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this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
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  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Liv Smith
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • Jay Angler
  • Timothy Norton
  • Jordan Holland
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Andrés Bernal
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Permies.Com FAQ

This Frequently Asked Questions covers these topics:

  • Titles and Terminology:
  • Forum Policies:
  • How To's:

  • Titles, Terminology, Icons and much more: 

    What is permaculture?
    Permaculture means, literally, "permanent agriculture." It's the application of ecology to growing food. It's a way of looking at the world and designing things based on their properties. It's so much more. Find out what others have to say, HERE.

    What is homesteading?
    Homesteading is the act of trying to be more resilient by learning to grow, raise, and making things by yourself. See HERE for more definitions, and HERE for the etymology.

    What do apples and thumbs and pie mean?
    Apples and thumbs and pie are given to post that people think are excellent. Only Pollinators and moderators (Gardeners and Stewards) can give out apples. Anyone can give out a thumb on any post. People who have Pie can give out two thumbs-ups. Pie can be given by anyone who has pie or wants to buy pie. If you have pie, you have access to a secret forum, as well as the ability to block ads and much more. Pie can be bought, given, or earned (at the time of writing, your first 20 apples will earn you one piece of pie.) Find out more about PIE HERE.. Find out more about apples HERE.

    What does Gardener, Steward, Pollinator, Pioneer, etc mean?
    These are our shiny, gardening-related titles. Pioneers (like pioneer plant species) have completed the scavenger hunt. Pollinators are helpful and lovely posters that get to give out an apple a day. Gardeners and Stewards are our forum moderators. Find out more HERE.

    What is this "Scavenger Hunt" thingy?
    The Scavenger Hunt is a way for you to learn more about our forum and how it works. AND, if you complete it, you get the shiny title of "Pioneer" (like pioneer plants). More about the Scavenger Hunt HERE. And here's a tutorial for the Pioneer Scavenger Hunt.

    Who is this Paul Wheaton guy and why is he so great?
    Paul is the creator and owner of this forum. He gives away all sorts of free stuff and has run countless successful kickstarters to make the world a better place. Find out more about him (and our other staff) HERE.

    Who are all these other Stewards and Gardeners?
    We have a staff bio page Here! We try to update it every few months.

    What's up with the tiny ads?
    We put these on emails and at the bottom of threads. They are our silly way of doing advertizing without--hopefully--driving you insane. If you don't like them, you can opt out by getting some PIE (Find out more about PIE HERE.). If you want to laugh at some of the silly lines about our tiny ads, go HERE. If you spotted a typo, thank you! You can report it HERE.

    What's a gir-bot and why does it love tacos?
    Paul Wheaton, the creator of this forum, is a fan of the TV show "Invader Zim." And so, when it came time to name our little forum bot, we named it Gir Bot. Gir Bot likes tacos and piggies and all sorts of things he's programed to love. He choses who gets the monthly "Master," sends out automatic email notifications, helps picks winners, and so much more! Here's pretty much the personification of all permies forum programming. To complain about Gir--or better yet, to give him tacos--go HERE.

    What's this apple core thing?
    Ah, so our forum has apples. These are signs that someone who can give out apples--Pollinators and moderators (Gardeners and Stewards)--thought your post was worthy of an apple. Apple cores can only be given out by moderators. They are usually reserved for posts that just plain aren't nice, but sometimes moderators will use them for posts that they strongly don't agree with. Basically, if you got an apple core, it means that someone who can give apple cores, did not like your post.

    How do you get those badge thingies in your signature?
    Perhaps you've noticed someone with a pretty little picture in their signature that looks something like this: . You, too, can have one and learn useful homesteading/permaculure skills in the process. There are 22 Badges--you can learn about them  HERE. And you can learn how to apply for one HERE. HERE'S the forum all about the PEP badges (PEP=Permaculture Experience according to Paul, and it's a guided way to learn permaculture skills and show that you know them!).

    What are the blue icons under people's names?
    Those are Bumper Stickers! They're fun ways to show what you're interested in. There's Bumper Stickers for everything from foraging to sheep and woodworking. Find out more HERE. To get a Bumper Sticker, just go to your profile. People who have PIE can have even more Bumper Stickers! To request a new Bumper Stickers, go HERE.

