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Introducing "The Knights Who Say Free"

 
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The Knights Who Say Free is a noble fellowship whose sacred quest is to determine how and where to send free books.  

People who encourage the mission of these brave knights can entrust their tomes for distribution to worthy causes.  The Knights' hallowed mission may expand in the future but for now their duty is focused on the current kickstarter for the SKIP book and the Better World Book.

If you feel worthy to join the Knights at the table*, please pledge your loyalty in this thread.  

If you have ideas for locations where these books would do the most good, please recommend them here.  

If you have suggestions for how to distribute the books efficiently, please recommend them as well.

*table is virtual
 
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Kinda need this ....   placed right about ....    here

 
paul wheaton
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I think now is an excellent time to talk about where these books might go.   Extracting from this thread ...   Suppose there were 200 copies of BWB complete with the US postage paid ...    

My initial ideas for book distribution (but these only work in missoula, so maybe we need better ideas for greater national success):

  - Just because I think it works well and it is a fun way to see missoula, I would like to deliver a few to the little free library system.  But that will only put a small dent in the pile.  

  - Next, I would deliver two dozen books to Missoula Freecycles.

  - three dozen to the missoula "Home Resource" (used/reclaimed building materials)

  - maybe 100 books to my local organic market - for the employees

  - maybe find a CSA with 200 customers and give one to each customer


 
Mike Haasl
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Oooooh, I like the CSA one.  Bulk delivery and automated distribution plus a benefit to the CSA since they're giving extras to their customers.  Only downside is if the recipient isn't interested.  

I guess there's a difference between getting the books out to people that WE think should be interested vs setting it up so that people who are interested get one.  

And that probably varies significantly if it's the BWB or the SKIP book.  Different audience size and type...
 
paul wheaton
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I like the CSA idea too!  Most CSAs have about 50 to 500 customers.  And the fact that they are buying from a CSA shows a certain receptive mindset for this sort of thing.

Another idea could be in person PDCs.  

 
paul wheaton
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And, I should mention that the CSA idea came from Ashley:

 
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paul wheaton wrote:I think now is an excellent time to talk about where these books might go.   Extracting from this thread ...   Suppose there were 200 copies of BWB complete with the US postage paid ...    

My initial ideas for book distribution (but these only work in missoula, so maybe we need better ideas for greater national success):

  - Just because I think it works well and it is a fun way to see missoula, I would like to deliver a few to the little free library system.  But that will only put a small dent in the pile.  




A church here has started a free library system I would love to fill with permaculture books.  Honestly I am overwhelmed by the info at this website, I honestly don't know where to start and am getting whiplash trying to look at everything.  I want to buy some permaculture books and start a food forest but don't know which book to start with


 
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paul wheaton wrote:I think now is an excellent time to talk about where these books might go.   Extracting from this thread ...   Suppose there were 200 copies of BWB complete with the US postage paid ...    

My initial ideas for book distribution (but these only work in missoula, so maybe we need better ideas for greater national success):

  - Just because I think it works well and it is a fun way to see missoula, I would like to deliver a few to the little free library system.  But that will only put a small dent in the pile.  

  - Next, I would deliver two dozen books to Missoula Freecycles.

  - three dozen to the missoula "Home Resource" (used/reclaimed building materials)

  - maybe 100 books to my local organic market - for the employees

  - maybe find a CSA with 200 customers and give one to each customer




I can see doing something similar in my neck of the woods (greater Spokane area). I'd add to the list:

  - a handful to the local laundromats. Folks will thumb through and take it if they like what they're reading, or leave it for the next person if they don't.

  - a few dozen to permie-friendly vendors at farmers markets
 
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Paul, you could just go all Gideon and have a group of dedicated permaculture activists hand them out to college students after lectures.
 
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In action, the committee might resemble the Knights of the Round Table dance.


 
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If you have writeable-offable income, you could donate your excess books to the Little Free Library organization (and get a tax write-off), and they can distribute them to the Little Free Libraries where they think the topic will receive the most interest.  If you go this route, ask them if it's OK for you to put a "donor sticker" inside the book with the Permies.com web address, so people who are interested can be directed back to your website.  New Permies!!!

