This is a really cool concept. Some design constraints I was working with, which may or may not still be valid:
- Cars currently use this area as a turnout, and that functionality was requested to be partially preserved. Thus, my new wall dimensions were a big push of the envelope.
- 1 (now 2) week build time, as one of many tracks in the PTJ.
- The solarium was described to me as a way to 'natural-up' the otherwise bland fisher-price garage that people first see when entering the property.
- Training hops up the outside face of the south-wall
I apparently can't read. Or I have a poor memory. Building a non-frost pocket hugel is not a requirement for the Badge Bit. That's ok. I'm leaving the first post because I'm still curious whether my design will inadvertently create a frost pocket.
This project got started when the neighbor across the street brought a crew to limb their maple tree.
No, no, no. This project really got started when, after describing my desire to ask that neighbor if we could have some of the wood for a hugel that they were just throwing away, my six year old son just went over and asked them while I was finishing cooking dinner. Completely unbidden by me.
I came outside to my son standing at the end of the driveway talking across the street to the neighbor, and the neighbor asking, "are you gonna carry it?" To which my son replied, "well yeah, with my Dad."
And he did. I lament having no pictures of any of this.
"What're those points?" You ask?
This is where Paul comes in. With his list of freebies. If, by October 11th, 11:59pm Mountain Time, you've got posts in the above threads that meets the requirements of being certified, you get the listed points, and you get to cash in those points for freebies following the list below. Easy-peasy.
1 point per PEP eBook gift code
1 point for any microdoc gift code
1 point for two pieces of permie PIE
5 points for a full PIE (12 pieces)
2 points for Building a Better World in Your Backyard eBook gift code
1 point for raven's book about edible cleaners
2 points for Rocket Ovens DVD as HD streaming gift code
4 points for the World Domination Gardening HD streaming gift code
4 points for the big podcast mega gob
10 points for the rocket mass heater 8-DVD set as HD streaming gift code
20 points for the full 177 hours of PDC and ATC video gift code
6 points for 2 decks of cards and US shipping
20 points for 12 decks of cards and US shipping
6 points for Building a Better World in Your Backyard book and US shipping
24 points for a dozen copies of Building a Better World in Your Backyard book and US shipping
24 points for the rocket mass heater 8-DVD set with US shipping
10 points for the Rocket Ovens DVD with US shipping
12 points for the World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set with US shipping
25 points for the gapper fee - (access to the bootcamp)
To cash in? Just post in this thread the links to your BB's, how many points you racked up, and which freebie(s) you want.
The Short-Short version: Make Stuff: Post in the BB thread the thing you made, and all the required pictures to be Certified.
Earn Stuff:Be Certified before October 12th Mountain Time, and you get those points to spend on the freebies.
Get Stuff: Spend your points! Post in this thread after October 12th with a link to your certified BB(s), and say which freebie(s) you want.
One of those requirements is that the hugel not create a frost pocket. Thus, my question:
Will this hugel avoid creating a frost pocket?
The area currently slopes mostly west and a little south. I will preserve a path around the hugel to let cold air and water have a downward path out. I'm also counting on some radiant heat from the south and west facing masonry walls (yes, walls, not veneer).
Thanks for the help, and for ignoring my bad phone-picture-drawing.
We're trying to figure out if these tasks fit within the PEP program, and if so, where.
Maybe this task belongs in the Foraging badge? - Maybe not. Right now it's about foraging things for eating.
Maybe this task belongs in Natural Building? - Maybe not. Right now it's about building great big things.
Maybe this task belongs in Textiles? - Maybe not. Right now it's about making things, not harvesting them.
Maybe this task belongs in Woodland Care? - It's a bit about getting materials. Maybe so.
Nice work, Davin!
1) Has the glass already been sourced; do we have a set size?
Not to my knowledge. I was requested to 'have the design flex based on what is sourced.' Thus, I did not develop the size/shape standardization.
2) The lumber that you modeled is standard (1.5x5.5). Are we going to use the on site saw mill instead (which would provide nominal 2x6s)?
