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master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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This morning I made a decision.

Any gapper that has been here for at least four months and has listened to at least 90% of the podcasts can pick an acre to be a spot to show their vision in seed and soil. I think a lot of gappers might be working on the PEP1 stuff - so this would be a place where they can build their own hugelkultur beds, their own benches and sheds, and maybe, eventually, their own wofati. This is not a deep roots or shallow roots thing. This is a space to exercise their vision in permaculture. If the space is evolved far enough that they can live on that solo and feed themselves, they could roll back to something that is "gapper light". Or maybe they can merely "pay rent" in the form of food or woodworking or something.

 
paul wheaton
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Within a week, Sofia will return to Sweden and Jesse will head back up to wofati 0.7. This means that the bunk room will be empty. So, we could take in four gappers.

Winter activity includes:

chop wood and run fires in rocket mass heaters
build rocket mass heaters and continue testing with shippable cores
vehicle maintenance and welding projects
run the sawmill
build skiddable shelters
planning projects for next year
drill wells
finish the leviathan
design chicken systems at basecamp
green woodworking projects

And heaps more.

For gappers that show up about now, they could pick out their acre around march or april - in time to plant stuff.

 
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What a fantastic opportunity for someone!
 
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Location: san bernardino, california
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Paul the great
I would like to be a gapper. I have read lots of posts about it but I'm not sure if you will take me. I read the post gappers with kids but my circumstances are a little different. I'm almost done listening to all the podcasts. I agree with you on almost everything you stand for like 99%. I would like to spend a year under the Wheaton command. here is a little about me. I'm a bad speller but am very skilled with working with my hands for my age (29). Currently I am a journeyman Refer tech. Which gives me lots of experience with heating, electrical, welding and endless amounts of trouble shooting problems. I can follow directions but am self starting. I am careful with tools knowing the value of them as my job depends on it. I also have a family that would be coming. I have a 18 month girl Ava and soon to be new baby in May. Ava is very easy and well behaved. I do not let her run wild. I know that is a concern of yours. My wife will watch the kids and work part time in town to support us. We are debt free so we do not need much to live on. I will be mainly the only one working for you. We have a fifth wheel to live in and will take care of ourselves financially and temporarily which includes food. What I want from this is knowledge and hands on experience. With the best people possible. I want to be part of the innovation to contribute where my skills are needed. I need to learn how a successful community works. With this knowledge I will apply it to my own land in the future. Creating a farm better then the bullock bros. Having a community on my homestead that works. If this is something that would work for you I want to take the next step which is sending in the gapper money. I am a man of my word and do not have the Craigslist mentality.
 
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Location: Missoula Mt
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Hi Austin I just sent you an email about this.
 
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Austin,
Violet and I have been Tim's apprentices since late october. They live up here with three children (four, seven, and eight yo) with few issues. They're keeping cows and pigs, use dogs for livestock guarding, and live off the grid. Sounds like we came out here looking for something similar to what you and your wife are, and we're really happy with what we've found up here on the land.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Austin,

How many podcasts have you listened to?


If you are going to be going to town a lot, then you must be set up at basecamp. We are trying to find ways to better accommodate families. And, Tim's family is hoping for more families on the lab. Armin's acres, is also more for families.

Of course, my concern is that a family of four will consume four units of resources, while providing one unit of bread labor. But, I think it is entirely possible that somebody can show up, do the work of ten gappers. Of course, I also think that everybody thinks they might be that super hard working person.


Mike and Violet have signed up for "the tim challenge" and the other day Tim told me that he has enough wood put up to keep him warm for three years. Whereas here at basecamp, we don't have enough wood to get us by for two months.


Not a slam dunk on how to proceed, but it all starts with "how many podcasts have you listened to?"

 
master steward
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The other advantage to winter here is that it's far quieter and easier to visit with folks and discuss cool things.

Plus, we still have some cool visitors in winter. Most everyone I've talked with mentions that meeting the other people, especially some of the instructors, is their favorite part of being here.

Well, that and being around like-minded people who don't think their permaculture ways are crazy.
 
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Good to hear progress about accepting gappers. I am still taking workshops, practicing new skills. Hoping that as I gain and master more skills to visit as a successful gapper, eventually. Thanks. Pam
 
gardener
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Location: St Paul, MN/Tularosa, NM and now a gapper at Wheaton Labs
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Trying to plan out my summer. I know things are being reorganized with the addition of potato and mushroom villages, but is there room in the gapper program for a non-Borg vegan that knows how to cook for himself?
 
Sam Barber
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How many podcasts have you listened to fred? What do yo mean by non borg?
 
Fred Tyler
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I've only listened to 30 or 40 podcasts, but i'm working my way through them. By non-Borg vegan i was referring to a joke Paul made last year in a podcast about how some vegans are like the Borg and must assimilate you. I mean to say i am more of a practical vegan, non-judgmental, and am used to living with meat eaters peacefully.
 
Sam Barber
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Oh I see. We do have room right now. Whether you work out or not is up to you. The food thing would be an issue we don't accommodate for special diets so as long as you can deal with that its alright. When you are ready to come out send in the gapper fee and ten send me an email at minion@richsoil.com and I will have some initial questions and then we can coordinate your arrival. I assume you are familiar with our no tobacco/drug policy?

 
Fred Tyler
gardener
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I know you don't accommodate special diets, i just wasn't sure if there would be facilities/time to deal with food on my own. As far as the no tobacco/drug policy, that is one of the things that makes the lab so appealing to me. I'll figure out soon whether or not i'll be able to head up there and then send in the fee and email. Thanks for your time!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
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Fred Tyler wrote:I know you don't accommodate special diets, i just wasn't sure if there would be facilities/time to deal with food on my own. As far as the no tobacco/drug policy, that is one of the things that makes the lab so appealing to me. I'll figure out soon whether or not i'll be able to head up there and then send in the fee and email. Thanks for your time!



