The third of three podcasts where Paul and Jocelyn sit down with Davin Hoyt, who has watched every single podcast. It starts immediately with Paul asking the question of where do we get our organic food. Paul and Jocelyn explain where they go in Missoula, listing multiple locations that includes a ‘small world’ story regarding a pork purchase. There is mention of Whole Foods seeming to be lower on average than the price of other organic stores.
The conversation shifts to persistent broad-leaf herbicides in fields. The amount of the herbicides that remain in the systems for extended periods are a real problem. It seems that non-organic eaters may contribute to problems with the composted humanure.
There is talk about why animal systems aren’t in place yet at Wheaton Labs before the conversation moves on to another question. The status of Paul’s tools is the focus. Paul wishes to work towards a point where his own tools are unused because others have their own. There is a bit of frustration about the fact that tools get broken>, but are not repaired by those who were using them. There is a question of if the person would use things more carefully if they had paid for the tools themselves. They talk a bit about former theft and an issue with an unlocked shop door. Key holding is limited and discussion focus’ on this for now.
Issues with trespassing> on private property that used to be public are discussed. Castle law is brought up as a reason why trespassing seems foolish to Paul. Awkward moments of dealing with trespassers seemed to be more common in the first year. This returns to the issue of keeping things locked.
The status of the lemon tree site is questioned. The layout uses a double sun-scoop, but the lemon tree itself won’t be planted until other projects are dealt with. Project prioritization and organization gets discussed at length. June rain issues play into this conversation as well, regarding one of the gardens. Hugelkulture problems involving rabbits and chipmunks have become an issue. Waiting on predators is the current solution.
The road from the base camp to the lab is brought up. Davin was expecting a footpath, but instead there is a county road. The last bit is gravel road. It can be driven or walked, but Paul is pleased with the number of bicycles that travel the road. Paul’s list concludes here and Davin’s own list begins.
The quality of skin complexion on the lab impressed Davin and he was curious about what might be behind it. Vitamins, diet and ‘pooless’ were pointed to as major factors. Jocelyn explains her history and how her skin was both before and after adapting how they handled diet and cleaning. Soaps strip oils and she notes a possible overcompensation by the body.
Davin noticed the knives are in a jar of rice and is curious about why that is. An explanation is offered by Jocelyn about how Tony had been spending a lot of time properly sharpening them. Without a knife block, that was the solution for how to keep them from dulling. Davin moves on to the flat spatula on cast iron concept. Paul mentions that there are some that look flat, but are actually curved, then restates his view of what is best. He also mentions a link to a very good one in the Cast Iron article. Jocelyn notes that some of the people complain about the risk of removing the pre-seasoning, but that is ideal.
Davin links the next question to Jocelyn, reminding about a living floor in a shower. They discuss the origin of the idea, then press on to potential applications for areas such as a spigot. An explanation of where attention has been focused and what had been done. Some things had been interfered with due to other construction. The conversation ends on a note of where improvement could occur.
Paul goes on to note how things have been with past properties and then about how enthusiasm seems different with gardening among the group now as opposed to how it had been for him in the past. This oddity is part of what inspired the Ant Village idea. Davin speaks about his community garden past. They talk about some of the mistakes that were made with a hugel mound at that time. Paul explains proper hugel building.
Bounties are spoken on, which is the system of paying for tasks around the lab that need done. Sub-bounties are brought up, then it moves to discussion of trust and value of work. Paul explains how he calculates bounties. Earnings are per job, so the per hour rate is variable. Paul expresses an interest in seeing others eventually have their own bounties.
Talk shifts to the raising of a Great Pyrenees and what is required for raising them as with other livestock guardians. Some of the difficulties are discussed and what needs to be in place on the lab prior to their addition. This need for greater infrastructure also applies to chickens and other animals. Farm terrier is brought up instead of cats as a way to deal with rodents. Natural predators are brought up as well, being related back to permaculture. This leads to a focus on how the use of permaculture methods has caused changes in the pest problems from the start into the present. Paul brings up his attempts to look for possible animals. A complaint of the humane society is brought up by Paul, along with a humorous characterization of his own experiences.
Next the topic of cob is focused on. Quality takes a lot of time and offers structural integrity, but Paul mentions that that isn’t always needed since the structure comes from the logs. This also leads into the diet of the Ant community. The only real requirement is that it be organic, for the reasons mentioned earlier in the podcast. Some meals are shared and there is some good cooking gear there. Where their foods are ordered from, where it might be found/foraged, and ‘ diving are the topic for discussion towards the end of the podcast.
Credit: D. Logan