Yes, that seems preferable. When I started this project, the sawmill was broken, thus my design's heavy reliance on round wood and standard dl.
7) I have saved this file down, but let me know what year version you are using.
8) I deleted two columns. Your columns were smaller and spanned only 6 feet. Not sure if this was a good call on my part. Not sure if the stone base to columns is a good call on my part as well.
I did what I was comfortable with; you're doing what you're comfortable with. Artisans/approaches, etc.
This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum. Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Gardening.
Hugelkultur is basically gardening on buried wood. It is laid out very well in this Richsoil Article.
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, 6 feet long
- mulch it with at least 4 different kinds of mulch
- seed/plant at least a dozen different species
- mostly nitrogen fixers (>75% by volume)
- at least three comfrey plants
- at least three sunchokes
- at least a dozen sepp holzer grains (currently available as a prize for anyone who reaches BB20)
To document your completion of the BB, provide the following:
- Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended location marked out.
o probably marked with wood laid on the ground that will soon be buried!
- Three pics of three different stages of construction - showing the contents of the hugelkultur
- Pics of all the stuff about to be planted
- A paragraph or two of what wood was used and where it came from, what was planted, what mulches were applied and anything else interesting
- Two pics of the site after the work is complete from the same two locations as the beginning pictures.
o include some people or something in the pics so we can gauge that the size is probably correct
- You may use an excavator or other heavy equipment if needed. (opportunity for a two-fer with the earthworks badge)
- if you dig 3 foot deep trenches on either side of the hugelkultur spot, you can use that soil, mixed with wood, to make a hugelkultur bed that is 4 feet above grade but 7 feet tall relative to the bottom of the trench. That is one way to satisfy this BB.
To apply, please show you have earned 20 PEP Badge Bits. :: At least 20 :: Any PEP Badge BB, Any Level :: Oddball, 1 Full Point Equivalent To 1 BB ::
Earners of BB20 Certification are currently entitled to a packet of Sepp Holzer grain to be mailed within the U.S. If you wish for a packet of 42 grains to be mailed to you, please post saying so to this thread and a staff member will contact you to coordinate details. This is not a forever thing.
Sometimes, PEP events will only be open to people who have earned a minimum number of PEP BB's. One of the numbers I've seen thrown around is BB20.
Current BB20 Event at Wheaton Labs: https://wheaton-labs.com/bb20/
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- you must sweep a floor
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must provide:
- a before picture of the floor
- an action shot of you sweeping the floor
- an after picture of the floor
- OR a 2-minute video of you doing this
I had a similar desire to track my BB's. So I made a tracker. It's in my signature (or if you're on mobile, here's the link: https://permies.com/t/119155/PEP-Badge-Tracker-easier-track). Yes, it's for sale, but it's also one of the freebies available periodically to folks subscribed to the dailyish.
I know other folks make their own; some in their own thread, some in an excel sheet. I hope you find the system that's right for you.
Davin Hoyt wrote:Perhaps the base materials can be more elevated (higher relative to exterior ground level) and breath-able (slightly more porous)? I'm brainstorming about stone and sand at the moment. Your load bearing members are interior, and the exterior walls are separate (resting on a base that doesn't need a footer/extensive structure).
Initially, even having a floor was pushing the envelope a bit. Stone floor is a good call, and would help in several ways.
Davin Hoyt wrote:Please note: When I was at the 2017 Wheaton ATC, Josiah Wallingford's architect business partner got on a conference call with the entire class. I took the opportunity to ask him about design recommendations for this solarium project (which was already expressed by Paul at that time). What I think I gathered was: to have a heat collecting material inside the room to hold heat from day to day. The idea of this is similar to what Zach has learned from Sepp, where a large rock is just below the surface of a pond. So, I assume, some solid materials (need) to be placed within this architecture expansion. I think you started the design with a stone floor and now have a cedar wood floor.
That seems doable. It might also be accomplished by the RMH-to-be, or the stone floor, or both.
