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podcast 402 - Bits and Bobs towards Critical Mass - part 1

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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Credit: Eric Tolbert

Paul Wheaton and Bill Erickson, a permies staff member, start the podcast with discussion on how many times Bill has been at Wheaton Labs and the progression of the hugel beds since Bill has been there first. The discussion then touches on how nearby ABC Acres is tearing out their hugelkultur beds that are built on the flat. It seems that a lot of the ABC Acres systems for their chickens and other things are going well but their primary issue is they are fighting a lack of soil. Paul is baffled by their approach to  building soil by apparently dismantling their hugel beds and wonders what has caused them to give up when things seem to be progressing in their soil building attempts.

The conversation turns to an audio tour of a lot of things that are growing around the labs, some things that are growing on the hugelkultur mounds and a lot of things that are not on the hugel mounds, including the fact there is a peach tree, not your typical Montana tree, that was started from a peach pit. The discussion moves on to why more people are not getting on the Rocket Mass Heater bandwagon and the conclusion Paul and Bill come to is that most people just have trouble believing that the RMH are actually as efficient as they are.

Paul and Bill talk about the upcoming Uncle Mud build of a "Shippable Core" class that will occur during the Appropriate Technology Course (ATC) and Batch Box vs. J-Tube style rocket mass heater builds. The exploration of Rocket Mass Heaters gets more in-depth covering the efficiencies of the stoves in comparison to conventional stoves, the savings in wood usage and how most of the numbers associated with RMH are too extreme for most people, including engineers, to believe that they are real.

Paul discusses the work that Ernie Wisner has done innovating on the Rocket Mass Heater and why Ernie is getting more than a bit cranky with the lack of movement in the field. Why keep solving problems if no one is paying attention to the solutions? Paul has been working on Permaculture for 13 years, and also wonders why he hasn't been able to reach more people - even though permies.com gets 1.4 million visits and 26 million page views per month.

Bill mentions he is a "Superbacker" on Kickstarter and explains what that entails and why he funds a wide range of projects, for many various reasons, mostly backing creativity of the content creators. Paul and Bill expand on how Kickstarter is great tool for fundraising for most projects but sometimes the rewards are out of sync for what the content creators are providing. There is some discussion also on how best to format a Kickstarter and what components are necessary and seem to work best to generate successful funding.

Relevant Threads

Rocket Oven Kickstarter
ABC Acres
Rocket Mass Heater
Chris "Uncle Mud" McClellan
Appropriate Technology Course
Eric Wisner

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This podcast was made possible thanks to:

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Bill Erickson
Keith Kuhnsman
Wayne Fajkus
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Cody W.
Adrien Lapointe
Posts: 3666
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
purity dog forest garden fungi trees tiny house chicken food preservation woodworking
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Part 2 is now available here
gardener & author
Posts: 2097
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Slight correction to the podcast content... we have decided on the following for the book:

Title: Building a Better World in Your Backyard
Subtitle: Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys
The knights of nee want a shrubbery. And a tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
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