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PEP1 - the initial thoughts  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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(Edit: this first post has my initial ramblings. I later called this idea of completing a list of tasks "PEP1" - and you can see how I came up with this in the second post)

I just got finished having a long conversation with Rick about why gappers come here: what do they hope to learn? While each gapper will be different, I suspect that there is something to be said for getting to the point (possibly two years into the future) where there are two things that have been accomplished:

1) build a wofati, solo and live in it through one winter.

2) raise enough food in one year to feed four people.

Maybe some people don't want to build stuff and others only want to build stuff. But it seems that everybody gets the idea at some point of getting raw land, building a home and building food systems.

And then there must be a hundred skills to learn to get to that point. Maybe a thousand. I think we need to make a list of those things, and then sort them in the most likely order to build those skills.

So, something at the beginning of the list might be:

1) create five wooden mallets - from wood in the forest.

2) teach five people how to make wooden mallets.

Maybe they could even be five different types of wooden mallets.

Maybe some gappers want to come and build experience with some of the list of a thousand things, but they don't really want to get to "gapper, level 1". And, of course, there are some that want to be able to claim that they have accomplished what is on the list.

Just an idea - I think it might have legs. What would be more things that would go on the list of a thousand things?


 
paul wheaton
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In the last month, the whole thing about "I wanna do permaculture, should I go to college?" has come up several times. And with that the whole thing about how college now costs about ten times more than it did just a few years ago - and it seems like the quality of college has dropped by a factor of five.

Then people say something about how they want to come here, or go wwoofing, or intern with Joel Salatin, or .... something.

And then Tim keeps telling me about how little people really know about what it takes to make a go of it on their own. (Tim, of course, thinking about people needing the Tim-knowledge-set)

Further, I get people wanting me to come speak, or come to consult and I feel like I don't really have the time for that.

And then people ask me how they are going to make a living while "living the dream". It seems so clear to me, but I feel like my words don't make sense to them .... yet.

My brain keeps coming back to how the solution to all of this is the stuff I started to write about here. If we make a big list of all of the experiences that we think makes for "level 1 completed" - I kinda feel like people don't even have to come here to do it. It's just a list of things that you do so that when you are all done with the list, you are ready to go to your own piece of land and repeat the experience.

When people want a speaker, we could send a person that has completed "gapper, level 1". Same for a consultant.

When I was talking about the idea at the table the other day, Sam said that it sounded like getting merit badges in the boy scout system. I think that it would be. We might come up with 200 different badges, plus some bare minimum requirements. And say "if you do the minimum stuff plus 100 'badges' you are now a .... uh ....


------------------------------------------------

Okay, I need a new word here. I don't feel like it is proper for me to certify somebody as a "certified permaculture person" (even though I do have the credentials to teach a PDC and, thus, after 72 hours could bless somebody as a "certified permaculture designer"). But I don't really wanna travel that path. But rather be able to say "this person has reached a certain level of knowledge and skills according to what I think it good". And I do want to call it "permaculture". But I don't want other permaculture teachers to come and say "THAT'S NOT PERMACULTURE!" So I feel like it needs to be "Paul's wacky ideas on what permaculture means to him."

Plus, I make up new words all the time, so I'm not too worried about that.

So this new word represent a person that has accomplished a bunch of stuff that I think makes it so they could go to a piece of raw land and get things going for bunch of people.

Hmmmm .... "experienced permaculturist according to the standards of paul wheaton" ... epaspw .... epapws ... (look! I can spell out "sepp" and have an "a" and a "w" left over) ...

I think I have it. "PE" for permaculture experience. Then another "P" which I'm just gonna say means "by the standards of paul wheaton". So other permaculture people might use different letters to represent that it would be according to their ideas of permaculture. Followed by a number. At this point I am talking about PEP1. Although I suppose that there could be a PEP2 that has accomplished a bunch more things, plus has successfully trained up 20 PEP1 folks, plus has a certain number of consultations under their belt, and a certain number of speaking gigs.

So, PEP1 is gonna be the name for people that have accomplished a long list of things that I think makes them ready to go onto bare land and set up a permaculture system.

----------------------------------------------

PEP1.

I like the idea that a large part of PEP1 will be what I will call "proenneke-style" --- things that are done without power tools. I also think there is a lot to be said for having experience with power tools. And having experience with alternative powered tools.

