom and security. You also want these things. The ability to terminate contract at any time gives you and the ant freedom. It just doesn't necessarily provide security. Some of us inderstand that if you prove yourself a needed asset, that is security.


I think I said this earlier in this thread:  i am prepared to dole out six plots for six boots-to-roots.  Maybe more.   I think that with the six that start, two might make it to the finish line.  Maybe none.   Stuff will happen.

Further, by the time they are ready to claim their plot, they need to have listened to at least 200 podcasts.   It might be wise for them to start now!

Imagine, for all the instances in your history where things did not work out ....   what if there were 350 podcasts from the person that runs each spot?   Maybe after listening to two you could have learned "that place sucks" and saved yourself a lot of grief.   After all, the beauty of permaculture is starts to really be awesome after many years.  


I hope you don't judge me


I promise that I will judge everybody shrewdly. 

I promise that everybody will judge me shrewdly.  I further promise that anybody that says they will not judge me - those people are judging me twice as much as the other people.   Most of those people will judge that I am a terrible person - and by their fucked up standards, they are absolutely correct.  I suspect that I will judge that i don't want them here as much as they don't wanna be here.  And a few people will shrewdly judge that i am fucking awesome. 


Is there a location on your land where stone can be quarried?  Large stone, that would have to be cut. If so, what kind of stone is it?


There are rocks at basecamp all over the place.  I am told that it is "rock" and not "stone".  We can break this stuff with the excavator although it is relatively slow.  And then there is some stone near the caldera that the excavator could not break.   Have at it.  I don't know what it is. 

I do think it would be very interesting to see a wofati built out of a fair bit of rock.

 
Miles Flansburg
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Jay, I am sorry if my questions have made you not want to post. Paul gets a lot of nasty people attacking him on a regular basis and I guess I am very protective. I just felt like your post was another one of those that was sort of comparing his program to some that you felt were a bad deal. My thought was that if you have read all of the stuff that Paul and the gang have done up there over the last few years and watched some of the videos your question might be answered. There must be something going on that is worth it as there are some true pioneers up there working their butts off to be part of it.
 
Jay Frenier
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Ha! I guess I should say judge fairly then.

I understand the many naysayers. I have to say though, there would be no one to prove wrong without them. I think I've learned more by doing the opposite of what I was taught or told than vice versa.

Next time anyone is near the big rocks or hits any bedrock please take a picture!

Paul, I'll let you know when we have designs together to see what you think. I designed a live-in walipini while at Greenway Farm in Kingston, MA. Never made it cause I was putting my time into a 3 story hugel mound with multiple 1 story mounds surround it for microclimates. I'll probably be using some of this design in the process. That one was based on basically an Anagama kiln-centered walipini.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Paul is on the road and sent me an email that said:

paul wheaton wrote:Our boots program was full.  A family had an emergency,  so we now have openings.
 
Dakota Mihelich
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Adrien Lapointe wrote:Paul is on the road and sent me an email that said:

paul wheaton wrote:Our boots program was full.  A family had an emergency,  so we now have openings.


Sent fred an email. Look forward to a response.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Dakota Mihelich wrote:

Sent fred an email. Look forward to a response.

Dakota, Fred received it and we're glad you're in touch!

(Fred is also out of town at the moment so please be patient with us. )
 
paul wheaton
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Because it has come up ....


click on the "watch" button on this thread to get updates.

We currently have openings on the boot program.  First come, first serve.  People can come after Feb 4 provided that we still have spots open.  It is possible that at a later date we will expand the boot program to work with more people. 



Boots will be able to attend:

   our PDC taught by tim barker and myself

   our appropriate technology course

   our innovators event and rocket mass heater workshops


We are also exploring adding a lot of natural building workshops - and those might be available also.

 
paul wheaton
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I should also point out that you cannot become a resident here unless you have listened to at least 200 podcasts.  This means that you can come and be a boot, no problem.  But if you are here 18 months and have not listened to 200 podcasts, then you cannot receive a deep roots package.  I think it would be wise, for many reasons, to have listened to the 200 podcasts BEFORE you arrive.

Also, just a reminder, this site is tobacco and pot free - yes, we know that this eliminates about 98% of the people that would want to come here.
 
