Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Orin, I have a question.
You are in Ant Village now. I used to follow the Ants before, who were busy building some nice little houses there. But all of them left and didn't return. How many Ants are there living in Ant Village now? What happened to the houses the others made?
There are three Deep Roots people on Upper Wheaton Labs right now. Paul is really encouraging Boots to transition to the Deep Roots program rather than the Ant Village Program; I believe he is trying new methods since the first Ant Village experiment resulted in many Ants leaving. In the USA, living in community isn't easy for those of us not born into the Amish or Hutterrite traditions. Since I am interested in creating a functioning example of shelter, water, fire and food before I experiment, I've chosen the Ant Village program where in I have time....when I want to contribute to the community, I can. The Deep Roots people have much less time to create their own shelter, water, fire and food systems. Because I feel the Ant Village program makes the most sense for me an others like me, I invite new Boots to seriously consider the Ant Program. I've failed in this endeavor; I am the only Ant besides Jaqi. Clayton has chosen the Deep Roots program, and is working on the Lemon Tree site as his acre should he complete two years in the Boot Camp.
So that makes six people actively engaged in Upper Wheaton Labs currently.
As to the houses other Ants made, the first lot is rented and managed by a woman whom I've never seen nor met since she does this remotely. Clayton almost chose Lot 2 upon which Evan and Kai built and lived. Both of these buildings exist but were never really completed...except for maybe Kai's. I say never finished because, when I consider a shelter I ask: where is the kitchen?, where is the rocket stove?, where is the shower?, where is the humanure repository? where is the bed? So Kai has a bed, has a kitchen stove but no sink, no rocket stove, no shitter, and no shower. Kai did do something I really liked: he collected water off his natural roof! -he was the only one with who attempted this. Evan used to have a rocket stove and Walker stove but he took it with him, but no sink, and his shower/shitter wasn't finished. I think, don't know, Evan's bed was the bench of his rocket stove. I like the fact that Evan's place is the best thermal performer in the summer (keeps it cooler than all the other buildings). Lot 3 and 5 have nothing left worth discussing. Lot 5, Jesse's acre has a shelter which Jaqi chose. And there is lot 6, now named On Narrow Pond, which I've claimed. There are two buildings which have major issues requiring that I rebuild them or tear them down. There is also Hill Billy Mansion which was built with banned building materials; I've agreed to demolish Hll Billy Mansion for any allowed building materials I can reclaim AND to take the banned materials to the dump.
I feel that Ant Village has a chance of success once one person actually creates the scared four: shelter, water, fire, and food. Without a full example of the scared four on the land, I feel few with realize what an opportunity this really is.
Ben Skiba wrote:....I like the rock cistern idea pretty sweet getting a Nabataean feel to it.Narrow ponds reminds me of EarthSea books.....
I knew the only way I personally could bring water to my acre is to store it from rain; rocking in clay walls seemed the natural answer. Since the Upper Labs are a glacial rain forest in the winter (complete with misting freezing rains), and a high desert in the summer, narrow ponds, whose depth are greater than their diameter, seemed like the answer for hot weather evaporation in the summer and collection during the winter.
Ben Skiba wrote:Keep it up brother lookin good.You got any pictures of old structures?how has bearcave aged?
The logs and small poles used for the walls/ceiling were not barked and as a result now are full of white fungi which are rapidly breaking the poles down. Additionally, many of the poles and logs were not long enough to meet at the center or the roof line; this means at some point in the future, when the tarps degrade (which they will due to not having dirt or brush cover at the top 3rd of the roof), the roof will have holes in it in many places.
The clay sides are now caving in near the cut in seats and cut roots due to water.
My solution to this is to remove all the brush, remove the tarps, cut new poles of the correct length. remove the bark, and replace the too short and too rotten poles.
Since I will basically re-design and replace most of the building (I suspect only the clay floor and mid thigh clay walls will remain), I'll rename the new building the Dwarf's Redoubt. I use this name because the site has no solar gain unless I remove many trees.... I might redo it in rock entirely to prevent the clay from caving in. It won't be my living space; I have ideas and plans but I'll wait to see how the place evolves.
I don't share pictures of what I do on Narrow Pond to the general public; those who provide material support get that kind of information.
