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Be a Gapper on Ava
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Gapper: (noun) one who is goofy about permaculture

the gapper program 2.0 thread

Ava: (noun) the first plot in ant village, an acre and a half of montana woodland, the emerging habitat of ducks, violets, apples, nectarines, chipmunks, saskatoons, squirrels, walking onions, larches, snails, sunflowers, humans, and an abundance of other species in harmonious coexistence

evan's ant village log, wherein the development of Ava is chronicled

Here's a general outline and tentative schedule (subject to change) of the major projects we have planned for this year:

April: Building hugelkultur, Building natural pole fence, Planting (peas, some cool season vegetables, some perennials, etc.), Furnishing and finishing an outdoor kitchen with a sod roof, log-peeling

May: Fence-building, Log peeling, Planting (potatoes, tons of veggies, etc.), Mulching, building a solar dehydrator

June: Building a solar dehydrator, Planting (3 sisters, more veggies, etc.), Harvesting and Preserving (berries, greens, etc.) Mulching, Building retaining walls for a wofati, Building an earth-integrated greenhouse, Earthbag construction, Burying a wofati

July: Planting (2nd cool season crops, cover crops, etc.),Harvesting and Preserving (berries, fruits, seeds, greens, peas, some root vegetables, etc.), Building wofati retaining walls, Building an earth-integrated greenhouse, Burying a wofati, cob-making, adding texture to a landscape

August: Planting (perennials, etc.), Harvesting and Preserving (fruits, peas, beans, root vegetables, seeds, etc.), Burying a wofati, Framing and installing windows and doors on a wofati, Cob mixing and applying, rocket mass heater construction, adding texture to a landscape

September: Planting (perennials, etc.), Harvesting and Preserving (seeds, fruits, greens, roots, etc.), Framing and installing windows and doors on a wofati, Cob mixing and applying, rocket mass heater construction, Firewood cutting and splitting, Workshop/Festival Prep, adding texture to a landscape

October: Peasant Workshop and Festival, Planting (perennials, etc.), Harvesting and Preserving (seeds, roots, some greens, etc.), Firewood cutting and splitting

If you like this sort of thing, then come on out, pitch a tent here on Ava, and learn along with us as we create a permaculture homestead.

Some benefits of being a Gapper on Ava include:

- a full tour of wheaton labs

- immersion in ant village with an emphasis on natural building and forest gardening activities

- be part of an awesome community of permies

- we'll feed you 2 humble organic meals a day

- just $80 instead of the usual $100 gapper fee

- you can expect at least 6 days a week of hands-on permaculture and homesteading

- if you stay for 3 weeks then you get into the Peasant Workshop and Festival for free!

Useful things to bring:

- Backpack
- Appropriate Seasonal Attire (good boots and a hat! layers!)
- Work Gloves
- Hand Saw
- Hatchet
- Knife
- Water Container
- Food (organic or better please!)
- Gear for Cooking and Eating (we have a cooking stove and spare cast iron)
- Personal Hygeine Supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, etc.)
- Tent or Tarp (we have extra if needed)
- Bedding (sleeping bag, extra layers!)

Sign up now!
What your digs might look like:

What a typical workday might be like:

6am - You'll wake up to the sound of quacking ducks, whereupon you'll make your way over to the outdoor kitchen where Kai and I will have some water boiling for coffee or tea. We'll cook up some oatmeal and maybe a couple duck eggs, and we'll all have breakfast together and talk about our plan for the workday.

7am - While it's still nice and cool, we'll do some physically exhausting and shitty work like digging, peeling logs, or gathering fence poles. This will go on for about three hours.

10am - It'll be getting pretty damn hot, so we'll switch over to lighter work like planting seeds, mulching, harvesting, or maybe some other kind of work in the shade for a couple hours.

Noon - Lunch break. You're on your own for lunch. Make yourself a sandwich or something. You'll have a whole two hours to yourself for doing whatever you want. Take a nap, watch the clouds pass, or practice archery or something.

2pm - It'll still be hot as hell, so we'll do some kind of work in the shade like carpentry, cob-making, or food preservation for three hours or so.

5pm - It'll probably still be pretty hot, but we gotta make hay while the sun shines, so we'll do some more strenuous work like stacking rocks, splitting firewood, or moving dirt around for maybe two hours.

7pm - Dinnertime. We'll cook up some rice and beans or maybe a soup and salad or whatever, and we'll all eat dinner together. Then you can do as you please until you fall asleep. Read a book, go exploring, or carve yourself a wooden spoon or something. Who knows? Maybe we'll have a little jam session around the campfire if we're up for it and the weather's nice.
Is this still a thing? The thread is kind of old. I'm wanting to come out there for a week in the beginning of May to see if this could be a good fit for me as a full time resident at Wheaton Labs.
I don't know when i will be back at the lab. but  if i click with people and have room i am more then happy to let them pitch a tent on my plot. I have a spot at the bottom of my plot with a rocket stove and tent pad that i am trying to pimp out till its something i can use as a tiny guest house. in general i think that's how most ants feel. if we have room, get along and the guest works we are usually very happy to host. i think Ava was pretty full last i heard in the fall but there are a few of us at this point but in the spring/summer plenty of ants will need a hand with building and planting.
(1 like)
Hi Jeremy,

The gapper program on Ava as described above is mostly defunct, but gappers are still welcome. Ava will be under a lot of development this summer, so camping space on Ava itself might be rather limited.

But like Sean said, he'd probably be down to have you there. And there are other ants in the village who would probably allow camping on their plots as well.

Hope to see you out here, Jeremy. Feel free to pm me if you're still interested in gapping and we'll figure something out that will undoubtedly be cheaper than Paul's standard $100 gapper fee.

Alternatively, Jim's timber-framing workshop might be up your alley. Here's the thread:


evan l pierce wrote: Alternatively, Jim's timber-framing workshop might be up your alley.

I have actually already worked something out with Jim! I'll be there for a week from April 29th - May 6th helping him get stuff ready for the workshop. I'm excited to meet you all!
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