Here's the Little Free Library blurb:

Little Free Library
Nonprofit organization
littlefreelibrary.org
Little Free Library is a 501 nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges, usually in the form of a public bookcase. More than 90,000 public book exchanges are registered with the organization and branded as Little Free Libraries. Wikipedia
Tax ID no.: 45-4043708
Founded: 2009
Board Chair: Monnie McMahon
Headquarters: Hudson, WI
Revenue: 758,377 USD
Founders: Todd Bol, Rick Brooks
 
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Krella Krentoshi wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:I think now is an excellent time to talk about where these books might go.   Extracting from this thread ...   Suppose there were 200 copies of BWB complete with the US postage paid ...    

My initial ideas for book distribution (but these only work in missoula, so maybe we need better ideas for greater national success):

  - Just because I think it works well and it is a fun way to see missoula, I would like to deliver a few to the little free library system.  But that will only put a small dent in the pile.  




A church here has started a free library system I would love to fill with permaculture books.  Honestly I am overwhelmed by the info at this website, I honestly don't know where to start and am getting whiplash trying to look at everything.  I want to buy some permaculture books and start a food forest but don't know which book to start with




Krella - I think the church is a wonderful idea! Mainly, I was glad to see your comment about not knowing where to start and getting whiplash. There is SO much here and I am really trying to get a handle on it but I am having a hard time with the general layout just not being easy and intuitive to use, almost chaotic honestly. Maybe it's just my noob-ness here, lol - I'm sure it'll get easier with continued use but I was so glad to see your comment because I was thinking it's just me! We'll get it!
 
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You mean like.... Community Supported Literacy or Community Supported Learning?  
 
Mike Haasl
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Maybe more like Community Supported Book Distribution.  The aim would be to give these books to audiences where the concepts within would have the most impact.
 
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Not pledging any loyalty today, but might I enthusiastically add

"Ekki-ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-ZOOM-boing!"

I recommend the Knights consider the USO as an easy distribution strategy to reach young, active-duty US military folk around the world.  (This would be even easier and more distributed than my original idea of leveraging the DOD Transition Assistance Program or reaching prisoners --ideas posted over on this thread).

Why the USO?
As servicemembers travel around the US (or world) whether for training or going on deployment or for personal travel, sometimes they find themselves with a little down time in airports what with layovers or flight cancellations.  USO airport locations offer servicemembers a chance to catch some rest, as well as a cup of coffee or some snacks and sustenance.  

They also frequently have a counter of items for takeaway: reading materials, toiletries, snacks, that sort of setup.

To execute this idea, a Knight would first think of a geographical area they want to reach military members.  Perhaps there are many Otises -- or, is the plural of Otis, Oti? -- from a specific state or region?  
Next, a Knight could then use the USO location finder to find an airport center in that region:

https://www.uso.org/locations
https://www.uso.org/contact

Then after a phone call:
  1) Physical copies of books could likely be mailed to a specific USO volunteer's preferred address.  Or...
  2) A Knight could drop off the books in person.  Or...
  3) An even easier gig would be creating a PDF of one of those little tear-off sheets with a series of digital distribution coupons codes on the bottom.  And then have a USO volunteer print and post it.

*Cue the awkward ASCII drawing*

________
|   FREE    |
|   SKIP    |
|   BOOK   |
| (tear 1)   |
|    below) |
|||||||  |

 
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I'm on the board of a fledgling grocery co-op in Tacoma if that helps anyone lol
 
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The original seed of this idea was getting these books to high schoolers as part of the "SKIP College" idea.  Any ideas from people in the education system about who to approach in the high school or school district?
 
paul wheaton
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I would say "school counselors" m'kay?
 
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ebooks can also be donated/given away if there's some sort of voucher code system where a code is good for one download. Generate codes, print postcards with a bit about the book, add a unique download code, and distribute. Far cheaper and easier than donating physical copies.
Permies may already have a system like this for gifting virtual products, I imagine it does! But if not I have access to a system that allows me to generate 500 unique codes each month and handles direct downloads of the ebook. I  can gladly donate some of that capacity. The only catch is that the app I use would need to host a copy of the book for direct download - I'd need files formatted as mobi and pdf.
 
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Sounds like it would be most needed in low income areas.  Distribute them to libraries to give out in low income areas like Margareteville, New York whose Main Street is almost barren after floods destroyed the town.
 
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Eliot Mason wrote:The original seed of this idea was getting these books to high schoolers as part of the "SKIP College" idea.  Any ideas from people in the education system about who to approach in the high school or school district?


