Events at Wheaton Labs
Most PDCs are crafted for beginners - and a lot of professionals get bored. Our PDC assumes that the student is desiring a course with a bit more substance and grit. This PDC is designed for scientists, engineers, educators or people with a lot of current knowledge of permaculture.
This is the course to take to give you a firm, in-depth understanding of the science of permaculture. Even if you have a lot of practical experience in various aspects of homesteading already, this PDC will move you past simply thinking in terms of isolated systems and into designing integrated, whole landscapes.
The Permaculture Technology Jamboree (PTJ) is an event full of:
- collaboration, experimentation and innovation to move permaculture technology forward
- experiences for people new to permaculture technology
- building homesteading skills
There are 10 separate tracks happening simultaneously, and you can switch between tracks at any time. One dy you might work on building a rocket mass heated sauna, the next day make a cob kitchen sink, another day build a earth sheltered greenhouse, and the next day learn natural medicine. The choice is yours!
SKIP is a hands-on curriculum of experiences you can complete to prove you can do permaculture. While a PDC teaches you how to do permaculture design and analysis, SKIP is about learning the practical skills. You are making things.
When you complete several things, you earn a badge. Sixteen badges will make you PEP1 certified. After several years of progress, you can be PEP3 or PEP4 certified. At that point you are basically self-sufficient and can prove it. Many older homesteaders don't want their property to turn into a strip mall or subdivision. This program will connect qualified candidates with those landowners so you can skip the rat race and skip the debt.
Most Master Garden courses offered by state universities include large sections about pesticide use and safety and non-organic approaches to gardening. Not so with this course!
With the Certified Garden Master course, you will learn organic, veganic, no-till, and permaculture gardening knowledge and skills. This course will focus on soil and habitat-building for beneficial organisms and systems thinking for gardeners and farmers: how to manage relationships rather than just crops.
Our goal is to understand ecological functions and interactions within plant, soil, microorganism, and insect communities. You will learn how to identify and manage all the relationships that make up a healthy farm-garden-ecosystem--one that does not require pesticides or large off-farm fertilizer inputs.
Whether you are an experienced builder, or new to wood-powered rocket technology, there is something for you at the Rocket Mass Heater Innovators Event! Rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters (RMHs) are a low-emission, efficient way to harness the power of sustainable wood for fuel. The term "rocket" comes from the sound that the wood makes as it burns--there are no actual rockets involved!
At the RMH Jamboree, the basics of rocket technology will be taught, while multiple innovations will be made, such as a tiny house rocket mass heaters, a rock kiln, rocket forge, solar food dehydrator with rocket booster, rocket oven, rocket sauna, and a whole lot more!
Lead Mad Scientist
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.
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.
Leader of Bootcamp
Fred 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 coordinator of roundwood timberframe projects and food growing systems.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where exactly is Wheaton Labs?
Wheaton Labs is less than an hour away from Missoula, Montana, USA. Since this is the private residence of Paul Wheaton, he--like most people!--would like to not post his address online. But, you will be given detailed location information and directions after purchasing your ticket.
If I really love it at Wheaton Labs, can I stick around?
There are many options for continuing your stay!
- You can continue to rent one of our accommodations as part of our SEPPers Program - Seriously Excited About Permaculture Pampering
- Get Deep Roots. This is an alternative to buying land at Wheaton Labs (sorta like lifetime rent)
- Or Shallow Roots - 3 years - acreage rent of a shorter time frame
- Become a Boot! Permaculture Bootcamp - boots to roots is a way to learn and earn an acre at wheaton labs in about 21 months. And, you'll gain a bunch of skills in the process!
- Join Ant Village. This is the main community on the lab where "Ants" each rent an acre on which to build their own home(s) and food systems
Can I bring my kids &/or spouse? Do I have to pay extra for them?
You are more than welcome to bring a spouse. If they also pay for a ticket, they can join in all the activities. However, if they do not pay, they will not be able to take part in the classes. But, they are welcome to camp or stay at your rental, or explore the vast expanses of wilderness.
As for kids, they are welcome, too. But, they need to be watched and cannot take part in innovations or classes, especially if they have not paid for a ticket. Please note that Wheaton Labs is not childproofed, and with all the experiments and innovations, it's important to keep an eye on your children. You can find out more about kids at Wheaton Labs HERE.
What about my dog?
In a perfect world, we would have systems set up for dogs here at Wheaton Labs. We would love a Dog Village. Alas, we are currently not set up for dogs unless you can insure that they will be super well-behaved (find out more about that here). Perhaps building a permaculture Dog Village here at Wheaton Labs is a project you would like to undertake!
Smokes? Booze? 420 friendly?
Wheaton Labs is a tobacco, vape and, drug-free campus. We don't mind folks have a little hooch from time to time, provided that they pack out the bottles or cans. And we do ask that you go very easy on the hooch -- due to some past events we would like to forget.
What other things are nearby?
There's all sorts of things to do, from organic groceries to theater to bars and hot springs. There's a lot more detailed information HERE.
What should I wear/bring?
Here's some ideas!
- dress for being outside in whatever Montana weather might bring! Layers, hats and boots are recommended
- average temperatures in June range from 46°F to 77°F (or 8°C to 25°C) and June can be our rainiest month!
- bring your own water bottle, travel mug, etc. to stay hydrated, and/or sunscreen
- bring your favorite gloves, safety glasses or tools as you wish - we will have limited amounts available (though be prepared for the tool monster to eat your tools)
- if you are camping on site, bring your camping gear and your own towel for our outdoor rocket-stove-/compost-heated-hot-water showers
- flashlights are recommended!
- (if applicable) bring/use only biodegradable, natural soaps and other toiletries (low to no scents are appreciated, too)
Ask them here on permies.com !
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