Josiah Wallingford

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since Jan 08, 2012
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Josiah Wallingford grew up on organic farms that supported his mother's organic body care business.
He started training technical support representatives for Hewlett Packard when he was 16.
When he turned 19 he joined the united states army as a 19D (Cavalry Scout).
After the military, Josiah worked as a project manager installing video on demand systems in luxury hotels.
Josiah was recalled by the military after being out for three years to go to Afghanistan.
After his tour in Afghanistan Josiah became an intern of Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast.
During his internship, he started Brink of Freedom and PermaEthos as a partner with Jack Spriko, Nick Ferguson, Kevin Keegan and Charlie Mitchell.
In 2017 Josiah became the sole owner of PermaEthos and launched a community building site called ThriveThrough.
Whitefish, MT
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Recent posts by Josiah Wallingford

paul wheaton wrote:Smackdown in about 90 minutes.   Full access to my patreon peeps

Today's show will be about the permaculture movie "gracie's backyard."

Here are my notes I took in preparation for today's show:

00:00:46 - Hang wet gloves SIGN - reminds me of wheatons
00:01:25 - Dog chained up
00:01:33 - poultry meet birds in a chicken tractor
00:01:40 - camper in the background - do workers live in it?
00:01:42 - gas powered 4 wheeler
00:02:09 - Quick-cut greens harvester $559 -
00:03:10 - luckies girl in the world - smart parents
00:03:59 - 10 hector farm. wanted forestry, pasture land, good condition buildings, close to international transport
00:04:25 - enterprise of perennial crops and pasture to create super nutrient based foods that would sell locally.
00:04:42 - main enterprise is pasture raised broilers and pastured eggs - market garden are being upscaled
00:05:04 - All enterprises on the farm run together but can also be run as sole enterprises. Every enterprise can be scaled up to provide a full family income. - productive, profitable farm
00:06:01 - runs an educational facility and looking for people who are driven by a desire to be a benefit.
00:06:16 - using a broad fork - Bully Tools 92627 Broad Fork with Fiber Glass Handle by Bully Tools  Link:
00:06:46 - "im not looking for very skilled people because you have to undo a whole load of thinking". Richard is designing a market garden and at the same time his intern, Matthew , is posting a book on market gardening "The Market Gardener". Now richard makes the intern the market gardener manager on the farm.
00:08:19 - started a CSA "Community Supported Agriculture" where they sell boxes of food a year in advance to reduce risk of starting up. Sell everything within a 50 kilometer marketplace on purpose, not because they have to.
00:09:49 - 20 boxes on the truck for sale (are they meeting a quality check requirement?) - 2 stay on the farm - inventory check
00:10:00 - eggs are delivered with invoice - person dropping off the produce is maintaining a relationship (asking questions about what the customers are saying, confirming the amount of delivery for the next shipment, observing the pricing of other products in the store to see what they can add to try and sell at their marketplace)
00:11:00 - 2 people do deliveries. One is doing the navigation and talking with the store representative while the other is doing the driving, heavy lifting, and observing the stores other products
00:11:57 - setup a table in a centralized area of customers where they meet every wednesday from 4:30 - 5:30 to pick up their csa boxes (opportunity to meet customers - some come to the farm but most prefer to meet here)
00:13:04 - customers get to meet the farmer directly and talk with them
00:14:30 - health is important on the farm "if people get sick here, the system collapses"
00:15:04 - drying herbs on a large in-door drying rack built from what looks like a coat hanger box
00:16:45 - Gracie explains chicken sex and how sex works! while in the indoor brooder. Understands that the broilers "boilers" will be raised and then harvested / eaten
00:17:25 - fully raised broilers are loaded from their Joel Saltine style chicken tractor into transportation crates
00:17:45 - "we really enjoy the broiler operation because it is something a person get get their head around and operate in a matter of weeks." Very simple. 3,000 broilers this year, 5,000 next year. Slaughter is done on farm. This is a very profitable enterprise that provides the funds to start the other operations.
00:18:32 - snipping heads off in cone. I prefer to slice the throat and bleed them out
00:19:20 - seperating necks, keeping gizzards, livers as seperate product.
00:19:50 - seperating chickens by quality measures "grades" (cuts, feathers, size, brusing, coloring, touching other birds causes problems).
00:20:44 - not trying to maximize income from products, trying to create a nice balance that pays debts off in business plan and creates maximum functionality between the different systems. Egg layers don't provide much profit directly but indirectly they provide fertalizer for the other enterprises.
