It’s official, at wheaton laboratories there’s going to be a free PDC for ants, their gappers and deep roots people. So if someone wants to come an attend the PDC that can show up as gappers and follow the fourteen day PDC, with PRI teacher Howard Story. There’s a whole thread on this on Wheaton labs forum here. The PDC will have visiting heavyweight teachers! There is an email for the PDC firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul passes to the big section of this podcast: adjusting Wheaton labs design, that as we have listened in podcasts 317,318 and 319 has had some problems. Paul admits he has passed the last months complaining about the problems. After having analyzed the problem now it’s time for the solution. How do we get long term people at Wheaton labs that can work well, and not be discouraged. The idea was to have people that have experience in building and growing but they don’t have access to the land.
In the past twenty months people came just to try and see how it could be, mostly gappers had little experience and that made the projects at Wheaton labs grow slower. Brian Brown was here for four days and he accomplished stuff that would have taken three months before the way gappers were organized. Ant village is the solution with which Paul has come up. Ants aren’t paid or feeded, Ants are free to work on their site. An ant pays 800 buck’s for now through to December 2016 for an acre of land. So if you pay now it’s 800 bucks for twenty months of land and ants receive 3000 bucks worth of candy, so it really is wonderland!
Paul explains what is in the candy ants receive, and that is worth more than just 3000 bucks. Every ant receives 16 hours of excavator with driver and fuel, or can trade 1 hour of excavator hours for 4 hours of tractor usage with a 1 ton loader. The ants that sign up early get extra candy, extra tractor hours, etc. . Evan, the first ant, got 8 hours as extra candy, and the second will get 7, and so on.
The current candy list is one piece of candy equals 2 hours of excavator and driver, one day with the sawmill, or one day in the tipi, three days with electric chainsaw, etc. . The complete list is at the ant village thread here.
Ants can work in some projects for Paul, and that work gets paid, and ants could pay other ants for work. Paul has a list of things he wants done and he pays for. Evan “the ant” has cashed in on that. And it all starts and ends with a definite goal.Ants can team up to use more land if they want to have cows, etc. The point is that many things at ant village can be arranged, if you’re serious about it, serious about your projects, at Wheaton labs you can get access to land.
Wofati 0.7 will community kitchen and book and tool library for ant village and gappers. Gappers are still welcomed but things are different, ants have to accept to feed the gappers, deciding what they want in exchange. Jocelyn sums it up well: It’s a very different focus when people work on their own project and own land, its different when people work without personal investment. Ants have a personal goal.
Paul and Jocelyn speak about Evan the first, and only ant, for now. They speak of how ant village should function, sharing some insight on what Evan is doing. One thing they say is how much he has received from permies.com community, care packages, cash and permies that buy materials for specific projects. Evan has been posting a lot of photos and has his thread. Of course Evan’s point on sharing what he achieves is the reason why people are so keen on his project.
The reasons it’s called ant village comes from the story: the ant and the grasshopper. Paul and Jocelyn tell the story not exactly in the bedtime version. The idea is that if you’re an ant the first year, then you can be a grasshopper the rest of your life. Ant village will have a first deadline on September 10th 2016, when the ant village challenge will have a winner. One ant will be awarded a deep roots package that’s worth 21.000 dollars or 10.000 cash. Paul explains how other ants will have different prizes.
The scoring is basically based on how resilient your food system is up to September and how your shelter is. Paul explains what happens after September and how ant village will evolve. Paul has so many ideas on the future of ant village.
Good luck comes from hard work, this is Wheaton labs!
Ok, I'm about to listen to the whole podcast, but I have listened to the previous ones, and I just wanted to clarify:
What you wanted in the old Gapper program was for people who were already experienced in building and growing to come and do physical labor for you for 35-60 hrs a week in exchange for 3 meals a day and a place to pitch a tent.
That is what it has sounded like, and I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
- I want my 'kids' to pick up their rooms - BUT that is not the reason I had kids !
Paul wanted to give the 'Gappers' an opportunity to grow in skills and knowledge. He was hoping that the people that showed up would be self-starting
highly motivated individuals who were going to work hard for their good and the common good.
He was not expecting to need to supply several job coaches one or more for each small group of gappers to provide motivation, counseling, personal
and equipment safety, or butlers to pick-up after SOME of his guests, To include making sure that safety gear and tools were turned in at the end of a
work day, so they could be re-issued and used more than once !
All along Pauls stated goal is to try 100 things, with the strong hope that one or more of the 100 would work, and move the whole project at The Lab
Paul is continueing to move forwards with increased optimism and should be highly commended ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
Ok, so he was trying to attract people with some experience in building and farming, but who still wanted to do more physical labor?
I guess I'm just confused about the "demographic" he was trying to attract. I could see working for tent and board in order to learn new skills. But in the summary of this podcast, it says he expected people to already HAVE those skills. In that case, what would a skilled worker get out of the gap time, vs. getting a job in construction and saving for their own land? Or interning on a mature permaculture site in order to see the systems in full swing?
I'm not in any way denigrating Wheaton or Wheaton Labs. I have enjoyed a great deal of the information he has put out, and think he is awesome. Just trying to fully understand what he was doing.
As I remember, it was full board and lodging, not a place to pitch a tent, and I don't think there was any requirement to have experience, just to be interested and to have listened to a number of podcasts.
The gapper program last year: people come and work 35 hours per week and get food and a bunk. No experience necessary. Hoping that some people arrive have the capacity to lead/teach/nurture others. Hoping that a lot of gappers would evolve into ants - becoming self sufficient and not needing the meals or the bunk.
I was paying three people. One to provide permaculture an natural building leadership, one to cook and one to clean. I think that system could have worked if we had high quality people in the three paid positions.
The gapper program this year is quite different. I suspect that if we do get three high quality people in the three paid positions, it could be worthwhile to try the old gapper program again.