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It's that time again! Time to gear up for the Appropriate Technology Course near Missoula, Montana. It follows right after the PDC for Scientists, Engineers, and Educators.

The Appropriate Technology Course is about getting hands on experience building solutions with safer and more sustainable materials. This course will also experiment with new ideas in appropriate technology.

This year's ATC will take place  Monday July 1st Through  Saturday July 12th, 2019.

Get experience building amazing structures.Learn about off-grid water systems.Get hands on experience with practical welding and woodworking skills.


ATC Instructor: Chris McClellan

Uncle Mud (aka Chris McClellan) raises free-range, organic children in the wilds of northeast Ohio. Between building things out of mud and junk he writes for Mother Earth News Magazine and teaches simple DIY skills at workshops and fairs.

ATC Instructor: James Juczak  

James is an author and lecturer on topics such as self-reliance, true sustainability, building off-grid energy systems and mortgage-free housing. He has had numerous articles published, been a contributing author to several books and is presently working on a much expanded second edition of his book "The High Art and Subtle Science of Scrounging". He has been dubbed "The King of Scrounge". Jim spent much if his career as a high school and middle school shop teacher. He has also worked as a Community Energy Educator in 10 northern New York counties. He also brought skills to Kandahar, Afghanistan where he worked as a civilian contractor with the US Army's 10th Mountain Brigade teaching appropriate technologies to the US and Afghan armies as well as the local civilian population. Jim lives with his wife, Krista, in their round, cordwood and papercrete home on the property where they have established an off-grid intentional community. He is an EMT and an adjunct professor at SUNY Jefferson where he teachs the NABCEP Solar Installers course.

Go to the registration page to buy your ticket now!


Staff note (Jocelyn Campbell):

More information on accommodations here. Please ask questions in this thread first. If you have a private question, e-mail is best. For workshop questions: workshop AT richsoil.com For rental or accommodation questions: bunks AT richsoil.com

COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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Sweet! Trying to coordinate between time off at work and getting a dog sitter for 2 weeks, and if those line up I'll be sending in the cash and looking at plane tickets! Several items on the planned list are exactly what I'm wanting to learn for my own property, so I'm hoping to make it to these each year now and learn by doing!
 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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just for giggles ....  for the stuff the students vote on, which stuff will you be voting on?
 
Mark Brunnr
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In no particular order:

Rain catchment (planning a wofati/Oehler setup, but will likely have a "shop/garage" or possibly smaller structures like wood shed and storage sheds, that feed into cisterns)

Gray water system (I'm looking at this for year-round use in USDA zone 6, combined with composting toilet, instead of a septic tank)

Earth bermed shelter (is this like a livestock shelter, more like the berm shed, or livable structure? I think all 3 would be good experiences)

Deep well hand pump (I'm all for helping build this, assuming it's for the lab? How deep is deep? My own site has water at 60-80 feet all around so I expect a 125 foot well and having a hand pump backup would be smart)
 
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Hi. Just wondering how much of the time is spent on "this year's projects" as opposed to student choice projects/experiences? I'm only asking because I'm not very interested in the 3 glass-related projects; I'm just barely at the beginning of learning AT skills and right now it's much more valuable for me to learn the skills on the student choice list rather than what seems to be designated as the year's main events. Would I have the ability to not work on the glass ones in favor of more time on other projects?

Thanks for your input.

Christina
 
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Christina,
Mud here. The top priority of the projects is to send folks home with skills and confidence to attack their own projects. There are some projects that we will strongly encourage folks to get into because they involve what we consider to be essential skillsets, like basic metalworking and cutting down a tree. We will expect everyone to participate in the safety trainings because we don't want anyone hurt including us. But the projects that will take most of our attention will be the ones that participants agree as a group are most relevant to them, and there will be time to focus on something that excites a few of us as a breakout group, and some projects we may just not get to depending on the size and inclinations and existing skillsets of the attendees. The lack of glass recycling in many areas is something that has been bothering Paul for a while so he keeps hoping someone will get excited about it and use the lab to come up with amazing solutions, and maybe we will, but first skills first.
 
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This year's ATC will take place  Sunday July 1st Through  Saturday July 12th, 2019.  


