Permaculture Bootcamp

bootcamp wheaton labs people shoveling, working, sawing, pealing wood, natural plaster
Paul wheaton leading and teaching people
permaculture Bootcamp members riding vehicles, working, having fun, wielding tools

This Program is For:

  • folks that wish to build hands-on knowledge and experience
  • folks that have experience with other rural programs and like this style better
  • folks that long for community living
  • folks that are done with the rat race and wish to live here for awhile, or maybe forever
  • folks that have a dream of homesteading someday, but they would like to get a feel of whether it is really for them
  • folks that have a powerful need to hang out and do permaculture/homesteading stuff with like-minded folks for awhile
  • folks that are bonkers about permaculture and want to build good things rather than be angry at bad guys
  • folks that know about what all we are trying to do here, and wish to throw their shoulder in to see it happen
  • people learning permaculture skills, carpentry, roundwood, natural building

    Why Permaculture Bootcamp:

    You will be guided to grow gardens, food forests and a rich array of food systems all to feed the bootcamp.  And you will learn natural building techniques that will house the bootcamp.  A collection of permaculture and homesteading experiences that will build a community of industrious, self-sufficient permies!!

    Experiences include:

    Growing food, organic and better.

    Using techniques that replace irrigation with permaculture.

    • hugelkultur
    • mulching
    • polyculture
    • lots of taprooted species started from seed (instead of transplanting)
    • building rich soil
    • raising humidity for more morning dew
    • terraces, berms, TEFA
    • paddock shift systems
    • diversity and edge
    • strategic shade
    • food forests and perennial systems

    Natural building

    • roundwood timber framing
    • wofati
    • cob, straw bale, slip straw
    • junkpole fence
    • willow feeder
    • natural plasters
    • earthen floors
    • green woodworking
    • conventional carpentry

    Alternative energy

    • rocket mass heaters (we currently have 12 operating rocket mass heaters)
    • solar: PV, experience using 12v vs. inverter systems
    • solar: food dehydrator, cookers
    • haybox cooker
    • rocket stoves, rocket cooktops, rocket griddles, rocket ovens, rocket kiln and slow cooker

    Food preservation

    • solar dehydrating
    • fermenting
    • canning

    Earthworks, ponds, water management
    more.  much, much more. See some of the "more" in the tour below:

    Come for a week

    This is just for dipping your toes in and getting a feel for it. You might love it, or you might hate it. If you’re not sure whether a longer commitment is for you, this is the best place to start. Experience natural building, gardening, wildcrafting, green woodworking, rocket mass heaters, hugelkultur, earthworks and more. 

    Come for weeks, months or years

    Build your skills to the point that you can build your own shelter and create your own permaculture paradise. For people joining the bootcamp now, we are offering some additional incentives!

    • seven weeks in the bootcamp to get a ticket to our PDC or some of
      our other events
    • four months in the bootcamp to get more than a year of rent in Ant Village
    • two years in the bootcamp to get  "deep roots" - a lifetime of
      rent on an acre.

    Bootcamp Schedule:

    Five Days a Week:


       7:00am - Everybody starts making breakfast.
        7:50am - Everybody has eaten and cleaned up.
        8:00am - On the job.
        Noon - Everybody makes lunch.
        12:50pm - Everybody has eaten and cleaned up.
        1:00pm - On the job.
        5:00pm - Everybody starts making dinner.
        7:00pm - Everybody has eaten and cleaned up.

        9:30pm - 6am: Quiet Time

    That's 40 hours per week working on projects.  Most of this work is something interesting to people interested in Permaculture.  Some of this work is simply chores that need to be done.

    Here's some of our recent projects:

    Fiddly Details:

    Food staples will be provided, although it is hoped that boots will eventually provide food for themselves and future boots by setting up garden systems.

    Either party can end this relationship at any time.

    The 40 hours per week is called "project labor".   All boots are expected to chip in to the cooking for the boots and cleaning up after the boots.  Plus four to eight hours per week of "nest labor" that would include shoveling snow, deep cleaning, maintenance, garden harvesting ...  things of short term benefit to the boots.  (planting a garden to feed people months into the future falls into "project labor", harvesting from a garden to feed yourself and other boots in the next few days falls into "nest labor")

    Join Bootcamp!

    To get on the waiting list, you must pay the non-refundable fee of $100 per person.   (reminder, this is a drug and tobacco free campus)

    One person to join Bootcamp's waiting list!