I think it would take about two years to accomplish PEP1.

I think the first step would be to come up with a massive list of what it would take to get to PEP1.

I think that the idea of PEP1 is something that anybody can do anywhere. They don't need me. And the information about it would be a pretty open thing. And gappers could work toward it here (they don't have to). At this point in time, I'm not thinking it is something I would charge for. Maybe later I would. And later still, PEP1 people would charge to guide others to reach PEP1.

 
paul wheaton
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click on the thumbs up for this post if you think that a rigorous PEP1 program might be of greater value than a 4 year degree. (heavy emphasis on "might")
 
paul wheaton
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click on the thumbs up for this post if you think you would want to hire a PEP1 or PEP2 person (for speaking or consulting)
 
paul wheaton
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click on the thumbs up for this post if you think you would find great value in the PEP1 list
 
paul wheaton
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click on the thumbs up for this post if you think you might, someday, like the idea of having completed the stuff on the PEP1 list (whether or not anybody has officially blessed your pep1 status).
 
paul wheaton
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click on the thumbs up for this post if you think you would like to have officially completed the PEP1 stuff.
 
paul wheaton
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click on the thumbs up for this post if you just like to click on the thumbs up thing.
 
Ken Peavey
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Word of the Day: Competence

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

In my work, a person can be designated competent for a task (such as operating a backhoe). Who designates them as competent? Another competent person.
This handing down or passing on of knowledge and skill demands there be an initial competent person somewhere to get the ball rolling. In order to gain this initial designation, their work and knowledge can be juried.

I can make a pretty tasty chicken parmesan. Does this make me a chef? A gourmet?
If some people try my dish and agree that it is in fact pretty darn tasty, they might declare me to be a competent person for producing chicken parmesan.
This does not mean I'm a competent person for producing Chateaubriand steak served with béarnaise sauce. I would have to prove my competency for that field or endeavor.
In the meantime, I would be qualified to teach others how to prepare chicken parmesan.

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

 
Miles Flansburg
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So you are looking for a list of basic skills that a gapper would need to be able to go into the woods and survive?

How to set snares...butchering and cooking what you snared... starting a fire without matches..identifying wild edibles in the area.. building a simple shelter...stuff like that ?
 
Ann Torrence
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Reminds me, in a not-good way, of Mary Jane's Sisterhood badges.
I do like the idea of extending the PDC certification to competency-based skills. Ken's ranking makes more sense.
There's already plenty of master gardener type certs.
And all sorts of traditional skills schools for old-time skills

PEP could equal "Permaculture Experienced Practitioner"

Showing competency is proven by teaching those skills to someone else.

Some skills that come to mind, from things I've had a hell of a time learning on my own, or are upcoming that I'm looking for mentors
-operating various manual and laser levels, finding contours
-responsible slaughter and butchery
-food preservation (canning, pressure canning, fermentation, drying)
-first-aid beyond bandaids and booboos, including herbals
-operating tractors, excavators, diggers, augers
-birthing animals and dairying
-beekeeping
-home brewing
-plant propagation (grafting, rooting, layering)

It would be easy to derive a list that omits the more "feminine" arts. And as a woman, it is harder sometimes to find mentors to learn some of the more traditionally masculine skills. Thank God I was treated like my father's oldest son and can at least operate a circular saw.

I like the idea of Proenke level skills, but if the goal is to send forth PEPs into the world, it would be strange not to teach how to use technology.

Judith Browning has been an inspiration with her posts on broom-making and the like.

So I see this could go a couple different ways, in inverse order of revenue-generating opportunities:
-a program to teach skills worthy of living HUSPick
-a practicum of skills for PDC graduates to work in the real world as practitioners
-a potpourri of adult-learning opportunities for fun and recreation.

Back to the same old Paul question: what do you want to be when wheaton labs grows up?
 
Mike Cantrell
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Ann Torrence wrote:Reminds me, in a not-good way, of Mary Jane's Sisterhood badges.


Ann, it sounds like you feel some distaste for Mary Jane's program? I hadn't ever seen it before I followed your link there, so this isn't a challenge or anything- rather, looking to understand your post better.

Am I right in thinking that your concern over her program is that it's too mercenary? That you feel she might have gone too far towards having her badge program be good for her (probably financially good for her) and away from having it be good for her participants?

