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Hi Marilyn, welcome to Permies!  The SKIP and PEP program of badges is going to be a hundred things to a hundred different kinds of people some day.  People without good heirs will give their land to capable PEP candidates.  PEP candidates will pursue badges to show their skills to get jobs or find a place to live (like your spot).  And 98 other things.

It's currently gearing up with more and more PEPpers starting to pursue badges and certification.  So I wouldn't say that there are currently a bunch of certified people to choose from to live on your land.  But there very well could be someone who wants to gain their certifications while staying on your land.

Probably the easiest way to match you to a permaculture enthusiast would be to make a new post in the Land Share forum.  That's probably where the people you are looking for are watching for an opportunity.  They may or may not be into PEP but you may get more visibility there.  

A year from now there may be a more PEP centric way to tie PEPpers to landowners...

I hope this helps?

 
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Hi Marilyn! Welcome to Permies, and welcome to SkIP.

I think what you're offering sounds quite compelling just as it is.

Perhaps if you make a new thread (here in the PEP forum, perhaps), doing so may help you keep track of the people you converse with.

You may also consider sharing your general locale, so folks have a general idea of how far away you are from them.


Depending on how choosy you want to be, you may also consider setting a minimum PEP Certification for people you invite to work with you. For instance, this October at Wheaton Labs there's a free event that's only open to people who are BB20 Certified.

I know Paul expects in the future there to be similar events only for people who are PEP1 Certified, although no one has that level of certification yet.


Whatever you do, welcome! And best of luck getting in touch with kind, industrious people to work with you on your land.
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

BB20 means that you've completed at least 20 BBs (Badge Bits that make up the badges)

 
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Hello, friends,

I just learned about SkIP and the event at Wheaton Labs in Montana.

Between our organic blueberry farm, orchard, and garden and the permaculture practices we are putting into practice at a mountain property my children and I maintain, we have the experience and the skills to meet the BB20 requirements to attend.

HOWEVER, I did not anticipate this program or the need for photo documentation, so while I have a good number of pictures of our busy, manual-labor-intensive summers, there are many things where the best I can do would be to write about our experiences.

Would writing and photos where I have them be adequate to earn the needed BBs for my son and I to attend the event in October?

Thanks in advance!

 
Mike Haasl
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I'm sorry S, for the BBs and badges to mean anything, the requirements and documentation needs to be followed for each one.  If you have the photos from when you did a BB in the past and they meet the requirements, you can post them for certification.  

I'm guessing someone who is really motivated could get to BB20 in about 3 days.
 
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i came to this thread through an email claiming there is some kind of network thing being set up where people who want to will their land are looking for people capable of stewarding the land well

is this network official and if so, where can i find it?
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi Michael, the network is developing.  The top post in this thread explains how far we've come.  If you might be interested in willing your land to someone, feel free to PM me about it.  If you might be interested in getting land willed to you, start doing the PEP program and earning badges to impress the folks with the land.
 
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I think SkIP is fascinating and see uses for it outside of finding an Otis, but I have to ask: where are these "millions" of people wishing to will their land to somebody?

My neighbor is a farmer in his late 80s with a lot of extended family. He grows soybeans, corn and hay. This isn't his passion, it's just a job. If I were to approach him about turning his land into a permaculture wildlife sanctuary, he'd probably laugh in my face despite being able to see what I'm doing next door. He doesn't care and probably resents that his crops are suffering with the insects I'm attracting. He'd much rather sell the farm and let his loved ones have the money than to will it to me. Otis has to 1) have no family or 2) care enough about their farm that they want to see it continue even if that means their family doesn't get the money from selling it. They would either be very attached to their business/way of doing things, thus be unwilling to see it change, or they would already be practicing permaculture. Beyond competence and trust, Otis has to like the PEPper (good luck finding a geriatric farmer in America who will give a gay person his farm). They have to be in the right location the PEPper is seeking. The PEPper or estate has to have enough money to pay the inheritance tax or Otis has to have enough money to pay the gift tax (both are 20%-40%; tens of thousands).

I thought I would inherit a farm from one of my relatives. They sold it out of nowhere and after they died the state seized the meager scraps that were left. If that farm had been willed to anyone, much less a non-family member, there would have been a dozen ruthless vultures coming out of the woodwork to fight it and each other--myself included. I'm almost glad I was spared that battle since I want land even more now that I have to earn it.

These are only anecdotes but so are stories about supposed Otises. Finding a proper fit and having nothing go wrong with the deal would be like winning the lottery. What makes you believe there will be more Otises than capable people seeking land? Will there be some sort of outreach to find them beyond this forum? Is there going to be a more accessible and organized way to understand the program outside of digging through threads/reading the book when it's done? (I feel like it needs its own website to present/track/connect.)

