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permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work

 
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here's a little comparison chart between SEPPer program and Bootcamp:

SEPPER ProgramPermaculture Bootcamp
Hours/day4 hours in the morning, or 4 hours in the afternoon or both,
or lounge around all day (no food provided if you choose that option)
8 hours plus nest labor
AccommodationsYour choice of rentalUsually something nice, maybe your choice, sometimes a tent or "cooper cabin slumber party" (tents provided)
Costdepends on rental, length of stay, amount of people
at least $150
$100
Lengthyour choice!at least 1 full week
Can you stay longer?Yep! You can stay a SEPPER, or join bootcamp
or buy a Deep Roots or Shallow Roots plot
You can stay in Bootcamp as long as you want!
Food provided?Bring your own or:
each person that joins the bootcamp for a half day can share one meal with the boots
each person that joins the bootcamp for a full day can share three meals with the boots
Yes! Food staples are provided
Boots cook for themselves
Earn plot at Ant Village?Maybe.   Talk to paul after two months.after 4 months in Bootcamp, you have over a year of rent
Choice of Activities?With some advance notice, it might get worked out to shift bootcamp priorities so the Sepper can experience something in particularWork on highest Bootcamp priorities
 
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Morning gathering to get the direction for the day:



https://permies.com/t/10/146265/permaculture-projects/Dez-Bootcamp-Experience-BRK#1148221

 
paul wheaton
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Hannah and Kevin were here for a bit over a month.   My guess is that Hannah is the artist ...




Last week there were 17 of us.  Kyle was here for just a few days.  Two couples came for just a week.   And today, mud and rodney had to get back to their lives, and hannah and kevin had to get back to theirs.   Here are the eight of us still here.  



(from Dez's thread)


We have another couple arriving on Sunday to stay in the red cabin.  They will be with us a month.  And another couple arriving the weekend after that.   There are a few others that got something scheduled before we switched over to the waiting list system.   There are now nine people on the waiting list.  





 
paul wheaton
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There are now ten people on the waiting list.

There are 7 boots here now.  Two more show upon monday.  And then three more spread out over the rest of the month.  These are the folks that already made arrangements before we started the list.  

It sounds like they all have an exit plan, so we might be asking about two more people in a month or so.

 
paul wheaton
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current boot crew

 
paul wheaton
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We are making another change:  the bootcamp fee is about to change to $100 per person.  Flat.  We did have something that was $100 for the first person and $20 for each person after that, but we are discontinuing that.  

So if anybody wants to exercise the $120 option, they really need to do it in the next two days.  

 
paul wheaton
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a day in the bootcamp

 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Beau Davidson wrote: I understand the risks of asking a question like this, knowing that unsupervised kids at Wheaton labs may be fed to the bears or set on top of a rocket mass barrel.  However, I am curious if this program may be flexed to accommodate families where one spouse will work his tail off, and the other will stay in charge of the litter. I love the idea of raising my family in a homesteading environment.



I like the idea of doing something like that some day.  

I offered something a lot like this a year and a half ago, but had no takers.  I thought it would be cool to bring in three families and they could support each other.  But I had zero families to try this idea.  

The word "bootcamp" starts off with some meaning where a person would go and share bunks with 50 other people for three months.  More recently it has come to mean something where a person will pay to go get training in something for a week to a month. And the style of training is experiential.  But in neither of those scenarios is there a family.  

I do think that a person could get an ant plot, build a little something for their whole family and that would work.  

There have been kids here.  Lots of kids.   A few were amazingly cool and most were not.   And since the fisher price house is not childproof, a parent needs to rain down hell on a toddler to get them to not destroy things - and in the end stuff just gets wrecked.

The thing with kids has been brought up dozens of times.   For the first time ever, I'm going to do this:   what do you propose?



Shoooooooot.  4 years later, I see this response!  Sorry for falling off the thread.

Currently, no proposal.  I'll be there solo later this week, and maybe will pursue coming with the family for a spell later on.  I certainly love the idea of sharing that space, carving it out with some other families.  
 
paul wheaton
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Families during the bootcamp ...

Of course military bootcamp, and other bootcamps don't facilitate families, so part me wants to use the joel salatin line of "if they big guys can't figure out a way to make it work, I don't see how I can figure out a way either."  

At the same time, the ponder family came and it worked great.  

Further, we recently went through a wave of people wanting to come out and bring kids or spouses (or pseudo-spouses) and ....  in the end ... the solution was the sepper program.   Rent a structure or a tent space for the fam - and the fam feeds themselves.   And then if one person wants to join the bootcamp from time-to-time we can do that.  And if that one person is in the bootcamp for half the day, they get one meal, and if they are in the bootcamp for a full day, they get three meals.  And everybody shares dinner on taco tuesday.  