My whole family is in education.  Within the school itself the guidance counselor would be able to tell you, if you are dealing with the district the superintendent. I'm not sure how kindly they will take to the SKIP college idea.  Maybe a job fair intended for high schoolers would be another avenue to reach your desired audience.
 
George Yacus
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I just did a cold call (email only) to the MikeRoweWORKS Foundation to introduce them to SKIP.

According to their website:

We’re on a mission to help close the skills gap by challenging the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing the millions of available jobs and redefining the definitions of a good education and a good job.



Their scholarship participants would be great candidates.  If you were able to get in touch with Chuck or Jade, then you could send recipients books or codes for the books.



For that matter, if Mike Rowe himself ever did SKIP, even just for fun...just think about that for a moment.   That would be so fun to watch, and inspiring for many people to develop useful skills.
 
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Maybe also connect to GEN https://ecovillage.org/ although their members may be deep into permaculture already
 
                        
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Hi, I run a listings website called www.humanipro.org. It's for humanitarians to list their humanitarian projects. Some of them are going to need land to set up communities on etc. Is there a way we can link to an electronic version of your book please?
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi Sara, I don't think there's a way to do that.  This thread is for distributing physical books to where they might do the most good...
 
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For giving out to high schoolers, I would probably look for ones that have established agricultural department. School counselors are a good start, but they would likely hand the books off to ag. teachers to figure out who to give them to, if they did anything with them at all. Most counselors that I know aren't familiar with enough students to know who would be interested, since their plates are so full with graduation rates, college scholarships, etc. High schools that have plant sales, an FFA group, or who attend state fairs would have the intended audience, I think.
 
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In regards to the question; who to give all those free SKIPs books and/or ebooks to ?

my additional suggestion is as follows;

There are permaculture groups all over the world, and many of them have annual gatherings or annual online summits (eg; EUPC = European Permaculture Convergence https://www.eupc.community/ ).

In order for you to remain on the path of "World Domination", it might be a good idea to contact EUPC and some other similar organisations or annual gatherings, and donate to them a number of SKIPs books/ebooks, on the condition that they donot resell of course, but instead leave one or two for their own libraries and the remainder should be used as rewards or prizes/give-aways to randomly chosen participants of their programs or annual gatherings as such. The recipients having to be named and general info. sent back to you so that you know someone hasn't simply horded the books for any other purpose.

The above highlights that obviously a certain number could be sent out for all 'permaculture libraries' that may exist within any of the main national and regional permaculture organisations...  and then the remainder goes for individuals...

how many countries are there in the world ?   does every one of them have a permie organisation with a library of sorts ?
are there more larger or regional permie groups within those countries ?   who also have a library of sorts ?
it's starting to feel like "World Domination" to me
 
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Tony Grguric wrote:In regards to the question; who to give all those free SKIPs books and/or ebooks to ?

my additional suggestion is as follows;

There are permaculture groups all over the world, and many of them have annual gatherings or annual online summits (eg; EUPC = European Permaculture Convergence https://www.eupc.community/ ).




I came on here to say this!! I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, where the Deanery Project (http://thedeaneryproject.com/) is where I attended my Permaculture Design Certificate course, and they have excellent resources of which books are always being gathered.

I vote for these, but also places that engage in Natural Building such as Yestermorrow in Vermont (https://yestermorrow.org/),  Ontario Natural Building Coalition (http://www.naturalbuildingcoalition.ca/), and the Mud Girls collective in BC (https://www.mudgirls.ca/)

edited for quote clarity
 
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Hi Lyssa Steponaitis,

Yes I agree...

Starting from the country level, and/or regional levels, then moving towards more detailed permaculture and related organisations (such as natural building)...

such a worldwide connection would be outrageous

In general, I think that with so many organizations around the world, trying to form their own niches here and there, such an occasion is a good time to sort of double-back and re-connect, and take the initiative by saying;
"Hi there... What has everyone been up to in your area for the past number of years?... Look what we created recently... Please share it out with your people..."