What about things that don’t fit the requirements exactly? For example, if I built a greenhouse but it isn't in the style of the badge requirement, is it automatically an oddball? Is it valued less than the greenhouse badge simply because it's not the same type of greenhouse? Why?

Additionally, with how easy it would be to fake the proof of who did a task, not accepting retroactive badges is strange. There are many tasks I've already completed that would be incredibly silly if not impossible to redo, like labeling an electrical panel or installing a security camera system. Even if I had a before photo it doesn’t prove I did the work myself, I could have just snapped the shots and hired an electrician. If it's all on the honor system why would retroactive abilities not be allowed? And if it’s an honor system, why would Otis put any value on it? I have seen members approve each other for the same exact task which seems to invalidate the process more than not having a before photo.

I'm only critical because of how much I like the idea as a skill builder, I just think the goal of finding Otis is unrealistic and going to end in tears.
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi Alicia, good questions.  I'm not Paul but I'll take a shot at some of them...

With over 7 billion people on earth, if only 1 in 7,000 of them want to do this, then we have a million Otises.

Some reasons for Otis to give you his land are:
  - his children are far enough along in their personal journeys to not need the proceeds from selling his homestead
  - his kids kinda suck and he'd rather give the value to someone else
  - he doesn't have kids
  - he cares deeply that his land continue to be a homestead, hobby farm, farm, etc and he's worried it won't if his nephew gets it
  - he likes to see initiative and these PEPpers seem to have some initiative

Some reasons for Otis to just give a PEPper some money to buy their own land:
  - Same as above minus the fourth one

Families fighting over the will is a problem but I'm thinking it can be mitigated by Otis planning and documenting his wishes well.

I think there will be more Otises than capable candidates because the Otises are out there right now.  The PEPpers are just getting going on their journey of skill building.  I'm guessing an Otis won't get impressed with a PEPper until they're at PEP2 or higher.  It takes a lot of work to get to PEP2 so that pool of candidates will be pretty small for a while.

Your greenhouse isn't valued as highly as an Oehler greenhouse because the PEP program incentivizes things Paul likes and disincentivizes things he doesn't like.  Some day there will be parallel programs to PEP (say PEAlicia) that emphasize the things you like.  If Otis has similar values to you, he might prefer to give his land to a PEAlicia2 candidate instead of a PEP2 candidate.

We spend hours and hours trying to set the bar correctly so that a candidate can't easily cheat and yet doesn't have to do overly onerous documentation.  Yes, someone could cheat and hire the work out.  But I believe that to go through all the trouble to fake enough BBs to get enough badges would be harder than just doing it yourself and would be tremendously expensive.  Because of the balance between heavy and light documentation, we're pretty stringent that BBs meet the requirements.  Thus no retroactive approvals without the required pictures.

I'm sure you could redo labeling an electrical panel if you wanted.  Don't you have a friend or neighbor that has an unlabeled electrical panel?  Or who needs a security camera system?  I don't need to change any more sink faucets but in the last year I've had the unplanned opportunity to change two out.  

If after building all these skills, there isn't an Otis that matches your needs, never fear.  You've still built tons of skills and will be ready when you get your own spot the "normal" way.  And don't forget that we do have a money back guarantee.  
 
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I'll focus on the USA since statistics are more readily available. There were 2,023,400 farms in 2019, a number that's been steadily dropping as I'm sure you know. In 2019 there were 328.2 million people living in the US. Farm owners (if you don't count couples/companies) make up 0.61% of the population. If we were to generously assume that other countries have the same percentage of farms, then for the entire world's population of 7.7 billion there are only 46,970,000 farm owners. If 1 in 7000 of 46 million want to give their land away to a stranger that's 6710 people, most of whom don't speak English or visit this forum. Most geriatric farmers don't even use the internet and would be confused by all of this. The math just doesn't add up. I think your outlook is very optimistic for our capitalistic society and it would be easier to find a regular sugar daddy than a sugar farmer.

Those were just two examples, of course I could take off the labels and redo it. I could also Photoshop a photograph of my soffits without holes in them or I could steal someone else's before/after photos. Obviously I don't think that will be a common occurrence, my only point is that the before photo requirement doesn't do anything to solve cheating, it only deters people from participating due to the inconvenience or inability to redo a task. An example of something that would be impossible to finish again is growing more trees when there's no more room on a tiny plot to do so ("find someone who will let you grow those specific trees" is basically like saying "find Otis", and I don't have the stomach for guerilla gardening when they kill everything). All of my friends are on different continents.