Dakota Mihelich
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Dakota Mihelich wrote:

Sent fred an email. Look forward to a response.

Dakota, Fred received it and we're glad you're in touch!

(Fred is also out of town at the moment so please be patient with us. )


Appreciate the update Jocelyn! If someone could get back with me with the details that'd be splendid as the 4th is coming up here quick Specifically what gear I should bring with me and the location.

paul wheaton wrote:I should also point out that you cannot become a resident here unless you have listened to at least 200 podcasts.  This means that you can come and be a boot, no problem.  But if you are here 18 months and have not listened to 200 podcasts, then you cannot receive a deep roots package.  I think it would be wise, for many reasons, to have listened to the 200 podcasts BEFORE you arrive.

Also, just a reminder, this site is tobacco and pot free - yes, we know that this eliminates about 98% of the people that would want to come here.


About the podcasts:
Is there internet / cellular on site? If so then a podcast a night would do wonders.

About the smoking:
Sure is going to be nice not to have to worry about 2nd hand smoke & cigarette butts all over the place.
 
paul wheaton
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Dakota,

We are now back in montana.

what gear I should bring with me and the location. 


Winter gear.   Did you have a question that is more specific? 

Personally, I like insulated overalls and a heavy coat.  I like fingerless gloves and big, outerlayer mittens to go over the gloves.   Layers is always wise.  Wool is the best.


Is there internet / cellular on site? 


We currently have about 10 down and 2 up.  Although we might be upgrading in the next few days to something faster.


Sure is going to be nice not to have to worry about 2nd hand smoke & cigarette butts all over the place.


Agreed.  It is weird how annoyed I get now just walking in a city where people smoke outdoors.

 
paul wheaton
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I had a few points brought up by a few different people.


Rather than spending 18 months doing your bidding for an acre where you could kick them off, wouldn't a person be better off just working a regular job and then buying actual land?


Absolutely.   I think 99.99% of the people out there that are looking for home ownership, that would be the best path for them.   Then they can use tobacco and pot on their own land, and they can use paint and cement, and they probably have much more freedom to do whatever they want. 

There is also the possibility that they would be interested in joining a community other than this one.  Good call.

So this is for that one person in 20,000 that would rather be part of this community than some other community or trying to make a go of it on their own.  And that person thinks that my restrictions are great - because their neighbors will also be following these restrictions.  And think that the work that they will be doing is a type of education that will prepare them for when they have an acre of bare land to work with. 

A person that gets a deep roots package here has:

   - an acre of their own
   - the possibility to get another acre
   - access to 300 acres for grazing, etc.
   - a community with a certain set of standards
   - those standards are excruciatingly detailed in the podcasts/videos/articles/etc.
   - a boost with tractors and large equipment
   - permaculture events; permaculture celebs coming through
   - permaculture advice from neighbors

the upsides of buying your own plot are obvious.  The downsides are:

   - neighbors probably spray and it blows over onto your property
   - probably limited to just 3 to 10 acres
   - the start up price is going to be much higher
   - might need to get a mortgage to pull it off
   - in view of neighbors that don't like you, or want to impede your crazy "permaculture" stuff
   - you get to the point that you want to do all-the-things, but cannot on your own

the upsides of joining a different community are obvious.  The downsides are:

   - most people leave an IC in a year - mostly because things did not turn out to be what they thought (lack of podcasts/etc.)
   - decision making process can be painful and time consuming
   - a lot of ICs have a very slow forward velocity
 

It's just wwoof.  There are thousands of other wwoof sites to pick from.


Again, I think 99.99% of the folks considering wwoof would probably be much happier going to a wwoof site.

The perks of going to a wwoof site are huge and obvious.  The downsides:

   - if you go there, and you love it, most of the time you have to leave in the fall even if you like it
   - you don't know if the wwoof site is a fit for you (no podcasts/etc.)
   - i think our bootcamp program has a lot of structure and experiences not at wwoof sites.
   - no acre at the end of 18 months.


I'll wait and see how it goes for others


A very smart move.  Of course, if it goes really well, we will probably transition to something closer to wwoof where there is no acre at the end of 18 months.  If it goes really well, we might end up closer to a path like the bullock brothers, who currently charge $250 per month.