I see you are near or on Dine land. I love the southwest in a way not easily explained. I hope your own scared four are well established or on the way to being so!
Creighton Samuels wrote:The different programs are interesting, but I can't say that I understand which one would fit best.
After reading your post from beginning to end, the answer isn't clear to me either because we don't know what she wants.
Creighton Samuels wrote:My daughter is 20, and was a freshman at a local university this past winter.
What was her major and minors? Why did she pick them? ...I suspect these would be better answered by her.
Creighton Samuels wrote:
She's the outdoorsy type, and has worked summers as a "counselor" (really just a dorm mom) at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina. She would be there now if not for Covid19 shutting down that summer camp. She already has a cert in Wilderness Rescue and First Aid, including fast-water rescue; a two year stint at a federal park would make her eligible to become a certified forest "ranger"; but she didn't choose that path; so she's definitely the "outdoorsy" type and is a far cry from a city girl.
Now we know she won't have to take a half day off because she lost a nail :] and she won't experience as much soreness as some couch potatoes who have been here
Creighton Samuels wrote:
I'm curious though, what those who have been through the programs at Wheaton Labs, might think of what my dauther might want.
The best answer to what she might want probably needs to come from her mouth to our ears first. We're glad you're considering Wheaton Labs. But we like successful Permies Boots, Ants, and Deep Roots people. But motivation will come from her; we need her words, her intentions and heart motivations.
Does she know what permaculture is?
Does she know who Bill Mollison is?
Has she read the Permaculture Design Manual?
Does she know who Sepp Holzer is?
Does she know who Geoffery Lawton is?
If the answer is no to all of these questions then the next set of questions might be:
Does she know our climate is changing?
Does she know what the most effective method of living might mitigate that change?
Even if the climate wasn't changing, is she interested in off grid life?
Is she interested in houses that can shelter, provide water, heat and cool itself without the grid?
Is she interested in finding out the most efficient method to grow food that doesn't have persistent/non-persistant herbicides and pesticides on it?
Does she know how to create water on dry desert lands? Would she like to know?
Has she ever rented in a house with more than two roommates? would she like to know how to do that successfully?
Does she know the difference between USDA organic food and California Organic food or Texas Organic Food? Does she care to know?
If the answer to all of these questions are "no", then I suspect this isn't the place for her.
Creighton Samuels wrote:
If I were to pay her way to Wheaton Labs, plus room & board and any tuition fees; what program should she pursue (if indeed, she chooses to learn useful skills this fall & winter)? (I can't fathom that room, board and tuition could possiblely cost more than her university tuition, which is *not* going to be cheaper even if every class goes online)
In my opinion, the Permies Boot Camp is for those who have an idea of what they want to learn and what they want to experiment with on an acre of land on the weekend. Winter isn't easy because it is cold and we don't stop all work. If she comes right now, she'll get in on Natural Building as we do the solar passive greywater green house. She'll get in on how we are addressing our food systems.
After a month, she'll get an arce to tinker on. Clayton is about her age and he could respond to how well he likes it. He had his education interrupted also. This would mean she'd be tinkering on an acre by August. In four months, which would be around November, she'd have the Ant Village option. But that late in the year, I would strongly advise against it unless she knows exactly what she wants to do during November, December, January, and February. I think she'd be best served if she waited for the spring, being April 15th, to exercise the Ant Village Option.
If she stays for two years in the Boot Camp, she gets her acre's rent paid for life. Maybe she goes back to college if it isn't all online then.
During the winter months, she'd need to press forward by actively expressing interest in specific areas of interest, take notes, and use some of the podcasts to start her investigations of the body of knowledge of permaculture. Josiah knows a great deal about growing food, Fred knows a great deall about many things, Jen knows how to grow food and lifestock, and Clayton knows a great deal more than he did before...maybe you should purple moosage him?
As for costs, you're in luck. It depends on her and her quality of good work not her pocket book.
Creighton Samuels wrote:
The acre of land is interesting, but she doesn't [b]need[/b] it. We already live on 14 acres of mostly wooded..... (Momma doesn't like her ever presence, either....
Could be she does really need it if you put these two statements side by side.... unless you all decide to kick off early
Creighton Samuels wrote:
Or are there not enough programs during the fall and winter to make this worthwhile?
Since the costs isn't there if she chooses the Permies Boot Camp, you're off the hook.