And that you think Paul's potential program might fall into the same trap? That it might develop into something that takes more from people than it gives? (That's more or less the definition of a "ripoff", right? Takes more value than it gives?)

I'm extrapolating a lot from just a few words here, so I could be way off base. But either way, I think your input would be valuable- whether you say, "Yep, that's exactly what I meant," or, "No, Mike, you're not even close."
Thanks!
 
Ann Torrence
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Mike Cantrell wrote:
Am I right in thinking that your concern over her program is that it's too mercenary? That you feel she might have gone too far towards having her badge program be good for her (probably financially good for her) and away from having it be good for her participants?

Crass, trivializing, and nearly useless as far as competency, at least for the topics I would be qualified to receive badges in that program. I was a Girl Scout. The photography badge I did for scouting as a 10 year old had more content then the sisterhood badge. I teach photography to adult learners and can assess that one as utterly useless to consider someone competent. Same with the knitting badge, another area where I have some competency.

Beyond the idea of rewarding people for "showing up" rather than in-depth learning, does anyone really need or deserve a badge for shopping? Or cake-decorating? I get it that these are fun topics, but I find the pandering to the 1950s feminine stereotypes rather than actual farm skills somewhat offensive. Yes I was cautioning Paul not to make his program all about the manly arts of diesel engines, but Mary Jane takes it to the opposite extreme.

Mike Cantrell wrote:
And that you think Paul's potential program might fall into the same trap? That it might develop into something that takes more from people than it gives? (That's more or less the definition of a "ripoff", right? Takes more value than it gives?)

Certainly not in terms of intent, content or value. The caution is that the initial concept of has to overcome the negative connotations of someone else's marketing of a very different badge program.
 
paul wheaton
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I was thinking that one item on the list could be:

- prepare five meals for five or more people featuring fresh basil.

and then there could be something similar for other herbs and nettles, and maybe some other wild edibles.

Along those lines:

- rescue a cast iron pan using the campfire technique
- rescue a cast iron pan using a self cleaning oven
- cook eggs on cast iron so that the egg slides off and there is zero clean up. Five times.

Maybe some stuff about fermented foods. How about cheese?

I also think there should be a bank of tests. These tests will have something like 20 questions - and you have to take the test over and over until you get a perfect score.

- patch five shirts
- patch three pairs of britches

- create two things out of felt

- use raw wool to create a ..... mattress or insulate a home or ________

- make a feather pillow

I think another important one is to build experience in different sorts of income:

- create three residual income streams that generate income EVERY month (even if it is just a few cents each month)
- create and sell one time three times. Repeat with two different items.





 
T Phillips
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This is a very interesting thread. I personally, as a lifelong city dweller just putting my toe in the rural world and taking an online Lawton Permaculture course, don't even know enough to not die in a SHTF scenario. Is that kind of stuff too basic? Should that be covered in a survival book, and not here? Or is it all relevant?
 
Tom OHern
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I really like the merit badge idea. You get your first level after you complete a certain number of badges. You can make certain ones required for each level as core competency requirements but then just require a certain number of additional ones as electives so each person can customize their certification to their interests.
 
Max Frable
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Ann Torrence wrote:
-operating various manual and laser levels, finding contours
-responsible slaughter and butchery
-food preservation (canning, pressure canning, fermentation, drying)
-first-aid beyond bandaids and booboos, including herbals
-operating tractors, excavators, diggers, augers
-birthing animals and dairying
-beekeeping
-home brewing
-plant propagation (grafting, rooting, layering)
So I see this could go a couple different ways, in inverse order of revenue-generating opportunities:
-a program to teach skills worthy of living HUSPick
-a practicum of skills for PDC graduates to work in the real world as practitioners
-a potpourri of adult-learning opportunities for fun and recreation.


I like this list as a starting point, the one change i would make is home brewing should/could be changed to fermentation. some people such as Paul dont drink, as such would have no need to learn brewing, but could use some of the principals of fermentation when making salami, kifer, kumbutcha, kimchi, etc. and yes i do realize that food preservation is in the list
 
Rick Howd
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With a bit of experience in the Boy Scout model; (Eagle Scout, Junior Leader, Adult leader, Merit badge instructor) I think the concept has potential.