00:21:43 - atv pulls egg mobiles which are designed to what the atv can pull
00:22:31 - not enough grass to sustain future livestock alone, the checkins are put through small areas of pasture at a time on rotation with little impact on the grass and a lot of fertilizer. Mob grazing
00:22:54 - at night the layers all go into their egg mobile, that is when the doors are closed for two reasons. 1. prevent predators from accessing the chickens. 2. chickens are ready to be rotated to the next pasture in the morning without having to round them all up. Once the layers are in the new area they are released and the eggs are collected. Eggs are put into metal baskets with paper padding on the bottom.
00:23:04 - "Agnus" runs field surveys to understand what lands need the next rotation of grazing and to track changes over time. They are a demonstration site and need to demonstrate the changes. Grazing planning is designed to increase biomass and soil quality of the farm.
1st thing "Agnus" looks at is coverage. How much greens and fetch there is. When the last impact was and from what animals. Also observing what different plants are coming in to the area over time. Agnus had no idea about different species or how to identify them when she started. She cuts grass and weighs it when it is wet. Puts them into zip lock bags and labels which pasture they came from.
00:27:26 - stacking production "functions" on multiple layers. Forest gardening style. On the farm they deal with silvopasture, key-line systems "Yeomans plow" by creating patters of parallel lines on the landscape. Moved by a large tractor which looks to be hired (rented). Everything is always the same width apart.  This works great when moving animals through the different lines. Integration of tree crops into the farm is very important for nutrients, wind brake, biomass fuel, soil building and additional forage crops for sale.
00:29:21 - 59.6 degree latitude. about 30 species of trees to work with. they are planting/harvesting apple, pear, plum, cherry, raspberry, black current, white current, red current, gooseberry, house cap, hazel. experiments with breeding chestnuts and walnuts to find the ones that will fruit at their latitude as a personal project for Gracie to have.
00:31:00 - Mid July - gooseberry, black current, raspberries coming in. surprising how little space these crops take up. They are specifically planted in rows of mature height so that all of the tree/shrub systems get sunlight.
00:31:34 - 1.8 meter wide tree lanes - low yield estimate of 70-80,000 euros of crops in these tree lanes. 70,000 euro = 82,448.45 USD
00:32:23 - Most farmers tell their kids to go get a "real job" and avoid farming. If you have trashed your systems, what are you bequifing your children with. But if you can show your children the high quality of life you can have here because of the systems I have put in place. They will see the value and the amount of money that can be produced is better than working for someone else.
00:33:40 - "I don't think farmers mean to do harm, they are just doing what they have been told to do." - random intern
00:34:21 - in the chicken tractors, they are feeding with two feeding troughs per tractor to keep the competition down. Looks like there is about a 5:1 spacing for the chickens in their tractor.
00:34:40 - random intern says "I watched my friends campaign for things I was also passionate about. The problem is campaign based organizing still leaves the power in someone else's hands. It leaves people without sovernty. Still asking someone else to give something they should already have a right to do." "We are a lot stronger by making decisions by ourself than depending on a state to provide us with our needs."
00:36:18 - meetings and community.
00:37:08 - dairy cows and milking are introduced. Intern is being friendly to the cow, petting, scratching and feeding before milking. while milking another intern is scratching the cows head and keeping it comfortable.
Cows are in the same area as sheep. Looks to be about 12-15 sheep.
00:38:49 - using electric solar powered net fencing to setup grazing pastures and moving cattle between the two pastures.
00:39:22 - Richard says "Oak tree moves water through trunk at 1 meeter per minute to supply leaves with moisture for respiration. A single Rye grass at full photosynthesis moves water at 25 centimeters per second" which makes them very good at capturing solar and putting carbon into the soils from the atmosphere. We should be preserving this grass for grass fed livestock instead of cutting it and then feeding it to the livestock for maximum carbon capture.
00:41:10 - tree house build in spruce crop. tree house is rented out for more profit than harvesting the spruce trees can produce. The rentals go for more by allowing renters to work along side the interns and to eat food from the farm.
00:43:29 - intern explains that instead of bitching about problems, at ridgdale you get the opportunity to do something about it and be the change you are seeking
