?

Log in

Previous 10 | Next 10

Sep. 1st, 2009

Lorca's Blog

I never thought I would live on a bus, a school bus at that. Our travels
have been well and pleasant and the experience has been the most
exciting thing ever this year. Before the bus starts, we must batten
the kitchen and remove anything from highs places that may fall on us
and be sure the pantry is locked up tight, or else! It's all about storage, anything you
would have in your house you can have on the bus. The solar panels
allow there to be electricity available to charge cell phones, KitchenAids, computers, fans, and more.
The bus doesn't travel light, there's a pantry in which all canned goods are stored. Office supplies live above
an overflowing library with books of everything from magical herbs to history.
When travelling cross country you get to watch as the fields and
landscapes go by, getting to see places I've never been to before.

-Lorca

Aug. 25th, 2009

Our Solar System

Captain’s Blog,
Madison, WI.
August 17 2009

Over the course of the year, many folks have asked for written materials about our systems. The request have become frequent enough that I’ve decided that it is a task that just has to be done. Our blog seems the perfect place for such and undertaking. Therefore, your intrepid captain and permi-preacher has taken computer in hand to partake in just such an endeavor. The Permibus contains quite a few Permaculture systems. When first one enters the bus, we see our solar system. That is then where we’ll begin.

All alternative energy systems, solar, wind, or hydro, have four components. These are: a way of catching energy which in our case is solar panels, a charge controller, an inverter, and a way of storing energy which is always batteries. We have two panels on the roof of the bus, a 120 and an 80-watt panel. These are wired into the charge controller that controls the flow of energy to the batteries. An important function of the charge controller is to stop sending signal when the batteries are full. Without a charge controller, it is very easy to overcharge batteries and ruin them. From the charge controller the system is connected to the batteries. The best batteries are deep cycle batteries. They are designed to be charged and drained repeatedly so they are more efficient and last longer than regular car or truck batteries. These can be used but wont last as long or work as well. They are cheaper and can often be picked up for free. From the batteries signal is sent to the inverter that changes DC electricity into AC electricity that is what household appliances, computers, stereos, and TV’s use. AC is house electricity. Throw a ground wire and the system is complete. If you are switching parts or your entire home to solar, your house is already grounded. Grounding is important because grounding keeps errant electricity, such as lightning, from floating throughout your system and therefore your home. This prevents accidents including death and fires.

If any of this sounds complicated, it is not. Our system is very simple. Really, it is a case of wiring all of the positives to each other then all of the negatives, and throwing in a ground. If you have an engineering or electrician background, it is even simpler. Anybody can do it however. Start small and take your time. There are tons of books out there. Most of them made solar appear extremely difficult. It is not.

In our bus we run our house lights, our kitchen appliances, we charge our cell phones and our computers. We also run our computers, their speakers, and a CD player. Our RV refrigerator is the only appliance we can’t run off our solar. We don’t have sufficient battery storage for the frig. With better batteries the frig would be on solar as well.

Because we are mobile, we don’t use house wiring. We use extension cord wiring, power strips with fuses, and extension cords. House wiring is not designed for the constant vibration and motion and presents a danger in a mobile function. Extension cords and wiring is also less expensive than house wiring and can often be successfully scrounged.

Living with solar, as the primary source of electricity can be a challenge. There are grey days when power is in short supply. In all, though it is far better than running generators and uses no fossil fuels therefore helping to combat global climatic change. Any independence from the heartless thieves who run the energy industry is a truly revolutionary step. In my mind, energy from the sun, or water, or wind, is a healthier, happier energy. I’ve seen coal strip mines first hand. They are ugly sights. Energy companies are little better than highway robbers. Actually, highway robbers are more honest. Alternative energy is our way out of the destructive cycle that is traditional energy. The sun, wind, and water are clean. Coal is not.

Donate On-line:
Go to: www.permibus.org
Click on: Donate

Donate by Mail:
Make checks payable to:
Delyla Wilson.
Send to :
150 Daly Ave.
Hamilton, MT. 59840


Captain, but not Leader,
Stan Wilson
Infrastructure Coordinator
Skills Tour
permipreacher@gmail.com
www.permibus.org
“Small wheels turn by the
flywheel and rod, big wheel
turns by the grace of God(dess)…”

Aug. 7th, 2009

Captain’s Blog August 7, 2009 Chaska, MN.