However, Paul would need to work a special deal for her if she chooses the Ant Program so late in the year....if Paul okayed it, I could guide her through building her own acre up to a working model she could live in by snowfall but she'd need to come before August 1st and she'd really have to want it (cause that's a lot of work and she's going to do a lion's share of it). The cost might be prohibitive because there is a dollar amount I'd want and Paul is going to want monies for renting the tractor, excavator, truck and trailer. If she showed up in a durable truck that can tow a good sized trailer, the tractor and excavator would still be needed.
I'd need six grand to guide her every day Monday through Friday to completion of a shelter which would heat her , cool her, provide water, and provide energy for her to cook with before snow flies this year. You can purple moosage Clayton about my ability in being helpful to him. You can also check out this blog: my own creations From 7pm to 8pm she could join all of us learning FreeCAD. She could work out a deal with Josiah or Jen or Fred in areas that I am weak in....and of course there is Paul who can answer questions.
Then there is the firebrick and or rocket mass heater core she will need to purchase, the glass for her through the wall solar oven, the stainless steel wings for the through the wall solar oven, the fasteners she'd need in building, the battery operated drill, driver and chainsaw she'd need. The linseed oil she'd need if she went that direction...the seeds and seedlings she'd need to get started if she so chose to. An ax, a three pound hammer, wood chisels, driver bits...all these start to add up quickly but aren't in the same league for costs as a university is.
It would be an experience of a lifetime for her, that is for certain, but only if she is interested in permaculture!
Life in Ant Village.... there's more going on here than meets the eye...this a very small compost pile from an organic source -free (sort of...transportation costs not included)!
...a ground squirrel is getting fat on those little pieces which didn't get compost tea put on them.....very fat -don't think the rubber boa snake can get its mouth around him yet.
...and here's Ben's cooking stove which I will rebuild. Why? Notice the flames jetting out around the pan? Before I put the pan on, the flame is only 2/3rd's up the vertical part of the L, after the pan is over the opening, the flame jets upward -BUT IS STILL BLACK WITH SOOT. This means the pan tries to form the J of a true rocket stove but fails to burn cleanly. The first 90 in the J is equal to the entire L, the second 90 in the J is superior to the pan over the opening because the J tube doesn't leak around a pan, it has to burn around a solid 90. The L stove burns more wood than a rocket cook stove with a J instead of the L....Here are the things I'll do when I rebuild it:
-I'll raise the whole cook stove J tube so the top of the J tube is at solar plexus height;
-this will mean the feed tube will be at about crotch height ( I won't have to crouch to feed the fire);
-I'll reduce the aperture down to five to six inches, this will reduce the amount of wood the current stove will use in addition to burning less wood than the L tube because it is a J tube which burns more efficiently.
My mid-day potato won't be burnt either like the L tube's mid-day potato is right now....I can close up both the top and the bottom of a J tube and the heat in the J tube alone will cook a potato where as the L tube looses too much heat because the vertical part of the L is so much larger than the short part of the L where the potato currently has to be cooked....more heat is lost up the very high L and the potato is much closer to incoming very cool air. For this reason, I have no choice but to put the potato in while there is still a little flame left on the wood ....even then a larger potato will not cook all the way through in the L tube like it would in a rocket stove J tube.
Glad you're going to make it out here! If you don't see me before you go, no worries, if you make it through the winter, I'll see you then.....
...cool that you get to see the green house go up and be a part of that.
There are bees here on the Lab, both wild and domestic.
Two jobs is hectic, here you'll only have one -but I hope you choose a lot in Ant Village and work on it during a day off after you've been in the Boot Camp one month.... I always suggest to those coming to the Boot Camp to be active during the weekend even though most people just want to rest as much as possible
-I believe if one is active just four hours up on the Lab on a Saturday or Sunday, when you are stronger and have more endurance, after about eight weeks for most, then one can easily start working as much as they want on their Ant Village lot.
Whereas, those who just rest on the weekend, train themselves to physically crash on Saturday or Sunday and cannot re-train themselves to do their own work (in your case bees maybe?) when they finally do have enough endurance and strength. They end up leaving Wheaton Labs without having accomplished anything during their stay here on their own Ant Village lot. Those who had planned on staying at Wheaton Labs feel they simply aren't up to the tasks needed.