This concept skips to a more military slant, hope you don't mind-
I would recommend a 10 level system where PEP10, would today have no one qualifying for certifications. WHAT DID I JUST WRITE?? Yeah, there are Dukes, Princes and even Kings in permaculture but there is no God of Permaculture (or he would see the all perfect knowledge and we'd all be set ). There never should be; every advancement from the left or right, the front or back should force each level up exponentially. A Duke should be teaching/staffed by Lieutenants whose Captain's have a team of Sergeants who command Patrol Leaders who aim qualified Soldiers to fight the war. All levels should teach their subordinates, training them to take their place.

Each level should have:
-Minimal Core competencies ( don't require a PDC, 1 year of volunteer work on an organic farm or 3 green thumbs) instead, Volunteer on a local organic or better farm for a week or more and publish your experience.

-Elective options (pick two of these 5 items) Grow a perennial on your property and use it 3 times in 6 months, describe how you could use it in other ways.

-Learn 2-3 more things on the list (if you pick one on a future level Core or elective it opens up a new elective later)

-Demonstrated practice time (don't allow people to get 5 steps in 3 months unless they had an extensive experience) The skills they learned may be valid, but without time to practice, share or play with the concept it's just not valid without practice.

- Prior experience/teaching should be qualified by pictures or an essay to be evaluated by a qualified practitioner or a student of the project reviewing the experience objectively.

- Non documented evaluation should be done qualified practitioner.

So a PDC might be an elective at level 1-5, at level 6 it's a core competency requirement. if it was completed earlier then you need to add an underwater basket weaving elective as a substitute that can be used to winnow grain.


 
Sue Rine
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A few skill ideas.
-set up and operate a worm farm at a garden scale. ie not in a 2litre icecream box!
- sow, plant, grow, harvest and proccess a grain crop in sufficient quantity to supply your needs for the year.
- ditto for other staple crops eg potatoes, beans, corn.
- hatch and raise chickens for food and/or eggs.
- butcher a chicken or duck.
- butcher a larger animal. eg sheep or pig.
- fell a tree then cut and stack it for firewood.
- fell a tree and mill it for timber.
- build a hugelkultur.
- plant and maintain a hugel through a full year.
Not all of these would necessarily have to be solo efforts but could be done as part of a team.
 
Brian Klock
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1) build a wofati, solo and live in it through one winter.

2) raise enough food in one year to feed four people.


Wow... I hope this the PhD level of the PEP!

Like all things, there are basic skills and advanced skills. I for one am looking for a good lists of the basics. I have been slowly learning homesteading and permaculture over the past several years. I made the 'official' leap and did Lawton's online PDC this year. My wife and I are what I consider 'typical suburbanites'. We have full-time jobs, commute to work every day, have a home with a mortgage, a few cars in the driveway, etc. etc. etc. I know that we are on a journey, through permaculture, to a better way of living life. I consider myself on the very beginning of that journey. Lots of our friends and colleagues look at the things that we are doing and think that we are the ultimate example of homesteaders, but that is only because we might be the closest example to which they are exposed. We eventually want to give up the cars and the mortgage and live off the land (we already own 15 acres of Colorado high desert), but for us, it is a transition.

I love watching videos. I will say I love Paul's presentation on "Bricks" that I found on YouTube, and I am always digging out great nuggets of information here on the forum. I bought the videos from Permaculture Voices, and my wife and I are enjoying watching them. We just go done watching Paul's talk from PV1 about "Accelerating Permaculture", last week. The biggest nugget that I uncovered was in that video. Paul made a statement that you get a much bigger impact of getting people from Permaculture Level 0, than moving them from some other level (I think it was 2 or 2.5 in his talk).

I am looking for the list of 'transitional' skills. The things that get people to start thinking about independence and resiliency... and become the stones on the footpath towards permaculture. I want to try and find ways to get people in our community to start taking the journey. I want to be able to convince them to replace one of the landscaping shrubs, and put in an edible perennial.

I think the list that I am looking for, is the list of easier skills, that I can teach or do, that helps get other people started on the path. Things that I can get them started on, that they find interesting, and they don't even realize it is permaculture... and then further down the list, they realize they're doing permaculture things and want to learn more without being scared away. I want the list of skills that gets somebody from level 0.0 to 0.01. The list of things that gets you from 0.01 to 0.1. If I could get all of my neighbors to just get to 0.1 I'd be happy that I made an impact.




