2024 SKIP: Skills to Inherit Property
Early Bird Tickets now on sale (only until January 31, 2024)
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. There are currently two tracks to choose from.
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. 5pm Dinner and Orientation
Sleep: Try to get plenty of rest. We start early and you have a full day jam-packed with information tomorrow.
Track 1- Gardening & Roundwood
hugels, 3 scoops with an excavator, mallets and coat hooks, chop and drop, dry peg project
Track 2 - Homesteading, Natural Building & Earthworks
rockjack, sealed pond test, back up a trailer, low grade cob fill between logs in a wofati, move dirt with a tractor, eliminate pot hole, whitewash a 4x8 area
On Wednesday evening there will be a presentation on Sheep to Clothing
Track 1-Roundwood & Woodland
3 log bench, build junkpole fence, berm scaffold, finish stuff and make shakes
Track 2 - Natural Building & Earthworks
create 12 adobe bricks 12x6x3, add trail to berm/hugel, improve a berm/hugel, dry stack wall
On Friday evening there will be a presentation on cutting down trees.
Day 6 & 7: On Your Own!
You can work on BBs by yourself or just enjoy the great outdoors!
Day 8 & 9
Track 1-Dimensional Woodworking & Woodland
cut live and limb, wood burned sign, peel, 2 swanson projects (4 options), cut dead, limb, maybe buck
Track 2 - Animal Care, Food Prep & Foraging
Intro to Food Prep (rice 2 ways, eggs, dehydrator), canning, make seed balls, habitat and animal care
Day 10 & 11
Track 1-Woodland & Metalworking
cut dead, limb, kindling cracker, buck/split/stack
Track 2 - Tool Care & Textiles
sharpen tools, pillow, make a wedge-style handle, twine
Track 1- Metalworking
kindline cracker, rmh scoop
Track 2 - Textiles
patch & dam, basket at the river
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.
Opalyn Rose has been exploring a truly raw-material life while stewarding land and community in south-central Washington. Opalyn tends the sheep and the forest, transforming a fleece or a tree into not only yarn and lumber but clothing and snowmen too. She brings her love of that transformation to the classroom sharing her skills while helping you develop yours.
Sean is a returning SKIP attendee from California on the path toward a more productive and sustainable lifestyle. Sean aspires to one day manage a homestead integrating permaculture practices, and purposely connects with others pursuing similar goals. This year he will be volunteering to assist Paul, Mike, and Opalyn to facilitate the events at SKIP 2023.
Jae Gruenke is a Feldenkrais practitioner and lifelong forager who loves permaculture for giving her a way to apply systems thinking to growing things, and to create a "garden" she can forage in. She lives in Salt Lake City, where she just completed a permaculture design course and is converting the lawn and flowerbeds of her new home into a permaculture garden and mini-food forest. She believes skills are among the most valuable things a human can have. She's a returning SKIP attendee looking forward to assisting Paul, Mike, and Opalyn this summer.
Early Bird Tickets now on sale (only until January 31, 2024)
Regular priced tickets from February 1, 2024 ($2250)
SKIP: Skills to Inherit Property
July 15th - 26th, 2024
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
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 is eaten during events?
Oh no! I need to get a refund because of ... stuff. Can I?
As above, there is an 80% refund for cancellations up to two weeks before the event starts. The behind-the-scenes gophers are activated as soon as you make a booking, with energies and enormous amounts of time spent on organization and other related tasks. We understand things can happen that mean you may need to cancel, and the 80% refund is there for those who do. It might be possible to request that your ticket is, instead, postponed to a future event. Contact us to see if that is possible.
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