 
Beau Davidson
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paul wheaton wrote:Families during the bootcamp ...

Of course military bootcamp, and other bootcamps don't facilitate families, so part me wants to use the joel salatin line of "if they big guys can't figure out a way to make it work, I don't see how I can figure out a way either."  

At the same time, the ponder family came and it worked great.  

Further, we recently went through a wave of people wanting to come out and bring kids or spouses (or pseudo-spouses) and ....  in the end ... the solution was the sepper program.   Rent a structure or a tent space for the fam - and the fam feeds themselves.   And then if one person wants to join the bootcamp from time-to-time we can do that.  And if that one person is in the bootcamp for half the day, they get one meal, and if they are in the bootcamp for a full day, they get three meals.  And everybody shares dinner on taco tuesday.  




Sounds like a great arrangement!
 
paul wheaton
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I created a thread to cover all the winter stuff in the bootcamp, plus seven extra winter holidays that will be "celebrated" during boot hours:

https://permies.com/t/149839/permaculture-projects/permaculture-bootcamp-winter

 
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current boot camp (minus Clayton and Martha)
 
paul wheaton
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Might be inviting two more boots from the waiting list this weekend:  https://permies.com/t/146876/permaculture-projects/bootcamp-waiting-list#1173660

 
paul wheaton
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I am minutes away from inviting two more boots from the waiting list.  

Current winter bunk availability:

  - 1 bunk in the bunk room (in the fisher price house)

  - both bunks in the red cabin (new rocket mass heater, and insulation will be overhauled in the next two weeks)

  - both bunks in the love shack (rocket mass heater is being upgraded and the insulation will be overhauled in the next three weeks)

  - the tipi (rocket mass heater recently upgraded and a new canvas arrives "soon")

  - the shandolier (the wood stove would need care before being used)

  - cooper cabin (a cot for a week - and then the whole cabin for two months)


More about the waiting list:

  https://permies.com/t/146876/permaculture-projects/bootcamp-waiting-list


More about winter in the bootcamp:

  https://permies.com/t/149839/permaculture-projects/permaculture-bootcamp-winter

 
paul wheaton
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About to invite two more boots for jan 10. And this is a guess to where there might be two bunks available on jan 10.

 - 2 bunks in the bunk room (in the fisher price house)

 - the tipi (rocket mass heater recently upgraded and a new canvas arrives "soon")

 - the shandolier (the wood stove would need care before being used)

 - cooper cabin (one big bed for at least three weeks)




 
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I'm curious about this whole thing you're doing, you're against, or seem to be against fossil fuel, but at the same time you have a cell phone, video equipment, and a whole bunch of other items that are made from dinosaur bones, oil, gas, etc ? What up with that ? Thanks.
 
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Nearly everything you or I do has a fossil fuel impact.  I suspect Paul's use of cell phones and video equipment has a significantly negative fossil fuel footprint.  Ie for every drop of oil that went into his video camera and computer 10,000 less drops of oil are consumed by the people influenced by his videos.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I think there's a great quote somewhere by Paul (or maybe Sepp Holzer) that these big machines got us into the mess we're in, and sometimes we need to use them to get us out of them.

If Paul didn't take videos or use computers, I never would have found out about permaculture. There wouldn't be any permies. He never would have gotten so much done at Wheaton Labs, because he never would have encountered those people. He'd just be digging in the dirt by himself. And there's nothing wrong with that. But, he's made great changes in the world by teaching so many people permaculture and developing environmental technology (like rocket stoves, solar dehyrators, etc) at events. Those are things the world needs, and needs ASAP.

I think an important thing is to wisely use the resources we have to make things better, and I think that's what Paul's goal is at Wheaton Labs, and with permies, too.
 
paul wheaton
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All true.

I doubt we will ever be perfect.   So we settle for "better".   We constantly try to be better than our past selves.  We experiment constantly with different flavors of better.  

The current greenhouse project is an attempt to build a greenhouse without paint or cement.  And very little plastic.   We use designs that feature a lot of round wood timber framing and cob.  



When something breaks, we repair it - and we try to find ways to use less plastic.






To heat, rather than natural gas or electricity (and all the environmental disasters behind that) we use a rocket mass heater



For the average montana home heating with electricity it would have a carbon footprint of 29 tons per year.  Natural gas would be 16 tons.   The rocket mass heats is less than 1 ton.