 
Garry Hoddinott
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Sorry Paul - I'm not a fan of this idea. Anyone who needs a "badge" or smiley stamp, to show they are a good "this" or "that" is pretty immature. To me it does Wheaton Labs a disservice also as it kinda sets up a "we are the dispensers of heavenly favors" type scenario, you don't want that.

HOWEVER - there is something really positive and profitable lurking in the midst. In an age where the only thing most people can make is money - we are craving skills. I think there is value in having holiday experiences that focus on a craft / skill / competency. Last year I spent 5 days and then a further 4 studying mushroom cultivation. I didn't do it for a badge, or any recognition, I just wanted to use my holiday for something less inane than paying big money to sit by a pool and read the same book I could read at home.

Leisure Learning Labs could be the gold nugget in your PEP1 idea, Over time upscale your accommodation / facilities and offer all sorts of courses as a holiday option. I'd sign on for Solar systems / house wiring, anything to do with gasification, welding, small engine repair and maintenance, fermented foods - a heap of stuff and I'd pay good money. I want to learn and also to relax, I dont want a certificate.

The best badge is that of honor when a potential employer says "Can you attach a pump to a PTO, or a harrow to a 3 point linkage". Perhaps a letter of recommendation from a mentor. Keep flying the kites, respect!
 
Brian Klock
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Garry Hoddinott wrote:Sorry Paul - I'm not a fan of this idea. Anyone who needs a "badge" or smiley stamp, to show they are a good "this" or "that" is pretty immature. To me it does Wheaton Labs a disservice also as it kinda sets up a "we are the dispensers of heavenly favors" type scenario, you don't want that.

HOWEVER - there is something really positive and profitable lurking in the midst. In an age where the only thing most people can make is money - we are craving skills. I think there is value in having holiday experiences that focus on a craft / skill / competency. Last year I spent 5 days and then a further 4 studying mushroom cultivation. I didn't do it for a badge, or any recognition, I just wanted to use my holiday for something less inane than paying big money to sit by a pool and read the same book I could read at home.

Leisure Learning Labs could be the gold nugget in your PEP1 idea, Over time upscale your accommodation / facilities and offer all sorts of courses as a holiday option. I'd sign on for Solar systems / house wiring, anything to do with gasification, welding, small engine repair and maintenance, fermented foods - a heap of stuff and I'd pay good money. I want to learn and also to relax, I dont want a certificate.

The best badge is that of honor when a potential employer says "Can you attach a pump to a PTO, or a harrow to a 3 point linkage". Perhaps a letter of recommendation from a mentor. Keep flying the kites, respect!


I'm not offended by the idea of a badge. I would hope that it would allow me to find resources in my area that are knowledgeable.

Gary, I would be thrilled to spend time to learn of your mycology skills, but without you telling me about them, I have no way to know what skills you might have and what skills you may be willing to share.

Maybe the PEP list could become a list of skills that Paul lays out as goals, but I see completing one, as an opportunity to create a list of resources (should one be willing to share that information publicly) with others in the community. I love to learn from hands on experiences. If I can't be there doing, I like to see it on video. I read a lot, but it takes me much more time to gain skills and knowledge from test on a paper or on a screen. I think we could build a community around those who have skills and those who want skills, and create regional groups around that goal.

Over time upscale your accommodation / facilities and offer all sorts of courses as a holiday option. I'd sign on for Solar systems / house wiring, anything to do with gasification, welding, small engine repair and maintenance, fermented foods - a heap of stuff and I'd pay good money.


As much as I would love to visit the Lab, I don't do planes anymore, and the idea of driving from PA to MT isn't overly exciting when it comes to the time and cost. I would love to see us try and bring the Lab to the people, instead of bringing all the people to Paul's Lab.

 
Steve Lansing
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Good Day Paul and all other Permies out there. Wow, interesting topic. I like the PEP1 to 100 idea. Before I go any further with some ideas, allow me to explain where I am coming from. Just started my venture into owning raw land and developing it in North Georgia, 7.4 acres. Working on building a straw bale house with clay interior and exterior and floors and metal roof. Have water main and just got my temp power pole. Goals are a permaculture program and various classes with examples all over the property. My background, 26 years military reserves, prior boy scout and when my boys were interested, Scout Leader of various degrees.

