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master stewards:
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  • paul wheaton
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stewards:
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ant village  RSS feed

 
Posts: 56
Location: Meade County, South Dakota
greening the desert hugelkultur trees
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paul wheaton wrote:Hoping to fill out the remaining 11 spots this week. Evan and I just had a long talk and in the spirit of "try 100 things ..."

Here is my offer for the next seven days:

1 acre for $800 (that's the same deal as always)
3 acres for $1600
5 acres for $2400

Our thinking is that a lot of people have been planning their big jump to permaculture for a long time - and they have been thinking of something with more than one acre. So this is to help them make the leap.

This would be for 19+ months, starting right now. So it would work out to:

1 acre is $42 per month
3 acres is $28 per acre per month
5 acres is $25 per acre per month

Plus you get all these goodies:

  • 16 hours of excavator + "candy" (more excavator, tractor, sawmill, electric vehicles, pickup truck, etc. see details above)


  • PDC taught by PRI certified instructor Howard Story


  • ant love - tools, materials and even cash from people that love to see pictures of what you are doing


  • gapper help - lots of gappers are already lined up to come out and lend a hand to the ants. I suspect there will be about 20 more this summer.


  • global expert help - we have lots of big experts coming to the lab to give advice to ants. Thomas Elpel, Helen Atthowe, Jacqueline Freeman, Ernie and Erica, Josho Somine and lots, lots more!


  • The ant village challenge - a chance to get score a deep roots package! Or $10,000 cash!


  • The Deep Roots Package prize is for 1 acre, even if the Ant rents 3 or 5 acres, correct? You didn't specify, neither on this thread, or in the promotion email.
     
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    I'm retiring from the military in 2.5 years and this is something my wife and I would love to do. We've both looked into getting our PDC here in Anchorage, AK but have decided to wait until we get back to the lower 48. We have no roots elsewhere so once I retire, and if there are still openings in the ant village, we may just give it a go!
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 623
    Location: Victoria BC
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    Mike, aside from whatever Paul might think about that idea, I recall reading that it's not a good plan to start with a shipping container unless you have major and expensive structural mods in mind; they're not built to deal with sideways loads... https://renaissanceronin.wordpress.com/no-isbu-peek-a-boo/
     
    master steward
    Posts: 25620
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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    Mike Feddersen wrote:... wonder if you would accept someone covering a steel storage container with dirt, vinyl stuff like your wofati and sawdust. Throw some grass seed on top. Run the rmh pipe straight out the top. Then spend most your time on a nice big garden.
    Sound reasonable?http://siskiyou.craigslist.org/grq/4992363764.html
    More secure and faster to put up then a wofati, I seen some guy that used two forty's and woodpaneled the inside. Tarred the outside and earthbermed.



    I like the idea of this being a community that enjoys "natural building". After all, a big part of the mission is that people with illness can come here and their illness, mysteriously, goes away. Probably related to the food and the lack of toxins used in building stuff.

    The paint on the shipping containter and the tar strike me as contrary to these value. Plus, I think that is a lot to be said for a certain type of aesthetic.

     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    Wyatt Brush wrote:
    The Deep Roots Package prize is for 1 acre, even if the Ant rents 3 or 5 acres, correct? You didn't specify, neither on this thread, or in the promotion email.



    If a person signs up for five acres, it will be two plots: one four acre plot and one one acre plot. The one acre plot is the contender for the ant village challenge.

     
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    Dillon, thanks for the link, those are more my ideas for a home.
    I wonder what the ant area is like?
    Could a person hide one of those containers in the trees and do a shallow garden on the roof or make a trellis over the top with vine covering?
    I understand wanting sustainableness, I applaud it. I love the idea of cob home with a timber roof covered with a living roof. Even something like that with a southern facing exposure utilizing a greenhouse built into the open side for greens all Winter would be wonderful.
    Too bad you're not on the east side of the USA Paul, I would gap in a minute. (Probably should clarify the gapping wish, not much free time doing what I do. I would be one of those 'blow in for a day or two', help as I could', strong back weak mind types)
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    With Evan's permission, I reduced the podcast requirement from 240 podcasts to 200 podcasts.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    We now, officially, have two ants! I received $800 last night. Jesse Grimes said it was okay to share his name here. Welcome Jesse!

