Hello fellow permies! My name is Cass and I’m the Canadian dude who has spent the last 3 weeks at Wheaton Labs for the 2019 PDC and ATC. Throughout the PDC I was sharing photos on the PDC participant forum, however now it’s time for me to start my own thread! Here we go.
Today I spent most of my time following Uncle Mud around.. he’s been really great to me in the short time that we have known each other. We played with some clay and sand, he gave us examples of what to look for when preparing these materials for cob building. I took the opportunity to get myself muddy for a natural body mask thing. Good fun with my American family!
This past weekend I took to the road with Uncle Mud, Taylor, Josiah, Zack and Kyle. Our destination was a sweet spot in a valley where some hot springs were pumped into pools. We spent hours in the healing waters as we watched the moon and listened to the coyotes howl. We talked and got an amazing chance to get to know each other.
The next morning we slowly woke from our tents and made some food. The town nearby has an amazing health grocery/cafe and some of us got lunch. What a cool place Montana is.
Week two of the ATC and I’m in my element!! I can’t express how much fun I had learning cob with Uncle Mud and the boots! We spent all of yesterday gathering materials from the site and mixing cob. A bunch of us even got our feet muddy mixing up the batches! We applied the rough cobs layers to the inside of Allerton Abbey where our fellow permie Jeniffer will be spending her winter months!
Alongside Uncle Mud and the cob project we had Rodney giving lessons on the almighty Hitachi excavator! We each got a turn to show him our skills and it was a blast! He also taught us some neat tricks along the way. Can’t wait to get back to the lab for some finishing cob plaster!!
I’ve been obsessed with learning cob every since I got my hands in the mix earlier this week. It was obvious and this afternoon we go a chance to get out to the lab and get some cob
on! Uncle Mud showed me the ropes for cob plaster, I now know how to rough cob and finish cob!! Goal achieved. We worked on the Wofati walls and chatted all afternoon, couldn’t have asked for anything better! I hope to get more opportunities to practice this amazing craft in the future!
Hey fellow permies! It’s been a while and I’ve been on quite the adventure!! Once the PDC and ATC wrapped up I got busy making some plans to travel home to Canada for a week. I decided that it was time to visit an established food forest that I helped with up in northern Saskatchewan’s boreal forest region back several years ago. This place was my first real taste of permaculture back then and I found myself being called back for a visit. Not only did I join some of my best friends up there, but Taylor from the boot camp joined me in my travels back home. It was really exciting to bring a New Yorker with me who had never even been to Canada before! She was a trooper and we made many wonderful memories together!
We left Wheaton labs Monday July 14th and drove straight to my fathers farm just south of Saskatoon. The Prairies are stunning this time of year with all the greenery and blue skies. We stayed at the family farm for a couple days in my shipping container home as we got ready to head north into the boreal forest. Did I mention that the food forest is located at the Ness Creek Music Festival site? And that we would be visiting during the music festival?! Wow was it a fun time! So much to do and see during those three days up north. We made sure to tell the people of Saskatchewan about our Montana travels and how much we have learned staying at Wheaton Labs. After the festival was over we headed back to the farm for some rest and to spend time catching up with my family and friends. We didn’t really get any rest to be honest it was a busy time but so enjoyable.
On our way back to Montana we stopped at an Catherwood Organic’s Farm for a permaculture consultation. The owners were very nice intrigued by my travels to Wheaton Labs and wanted to discuss turning some of their property into a regenerative learning space for practicing permaculture and educating people. Exactly the kind of thing that I’m interested in helping out with. After discussion the proposed space we were lucky enough to get a tour of the farms working animals systems! It was a great time connecting and sharing ideas for the future. I hope to help them with their vision!
We arrived back at Wheaton Labs yesterday around noon and moved into the Love Shack, we decided that we wanted a break from tent life. Taylor is back working in the boot camp and I’m here hanging out. Glad to be back home.