Nicole Alderman

master steward
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since Feb 24, 2014
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cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
Five acres, two little ones, one awesome husband, 12 ducks (give or take), and a bunch of fruit trees and garden beds. In her spare time, Nicole likes to knit, paint, draw, teach kids, make fairies & dragons, philosophize, and read fantasy. She doesn't HAVE spare time, but does like to fantasize about it!
Pacific Northwest
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Recent posts by Nicole Alderman

Be sure to serve up anything grown from zombie compost on these zombie poodle plates, perfect for your Zombie Apocalypse!

19 hours ago

Judith Browning wrote:

I'm still trying to come up with a display or something for their collections...I keep thinking a tree shape of some sort, maybe to hang flat on the wall?  I'm not as energetic about making gifts anymore so I'll have to keep it simple.

I ran across this cute fairy home kit in my email box. I know it's not a display, but it reminded me of you asking about fairy homes. I like how everything is natural materials, down to the beeswax to act as "glue" for the kids to assemble their houses from.

It doesn't look terribly durable, though, but often kids view their fairies as precious treasures to be very gentle with, so they might enjoy assembling a home from little treasures likes these....though one could probably go out to a park or garden and find many of these fun things there. It's great for inspiration!

21 hours ago
Maybe call it "Camera Work"? That way it's both pictures and video making chat?

Shawn Harper wrote:
The other point I would make is not everyone has so much land that simply doing a project again will work.

True! I can see this might be a great way to make a bit of money by selling one's skills. You might not have room for another 7 foot hugel, but maybe a friend does, or someone on Craiglist? You could make it for them for money/trade/just to be nice and get certified for it.

Or, one could go to a certifying event like the one coming up at Paul's place, and make a hugel there with his tools!
1 day ago

Shawn Harper wrote:
. However if this is a thing and not just a paul thing (hence the badges) I think it should be more inclusive. Things like this are great for motivating people to get out and create content. However it also runs the risk of alienating part of the user base if they feel left out in the cold. Just food for thought.

While permies is run by volunteers (except for Paul, of course!), it is Paul's site. He pays the bills. He doesn't pull a profit from this site. We moderators certainly don't make any money! So, a permies thing and a Paul's thing are much the same. Sure, a lot of people have persuaded Paul to change or tweek some of the requirements for PEP. Those people are usually those that have spent hours completing badge bits or helping make the badge bit pages, and have shown they are willing to help out.

We want it to be for everyone. In the end, Paul calls the shots. He's a self-styled "benevolent dictator." And, after having spent a lot of hours on this stuff, his reasoning make a lot of sense!
1 day ago
Here's a list of all the PEP badges:

Each has four badges for four different level of skills. Click on the name to go to that badge's page. Then you can click on the different badge bits and see if you've got the pictures for those things!
1 day ago

r ranson wrote:

Shawn Harper wrote:

r ranson wrote: You can use past projects so long as you have the images to meet the requirements.

Is there a good list of what those are? I skimmed through the topics and couldn't find what would and would not count as good enough.

I don't know of any that don't allow past projects so long as you have all the required documentation.

So, to earn a badge, one has to do a bunch of "Badge Bits."

For example, I have the Community Badge. I've done the required Badge Bits (also known as "BB"s) listed HERE.

One of those Badge Bits was to make a make a map of my property. Thankfully, I'd already made a map for my son's birthday a few years back. And, since I'd made a thread about it here on permies, I'd had the required pictures of me making the thing (usually the requirements for badge bits are: A before picture, a progress picture, and a completed picture. In this case, I'd needed pictures of the things shown on the map, so I went and took those). And I got certified for it. You can see that HERE
1 day ago
Exactly! I've made lots of felted potholders. There was no learning curve for me, so I was able to do it while walking around and watching my kids. It took me a little over an hour. Meanwhile, making a compound mallet is something I'd never done and didn't have the skills for, and it took me a good 5-6 hours.
1 day ago
Think about it from a certifier's viewpoint. If you're looking at a picture of something that has already been done, without any pictures of it being done, how do you tell that person did it? For all the certifier can tell, their spouse or friend or hired person (or a previous owner of the land), could have done it. We want to make as sure as we can that the person who's got a badge, actually has those skills.

Say someone tries to hire someone who has a roundwood working badge, or an animal care badge. But, they "earned" it just by just showing pictures of things already done. They never actually did any of the work. So, they come to work and actually know nothing and end up building a bad shelter and feeding your animals the wrong things and not keeping their house sanitary. That'd be horrible!

Now, of course, the lower level of skills aren't usually what you'd hire someone for. They're basic skills that show that someone can learn stuff. Say you might want to hire someone with an Wood badge in rocket stoves to make you one. Or maybe a Iron badge in natural building to make you a wofati. And, we went and certified a person that said, "hey, I made this wofati and it's rocket mass heater!" But, they never showed progress pictures, and it turns out, their X-wife did all the work, and they know nothing.

This is something every certifying agency has to deal with. Right now, my husband has a coworker that is a phlebotomist (the people who draw your blood), but it's apparent the person knows NOTHING about phlebotomy. Their wife probably took all the tests for them. When asked to take a test at work, the person stormed out, refusing to do so.

We're trying really hard to make sure that:
(1) The documenting requirements aren't TOO complicated
(2) The people who are getting certified have a high chance of actually having done the stuff and know what they say they know
(3) It's easy for someone who's looking at hiring or giving their land to a badge earner to look at their pictures and judge for themselves the quality of the persons work
(4) To have an online resource full of pictures of people doing useful things, so others can learn from what they did.

I don't like videos, either. But, sometimes, a video seems like the only way to prove that someone has done it. And, it helps other people online learn and find out about permies. We're building a vast collection of knowledge that is FREE and available to everyone.  None of us are getting paid to certify. And when someone tries to get something certified that doesn't have documenting proof, that makes it really hard on the certifiers. We don't want to accidentally certify someone who never did a lick of work and has not one ounce of knowledge about a subject!
1 day ago
Having some really great neighbors who also have 5 acres, I enjoy the fact that I can go for a walk and say hello to my neighbors and help them out if they need it, and ask for help if I need it. After our recent bobcat attacks, a neighbor was so awesome and came and walked her dog down to our property and the dog left her scent everywhere. My kids got to play with her kids, and we all had a great time. I love that the older neighbor kids can ride their bike &/or quads to their friend's house to play. I love having that sense of community.

Of course, if my property was surrounded by housing developments on every side, or if I had really nasty neighbors, I'd sure want a LOT more than 5 acres. But since most everyone else has acres of land, I don't feel too crowded.
1 day ago