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pollinator
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K, I'm assuming you have a basic grounding in what Paul's up to? Apart from his building a number of WOFATI, I would guess that most earth-moving would be in aid of water capture, as in ponds or small lakes. I don't think that kind of massive land transformation and "treading lightly" go hand in hand on this one. Why would you, on damaged or degraded land, when you have soil-building techniques at your command? A thorough understanding of how pioneer plants (the weeds of conventional agriculture) work and some patience can provide observational inputs, as well as building soil, and the judicious application of paddock-shift grazing can yield not only more rapid nutrient cycling, but food.

As far as I know, Sepp started with a coniferous montaine environment. The reason he uses hugelkultur is because deep soils and water retentive capabilities are sorely lacking on the slopes, hence the only thing growing there were species resilient to temperature and moisture extremes. When he started building ponds, the moisture and the heat-sinks that they provided were capable of sustaining a greater range of plant life, and he used that to build soil.

I recently found out that covert grow ops in some areas of BC use the same method I like to use for ensuring deep soil for root growth, namely excavating down to clay and building a hugelbeet with the plants on top, usually three feet or so in the ground, and as high as I can make it. That's because except in spots where the soil getting washed downhill by successive seasonal melts and precipitation catches, it all goes down to where the land is more textured and less up and down.

I am not going to presume to suggest boundaries to Paul on his own land, nor do I feel a need to, as I feel confident in Paul's respect for the earth. I think that where we're trying to make things better after having such a detrimental effect, the earth needs a little help up, and that requires the kind of measures that I'm pretty sure Paul will employ. Think Krameterhof West. But probably better, and with a congruent diversity of vision that's almost Canadian in its scope.

But I do want to see details of what is being worked with. Right now we're skeet shooting in the dark. And if I don't stop it with the reading and the typing and the sitting on my ass, I'm not going to get my raised bed built, or my gardens seeded, or the stuff I need to start indoors started.

-CK
 
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Paul,
I'm somewhat new to your site. I found Permies.com through various searches of topics that I am interested in.
I'm more familiar with some of your past historical posts. I find some of your recent posts to appear a bit manipulative. I've been in various intentional communities in my life. My intuition is picking up a strange vibe, hey maybe it's me...?
 
Chris Kott
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Bill, I don't know what you're vibing on, but I don't get that at all. Have you listened to the podcasts? You might be seriously lacking in context, which the podcasts would provide.

-CK
 
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Creating a Life Together by Diane Leafe Christian



Diana wrote lovely things in my copy.

Have you seen Diana's posts here on permies.com?

And, my community won't be using the consensus stuff from Diana's books, nor her current techniques.

set up an email or something for people wanting to come live there



I think that if there are 400 people that want to come live on my land, then that would be wise. But if there are zero, then it seems that something a bit less formas seems easier.

where exactly is the farm



At this point, I want to close first. After all, it's possible that we don't close.

people can bring livestock, etc or not.



The official answer is: yes they can. But I also think it would be wise to understand what the predator pressure is like.

definitely need a top ten list of things to do



I expect that the list will quickly grow to the "top 1000" and they will be in priority order. But I am holding off on making the list until after closing.

Plus, I kinda think that some people might want to be there for the creation of the list.

i'm soon to be 21, engaged to a young strong guy who also wants a simpler life with better community.



Kadence,

What sort of arrangement do you have in mind?

 
paul wheaton
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I want to know what my jobs/responsibilities/obligations would be



I think that to meet that, you might need to wait a few months, or even a few years. During the first month there will be far too many unknowns.

My guess is that a lot of people will want to be there for the first month just to see the initial designs, and then see those designs thrown out - and folks will want to know why. But I think this will be a subset of people. Most people will want to see stuff when it is 10 or 20 years old.

You definitely should have some sort of "commune contract" or list of expectations for permanent and temporary folks joining you.



Towards the end of my corporate whore career, there were a few things I did differently from when I started. 1) It never mattered if you took the job under "permanent" or "temporary" - if you were good, you were kept on, and if you sucked, you left early. 2) I signed a lot of contracts, and I also did a lot of work where no contract was ever signed. The people that were the most likely to be scumbags had contracts.

I once set up a community and laid out what I called a "choreography document". Just a few things to help folks get along. Quiet time was 10pm to 6am; the kitchen is to be always clean; etc. As people moved in I showed them the document and asked them if they could live with that. I like the idea of doing something like that again.




 
paul wheaton
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I see some people making suggestions about what I should do with the land, or decision making process and the like. I need to make this crystal clear:

The decision making process is already locked in stone.

