Tag Archives: missoula

387 – Wheaton Labs Goals – part 2

This is part two of the podcast where Paul and Jocelyn are speaking about their wish list for the property. The first thing they talk about is the chateau de Poo, which is a beautiful… outhouse. It took three months to build but looks very nice, with hand cut shingles and everything. There were some things that could be improved and while some of those things have been done, more still needs to be done. Being that this was the first Chateau they’ve built, it’s not too shabby.

Next up is a little discussion on the cold smoker and spring house. First Paul talks about one key missing ingredient in this space is an actual spring. He then goes on to alk about a previous property that he owned which had many springs on it. Nine of them to be exact. Since then, paul has wished to create many projects using the various aspects of a spring, including combing one with a cold smoker.

The next thing on the list is an electric gate so that folks that come and go frequently, could open and close the gate with the press of a button, as opposed to getting out of the car twice to manage the task manually.

The last thing on the list is for Paul and Jocelyn to be living out on the lab. The original idea was to spend a few years living at base camp while they built up the lab. Part of this idea was that there would be four wofatis built and that there would be folks living in them. Oh so much comedy happened. Apparently there was a lot of effort involved in log peeling that wasn’t foreseen, so getting those structures built took quite a lot longer than they had hoped. Jocelyn is surprised that many folks have been critical of her and Paul living at base camp while they lived on the lab. She points out that in order to pay for folks to live up at the lab, work must be done at base camp to cover the expenses. They spend a few minutes talking about how some of the structures need some work and that they need to get more folks working together to build community as well. Jocelyn mentions that she would like to have a fenced in community garden as well. This could be used to feed people at events that are hosted at the lab.

They take the next few minutes to talk about the PDC, Peasant PDC and the ATC. They also talk about past events and the potential for new experiences at the labs including super-weeks.

Paul then goes on the go through a list of fantasies he has for the base camp. These include, six or more people living full time at base camp. There is also talk about starting a tiny house village, but that is dependent on having a good road. That has been a little tricky but now it appears that they have a very nice road up to that space and soon the village can be built. They spend a couple of minutes talking about availability of acres of land at base camp. Paul then talks about his idea for the future of the lab and base camp, where he wishes for basecamp to be a permaculture demonstration site, while the lab remains a private place for residents to experiment away from folks who may not understand or approve of what they are doing.

The electric tractor is up and running but nobody really wants to drive it. Paul explains a little bit about what could be better about the tractor, including the fact that it needs to be weatherproofed and perhaps the batteries need to be reoriented.

Paul would like more portable cabins on the land because many people really like the love shack. Skiddable structures are a great benefit as would having year round residents to occupy them. During events, bunk space is limited so more places for people to sleep would be a big help.

The fisher price house needs to have some work done to make the outer spaces better align with the house layout. The garage was divided into two places, one side for parking and the other for a canning operation, with insulation and heating and AC. This section is now called the library. It has desks and a growing collection of books. The other section of the garage is going to be modified for getting extra lighting, rolley shelves, and gappers from time to time. The idea is to make it a functional and dynamic space, depending on the needs.

Paul would like to finish the berm shed which is almost done, but first it needs to have some repairs made to the protective layers. All of the twelve cells are full of stuff and Paul thinks they need another couple of berm sheds. Much of the soil for these projects will need to come from the lab. Along with that, they’d like more berms and hugelkultur beds for privacy and decor. Soon a living fence will be installed.

The rocket mass heater in the fisher price house needs one final piece but there is a little hang up in getting that done. This has also been the case with other projects like the siege ladders that are needed for the berms systems.

Of course they want to have tons of gardens all over, especially in their zone one spaces as well as at the caldera at the top of the volcano. Jocelyn talks a bit about the caldera which currently has a porch swing, but perhaps some day could have more fun stuff like a place for a fire and some storage.

More paddocks are needed all around volcano road so that it can serve as a lane way for animals to move from paddock to paddock in a rotational grazing system. Currently there is not a suitable fencing for protecting animals and there are real threats from wild animals like mountain lions.

They need about 20 ponds, interconnected with an ability to move water from the lowest pond to the highest one to keep the water on the land. Being that the land is mostly rock, this is going to be a serious challenge. Paul mentions that the pond system will eventually clean the water as it moves repeatedly through the series of water bodies.

Paul wants to do many things to modify the house so that they can get by on half as much wood as they currently use. This would include an insulated porch, more lighting, thick rugs, heavy winter curtains and heated dog beds to keep certain areas warm where people congregate.

They would like to do an overhaul of the pee-palace and the compost pile system that can be used to heat water via hoses that run through the pile. It needs a full design do-over and the materials in the piles need to be refined to get more heat out of it.

The solar leviathan and the voltswagon need some work as well. The inverters are currently not matched for the systems that they are working with.

They also have a need for chickens, cats and dogs. This may be a good deterrent for the wild turkeys that currently cause trouble on the hugelcultures.

Paul gives a little overview about how a heliostat works and that the one that they had was wrought with issues that were partly fixed and how it eventually fell to the ground and smashed.