Be that as it may, Clayton, without any experience when he arrived, is now beginning to build his own Wofati. He did work with me on weekends until after a month, he picked his own lot. Initially, he was exhausted and slept well until he found himself stronger and able to work to his own satisfaction. Today, Josiah, Jennifer and I gave him a hand moving his logs into position around his wofati. There have been other Boots who, after the first hour they worked with me, I never asked them back. Some chose to not work at all up on the Lab during the weekends.
With regards to myself, I chose a lot and renamed it to On Narrow Pond immediately after the 30th day. After four months, I had nine honey locust trees, 13 sun chokes, a few brave corn, squash, and tomato plants growing On Narrow Pond. I also had dug a 6' deep cistern and had begun to rock it in (most of the rock had been also collected during weekends during my stay in Boot Camp). Since I chose the Ant Village path rather than the Deep Roots path, I left the Boot Camp after the fourth month and began eating and sleeping On Narrow Pond.
So feel free to ask Clayton if you can work with him on a Saturday or Sunday on his own acre (Josiah, Jennifer, and Fred might be willing to trade work with you after you've show your abilities in the Boot Camp). Clayton might want to see how you do in the Boot Camp too before he is willing to trade hour for hour, but it won't hurt to ask. Of course, if I am still here and you arrive on a weekend, you'll be working with me :)
As of the time of this writing, I owe Clayton 8 hours and 15 minutes of work. He'll get some time back from me tomorrow when we replace some rotten beams for his soon to be Wofati. Fred owes me four hours.
Also, currently Josiah, Jennifer, Clayton and me have been teaching ourselves FreeCAD on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7pm to 8pm. Feel free to join this group even though your body is probably going to be asking for bed; you'll end up with a design tool skill you didn't show up with beyond the natural building and growies you'll get to learn about during the 40 hrs of Boot Camp project time. In case you don't have a laptop, there's a laptop here named Treetrunks which you might be able to use or Gunter depending on what Jen is using for FreeCAD that night.
Josiah has also been holding Permies Documentary Movie Night on some Friday nights; if you want more learning to happen while you're at Wheaton Labs, ask Josiah on Thursday what he is showing on Friday night!
In closing, Permies Boot Camp is what you make it. Everyone comes with different motivations but I believe it is the values which matter the most. Could it be the closer their values align with those Paul Wheaton has described in his podcasts the happier each person is here? I don't know, because my general values match Paul's in many ways in the permaculture realms of natural building, energy, growies, and yes, even his views on community.
Pretty sure I didn't try and share...pretty sure I did share!
Random? Wheaton Labs is indeed an intentional community....and one way to enter it is through the Boot Camp
When one looks for a community, one may easily change their mind about where, as in not California. Seems you have no intention of changing your mind.....which is very clear from your tone.
-so very appropriate and very relevant!
I suspect you are male so I'm not really interested in you that way, but thanks for looking at my ad
As for the one person, ooops! no, all that seem appropriate for Wheaton Labs, so no Seth it wasn't just one person. ...so far Seth, none of the moderators have had an issue with my approach to women...funny you'd take issue though, especially since two of those women found my posts so relevant and appropriate, they are on their way here as I type!
Advertise?!? yep, you were right the first time....sharing what I really like
If you have any more carefully thought out questions that are relevant, pose them!
Thanks Steve. I'm hoping someone will have mercy on my corn, squash and tomatoes which survived one watering a week....I definitely believe I'll have at least 7 honey locust trees and some sunchokes which survive the winter!
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Hi Orin. I love your little 'kitchen'!
Sorry I can't send you tools or funds.
Thanks Inge! I've yet to modify it to exactly how I want it.
...and even if you did send tools, due to the shutdown, they would probably arrive after the tools I've already ordered.
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:But I could knit a hat for you like I did for some others (because of the BRK).
If you want a knitted wool hat: what is the size of your head (how many inches or centimeters measured around it just above the ears)? If you prefer socks (house-socks, thick homespun wool), that's possible too. You can send me a PM.
I will definitely send you a PM! Your knitted items are not to be missed out on!
Martha Hernandez wrote:I love your picture book display of more info about the lab and what happens there (should you accept your mission) on a typical day on a likely project.