Permaculture might not be mainstream... but it has definitely taken off over the past number of years...
unfortunately many still go through the never-ending frustration of not being able to escape into their preferred way of (permaculture-related) living.. so to use such an opportunity to connect the clans, would probably be quite something
even if some or many of them come back with muted or no response... instigating the connection will not be lost
 
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Nikki Roche wrote:For giving out to high schoolers, I would probably look for ones that have established agricultural department. School counselors are a good start, but they would likely hand the books off to ag. teachers to figure out who to give them to, if they did anything with them at all. Most counselors that I know aren't familiar with enough students to know who would be interested, since their plates are so full with graduation rates, college scholarships, etc. High schools that have plant sales, an FFA group, or who attend state fairs would have the intended audience, I think.



Just a couple years ago... oh sorry, I meant a couple decades ago (ugh!), my middle school had both a shop class and home economics class, where we did some wood/metal working and sewing/baking respectively. If there are any school districts which still offer such classes, that would be a great place for offering SKIP books to introduce a wider range of skills.

There are various bush craft schools out there teaching various "bug out"/survival skills. I wonder if any have an expanded list of "homesteader" skills? That could be an option for providing books as an even wider set of skills, and if there's the potential to become certified in a system that has land owners out there with property, that might encourage participants.
 
Nikki Roche
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Mark Brunnr wrote:

Just a couple years ago... oh sorry, I meant a couple decades ago (ugh!), my middle school had both a shop class and home economics class, where we did some wood/metal working and sewing/baking respectively. If there are any school districts which still offer such classes, that would be a great place for offering SKIP books to introduce a wider range of skills.

There are various bush craft schools out there teaching various "bug out"/survival skills. I wonder if any have an expanded list of "homesteader" skills? That could be an option for providing books as an even wider set of skills, and if there's the potential to become certified in a system that has land owners out there with property, that might encourage participants.



My local school district has a "career center" where high schoolers can go for vocational classes in things like welding, building construction, and culinary arts.

I forgot about the bush craft schools. I took a wild edibles workshop at one a few years ago, and that group was definitely like-minded people who would want to learn more about permaculture and skill-building.
 
paul wheaton
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Final count:  1173 books.

Time to figure out exactly where we are sending these books.

 
paul wheaton
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Mike and I are talking.  And I think one of the things we are agreening on is that we would like to come up with a list of 19 destinations.  That way, we send out exactly 19 boxes.  Each box would contain 50 to 64 books.  

 
paul wheaton
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George Yacus wrote:I just did a cold call (email only) to the MikeRoweWORKS Foundation to introduce them to SKIP.



Did you hear anything?
 
paul wheaton
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Eliot Mason wrote:The original seed of this idea was getting these books to high schoolers as part of the "SKIP College" idea.  Any ideas from people in the education system about who to approach in the high school or school district?



Eliot - this whole thing was your idea.  Now that time has passed, please tell me you have an awesome plan!
 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:...
  - Just because I think it works well and it is a fun way to see missoula, I would like to deliver a few to the little free library system.  But that will only put a small dent in the pile.  

  - Next, I would deliver two dozen books to Missoula Freecycles.

  - three dozen to the missoula "Home Resource" (used/reclaimed building materials)



I might do these ...
 
paul wheaton
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Mike and I are talking ...  

What about the idea of trying to arrange for speaking gigs within driving distance.   And then tell the audience about the knights, and explain that we have these books.   And if anybody feels they can pick one up and take it to "where it will do the most good" then we need them to take one!

Maybe over the next year or two, all the knight's books will end up somewhere powerful from this?
 
George Yacus
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paul wheaton wrote:

George Yacus wrote:I just did a cold call (email only) to the MikeRoweWORKS Foundation to introduce them to SKIP.



Did you hear anything?



Negative.  No reply from the Rowe foundation.  

***Break Break***

But in other Knightly news...today I got my own SKIP book in the mail!  Woohoo! And I also discovered a unique and creative opportunity lying in the military-veteran sector:

MISSION DAYBREAK.  
(https://www.missiondaybreak.net/)

MISSION DAYBREAK is a $20,000,000 "grand challenge" seeking a variety of innovative solutions to reduce veteran suicides.  Looking at some of the statistics suggests that more rural, western areas like WY, AK, MT, NM, and ID are sadly in the top five nationwide.  Perhaps in such rural areas, veterans would benefit most from a kind online community like permies.com and structured framework like SKIP?  More about MISSION DAYBREAK to follow...

From their website:

Hope serves as an anchor for people in crisis and those who want to help, and Mission Daybreak offers a chance to translate hope into action. By bringing fresh thinking, outside perspectives, and innovative concepts to suicide prevention, we can serve those who have served and provide meaningful support.

