Podcast 256 – Paul’s Community

Credit: Marianne Cooper

Paul and Jocelyn are driving across Washington State Desert. The perfect time for a podcast.

People are physically moving to the Base Camp including Paul’s brother.

Progress is being made and some of the 1st people that arrived, like Ryan, wanted to participate in necessary tasks like dropping a tree. As mentioned in the prior podcast, sometimes things take longer than expected. As Paul directed the wedge cut etc, the tree’s notable lean (in the wrong direction) proved a bit of a challenge, but patience won and finally the wind blew in the proper direction and the Tamarack tree fell neatly near the site of the popper and future kitchen.

Paul begins to discuss the purpose for this podcast, the list of things to cover starting with lots of long term applications arriving and the challenges that are arising while talking with potential land dwellers.

  1. Couples. The norm seems to be that one has listened to the podcasts and their partner may have listened to a couple but is not “feeling it”. Then comes the question “Why?”. If that’s the main question, then listen to more information and if you’re not certain and committed, please don’t come; it won’t be a good fit. Couples/partners need to have a deep desire to help in the journey to prove Paul’s system of sustainability, self-sufficiency, homesteading all wrapped in an environment that leaves a very small carbon foot print.
  2. You have to keep in mind that it’s going to be hard work and hot; therefore, you must be committed to this project. Hiding and avoiding will NOT work for you or anyone else.
  3. If you have to ask “how will I make a living”, think long and hard about coming. There is no guaranteed income although there is a neighbor building some cabins and there will be some paid positions. Anyone love to cook?
  4. Conflicts: Paul feels that too much down time leads to conflict. If the hours in a day are planned and the days of the week are structured, conflict will be minimal. If problems come about that need mediation, Paul will have final word. He also mentioned “Pair Programs” that seem to make office politics disappear.
  5. Stuff. At the moment, Paul is leading a caravan, which includes a U-haul full of stuff. Stuff is expensive and the more you have the greater the expense. For example, if all of your stuff could fit in a backpack, you could simply rent a bunk, you’re mobile as well as agile and living frugally is done easily. Your future plans could be to build a “tiny home” and you’d probably be very content. If you have a U-haul full of stuff it limits your flexibility and causes demands on maintenance, living space and monetary need.
  6. In Paul’s community, each individual will need less stuff on a daily basis since the community will have joint (Paul’s) stuff. To accommodate storage of personal stuff not needed on a daily basis, Paul’s considering adding mobile shelving units (that could be rented) inside of the auditorium. Most importantly, make sure you need something before bringing it. Please do not take something with the thought that you’ll let the community use it; that will not be allowed. You can donate/give things to Paul that you think he could find a use for, but it will be given vs shared. This approach will eliminate conflicts that would surely happen if something is broken, missing etc. There was discussion specific to tools and the importance of clearly marking, storing and keeping them in your personal space or if you have extras that you’ll never want back, give them to Paul. He in turn will make them available to the community.
  7. RESPECT is the cornerstone of everything. Respect people’s private space and personal stuff. No wiggle room on this one ever.
  8. There are a million moving parts not only the physical needs of The Land and The Base Camp, candidates wanting to join Paul, but also future events, workshops and ensuring that everything is wrapped with media richness. Paul admits he got extremely excited when he was asked to share the Farmstead Meatsmith’s videos on his youTube channel. He is proud to be the presenter of such an impressive documentary. Everything on TL & BC will be documented for future use and reference via a myriad of media vehicles.
  9. Back to the farm and some changes. Obviously there IS something in a name and Paul’s re-named The Land to The Laboratory (with its 4 sections) and the Base Camp remains BC. The culmination of these 2 major pieces of this will now be referred to as “The Project”.
  10. Discussion returns to the biggest challenge for Paul which is fielding questions and concerns from potential residents at “The Project”. He reiterates the necessity of listening to ALL of the podcasts to educate yourself on his approach to the structure of “The Project” and his approach to permaculture. He notes that those who have educated themselves and have ideas or thoughts, would be encouraged to present and suggest them in time. At the moment though, he is quickly getting suffocated by all of the moving parts and requests. He dreams of the day when there are at least a few folks that have been on the land long enough so he can delegate tasks. To help Paul keep his relative sanity, he’s been prodded into agreeing not to accept any speaking engagements until winter.
  11. They are working on the workshops and guest speaker calendar.
  12. Please realize that joining “The Project” will never be as easy as it is now. People that are focused and want to join the empire and participate in the foundation of “The Project” need to heed this. It is not time for tours for entertainment sake (as there isn’t much to see) nor is it time for a housewarming party. That time will come but serious, hard working, empire-wise permies will never see an easier time to become personally and physically involved.
  13. Work hard, play hard. They talk about the importance of having fun like float trips, town trips, pork belly eating trips. Balance and rhythm will be found.
  14. Rocket Mass Heater DVDs – will be arriving to those of us in line to get them. Personally I can’t wait!

You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.