Shawn Klassen-Koop

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since Dec 16, 2014
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Shawn spent the most formative years of his life working at a summer camp where he quickly gained a passion for nature and for building a better world. Struggling to see how his future career in computer engineering was going to solve these big problems, he decided to leave it behind and dedicate himself to finding practical solutions that people can implement in their backyards. Shawn looks forward to starting his own homestead in southern Manitoba in the next few years, where he plans to implement many of the techniques laid out in his upcoming book and come up with a few more solutions along the way.
Manitoba, Canada
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Recent posts by Shawn Klassen-Koop

This thread is for brainstorming ideas for the commerce badges.

The key to this aspect of PEP is gaining the skills necessary to be able to do business.

Some pieces might be setting up residual income streams, bringing in income from the greater community, or bringing in income from the global community.

The things in this badge need to be practical. There needs to be something to show for it. With commerce that might be easier than with other badges, but maybe not always.

What are some tangible tasks that people can do to start on this path?

I think a very basic one to start with on the residual income stream route is writing a couple of blog posts somewhere. Maybe with a link to an affiliate product.

This can go 1000 different ways, but I would like to hear what you think some key tasks might be.
1 day ago
This thread is for brainstorming the foraging badges for PEP.

In general, the foraging aspect contains fishing, hunting, wildcrafting, and maybe some guerilla gardening. I think that we want to set it up in a way that vegans can do it. So maybe it'll be one of those things where it says "pick two items from this list."

What are some things that we can include in these badges?

Keep in mind that the key is that the tasks need to be provable. So it's not "read a book about wild edibles." But it might be "harvest 5 pounds of morels and post pictures."
1 day ago
This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Natural Building.

Adobe bricks are very useful objects. Adobes are essentially cob building blocks, where a large portion of the drying time (which can be significant) is done, before the building process is begun. They can be used to build a large list of items very quickly, including RMH, built in furniture, ovens and even whole houses.

To make adobe bricks you need an adobe form. Typically made of wood; they are a frame, open at the top and bottom for forming cob into adobes. A good size is 12 inches by 6 inches by 3 inches.
Find a flat piece of ground with no growing things on it large enough to hold a number of bricks. (in this case, 12) Rake the area of all organic matter, rocks branches etc.
Wet the adobe form by dipping it in water, place it on the ground and toss in a wet-ish cob mix (literally tossing in handfuls, throwing it down hard will eliminate air pockets). Level the mix off to the top of the form, then pull the form away, leaving the wet brick behind.
Wet the form between bricks
When dry enough to move without deforming, flip brick on the narrow edge to finish drying through.

To get certified for this BB, do the following:  
- Make 12
- Show images of your mix and tools
- action shot
- Show image of drying bricks, on edge
1 day ago

This badge is about building big things.    Build experiences with several styles of natural building that work in a cold climate, with the grand finale being a wofati.

sand badge
(“lloyd list”) do 3 of the following:
   - create 12 adobe bricks 12x6x3
   - make a natural paint and paint a 4x8 area
   - use low grade cob to fill between logs in a wofati - 20 feet
   - create a rock foundation under a skiddable structure to level the structure
   - add 25 square feet of roof (cedar shakes or similar style of wood roof) to a skiddable structure

straw badge
complete all the BBs in the “lloyd list”

Find and assess clay sub-soil for making cob/adobe bricks, try different mixes, keep notes, test them to destruction (smash with hammer, toss in fire, etc), choose best mixes.
   - Try at least 2 different kinds of clay subsoil
   - Try at least 2 different kinds of sand
   - Document at least 12 different individual experiments (adobe bricks). Show your notes.
   - Document your process, how much sand of what type, how much soil of what type?
   - Show shake test results, show mix results. Explain your thinking for the selection process.
   - Make 50 adobe bricks from your best candidate mix.
   - Make 6 minute video detailing your process and showing your final product.

build a tiny shed on skids
   - 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep
   - hold one garbage can
   - hold one sand barrel (for winter traction)
   - hold one recycling can
   - maybe a shovel or two
   - maybe offer power and/or water
   - has a bench built in to the back side so people can sit under the roof

Build a cob sink
   - Plaster with earthen plaster
   - Include drain pipe and plumbing/faucet
   - Oil with drying oil (linseed, tung, hemp, etc) and burnish till glossy
   - When dried, it must hold water overnight without becoming soft or muddy
   - Provide images of your process, stages of the build
   - Provide video of inspecting the sink after holding water for a minimum of 12 hours. Show edge details, show that water has NOT seeped under or into the sink body.