Thanks for loving my pictorial on Wheaton Lab's Boot life!
Martha Hernandez wrote:.... (should you accept your mission)....
not sure what you mean by the content between the parenthesis..... hmmm.....It could mean you'd like more pictures on what happens on a typical day on a likely project....
...to which I would respond, I've completed that mission...I've shown everything we've done via pictures every single day, without missing a day, of what happens in the Boot Camp.
You'd need to view all these pics and videos the get the feeling that there isn't a typical day nor a single project -but the work is real and it really does happen between 8am till noon and 1pm till 5pm.
I've also written text to tell about things for which there are no pictures. Beyond this, you would get only my opinion of these going ons......but you'd get a biased opinion 'cause in general, I like what is going on here.
I hear you are coming!?!? Good! Come on a weekend and I'll put you to work On Narrow Pond and give you all the inside info which will be useful to you actually being here.....and not really useful for anything or any where else :)
If you don't make it by the end of July though, you'll miss my inside scoop and you'll have to wait until I return early next spring .
My caution in waiting to be an Ant before I ordered tools via BRK funds seems now unwarranted and definitely has made a mess out of my construction schedule. The tools didn't arrive when I needed them, which is right now.
Well I did in fact move out of the Fisher Price House Bunk Room on Sunday...but I didn't take any pictures of washing my sheets and leaving a clean bed there....the loads of junk being carried to my car kept me busy plus unloading it too.
For people who've sent me material support, I'll send more detailed pics and writings...here are some pics for the rest of you.
sounds like you're headed in the right direction: coil or radiator with cold water cycling through it inside your central air. Since you'd condense a great deal of water, I'd make a summer by-pass for your central air, tilt the condenser radiator/coil in the by pass to collect the water into a pipe with a low pressure check valve to drain it away into a planter or some other use.
of course you need to build a test model first and see at what CFM you get the best dehumidification
For those with out a pond, they could find out how deep in the earth they need to go to hit 50F and go another ten feet deeper...this way, they now have a heat sink bigger than your pond.
Of course you can put in a rocket mass heater in a earthbag home.
Here's somethings you might care about:
-insulate the bottom of the rocket stove from the floor (some do this by using two layers of three hole bricks underneath the firebrick...not the best insulation but eco-friendly and passes air from the room through the bottom);
-insulate the mass around the flue from any outside wall (doing this in an eco friendly way takes some creativity like papercrete);
-papercrete on the wall around the barrel isn't such a great idea unless you've tested your paper create up to 1000F;
-no to the incline unless you decide to go with a stratification chamber and an exit flue a half inch from the barrel.
It's a personal Independence Day for me too today!
Now for some information about how life is different in Ant Village vs the Boot Camp.
First of all, in the Boot Camp, you get all the food you need however you or the people around you can cook it! -Since we have good cooks right now, believe me, that's a good thing!
In the Boot Camp, you have full access to a kitchen, a washer machine, and the shower...full access to the Fisher Price House.
As an Ant you don't get any of that.
Yep. Like that.
Fisher Price House is off limits for your basic needs. Gotta make your own shower, grow your own organic food, make your own kitchen and make your own bed (really, both ways).....oh and no tools, you gotta trade labor for tractor time, Judy time (explain that later), and Rex time.
But as an Ant, you don't work from 8am till 12pm and 1pm till 5pm doing what others tell you you need to do. And you don't do 4hrs to 8hrs of nest labor either at the base camp. Yep! that's means you have all day to work on your on plot! Where as a Boot only has a day and a half to work on their own projects on an acre they've selected after the first month -biiiiig difference, I'm telling you, join the people at Ant Village as soon as you've finished the four months!
...but you better work your acre while it's warm because WINTER IS COMING...
Now all the other Boots are going to try to talk you out of moving to Ant Village after four months...something about Deep Roots and some other things which I recommend you don't listen to.....you see, Ant Village is for those who can work because winter is coming and not so much for those who just dream about all the work they could do if they really did.
Yep, so come to the Permies Boot Camp, earn your acre for a year, and get on with it! And you can drop by to say "hi" over On Narrow Pond (that'd be my acre). And you can got to the Fisher Price House to tell the Boots how happy you are doing your own work every Tuesday night for Taco Tuesday!
oh yes, you will feel sad to leave the other Boots, surprised me how much I'd gotten used to those nice people in daily life...
but look out!, they will definitely try to get you to stay longer in the Permies Boot Camp if they catch you feeling sad because you'll miss them....don't worry, you can visit them on Taco Tuesday...you'll have a lot to do on your acre!
