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our most ambitious project to date!





Wheaton Labs is filling 6 paid gardener positions for this year-long project.  (5 project gardeners, and an on-site alternate)



The output of this project will be 2-fold:
Output 1) The establishment of 5 perennial food systems at Wheaton Labs, at the high end of the Wheaton Eco Scale (level 8 or higher), capable of producing abundant sustenance, such that a person could meet their nutritional needs with sourcing nearly all their food from the plot.
Output 2) The production of a narrative-style internet video series about the pursuit of Output 1.



The goal of the video series is 2 parts experimentation 3 parts inspiration.  Probably lumped into the "edutainment documentary" sub-genre, with maybe a little bit of not-horrible reality tv sprinkled in.  We won't have any need to add extra drama - cultivating a sustainable food-producing ecosystem surely will provide all the drama we need, right?  Right?



G  how it started
A  more about how it started
M requirements
C  the twenty crops
O  the control patch
D  the kickstarter




The intention of this project is that the gardeners would be paid *very* well.
The pay structure will look something like this:

Choose your own hourly rate:  $25 per hour?  $35 per hour?  What would
be dreamy pay for you for doing permaculture gardening all day?

You can start work as early as Jan 1, and work as late as Oct 31,
earning more than $60k.

Furthermore, each gardener who grows a million calories gets $20k.

Additionally, the gardener who grows the most calories over the
million calorie mark pockets another $20K!



The requirement is that each gardener will work exactly 40 hours per week, submit an invoice twice per month with their hours logged, and be paid as a 1099 contractor.  All required benefits, living expenses, and tools must be paid out of the gardener's hourly wage.





Sound like a dream come true?
Fill out this questionnaire to put your name in the hat.
COMMENTS:
 
paul wheaton
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Now accepting applications.
 
Jenny Wright
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That is a highly entertaining application. 😁 I wish I could fill it out.

Have you considered cross posting this in all the growies forums?
 
Dc Stewart
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The description is a bit confusing.

The Pay Rate:
Pay is firmly specified as $35/hr ("Pay will be $35/hour").
The rate is then given as a minimum ("minimum wage is $35/hour").
The rate is then given as a variable specified by the applicant ("submit your proposed hourly rate accordingly.  Each applicant must specify a required hourly rate").

The Performance Period and Earnings Potential:
The project is specified to run for 10 months, yielding $60k of earnings for approx 43 weeks at $35/hr ("Gardener can arrive as early as Jan 1, and work as late as Oct 31, earning more than $60k").
It is then stated that pay is received only for 7 months of the project, reducing the potential earnings to about $42k (" pay will not begin until April 1.  Hours worked from January 1 to March 31 will be considered voluntary prep-work").
Paid weekly hours are fixed at 40, so the $18k deficit can't be recovered by working additional hours ("The requirement is that each gardener will work exactly 40 hours per week").
 
Beau Davidson
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Dc Stewart wrote:The description is a bit confusing.



Thank you!  You caught me mid-edit.  Does it look better/clearer now?
 
Ash Love
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I seen you mention benefits, but…What are the benefits?
How much are the living expenses? And what is included in that price?
How are the calories counted {correctly} for items grown?

Thanks 🙏🏼
 
Jeff Bosch
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Ash Love wrote:I seen you mention benefits, but…What are the benefits?


They are up to the gardener's needs. My benefit needs could be different from yours. They will be independent contractors buying what they need.


Ash Love wrote:How much are the living expenses? And what is included in that price?


Rentals in the area range from 1000 and up. You maybe (we have limited spots) able to rent something under the SEPPer program. But again your living expenses will be different than mine.

Ash Love wrote:How are the calories counted {correctly} for items grown?

Thanks 🙏🏼


There will be a guide that give calories per pound and everything will be weighed.
 
Zawadi Melimeli
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I am interested about the job. I have many years of working as a gardener here in Tanzania. How can I apply?
 
Patrick Freeburger
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I would be willing to donate Truly Garden garden tools to the participants if that is helpful (and maybe get in some background shots).  Let me know.

Thanks,
Patrick
 
Mark Larkins
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This sounds like an awesome thing!

BUT...  Lots of ambiguity.
Seems to be many details left out that could, and should, be easily enough included in their respective areas (pay, housing situation onsite, etc).
Lovely, lovely idea but I guess without those details clearly stated in the ad, your response might not be as great as you'd like.  Hope I'm wrong.  I just know I think this idea rocks but it's not stated clearly enough to make me want to dive in.

Cheers!
 
Jeff Steez
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Sounds amazing. Too bad I'm a loner.
 
Dustin Hollis
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One problem with paying by calorie/lbs is that perennial food systems can take as many as 5 years to come on line. Annual veggie crops produce  immediately.
The best perennial systems usually make up the difference with animal systems until the tree crop and bush crop systems grow out.
 
Mark Larkins
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I love this idea!