Did you mean Monday July 1st through Friday July 12th?

Thanks,
Kyle
 
paul wheaton
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Kyle Bob wrote:

This year's ATC will take place  Sunday July 1st Through  Saturday July 12th, 2019.  


Did you mean Monday July 1st through Friday July 12th?

Thanks,
Kyle



Good catch!   Apple for you!
 
Chris McClellan
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Some pictures from last year. What do y'all want to do this summer?
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Updating a Rocket Oven
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Jeremy and his new CottageRocket
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Putting solar ovens to the test
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Mary learning to use the plasma cutter
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The crew learning to use the sawmill
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Mary gives some pointers on driving the excavator
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Designing and building a greywater disposal system
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Learning to use a tile saw to build a CottageRocket heater
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The crew learns to use a rocket water heater so we can shower
 
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Location: Driggs, ID
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I was wondering if it would be a possibility to do a work trade for the ATC? I would love to attend, but just don't have the cash this year. Skills that I could trade are drafting, any kind of design you would do with the Adobe suite, or gardening. Also, a skill in my arsenal is design of campgrounds and RV parks. If you might be interested in this, I can send you samples of my work. This sounds like such a cool class, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask about work trade.Thanks!
 
paul wheaton
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I just talked to fred.   It's a possibility.  

The exchange would be seven weeks in the permaculture bootcamp in exchange for a ticket.   And you would need to pay $100 to enter the bootcamp.  To do this, you would need to arrive here on may 12th or earlier.



 
Kyle Bob
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What kind of earth works are in the purview of the ATC?  Are swales and hugelkulturs more of a PDC thing?  What about ponds?
 
paul wheaton
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The PDC might do some pond and hugelkultur modeling.   During the PEP1 event, each person will definitely build their own 7 foot tall hugelkultur with the excavator.   And they will build a very small pond.  

The ATC is going to be about wiring, welding, building with a dash of innovation.   Definitely all hands on.

The PDC is mostly classroom time with a lot of drawing, drawing and drawing.  There are going to be a few hands on activities - maybe 10% of the time.  

The PEP1 event is all hands on.  Zero classroom time.  Each student will have to create their own thing.   By the end of the two weeks, they will have completed about 60 BBs.



 
Rachel Rudd
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Oh well, I'll have to come next year. My job doesn't end until June 5th. Thank you for looking into work trade though.
 
Kyle Bob
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I'm interested in all things rockety; heaters, ovens, etc. I'd really like to make one, learn to weld, talk about shippable cores.  Water systems would be my next biggest interest; catchment, ponds/dams, greywater.  Natural building including heating and cooling would be after that.  A talk about dealing with government bureaucracy, zoning, codes, permits and the like would be nice.
 
Chris McClellan
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Kyle,
We have a "Cottage Rocket" design that has the benefit of being able to build it somewhere convenient (like an ATC) and taking it home. We are also planning on building a "skiddable" natural cottage for Wheaton labs. Zoning and code issues is usually a "story time" conversation/lecture at my workshops because while it isn't "hands on" like most of the workshop it is still important to know what you are dealing with. We think "shop skills" are an important part of the ATC so we are looking for projects that 1) give opportunity for instruction and practice with tools you might not normally get to work with and 2) create an artifact that long after we leave is something Paul can use to demonstrate permaculture principles. It would be a little easy to leave Paul with dozens of half useful rocket heater cores in the process of teaching welding and rocket heater principles so instead we are trying hard to come up with good useful unique projects.
--Mud
 
master steward
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We added a tour date just prior to the ATC:

June 30, Sunday

Tours start promptly at 9:30 a.m. and meet behind the shop/auditorium (in Arrakis) to get started. If you are late, you could miss the group. Pack your own lunch for a lunch break (we won't have meals going for the ATC yet), and the tour resumes after lunch. Be prepared for uneven and steep ground at times, and being outdoors in Montana weather. We used to do the tour in about three to four hours (cue the Gilligan's Island theme song!), though now it takes about 6 hours, and can even be 8 hours long if there are a lot of questions.

 
today's feeble attempt to support the empire
Soil Testing: Genius or Snapshot of the ever-changing?
https://permies.com/t/113090/Soil-Testing-Genius-Snapshot-changing
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