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Kay Gelfling

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since May 07, 2017
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forest garden homeschooling homestead kids cooking trees
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, i got a job in the tech world and earned a grub stake. Then my husband and i moved to Hawaii, where i am mostly sure i won't get us frozen to death. Here we are homesteading our way up, but we have not yet found our farm. Meanwhile we are building income streams and learning about permaculture and running a business on this half acre, while homeschooling our daughter.
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Recent posts by Kay Gelfling

I started a j tube here at basecamp, and boiled a gallon of water in a pot. It was pretty fun and quick! The bottom of the pot got all creasotey, so I should perhaps have burned the paper up, then once the fire was started put the pot on. I'll have to try it that way next time.

(Edit because I missed a pic when I was posting a moment ago)
1 week ago
I started one of the J tubes here at basecamp ran it from 1:30 to 2:30

At the same time I'm hoping to get the boiling 1gallon bb, so after the water was booked I just kept the fire going for the rest of the hour. (I used the boiling water for rice in the hey box cooker, but I didn't get that haybox cooker to work right yet)

1 week ago
One photo didn't come through, plus I should say the corn took around 30 or 45 minutes, and I still had a little wood left at the end.

1 week ago
This is during the ATC- on the 4th of July, I made corn! Then I toasted some hot dog buns because it was still warm in there.

1 week ago
Here at the ATC, I installed an outlet!

We also wired up a three way switch on the table just for laughs. I learned a lot!

1 week ago
The last picture looked like two piles, although it was three scoops, so here's the really big hole the scoops made, if it helps :)



1 week ago
Here's the ground at the ATC, (untouched next to previous scoopers holes)

Next, me on the excavator,

Next, piles of dirt.


1 week ago

Lief Bamberg wrote:I love camping and don't mind sleeping in a tent, but I was wondering how much access to electricity there will be?



I don't know anything about availability of cabins, but my understanding is that most of the cabins don't have electricity. However, if you are camped near base camp, i believe they said they might be able to have access to an extension cord for power. (If you arrange it with them and they are OK with it!) Also i think there should be places to charge devices during the day, i think in the workshop, and maybe other places too?

From this thread: https://permies.com/t/62306/permaculture-projects/Parents-kids-pdc#915166

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:"That said, we do have some limited capacity for regular extension cords to plug in at the back of our shop/auditorium and extend out in to our parking lot there. So it's power only, not RV hookups. And we could probably only let two campers plug in at most. And that would be first come, first served."

1 month ago
Thank you for the help! I have created my Big List of Questions. My questions are detailed since we are flying to the mainland, then we have only a day to pack up, and i like to be prepared beforehand when possible.


Please don't feel like you have to answer these questions this week, or any time that you are too busy. If I had answers by June 7th or so, i will still have a week to prepare. And if we don't have answers in time, i am no worse off, and we will wing it for whatever we need. =) The first ever PEP1 !! That is so exciting!!


General Questions:

1) Cell phone signal: I am reading that Verizon is "very good, typically 5 bars" and AT&T is reported "good". Do you have any info on Sprint or T-Mobile?

2) During the tour, how much of the time is walking vs how much of the time is standing a looking at things? (If we are going on an 6-8 hour hike i need to do some serious (for me) training!)

3) I read to "Bring Tools." Since the PDC is design, do we need any tools? For the ATC, which tools should i bring? (I don't want to miss out on an activity because i didn't bring a tool. Since i'm flying, I might have to buy one on the way over.) Please ignore this question if there is more info about this on the way already.

4) How many days of the PDC should we expect to get really messy? How many for the ATC? I am imagining that laundering is reasonable to do once-a-week, and pants are a bulky item in a suitcase, so i'm trying to figure out how many i need to bring. (I have the categories of "paint pants" which can get paint or glue or holes and rips, "work pants" which can get muddy and dirty but not physically ruined, and normal jeans which i hopefully can wear for a few days before i need to swap, and hopefully will not become stained.) A ballpark estimate is good enough.

5) I normally buy a large jug of generic vinegar at costco for washing clothes and general cleaning- but at the PDC, should i make sure to only bring organic cleaning vinegar? (How about baking soda and rubbing alchohol? I use those for cleaning- are there versions of those to buy, or should they be avoided?)

6) Do you happen to know if there is any place in Missoula to find organic marshmallows? I've found a lot of vegan and/or "natural" mallows, but not organic

Food Prep Questions:

I am guessing that most people attending the PDC and ATC will mostly be eating what is prepared. But I will have support people with me who are not on the food plan, so i am trying to envision what will be needed for a month of food.