In an effort to make things more quiet, Paul would like more water features, growies and even a white noise system to help block out the noise of passing cars. Increasing the height of the berms would also be good. Modifications need to be made to

Lastly, Paul would like to build a submarine for world domination. Actually it would be a bunkhouse, but it would also be a submarine.

Credit: Craig Dobbson

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Relevant Threads

386 – Wheaton Labs Goals – part 1
Appropriate Technology Course
Wofati berm shed
Peasant PDC
Wheaton Labs
Hugelkultur
Permaculture bootcamp

Discussion

You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Lisa Goodspeed
Keith Kuhnsman
thomas adams
Jocelyn Campbell
Julia Mason
Dominic Crolius
Josh Phillips
wade L
Suleiman ALAQEL
Ash Jackson is The Scrollbard
Jason Hower
Bill Crim
Full Name
Doug Barth
Miroslav Ultrama
James Tutor
David Ingraham

Get all of the podcasts in convenient, giant zip files

380 – Dealing with community drama – part 4

Paul and Jocelyn continue to address some intentional community 3.0 issues. They start off by addressing the claim that they were locking a “historically” public road, which was proven by local authorities not to be public. They talk about the issues with Allerton Abbey, which were fixed in the summer. They talk about the bounty payments, and feast nights. They speculate on what might have happened with the Ants. Paul and Jocelyn then talk about some other critisms of Wheaton Labs: the Fouch video and the Puddle people. Jocelyn mentions the stress and disappointment that the Ant issues and criticisms created over the last few months. Paul and Jocelyn finish the podcast on a positive note talking about the way forward. They mention the peasant PDC that will occur in May 2018 (more details to come).

Support the podcast on Patreon

Relevant Threads

379 – Dealing with community drama – part 3
378 – Dealing with community drama – part 2
377 – Dealing with community drama – part 1
feast and shower night
the first willow feeder (wheelie bin pooper) at paul’s place – “chateau de poo”
fysh – farmstead yield standard hour
Agile work forum
avoid paul wheaton, avoid wheaton labs and avoid any event with paul
intentional community forum
gappers thread
being an introvert in community
Podcast 037 – Intentional community
Diana Leafe Christian
Podcast 309 – More Intentional Community with Diana Leafe Christian Part 1
ant village

Discussion

You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Keith Kuhnsman
thomas adams
Jocelyn Campbell
Julia Mason
Dominic Crolius
Josh Phillips
wade L
Suleiman ALAQEL
Ash Jackson is The Scrollbard
Jason Hower
Bill Crim
Full Name
Doug Barth
James Tutor
David Ingraham

Get all of the podcasts in convenient, giant zip files

379 – Dealing with community drama – part 3

Paul and Jocelyn continue to address some intentional community 3.0 issues. They start off with the last 2 concerns the Ants formulated: written rental agreement and not being allowed to commute to a job. They then move on to addressing criticism from 47: the local currency (fysh) being obscure, poop management, the lock at the Lab’s gate being sticky, someone being kicked out for not listening to podcast. Another criticism was that Paul did not go on the lab often and never after dark, and that Paul doesn’t work on projects himself.

Support the podcast on Patreon

Relevant Threads

378 – Dealing with community drama – part 2
377 – Dealing with community drama – part 1
the first willow feeder (wheelie bin pooper) at paul’s place – “chateau de poo”
fysh – farmstead yield standard hour
Agile work forum
avoid paul wheaton, avoid wheaton labs and avoid any event with paul
intentional community forum
gappers thread
being an introvert in community
Podcast 037 – Intentional community
Diana Leafe Christian
Podcast 309 – More Intentional Community with Diana Leafe Christian Part 1
ant village

Discussion

You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Julia Mason
Josh Phillips
wade L
Suleiman ALAQEL
Jason Hower
Bill Crim
Chris Holly
Doug Barth
James Tutor
The Rayhawk Clan
Mark Allen
Kelton Mitchell
David Ingraham

Get all of the podcasts in convenient, giant zip files

361 – Tim Barker on what a PDC is – Part 2

This is part 2 of a 2 part podcast.

Paul and Tim Barker continue to talk about the plans for the 2017 PDC from May 28 to June 10. There will be 91 hours of instruction, more than the usual 72 hours, and then there will be evening presentations on top of that, so a lot more content than your typical PDC. Paul hopes that the people coming to this PDC will already be “level three” and they can just get right down to covering more high level topics. There will be more of a focus on homesteading topics than urban and broad acre focus. Tim feels that what’s going to happen is “turning up the volume on design.” If you’ve really learned how to design, you can design anything.

Given that the PDC will be held at Wheaton Labs, you’re going to learn lots of useful things about functioning in that environment. You will be actually cooking food on a rocket stove powered cooker! Paul wants to point out that this time there is going to be a chef on site and food will be provided, this is a big reason the cost of this PDC is higher than in previous years. The cost of this PDC is still less than many other PDCs. Tim says yes, but there will be a roster so everybody can contribute to the community by helping with meal prep (and thus everybody will get hands-on time with some of this technology they might not have worked with previously).

