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podcast 407 - Making Communities Work

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

Paul and Jocelyn start the podcast with a short discussion about the previous podcast, Mr. Slappy Finding Joy, and discuss how to start to design a system that works without requiring a "Mr. Slappy". In Paul's opinion the first step to solving a problem is identifying the problem and in this case Paul takes time to talk about people's natural tendency towards resentment and how that impacts projects and community. Jocelyn points out it is common for a people to lay the blame for issues on others and fail to take personal responsibility for their issues and failures and how difficult it is to work with people who always seem to have an excuse.

Paul and Jocelyn then move on to talking about the current job opening for a rental/events manager and they discuss what the job involves and the type of person or people they are looking for. It's possible the rental/event manager might be a position that could be filled by more than one person and definitely needs to have people involved who can figure out issues and work out problems without giving up.

Jocelyn discusses her time as a guest instructor at the Peasant PDC and being able to give the participants a reality check about how much work it actually takes to add event income to your homestead. It is then discussed how the basic framework for creating, hosting and advertising events already exists at Wheaton Labs and how that infrastructure could be expanded and grown into a full-time career for the right individual or possibly a team of individuals with varied strengths working together.

The podcast moves on to discussing the recent Peasant PDC. A former event manager was supposed to be an assistant instructor for the Peasant PDC but left before the event. Ernie and Erica Wisner arranged to come early to the event and Erica stepped up and took over the preparations for the event, as well as setting up a free workshop prior to the PDC. Ernie had to leave because of a flair-up of his on-going health issues and Erica returned and taught all the classes herself. Paul and Jocelyn can't say enough good things about Erica, her work ethic and positive attitude.

The Peasant PDC format allows guest instructors who might be in the area to teach segments of the class and see if their skills and knowledge might fit well into the more formal PDC structure. There was to be no food provided to Peasant PDC participants but Paul and Jocelyn did end up providing a variety of staples to the group as well as allowing the students to harvest wild greens and other food from the lab, including eating Paul's most magnificent rhubarb plant down to the nubs.

The discussion turns to other systems and opportunities that are available at the labs. Paul would also like to get an education coordinator onsite to teach the Peasant PDC and possibly other onsite events. There is also room for a resident natural builder, possibly building turnkey Wofati's and selling them. Paul and Jocelyn's long-range plan has always been to move into a Wofati on the property but it has taken longer than anticipated to get infrastructure, including multiple Wofati's, built on the labs. It also turns out a lot of time is still being spent on garbage clean-up.

Things have not turned out exactly as expected in the five years that Wheaton Labs has been in existence but things are in a constant state of building and growing and many people have been provided with educational and hands-on learning opportunities over the years. Because of the nature of the labs some projects are in need of repair or replacement and many projects are partially completed or need to be rebuilt. Paul and Jocelyn are constantly evaluating and improving the systems. Also discussed is the many opportunities to promote affiliate programs that are currently available for people to leverage and make connections to other networks and promote permies.com

The podcast winds up with Paul and Jocelyn talking about passing through Helena Montana on their recent road trip and taking a look at a community permaculture site that was setup several years ago by Jessica Peterson, a recent guest instructor at the 2018 Homestead PDC. Paul was minimally involved as member of the original group invited to help design the property at a Permaculture event set up by Jessica and he critiques the current state of the site and points out things he likes and things he would have done differently.

Relevant Threads

Rental/Event Manger Position
Peasant PDC
Wheaton Labs PDC
Appropriate Technology Course
Ernie and Erica Wisner
Wheat Labs Bootcamp Program
Paul's World Domination Gardening
Jessica Peterson Urban Regenerative Homesteading

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Posts: 950
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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It doesnt matter if it's gym or work, being late or not showing up is A LACK OF RESPECT.
How can one work or be in a friendship with someone who shows you no respect?
Impossible is for the unwilling --John Keats ... see, this tiny ad now exists:
FREE Perma Veggies Book! - Learn how to grow the most delicious and nutritious food with the least amount of work.
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