(Donkey’s list) complete 2
   - tree stand
       - 15 feet up minimum
       - 1 foot by 2 feet seat
       - Ladder going up
   - Build a solar finder, locate true solar south and leave a permanent marker
       - Photograph the site before building your solar finder
       - Photograph your finder on the site and prepared to mark
       - Photograph your morning marks and your afternoon mark, as you make them
       - Photograph the resulting marks that indicate Solar South
       - Repeat this process 3 separate times on the same site and finder.
       - Correct for errors and permanently mark the site for true Solar South (pictures!)
       - permanent marker can be dry stack or something else weather resistant
   - Hang a door using handmade wooden hinges
       - includes making the wood hinges
       - if you think of making this like a metal hinge, the job becomes three times bigger
   - Build garden gate from found or harvested objects (take a look at woodland care)
       - Must not sag
       - Can be round or square wood
       - Can use metal parts or be entirely metal
       - Must be large enough to push a wheelbarrow through, without barking knuckles.
       - Must be deer and dog proof
       - Hang it! (can be on garden fence or wall)
   - Earth plaster a wall, with varying patterns and color
       - Minimum of 7 feet tall
       - Minimum of 10 feet long
       - Must use at least 2 different colors
       - Must make your own plasters/paints
       - Must have a pattern, stamped or sculpted into the wall
   - dirt and linseed oil floor
        - at least 100 square feet
   - Fill Slip/straw (slip/fill) wall
       - Must be minimum 7 feet tall
       - Must be minimum 8 feet long
       - Must be Minimum 8 inches thick
   - Build short, dry stack rock foundation
       - 18 inches above grade
       - 18 inches below grade
       - 18 inches wide
       - 6 feet long
   - Build adobe brick and cob bench
       - Must be comfortable sitting height or include foot rest
       - Must have backrest
       - 2 butts wide minimum
       - Roof not required, but helpful (makes for a larger project)
       - Plasters not required, though nice sitting surface is.
   - Clay paint a room or rooms
       - Minimum 80 linear feet of wall (equivalent to 20X20 room, all walls)
       - Make the paint
       - May require adhesion coat on surfaces like wood

wood badge
Finish the Donkey list
Build operating window, including frame from scratch
   - Must open/close
   - Build all pieces from wood, cut and fit
   - Install glazing (glass, single or double is good; waxed paper or oiled animal skin is good too.)
   - Window sill must shed water aggressively
straw bale wall in a wofati
   - at least 10 feet long
   - at least 8 feet tall
   - 3 layers of plaster, both sides
   - wall is “mouse tight”
   - includes at least one door or one window
home made wood ash cement
   - build one of the following:
       - 5 gallon plant pot
       - 5 gallon water trough
       - combination bird bath and insect watering station
       - 3 flow form water aerators
Build freezer wofati
   - at least 100 square feet of freezer space
   - at least 100 square feet of root cellar space
   - wall with door between freezer space and root cellar space - slip straw
   - exterior uphill wall with door - slip straw
complete one of:
   - Cob floor
       - at least 100 square feet
       - Show images of the build phases; underlayment, drain layer, insulation (if any), road base and top-coat.
       - When the top coat is dry, oil the floor using a drying oil (linseed, tung, hemp seed, etc.) until the floor is full and ready to rest.
   - wattle and daub wall for a berm shed
       - at least 8 feet wide
       - at least 7 feet tall
       - can include a door and a window
       - Finish Plaster (both sides)
   - Lime plaster a wall or set of walls
       - At least 16 feet long (total)
       - At least 7 feet tall
       - Must have door and window (doors and windows increase difficulty)
       - All 3 major coats (Scratch,brown,finish)
   - tree house
       - Must have sleeping space
       - Must have space to store gear
       - Must average 10 feet off the ground or above
       - Must be a minimum of 70 square feet
       - must have a head clearance inside of 7 feet
       - Does not have to be insulated
       - Must be mouse-tight
   - Build a cob bench with a roundpole construction roof.
       - Think about the intent of this bench. When will it be in use and why? Is it a place to read in the shade on a hot afternoon or is it a perfect location to view sunsets? Should it be cool and shady or warm in the evening?
       - Orient the build to the sun. Whether the intent is to provide shade or capture heat, arrange the pieces so it will accomplish this passively.
       - Provide notes with images of the bare site, why you chose it and what you hope to do there.
       - Show images of each stage of the building process: foundation, cob work, roofing.
       - How will this roof shed weather to protect the cob? Will it have a snow load, how will you deal with that? Show images of overhangs or gutter/downspout details.
       - Show images of ground works and site drainage. Is the bench susceptible to surface water problems? How will you deal with this?
       - Create a plan for maintenance.
   - Build adobe doghouse (or faerie house) with Nubian vault roof
       - Waterproof top, using earthen plaster (no plastic)
       - Linseed or lime mixes acceptable for roof
       - Provide proper downspouts
       - Drystack stone foundation
   - Cob sun trap
       - Wall minimum length, 15 linear feet
       - Minimum height, 6 feet tall
       - Proportion of 1 thick to 6 tall
       - Include gravel drainage trench below foundation with drain to daylight
       - Include rock foundation at least 18 inches tall
       - Include arched passthrough, hang a door or gate
       - Include sculpted niches for flowerpots and/or tools
       - Include roofing to protect wall
       - Include sitting area and room for plantings/trees
       - Black plaster and weatherproof
   - a piece of an outdoor classroom with a rumford fireplace
       - cob bench with roof over the bench
       - 15 linear feet
       - Rumford must include chimney
       - Rumford must heat persons, seated on the cob bench.
       - Firewood storage, minimum of 4 feet cubed,  under cover.