    You might want to head over to the ant love thread and pontificate on what you might like.

     
    Lab Ant
    Posts: 753
    Location: ephemeral space
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    Yay! A neighbor! Welcome, Jesse!
     
    Lab Ant
    Posts: 271
    Location: Orange County, CA
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    It's real now, and I am super excited about this experience. Now I just have to pick up my life here in Southern California and move it on up to Montana! I might be buying my own Ranger Doug today, so at least I will be able to carry it all. I will certainly be visiting the Ant Love forum, and most likely setting up a Patreon account for my own personal Love. Mostly what I am thinking about now is all the different tools I might need, so I'm curious to know what tools are available in the gapper tool library?
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    When we were doing things "the old way" we were thinking of getting "another ranger doug" and calling it "ranger woody".

    The thing is that we were ending up with all sorts of things that claimed to be a "ranger" so we needed a way to differentiate.

     
    Posts: 63
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    Jesse Grimes wrote:..... so I'm curious to know what tools are available in the gapper tool library?




    From the first page just under 6) - Paul wrote "I provide no meals or tools. Although I will provide 16 hours of excavator use for wofati and hugelkultur construction."

    But I suspect that isn't etched in stone.


    - L. Daniels
     
    Posts: 109
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    Lee Daniels wrote:

    Jesse Grimes wrote:..... so I'm curious to know what tools are available in the gapper tool library?




    From the first page just under 6) - Paul wrote "I provide no meals or tools. Although I will provide 16 hours of excavator use for wofati and hugelkultur construction."

    But I suspect that isn't etched in stone.


    - L. Daniels



    Paul is refering to his tools. Jesse is refering to anything donated by people on here, some of which is shown in these threads: ant love,
    gapper love

    As a soon-to-be-gapper, I also have the same question as Jesse regarding the tool library. I plan on bringing a hand saw, bow saw, chisels (small), brace, auger bits (small), hammer, square, knife, tape measure, socket/wrench set, axe, draw knife (which needs a handle), saftey googles, hearing protection, gloves and maybe chaps and a forestry helmet. It depends how munch it costs to ship all that across the country. If you want to make sure your tools stay under your ownership, an engraver should help you with that.
     
    Lab Ant
    Posts: 46
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    Hey I'm pritty stapped for cash right know. Could i Play $400 dollars for the PDC and then another $400 to become an ant when i get the money?
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    Chris Allen wrote:Hey I'm pritty stapped for cash right know. Could i Play $400 dollars for the PDC and then another $400 to become an ant when i get the money?



    Nope.

    100% of the $400 goes to the pdc instructor.

    I suspect that if you pay the $400 for the pdc and then stick around afterward (or maybe some before and some after) you should be able to rack up enough bounty stuff to have the $800.



     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    Oh, and the PDC is no longer $400 - it has now gone up to $600.

     
    Chris Allen
    Lab Ant
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    So I will soon have the money to be an ant by the end of the month. As my scheduled stands i should be payed by the end of June and I should be arriving by the end of July.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    Chris Allen wrote:So I will soon have the money to be an ant by the end of the month. As my scheduled stands i should be payed by the end of June and I should be arriving by the end of July.



    Excellent.

    We have quite a few people talking about being an ant. I hope that by the end of the summer we have a good crowd!

     
    Chris Allen
    Lab Ant
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    And i now have the money! I'll be an ant soon.
     
    gardener
    Posts: 416
    Location: St Paul, MN/Tularosa, NM and now a gapper at Wheaton Labs
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    Chris, if you get that money to Paul right away and hurry here, you probably can attend the PDC for free. I believe there are still a few spots open.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    It is official. Ant #3 ..... Josh (I'll let him tell you all more about himself if that is what he wants).

    Josh has been here working hard on all sorts of stuff. Here he is being photobombed by the tractor:



    Josh has taken a clever path. Pay the gapper fee, come build up bounties to get into ant village.