I think my collection of podcasts makes it clear what I will be doing with the land (lots of earthworks and building).

I started this thread so that the people that might come to the land could give me an idea of what their expectations would be. Do they expect to rent something? Do they expect to be fed? What sort of arrangement would they like? Are they thinking of coming out for a week? Or a year? Or forever?

I ask these questions because by the time closing is done, I should have some rough approaches locked down and a clear idea of what to offer.

I think that there is just 1 person in a million that will want to come onto this land. That means that 999,999 out a million don't like me or don't like the way I do things or don't like something about this situation. That's fine. We're being very upfront so those folks will opt out early.

 
paul wheaton
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I find some of your recent posts to appear a bit manipulative.



I think this statement says far more about you than it does about me.

If you think I am icky, I think you can show yourself out the door.
 
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I, myself, can't come to visit or stay, but if I were, here would be a few of my expectations:

that I would bring my own shelter, food, some tools,
that I would be willing to work at whatever jobs needed and suited to my skills,
that I would make it clear how long I could stay,
that I would tender opinions but would not necessarily expect them to carry weight,
that Paul would be a benevolent dictator, and, in his own time, loosen the reins of control as time and circumstance require, if he wishes.

It's all very well to want a community where everyone has some input, but at the start of this venture, and perhaps for several years to come, I believe Paul and his project will be better served if he is the one and only decision-maker who sincerely listens to advice and opinions and when he makes a decision, that's it.
 
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Paul, with all due respect, sincerely, I have trouble understanding the dynamic you seem to want to create here. You have announced that you will have 200 acres of trees and pasture, in a cold arid climate with no description of the trees and forage, no surface water, hopefully a nearby house with water and electricity, and so forth, then inquire if they want come and what they would ‘expect'. You provide no information about distance from groceries, predator and herbivore load, fencing, surrounding population density, or any basic guidelines at all except no pot or hooch and that you will be the ultimate decision maker because you hold title to the land.

Typically here in the mountain west, when a farmer or rancher needs hands he offers room and board to low-skilled workers, often with a garden patch. If he can't offer that it is assumed there is some kind of affordable housing in the vicinity and scant wages might be offered. Foremen and ‘skilled workers' tend to be offered additional pay. This is what our immigrants face. It is hard to imagine that people with the kind of horticultural/husbandry/building farm underway are not likely to risk walking away from the lives they have established for such a gamble.

I suppose there are some who are so dedicated to this cause that they will come and park or create a living structure and work for free just to be a part of something so important. These folks will want to learn and invest, but may have low skills. If you can rustle up enough of these dedicated selfless workers, you might be on to something. But to expect folks to offer up hard labor for nothing more than a series of podcasts (no matter how erudite), plus the wisdom in your noggin, might be asking too much. More time and information might help solve the problem.

Again, with all due respect.
Kathy J.
 
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If it doesn't sound appealing, that's fine. Nobody has to show up.

I'm thinking there will be some people who do show up, and they will be glad they did. Mostly they will be people who have been following Paul's journey for some time, and yeah, they probably will have listened to a couple hundred hours of podcasts along the way. People will come, and some will be displeased by the experience, and they will leave. Some will enjoy the community and enjoy the work, and they will stay.
 
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K. Johnson wrote:

A light hand on the land should be central to permaculture in tough climates like this one. Sepp's climate is tough, for sure, but his soil is clearly deep, fertile and moist. WE DON"T HAVE THAT HERE. Western Montana is rarely fertile and lush unless you happen to live in a river bottom protected from harsh montane elements. Even then the soil/veg complex may have been badly altered by a hundred or so years of heavy-handed abuse. If you dig a well and apply abundant water to damaged, thin, structureless soil you will end up with a giant mudpie. In the Northern Rockes cold dry weather is a fact of life and topsoil is geologically young and ultra thin The organic and bedrock decomposition that creates soil happens so slow most humans can't get their head around it. "Restoration" in a human time scale is magical thinking (repair and resilience do happen). So please you goodhearted pioneers, remember that in this territory every square inch of topsoil lost to machination or overgrazing is essentially lost for good.

Hopefully soon Paul will tell us something about the topography and trees and how tall the meadow grasses are therefore how deep the soil is. Wild grasses and topsoil are functions of each other. Fine root turnover and decomposition. A feedback. Hence the deep midwestern Breadbasket soils. Surely there is plenty of disturbed area already present on the 200 acres to commence this excavating and building? Composting and cover crops are not glamorous work, but the task at hand is to build build build soil. And get some fruit trees started.

I'm hooked.
Kathy J.