00:43:50 - richard says "The things the turn people on to regenerative agriculture are integrated animal systems, starting a market garden and the design process. What really makes the farm work boils down to the grunt of hard work."
00:44:24 - intern says what scares people is that there is so much different types of work and you cannot be in full control of what you are doing. But the key is letting go of wanting to control everything and instead learn and listen makes things fun.
00:45:14 - Intern - things look chaotic but at the end of the day it all gets done. Hard work is respected here.
00:47:00 - Government council says they do not know how to classify the land because it does not look like a farm. Veteranarian comes to do salmonella testing on the animals. Duct taped shoes walk around layer mobile  to collect samples.
00:50:04 - making hay old school hanging by hand style which allows you to make hay when its raining. This is nostalgic to locals and they appreciate seeing people do it like it used to be done in the area.
The mechanical disturbance would have removed all of the healthy leaves the hay has when doing it by hand. Hay is then transported by kabota atv and put into the hay barn by hand.
00:53:35 - duck is introduced. no water catchment off of the roof
00:54:06 - supper bell is rung while intern and Gracie are harvesting the dehydrated herbs. Supper is held in a large yurt (where the meeting was held). Everybody eats together. The mood is changed by what you eat so putting a lot of love into the food is important - says the cook.
Talking about growing mango and banana. Are they growing those?
Blueberry and raspberry is harvested in the woods by the cook and included in the food with crapes. Large mushrooms are also being harvested by the cook as well.
Cook says it is interesting that people are working for free but it does not work for the real world.
00:59:00 - Richard says we do get free labor but it would not meet my objectives to hire someone. I would rather train people and teach them. If they deliver and perform we put them in as farm managers. If they are successful at that, then we hire them.
The future of agriculture has a lot more people on the ground.
01:00:05 - Intern CSA manager - we all chose to be here and paid to to work for no pay. The experience that I am getting here I cannot get anywhere else. I cannot call someone up and say "Hey, I notices you are starting up a market garden, I have been driving trucks for the last five years, do you mind if I come and manage your CSA."
Another intern says there is nowhere else I can go and learn how to build my own farm. When I first got here I was disappointed for a week or two because it was not exactly how I dreamed it would be, I did not realize I have to take the initiative and do what needs to be done by myself.
Another intern says family asks me why I am doing this without pay, and I say I am getting paid in different ways and I am not paying for a school. I am getting the tools here to go and make a living at it on my own. People need to know that farming can make a living from it.
01:00:50 - looks like they are moving purchased grains to sealed 50 gallon plastic drums.
01:02:41 - Intern? says she tried many farm communities before and the community part was taking too much of the time and energy and they were not doing productive things. Richard has a clear plan and amazing abilities to put the plan into action. Richard runs a hierarchy system. No single piece can be removed without effecting the whole. Everything is a pattern to take care of the whole but nothing does not take care of itself first. Work, play, rest, and learning are all one big fun thing called life. I feel like a kid every day jumping from one project to the next.
Intern says - some days it can just feel like work, but it is work that is super simple and doable where we create food and beneficial effect you can see. Like flipping compost turns a market garden into delicious food.
I am doing this so that I can tell my grandchildren I was aware of this global system crash and I did something about it.
01:07:02 - closes with Gracie and Richard on a boat fishing. Richard says it is my idea of how a kid should grow up. That is the root foundation for the whole thing. When I was 15 I decided I wanted to live on the land because that is how a kid should be raised, on the land. It is natural in all of us but it gets damned out by social pressures, parents, and friends. Gracie can get into anything she wants with whatever focus she wants as long as it is beneficial. The more we include kids in an adult way with decision making the more they learn and mature. She is very capable of making productive decisions and following through.
Intern - she is a representative of the future on this farm. Making intelligent comments. Another intern - she really understands the connections between all of these things. I found it very valuable to be able to talk to her as if she was an adult.
If she is a representation of the future, than we are good to go.
1 week ago
This is a test of the digital download feature. 