Hi Fred, it appears we didn't reply to your question. I'm sorry about that! Yes, we have made the base camp kitchen a community kitchen and it's been open to folks cooking their own food, too.

----------

Here are some important updates to what's going on with gappers and the community here.

First, we have an awesome gapper love thread. THANK YOU to all the beautiful people who have sent amazing gapper gifts! They have made a wonderful difference in gapper living.

See also:
the gapper dilemma
ant village
ant village challenge
2015 paid positions
kitchen and house commander
shallow roots - 3 years
deep roots - long term canvas.

Which all is to say that we have a variety of ways that a permie could live here at wheaton labs.




 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Also, I've replied this to two gapper inquiries so far, so it makes sense to post here.

Reminder: we've mostly been doing natural building and alternative energy systems (infrastructure) in our 20 months here and are barely starting food and animal systems: fencing first (here at base camp*) The construction aspect is way cool to some folks, but not so much to others.

We are passionate about how we feed people here, so we have loads of conversations about that in the food thread and are still searching for a kitchen commander, so those aspects might appeal to some less construction-minded folks.

Part of the recent changes is that the animal systems in the photos here are Tim's animals on the laboratory* and Tim's family may or may not work with gappers this year.

*base camp and the laboratory are two different locations, 2 miles apart, both owned by paul and both part of wheaton labs.
 
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So currently a person who could go all day workin on fencing and systems would be good?
 
paul wheaton
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Kadence,

There are dozens of things that need to be done.

Simple things. Like building fence and hugelkultur beds. Or planting living fences. The list is huge.

At this time, we are very low on leadership. So any gapper that comes now would be fed and set up with a bunk and hopefully they would have enough self direction to move projects forward without a lot of leadership. And (further hoping) that leadership will, in time, show up.

It would seem that you already have a lot of experience - I think a lot of people would come and be interested in spending time learning from you.
 
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> [presently] ... low on leadershiop

Paul

Reading this just a couple minutes after sitting down and signing on to permies to see the latest - ie. while I was still finding a place to put the beer and not thinking anything particular, empty open mind - it flashed clearly (FWIW) that I didn't know what you meant. There seem several possibilities:

1) need expert knowledge/experience in particular areas to know the issue, know the options/methods, make plans to address specific problems, maybe tell people what needs doing. But not necessarily _decide_ anything.

2) shepard newbies, temps, transients, wannabees, potentials... ie. gappers: from dawn til dusk (not being derogatory here either - it's a need); seeing they find a (acceptable adequate) spot to sleep; that they get some food and make sure they know how to do it themselves; get up in the morning; go somewhere useful or at least bother somebody who can take it; listen to issues; speak to the whole group or at least see _somebody_ does once a day to maintain proper attitude, team spirit and impart expectations; Something like office manager, no strategic decisions, just keep the machine greased, fueled, fix the occasional flat and watch the gauges.

3) Or. Somebody that you might be willing to give control of specific areas/problems. They would go get resources (gappers as well as tools, etc) schedule heavy equipment, make _the_ plan, set goals, et al. Now _that's_ a serious position and I can't see how it just shows up. It takes a while for they and you to see a fit.

4) A "rainmaker". Somebody who has some magic and is ready and willing to use it. Steps in, grabs resources and makes things happen, one way or another, in a way that can be said to move the group forward. Sometimes they are good guys, sometimes not. Self starters who come w/their own opinions, habits,. goals, even sometimes support staff.

My .02 here is just to say that "leadership" the word seems nebulous here, a catch-all. Imparts very little actual info. And maybe that's OK. Maybe also if you _do_ have some clearly defined pieces under the "leadership" umbrella that you can break break out in a more cut/dried format then persons might see a light bult, recognize _their_ slot and be able to move on a decision. I guess an example of what I mean would be the kitchen boss. Clear package, a particular job that some people actually know and know they know; also a very important position that requires a lot of a person. That is an attractive package. Few people can actually fill those shoes, but there are some and the chance to practice their skills is a big plus.

Well, not sure if I added much here, but maybe a little. And the dinner bell has run.

Regards

Rufus
 
paul wheaton
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At the moment, I am hoping to get 12 ants here (for the ant village project) and each gapper would find the leadership they seek from a particular ant. If, for any reason, they come to the conclusion that they would like the leadership style of a different ant, and the second ant is cool with that, then they can go get other experiences.

Of course, this is highly speculative on a lot of issues, but this is the experiment I am hoping for today.

I am being vague on leadership because a strong leader can come in many different flavors.

 
Rufus Laggren
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And speaking of leadership, an aside: Every time I hear the word leader or leadership I flash on the tale of Shackleton's voyage on Endurance. Next life when you have spare moments and want an amazing read, "Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" the story of Shackleton's Antarctic adventure, hits you over the head w/the difference a leader makes. There is no how-to about it, just "this is what happened and what they did". And a wealth of info between the lines. You might recognize a lot of things. Of course, the crew was mostly late 19th/turn-of century English and culture does impact hugely people's expectations and reactions to leadership style. And thing is Shackleton himself considered the whole affair a huge failure but that extended mishap and his huge effort left us all a legacy far far more valuable than if he had just won a race to a theoretical geographic point.
 
paul wheaton
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I am closing this thread. We now have a "gappers 2.0" program and a new thread for that:

http://www.permies.com/t/46350/labs/gapper-program


 
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