"A person with ecological training lives in a world of wounds" Aldo Leopold

Kathy, have you ever seen the "Back To Eden" film by Paul Gautschi? http://vimeo.com/28055108 If not I would highly recommend it as it may be of assistance to you and your soil building. I believe rather strongly in the techniques that Paul has "rediscovered" and they certainly may help to turn things around. Also if you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend the "Greening the Desert" video, http://vimeo.com/7658282. If they can take 10 acres of salted desert land and turn it around into an oasis in three years, there are certainly techniques that can help to build up and restore the land in your area.
 
paul wheaton
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Paul, with all due respect, sincerely, I have trouble understanding the dynamic you seem to want to create here. You have announced that you will have 200 acres of trees and pasture, in a cold arid climate with no description of the trees and forage, no surface water, hopefully a nearby house with water and electricity, and so forth, then inquire if they want come and what they would ‘expect'.



Allow me to repeat myself.

This has been coming for years. I have written about it extensively. I have podcasts.

I created this thread to say that I am under contract on 200 acres and am exploring the purchase of a nearby piece of land with a house. Nothing has been officially purchased yet. In fact, the last time I attempted to purchase land, it fell through on closing day (again, I've written about it earlier).

From my first post:

Getting things started will be klunky.

Maybe some people want to be there for the summer. Maybe some people want to be there forever.

...

I guess I want to hear what folks want. What path do you see?



from the second post in this thread:

I suspect that some people will want to come to the land and do the rehusp stuff. Maybe work out some sort of deal for a two acre plot to be able to express their vision of husp.

Others would want to be part of something more collective. A group of a dozen or so.

During the first month, some people might want to stick to BC with some trips out to TL. Others might want to set up a tent at TL and make a go of it there.

I suspect that in the first month there will be a lot more community at BC and a lot more work out at TL.



I have talked to about a dozen people. Talked with voice. While standing next to them. Face-to-face. And they said "let me know the moment you have land, I will be there." They did not say "let me know the moment you are under contract and then give me details so that I can figure out if I want to be there."

Typically here in the mountain west, when a farmer or rancher needs hands he offers room and board to low-skilled workers, often with a garden patch. If he can't offer that it is assumed there is some kind of affordable housing in the vicinity and scant wages might be offered. Foremen and ‘skilled workers' tend to be offered additional pay. This is what our immigrants face.



Do they have an audience of 1.4 million people per month? Do they have an eco building design? Are they going to try to grow citrus outdoors?

I have developed some extreme arrogance because I've been told by several dozen people that they think I am the global leader in what they think is cool. Even ahead of Sepp. And a few hundred have told me that I make the top 5 list. And then there have been the dozens of people that have said that they want to come and be a part of what I do.

The land is not officially purchased. But should that day arrive, I want to have some idea of how many might come during the first month and whether I should buy some extra food, have an extra bed set up, or what ... Plus, I have made it clear that my finances will be tapped out to get the land purchased, so funds will be extra tight.

Maybe in a few years I could be paying people. And maybe this summer a bunch of people will move in and the idea of paying people will be silly. If nothing else it seems as if you are not familiar with WWOOFers or interns or organic volunteers.

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

I've been planning this for a very long time. It sounds like my approach to this will be very different than your approach would be on the same land.
 
K. Johnson
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Hi Paul
What I meant by "the kind of dynamic you are trying to create here" meant the dynamic in the thread, not on the land. The vibe is that you are fishing for how much people will do/gamble/sacrifice for free by repeatedly asking what they ‘expect' when there isn't enough site-specific information on offer to allow formulation of expectations. At least say what you Hope to offer at the outset. Free campsite with water and a pleasant view in exchange for X hours of labor? Firewood? Surely that would garner some committment. If you have already made such an offer, and I missed it, I am forthwith deeply embarrassed. We don't need t be reminded that you have a long history spreading the permaculture wisdom. And your actual work with chicken coops, cast iron pans and rocket stoves is visionary.

Do you really have 1.4 million followers or do you have 1.4 million people who follow you around to see what other's say and be part of the movement? Truly, the creation and nurturing of this forum may be the greatest work you have done. But a little genuine humility on your part might attract as many volunteers to your project as the prospect of a garden patch in Montana - which is no small thing. Fo myself, I have been familiar with the basics of permaculture since the ideas appeared in print and have been practicing some variant of it in Montana it for maybe 35 years. In the dirt and in the classroom. So I am not a ninny about what is possible and what makes things work. I suppose one could surmise much from your plan to grow citrus outdoors in Montana.