Howdy all!

After five months on the west coast the intrepid Permibus crew has turned east. Right now your weary captain sits in front of a relative’s computer in rainy Chaska, Minnesota. In the distance the Twin Cities loom.

Minneapolis is our next destination and as we prepare to return to the cities there is a feeling of trepidation. It was just over a year ago that the combined law enforcement agencies of the Twin Cities pulled over and illegally confiscated the original Permibus. While chances of that happening again seem slim one can never hues the mood of our public servants in blue. Members of the RNC 8 who organized last year’s protest against the Republican National Convention continue to face state repression for daring to organize. Bringing the Permibus II, which is also our home, back to the scene of previous oppression is a slippery idea. No matter, we will do so because it is our right. Yes, our message is dangerous, grow healthy food, grow healthy communities, but we have been asked and we will go.

The west coast was fun and we met some wonderful folks. The folks at the Spiritual Life Center in Tacoma, Washington and the folks at Earth Wise Excavation in northern Washington deserve special mention. Their kindness and enthusiasm have won a special place in my heart. The folks in Tacoma hosted us three separate times. Earth Wise not only hosted us but donated 100 gallons of bio-diesel. Their last batch was made from Montana scratch grass which is an invasive species. It’s good to see bio fuels being made out of invasive plants. It helps to control invasive species and finds a way to not get caught up in the “food for fuel” dilemma. Only cattle will ever miss scratch grass and they won’t miss it much.

We also lived out a long running fantasy, attending the Oregon Country Fair. The fair may be the longest running hippie festival anywhere. It is forty years old this year. I’ve long wanted to go but have never been able to. Permaculture did the job. The bus was an exhibit so in we were. Although rainy it was great to be there. We wondered around at night after the fair had closed, listened to music, and just hung out. It was an old hippie’s dream come true. We also attended two other festivals, the Whole Earth Festival in Davis, California and the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa.

Another group who deserves mention are the incredible folks at the Green Valley community outside of Sebastopol, California. They hosted us twice. The group is made up of young, energetic anarchist, the setting beautiful. They are engaged in rehabbing an old mill and firmly rooted in the principals of permaculture. Their land features what became known as the “Plake,” a body of water too grand to be a pond but too small to be a lake. For the first time in my life I went solo canoeing helping to get over my fear of water. All in all the Green Valley crew were a joy.

WE also took on a new intern. She is Lorca. We have known her and her family a few years now and she was eager to join us. Lorca is a joy. She learns quickly, is ever helpful, and fits in well with the family dynamic. It will be hard to see go.

So now we are heading east with many adventures to sweep us up. We will see old friends and make new ones. Spreading the word of permaculture is for me a mission. I sometimes feel like an evangelist. Thus I am the “permi preacher.” I’m sure we will see many of you and I eagerly await the opportunity to continue our good works. Police be damned, the state does have much to fear. If we learn to care for ourselves and our communities we will no longer need their corporate bosses and will successfully their repression.

Captain, but not leader,

Stan Wilson

Infrastructure Coordinator
& Permi Preacher
Skills Tour
406.721.8427
permipreacher@gmail.com
www.permibus.org

Visit our website to donate now and help keep that Permibus a rollin' down the road!

Jul. 16th, 2009

A Gathering of the Tribes...

Well now!

Hi everybody!

We are out of the wood and got the dirt to prove it. This past Permibus week was spent high in the Oregon Mountains at the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous.

This year in Cascadia was certainly one of the best Rondy I’ve been too in a good while. There Permibus herself stayed in the midst of the on-goings as we were parked a stones throw from the kitchen and just up the rise from Morning Circle Meadow. It was almost a parking lot Rondy except that the rowdy fire and gathering space where a goodly chunk of people camped was up this long gnarly road/hill and most of the cars were a ways down the lower hill from the kitchen. For my part I dressed out of the bus but had my camp set up around the kitchen-level loop. Lorca and I shared a space but she had Hippy Boy’s old orange tent for sleeping and her privet time while I kipped in our camp main space, a large screen tent I draped in lovely clothes and curtains and called the ‘Den of Iniquity’.