I am very, VERY interested in one of these gardener spots.  Is there another page where all the finalized requirements and specifics are clearly stated in one place?  Has this project made it to that stage yet?
 
Beau Davidson
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Zawadi Melimeli wrote:I am interested about the job. I have many years of working as a gardener here in Tanzania. How can I apply?



Link at the end of the first post.
 
Beau Davidson
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Patrick Freeburger wrote:I would be willing to donate Truly Garden garden tools to the participants if that is helpful (and maybe get in some background shots).  Let me know.

Thanks,
Patrick



Very kind!  Thank you Patrick.  Do you have a link I could click?
 
Beau Davidson
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Mark Larkins wrote:I love this idea!

I am very, VERY interested in one of these gardener spots.  Is there another page where all the finalized requirements and specifics are clearly stated in one place?  Has this project made it to that stage yet?



There's all the links with background and development in the first post.

I think the idea is that this will pay so well that people can afford to do whatever they need to do to make it work, kind of like you would with any job. There may be some on-site accommodations available for rent, and there should be some nearby places as well.  It will largely depend on each potential candidate.

If you have specific questions, ask away.
 
Robin Wild
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Dc Stewart wrote:The description is a bit confusing.

The Pay Rate:
Pay is firmly specified as $35/hr ("Pay will be $35/hour").
The rate is then given as a minimum ("minimum wage is $35/hour").
The rate is then given as a variable specified by the applicant ("submit your proposed hourly rate accordingly.  Each applicant must specify a required hourly rate").

The Performance Period and Earnings Potential:
The project is specified to run for 10 months, yielding $60k of earnings for approx 43 weeks at $35/hr ("Gardener can arrive as early as Jan 1, and work as late as Oct 31, earning more than $60k").
It is then stated that pay is received only for 7 months of the project, reducing the potential earnings to about $42k (" pay will not begin until April 1.  Hours worked from January 1 to March 31 will be considered voluntary prep-work").
Paid weekly hours are fixed at 40, so the $18k deficit can't be recovered by working additional hours ("The requirement is that each gardener will work exactly 40 hours per week").



I think a-lot of what you said here still stands.
To want to participate I would need to know about housing and food options, where tools are easily accessed and approximate pricing, actual wage not a range of 25-35$. There is so much unsaid about what personal costs means, and what benefits one is paying for.
It is unclear what the actual take home pay from this would be. How much would the net pay end up being, and what happens to pay if the contract is severed?
 
paul wheaton
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I think that some people will have a dozen people in their household and will probably need to rent something nearby - just like a normal person with a normal workee-job.

Others will be flying solo and we might be able to arrange a bunk for them.

Food options:  I don't understand this.  What do you eat now?

When people join the bootcamp, we provide food staples and a bunk.  But this is not the bootcamp - this is a paid position.  

If you work two months and then quit, you get paid only for the two months.
 
Kim Goodwin
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Dustin Hollis wrote:One problem with paying by calorie/lbs is that perennial food systems can take as many as 5 years to come on line. Annual veggie crops produce  immediately.
The best perennial systems usually make up the difference with animal systems until the tree crop and bush crop systems grow out.



Your comment, Dustin, inspired me to start a thread - fastest perennial food crops:
Perennial food crops that produce in the first year

I think this could be very useful for the contestants of GAMECOD, besides for anoyone beginning a permaculture garden for the first time.
 
Suzi Kelly
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Is this open to people from outside the US?  Would we have to get a green card? (sorry for my ignorance of US working and immigration).

I'm in the UK and the opportunity sounds idylic.  It's so hard to get this sort of thing off the ground here
 
Fae Right
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Hi!  I am interested and have experience.  You can PM me if the opportunity is still open :)  
 
paul wheaton
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We thought we would have more than 100 people apply for this.  But since we have had less than ten, we have to re-think how we might try to pull this off.

We'll see if we can brainstorm a new strategy.

In the meantime, folks can still fill out the questionnaire.  
 
Kim Goodwin
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Are there any pictures of the plots people will be given - what they look like now and will have to start from?  That would be my biggest question. I would want to know what is required to get the land going, if I were able to apply.
 
paul wheaton
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I was thinking that the gardeners would pick out their own acre.

Although one strategy was to pick out a five acre circle and each of the plots would fit into a donut.
 
Kim Goodwin
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How will they get water to their acre?  I still think there is value in showing the site. Like a photo of the ground. People can see how hard it will be to start.  Since we are talking about no-till, right?

Just a thought.  I want to see this happen! I want to watch the show! It's like Alone, as far as the level of honesty, realness and usefulness. At least, the survival show Alone does seem very realistic.

Thanks for still tinkering with this one.
 
paul wheaton
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Kim Goodwin wrote:How will they get water to their acre?



To answer that, I first need to know where the acre is.  

We have water, with plumbing, on the lab now.  I would hope people would choose a spot that has this sort of water access.
 
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