We dry food with a solar food dehydrator instead of electric:




To cut all our footprints by more than half, we are experimenting with flavors of community




As well as what we call "gerting it":  a small, humble home with a big garden and a small solar panel.




I think we are finding lots of ways to make deep cuts into our fossil fuel footprint.  And as we get better at this, we will be able to make deeper cuts still.
 
paul wheaton
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Accommodations question- Is the tipi shared or solo?



Think of it as about the size of a pinch smaller than a full size bed.  

Here is the full thread about the tipi:  https://permies.com/t/29327/permaculture-projects/RMH-Tipi

Here's a pic of the insides looking fancy:




can I drive up to the tipi or do I walk?  



Olenka walked to basecamp and back every day.  She said it was 40 minutes each way.  

But you can drive when the roads are good.  And if you have AWD you might be able to drive all year (or at least most of the way).




 
paul wheaton
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Can you give me a rough idea of January projects? I know the Permies thread said we ‘may be working’ on RMH, carpentry, shelving, is that still true?



It depends on lots and lots of things.  There might be junk pole fence.  There might still be some work on the greenhouse.  But if the weather is particularly cold, we will do more indoor projects like shelving.

 
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Thanks all sounds great. I have had some previous work projects come up. What is best for you all to have a definite answer/ life is fluid living here and taking care of property.
Appreciate your understanding. When is your final date to know for January bootcamp?
 
paul wheaton
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Ajeet,

I'm going to cancel your bootcamp trip for this round.   And I am updating the email that goes out next time that people should only reply if they are already certain that they can make the dates listed.  

At the same time, it sounds like you might possibly be interested in the sepper program.  For more information on the difference between the two:

  https://permies.com/t/146557/permaculture-projects/sepper-program-permaculture-bootcamp-experience

 
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I thought I paid the $100 application fee but now Im not.so sure it went through. Could someone check on that for me?
 
paul wheaton
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Jordan Float wrote:I thought I paid the $100 application fee but now Im not.so sure it went through. Could someone check on that for me?



I just searched for your email address and came up with zilch.
 
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Hi Paul,

I apologize for not being clear two weeks ago when I sent that email. I wasn't sure if I had another job here in Oregon and then because of a lack of internet, dropped the ball getting back to you!

Is the $100 still good for another shot at a bootcamp at another time? I took a look at the Sepper Program and that is over the limit of my budget. I was planning on staying at least 4-6 weeks.

I am leaving Oregon this week and was planning on heading towards Montana; is there a bootcamp opening now? I would like a second try, but only if there was a bottom bunk in any of the cabins. I am happy to
do the 8 hour work-day and get the food option, the only concern I have is being with other folks in close distance, but if everyone is good with social distancing, etc, I would like to be there.

However, if it is too late this time, is there a possibility of putting that $100 towards the 2021 RMH event in October for next year, which is the most likely time I would be back out west since I am
heading down south to Tennessee, eventually!

Much love and thank you again...

Namaste,

Ajeet
 
paul wheaton
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Is the $100 still good for another shot at a bootcamp at another time?



Yes.  
 
paul wheaton
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Sometime in early january we will be sending out an announcement for two openings on February 7.  

The work trade stuff is set up so that the people at the top of the list will probably come out for the work trade on March 7, so this will probably be the last time for a while that people can sign up now and get in to the bootcamp - because next time, people at the top of the waiting list will probably exercise their wisdom at getting on the waiting list early.

In order to be respectful to others on the list, and respectful to those of us here that are trying to juggle all-the-things, please only reply if you are absolutely certain that you can arrive at the designated time and put in at least one week.  

We are trying to give everybody at least three weeks of advance notice so that the people coming here have plenty of time for a smooth transition and those of us here can have a smooth transition.   A few people have made the mistake of thinking that we are some sort of resort with a full time staff standing by to accommodate their every whim - and we don't have that.  

This post is an attempt to prepare the people on the list, and to possibly invite a few others to add their name to the list that we will be sending another round of invitations soon.  So that people might know whether they want to reply with a "yes" when the email goes out.

 
paul wheaton
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The bootcamp is a bit a bit of an experimental program.  By offering this, we hope to:

  - build a certain flavor of community
  - build the future leadership of permaculture
  - move our collective projects forward

And the #1 ingredient for that is excellent people that end up staying here for years.

Currently, all of the boots that have been here longer than a year came here for just a few weeks.  What we derive from that is that the people that are the very best fit for here, come for a few weeks to check us out.  Some people came for a few weeks and then stayed.  Others could just take a couple of weeks from their packed lives and then after being here, went back to their packed lives, sorted things out and came back here.  