    Is there a profile list?
    There is not!

    What's a Purple Moosage?
    A Purple Moosage is our equivalent of "Private Message." We call them Purple Moosages because--like on most social media--they're not technically private. Steward-level moderators can read them when necessary--like when figuring out if someone is spamming other people. We really don't have time or desire to go reading everyone's inboxes, so chances are, the only person who ever reads your inbox is you.

    Forum Policies: 

    What do you mean by "Be Nice"?
    You can find our more HERE or HERE. One important aspect of being nice is to not infer that anyone else is less than perfect. State your position and why you think it, rather than trying to tell the other person that their position is wrong.

    I don't want to use my real name--can I please use a fake one?
    Of course! It just needs to SOUND real. Find out more about that HERE. If you're making it up, please use one that isn't an "edge case." If everyone has the last name of "Forrest," the person who really has that last name doesn't sound very real, do they? More information about "edge cases" HERE.

    Why did you delete my post?
    Maybe it was spam? Maybe it was a duplicate post? Maybe, just maybe, you weren't following our Publishing Standards. Permies is owned by Paul, and it's his publication. He decides what gets published. He might not decide to publish your post, usually because he doesn't think it's nice. Find out more about stuff being deleted HERE.

    What's up with all the censorship?
    We want permies to be a place where gentle souls can share their experiences and ideas without being lambasted by other posters. As such, we censor posts that aren't nice. You can find out more about censorship HERE. You can find out more about being a safe place for gentle souls HERE.

    The gir-bot asked me to edit a post, but I don't understand what I did wrong. What do I do?
    Usually the "hint" about what needs to be fixed is in bold. If that clue doesn't make sense, please start a thread in the Tinkering with this Site forum.

    Why can't I type the letter "U"?
    We have an international forum, and a lot of people posting here know English as a second (or third or fourth...) language. Words like "thanx" and "U" are hard for these people to understand. So, we avoid them. Find out more, HERE.

    Ahh! I've somehow found myself in a flame war--what do I do?
    Flame wars are nasty. They're when everyone gets angry and starts yelling about how right they are. We don't like flame wars here on permies. In fact, if you see one happening, hit the report button on the flamey post. You can walk away, knowing the mods will don their capes and come to the rescue. You're also more than welcome to try to deescalate the situation (preferably without quoting the flamey posts, that way we can delete those posts easily.)

    Why can't I reply to some posts due to having no apples? (Also What is the Cider Press and why can't I  post there?)
    Apples are given by Pollinators and moderators (Gardeners and Stewards) for posts that they like. The Cider Press is our place to talk about controversial subjects. To keep internet trolls and flame wars from feasting on these topics, we limit them to the Cider Press. Basically, if you wouldn't talk about something over a big family dinner (religion, politics, parenting, toxic pollution, etc) don't talk about it in the main forums. You'll need apples--and now a slice of pie--to post in the Cider Press. Make a bunch of great posts, and soon you'll meet the requirements be able to post there. Be warned, though, the Cider Press is thusly named as it's a great way to lose apples if you make unkind posts. More about the Cider Press HERE.

     How do I __________???

    How do I find stuff that I bought or gift codes that I have?
    Look at the top of your screen where the "My Profile" and other buttons are, and click "My Stuff." You can find links to all your gift codes and stuff you bought, there! If you are on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of your screen and click "desktop view." Then go to the top and find "My Stuff."

    How do I post a picture or video?
    You can find a tutorial on how to do that HERE.

    How do I reply to a thread?
    We've got a tutorial on that HERE.

    How do I start a thread?
    You can find a tutorial on how to  do that HERE.

    How do I change my profile picture?
    To change your profile picture (or cover picture), first you'll need to host your image somewhere on the internet. If you don't have any place to host them, then attach the picture to this thread. Just make a reply and add the picture as an attachment. Once the picture is hosted (either on permies or elsewhere), you'll want to "Copy Image Address" (this might also be called "Save Image Address") and paste that image URL into your profile settings. A full tutorial can be found HERE.

    Can I ignore threads? Certain posters?
    You can "unwatch" a thread by clicking the link at the above and below a thread that says "Stop Watching." As far as I know, there's no way to block a poster.