1) Dishes and washing: I assume we should bring our own dishes? If i was camping without use of a sink, i would normally bring disposable supplies such as paper plates, cups, paper towels, etc, and burn them after, and we would have some small squirt bottles water for washing knives and silverware. At home of course we usually use reusables and wash them, which we could do during our visit, but would you want us to use the bathroom sink, or go outside to a specific place to wash so it doesn't get out of hand with so many campers? Or is it better to go with the paper products for now?

2) Similarly, rags vs paper towels. What do you prefer we use? Rags will probably have to hang dry somewhere.

3) Are there any organic foods which are banned for everybody in common spaces, such as peanut butter? (some schools do this)

4) If we are able to use rocket stoves or ovens, is it a good idea for us to bring our own pans and pot holders, or are there "guest" ones?

5) How easy to get to from the FPH are the low-energy cooking options? (For instance, are they a short drive, a short walk, on the porch, etc? Practical for regular use, or would we be in the way?)

6) We usually make our own meals. We certainly wouldn't find it practical to drive to Missoula to eat out every day, every meal. But without a fridge, I could see us using a lot of shelf-stable, one-use products. I can imagine myself going to costco and buying (organic of course) individual boxes of juice, shelf-stable milk, applesauces in packets, jerky, and other similar things. It's so much packaging, but i'm guessing the cooler will need to have space for cheese, meats, and other items which really have to be cold. We can certainly have some amount of dry goods but not all. There's the old peanut butter sandwich and bread, which we will certainly do (if PB is OK), but i do want a balanced diet for my 5 year old. i'm having trouble thinking of a good way around this, and would love any suggestions.

7) If making food seems too overwhelming to my support people, can we buy them food tickets to join in on dinners? I'm not sure if we would be more disruptive joining in or trying to make our own food.

Questions When Renting the Bunks Room:

The bunk room feels part cabin, part house, so i just want to check my expectations!

1) Do we need to bring bed linens (ie sheets, pillows, blankets?)

2) since we are renting the bunk room, do we get to use the hall bathroom and shower inside the FPH, or should we be going outside for the willow bank and the shower shack? (I see the FPH resources are listed as a backup, but since they will be right next to us it is going to feel natural for us to use them, especially at night, unless it is discouraged.)

3) Do we need to bring towels / washclothes?

4) Do we need to bring our own toilet paper and hand soap? (If so, are there certain brands which are /are not OK? I'm thinking Dr Bronners for hand soap (if we can find it) but for natural TP, i'm unclear on the requirements!)

5) Is there any good place to hang wet towels / washclothes / coats / clothes / shoes that have been rained on? (I assume we wouldn't leave anything in the bathroom, since the bathroom is space for everybody. I am envisioning muddy days sometimes too in the ATC.)

6) Does the door to the bunk room lock?

7) Is it okay to have a cooler in the bunk room? (Or does it need to be in the car?)

8) Is it okay to eat and prepare smaller items (such as peanut butter sandwiches) in the bunk room, or do we need to go outside or somewhere else to do that?

9) Is it okay to have fruit and or veggies sitting around inside the bunk room? Perhaps in a cardboard box or basket? I imagine we will go to the grocery or farmers market every week, but if we leave them in the car i worry they will wilt and bake.

10) How early is it OK to arrive on June 15th? We plan to arrive the morning of the 15th, in time to attend the tour, which is 9:30am, so we should be outside and ready for touring at 9:15am, (so we should try to arrive early enough to say hello and unpack heat sensitive items before then.)

11) If we bring a hot plate, that has an energy use, same with a plug-in hot water maker: would those be encouraged or discouraged? Would it be better to bring a pot and a camping propane cookstove that we set up ? outside?

12) is there anything that you guys need that you would like folks to bring?

I am editing to add a question!

13) Roughly how cold is it inside the house at night? It seems that it would be best to allow the temperature to be where it is, so we need to pack clothes to try to match the climate. I'm guessing maybe 60s? Or will it be colder? We are not used to cold night temperatures, so we will pack either warmly or *really* *warmly* with mittens and night caps, ha ha.


Sorry to have so many small questions! A lot of these we could ask when we arrive but we might forget a question, or we might not get a good chance. And then we would guess the answer, and we might guess wrong, so as a Planner i tend to want to just ask. Thanks again!
2 months ago

Lulubelle Davis wrote:I’m in the same situation as Kay, but I have a 10 year old, 6 year old and a nursing 6 month old.



Lulubelle I'm so happy that you are going to be there! =) It's still a month away but it feels like no time at all, for all the prep i need to do to be away from home. So- see you soon!! =)
2 months ago