A lot of people have come here and decided that we were not a fit for them.  

A few people have come here and we decided that they were not a fit for us.  

We need to have 20 people join and try the bootcamp for at least a week to be able to find the one that will be a long term fit.  We are excited to grow our community!

We feel like our requirements are pretty easy.

People arrive and they aren't used to the physical labor.  Not a problem.  We give them plenty of opportunity to rest and do their own pace.   Usually after two weeks they can easily keep up.  

We know that most people will arrive with very little skill - and the reason they are here is to build some of their first experiences.  Our expectations are pretty low for the first week, and people seem to just naturally get better and better with each passing week.


When people send in their $100 I send the following email:

There are two steps to getting on the permaculture bootcamp waiting list:

  - fill out the questionnaire: https://xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  - when done, reply to this email to say that you are done!

Once these two steps are complete, I will go and grab your favorite email address from the questionnaire and add it to the waiting list email addresses.    



A lot of people never do either step and quite a few do the first step, but not the second step.  Part of me thinks I should go find those people and write to them and say "hey, is everything okay?  Do you need some help?"   When I mention this to the bootcamp managers, they say "this seems like an excellent weeding out tool.  Clearly, most people make it through the two steps - those people seem more likely to be great."  So we leave it.

(I kinda wonder if a few people sign up with an email address that is their crappy email address that they never check - so they never see any of my emails.  We usually use the email address tied to the paypal account.)


Our needs for community have shown that we need people that are respectful to each other.   For the part before you arrive, this means that if you say "yes" to being here on a particular date and time, you honor that.   We have selected that date and time for reasons.   We are not prepared for you to arrive early, and we are not prepared for you to arrive late.  We have arranged for somebody to meet you in the scheduled window of time and help you get settled.  A few confirmation emails or texts would be nice - mostly because some people have not been respectful in the past.


During the bootcamp, please be punctual.  Directions for everybody are spelled out at 8am sharp.  And again at 1pm.  



 
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Hello, my partner and I are interested in coming to Wheaton Labs. I would be like to "be a boot" and my partner would like to continue working for  his remote job. Would be both be able to stay at Wheaton labs? Is there a reasonably reliable internet connection?
 
paul wheaton
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Hello, my partner and I are interested in coming to Wheaton Labs. I would be like to "be a boot" and my partner would like to continue working for  his remote job. Would be both be able to stay at Wheaton labs? Is there a reasonably reliable internet connection?



The internet is a pretty reliable 10 down and 3 up.  But it gets clogged when somebody uploads a big video (or something similar).   I know that I use my cell phone as internet backup when that happens.   We've been on the starlink waiting list for several months.

As for your partner ...  we have had many couples come here doing exactly what you describe ... in the sepper program:

https://permies.com/t/146557/permaculture-projects/sepper-program-permaculture-bootcamp-experience



 
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Hey Paul, the plan you have for the boot camp is to send another invite in early Feb for a March arrival?

I had to pass again on the February arrival deadline and I'd love to know what you see in your crystal ball.
 
paul wheaton
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Kyle Noe wrote:Hey Paul, the plan you have for the boot camp is to send another invite in early Feb for a March arrival?

I had to pass again on the February arrival deadline and I'd love to know what you see in your crystal ball.



Yes, that is the plan.   One of the incoming people has already said that they cannot be here for more than two weeks.  At the same time, we will have at least one more spot available - so that' 2.  Plus, we are exploring having two bootcamps, so we might be able to bring in a total of six new people on the next round - but no guarantees.  It really depends on a lot of things over the next month.





 
paul wheaton
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For anybody considering the bootcamp, the BRK is now at nearly $2000.   And there is an offer for some matching funds that could take up to $4000.

https://permies.com/wiki/114138/permaculture-projects/Special-BRK-permaculture-bootcamp


This means that if you are in the bootcamp, and you post some pics each day for 100 days, you can harvest $2000.  
 
Nicole Alderman
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I love these pictures Josiah took of everyone at Bootcamp cobbing the roof of the wofati greenhouse, and then dancing in celebration!

bootcamp on roof of wofati greenhouse

bootcamp dancing by the greenhouse
celebratory dance!
 
paul wheaton
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I think there are 14 people here now.  So we are a little crowded - but part of our current effort is to transition from "crowded at 14" to "lots of room for more growth at 20."

 
Josiah Kobernik
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what a great crew!
 
paul wheaton
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We are now ready to grow the bootcamp to 20 people.
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Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
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