Davin Hoyt wrote:Wifi antenna: I wonder if it could have it's own pole? or tree? and run the wire below the parking surface?
This has shifted from being immutable to being mutable. So, yes.
Davin Hoyt wrote:I'd like to see a section of the solarium roof (now that you speak of limiting glue, plastic, and flashing). Perhaps a breathable floor system works well with a breathable roof system.
I have very little experience with truly breathable assemblies. I had hoped to avoid plastic or asphalt in the roof. Perhaps I am (again) aiming too high.
Davin Hoyt wrote:Food for thought: Can we have stone columns :) ? Bases maybe?
I look forward to the day when I get to design a project with structural stonework. I have concerns about specifying it in this project. Perhaps I'm being over-cautious.
Files attached; both the current file and a clean base.
Thanks for joining this morning Ashley! I hope you feel more comfortable with the SkIP language, and can see that BB20 is not as far away as it first seemed. I really look forward to seeing you next week.
Opalyn, I'm so so sorry I didn't see you in the zoom waiting room. I was presenting my screen, and I'm still getting the hang of how zoom (doesn't) notify the meeting host of a person in the waiting room. I hope you can join next week.
These are the facets of SkIP that appeal to me, that I can currently see. I'm sure there's more angles I haven't yet considered. This list could potentially equate to a table of contents for multiple further writings.
- All of the bricks, actionable.
- All of the podcasts, distilled.
- Do your best Sepp Holzer impersonation. Now do your best Erica Wisner impersonation.
- Sharing is Expressly Invited. Encouraged. ...Required, even!
- It helps me pursue pursuits which have interested me for years.
- Help to discard my acculturated perfectionism. Permission to make a shitty thing, on the road to making a better thing.
- A structure for Skill building.
- A path for Skill certification.
- A map for Re-Skilling.
- One more people selection system.
- Proof! For the doubters.
- What I wish Scouts was, and I'm an Eagle Scout.
- A Waterproof Trenchcoat without Polyester or PFA's.
- A letter to a younger version of myself. College is a sham. Why not SkIP it?
- A letter to an older version of myself. You get to pick your nose, and your friends.
- It could be the first baby steps for people wishing to return to the soil.
- It could be an enormous on-ramp into permaculture.
- It could help re-legitimize trade skills as a viable career path.
- It could be a permaculture workshop roadmap.
- It could be a permaculture community roadmap.
- It could be the stepping stone for Re-Husp.
- Enough PEP happening in the same place creates: A Town with No Cars that can Feed Itself. - And let's be honest; the carrot is pretty nice, too.
Perhaps you've seen these terms around permies, or maybe seen the shiny badges, and wondered what these were all about. This thread is for you!
SkIP = Skills to Inherit Property. It is Paul's overarching term for a way for people to SKIP the rat race and start homesteading and permaculture sooner.
PEP = Permaculture experience According to Paul This is one program within SkIP. It is a curriculum and certification to show that you have learned--and have--homesteading and permaculture skills. It is a way to learn through doing. As one learns and has their skills certified, they earn the spiffy badges you see around permies!
SkIP is still in it's development stage, and we're excited about all the places it will go. It is a way to connect those who want to do permaculture and homesteading (but don't have the land) with people who have land (but have no one to will it to or work it with them). PEP is one part of SkIP--it's one way for people who want to skip the rat race and learn permaculture. And, it is a way for those people to display their skills to those looking for responsible people to take over their farm or homestead.
A crucial aspect of SkIP is the story of Otis. Otis is a fictitious person representing all the hardworking farmers who have no one to care for their farm after them, and wish they had someone responsible to inherit their farm and manage it well. You can read the story of Otis here. Paul has a podcast all about Otis here. If you think you might be an Otis, you can get registered here. If you're wondering about the legal nuts and bolts of being an Otis, we have a thread to discuss them here.