I am still puzzled by how you can reconcile "...respectful harvest and an overall more symbiotic relationship with nature... As opposed to the current model which kinda seems like "make nature my personal bitch..." with rerranging nature's face with an bulldozer. We shall see. Yes I have seen Sepp's video and I see that it is clear that he had a massive amount of water to harness and it was originally a very lush, resilient and productive, if cold, environment. The aerial views make that apparent.

So yes I am critical about your attitude of ownership of the perma culture. Even if it is guised in humor and especially when it is not. Even so, there is so much good in the movement that I will continue to contribute online. I am sure you are tired of my critiques in this thread, so I won't pester you for awhile. Don't think of me as an attack dog, think of me as a rather blunt troubleshooter.

I do want to say that the development of viable guilds/poly/multi-crop systems (mostly plants, but of course pollinators and other animals too) is the most creative, artistic, scientific labor of love that a person could contibute to a bioregion, so perhaps I should limit my comments in these forums to that, rather than crabbing about your earthmoving and peoplemoving efforts.

Be Well
Kathy J.
 
Chris Kott
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Kathy, if you have no interest in joining Paul's efforts, why occupy everyone's time with objections no one seems concerned with? I think everyone else is at least offering congratulations if they can't go out themselves. It's a shame that someone more appropriate to the project isn't living in your position. Why bother? Anyone who's listened to even just the podcasts about Sepp knows what Paul's modus operandi are, and one would think that if for some incomprehensible reason they had a problem with reshaping the land to hold more water and support more life, they would find a more receptive audience than those who are l8kely his most ardent supporters.

-CK
 
K. Johnson
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Understood.
 
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Paul best wishes to you in this endeavor. Please keep us informed as you put your "team" together and
as you make progress. I hope the closing will come off without a hitch. I am thankful to say I never told you
that I would be there as soon as you got the land. You will sort through a good many people before you find
the ones who are right for this adventure.
 
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Got my fingers crossed for a smooth closing Paul! With risk of cluttering this post even more I must put my 2 cents in. Ditch the base camp separate house idea start on the land. Reasons = less upfront cash outlay this can go towards getting things right on the land and might help keep out of a bind if shit happens and it does. FEMA Rvs are cheap and there already here if you had to have a roof fast and would be an easy sell/ recycle when your Woofati is up and running. The weather will be right for work and you will be there. Just a quick skim of my thoughts of the top of my head. Thanks for all that you do Paul and best of luck form one of your ozark region followers
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

set up an email or something for people wanting to come live there



I think that if there are 400 people that want to come live on my land, then that would be wise. But if there are zero, then it seems that something a bit less formas seems easier.

where exactly is the farm



At this point, I want to close first. After all, it's possible that we don't close.

people can bring livestock, etc or not.



The official answer is: yes they can. But I also think it would be wise to understand what the predator pressure is like.

definitely need a top ten list of things to do



I expect that the list will quickly grow to the "top 1000" and they will be in priority order. But I am holding off on making the list until after closing.

Plus, I kinda think that some people might want to be there for the creation of the list.

i'm soon to be 21, engaged to a young strong guy who also wants a simpler life with better community.



Kadence,

What sort of arrangement do you have in mind?



that makes sense to me. i know i'm doing my best not to run away with tons of ideas and planning before things are actually going to happen. i'm sure you are sitting on your hands like a schoolboy at this point haha.

i hadnt had much of anything in mind. no particulars really, as you said there is always the possibility of things not going through. and not wanting to let my mind run off with things.
personally if i were to come i would have to bring my animals. its too far to go back and forth for them and i wouldnt have anyone to leave them with anyhow. i would definitely not mind staying at the farm from the get go. keeping watch of the animals and assessing predator threats. i'm not exactly jungle jane but i am pretty good at following trails and telling what animals left tracks or what predator killed the livestock. after a while you learn certian animals have sort of calling cards by how they get/eat the livestock.

i'm used to living without running water year round and cooking over a fire and sleeping on the ground. so is my fiance.
we can both follow direction for what we dont know about and teach others what we do know about. probably need a bit of help at first setting up temporary holding pens/shelter for the goats/cow(s) but other then that be right ready to start projects.

as to expectations...
~we would bring a temporary shelter (tent/camper most likely)
~we would bring as much food as we could. plus the animals would be food a'la hoof/paw a few ways so that would be helpful. wouldnt mind sharing with people. i'm sure group meals with everyone putting up some food and work would be good.
~timewise... i must say i'm not sure. both me and my fiance are ready to work on a place to call home but at the same time i cannot guarantee we will stay until we are elderly. but as to our situation now i very much see this as being a minimum of 3years. though if things go as great as they sound like everyone will be working towards then i can very easily see us staying permanently.