This video is SD 640x360 and about 150 megs.   We are trying to keep the file size small, so people can have lots of videos on their phone on similar contraptions. 

This version is provided for people that are tech savvy and have limited internet stuff.  If you are not sure about what this is all about, then don't get the download version!  You want the HD streaming version HERE.

3 weeks ago

What You Get with PIE

  • Superpowers on your account
  • Discounts and special offers from vendors that want you to have PIE
  • Access to a private forum just for people with PIE
  • A collection of freebies just for people with PIE
  • Your account is highlighted with a piece of pie, showing that you are part of the inner circle
  • ability to give PIE to others
  • ability to buy certain items with PIE

Access to special discounts with our vendors

Here's some of the vendors offering discounts to our PIE members:

  • How to Make Your Own Emergency Home Battery Bank by Steven Harris (PIE Offer)
  • Best Tools and Supplies for Regenerative Agrarians by New Farm Supply (PIE Offer)
  • Comfrey Root Cuttings by Marsh Creek Farmstead (PIE Offer)
  • Quality Homestead Hand Tools by The Tool Merchants (PIE Offer)
  • Comfort Filling products by The Natural Filling Store (PIE Offer)
  • DIY Mattress, Pillow and Bed Frame Kits by Open Your Eyes Bedding (PIE Offer)
  • Solar Food Dehydrator Plans by Davin Hoyt (PIE Offer)
  • World Domination Gardening DVD Set by Paul Wheaton (PIE Offer)
  • Permaculture Voices PV1, PV2, and PV3 Bundle by Diego Footer (PIE Offer)
  • Complete Wild Edibles Package (1 HD video + 10 eBooks) by Sergei Boutenko (PIE Offer)

  • If you want to see your biz on this list, click here.

    Free Stuff for PIE holders:
  • Helen Atthowe 2 hour presentation
  • ECO Poser video by Chad Sentman
  • Sneak Peak at Paul Wheaton's New Book
  • 45 minute video of wheaton labs from Justin Rhodes
  • care and feeding of a rocket mass heater video

  • Here are features available only to PIE people:

  • view and post in the pie forum
      • get free stuff that is currently in the pie forum, stuff that is normally not free
      • get discounts from businesses that love PIE people (see the list above)
  • highlight one thread with a pie (does not cost pie)
  • give pie to a good post (costs pie, highlights the thread with pie, and the author gets pie)
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  • have 5 more bumper stickers
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  • private user notes
  • show thread starter in list of threads
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  • extra features you can control from your profile
      • turn off the wood background
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      • show the pie icon next to your display name
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      • hide your email/PM info
      • show time in customizable time zone rather than "2 hours ago"
      • ability to show, in a thread, how far you have viewed in the past

    How Pie Works

    PIE stands for Permaculture Inner Circle Elite - it's a special classification for members on this site that gives you access to great discounts from our vendors, as well as the private Pie forum, and a variety of handy little features in the forums too, just because we love you.