     
    Jesse Grimes
    Lab Ant
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    I've got some more specific questions about the Ant village.

    Movable structures: Is it alright to build a small Skidable structure for my own personal storage needs, about the size of the shit shack? It could be skidded off into the trees to remain hidden. Is a shake roof the only option besides earth?

    Pallets: I asked about these in the ant village thread but didn't get a specific answer. Evan told me you said no pallets for the community tool shed we are building. What if they are not visible from the outside? Or is there another issue with heat treated pallets?

    John hait book and Ohler dvds: I would like to re-read Hait's book and watch the dvds before I start construction on my house. Can I read and watch your copies, remaining at base camp?

    Materials sources. Bilboards, sawdust, ect: my understanding is the sawdust comes from the mill down the road and the Bilboards are free from a company in Missoula. I will be using a lot of both for my house, so I would like information on how to aquire these.

    Banned plants? Are there any specific plants you would not like to be planted on your land? I know knapweed and bind weed are out.

    Visitors: My dad and uncle may be coming out to help me build my house, and some other friends have offered to come help for a bit. Do they need to pay the gapper fee to you?
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
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    Is it alright to build a small Skidable structure for my own personal storage needs, about the size of the shit shack? It could be skidded off into the trees to remain hidden.



    Yes.


    Is a shake roof the only option besides earth?



    I am open to other suggestions. A small greenhouse or a small PV panel roof would be okay too.


    Pallets:



    Most pallets are treated with toxic gick. So they are not a good fit.


    John hait book and Ohler dvds: I would like to re-read Hait's book and watch the dvds before I start construction on my house. Can I read and watch your copies, remaining at base camp?



    I have some really painful history in this space. Just a few months ago I found a couple of my books getting water damage up at wofati 0.7. And yesterday I found one of jocelyn's books left outside.

    My big black book is my third copy due to loaning out the previous two.

    However, I suspect that ant love might be open to providing heaps of books. Even more: I am working really hard to make it so that people that do book reviews can get free books from the publishers.



    Materials sources. Bilboards, sawdust, ect: my understanding is the sawdust comes from the mill down the road and the Bilboards are free from a company in Missoula. I will be using a lot of both for my house, so I would like information on how to aquire these.



    The best source of sawdust is our own sawmill.

    Next is from a local mill. Apparently, sometimes when you go to the mill it is $8 per yard and sometimes it is $34 per yard.

    Tonight we might pick some up from Caleb. Maybe you will want to go with Brian for that one?

    As for the billboards, check with fred.


    Banned plants? Are there any specific plants you would not like to be planted on your land? I know knapweed and bind weed are out.



    Nothing else is coming to mind at the moment. Anything else you feel might be an edge case?


    Visitors: My dad and uncle may be coming out to help me build my house, and some other friends have offered to come help for a bit. Do they need to pay the gapper fee to you?



    At this time, they would be your guests. They don't need to pay a gapper fee. And I don't need to worry about infrastructure stuff or tours or airports or cleaning up after them.

    The gapper fee covers rides to and from the airport (we pay a $20 bounty each way), the tour ($20 bounty), helping folks get settled, talking to them via email and the phone about directions, particulars etc, and, most of all, cleaning up after them. We have had over 200 people here so far and we have spent over $20,000 on cleaning. So that is about $100 per gapper. I'm hopeful that when you bring your own peeps, they stay on your plot and, thus, dramatically reduce the amount that needs to be spent on cleaning up after them.




     
    paul wheaton
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    I thought I announced this already in this thread: ant #4 is official - Curtis Budka.

    And now ant #5 is official - Chris Allen.
     
    steward
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    This is PERFECT.

     
    pollinator
    Posts: 156
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    paul wheaton wrote:I thought I announced this already in this thread: ant #4 is official - Curtis Budka.

    And now ant #5 is official - Chris Allen.


    Awesome! Congratulations Josh, Curtis, and Chris. I can't wait to see posts from each of you about your plans, plots, projects, etc. I found threads for Josh and Curtis. Hope to hear from you too, Chris! Also, don't be shy to post to the Ant Love thread, if some tools or materials would be helpful. Those of us still lingering in cubicle land are cheering for you!