There are many benefits to SkIP, and Paul outlines some of the advantages here:
primary benefits: benefits to the individual pursuing SkIP (skipper)
- possibility to inherit land that they otherwise would not have inherited
- develop skills
- develop a sense of accomplishment
- a path out of the rat race, or a path to avoid the rat race
secondary benefits: benefits to the entire population
- reduction in carbon footprint
- reduction in petroleum footprint
- reduction in toxic footprint
tertiary benefits: benefits to an individual developing a relationship with a skipper
- will your property to somebody you find worthy
- hire somebody you find worthy
- rent to somebody you find worthy
One of the ways that people can gain the skills to inherit property, is through PEP. PEP is a activity-based curriculum to learn homesteading and permaculture skills. It is based on the things Paul thinks are the most crucial and important skills for someone to know for growing in his climate. But, PEP is not intended to be the only aspect of SkIP. We think in the future there will be lots of avenues for people to gain and display the skills to inherit property... and for those wanting to deed their land to find the best person.
PEP (Permaculture Experience according to Paul), is just one of many PEXs. As Paul frequently says, anyone can make a PEX. I might make a PEN (Permaculture Experience according to Nicole) and Mike might do a PEM (Permaculture Experience according to Mike). These PEXs would consist of the activities and tasks we think are important homesteading and permaculture skills.
One PEX in development is the PEA--a Permaculture Experience for Apartments. These will be permaculture and homesteading skills that anyone--anywhere in the world--can do within their own apartment. They can be certified for the skills they have evidenced, and transfer their PEA credits to the PEP badge!
Here is the thread where Paul explains PEA. You can also read D. Logan's thread on the core philosophies of PEA and badge development here.
"Wait," You might be asking, "What are these 'badges' you keep talking about?" The Badges are the different aspects--or subjects, if you will--within PEP. Back in Elementary School, you might have Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, and a few other subjects. In PEP, we have Gardening, Natural Building, Textiles, Plumbing, Welding, Food Preservation, and more. There's a 22 aspects. And here they all are!
gardening Use permaculture techniques to grow delicious food. Projects include hugelkultur, chop and drop, Ruth Stout style composting, saving seeds, producing large volumes of food, polyculture, starting perennials from seed, food forest...
natural building Building big things. Build experiences with several styles of natural building that work in a cold climate, with the grand finale being a wofati.
Techniques: cob, plaster, straw bale, wofati, natural paint, adobe, natural roofing, waterproofing, doors and gates, dry stack foundation, make cement, cob floor, wattle and daub…
woodland care Transition from using a forest to developing a symbiotic relationship with a woodland.
Create junkpole fence, firewood, coppicing, living fence, twig construction (arbors, tomato cages, trellises, wattle fence), strip trees manually and with power tools, peeling logs, making roofing shakes, plant tree seeds, plant woodland species, grow edible mushrooms, lumber, gin pole, skiddable sheds, rock jacks, berm shed ...
round wood woodworking Build everything from logs, branches, and sticks using zero glue and rarely using metal. Nothing starts with dimensional lumber. Power tools can be okay, but, in general, less power tools. Some projects specify no power tools. Quite a bit of working with green (freshly harvested) wood. Small and large joinery, mixing green wood with dried wood, three log benches, spoon carving, shaving horse, sawhorse, sawbuck, chairs and other roundwood furniture, shrink pot, box from a piece of firewood, pole lathe, bowl from a pole lathe, skiddable shed for green wood woodworking, proenneke hinge, door latch, wofati freezer ...
tool care Maintaining and repairing tools of all sizes. Small tool care (sharpening/handles/etc.), power tool care (chainsaws, saws, drills, power hand tools as well as fixed power tools), large tool care (truck/tractor/etc.), appliance repair, bicycle repair, building a tool shed, optimize shop, build a materials shed, create dry places to park/charge large equipment…
earthworks Use large equipment to make dramatic changes to the landscape. Build roads, trails, terraces, ponds, berms, ditches, structure site prep, natural swimming pools, dry stack walls, passive garden heaters, garden ATI...
dimensional lumber woodworking Includes construction, cabinetry and fine woodworking. No plywood, waferboard or particle board. Using power tools, nails, screws are used, but hopefully less than in most construction. This badge has a strong emphasis on good joinery over more nails.
