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Alana’s Permaculture Bootcamp Experience

 
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Day of Arrival: Sunday

It was a very affordable and low attendance flight from San Diego to Missoula. Lara picked me up and it was nice to chat and get to know her better. We went to the Good Food Store https://goodfoodstore.com/Home/ and I thoroughly enjoyed walking up and down most of the aisles, just to see everything. I was excited to see so many zero/minimal waste options and the signs about how it worked, www.zerobyfiftymissoula.com

I got settled into a bunk in the Fisher Price House and enjoyed meeting lots of other boots. I went for a little walk, giving my feet some fresh air (I’m loving my new zero shoes sandals) and sat on a log to take in my surroundings.

It was a lot warmer and dryer here in Missoula than I imagined.

Later, I enjoyed a community meal and an early night.

Day 1 of Official Bootcamp: Monday

What a beautiful landscape of fresh powdered white snow this morning!

(I’m sure glad I enjoyed my sandal wearing yesterday.)

After our morning meeting, we got to work on garden projects. We dug holes in the hugelkultur, planted apple trees and watered them.

I got to use a sickle for the first time to cut perennial grass into mulch.

In the afternoon, I worked on random projects to help make the place look nice for the upcoming tour at Wheaton Labs. Everyone here has been so kind and helpful in showing me the ropes and teaching me new things.

It’s been a delightful day.

Goodnight for now,
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Fun liquid bulk sections of the Good Food Store
Fun liquid bulk sections of the Good Food Store
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Sign explaining how reusable jar process works
Sign explaining how reusable jar process works
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Xero shoes sandals walk
Xero shoes sandals walk
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Snowy landscape today
Snowy landscape today
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Planted apple tree in the hugelkuktur
Planted apple tree in the hugelkuktur
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Filling up the watering can
Filling up the watering can
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
47
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Day 2: Tuesday

Today was tidy Tuesday. We enjoyed the warmth of the RMH in the library as we had our morning meeting and learned about what our tasks for the day would be.

I worked on the junk pole fence and boy my triceps are feeling it now. Paul gave us some advice on making some repairs, including to shake the poles a bit to see if they wiggle too much and add more junk poles if they do. Being an elementary school teacher for so long, this song came to mind:  
 (major cheese ball, I know, but it works great in the classroom or with your small children at home.)

I helped tidy the shop a bit and then went for my second electric chain saw lesson… this time I cut 15” (hopefully) pieces of wood with the chain saw myself for the first time. Yikes! I was nervous... but I still have all my fingers and toes, so that is a relief. (I didn’t cut all of the wood pictured… the saw felt pretty heavy to me and I’m still a bit apprehensive.)

There are LOTS of rocks on this property and I noticed a heart shaped one. My family used to have a tradition to find heart shaped rocks when we went on outdoor adventures together. We would take the small ones home with us as keepsakes. Do you have any family keepsake traditions for your adventures?

I’m thankful for everyone’s patience here with teaching me lots of new things.

For those of you who listened to the song in the link... I’m off to yawn my sleepies off.

Until mañana,
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RMH in the library
RMH in the library
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Junk pole fence repair
Junk pole fence repair
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Chainsawed wood
Chainsawed wood
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Heart Rock
Heart Rock
 
master steward
Posts: 17415
Location: Pacific Northwest
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hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
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Alana Rose wrote:. Being an elementary school teacher for so long, this song came to mind:  

 (major cheese ball, I know, but it works great in the classroom or with your small children at home.)



RAFFI!!! The director of the preschool I worked at used to sing that song (she did it sometimes before nap time, which I think was a bit counter-productive), and I remember it being a fun song. But I never knew where to find the lyrics. I had no idea it was a Raffi song! (*Insert Raffi marathon you just inspired me to take with my kids.* So. Many. Good. Songs!)


There are LOTS of rocks on this property and I noticed a heart shaped one. My family used to have a tradition to find heart shaped rocks when we went on outdoor adventures together. We would take the small ones home with us as keepsakes. Do you have any family keepsake traditions for your adventures?



We do this, too! We also look for 4 leaf clovers, as well as bits of sea glass at the beach. Before we had kids, we had a "memory jar" with little bits of wood, stone, etc from our various trips. I thought I would always remember the memories tied to all the objects. Sadly, having kids has sapped my brain, but I still have the jar!

We also look for agates and crystals (mostly quartz) and pretty stones on our trips. We love rocks! My kids love finding quartz crystals in the gravel of our private road, and we have a jar full of them. My husband and I knew we were for each other, when we both found ourselves sifting through gravel looking for cool rocks at a church retreat, while everyone else was just small-talking. Rocks have a special place in our hearts!
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Day 3: Wednesday

This morning was a nice variation of work. I got to plant seeds at Fred’s plot with Nine. Because I was intently focusing on the berm, I got to enjoy the view of lots of different animal and plant life I otherwise might miss.

In the afternoon, I worked with Erica on creating a firewood storage rack. She taught me how to correctly measure our lumber and use the chop saw (much less intimidating than the chainsaw but still intimidating, to me.)

Dez and I made dinner since there were just a few of us at base camp. I made some dairy free freezer chocolates and chocolate bark to share tomorrow.