though that brings me to a question though.. well not so much a question as double checking to make sure i didnt misunderstand this somewhere along the lines..
people moving in would not be expected to pay (like rent, because you would own the land) but instead are expected to work within the community on the land building and on projects to help everyone. correct?
i am the first to admit i have no money. the economy is in the sewer, as i'm sure no one needs reminded of. i'm in a tiny town and have applied everywhere within a 45 mile radius and havent been hired yet. this is since november 2011. i scrape by making enough however i can in order to buy grains to feed my animals and sometimes i even save up enough change to buy a new animal to hopefully make some more change.



paul wheaton wrote:

You definitely should have some sort of "commune contract" or list of expectations for permanent and temporary folks joining you.



Towards the end of my corporate whore career, there were a few things I did differently from when I started. 1) It never mattered if you took the job under "permanent" or "temporary" - if you were good, you were kept on, and if you sucked, you left early. 2) I signed a lot of contracts, and I also did a lot of work where no contract was ever signed. The people that were the most likely to be scumbags had contracts.

I once set up a community and laid out what I called a "choreography document". Just a few things to help folks get along. Quiet time was 10pm to 6am; the kitchen is to be always clean; etc. As people moved in I showed them the document and asked them if they could live with that. I like the idea of doing something like that again.




that sounds good to me. good leeway so that people who turn out to be troublemakers dont have contracts to stay longer and making others nutty, and people who decide its not for them arent stuck there.
 
Chris Kott
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I think that those who stay long-term, those for whom living on Paul's land would work best, are likely to be those whose creative visions complement eachother and Paul's in direct, quantifiable terms, as in those production streams that either yield raw materials for craftspeople on-site, food for market or on-site consumption, or more generally just operations that provide necessary inputs for others on-site. This includes by-products that would otherwise be "waste" products. This might be self-evident to some, but working the angles this way should provide savings of economies of scale without the detrimental environmental effects.

-CK
 
paul wheaton
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But a little genuine humility on your part might attract as many volunteers to your project as the prospect of a garden patch in Montana - which is no small thing.



I am not humble. I am horribly arrogant and obnoxious. There have been times where I was paid obscenely to pretend to be humble - but even then, I nearly always got my way.

I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam. I won't lower myself to a lessor life that may be a greater life by somebody else's standards.

If that means that I will sit on this land all by myself, so be it.

On the other hand: there are a lot of people that think I am fucking awesome just the way I am. And I enjoy my life even more knowing that those people are out there.

For those that think I need to change, I present to you this thread: change
 
paul wheaton
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Ditch the base camp separate house idea start on the land. Reasons = less upfront cash outlay



You make an excellent point. And cash will be extra tight for a while. I think that about 23% of the time I am certain that I will leave out base camp (my offer has been rejected). But for the remaining 77% of the time, basecamp powerfully accelerates my plans.



 
paul wheaton
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Kadence,

I think you (and your fella) would be a good fit for this project. But I think I missed an answer to the most important question: have you listened to my podcasts? Can you live under my tyranny?
 
Chris Kott
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Sorry, Paul, do you mean that an offer on a base camp site was rejected, or that the offer for the 200 acres was rejected?

-CK
 
paul wheaton
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Chris Kott wrote:Sorry, Paul, do you mean that an offer on a base camp site was rejected, or that the offer for the 200 acres was rejected?

-CK



The offer on the 200 acres was accepted. We now do the paperwork dance. The current plan is to close on may 31.

The offer on basecamp was rejected. Since banks won't touch houses on acreage (and I don't want to touch banks) the norm on land like this is owner financing. They said they would do owner financing. So my offer included financing (because the 200 acres gutted my finances). Now they say the current owner is 77 and doing owner financing is silly. So they reversed their position on that (grumble grumble grumble). We're exploring other options (work work work).


 
kadence blevins
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paul wheaton wrote:Kadence,

I think you (and your fella) would be a good fit for this project. But I think I missed an answer to the most important question: have you listened to my podcasts? Can you live under my tyranny?



i havent listened to all of them but am working my way through them. (btw did i miss the grand list of them in order somwhere?) but so far everything sounds very straightforward and common sense of how things would work. and other topics covered are very interesting as well. some i've not heard of and many i've already read up on.

i currently live on 250 acres under tyranny of my family. the biggest difference in moving is going under a tyranny i can chose to be under and the people there *WANT* to take care of the land and work the land. the little that they do is half-grits backwards and ruins the pastures or machinery, etc.
so i think we are more then accepting of your brand of tyranny (:

and i kinda hate to bring this up but i havent seen rules about guns?
my fiance likes guns and people will need them if anyone is to dispatch their own cows or pigs, etc. but just realised i hadnt seen anything on that yet.
 
