Walkabout Update 2 Wheaton Permaculture

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I’m not working at a jobby job right now, so anything helps. Thank you.

If you don’t know anything about Paul Wheaton or Permaculture, see my last post Intro to Paul Wheaton and his Permaculture Properties

Dateline: About an hour outside of Missoula Montana.

Before I arrived I had a choice to make. I could join the Permaculture Bootcamp Program where for $100 I would be given a comfy place to stay in return for 40 hrs a week labor. Or I could use the SEPPer Program, pay some more money to rent a place to stay and wouldn’t be obliged to lift a finger to help.

I’m pretty cheap so the bootcamp program was very appealing to me but I didn’t like being obliged to do anything if I didn’t want to. So I opted for the SEPPer program $175 for 2 weeks to pitch a tent and not be obligated to work.

I arrived last Friday 9/10/21. When I first got here I had a good idea about what to expect from Paul as I’ve listened to 100% of his 570+ podcasts over the past 10+ years. I wasn’t sure about how the other residents would be. I half expected to be surrounded by a bunch of dirty hippies. Boy was I wrong.

This place is amazing, everything about it. The people are very kind, courteous and friendly. For the most part they are down to earth, very hard workers and a pleasure to be around. It turns out I was the dirtiest hippy in the bunch. Thankfully there was a shower available to remedy my situation.

The first thing I noticed was the berm-shed. This thing is crazy. From the side of the road it just looks like any old hill but when you look at the other side it’s hollow and is a place for storing things. I never in a million years would suspect such a thing existed whilst driving by on the road.

The Berm-shed at Basecamp

Another impressive thing is the junk pole fence. While I wouldn’t use these fences to try to keep larger livestock or even dogs in, they would work great for chickens, ducks, turkeys etc. They are simple to construct and easy to maintain. Plus they look cool, in a “Get off muh land” sort of way.

Junk Pole Fencing at Basecamp

The place is kept immaculate by the boots. Everyone here is very conscientious. I was especially impressed with the “Willow Feeders” Not your everyday outhouse. These are by far the best off grid poo solution I have ever encountered. There is hardly any smell, they are comfortable to be in and the foot operated sink is way better than most automatic faucets I’ve used.

Willow Bank at Basecamp. Many deposits have been made 🙂

The more time I spend around Paul’s hugelkultur berms, the more I am in awe of their magnificence. The are 2 main hugels that are about 150 ft combined. The tallest one is about 16ft tall. There are a ton of things planted into them such as, many different squashes, peas, beans, rhubarb, comfrey, potatoes, kale, corn, broccoli, and many other things I can’t identify. Since this area doesn’t get much rainfall and the hugels are still getting established they have been irrigating them this year.

I spent the weekend just walking about the place, playing my guitar and taking in the sites. Come Monday I joined the other boots to help them as they worked. I figured that I paid only $12.50 per day to be here which is cheaper than most campsites and way cheaper than any hotel so the least I could do was to make myself useful and help out.

Things that I did with the boots

  • Participated in Sunday’s “Cleaning Blitz”
  • Put mulch on the huge hugelkultur berms
  • Moved a pile of pea gravel
  • Helped unload a bunch of bricks for the upcoming Rocket Mass Heater Jamboree
  • Chiseled a notch for a support beam for the solarium they are building
  • Helped irrigate the hugels
  • Shoveled a whole bunch of dirt (thanks Grey)
  • Learned how to properly sharpen chisels (thanks again Grey)
  • Cut some rebar
  • Helped change out batteries and SD cards on the game cameras at the Lab
  • Posted game camera pics on permies
  • Cut veggies for Taco Tuesday
Mulching the Hugelkulturs
Dez moving a ton of bricks. Note: The mask is being used for it’s intended purpose, dust not virii
Grey cutting mortises in support beam for the solarium at basecamp
Irrigating the hugelkulturs
Shoveling dirt with Grey in ditch for installing water line at the Labs
Magdalene changing out batteries and SD cards at the Labs

Overall I had a wonderful time here at Paul’s place. I am considering coming back maybe in the spring. I plan on leaving this coming Monday morning 9/20/21. The goal is to meander my way to Big Bear Lake CA to visit with some friends that I haven’t seen in over 20 years.

More to come…

Please Support Me!

If you find value in following my journey please consider giving some value back in return.

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal
I’m not working at a jobby job right now, so anything helps. Thank you.

Thank you

Thank you to Lora (Lori) S. for her $50 “Tank of Gas” Paypal donation!


All Walkabout Posts, in order
I’m Going on a Sabbatical
The Journey Begins
Intro to Paul Wheaton and his Permaculture Properties
Walkabout Update 2 Wheaton Permaculture
Walkabout Update 3 Wolf Flats Idaho
Walkabout Update 4 Great Salt Lake Area, Utah
Walkabout Update 5 Vegas and Fiddletown CA
Walkabout Update 6 Off Grid Living

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