----


I guess the bottom line is that this is a thing we are offering now.  We'll see how it goes.  I think the offer of an acre at the end of 18 months is pretty sweet - but it is only sweet if it is right for you.  So we take steps to help you learn about us before making this choice. 


 
Maxwell Knudson
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I am curious about securing a spot starting in early 2018. Is this a possibility?
 
paul wheaton
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Maxwell Knudson wrote:I am curious about securing a spot starting in early 2018. Is this a possibility?


Not at this time. 

If we fill the program now, and there are six people each seeking a deep roots plot, then the next opening will be july 2018.

It is possible that the program might expand and grow, but even then, we have to give priority to the people that are here and active.   After all, some people pay to come and then postpone arriving six times .... some people have paid the gapper fee, but have postponed many times spread out over multiple years.  Some people I think will never show up.   So I cannot hold a space that long.    The longest I am willing to hold a space is for a month.

Maybe some day in the future, this will be more like a school and you can sign up a year in advance.

 
Erik Ven
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Getting food is the responsibility (financially and logistically) of the Boots, or is it provided to them as part of the provisions in return for the work?
 
Fred Tyler
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Basic food staples will be provided. A balanced (but not exciting) diet will be possible from these provisions. The boots will be responsible for cooking and cleaning up as a group.
 
Erik Ven
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Fred, could you please elaborate on what this means? What exactly will be provided and to what means of cooking will the boots have access?
 
paul wheaton
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We ran the math and ....  

we will honor the 18 month exchange for an acre for people that put coin in before May 1, 2017.   After May 1, it will be 21 months.

And, as mentioned above, for some hard working folk, this number will be reduced.
 
paul wheaton
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Due to some recent email questions, I spent some time visiting with jocelyn and fred and we decided that a person could, if they want, work five weeks in our permaculture bootcamp program in exchange for a 2017 ant plot.   Provided, of course, that there are openings in the bootcamp program (there currently are) and available ant plots (there currently are).
 
paul wheaton
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Jocelyn Campbell
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Fred Tyler wrote:Basic food staples will be provided. A balanced (but not exciting) diet will be possible from these provisions. The boots will be responsible for cooking and cleaning up as a group.


Erik Ven wrote:Fred, could you please elaborate on what this means? What exactly will be provided and to what means of cooking will the boots have access?

I'm not Fred, but I'll try to help.

We'll provide a lot of staples (like beans and rice, bread, flour, oats, pasta, potatoes, squash, oils, seasonings, etc.), peanut butter, veggies and fruits....that sort of food. It will be a quite frugal, however all organic (or better than organic) diet.

The cooking options will vary. Initially, during the winter, cooking and access to the Fisher Price House kitchen will probably be the most normal. Later, if a week is spent working at Allerton Abbey, it might be the propane cooktop and propane oven in the Abbey. Or, it could be using solar ovens at base camp, or the rocket oven down at the shop.

We have purchased extra pots and pans in order to have enough cookware for the boots. Bringing your own stainless steel mess kit (your own bowl/plate and utensils), and/or your own cast iron pan, might be helpful, but isn't necessary.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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paul wheaton wrote:Due to some recent email questions, I spent some time visiting with jocelyn and fred and we decided that a person could, if they want, work five weeks in our permaculture bootcamp program in exchange for a 2017 ant plot.   Provided, of course, that there are openings in the bootcamp program (there currently are) and available ant plots (there currently are).

We have boot camp openings. (We have ant village openings.)

Since this is page two of this thread, I'll repeat what Paul wrote in the first post:

paul wheaton wrote:To get in, you must pay the non-refundable gapper fee of $100.  Send monies via paypal to paul at richsoil.com or bitcoin: 177pNU2a9iCpUXQwXX9EbtA2UwZpgeqcMT
 
Axel Eaton
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Given that I graduate in a week, this opportunity is too good to pass up and I'm eager to learn more.  New to Permies and I enjoy figuring out the layout & Paul's terminology.

Is there another thread on the boots program? Any open spots?
I read through the Deep Roots page but I'm still confused what 'getting an acre of land' means.  Why is money involved and why does it change from year to year, what is the $20K
that people are investing?
 
paul wheaton
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Axel Eaton wrote:- The boots program: How is it going?  Are there any open spots?