Chris Kott
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Paul, I don't think I've ever heard your opinions on certain common items of reuse where it comes to housing, namely tires in earth-forming and building (a la earthship) and shipping container building. I think it would be good to clarify your total approach to toxicity where it comes to certain practices that are green by virtue of their taking stuff out of the waste/recycle stream for reuse/repurposing, and if possible what you would do to make them better, or what you think would be way better, in light of the fact that we are discussing practical approaches to maximize safe, healthy housing with minimum effort and expense of time and resources as there is so very much to do.

I only bring up the shipping container issue as it has been discussed extensively on your fora, and they can be used in a modular way. In the same vein, my uncle once bought a cottage that was essentially a cliffside and a Canadian National Railway caboose, which he built into a winterized two-bedroom with kitchen, bathroom, livingroom, and an extensive system of (unfortunately creosoted) railway ties forming three tiers of gardens. Depending on where you are with regards to rail, that could be a reuse option, and I don't see anything toxic standing up to a lifetime of use, then a fresh pressure spraying, possibly even a sandblasting with organic hulls of some kind (which you then use as a carbon topdressing for the human waste that go to feeding things you don't eat).

On the issue of dealing with human solid waste, I was wondering if anyone had brought up building outhouses in appropriate places out of green willow branches? It is both a poop beast, and it will root from green branches. I have been thinking of this property and their potential use as a living exterior shell for just under a roof overhang, but this could solve the problem of waste disposal at the source in a very creative way.

-CK
 
kadence blevins
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Chris Kott wrote: namely tires in earth-forming and building (a la earthship)



he discussed tires and earthships a bit in one of the podcasts. not sure which one but he said about how much time it takes to build them and even old tires still smell like tires and how does that leave them for the air inside the house you make them into? and something about take one tire and shovel and mallet and pound dirt into that one tire, now tell me how many tires it would be to build your house.. doubting you'll do a second tire let alone a full on house.

personally i admit the earthship houses are great. but as said, they are very painstaking and slow and alot of work and time to build.
 
paul wheaton
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I have no objection to guns.

I, personally, don't own any. I just never felt the urge to get one.

I do have concerns about lead bullets. I don't want to add lead to the landscape. I've been told that copper bullets are now available.

Jocelyn will be contacting you soon to get into more details.
 
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Paul, I don't think I've ever heard your opinions on certain common items of reuse where it comes to housing, namely tires in earth-forming and building (a la earthship) and shipping container building.



"No" to either on TL. "Maybe" to the shipping container on BC.

taking stuff out of the waste/recycle stream for reuse/repurposing



I think that would be good for a new thread.

On the issue of dealing with human solid waste, I was wondering if anyone had brought up building outhouses in appropriate places out of green willow branches?



I think the first time we do that, I would like to install a way to measure pathogens leaching down.

 
kadence blevins
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paul wheaton wrote:I have no objection to guns.

I, personally, don't own any. I just never felt the urge to get one.

I do have concerns about lead bullets. I don't want to add lead to the landscape. I've been told that copper bullets are now available.

Jocelyn will be contacting you soon to get into more details.



okiedokie

just found the grand list of podcasts too. so listening to more of them (:
 
Chris Kott
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As to pathogens, wouldn't you just locate your outhouses on a keylined contour line and take soil samples at regular time and space intervals?

And do you feel it necessary to have that geographical barrier of a separate staging area being on another piece of land? Are there reasons you wouldn't simply designate a space near the entry BC? In your shoes I could see doing that and saving resources for development.

-CK
 
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Bummer, Paul, about the house deal. On the Bright Side, this may be just the kick needed for the creative minded. Maybe work out a deal with Pacific Yurts, buy 'em by the dozen or something. Willing to bet they'd appreciate some ad space on Permies.com. Set up a huge circle of yurts and all the immediate needs for daily life with a big community firepit in the middle.
 
Chris Kott
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Personally, my opinion on the idea of buying pre-made shelters, however green, is that you could probably make them greener, cheaper, and less toxic by sourcing the materials yourself and making your own according to ancient or modern plans, both of which can be found on the internet.

I am personally fond of the idea of yurts, and of modular living spaces in general, as you could essentially either make settlement packages for singles, couples, or families, expandable per number of people, or you could have a list of required settlement resources for those coming to the land, and they could just show up with all the pieces of their house that aren't to be found on the land or close by. People could then transition to WOFATI, and the yurts could be cleaned and packed up, ready for the next users.