That said, Paul, your idea of stages or degrees in training without the word "certified" sounds a lot like the merit badge system in the boy scouts. (Idea, create badges for sale as each person achieves them.) Anywho, a list of skill sets with perhaps degrees of knowledge may work. For example, if a person just learned how to cut down a tree, de-limb it and, cut it up for fire wood with the proper stacking for drying, that is a skill, but they are only level one in that skill. Experience is the best teacher, so someone that only just learned the skill, are they really able to teach it? Perhaps, in some instances. I know you can use the CLEP system in college if you have experience you can CLEP a course and get credit, does not mean you can teach it. My idea only, but have three levels per skill. Each skill or merit badge level one is you took a course or learned a skill. Level two, you showed some experience and proved you master the skill. Level three, you taught a class and now you proved you master and taught others...level three is a "certified" teacher, allowed, blessed by you to teach X skill.

Now, for a list of skills, guess that depends on how much time you have. There are areas of permaculture from planning to doing, from inside to outside, from large heavy skills, to little ones. Perhaps an avenue to approach the skills is to walk someone through a list of purchasing land, surveying it for what you want to do, pros and cons of the subject land and why it will work, then go into developing land for permaculture, cut trees, pulling stumps, working with various tools. Once land is cleared or prepped for your interested, then the skills in "farming" it with a food forest, 4 square foot gardening, root cellar, irrigation, huglekulture, etc. Much of that will depend on your goal. I liked the idea of feeding a family of four. So, using that as the goal or point of the classes, what to do for a family of four to be self sufficient on a piece of land. Now, keep in mind the location of the land. Desert land as opposed to mountain or near the ocean are all different. I have rolling hills in north Georgia with a small spring. Picked the land due to the stream. Not a flat spot on the land, so lots of terra-forming...insert sad face here. Anywho, back to skills. With my 7.4 acres, picking the land was a skill learned by reading about what others had learned. Will use solar in the future, so how is the lay of the land for that. Zoning may be an issue, it is for me...another sad face there, ugghh. Then clearing the land. Moving specimen trees. Using logs and branches in hugelkulture, as I am. Protecting against ran runoff and erosion is another skill to mention. Swales, love the use of swales to feed the huglekulture but to also protect areas like driveways or moving water to a pond area. (which is another goal on my property).

OK, Paul, or anyone else out there. If you want to visit North Georgia and want to learn or teach some of these skills, my property is perfect for the timing. Contact me. WE are doing all sorts of these very items/ skills. We could be a guinea pig of sorts. Of course we are moving forward with the development, working after hours (job) and weekends to build the site up. Using skills about permaculture to develop the land. Managing time, managing people to achieve goals are more skills to put on your list. Harvesting seeds from the forest or another persons garden to plant on yours. Taking cuttings from trees and bushes to grow on your property is another skill to learn. Transplanting plants, trees, bushes. Encouraging the proper pollenators, like bees (honey or mason). Green houses and cold frames for extending the growing season are good skills. Another skill, taking dirt, clay and making it into usable soil to grow. I have rabbits that allow me to use the droppings to help the clay, adding in mulched leaves and some worms...bingo, soil. What about a food forest and using/ growing plants in semi-shade. I do not want to cut down woods, make the land level just to grow row crops...oh no. Less work is good...big smile face. So, working within the tree line, working on contours of land is yet another skill. Terrances, swales, retaining walls...yep, we are doing all of that as well. Urghh...lot of labor, which is good, keeps you healthy and no gym membership required. (side note here) If anyone wants a free gym membership and live in or near Dawsonvilld GA, please contact me, from splitting logs to make stacked split rail fences, to cutting trees, to digging trenches, to moving rocks, I can provide a good workout, promise you.

So, perhaps I should make this shorter than longer. Been following Paul for a while and a few others with permaculture, straw bale, cobb construction and self-reliance. I love the idea. Been a nature lover my entire life and really feel these basic skills are good for everyone. Even in the city, rain harvesting, canning, bee keeping, growing food, raising some rabbits, etc. can all be money saving, great skills to have and to teach another generation. Ahh....now I remember my main point. Apprenticeship. Paul, that is what you are talking about with PEP1. This concept is basically developing apprenticeships. Teach others to teach others to teach others, creates a movement of self reliant people that save the world, not abuse it. Paul has inspired me in many ways and educated me in many ways. I hope to do the same in the south, since he is so busy up north. Hope this helped some. Too busy to read and follow all the great topics and threads on Permies, but love the website and all the knowledge.