iron badge

build a wofati and live in it for a winter
   - sleeping space (twin size or larger)
   - rocket wood cook stove (rocket badge)
   - rocket oven (rocket badge)
   - a sink-like place to wash dishes
   - place to store food and related kitchen gear
   - area on top of wofati is fully planted
   - place to sit and eat for four people (from woodworking badges)
   - willow feeder can be a separate structure (willow feeder badge)
   - minimum of 200 square feet interior
   - cob floor
   - one magnificent thing
       o round door
           - well insulated (so, at least 8 inches thick)
           - at least 6 feet in diameter
           - hinge point is outside of the door
           - latch mechanism is in direct center of door
       o taller structure with a magnificent loft space
       o working with art and/or oddly shaped round wood
           - the amount of work is clearly as much (or more) than making a magnificent round door
           - “art” is difficult to measure.  good chance that the evaluator might say “more”
       o 600 square feet
       o double deck
       o 10 foot eave instead of 5 foot eave
       o indoor bathroom
           - shower
           - willow feeder
           - sink
   - must be a door and window on the uphill side, and another door and window on the downhill side
   - mouse tight (mice cannot get in)
   - doors have wood hinges
   - uphill and downhill walls are super insulated
       o straw bale
       o slip straw
       o double wall
       o possibly with one or more bee hives
   - structure must be 100% complete by october 15.   “live in it for a winter” means october 15 to march 20 with being gone for no more than 7 days.  (online daily selfie photo journal including inside and outside temp?)
1 day ago

sand badge

cast iron skillet (select one)
   - fry an egg so that is slides around
       - a ten second long video showing the egg sliding around the pan
       - pics (or video) of the pan cleanup
   - vegan option (do both)
       - a stack of ten pancakes
       - hash browns that fully cover the skillet
           - one, large, round intact glob of hashbrowns
               - a bit like you are making a giant potato chip from a much of grated potatoes
               - pic of the browned side up
           - pics (or video) of the pan cleanup
cook oats
cook overnight oats, overnight in a crockpot
cook overnight oats in the haybox cooker
   - heat them up in on a rocket stove
cook stir fry
make soup / stew / chowder
cook rice in four different ways
   - you can replace rice with something else, but you have to cook that same thing in these four different ways:
       - stovetop
       - rice cooker or instapot
       - solar oven
       - haybox cooker
           - heat with rocket stove and move to haybox cooker
       - each time, you need to produce at least 2 cups of food
cook and serve a pound of fresh sunchokes
       - sunchokes must be harvested within 2 hours of cooking
make pizza (polydough)
       - can be combined with rocket.sand.oven BB for a twofer
dry food in a solar food dehydrator
       - at least 2 pounds before drying
vinegar brine pickle something
       - fill a quart jar
       - could be: cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, beets, beans, carrots, etc.
salt brine ferment/pickle something
       - could be: kraut, kimchi, carrots, jalapenos, curtido, etc.
       - at least one quart
Bake 2 loaves of bread (polydough?)
       - Not using a machine
       - one loaf can be “interesting” (cinnnamon raisin, jalapeno, herb, etc.)
       - can be combined with rocket.sand.oven BB for a twofer

straw badge
under construction

wood badge
under construction

iron badge
under construction
2 days ago
And the textiles one has been up for a couple weeks now too!
2 days ago
The sand badge for food prep and preservation has now been posted!
2 days ago
This is one of those badges where it is very important to remember the difference between "calendar time" and "experience time." It might take 30 minutes of calendar time for the oats to finish cooking, but the amount of time spent actually building experience at cooking oats during those 30 minutes of calendar time might be closer to 5 minutes. So for the purposes of this badge, cooking oats counts for 5 minutes.
2 days ago