Paul, I think that if the idea of www.permies.com as online thinktank were encouraged, you could harvest the mental produce and further your own ends. I think that's already well underway, but I wonder if there were a way to optimize this. Specifically, I was wondering how many Paul Wheaton Permaculture-approved income streams could be generated in the development of your land. Perhaps I'm a little out there on this, but with a little creativity and function stacking, I think it plausible that you could, if you wanted to, have a development plan that has as a long-term end the continuous buying and development of other such chunks of land. If this sounds like your particular cup of tea (sorry, coffee, I forgot), perhaps we should start up a thread to brainstorm on it.

-CK
 
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Chris Kott wrote:I think it plausible that you could, if you wanted to, have a development plan that has as a long-term end the continuous buying and development of other such chunks of land.



This sounds like doing Wheaton permaculture (or symbiculture or husp) flips! Very cool idea that did come up in a conversation. I think it was also alluded to in some of Geoff Lawton's new videos.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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LOTS of conversations going on in the background about the initial time frame on "the land" and how to procure "base camp."

For now, and for this initial time period, Paul is thinking that anyone who comes out to throw their shoulder into things will get free room and board for up to two weeks.

Any other arrangements - work/trade, rent for housing or land, staff, etc. - will be worked out after the trial period.

Either party can end the arrangement at any time.
 
paul wheaton
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
For now, and for this initial time period, Paul is thinking that anyone who comes out to throw their shoulder into things will get free room and board for up to two weeks.

Any other arrangements - work/trade, rent for housing or land, staff, etc. - will be worked after trial period.



I think this is a good time to point out: some people will rent something; other people will make arrangements for pay.

I had budgeted $1500 per month for a land manager, but that guy has gone on to other things. Of course, with this particular guy, my experience with him was that he had a mountain of tools and trucks and equipment which he just threw in and paid for all the fuel. So it was a crazy good deal for me.

I think in the first few years, all of the arrangements for paid positions would be extremely poorly paid positions. And I think that in latter years, we will be able to pay much better. And provide better accommodations.



 
Chris Kott
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I while flipping had come up previously, and there is even a thread in the financial strategy forum on the subject of permacultural improvement of land with the intent of flipping, my suggestion was more along the lines of either Mennonite or Amish investment plans (I can't remember which, or maybe another similar but distinct group), where the investment in land is seen as land banking, but with the local understanding that while regional stewardship may change hands, the overarching organisational control and, shall we say, operational guidelines, won't change.

I don't think improving land for sale is really worth it, once you've found appropriate land, considering that after that considerable task, the idea behind the approaches of people like Paul, Geoff Lawton, and Sepp Holzer all involve heavy investment of effort and resources at the beginning and the harvesting of permaculture yields over time. I think it could be described as a longer-term return on investment, and if these properties are following systems that produce income streams as a function of improving the land (land clearing and paddock pasturage with food and fibre animals, market gardens selling to targeted buying clubs and niche restaurants, added-value goods made on-property from primary resources cultivated on-property, permacultural tourism and education opportunities, residual income streams from book and internet documentation of operations, blogs, articles) and the system is designed to feed back on itself with the other nodes in the network, I don't think it would make financial sense to get rid of the land once you have it. If you're using it right, it seems to be worth way more than you could ever charge for it.

This approach could be useful for creating physical oases of Paul's Evil Empire (my, isn't that an unfortunate acronym, maybe a creative re-wording is in order?) with a view to extending control to municipal and county levels, all the way up the political chain, ever increasing the range and scope of its influence.

My personal long-term goal involves a similar idea (well, perhaps not quite the evil empire building), but with an extended family and generational focus, and of course, focusing on my interpretation of my understanding of Wheaton Permaculture.

-CK
 
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Vicky Barton wrote:Bummer, Paul, about the house deal. On the Bright Side, this may be just the kick needed for the creative minded. Maybe work out a deal with Pacific Yurts, buy 'em by the dozen or something. Willing to bet they'd appreciate some ad space on Permies.com. Set up a huge circle of yurts and all the immediate needs for daily life with a big community firepit in the middle.



admitedly i'm drooling at my mental images of this!

 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
For now, and for this initial time period, Paul is thinking that anyone who comes out to throw their shoulder into things will get free room and board for up to two weeks.

Any other arrangements - work/trade, rent for housing or land, staff, etc. - will be worked after trial period.



I think this is a good time to point out: some people will rent something; other people will make arrangements for pay.

I had budgeted $1500 per month for a land manager, but that guy has gone on to other things. Of course, with this particular guy, my experience with him was that he had a mountain of tools and trucks and equipment which he just threw in and paid for all the fuel. So it was a crazy good deal for me.