Another major difference between this PDC and others is an additional focus on the principles of Holistic Management. This came from Alan Savory’s experiences in Africa, and it’s a lot more than just rotational grazing. It’s a way to look at your decision making, where you acknowledge that there are multiple impacts of every decision and you weigh the various impacts. For example, making more money at the expense of destroying the environment and/or social connections is often just not worth it. Every decision is rated against and applied to your context, to your goals in life.

Oh, and that led to yet another way this PDC might be different from some other PDCs. It’s not going to have a lot of “purple” in it, at least not in the instructional bits. Holding hands and singing songs is totally cool, it’s just that these guys (Paul and Tim) aren’t particularly into leading such activities. Paul can see more purple events occurring at Wheaton Labs in the future, just not led by him. What Paul will be doing at this PDC is teaching. A lot. He’s taught bits and pieces at many previous PDCs, but the plan is that this PDC will have a lot more Paul in it.

Paul and Tim have a preference for design that achieves a lot with a little. Simple and elegant are better than complicated designs that tick off a lot of items on somebody’s list. Paul said “if you are writing a poem, you don’t need to use all the words in the English language.” Paul has had bad experiences with mapped out designs, where people get “married to the map” and resist needed changes because they aren’t on the map. However, he acknowledges that this PDC is going to have a lot of map making. Tim points out that Holistic Management primes you to constantly monitor the results of your decisions so that you can see where you are going wrong and make some immediate course corrections A good design will be an evolving design, adapting to current conditions.

Guest Instructors! These will be at the PDC for at least a day and a half, will present 3 times: a formal part of the PDC, a less formal presentation still part of the PDC, and an evening presentation.

Thomas Elpel – author of Botany in a Day, and Shanleya’s Quest, also Foraging the Mountain West and Primitive Skills, Self Sufficiency and Survival Skills. He and his daughter will go out with NOTHING, start by breaking a rock into a knife like tool, and go on from there.

Ernie and Erica Wisner – authors of the Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide and multi-talented individuals with skills in natural building and many other areas. When Ernie was with Ianto Evans, Bill Mollison and Masanobu Fukuoka came for a 5 day visit, and Ernie gave them the tour! Ernie is a sailor, a former captain, so hey maybe he could teach knots for an evening presentation. Erica is a former science teacher, she’ll be great.

Helen Atthowe – dubbed “Goddess of the Soil” by Paul, is a soil scientist and was a horticulture extension agent for 15 years. She was an intern in Japan with Masanobu Fukuoka, then spent more time on a farm in Georgia that followed his techniques. She has been a professional market gardener – she owned and operated Biodesign Farm near Missoula, Montana for 17 years. She plans to be at the PDC for several days – hurray!

Jacqueline Freeman – a biodynamic farmer, author, and natural beekeeper. Paul has had her in many videos and podcasts, calling what she does “reverence for the bees.” He feels like her home has several levels of magic in it – this is some seriously purple stuff here. He recalls being offered an unheated bedroom while visiting in the winter – they were keeping it chill because there were thousands of ladybugs overwintering in there. Paul picked that room. In another hallway, an exterior wall was warm to the touch – this from an active hive inside the wall. In the summer, she opens doors and windows in the evening, and a bat flies in, eats all the bugs and then flies out. Her new book, The Song of Increase, is amazing. Jacqueline will probably have her husband Joseph with her, and he’s all sorts of magic with animals like cows and horses. Paul’s thinking they will be at the PDC for several days as well, so this will be a tremendous opportunity to learn from them.

(Not for sure) Zachary Weiss – has built functioning ecosystems inside greenhouses in cold climates. He is the leading connection between Sepp Holzer and the United States. He is currently traveling the world to design properties in the style of Sepp Holzer, he is an official representative of Sepp Holzer’s school of design. He’s led several trips of Americans to Sepp’s place in Austria, and has arranged multiple trips of Sepp to the United States.

There was more to say, but Tim had a ferry to catch. Paul prompted him to bring up his new book – The Rocket Powered Oven It’s full of very specific instruction on how to build a rocket powered oven, without the need of welding skills. In about a weekend (with friends) you can build a crazy efficient oven that can reach over 800 degrees inside without so much wood (like a cob oven requires). It’s selling very well – there seems to be a lot of interest in this.

Credit: Julia Winter

Support the podcast on Patreon

Relevant Threads

2017 Homesteaders PDC (Permaculture Design Course) in Montana
The Rocket Powered Oven by Tim Barker
purple permaculture vs. brown permaculture
Holistic Management
Thomas J. Elpel
Ernie and Erica’s new book: The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide
Jacqueline Freeman’s new book: The Song of Increase
Helen Atthowe: goddess of the soil
Zach Weiss’ past workshop with Sepp Holzer

Discussion

You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Angela Brown
Julia Mason
Tyler Miller
wade L
Jason Hower
Bill Crim
Desirea Holton
Doug Barth
Mark Allen
Kelton Mitchell
David Ingraham

Get all of the podcasts in convenient, giant zip files