    The idea is that you can get pie in a variety of ways:
  • you buy pie here.
  • somebody gives you pie (usually for a really informative post)
  • you earn enough apples to get pie

  • Once you have received Pie, you can access all of those spiffy features and discounts. You'll get an email by default (unless you adjust your settings) when you get a piece of pie, and you can track you pies under 'Pie' at the very tippy top of your forum screen.

    This thread is a great place to ask about pie and make suggestions for pie for the future.

    What would the best page for you look like? I would like to build 4 or 5 variations based on what you think would make the best page.

    I will build those based on the feedback you provide.

    We have been working very hard on getting the conversion correct for this site but have fallen flat and I am hoping you can save the day.

    Of the 16 variations, I have created none are panning out. I can adjust what % of traffic goes to each variation. I will build the page you suggest and then bump up your page a great deal. The others have already had their chance.
    The A/B testing sites are complete. There are 16 variations to Refreshing the page will show you different versions.
    If anybody has ideas, please post them.
    We do YouTube live. We stopped using Facebook live, at least for now.

    if you subscribe to the PermaEthos YouTube channel, I imagine YouTube will send you a notification or something every time we go live (depending on your notification settings with YouTube and our channel).
    1 month ago

    Diego Footer has agreed to give a special discount for ALL THREE Permaculture Voices conferences. PV1, PV2, and PV3 all in one bundle at a huge discount.

    Permaculture Voices 1
    Permaculture Voices 2
    Permaculture Voices 3

    Special discount on all three can be found in the PIE Only forums here.
    This program is for:
    • folks that wish to build hands on knowledge and experience
    • folks that have experience with other rural programs and like this style better
    • folks that long for community living
    • folks that are done with the rat race and wish to live here forever
    • folks that have a dream of homesteading someday, but they would like to get a feel of whether it is really for them.
    • folks that have a powerful need to hang out and do permaculture/homesteading stuff with like minded folks for a while.
    • folks that are bonkers about permaculture and want to build good things rather than be angry at bad guys.
    • folks that know about what all we are trying to do here, and wish to throw their shoulder in to see it happen.

    May 2018:  there are currently openings.

    Experiences include:

           - growing food, organic and better

                    * using techniques that replace irrigation with permaculture

                          - hugelkultur
                          - mulching
                          - polyculture
                          - lots of taprooted species started from seed (instead of transplanting)
                          - building rich soil
                          - raising humidity for more morning dew
                          - terraces, berms, TEFA
                          - paddock shift systems
                          - diversity and edge
                          - strategic shade
                          - food forests and perennial systems

           - natural building

                    * roundwood timber framing
                    * wofati
                    * cob, straw bale, slip straw
                    * junkpole fence
                    * willow feeder
                    * natural plasters
                    * earthen floors
                    * green woodworking
                    * conventional carpentry

           - alternative energy

                    * rocket mass heaters (we currently have 12 operating rocket mass heaters)
                    * solar - PV, experience using 12v vs. inverter systems
                    * solar - food dehydrator
                    * haybox cooker
                    * rocket stoves, rocket cooktops, rocket griddles, rocket ovens, rocket kiln and slow cooker

           - food preservation

                    * solar drying
                    * fermenting
                    * canning

           - earthworks, ponds, water management

           - more.  much, much more.

    permaculture interns internship wwoof

    Five days a week would be:

         7:00am - Everybody starts making breakfast.
         7:50am - Everybody has eaten and cleaned up.
         8:00am - On the job
         Noon - Everybody makes lunch.
         12:50pm - Everybody has eaten and cleaned up.
         1:00pm - On the job
         5:00pm - Everybody starts making dinner.
         7:00pm - Everybody has eaten and cleaned up.

    That's 40 hours per week working on projects.  Most of this work is something interesting to people interested in Permaculture.  Some of this work is simply chores that need to be done.

    permaculture apprentice interns

    Come for a few days or a week

    This is just for dipping your toes in and getting a feel for it. You might love it, or you might hate it. If you’re not sure whether a longer commitment is for you, this is the best place to start. Experience natural building, gardening, wildcrafting, green woodworking, rocket mass heaters, hugelkultur, earthworks and more. See how you feel about the seriously hard work involved.