    (edited: didn't like my previous wording and wanted to clarify)
     
    steward
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    So now there are 5 ants and other guests up at ant village, its great news! I would like to throw in a suggestion. Since Ant village is going to be the 2015/2016 big cake up at Wheaton labs why not create a forum just for this. I sometimes miss out some news on ant village life, arrivals achievements, etc., and on the forum of Wheaton labs many other threads get started, so why not create a section with all the ant ecosystem, from this thread to the single stories, and the ant love thread?
    just a suggestion that could highlight better whats up in antville. than maybe all the ants could share a weekly general Ant-gazette with their common acchievements.
     
    Posts: 70
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    Good idea, here is my summary of how i see the current State of The Village:

    There are 4 Ants here, 4 people have ponied up Pauls fee and selected the acre they are going to transform.
    One of the Ants brought a partner along and they've been working on their acre together and knocking down bounty projects together.

    One Ant has a pickup truck, the rest have boots and bicycles.

    Evan by far has done more on his land than anyone else, he has a pig in a paddock and is building a second paddock to shift the porker into. Evan has a whole bunch of green stuff growing out of his hugels, which also have been fenced in (mostly) by his peckerwood fence.
    Evan is also the only Ant to have any resemblance of a shelter under construction with all his vertical poles sunk in the ground and a roof secured he is moving forward with what I think is the most important project, building shelter. Right now I've got a tent set up under some trees which works great during the summer.

    If another Ant were to move out to the lab they would have their choice of the remaining acre sites spread across The Village. Every acre has a bit of elevation change, mostly with the high point being at the main access road and sloping down back towards the dry creek bed that is on some acres and a little behind others.
    Like most of the land there are a whole bunch of conifers growing throughout the village, some of the acres are heavily wooded while some have a bit of a meadow between the roadway and the woods.

    Judging by the quantity of cow poo at some point there were cattle moved across the village, I think most of the Ant plots have a lot off droppings all over the place. Most of the meadowy land on my plot has several cow pies per square yard and lots of droppings throughout the wooded areas.

    Paul has acres of land that needs to be thinned of dead standing trees and trees growing too close shading each other out causing a lot of dead branches that pose a fire hazard. Good forestry practices call for the culling of hundreds of trees which can be used for various building projects.

    An Ant could accomplish a whole lot if they planned out their use of candy. I'm still figuring how I should go about optimally using the heavy equipment before I bring it onto my acre. An excavator, a tractor with a loader bucket and hitch to hook up to the dump trailer or a flat trailer, plus all the other goodies that Paul has already talked about could accomplish alot if used strategically.

    Bringing a chainsaw is a great idea, but not necessary as shown by Curtis who has started felling timber on his acre with an axe. Curtis might be the manliest guy here.

    It is certainly possible that someone could come here, claim an acre and have a house built before any of the current ants get their structures built.

    Someone who comes here and has the tools they'll need and the food they'll need will have the advantage of not needing to do bounty work to pay for stuff and would be able to focus on their Ant plot.

    There's great land to choose from and resources available to do a lot of cool stuff, and the best part is everyone here wants to see everyone else succeed at what they're doing!
     
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    Nice summary, Josh. Sounds like you guys really have the community thing going on there! Keep up the good work; no doubt there's plenty of it to do!
     
    paul wheaton
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    We have two more ants!

    The first is Bob, and the second is .... our first female ant! Dianne!

     
    master steward
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    Woot Woot! I'm sure the guys are awesome, and I love reading their threads; but I'm really, really happy there's a female ant to follow!
     
    Lab Ant
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    Thanks for the welcome. And thanks again to Paul for offering the opportunity, and Evan ant for giving the grand tour. You'll see the plans & progress as they are posted. Should be able to come out Monday to stake a claim on the preferred site and get the land mapped out and start looking at the best way to make use of the site. - Thanks again for the awesome welcome!
    <--I apologize if this link is dead.
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-HH0b6RDKBCYVllNkU2Q200cFU
     
    Lab Ant
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    Bob Here

    Thanks again for allowing us to be part of this awesome learning experience and hopefully long term natural living arrangement. I'll do a full Bio and share ideas for the Ant acre. I'm active in other forums between listening to Paul's soothing voice in the podcasts.