This is that thead.   There are spots open now. 




- Getting an acre of land after 18 months:  What does this mean to Paul Wheaton?  Ownership vs. something else?  Property tax?


That's called "deep roots."  Here are the particulars:  http://permies.com/t/24680/deep-roots-alternative-buying-land
 
Axel Eaton
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Thanks for your prompt reply, guess I'm still confused, it could be that I'm doing research on this while studying for finals.
Why does the $ amount change from year to year.  What is the $20K that people are investing?
 
Nicole Alderman
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From what I understand, the $21,000 pretty much buys you an acre on Paul's property. If you decide to leave after a year, Paul will refund you the money minus $500 (so 21,000-500=$20,500 refunded to you). If you leave after two years, he'll refund the amount minus $500+$1,000 (so $19,500). If you leave after three years, he'll refund the amount minus $500+$1,000+$1,200 (so $18,300). And, so on, using the chart he has here. At least, that's my understanding...
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Nicole - spot on! Thank you for replying before Paul or I could get to this.

We have a burgeoning community here, so there is more involved than just bare land - a lot of which Paul explains in the deep roots thread.

An acre at wheaton labs (earned as a boot or paid for in cash) could be at base camp or the lab.

So far, most folks have chosen the lab since it is more beautiful there, has deep soils, more wildlife, more acreage, etc. even though it's off-grid.

Base camp is on-grid, has wifi, and is very hilly with rocky or sandy soil. Residents on the lab come down to the community office at base camp to use wifi any time they want.

I can't think of any bare land anywhere that comes with wifi included.
 
Axel Eaton
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Don't mean to ask obvious questions on repeat but just to be clear because I'm seriously considering this given the current open spot..
~If I show up can I immediately start in the boots program or do I have to climb the ladder Gapper, then ant, then boots?
~$100 gapper fee allows you to work 18months as a boot.  From there I can pick my plot without paying anything?
 
paul wheaton
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Axel Eaton wrote:
~If I show up can I immediately start in the boots program or do I have to climb the ladder Gapper, then ant, then boots?
~$100 gapper fee allows you to work 18months as a boot.  From there I can pick my plot without paying anything?


When you arrive, we will get you settled in, and then the following morning (probably) you will start as a boot.  Lane arrived about a week ago.  The well was out, so lane went right to work working with fred, cliff and kai on well repair. 

If you arrive and the bootcamp is full (not currently the case) then you can be a gapper with the ants.  If there is an opening with the bootcamp, that opportunity falls to on-site gappers before it falls to off-site gappers that are on the waiting list.

The $100 gapper fee gets you in the door. 

Then after 18 months (or 21 months, depending on when you start) you have to meet the podcast requirement and you can pick your acre. Until that time, some people will "covet an acre".  It seems that others will typically respect "coveting an acre". 

Further, if you stick with the bootcamp program for six additional months, then the bootcamp program create a tiny home on your acre, some hugelkultur beds and some fence to help you get started.  I'm not sure if this is a smart thing on my part, but I am willing to keep this offer out until I find out if it is a good idea or not.

 
paul wheaton
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Projects that we hope to complete before the PDC starts:

lay in some pipe going to the showers
get the hot water compost pile heated up
build paddocks featuring rock jacks and junk pole fencing
indoor round wood timber framing
build a new willow feeder
some carpentry with the doors at allerton abbey
sewing some cushions for pdc folks to sit on
planting gardens
planting trees
mend a portion of the berm shed
run the electric sawmill
insulate the floor of the red cabin
add some bathroom-like features to cooper cabin

projects after the pdc:

put the umbrella on cooper cabin
hugelkultur


 
Andrew Greaves
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I am all signed up to be a boot.
I got some questions.
I see the schedule for the boots is 6 days a week and I also understand that this is all volunteer work, so that leaves very little time for anyone to make money, but I did hear paul mention on one of the podcasts that he has things he can think of that he would be willing to pay people for. Im guessing that in order for my family to live back in phoenix and for the rent to get paid they would be living on 100% nest egg (money saved in the bank). Is this the case?

I would like my 2 (two) kids to spend a month and a half up there for the summer. What is there for kids to do up there in the summer? Would food and shelter be provided for them?