Off to yawn my sleepies out,
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My favorite plant that I found
My favorite plant that I found
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Alternative to toilet paper
Alternative to toilet paper
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Wildlife
Wildlife
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Flowers
Flowers
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Day 4: Thursday

Today we spent our morning gardening. We went on a plant walk and people identified many of the cool plants and trees that were growing.Then, I spent time planting seeds for Lara on her berm. It was pretty cold. It was pretty cold! I kept thinking, “my nose is froze, my toes is froze.”  


When I came in to defrost my hands and face for a bit, Fred taught me how to light the RMH in the library. That was fun and educational! After being thoroughly warmed, I went out in the rain to ‘chop and drop’ perennial grasses growing on the berms.

During lunch I shared the coconut oil (vegan) chocolates & chocolate bark I made. https://www.powerhungry.com/2012/02/coconut-oil-chocolate-bark-vegan/ I’m looking forward to eating some more of that tomorrow. Anyone else enjoy making homemade “healthy” candy/desserts? What’s your favorite recipe?

In the afternoon, Erica and I continued working on the wood stacking shelf. Paul, Chris & Nine gave us lots good ideas to think about implementing

Daniel & I helped prep and clean stuff for Erica to make the falafel dinner she had in mind.

We had some nice conversations over and after dinner.

Off to yawn my sleepies out without a froze nose or toes,
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Dead nettle
Dead nettle
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Sedum
Sedum
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Adorable kitty on an adventure
Adorable kitty on an adventure
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 17415
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Alana Rose wrote:During lunch I shared the coconut oil (vegan) chocolates & chocolate bark I made. https://www.powerhungry.com/2012/02/coconut-oil-chocolate-bark-vegan/ I’m looking forward to eating some more of that tomorrow. Anyone else enjoy making homemade “healthy” candy/desserts? What’s your favorite recipe?



Our favorite is to make nut brittles! I get honey up to 280ºF, then add in chopped nuts (cashews, or peanuts, or pistachios) and butter. Mix it together and put it in the freezer. SO GOOD! Since it's honey, you have to keep it in the freezer or it gets gummy. But, I'm pretty sure if you used date syrup, maple syrup, or organic sugar, you'd have nice hard brittle that doesn't need to be frozen. I think I do 1 cup honey, 1 cup chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup butter (you can use cocoa butter or other oil instead. Cocoa butter makes it more chocolate-y!)

Often, I just get the honey to 280ºF and then add in a jar of peanut butter and a bit of butter. We call this "peanut butter cookie brittle." It's kind of like a mix between peanut fudge and brittle. And really simple to make!
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Day 5: Friday

Today I worked on getting first aid and emergency stuff to every structure and vehicle. I got a mini tour of the lab and finally got to see the Wofati like structures, I’d been reading so much about online. We also installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

We tied up loose ends of tidying to prepare for tomorrow’s tour of Wheaton Labs.

It was a chilly morning and we got some rain. I doubled up on wool socks and natural fiber sweaters today to stay toasty.

Does anyone else enjoy Alicia Keys musical talent? Picture 3: “This girl is on fire…”

Shabbat Shalom,
First-aid-kits.JPG
Cute!
Cute!
Missoula-Landscape-.JPG
Snow capped trees
Snow capped trees
Fire-extinguishers.JPG
“This girl is on fire...”
“This girl is on fire...”
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Nicole Alderman wrote:(you can use cocoa butter or other oil instead. Cocoa butter makes it more chocolate-y!)



This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to make some. I usually make ‘matzah crack’ for Passover but this year I didn’t. I could probably use a dairy free version of this brittle recipe you shared on as the layer below the chocolate...

Yum!
Matzah-brittle-trays.jpg
Trays of ‘matzah crack’
Trays of ‘matzah crack’
-Matzah-crack-.jpg
Matzah brittle ready for serving
Matzah brittle ready for serving
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Day 6: Saturday

And on the 7th day she rested.

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Shabbat Rest
Shabbat Rest
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 119
Location: Southern California (zone 10a)
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Day 7: Sunday

They say a picture is worth a thousand words... since it’s passed most of our bedtimes here at Wheaton Labs, here are some pictures.

[Tonight, is my last here and I have enjoyed getting to get to know everyone (face to face instead of just through their threads), learning new skills, checking out the amazing structures here, seeing the rocket mass heaters, and enjoying times of community meals and fellowship.]

Thanks everyone @ Wheaton Labs for being so welcoming and great & patient teachers! I really appreciate it. Dez you’ve been an awesome roomie! And thank you online permies too for your expertise, encouragement, and conversations!

(Nicole, you’re wonderful! Thanks for responding to my posts. I feel like even virtually, you’re a friend.)

Many blessings,
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Surfing in Missoula
Surfing in Missoula
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Me, eating vegan ice cream sandwiches
Me, eating vegan ice cream sandwiches
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Woohoo drying my clothes above the rocket mass heater
Woohoo drying my clothes above the rocket mass heater
 
What I don't understand is how they changed the earth's orbit to fit the metric calendar. Tiny ad:
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