    Over the years, I've taken sustainable living & permaculture inspiration from many sources, this is one of my favs Dilbert's Ultimate House (DUH):
    Interesting But Probably Impractical Ideas

    • Drains in the floor so you just hose everything down

    Solar Closet: It's a small, well-insulated room with lots of thermal mass (water is best), and a large triple glazed south facing window of about 30sq ft. Hook it into your heating system, and you can do away with the furnace (There's a guy up in Calgary with one, and so long as he gets 15 hours of sunshine every 2 weeks over winter; he can keep his house at 70F all the time, with no furnace or other heating.)

    • Stirling engine to produce power: A Stirling engine needs only a heat differential to produce power. So one side could be attached to a solar closet, the other side connected to something underground that stays cooler. Unfortunately, you'd have to build your own Stirling engine and it would be pretty big.

    • Put in a Stonehenge feature, ie, some quirky thing where one day a year the sun hits a photocell and lights up a scale model of the Eiffel tower or something.

    • Definitely need one wall setup to be used as the junk drawer.

    • Appliances that are Internet enabled.

    • Drive-up window for the pizza delivery boy, FedEx, etc.

    • Easy access to smoke alarms.

    • Dilbert might be sick of the noise his neighbors make. He might record it and then play it back through loudspeakers directed at the source of the original racket, with a slight delay, amplified. It would be fun to see how long it would take them to recognize their own arguments, crying baby, yowling cat or squawking bird.

    • Foam insulate the entire foundation and use it as a heat sink. (I'm not sure that what means.)

    • Exercise equipment connected to generators, for selling energy back to the grid.

    • Bathroom: Zigzag the hot water pipe behind the mirror in the wall so that the mirror doesn't fog up.

    • Retractable Christmas/Holiday lights so your neighbors don't laugh at you in June when they see your lights are still on your house.

    • Use the central computer/electronics room to warm water pipes.

    • Totally stainless steel kitchen counters that all drain to a sink. When you're done cooking (making a mess) cleanup consists of hosing it down, and then pushing all the debris to the sink-disposal with a simple squeegy-like device. Cleanup of nearly any mess takes all of 15 seconds.

    • The gadget I would have would be Lutron's Radio RA outlets. From various controls, or from the car, or by phone (depend on how complex you want to get), you can turn on all, or some of the lights in the house. Check out Radio RA at www.lutron.com.

    • Motion-sensor cat toy.

    • A system to get materials from the kitchen to the outside compost heap without going outside.

    • Commercial ironing machine

    • Toddler dining area that's easy to hose down.

    • UPS backup system so he never has to reset his clocks.

    • It's crazy to warm your house to 70 degrees while cooling your refrigerator to the temperature outdoors, at least on cold days. Is there some way to bring the outside cooling to the rear of the fridge without making the house cold?

    link to the OLD DUH page: https://web.archive.org/web/20050204064338/http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/duh/impractical_ideas.html
     
    paul wheaton
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    I am now officially announcing ant #8: Jim!

    It sounds like we will see him in a couple days.

     
    Cassie Langstraat
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    I do believe this should be updated because there are more than 5.. But still, cool sign eh?

     
    paul wheaton
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    paul wheaton
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    Daniel fired up the fancy pants drone and got a lovely pic. I added some purple text to point stuff out.
    ant-village-october.jpg
    [Thumbnail for ant-village-october.jpg]
     
    Kerry Rodgers
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    That is *SO* awesome! Thanks Paul and Daniel!
     
    Posts: 75
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    Just took the roast for tonight's feast out of the oven!

    P.S. Don't worry vegans, you are not forgotten.
    IMG_20151028_142921730-2.jpg
    [Thumbnail for IMG_20151028_142921730-2.jpg]
    Leg o' Pork
     
    The glass is neither half full or half empty. It is too big. But this tiny ad is just right:
    5 Ways to Transform Your Garden into a Low Water Garden
    https://permies.com/t/97045/Reduce-garden-watering
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