Projects include: wood scorching, bird house, laying deck, shelves, wooden toolboox, stool, box, picnic table, wood bucket, skiddable lumber storage shed, porta cabin...
food prep and preservation Demonstrate cooking, boiling, baking, frying, delicious food using energy saving methods like hay box cooking or solar dehydrator. Skills include basic cooking pot and cast iron care, preserving the harvest with canning, drying, pickling and fermenting...
animal care Caring for domestic animals and providing resources and infrastructure to encourage wild animals to do the work for you. Domestic animal care includes: chickens, pigs, cattle, rabbits, sheep, goats, dairy, bees, fish, and butchering. Wildlife care includes building homes for birds, bats, pollinators, garden-friendly insects, snakes, lizards...
foraging Harvest and preserve food from the wild. Gather fresh fruits, berries, nuts, greens, teas, mushrooms, and vegetables from wild sources. Practice fishing and hunting (with vegan alternatives) respectfully. Care for the place we harvest from and improve it with some guerrilla gardening...
community living Building a desirable community and creating community experiences for others. Skills include creating public art, cooking meals for a group, leading workshops and presentations, improving a common space, creating a community holiday, creating a LIC (labor investment collective), giving tours, creating a map, organizing community events like a swap meet ...
textiles Mend and make clothing and other useful textiles. Skills include: mending, weaving, knitting, crochet, spinning, sewing, basketry; as wells as growing fiber plants, harvesting them and creating cloth.
Tasks include creating curtains, upholstered furniture, patching, darning, knitting socks, leatherwork, basketry...
greywater and willow feeders There is no “waste” in nature. Horticultural techniques for safe management of poop and pee. Using soaps and cleaners that are greywater friendly, reuse wash water in the garden. Planting “poop beasts” like willow, poplar and cottonwood. Proper handling of “willow candy”...
metalworking Build and repair metal things. Welding, cutting, blacksmithing, casting, bending/shaping, and grinding. Large farm equipment, as well as small projects...
plumbing and hot water Pressurized, non-pressurized systems. Working with metal and plastic plumbing. Installing, replacing, or repairing pipes. Maintenance and building new systems. Stopping leaks, maintaining hoses, repair or replace drains, toilets, faucets, garden hydrant...
electricity (including solar) Maintain and build electrical systems. AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). On grid and off grid. Battery maintenance, installing outlets, breaker panels, repairing and building solar systems ...
commerce (be able to do business) Prove that you can earn money in multiple ways, including some non-conventional ways. Prove to Otis that you would arrive with your own income streams and would not be dependent on his savings. Demonstrate: several income models over the internet, passive income streams, earning money through permaculture labor...
natural medicine Harvesting healing herbs from a garden and the wild to establish a collection of medicines. Build knowledge of the efficacy of the plants on a particular property by recording the healing nature of each plant you harvest. Skills include identifying plants and their properties, keeping records, making teas, tinctures, oils, salves, poultices, and preserving medicinal herbs for future use...
nest Demonstrate to Otis that if you stay in that second house, you’ll take care of it. Cleaning, shoveling snow, laundry, simple house maintenance, and other daily, repetitive tasks that make our living space livable according to the standards of Otis..
homesteading Known experiences that don't fit into the other aspects.
oddball Unpredictable, unique and creative experiences worthy of PEP. Rather than BBs, this aspect has a point system to earn badges.
To earn one of these Badges, you will complete Badge Bits (or BBs). These Badge Bits are ways to learn through doing. Instead of just learning about the concepts and regulations and philosophies of gardening and woodworking and then taking a test, you'll carve a spoon and make a mallet. You'll learn by doing. AND, you'll now have a wooden spoon and a mallet that you carved!
These spoons were all carved for the Roundwood Woodworking spoon BB. Most of these spoons were the first spoon this person ever carved. Not only did they learn a lot about carving by making the spoon, now they have their own spoon to keep and use!