    Two people joining Bootcamp's waiting list!

    Whenever there is an opening in our Permaculture Bootcamp, we will send an email to all the people on the waiting list. Of the people that reply to the email within 24 hours, the person that has been on the waiting list the longest will be selected.

    If you have an inkling of coming any time in the next year, join our waiting list now! Once you are are at the top of the list, you get first choice for all new openings in the Bootcamp. You can stay on the waiting list as long as you like, biding your time until the right opening, and snag it when it's available. Your name never leaves the waiting list unless you want it to, and you get an email about all future openings.

    More detaills about the waiting list HERE.

    About Us:

    Fred Tyler

    Leader of Bootcamp

    Fred Tyler has led the bootcamp at Wheaton Labs for three years now. He's directed and taught skills ranging from organic gardening to woodworking to natural building. He is the supreme coordinator for roundwood timber framing projects and food growing systems.  

    couch balcony rocket stove willowwanka

    Josiah Kobernik

    assistant bootcamp leader / videographer

    Josiah wheaton Labs

    Josiah cobbled together a diverse background in commercial agriculture, horticulture, market gardening, raising livestock, homesteading, and other general build/fix skills before landing at Wheaton Labs in 2019. Since moving to the labs, he has taken to working with roundwood timber framing, earthen plasters, videography, rocket contraptions, and any other inventions he can get his hands on.

    market garden, rocket stove, cob, earth-sheltered house

    Jennifer Richardson

    assistant bootcamp leader

    Jennifer Richardson is a former cattle rancher and current resident of Wheaton Labs. She is participating in the boot camp and living in Allerton Abbey, the first wofati, in order to test the thermal inertia of the structure.

    rocket stove, natural floor and siding, small wood table crochet

    Paul Wheaton

    Duke of Permaculture

    Paul Wheaton, The Duke of Permaculture, is an author, producer, and certified advanced master gardener. He has created hundreds of youtube videos, hundreds of podcasts, multiple DVDs, and written dozens of articles and a book. As the lead mad scientist at Wheaton Labs, he's conducted experiments resulting in rocket stoves and ovens, massive earthworks, solar dehydrators and much more. 

    better world book, paul wheaton ted talk, rocket stove and oven DVDs, permaculture cards, World Domination Gardening

    Lara Biggoti

    Events & Rental manager

    Lara became interested in Permaculture while living and teaching English in Japan. She worked on an organic vegetable farm in her hometown for two years after returning to the U.S., and then fulfilled her longtime dream of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. After participating in Wheaton Labs Bootcamp in September 2020, she returned to Missoula in February 2021 to take on the role of Event Coordinator and Rental Manager for Wheaton Labs. She is excited to learn more about gardening, natural medicine, photography & videography, and building.

    Lara Bigotti

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Where exactly is Wheaton Labs? 

    What is "Ant Village"?

    I am looking at the "boot to ant" program.  After four months do I have to keep working in the bootcamp program?

    Waiiiit, how many months do I need to be in Bootcamp to get land?

    Will I get a luxuriant room, with a private bathroom that includes a jacuzzi tub and a personal valet named Jeeves?

    Can I stay in my camper or RV?

    7:00 in the morning is a little too early.  Can we start a little later?

    I'm just really not a morning person.   I would prefer that we start at a time more like 10 or 11.  Surely we can do that and it can all be worked out??

    What other things are nearby?

    Can I bring my kids?

    What about my dog?

    Smokes?  Booze?  420 friendly?

    What should I wear/bring?

    Can I pay the $100 now and hold a spot for the future?

    If I come out and decide I don't like it, can I leave?

    Can I get a ride from the airport (or bus station)?

    When I am there, can I use a vehicle sometimes?

    If I'm there working as a boot, can I hang out for the workshops?

    What's this about a work trade for attending events?

    Can you tell me more about the food?

    Are there animal systems there now?

    I heard that Paul is a monstrous douchbag asshole, so why on earth would I want to subject myself to that?

    Is this an internship or apprenticeship?

    How does this compare to the WWOOF program?

    Are there ways to earn some money?

    Can I call you and talk to you for a few hours about my mom's cat, Miss Stephanie?

    How about if I call you and talk to you about being a boot and I don't mention the cat?

    Can I go home for the holidays and keep my spot?

    Will I get PEP BBs while in the bootcamp?

    Why don't you just pay people to do this work?

    More Questions?

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