Anyways, tomorrow I'll post a bit more on my move out of the Bunk Room to On Narrow Pond.
The Well. Remember the Well? ah yes, better know as the Mouth Down into Hell; drop anything into its depths and your life will descend into misery and despair.
Keep the Mouth Into Hell closed; don't be tempted. You've been warned.
...even if you recover, you'll be flushing your cistern.
Hi, Orin here. My first full time day on Ant Village will be July 5th!
What is the difference between living in the Boot Camp and moving into Ant Village???
On July 5th, I'll do my best to share my views on that! I will no longer be posting on my Boot Camp thread after July 5th 2020, so follow me here instead if you want to see what life is like in Ant Village ( know you want to).
Wendy Dockweiler wrote:
... It's that I've become a slave to what I have no control over, unless I do something to change that. I honestly think the ground I'm inhabiting has become infertile.
Nicely expressed! For myself, I noticed the lifestyle change after about two months, not because I'm obtuse but because it took a while for me to know I could trust the lifestyle here as viable....then I could relax and enjoy it
Wendy Dockweiler wrote:
I gather from what I've been reading, that one has a better chance of success if they have a passive residual income, and I do not currently have that. I know I don't really need to be concerned about this right now; I will be able to prioritize what I need to do once I go to boot camp.
Yep, it is financially easier for those with a passive residual income. My take on this is to make sure one makes time and space here every week or an hour every day immediately upon arrival as part of one's daily schedule. I've noticed those who wait until they are "stronger or adapted" to the work we do here are more likely not to make space for that time because it "cuts into their down time".
We look forward to having such a thoughtful person here.... See you when you make it here!
Yesterday saw more concentrated nest labor as usual (no posts this time); seems taking pictures every now and again tends to interrupt the nice stack of things I want to do (more later on in this post).
Fred noticed a something about our well pump house. The top collects a great deal of water. Since the well house is underground, the top is a metal lid....I'm very curious about how much water collects every day during the summer...let's see what happens!
Here's a video of some random person driving our tractor ;]
Hi ladies! You can see the world through my eyes here.. ...and you can see the way I think through the posts I've made else where on this site.
How old? Yeah, about that. I saw the first dinasour crack it's shell but when it stormed this morning, I heard rain for the first time. I'm older than dinasour dung and younger than you are: I can outwork you, out think you, and outlast you ;)
So now we've discussed age, if you haven't noticed by now, I'm male. I'm hoping you're not.
If you want to meet up, just buzz right up to Montana and join the Boot Camp for a week!
That way I can see if you're clever at work, clever at design, and happy besides being female...and if you really don't like what you see then there are other guys here who might not be able to out think you or outlast you.
Just think about it, you can meet guys, see how they work, see how clever they are, and see if you really like them in everyday life -and- there is a constant stream of them too!
But look out, if you're really not a permies sort of person, Boot Camp won't be the place to find your guy.
Wendy Dockweiler wrote:... "I don't know if I'm running away from something or toward something" and I instantly identified with that notion. I have some vacation time so I'm considering using that to go to boot camp and hopefully be able to decide if I'm just being impulsive at the thought of completely changing everything, or if this is a kick start to finding what I feel I need to do to become the person, and live like I honestly think is what I want.
I've learned that sometimes it is the social and other conditions around a person which is "the problem" and other times it is one's own self that is "the problem"....it is pretty easy to tell; if you have similar issues in a new place with strangers, that stuff is probably yours; if the issues disappear, that stuff belongs to the conditions you left behind. Also consider a plant: some plants like certain conditions and are awesome under those conditions and under other conditions, the plant looks pretty sad.
As for what you want, it is possible to have conflicting desires which oppose each other. Sometimes conflicting desires are completely opposed to each other and sometimes there's just a little inner conflict. Sometimes it's just a matter of realizing we humans tend to look for conflict to be resolved and one already has every thing one wants. I think one has to prioritize one's values (or atleast one's wants and desires), in order to resolve such desire conflicts.