    Come for weeks, months or years

    Build your skills to the point that you can build your own shelter and create your own permaculture paradise.   After a month or two, we will set you up with your own acre to play with.  After two years in the bootcamp, we will give you "deep roots" - a lifetime of rent on an acre. 

    permaculture internship

    a little jingle in your pocket

    After a few weeks (once fred thinks you can do stuff on your own), we can arrange some bounties for coin.   Maybe something that would bring in about $100 to $200 per month.  This would be above and beyond the regular bootcamp hours. 

    Some things to keep in mind

    Food staples will be provided, although it is hoped that boots will eventually provide food for themselves and future boots by setting up garden systems.

    Either party can end this relationship at any time.

    The 40 hours per week is called "project labor".   All boots are expected to chip in to the cooking for the boots and cleaning up after the boots.  Plus four to eight hours per week of "nest labor" that would include shoveling snow, deep cleaning, maintenance, garden harvesting ...  things of short term benefit to the boots.  (planting a garden to feed people months into the future falls into "project labor", harvesting from a garden to feed yourself and other boots in the next few days falls into "nest labor")

    Limit of six boots at any time.

    permaculture intern wwoof

    An interview with people that had been in the bootcamp program, about the bootcamp program

    audio only

    Bits and bobs that might be of interest to new boots:

    A summary of all things Wheaton Labs
    ant village
    deep roots
    the Wheaton Labs forum
    177 hours of video of the 2017 PDC and ATC
    The 2018 Homesteaders Permaculture Design Course
    The 2018 Peasant PDC
    The 2018 Appropriate Technology Course

    wwoof intern

    How to become a Boot

    To get in, you must pay the non-refundable fee of $100.   (reminder, this is a drug and tobacco free campus)

    This paypal thing takes plastic and a bunch of other stuff:

    How many people are coming to wheaton labs?
    Buy Now

    If you are into bitcoin: 177pNU2a9iCpUXQwXX9EbtA2UwZpgeqcMT

    Once we receive payment, we will contact you to start sorting out the particulars.

    First come, first served. Once the permaculture bootcamp program is full, we will start a waiting list.  In other words, if you send money when the bootcamp is full, we will continue to fondle your money until there is an opening for you.  We will try to keep this thread updated on whether there are currently openings.


    7:00 in the morning is a little too early.  Can we start a little later?

    Yes, you can start at 7:50am, but you won't get any breakfast.

    I'm just really not a morning person.   I would prefer that we start at a time more like 10 or 11.  Surely we can do that and it can all be worked out. ??

    I think you would like ant village better.   You rent a plot and live your life according to whatever schedule you prefer. 

    Or maybe you would like our Sepper program - rent a structure here and join in on bootcamp activities whenever you feel like it. 

    I guess the bootcamp is for people that are cool with being a morning person or are feeling like they would like to have more structure in their lives.  A lot of homesteaders and farmers work 12 to 16 hours a day starting at 5am.  And they work seven days a week.   So this is already a lot easier than that.

    I enjoy weed once in a while, how can I enjoy my weed and still be respectful to your weed-free campus thing?

    I suspect a few people have done that.   They go on road trips to washington state for a weekend.  That way they aren't bringing any here.

    farm intern

    Can I bring my kids?

    We have had people with kids here and it has worked great.  And we have had people with kids here and it was a mess.  So I guess it thoroughly depends on you and your kids.

    The first element to figure out:  With one person, there is 1 unit of work and 1 unit of resources consumed.   With a couple with three kids, there is one unit of work and 5 units of resources consumed.   We did have a lovely family of five here last year, and it worked great.  The deal they worked out was that they would provide all of the food for all five people.  The parents took really good care of the kids and the kids were super respectful.   It worked great. 

