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Paul sits back down with Alan Booker to try to talk about Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, but wind up getting completely distracted and talking about Kickstarter and bootcamp.

Back on the poor man’s poll for the next Kickstarter project, someone suggested to make a video of taking a plot of land with near zero topsoil and get it to turn out a million calories in a year through permaculture.  This would be a good way to demonstrate the effectiveness of different tactics in permaculture by giving a bunch of different people a part of it and challenging them to do the best they can, particularly if contrasted with a part of the plot that was farmed conventionally, but runs into the problem of obligating people to work on it for a year and thus almost guaranteeing that everyone will be poisoned by the obligation.  If this project gets off the ground, it’ll more likely be over a period of between three and seven years to let the soil grow properly with several videos being released.

As is common with large projects at Bootcamp, the current biggest limiting factor is the lack of boots there to keep things running smoothly.  Something like twenty boots in total would be needed for the multi-year proposal above and getting that many people around consistently is difficult without adequate coin to grease palms (you can actually help with that by donating to BRK threads in the “Wheaton Laboratories” forum).  The rather cold winters in Montana currently aren’t helping either, but they’re quite tolerable with decent coats and warm clothes that the Kickstarters have been paying for along with daily update posts and some videos on Paul’s YouTube channel.

Relevant Threads

Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual forum
Bill Mollison's Permacutlure: A Designer's Manual - Summary and where to buy

2022 Permaculture Design Course - Tickets on sale now
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Wheaton Labs forum - BRK threads here

growing a million calories on an acre, the first year, starting with dirt

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Just listened to this podcast and found the 5 gardeners idea really interesting.
What would really be cool--but I realize there are tons of opportunities for this to fall apart because it's dependent on the goodwill and hard work of various people--would be if the 5 gardeners were in different climates/regions/contexts.  That would make a great series, a year of transforming soils. I image for example if we limit it to the US, one gardener in say North Texas like a Dallas Suburb, one in the desert either in Southern California or Arizona, on in Montana or the Pacific Northwest, One in a rustbelt city in some reclaimed rundown suburban lot, and one in New Jersy. (The Southeast would round it out). This would really show people how they can transform where they live right now.

Yes, I know it's complicated and finding the right people to follow through is hard, but we can dream.
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I just listened to this podcast and I propose revising the summary to include a paragraph covering establishing a 5013c nonprofit.   I particularly think this is relevant so non pod-people can be directed to this excellent discussion, AND the general call for volunteers/people on a couple of items.   Here are my suggestions for adding to the summary:

Kickstarter campaigns provide all funding for Wheaton Labs, and Kickstarter takes 10% of the amount raised.  So this year the entire operation was funded for about $80,000.    Paul and Alan agree that a 5013c nonprofit could generate a significant (6-8x) increase in operating funds, perhaps to do more "science-y" research.   Paul pointed out that there's only one of him and he'd rather do anything other than do this sort of thing, so someone else would be needed to set up and then manage such a nonprofit. Alan has a lot of experience setting up 5013c nonprofits, and pointed out a Director of Development would be needed, following typical nonprofit compensation-for-fundraising-results patterns.    Alan also generously offered to provide initial counseling/advice to anyone taking on this task.

  • Folks who are interested in spearheading this sort of effort to establish a nonprofit are welcome to reach out/raise their hands.   This may or may not have a paid outcome for time spent, people qualified for a Director of Development role would be fantastic.
  • Folks who are interested in being a master gardener for the proposed experiments are welcome to also reach out.   Ideally this would have some sort of paid outcome for time spent.
  • Finally, folks who are interested in doing the "market-y" type things such as getting Paul's books into a lot more hands, should also raise their hands, although this is less likely to be a paid-for-time spent.  Maybe for retirees?
    Who knew that furniture could be so violent? Put this tiny ad out there to see what happens:
    FREE Perma Veggies Book! - Learn how to grow the most delicious and nutritious food with the least amount of work.
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