Keep up the good work Paul and all Permies folks. You make a difference, a positive difference in the world.

Rich
 
Penny Dumelie
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I really like this idea.
I can see it not only as a list of things to do, but by extension, an avenue to learn those tasks.
If we have a list, it's easy for people to recommend videos, books, websites, and workshops, or to say "I've done this and I want to help you, or others"

When I read the OP, I was reminded of homesteading lists I have seen.

Here are a couple, they may overlap in a few areas. Some would also apply to permaculture.

Granny Miller's List

The Prairie Homestead List


Also, off topic, the name gapper amuses me. I need to research why you chose that word.
A Gapper, to me, is someone who lives in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan being the Gap between Eastern and Western Canada.
No offense meant to any Gapper. I am one myself.

Edit: found it. Love it. Now it has duo meaning for me.
 
Sue Rine
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Brian Klock wrote:
.

I think the list that I am looking for, is the list of easier skills, that I can teach or do, that helps get other people started on the path. Things that I can get them started on, that they find interesting, and they don't even realize it is permaculture... and then further down the list, they realize they're doing permaculture things and want to learn more without being scared away. I want the list of skills that gets somebody from level 0.0 to 0.01. The list of things that gets you from 0.01 to 0.1. If I could get all of my neighbors to just get to 0.1 I'd be happy that I made an impact.








I'm involved with home garden workshops that are presented at a public garden. Something that we have found as a link, without mentioning permaculture initially, is the whole field of edible ornamentals. The idea that for people living in town, they can have a front garden that the neighbours wouldn't think was unusual, but is actually a productive garden. There are many plants that are mostly grown simply as ornamentals, but have multiple functions eg human/bird/bee/beneficial insect food, fibre, medicine, etc. Just a few examples are - Strawberry tree, (arbutus unedo or cornus capitata), Japanese quince, many herbs and perennials, lilac, Chinese lantern plant, day lilies and on it goes. The list is nigh on endless.
 
Sue Rine
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Hmm, I obviously have done something wrong with the quote function and my reply looks as though it's part of the quote. Sorry.
 
Sue Rine
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With all the ideas coming out, this is such a huge topic.
Rather than thinking about awards or badges, maybe a list is sufficient, for those who wish to self educate.
And perhaps the PDC/ Permaculture diploma set up is sufficient as far as 'qualifications' go. I think most people just want information for their own use and a list would be useful for indicating to beginners, the range of information and skills they might need. For those wishing to teach, the more formal qualifications are already there.
A list of skills would give the opportunity for people to add videos or links or whatever to allow people to find the information they need. People could self select for suitable climate zones, landscape types etc if this was indicated with any links.
 
paul wheaton
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I think it is possible that somebody could self-cert. One good way of remote-cert would be to have a permies.com thread and add pics of the stuff complete with something that identifies the person. It is possible that through that, that other people will go through the thread and check stuff off.

I like the idea that a person can accomplish pep1 fragments. Like maybe "tool care" or "horticulture". They post all the pics and evidence as they do it and then somebody can verify that that person did the 50 things for that fragment.
 
Sue Rine
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Yes, that would work for people who like to record their achievements and want recognition. And those who just want the information for their own use still have that option.
And if you were wanting it for an income stream, there could be a subscription to access the list for those who just want a list with links to information all in one place rather than searching for themselves. Everyone happy
 
Brian Klock
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Sue Rine wrote:
And if you were wanting it for an income stream, there could be a subscription to access the list for those who just want a list with links to information all in one place rather than searching for themselves.


The better alternative to Angie's List.... Permies List!
 
Dave Burton
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Paul, a website that functions similarly to the self-cert idea you are thinking of is DIY.org. They have tons of skills for people to learn with links and videos for self-training. A person has to complete three tasks to earn a patch/badge and complete six tasks to earn mastery in that skill. Then, there are various additional tasks in that area that can be done for continuing education or curiosity. Although the app/site is intended for kids, I find it to be a great educational tool. Maybe this can spark a few more ideas.
 
Simon Johnson
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Dave Burton wrote:Paul, a website that functions similarly to the self-cert idea you are thinking of is DIY.org. They have tons of skills for people to learn with links and videos for self-training. A person has to complete three tasks to earn a patch/badge and complete six tasks to earn mastery in that skill. Then, there are various additional tasks in that area that can be done for continuing education or curiosity. Although the app/site is intended for kids, I find it to be a great educational tool. Maybe this can spark a few more ideas.