Suicide has no single cause, and no single strategy can end Veteran suicide. That’s why Mission Daybreak is fostering solutions across a broad spectrum of focus areas:

  • Utilizing digital footprint data from active and passive sources.
  • Creating improved access to and efficiency of Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) services through technological innovations.
  • Preventing firearm suicides and enhancing lethal means safety.
  • Reaching all Veterans in need with right-care, right-time, and right-place solutions.
  • Improving community resilience and connection.
  • Incorporating family and community into Veteran well-being.
  • Supporting the transition from military service to civilian life.
  • Addressing social determinants of health and wellbeing.
  • Reducing barriers to asking for help.
  • Other innovative solutions, focused on areas not specified above.

  • Join a community of innovators working on novel suicide prevention solutions: Submit a detailed concept by July 8, 2022.



    I haven't looked through their linked White House or Dept of Veteran's Affairs strategic documents regarding plans to reduce suicide rates, but in looking at those green highlighted focused areas above, my gut says that the PEP and SKIP framework could dovetail nicely here.  In other words...

    SKIP could provide dispersed veterans in Western rural regions a sense of hope, purpose, and community, while leveraging an established online community and framework which supports participants' mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

    It'd be a bit of work, but if you are interested in going this route, we could join or create a team in the "Solver Community", via a Google Form.  As far as successful goes:

    PHASE 1:
    30 finalists will each receive $250,000 and advance to the Phase 2 accelerator.
    An additional 10 teams will each receive a Promise Award of $100,000.
    PHASE 2:
    Two first-place winners will each receive $3 million.
    Three second-place winners will each receive $1 million.
    Five third-place winners will each receive $500,000.



    I have a bunch of ideas sprouting on the Veteran-SKIP connection, but that's all for now.

    ***Edit to add***
    I submitted the following to the Solver Community form:

    The free permaculture farming & homesteading curriculum sponsored at www.permies.com called "SKIP" offers an intriguing opportunity to connect industrious individuals with elderly land and property owners.  Two Veterans groups would especially benefit from this program:

    A) Younger veterans who may not be interested in obtaining a formal educational degree, but also are lacking strong traditional support networks -- family, friends, coworkers, and religious groups.

    and...

    B) Older, rural, isolated veterans who may have land or property, but have strained (or no) ties to family.

    A video description of the "Skills to Inherit Property" program is here:
    https://youtu.be/qnmUPAQYP8A

    The free program (offered via the website permies.com) could offer Veterans a unique framework to:
    -Develop hard skills,
    -Increase personal and community resilience, especially in regard to changing climates, energy costs, and inflation of food prices,
    -Obtain a sense of accomplishment through credentialing; conceptually similar to earning Boy Scout merit badges or PQSs,
    -Maintain a hopeful sense of purpose, including a merit-based opportunity to inherit a homestead.

    The website and specifically the SKIP program could help Veterans connect with:
    1) Nature,
    2) An especially kind and supportive regional and global internet community,
    3) Older individuals who are open to will them land or property,
    4) Fellow veterans.

    Execution:
    A fun book (already in print) describing the "Skills to Inherit Property" homesteading credentialing program could be distributed at TGPS transition assistance program classes, as well as made available at USOs, or VA hospitals in waiting areas.  Veterans who "aren't sure what to do with themselves" but want to avoid traditional defense industry transitions could be made aware of this program.

     
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    George Yacus wrote:
    I have a bunch of ideas sprouting on the Veteran-SKIP connection, but that's all for now.



    I love the idea of getting veterans involved in SKIP, especially to decrease suicides. We know so many active duty people and veterans who want to get into homesteading and farming. Being outside and working with your hands is so therapeutic.

    I often see stacks of free books on different subjects at various resource centers on post and military libraries but I don't know if there are official channels for getting those books into those places.

    I could see setting up a booth/table at one of the many resource fairs military bases have... Even simpler, we sometimes volunteer at family resource events. I know the people in charge would be happy to stick a stack of books out on one of the tables along with the other resources. The next event we will be going to will probably be a school supply fair in August. (This is in the Seattle/Tacoma area.)
     
    I was born with webbed fish toes. This tiny ad is my only friend:
    177 hours of video: the 2017 Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course
    https://permies.com/wiki/65386/hours-video-Permaculture-Design-Technology
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