Throughout the week I was glad to have various visitors to my Den for some very good conversations. This included a charming young girl names Lily who was so very sweet and adorable and whose mother is an amazing woman trying to raise a child in a movement not particularly well known for it’s tolerance of who some still vulgarly call “breeders”. More power to ya honey!

I also became friend with a goodly lad by the name of Dugan, who knows the Decemberists, plays a pirate banjo, and was able to sing with me almost every random musical song I could think of from Buffy to Hedwig and the Angry Inch. A stout proclamation of style all on it’s own. There were of course other lovelies at the camp including many of the old-timer crew who I have known my entire life. Logan, the incredible lady from Maine was also there as I may have mentioned in my previous blog. Her mad skills never cease to amaze me.

As far as our work the Skills Tour hosted several workshops throughout the week. Stan and Delyla co-trained a ‘Permaculture Your Base-Camp’ that had people crowding in around the bus with rapt attention. Then Delyla (it was supposed t be Delyla and I but I was late coming back from shitter digging) led a Community Conflict Resolution training. The first of the two trainings I led was Sense and Sexuality which I, at the very last minute, redesigned for the Rondy to be aimed less at highs coolers and more at the stranger Earth First! style crowd. I also led Self-Defense with the help of my father. They all went really well and I had good sized crowds for both. I wish I had gotten in time to teach pressure points in Self-Defense but the lunch bell rang and nothing can stop the hunger, especially not when the Seeds of Peace folks are cooking.

The post Rondy action was successful I’d say and last I heard all the folks who had been arrested at the new Free State have been released. I’m north now and don’t have the latest update but my hopes are with those still fighting the fight down south. If any of you reading this is in Oregon area or can in anyway support the campaign down there you should. Those forests are too important to lose, especially not for the sake of some company man’s profit. Rape, be it of a person or the land, should never turn a profit for the rapist. The fact that across the country and more so the world these earth-rapists are paid well for their actions is sad enough, the fact that as a nation we sanctify, encourage and participate in it is just plain disgusting.

So folks, be active in your communities and your world, grow food on your lawns, talk to your neighbours, organize and grow as a people. It is when we find empowerment in each other and ourselves that we will gain the power to rise above the current system. We must overgrow the corporations and companies that seek not to help or heal but to take and pillage for personal gain. Together we can create a world of abundance instead of greed. Together we can move beyond the fight. No one has to be alone when we design and build our communities with intention and compassion. It cannot be done alone. We must grow, and like any good food forest, we must grow TOGETHER!

Forever loving, wild and free,
-MC

Megan Coyote
Outreach Coordinator
Skills Tour
skillsmc@gmail.com
406.544.2767
www.permibus.org

Jun. 30th, 2009

What a Wonderful World!

Wow!

What a whirlwind of wonder this last bit o’ wandering has been!

We hit the road from Berkeley after Karen Picket’s party up in the beautiful Canyon Redwoods nested in groves of Madrone. Up we ran like wildfire to Seattle (with an eve of rest and apple processing at the Ranch in Sutherlin) to teach folks at the Greenwood Senior Centre about Permaculture, Canning, Composting and the PermiBus.

Then we made an overnight trip up to Albert’s place up North of Seattle to enjoy some good company,, a generous donation of Montana Scratch Grass Bio-diesel and time to play on the heavy equipment. The following morning it was back down to Tacoma for a wicked few days starting at Kings Books (cool cats and an awesome Events Coordinator who gifted me a Tamora Pierce book, Sweetpea, if your reading this thank you again and many hugs, also, I loved you hair ;D).

Next came another Permaculture Day at the Centre for Spiritual Living where we met even more amazing folks from the church and ate some delicious food. The morning after was a trip to teach a local youth group which was smaller than expected but led to some really good connections and a plan to return on the 15th or 16th after the Oregon Country Fair. A local musician and Permaculturist, Tomm, and his friends scooped Lorca and I up to go to the Taste of Tacoma going on in the park. We took a long walk down the beach to the point where we climbed an amazing tree and talked awhile before returning to the main populace where we were awash in the sounds of a sweet Pink Floyd cover band by the name of Blind Floyd (I’m only pretty sure that’s the name :C). It was an enjoyable evening to be sure.

