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podcast 419 – PEP Program  RSS feed

Posts: 678
Location: Issaquah, WA
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Credit: Eric Tolbert

Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop discuss Paul's attempt to bring PEX/PEP (Permaculture Experience according to X, where in the current example it is P for Paul) to life.

Paul is constantly amazed at the lack of interest and progress on the Rocket Mass Heater front. Paul is baffled that the world is not beating down the RMH "door" to improve and document the technology and companies are not springing up to build shippable cores.

Paul is concerned that people will not experience buy-in to the PEP concept until it is documented with pictures, videos and thousands of certified PEP participants.

Paul goes through a list of reasons why a PEP certification would be helpful:
  • There are many, many older people who own land that are desperately looking for younger people to will the land to in order to maintain the homestead and farm momentum.
  • Many younger people are looking for an alternative to traditional university education that costs an enormous amount of money.
  • People who want to shift their land to industrious people who are not qualified based on the standards of the land owner
  • People are looking to exit the "Rat Race" and find a deeper experience and meaning, and skills certification and instruction could help.
  • People are looking for certified and qualified Land Managers, speakers and instructors and need a way to measure the experience and competence of those individuals.
  • The system will need the ability to scale and the ability to ability to qualify the level of expertise the individual has

  • The program would be based on the concept you Crawl before you walk, Walk before you Run and Run before you Fly. There could be an online component for the more basic skills and instructor based training for the more advanced skills.

    A program of small, simple things you can do yourself, for example making a simple mallet. Paul can create a list of framework skills, starting small and working through a progression of more complex projects to build skills.

    Paul envisions courses PEP1 through PEP4. Each course would have levels of badges (tasks and projects) associated with the level. The more complex levels would take longer and the tasks would be more complex.
  • PEP1 is going to be a short course, probably about 2 weeks and require 16 Sand Badges.
  • PEP2 a formal program, probably supervised or actually taught by an instructor, that would take a summer or possibly spread out over evenings and weekends over a longer period of time and would consist of 1 Wood Badge, 7 Straw Badges and 14 Sand Badges.
  • PEP3 would be a formal program and take about 9 months. For example, growing and harvesting a million calories, which would feed one person for a year. This level would require 7 Wood Badges and 15 Straw Badges.
  • PEP4 would take about two years, Grow and harvest 4 million calories, naturally build a house and fill it with handmade furniture, etc. PEP4 certification would consist of 3 Iron Badges, 12 Wood Badges and 7 Straw Badges.

  • There are four badge levels with 22 aspects to each badge. Sand Badge (about 5 hours each), Straw Badge (about 40 hours each), Wood Badge (180 hours each) and Iron Badge (6 months each). Higher badge levels will be certifying lower levels and it will take at least three Iron Level instructors to certify an Iron Badge (Paul will probably be the one to certify the initial Iron Badge instructors).

    The first PEP1 event will be held at Wheaton Labs from May 20th thru June 1st in 2019. There will be a maximum of 12 students. The fee for the event for people who have never been to the Labs is the $100 Gapper fee. If you have ever been to the labs or participated in an event you will be able to sign up for this event for free. Pod People are welcome and even preferred as the initial participants.

    Paul goes on to discuss Badge Bits (seven Badge Bits that make up a Badge) and walks through an example using the Roundwood Framing badge, breaking down samples of the bits (tasks) and what it would take to complete each in order to gain the Badge.

    Paul ends up with a shout-out to his Patreon supporters and Bill Crim who has been working diligently to get the  podcasts out in a timely fashion.

    Relevant Threads

    Building a Better World in Your Backyard (Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys): http://buildingabetterworldbook.com/
    Paul Patreon for Podcasts: https://www.patreon.com/paulwheaton/posts
    Paul Patreon for Video: https://www.patreon.com/pwvids/posts

    PEP Explanation: https://permies.com/t/96687/PEP-PEX
    PEP Forum: https://permies.com/f/178/

    PEP1 Certification Workshop: https://permies.com/wiki/98047/PEP-Certification-workshop-gathering-event
    Boot Camp starting Feb 2nd (two openings available): https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp

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    It sounds line fun.
    I would be interested to hear the logic behind the skills chosen. My first thought is “why on earth would a curmudgeon wanting someone to take over his farm care two straws about whether his successor can carve their own mallet?” Dropping trees safely, driving machinery, planting and successfully tending food crops, sure. Animal tending, water management, also obvious to me. But woodworking with hand tools? Making a houseful of furniture? Why are these things important to someone who wants to run a permaculture farm? And if these are important, why not other survivalist skills, like spinning and weaving? Maybe the answer is simply “these are the things that Paul thinks are cool” and I cannot argue with that - but if there is more reasoning behind it, I’d be interested to know it.
    The barrier I see to this becoming anything but another multi thousand dollar class to take (the remote for free part) is that even the earliest parts require quite a bit of land. I suspect most public parks would not welcome an enterprising pepper cutting down the trees and building a hugel mound...  maybe if you combined it with Woofing, but you’d have to have farms that actually  need and want those tasks done.
    Like I said though - it sounds like fun!
    See where your hand is? Not there. It's next to this tiny ad:
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