I think in the first few years, all of the arrangements for paid positions would be extremely poorly paid positions. And I think that in latter years, we will be able to pay much better. And provide better accommodations.




i dont have tons of tools or anything but i'm certianly good at stretching money wherever i can.
i dont have money to rent but i am more then willing to work on anything that needs done. and what i will be able to bring i certianly dont mind trading or sharing. heavens knows two people cant go through 2 gallons of milk per day and without fridgeration the milk/cheese/butter wont last too long anyways. and with the meat rabbits i should have plenty to bring live and butcher for eating as needed. and i'm currently working on getting some sheep which will be able to provide milk and meat and wool in time, meat probably being soonest depending on what becomes available to me.


question...
lets say things go well and the land goes through. are you looking at people moving in, in june?
and double checking, that will leave enough time to put in gardens along with starting building? as that will help immensely with feeding everyone and taking produce to markets would help with incomes as well.
 
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Hi Paul, I was directed here form your email entitled "a paul wheaton community." The C Word always piques my interest, because of my trials within that realm and learning about all kinds of images and definitions that people build around it. I am 21 and quit school 6 years ago to pursue a life more connected to nature, myself and others. I have been part of a forming group of an off grid community and natural building business from the ground up as an apprentice with a man who says and dreams about a lot of the things I am hearing you say. I left that "community" because there was no concrete vision agreement, or established decision making process (at the least) before moving onto the land. We both had very different ideas about our values, visions, goals, interests, and most importantly what we share in common. This lack of understanding will slowly but surely erode group coherence.

I spent six months at Open Source Ecology's research center, Factor E Farm as a fabrication apprentice and learned what Marcin's idea of community looked like (basically the same as the former). Both of these places had the same traits in common, and more importantly the same results (very different visions though): development is at a virtual standstill, conflict either abounds or people got so fed up with power imbalances and shattered expectations that they left, or and both places have been completely deserted (at times), due to conflict. Neither have a committed forming group that shares a vision for the community. OSE has a very concrete vision, but do not be confused: OSE and Factor E Farm are two very different things. OSE is a global vision, FeF is one man's property where he plans to demonstrate the mission of OSE.

I have done a lot of research on what it takes to form a successful, resilient, working community, and it starts with a devoted forming group with a written understanding of the vision they share. Only 10% of ecovillages and intentional communities succeed, and that is what they have in common: a written vision statement BEFORE buying land TOGETHER.

I am writing this with the deepest concern and care in my heart, The one thing I have learned with the most conviction over the past six years of searching is the importance of revealing your deepest vision to others so that you can figure out where you want to take it. Alone or together?

You'll go fastest by yourself but farthest together.


I have talked to about a dozen people. Talked with voice. While standing next to them. Face-to-face. And they said "let me know the moment you have land, I will be there." They did not say "let me know the moment you are under contract and then give me details so that I can figure out if I want to be there."



I hear a lot of different expectations from you. On one hand you say you want to hold workshops and to start building stuff, and I understand that to mean dedicated visits from people,

but if you mean what you say in the title of your email: "paul wheaton COMMUNITY," I take that to mean a place where people share responsibility, legal, financial and decision making power. If we agree on that, then I suggest you read Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian. I believe it is the single most thorough and enlightening source on the topic.


there have been the dozens of people that have said that they want to come and be a part of what I do."



My advice is to find that devoted forming group and take time to decide WHAT your shared vision is and HOW to execute it, before even thinking about land buying. You will have your hands full if you invite people out onto your land that think they are joining a long term community. If you do not plan to share financial and legal responsibility, make it clear.


Maybe in a few years I could be paying people. And maybe this summer a bunch of people will move in and the idea of paying people will be silly. If nothing else it seems as if you are not familiar with WWOOFers or interns or organic volunteers.



There should be no maybes if you are in the land buying process and have remote expectations of people living and working on the land for any amount of time longer than a month.

If your intention is to invite people to volunteer, intern, or be farm hands for short periods, then agree to those roles and responsibilities in writing. But I also hear you saying that you envision people coming to stay for the long haul, which implies that you expect them to submit to your decision making process. How much responsibility are you planning to share with these people?


I've been planning this for a very long time. It sounds like my approach to this will be very different than your approach would be on the same land.



Do not call this a community if it is just you who has been planning the vision and direction, and only you who will hold legal and financial responsibility. You might do better to look at the centrally controlled spiritual communities and ashrams, as I am gathering that the ones who want to come out to stay are following you as a leader. What decision making process do you have in mind if you are inviting people to come out for extended stays?

 
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