Now we are on the road again. We hit Portland yesterday afternoon for Orna’s grad-jew-ate-shun party and this morning loaded a herd of people up into the PermiBus for the long haul ride to the Earth First! RRR via the Ranch in Sutherlin to pick up Brie. The crew so far seems cool enough and we’ve got Logan from Maine on board with us. She brought her banjo along with her fabulousity so we really are making music with our friends, oh I’m so glad to be on the road again!

-Megan Coyote
Skills Tour
Outreach Coordinator
406.544.2767
skillsmc@gmail.com
www.permibus.org

Jun. 27th, 2009

Biofuels From Invasive Species

Captain’s Blog,
June 27, 2009
Tacoma, WA.

I’ve just finished showing my three hens to a small group of neighborhood kids here in Tacoma, Washington. This is our second trip to Tacoma on the western circuit of our 2009 tour. Already a third trip has been planned. They are really excited about Permaculture and strong community development here and we are excited to be here. Tacoma has proven to be one of a series of dynamic communities we’ve discovered in our travels. It’s a real charge to be in a placed so jazzed about building a sustainable future.

One of the great things about being on the road and being involved with the dynamic folks who make up a growing permi community is how things come full circle. We come from Montana and just recently, we were given, by way of biofuels, a chance to revisit our home. The generous folks up at Earth Excavation just north of Seattle made their second donation of biodiesel to the tour. This time their source was Montana scratch grass. In Montana, scratch grass is an invasive weed. Using it for biofuel changes our relationship with yet another species humans call invasive, exotic, or a weed. All that means is that we either don’t know what to do with it, it stands in the way of our endeavors, or we caused the disturbance the species appearance is a response to. Using something like scratch grass is useful and far more sustainable use of the grass that the normal response of a string of failed attempts at eradication. Why attempting to eradicate such species is doomed to failure is the subject of another blog. In the end it just brings a smile to my face burning up Montana scratch grass on my way to talking with folks about the real nature of invasive species.

On another subject, I want to thank all the folks who have responded to our recent funding request. To be honest, things were looking bleak. The economy is depressed and we were feeling it. We were working hard, really spreading the word, but hanging by a thread. We were not sure we’d be able to continue on without taking an extended break to find jobs. Given the current unemployment rate, that did not bode well. We sent out a funding request to our supporters, y’all, and y’all are responding. “Ask and ye shall receive.” We asked. We are receiving and it does feel good. It can be easy on the road to get feeling isolated on the road. Your generous response lets me know that I am part of a loving community that has let us know, again and again, that y’all know how important our work is. Thank you for that.

To sum up, we appreciate the support and look forward to continuing on. The Harmony Festival was a great time and our trip into the northwest has proven to be a dynamic experience. Soon we will be heading east to make new friends and visit old ones out there. I, the bus, and the crew look forward to it.

Donate On-line:
Go to: www.permibus.org
Click on: Donate

Donate by Mail:
Make checks payable to:
Delyla Wilson.
Send to :
150 Daly Ave.
Hamilton, MT. 59840


Captain, but not Leader,
Stan Wilson
Infrastructure Coordinato
Skills Tour
permipreacher@gmail.com
www.permibus.org
“Small wheels turn by the
flywheel and rod, big wheel
turns by the grace of God(dess)…”

Jun. 11th, 2009

Reveling in the wonders of Midnight Moonlight boat rides through the Mists.

Hello Permibus Friends,

I just got back from a canoe ride on the plake (a body of water to grand for a pond but to small for a lake). Lorca and I have been staying in this wonderful Vanagon which we've draped ina myriad of beautiful cloths and illuminated with a black light so the moons and spirals and stars glow. On the farm here you can walk about 15 minutes over the fields to the plake where there are float-boards and a kayak and a big round of cool clear water. There is also an island and to the back of it in a narrow straight lie the mists.

It's like passing through to Avalon going through those mists. The water shifts direction, fire goes out, the world becomes muted and surreal. We spent the witching hour there tonight under a shadowed full moon. The mist was thick and the water black with only a few stars shining through the pall. We placed a storm candle upon our boat and took the dragon incense holder out for its first sacrament.