    And we have had people that thought my house was "unsupervised child storage" and the children would destroy my house and the parents would say "yeah, kids do that - you should child proof your house."

    (Brooks was great - here he is acting as a biological sawdust control unit)

    Can I pay the $100 now and hold a spot for the future?

    Sort of.  If you are ready to come out and there are openings, then yes - that all worked out great.   But if you say "I'm ready to come out next week" and we are full, then we will say "we will let you know when a spot opens up."

    If I come out and decide it is too hard, can I leave?

    Yup.  No problem.

    Can I get a ride from the airport (or bus station)?

    Yup.  At this time, a one way ride during normal hours is $15 and during crazy hours is $35.

    And if you are giving somebody a ride, wheaton labs subsidizes the rides for $20 each way.   So if you give somebody a ride, you end up with $35 for normal hours and $55 during weird hours.

    When i am there, can I use a vehicle sometimes?

    Yes.  Sorta.  Sometimes recycling needs to go to town or other errands in town need to be done.   If you have a valid drivers license and won't crash my stuff, then the trade is that you run the errands and you get free use of a rig.  Just fill it up in town.    And if there are no errands to be run - stuff can often times be figured out (some other sort of exchange, or somebody else with a rig can give you a ride, etc.)   In the end, it seems that we haven't had a shortage in this department in the past.

    If I'm there working as a boot, can I hang out for the workshops?

    Sorta.   Usually, you'll be working during the workshops.   (Unless you did a bootcamp trade for a workshop - in which case you are a student and not a boot during the workshop)  As you work during the workshop, a lot of the work that needs to be done involves the workshop.   So you kinda get to be hip deep in the event as it happens.  

    I heard that you are a monstrous douchebag asshole, so why on earth would I want to subject myself to that?

    First, I need to point out my writings on "Wheaton's Law of Reflective Douchebaggery." (and something similar: "Don't be a Dick; Be a Dick")  Which is a euphamistic way of saying "I am glad to be labeled as awful by such awful people."  I seem to have caught the attention of a few million people.  Many people contact me and tell me how I have to live my life.   I say "no thank you."  They then proceed to tell me "obey or else"  and it turns out that "or else" is that they will call me names. 

    So now you have a cheap and sleazy squabble.  My word against the word of thousands of others.  Surely, if we were to make decisions as if this were a democracy, then the crowds win.  In fact, the number of people telling me how to live my life "or else" is so massive, that I created this thread several years ago.  Another. Here's "Paul Wheaton is Impossible to Work With."  If you want, I bet I can find a dozen more threads like those.

    The important thing is that every wicked thing said about me is utterly true - from a certain set of standards.  And these expressions make it clear that my standards are different from those standards.  Hence the ... uh ...  frustration? 

    So I do as much as I can to share my values.   That way, dumbfucks people with values different from mine, will choose to not come here.  And the very few people with values similar to mine think I am fucking awesome and they very much like the idea of coming here. 

    I think the best way to get an idea of what I'm like is with my podcasts.   But a lot of people have told me that this video of me giving a keynote presentation is pretty helpful:

    If the people that are telling you that I'm a douchebag appear to have lovely values, then definitely don't come here.   If their values seem questionable, then I suggest you do your research about me before coming out. 

    Do you live under a ten foot thick block of ice through the winter?

    This last winter, the ground was bare quite a lot.  Snow would fall and then melt off.  I'm not sure if we even had one day where the temperature got below zero. More details here.

    Can you tell me more about the food?

    We provide staples like oats, flour, beans and rice, peanut butter, bread, eggs, coconut oil, fruits and vegetables ...  all organic or better.  So vegans are well covered.  Vegetarians are probably pretty happy.  Folks keen on meat will either need to bring their own or read the section "a little jingle in your pocket".  No problems with cooking meat here, but we generally aren't providing it for the boots.  Although we do get a lot of awesome company coming through and they will often bring meaty-bits.   More on food in the bootcamp here.

    permaculture intern projects

    I am looking at the "boot to ant" program.  After four months do I have to keep working in the bootcamp program?