    Permies is huge.  how do I find my way around?  
    There's multiple ways to navigate permies!
  • You can go to the Main Forum Page, where you'll see the most popular threads on the left, the most recent threads in the middle, and the majority of our forums and categories on the right. You can modify this page to show the threads in a traditional Recent Topics view.
  • You can go to a list of ALL our forums, so you can easily select the one you want to read or post in.
  • From most anywhere on the site, there's a list of links on the left side that lead to our different Categories (categories are things like "growies" or "community" and inside those categories lies our forums like "chickens" and "financial strategies"). In mobile view, I believe there is a drop down menu at the top left that leads to our categories.
  • If you have PIE, you can go to Recent Topics to see threads in order of reply. If you don't have PIE, you can get a recent topics view by modifying your forum home page view.  

  • Where do I ask if I need help with this website?
    We have a forum just for that! It's called Tinkering With This Site. You can start a new thread to ask your question there!

    I want to write a review--how do I make it show up on the Review Grid?
    There's a tutorial on how to do just that HERE!

    How do I change my email settings?
    You'll want to go to "My Profile" link at the top of your page, then scroll down to "Email Settings" and you can subscribe or unsubscribe to thread notifications and the dailyish and weeklyish. If you unsubscribe from the MONTHLYish, know that you will have your account automatically closed. You can reopen you account at any time.

    Can I edit or delete my own posts after I hit "submit"?
    Not necessarily.  So before you hit "submit," be extra smart, kind, and careful about what you are sharing with the rest of the world! More about editing and deleting content HERE.  

    Why can't I edit or delete my own posts?  Aren't they my posts!?
    There are a variety of reasons for the low/no editing policy.  Ultimately, this site is hoping to achieve perennial discussion about permaculture, and the low/no editing and deleting policy helps achieve more of a permanent culture experience, rather than an ephemeral experience. Here is more about our policy on Deleting Stuff.

    I'm not a spammer! How do I promote my stuff?  
    We have a thread all about promoting your stuff HERE! You can even make a thread (or more!) to sell both digital and even physical items in our Digital Market. One important part of not looking spammy is to have ONE main thread about your product/service/etc, instead of multiple threads in various forums. One thread can be in many forums if you have PIE or pay for Thread Boost. Multiple threads look spammy. The other advantage to having one main thread is that you can post all your updates to that thread, and that will "bump" your thread up in the Recent Topics. This makes it so more people see your thread.

    Another important aspect of not-being-spammy, is that the thing you're promoting matches our values. If you are selling asphalt shingle roofing, or blow-up dolls, or porn, or pesticides, we will assume you are a spammer. But, if you're selling your wool yarn, or metal roofing service, or your organic chicken feed, we are far more likely to not assume you are spam.
    Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

    For ideas on what to add to this, or to tell me about spelling errors, etc, please post here: https://permies.com/t/115607/questions-Permies-FAQ

    Posts: 241
    Location: USDA Zone 7a
    books food preservation wood heat
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    Hello, I have read much of the info explaining about apples and pie and understand that to get pie you must first have gotten some apples...but how many apples does it take to exchange for a piece of pie?  I only found that it takes 4 apples to post  in the Cider Press forum.  Thank you if someone can explain or direct me to find the info.  
    master steward
    Posts: 13538
    Location: USDA Zone 8a
    dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
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    Pie can be bought, given, or earned (at the time of writing, 20 apples earns you one piece of pie.)  


    Denise Cares
    Posts: 241
    Location: USDA Zone 7a
    books food preservation wood heat
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    Thank you so much Anne.  I think I have it clear now. :)
    Posts: 1495
    trees bike woodworking
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    What do all the thread icons mean? Sometimes there’s a folder sometimes yellow, sometimes brown, a folder with a star, etc.? I’ve tried working it out but failed. I’m guessing it maybe somewhere else on the site but I can’t find it and I feel it should be on this page. Cheers.
    master gardener
    Posts: 4987
    Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland. Nearly 70 inches rain a year
    transportation dog forest garden foraging trees books food preservation woodworking wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
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    I found this thread.  Thanks for asking - I had wondered the same thing!
    Had you found This wiki? It seems to be linked on there.
    He's my best friend. Not yours. Mine. You can have this tiny ad:
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