By the time you complete the the Roundwood Woodworking Badge, you'll have made a spoon, a mallet, a compound mallet, a three log bench, coat hooks, a stool, and a hugelkulture ladder! If you earn the Textile Badge, you'll have made a pillow, darned a sock, made a hot pad or washcloth, patched a pair of pants, spun twine, and woven a basket!
You will always have "something to show for" all the work you did. You will have a fixed faucet, installed light fixture, a hugelkulture garden bed, canned food to store, a clean house, money you earned, a sharpened knife, etc.
If you're wondering where to start, you might like seeing how to get your first BB, or what the easiest BBs were for people, or joing the BB Club, or find a mentor. If you'd like to see all the first level badge bits in one searchable spot, Paul and Shawn made a PEP Book where you can read through all Sand badges. If you like an easy way track the badges and BBs you want to do and have done, Ash also made a PEP tracker! His tracker has a PDF, Workflowy, and Trello versions with lists of all the Badge Bits and has ways to mark which ones you've done and want to do.
You might have noticed that there's lots of different colors of badges. These signify the amount of BBs you've completed. There are five badge levels, air, sand, straw, wood and iron..
Air--This signifies you've completed one BB in that badge (in this case, in gardening)
Sand--This signifies you've done all the required BBs to earn the sand badge (in this case, in gardening). It should take a skilled person about 5 hours.
Straw--This signifies you've done all the required BBs to earn the straw badge (in this case, in gardening). It should take a skilled person about 40 hours (+35 hours over sand, about 4 or 5 days)
Wood--This signifies you've done all the required BBs to earn the wood badge (in this case, in gardening). It should take a skilled person about 220 hours (+180 hours over straw, about 4 to 5 weeks)
Iron--This signifies you've done all the required BBs to earn the iron badge (in this case, in gardening). It should take a skilled person about 1,250 hours (+1030 hours over wood, about six months)
You can find out more about the estimated time to complete a badge here. There are instructions for how to apply for your badge here!
We have ways to display the fact that you've done multiple badge bits--or even multiple badges. The BB5, BB10, BB20, BB40, and BB60 show just how many badge bits you have completed. It doesn't matter which BBs you've done. If you've done 40 BBs, you get the BB40 badge!
After completing 5 badge bits (BBs), you have earned the BB5 badge!
After completing 10 BBs, you have earned the BB10 badge!
After completing 20 BBs, you have earned the BB20 badge!
After completing 40 BBs, you have earned the BB40 badge!
After completing 60 BBs, you have earned the BB60 badge!
Even more important, are our PEP1, PEP2, PEP3, and PEP4 certifications!
A formal PEP1 program would last 2 weeks (~80 hours). Completing the PEP1 program requires 16 sand badges.
A formal PEP2 program would fill a summer (~510 hours). Requires 1 wood badge + 7 straw badges + 14 sand badges (a badge in all 22 aspects).
A formal PEP3 program would take about nine months (~1550 hours). Requires 7 wood badges + 15 straw badges (a badge in all 22 aspects).
A formal PEP4 program would take a little over two years (~4700 hours). Requires 3 iron badges + 12 wood badges + 7 straw badges (a badge in all 22 aspects). Natural building and Gardening are required iron badges. The third iron badge is your choice, but cannot be Oddball or Homesteading.
Maybe you live in an apartment, or don't have the machinery or land or other resources to complete these BBs. There are solutions!
There's a list of places to complete BBs here. If you would like people to complete some work on your property, that just happens to complete a bunch of Badge Bits, you might want to post in that thread!
Wheaton Labs has a yearly SkIP event. You can see 2019's SKIP event here. And, find out more about future events here
The SkIP event allows you to complete up to 10 badges. Some people focus on just the things--like making a 7-foot tall hugelkultur garden--that they cannot do at home. Some focus on completing just a one or two badges that they really want done. If the person attends the preceding Permaculture Technology Jamboree event, they can finish all 16 badges and leave with the PEP1 certification!