This is a neat little site.

I am interested in this topic.
 
Ann Torrence
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Dave Barton,

That DIY.com site makes me wish I were a kid again. So cool.
 
Tom OHern
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jack spirko also has his 13skills.com site that could be adapted for this purpose too.
 
Miles Flansburg
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There ya go. That is a great setup.
It could also tie back into Pauls idea of having "icons" under your name. Earn a patch, put it under your name.
 
paul wheaton
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I like the diy.org site. Neat! Do they charge for that?

Yeah, that does sound a bit like what I was thinking. Although I think we might go for badges that are a bit more adult.

 
Dave Burton
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No, DIY.org is a free website that anyone can use. It is what people would call a "freemium" site: everything is free, but the certain extras come with a membership (e.g. coaching, patches that you don't have to pay extra for, activity recommendations, and data reports). The one thing I really like about DIY.org is the iPhone/Android app and all the skills and their respective tasks/challenges are free! So I can learn as much as I want from them!
 
Peter Ingot
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Ann Torrence wrote:Reminds me, in a not-good way, of Mary Jane's Sisterhood badges.
I do like the idea of extending the PDC certification to competency-based skills. Ken's ranking makes more sense.


Agree. I have become utterly disillusioned with the current, "turn up, pay the money and get your PDC in two weeks" system currently being sold. I'm sure some people are inspired to begin their learning journey, but far too many become arrogant know-it-alls. There are a huge number of practical skills needed for homesteading, and we can all learn by sharing them. It would be great to see permaculturists rated as
(for instance) grade 5 tree grafter, beginner ecobuilder, grade 2 welder with grade 1 plumbing skills. Also a rating of years experience would be good, flaws in (for instance), somebody's ecobuilding technique may not become apparent for a few years, enough time for a lot of bad advice to get repeatedly disseminated.
 
Trevor Peck
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I can't put into words how much I like this PEP idea. I know, because for two days I've been trying to.

I'll be on board for this in whatever way it moves forward. How does this become a kickstarter? Whatever it is, I'm there. I'm currently taking my second PDC and all I feel is overwhelmed. I can't pick something and start working on it, because of how much other good stuff I could be doing. I can never be sure I'm doing the best thing. But with PEP, that's not a problem, because I am, of course, going to master the entire list. Someday. Maybe. But that's not the point, the point is I pick one and master it, and then I get to pick another. So, we move forward with relentless incrementalism, ratcheting forward and infecting more minds with our enthusiasm about our new-found skills.

I do see one major problem with this idea - I didn't think of it first.

- Trevor.
 
jesse markowitz
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Hi all! I'm Jesse, one of the gappers here, and I've put together a very crude rough draft. I'm counting on you guys to chime in with skills that need to be added, changed and tweaked. Some of the categories I'm less familiar with have nothing/next to nothing in them, so feel free to take it upon yourselves to come up with lots of skills anywhere you see fit.

Not a lot of thought was given to how these skills should be worded- How many of these skills should be identification, and comparing and contrasting, how much of these should be performing an action once, and how many of these should be actions that can be easily replicated by the person again and again? These are all very different skills, which show a different level of competency.

WARNING: EDUCATION JARGON BELOW-

I'm going to post Bloom's Taxonomy, which describes how one masters any subject matter. In Bloom’s taxonomy, acquiring knowledge and comprehending that knowledge are the first steps towards mastering anything. This is called lower level thinking, which is also the foundation any knowledge set rests on. I think this gets overlooked when we think about skill building. We just picture ourselves performing the task, but there's a lot more to mastering a skill than just performing said task. For instance, if I can make a great mortise and tenon joint, but I can't explain why I'm using one over a different type of joint, or fastening together wood with screws, I wouldn't yet consider myself to be really competent with mortise and tenon joints.

Another example would be if I can sharpen a knife well but I don't know how sharp it needs to be, I would think that there is a gap in my knowledge set.

So I'm thinking that nearly everything in the PEP1 list would be in the knowledge, comprehension, and application phases, while PEP2 would deal more with the Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation phases.



Thanks to all for your input! You guys have been a great resource for the list. Keep up the good work!
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