My name is Jesse, and I am one of the "Ants" living in the Ant Village at Wheaton Labs in Western Montana. I've got a powerful passion for permaculture, as well as a life long love of all things bicycle. Now that I have an acre in which to realize my vision in seed and soil, as Paul says, I have set out to combine my passions and build the (possibly world's first) permaculture bike park. My acre will be covered in pump tracks, jumps, and trails, all integrated into the water harvesting structure of a permaculture food forest garden. There will also be several Mike Oehler style earth integrated structures, beginning with the house I am building right now. Eventually, I also hope to build a network of mountain bike trails across Paul's 200 acre property. My long term goal for this project is to operate an airbnb style resort for people who are bike crazy like me, and are willing to pay for the privilege of having their own private bicycle playground to explore. At the same time, the guests will be exposed to the wide world of permaculture, and hopefully have their eyes opened up to the possibilities of an alternative lifestyle.
So that's the vision, and I am only just getting started on it by building a home to live in while the rest of the work is done. There is a lot still to do, and one thing is becoming quite clear: I need some help!
So I am opening up my project to volunteer helpers, or what around here we call Gapper's (meaning those who are "goofy about permaculture", Paul loves acronyms). I would prefer someone who is goofy about bikes as well (gabbers?), but if you just want to come out to learn and experience the permaculture homesteading lifestyle that's cool too. Right now you would mainly be helping me finish building my house and starting on some other structures I am going to build. I have some major earthworks planed for when I have the excavator at my plot again, including burying my house, terracing my plot, and piling up most of the future jumps, so if you get here in time you could have a seat in the excavator for a bit. You would also be helping film my video journal series. Other future work will include fine tuning the water harvesting features, shaping and packing all the jumps, building a perimeter fence, lots and lots of planting, seeding, and mulching, as well as some larger Oehler type structures.
If you are looking to learn, I've got lots of knowledge and experience I am more than willing to share. I've got a long time background in carpentry and construction, and an even longer background in building bike jumps. I was a bicycle mechanic for a few years as well. I've been studying permaculture for about 5 years, and have taken two PDC's along with various other workshops. I lived with and learned from Mike Oehler himself this past winter, so I feel I have a good understanding of his methods, as well as a few ideas of my own when it comes to low cost earth integrated housing.
The normal Gapper fee to come out to Wheaton Labs and vollunteer for Paul is $100, my Gapper fee is only $60. This covers orientation into life at the Ant Village, a tour of the Lab and Basecamp, as well as a ride to and from the Missoula airport or bus station. You would need to come prepared for camping out in the woods, with a tent, sleeping bag, water bottle, and whatever else you need to be comfortable in a very rustic situation. I can haul your water up to the Lab for you as well as provide some basic staple foods like beans, rice, and oats. Hopefully, the rest of our food we can buy cooperatively for extra savings. I have a stove and propane for cooking, and there are hot showers, wifi, and a refrigerator available at basecamp (about 2 miles away, a nice bike ride).
As I said before, my long term goal is to turn my plot into a destination resort type business much along the lines of what Paul is hoping to do with the Lab as a whole, so for the right person this could turn into an opportunity to live on my plot and be a caretaker while I am away doing work for my permaculture design business. They could even design and build their own house, provided it fits into the overall design of the park. For now, if you are interested to come on out for a trial run please get in touch with me.
Thanks for the tip Julia. Which reminds me... any moderators out there, could you please cross post this thread in both the woofing and bicycle forums? Or direct me in how to do so? Thank you ever so much!
Jesse Grimes wrote: any moderators out there, could you please cross post this thread in both the woofing and bicycle forums? Or direct me in how to do so? Thank you ever so much!
You have pie, so you should be able to do it yourself. Scroll to near the top of the screen and on the right hand side there should be a 'add to forum' button. It's fairly straightforward. Let me know if it won't work for you.
hey jesse, this is sam here, im super stoked you hit me up to help you out on your projects, i just saw what you want to do with the permaculture bike park! its a sweet idea, its rather beautiful and perfect actually beacuse my summer job in the flathead is running a mini excavator building mtn bike trails in the valley, i also love biking and have some built some hits and northshore style features, here is my personal email adress firstname.lastname@example.org feel free to contact me there. im new to this forum so im just getting the hang of communication in this way. i look forward to meeting you. cheers
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