How far of a drive is it to Missoula assuming the closest town is Missoula.

How far of a drive is it to the Missoula  airport?

I get the feeling that the population is very fluid on the farm and so the amount of kids varies quite a bit so I am guessing that maybe the best thing to do is to have them go up there together so that way they would always have someone to play with or it would be much easier on my wife to have them go up separately (month and a half at a time).

I don't want anyone reading this to think that I am trying to get something for nothing. I realize/feel that it could be taken that way but it is not that way.

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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When was that podcast recorded?  Things have changed.

Missoula (and the airport) is less than an hour away.


I get the feeling that the population is very fluid


If "fluid" means that it will change based on what human beings want to do with their lives, then yes. 



 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Andrew, have you read the best, simple summary of all things wheaton labs?

That might answer some of your questions - including things to do here at wheaton labs. There is a section on Montana and Missoula in that thread and in those links are more information on things to do with kids and families in the area.

In the boot camp program, the deal is your hard work for an acre of land (food and rustic housing provided). Paul asked how old the podcast was that you referred to (about Paul paying to have some things done) because a lot of that money has dried up now. We do not usually feed and house family members within the boot camp deal.

The 'rustic housing' for a boot is a bunk, when we have it, or in the colder months; and likely a tent (or moving around between structures) in warmer months. Access to the Fisher Price House kitchen and bathroom is included, so not quite as rough as completely off-grid.

wheaton labs has a healthy core of permanent, long term residents (though none currently have children) - about a dozen of us, some of whom were or are still away for the winter or other temporary reasons. The "fluid" population might be gappers or other visitors or workshop participants and instructors. We have some families with kids who will be here for months or weeks this year (at least) which is awesome.

 
paul wheaton
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I just got off the phone with Josiah Wallingford.  He and his dad, Bear Paw, will be here on April 9th.  Bear Paw has a huge amount of experience with offgrid living and working with round wood. 


wood sculptures




roundwood work - like railings:




roundwood furniture




custom carved lentils and accents:




finer pole work:





The important thing is that he is arriving to help with leading the boots on some projects before the pdc.  Maybe he will be here for three days.  Maybe two weeks.   He's a volunteer, so it is entirely up to him. 

I do know that the projects that we want to squeeze in before the pdc are listed above.  And while bear paw will be a pro at all of them, it sounds like the stuff that would best line up with his skills include

build paddocks featuring rock jacks and junk pole fencing
indoor round wood timber framing
build a new willow feeder
some carpentry with the doors at allerton abbey


And the one that is at the tippy top of the list is "indoor round wood timber framing".  This is the project mentioned in the permaculture smackdown.   At first we were not sure we could get it done before the pdc started.  There were several things that were a higher priority.   But if enough people are here, we should be able to get them all done.


I guess I am thinking that if we get enough people here for a week or two, we should be able to get it all done.



 
paul wheaton
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Along those lines, over the next couple of weeks, there will be a fair bit of junkpole fence being built, including the gates which will be led by kai.   here are some of kai's creations so far on this front:














pay particular attention to how he does hinges now:



 
Dan Ohmann
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Wow! Kai and Bear Paw do stunning work!!  If I weren't doing a video shoot and hog slaughter this weekend I'd be Missoula-bound. 
 
paul wheaton
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Some questions from my email:

What times and dates are available? 


We currently have openings.   There will be a time that we are full.

I suspect that people that are staying here as part of the sepper program could always join in as much or as little of the bootcamp program that they would like.

I think that the earlier somebody plops down their $100, then they get to be pickier.   If they wait a couple of months, we might say that they will then be a waiting list.


can you give me a phone number to speak with someone about it.


We direct questions to this thread.   Once somebody has paid the $100 gapper fee, then a phone call makes sense to go over the particulars.


Right now, I am interested in learning how to ....


We are trying to make sure that the boots get a lot of diversity in experiences.   The longer a person comes, the more diverse those experiences are.   At different times of year, there are something things that are done less than others.  

I think if somebody joins the bootcamp for a couple weeks and expresses what skills they hope to build, there is a decent chance that there will be some of that.   If they come through the sepper program, there is a much better chance. 

To make sure you are experiencing very specific things, you will probably want to take a workshop. 


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