Again, I do think it's good system to help people build skills. I was doing much of it already but because of everything I've said I don't think I'll waste time posting any of it; my progress is for me, not Otis the unicorn. I don't fault anyone with the collection gene who needs the motivation or wants to feel accomplished. I also think it could help pad the resume of someone who wants to volunteer or work on a farm, I just think that's all it should be because the person for whom they work is very unlikely to ever give them the land.
 
Mike Haasl
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The only thing I'll bother mentioning then, is that there are many people out there who aren't "farmers" who do have properties that would be worth passing on to a PEPper.  Many PEPpers probably don't want a 400 acre corn/soy farm but would love to get a 5 acre place somewhere.  
 
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Your greenhouse isn't valued as highly as an Oehler greenhouse because the PEP program incentivizes things Paul likes and disincentivizes things he doesn't like.  Some day there will be parallel programs to PEP (say PEAlicia) that emphasize the things you like.  If Otis has similar values to you, he might prefer to give his land to a PEAlicia2 candidate instead of a PEP2 candidate.


I thought of an Otis (who's still in good shape, at least mentally) making his own PEO ...
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Alicia, I don't do the PEP program for inheriting anything. I only do it to show other Permies what's possible. And to build up my skills.
 
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Read the part about Mike Oehler:

https://permies.com/t/101848/skills-inherit-property/Otis-test


Is Mike a farmer?

Did I say "farmer"?  If so, please provide a link so I can correct that.  

There are people with land.  Some would call themselves a "farmer" and others would not.  

How many homesteaders are there for each "farmer"?  




Just to be clear ....


I think that the first person that completes PEP2 will have 20 Otises to choose from


Naturally, other people will have different opinions.  

I have another opinion:   five years from now, a person completing PEP4 will have 200 Otises to choose from (and a person completing PEP2 will have zero).

At the same time, I think there is a long list of reasons to pursue BBs.   Maybe somebody will pursue PEP1 on a lark.  Maybe somebody will pursue an iron badge to prove something to themselves.  Maybe a person wants to inherit something.  Maybe a person just wants to travel down PEP road enough to guage if they have what it takes to be a homesteader.  

In time, it could be a job requirement.  

Maybe a thousand similar programs will eventually grow out of PEP.  

Maybe we will value the opinion of somebody on permies if they have a wood badge in the topic being discussed.  At least moreso than the opinion of somebody that has no badges.  

Maybe Uncle Joe says he will give you a new car if you complete PEP2.  

Some people join the army, some people join the peace corps, some people attend community college, some people attend harvard and ...  I like to think that our people will pursue PEP4.  Different people will find one program on this list to be much better than the others.  


 
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is there a way to keep track of what bbs and bages you have im asuming it must be tracked somewhere in the system to be able yo have the bage pics in the signature also maybe we can have a leader board so you can compare youre progress i think it would be a great way to get people motivated  sure the prize of land ect at pep 2 level is a great motivator  but its nice to see where you are at and ebery badge BIT is a BIT closer. I know yall are so bussy  but id be happy to pitch in a few bucks as a bountry to see one of your coders make it happen
 
Ash Jackson
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Hey Brian, Welcome to Skip! Congrats on BB5!


I had a similar desire to track my BB's. So I made a tracker. It's in my signature (or if you're on mobile, here's the link: https://permies.com/t/119155/PEP-Badge-Tracker-easier-track). Yes, it's for sale, but it's also one of the freebies available periodically to folks subscribed to the dailyish.


I know other folks make their own; some in their own thread, some in an excel sheet.  I hope you find the system that's right for you.

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Ash Jackson wrote:Hey Brian, Welcome to Skip! Congrats on BB5! ...
I know other folks make their own; some in their own thread, some in an excel sheet.  I hope you find the system that's right for you.


Congratulations Brian. You can use an ordinary file, maybe made in Word (I use Open Office, that's free, but almost like Office). You can even write your BBs down on a piece of paper, to remember them ...
 
Mike Haasl
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I agree, a leader board would be really cool.  Something showing the top 40 PEPpers with links to their badge submissions or something.  

The programmers are working on some software upgrades for the PEP stuff.  They're primarily focused on making approvals and rejections smoother and linking BBs to badges and peoples signature line images.  Lots more than that and I'm probably misstating what they're actually working on but you get the idea.

I track my BBs (done, submitted and planned) in Excel for what it's worth.
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:I agree, a leader board would be really cool.  Something showing the top 40 PEPpers with links to their badge submissions or something.



Looks like a lot has been done and I love seeing what people have accomplished. Is there a PEP/BB leaderboard?  
 
Mike Haasl
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Nope, no leaderboard at this point
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