2023 SKIP: Skills to Inherit Property
SKIP is a 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 hands-on. 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.
Feel of the Event:
In this program, you will gain and demonstrate new skills. It isn't about training, classroom time or lengthy discussion. It's about pounding out actual projects. This event will be heavily focused on giving attendees the ability to complete badges. It's our third event like this.
There will be a guide/facilitator for all the planned work. The attendees will be focused on a given task for each time slot. If they complete it quickly, there is time to complete additional badges. If they want to take their time, that is fine, but they may not complete as many badges during the event.
This is the rough schedule. Each SKIP event begins with a survey of what attendees most want to focus on, and the plan is tailored from there.
Day 0 (July 16th, the day before the event starts):
Arrival and Getting Settled In
Arrival: Airport pickups - 10am to 5pm. Arrival by car: 1pm to 5pm. Register and settled in. Please plan to arrive within this window of time.
Sleep: Try to get plenty of rest. We start early and you have a full day jam-packed with information tomorrow.
Day 1-3: Woodland Care:
felling trees, peeling and bucking, splitting wood, making a junkpole fence, cleaving shakes
Day 4-5: Gardening:
making a hugelkultur garden, planting, chop and dropping, mulching
OR: (see below)
Day 4-5: Textiles:
sewing, knitting, darning, basket making and twine making
Day 6: Animal Care:
bird house, bee house, insect hotel, toad and snake habitat
Day 7: Day Off!
Day 8: Food Prep and Preservation:
water bath canning, vinegar brining, salt brining
Day 9: Foraging:
harvest berries, mushrooms, greens; dry some for storage, make seed balls
Day 10: Natural Medicine:
dehydrate herbs, make a salve, poultice, vinegar infusion, oil infusion and water infusion
Day 11: Community:
brand a location, create public art, create a map
Day 12-13: Earthworks:
make a dry stack retaining wall, make a trail, maintain a trail, use an excavator, improve a berm, use the tractor loader
Day 14: Homesteading:
trailer backing, make a rock jack
The planned/supervised activities during the event should earn the majority of 9 badges. Pre-work and spare time activities will complete those badges. Exceptional attendees could earn up to 5 more badges in their spare time.
The SKIP Track during the Jamboree that precedes this event is aimed at completing 8 more badges. By attending both events you have the distinct possibility of achieving PEP1 certification.
7:00am – breakfast
8:00am – summary of the day
8:30am – session 1
10:00am – session 2
noon – lunch
1:00pm – session 3
3:00pm – session 4
5:00pm – cleanup
6:00pm – dinner
7:00pm – evening presentations
9:30pm to 6:00am – quiet time
Mike Haasl is a mechanical engineer, woodworker, blacksmith, and permaculture homesteader in northern Wisconsin. He constructed a sweet greenhouse, builds with pallets and upcycled material, and experiments with compost heat. He is developing a demonstration site for permaculture homesteading, and is collaborating to create the SKIP program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regular price tickets will be $1650. Super Early Bird expires after the first 10 tickets have been sold, so claim your spot!
SKIP: Skills to Inherit Property
July 17th - 28nd, 2023
Paul will provide three simple meals a day at no charge, but food is not included with your ticket. If you have special dietary needs/desires, you might want to bring your own food and use our rocket cook stoves, ovens, solar ovens and other cooking contraptions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where exactly is Wheaton Labs?
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)
What kind of food will be provided?
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