Wendy Dockweiler wrote:
I wonder if I need to have a little more than just my common sense and inspired motivation to begin this adventure to give myself the best shot at making an educated decision or, if I should just throw logic out the window and "use the Force" and follow my feelings. Is it necessary, in order to be successful, to have at least had my own garden or compost pile, or is it enough that I really just want to learn as much as I can with an open mind and absorb whatever experience comes to me?
Has anyone else joined in there on a whim and it turned out to be the best decision of their lives? I'd love to hear your story, as much as those who might have had a less than favorable experience.
I'm a little annoyed at Star Wars confusing the Force with feelings. In my opinion, feelings are part of the source energy for one's drive to action. Feelings are temporal and I guarantee you will feel differently in two weeks about any thing you're currently feeling (even if it is just a subtle change). The Force on the other hand, is referred to by some Native Americans as the Spirit that Moves Through All Things and some people claim they can access it or feel the information in it...this is not the same thing as feelings. End rant.
If you come with specific learning goals through doing/experience, after one month, you can work on your own selected acre in Ant Village. Working on an acre could mean natural building, water collection, wild food identification, annuals and perennials. Or you could come and just experience. I recommend you do both: come with goals you want to accomplish on your own selected acre; and come to experience with an open mind how to live a completely different way. To experience without a direction could lead to nothing at all for you.
As for the best decision you can make and less favorable experiences, only you can determine this! One way to know if it's a good idea is to listen to Paul's podcasts on Intentional Communities and his deviating from normal podcasts: these will help you see if your values/wants/desires are aligned with Paul's.
For example, if your value system includes toxic herbicides and you will never give them up even if you have other methods at your disposal, Wheaton Labs really isn't for you. If you find your values are the same as Paul's, then this place is an awesomely cool place to do all kinds of things!!!
The question, what kind of plant or animal am I and will the conditions at Wheaton Labs nurture me or make me spindly and weak?, might be useful. A junk yard dog who is happy in the junk yard might not do so well here; a junk yard dog who wants a forest, fresh air, space to roam, wants a pristine environment might thrive here!
If all of this still doesn't help, then just come for a week or two -then you'll know
It started raining early this morning and is still raining -really nice for all the plants and the little trees we mulched!
Scotty D left two days ago (his girlfriend was too far away); we'll miss him. Jonathan is leaving this weekend; he left us some good ferments!
I watered apricots, did chop and drop, moved part of a berm for the well work, and collected rock for the patio between the FPH and the pantry. Clayton and me started working on making sure all you kickstarter supporters above $100 get your live interactive video feed from Wheaton Labs like we promised.
....and if you look at Wheaton Labs history, you'll see the pattern of women showing up here and finding a guy.... last summer it happened to two women! Taylor and her brother Zach showed up...see what happened to her here. One couple staid, the other ran away for a road adventure.
Yesterday brought a brighter perspective as the kickstarter is totally doing hella good [url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/greenh]help us take it farther![/url
We used Judy to bring water for paddocks at base camp and to Allerton Abbey, did junk pole, started work on the wings of Alterton Abbey, and worked on the last few sections of filling in junk pole -which I might add, is nearing completion- maybe three more loads of junk pole!
Clayton shared his design ideas for his shelter at the lemon tree site just before Himalayan Yoga.
One way you can make the shift is to come to Wheaton Labs for the Permaculture Boot Camp. In this way, you can gain any skills you might lack while familiarizing yourself with permaculture techniques while simultaneously meeting folks involved in permaculture.
You can find out more details here: [url=https://permies.com/t/bootcamp]Permaculture Boot Camp[/url
After you spend a month in the Boot Camp, you get an acre to try these techniques out on. And if you like the values here at Wheaton Labs, after four months, you can exit the Boot Camp to work on your acre full time.
I will have completed my four months at the Permaculture Boot Camp and will move up on to Wheaton Labs July 5th! Oh yeah, and I already have nine (9) trees planted up there along with corn (doing great), squash (not so great), tomatoes (still way too small), and sunchoke (growing like it really wants to)!
It won't be easy, so think of it as a true Boot Camp to work the being that is you in to a newer healthier you with cool skills and new habits!
What ever you method you try, please read the Permaculture Design Manual by Bill Mollison.....that alone will help you a great deal.