    Nope.  In fact, I suspect that you will then spend all of your time working on your own plot.  Maybe you will want to continue with the bootcamp program in winter to cover your rent for a future year.  Or maybe, some day, get deep roots.

    Are there animal systems there now?

    We have had residents with their own animals in the past.  Cattle, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, etc.   I choose to not raise animals myself until the animals can get 90% of their food from what we grow and we have a paddock shift system in place.   Otherwise, the deer and wild turkey obliterate all that we try to grow.  

    As I write this, there are bees at the bee hut and there are some paddocks created and some under construction.  This could be the year when have permanent animal systems started for all the boots that are passing through.

    Can I call you and talk to you for a few hours about my mom's cat, Miss Stephanie?


    How about if I call you and talk to you about being a boot and I don't mention the cat?

    We used to do this sort of thing and we still ended up hearing about way too many cats.  "And as long as I got you on the phone ..."   So what we do now is:

    A:  ask you to please post your questions to this thread.

    B:  once you have paid the gapper fee, then we know you are serious.  If you really need to have a phone chat, you will be able to talk to Fred.

    C:  once in a long, long while, a person needs to ask a question via email instead of a forum for a very good reason.   In that case, I ask that you can contact fred.

    Is this a permaculture internship program?

    A permaculture internship would require an affiliation with a university.  Probably with the university ag school.  And nearly every ag school is on the leash of a chem-ag company.  And we don't want any part of that.  So we are proud so say that this is definitely NOT an internship.   Outside of that, I suppose there might be some similarities between this program and an internship program. 

    Is this a permaculture apprentice program?

    An apprentice program is going to guide somebody toward a trade where they will eventually make a greater income because of years of experience.  While it might be possible that some boots would think of it that way and, therefore, think of this as something that smells like "a permaculture apprentice program", the end goal is more like what is described in the article are there millions of permaculture millionaires where the hero, Gert, has a small home with a large garden and fully realized the permaculture dream.  Not of working 40 hours a week in a trade, but in having a fully symbiotic relationship with nature.  That said, within the natural building world, there are apprentices and the bootcamp does include a huge amount of natural building.  But our mission is to guide people to building their own stuff, rather than turning it into a job. 

    How does this compare to the WWOOF program?

    Nearly all WWOOF stuff is seasonal.  During the warm months.  So when the fall rolls around, it is time to move on.  While people can be part of the bootcamp seasonally, we hope it will eventually fill up with people that are seeking a very long term experience - ending with an acre of land here and living here for decades. 

    Most WWOOF sites are not as intent as we are with natural building.

    Most WWOOF sites are not as intent as we are about permaculture gardening techniques like hugelkultur and polyculture. 

    A lot of WWOOF programs are about pulling weeds.  We have a lot more natural building and developing a relationship with "weeds".

    So I guess the bootcamp program would appeal to folks looking at wwoofing.  I like to think that what we are offering is far better than any of the wwoof offerings in many ways.  Richer experiences, the potential to stay very long term.   Some boots get a full ride to PDCs and other workshops.  Some boots get an acre of their own to play with. 

    Why don't you just pay people to do this work?

    We have run the math a few dozen times.  Every time we see that it would be cheaper for us to simply pay a pro to do this stuff.  But our greater missions include:

         - infect more brains with permaculture stuff

         - build community

    And the biggest mission of this property:   grow the future leaders of permaculture.   To do that, we need to find people that have not yet bonded to a piece of land, teach them permaculture, hope that they stick around for decades, eventually teach and expand what permaculture means.  It all starts with people that are interested in building permaculture experiences.

    If you have any more questions, please ask in this thread.
    1 month ago
    Paul Wheaton is offering his World Domination Gardening dvd set in Instant View at a large discount for PIE Only peeps.