We then glided around the island to the gateway and sat right where our flame was extinguished. The night sounds disappeared to leave nothing but the water’s soprano hum and the breaths of my pup Sage, Lorca and I.
A truly magical experience. A visit between the worlds.

If this blog is not of the norm I appologise. I am still very much in the lost in the mood of the plake. I can feel more than think and so I am feeling with my words and that can get both lengthy and strange.

In the middle of the plake you could hear the fish splash from time to time and a strange marsh bird call to its fellows but when all else fell away you could hear the vibrant chirping of the crickets. They are all over, surrounding the water, echoing in their strange harmony.

In the daylight, the plake is bright and vibrant with a different energy. It is all growing things, greenery, and life. With its shifting waves of swamp skirt the edges and small waves blow across the center giving texture to cool beauty. The jagged tree line reflected in the water along with anything that passes over it. A place where you can boat and swim with leisure knowing that the worst that could happen would be getting wet and that’s just plain fun!

It was a place of relaxation, rejuvenation and hella good chill time fun.
Thank you plake! You are my healer!

Blessings healing of the plake to all!

-Megan Coyote
Outreach Coordinator
Skills Tour
406.544.2767
skillsmc@gmail.com,
www.permibus.org

May. 30th, 2009

Chickens!

Captain’s Blog
5/30/06
Sonoma County, CA.

The other day while riding into Sebastopol with one of our most recent kind host I got into a discussion about chickens. I often get into such discussions, probably because chickens are one thing I really like to talk about. Chickens and baseball are two of my favorite topics of discussion. Once we finished talking about our three hens, their individual and collective histories, and how they fare on the road, the talk turned to roosters. Roosters sometimes become a sore spot with me. So many people, even people who really love chickens, are anti-rooster. It is a real prejudice.

Folks always have the same complaints, roosters are aggressive and they crow. Both are true. Both are as ridiculous as they are true. Yes, roosters are aggressive, that’s how they defend their flock, which is part of their job. When folks tell me about how many hens they have lost I ask if they have a rooster. Of course they don’t. It’s kind of like having a house filled with all your belongings but not having a door because doors have to be opened and closed has made you anti door. When predators get into your flock it is the roosters job to go make what is often their supreme sacrifice. Without a rooster it’s your hens the predators get. Now, just because you have a rooster doesn’t mean you wont lose hens just like having a door doesn’t mean you wont sometimes lose your stuff. Without a rooster however you will always lose your hens.

Roosters do crow. They don’t just crow at sun up, they can crow at all times of day. Just like with other birds the rooster’s crow is a territorial response. They aren’t telling anybody what time of day it is, they are telling other critters where their territory is. Often time’s people who complain about rooster’s crowing live in cities. I’ve noticed in my life, and in my travels that cities are very noisy pretty much 24 hours a day. There are cars on the streets, cars on highways, trains, buses, heavy equipment, engines back firing, loud voices, sirens at all times and of all types, gun shots, and my favorite, early morning garbage trucks. If I could hear a rooster over that din, I’d prefer it. Cities are very noisy. I don’t see, or hear, why roosters are such a big deal.

Okay, so why should folks who have chickens want to have roosters. There are a variety of reasons. Roosters are essential to a smoothly functioning chicken social order. Roosters select the head hen and set the pecking order, which promotes good flock dynamics. Roosters settle disputes in the flock. Roosters are also essential if your hens are going to birth you your next generation of chicks. You don’t have to ever mail order chicks or buy them from a feed store more than once. One of the most wonderful things all of us can be exposed to is the beauty of a hen in the yard with her chicks. No rooster, no chicks, at least not the way nature intends. As permaculturalist we should all promote roosters because we should all promote natural systems. Remember, nature is our model. To not do so, especially because of consumerist contrived anti rooster bias is to be a faux permaculturalist at best.

Roosters fertilize eggs. Fertilized eggs are healthier. Fertilized eggs are especially healthier for older men. They help prevent prostrate cancer. Given the huge population demographic aging Baby Boomer men make in the US I’d think AARP would be promoting a repeal of anti rooster laws. All in all, for our health, the health of our flocks, and the health of future chicken flock generations we need to start changing how we look at roosters. All across the country absurd anti chicken laws are being repealed because citizens, in many cases permaculturalist, are demanding their repeal. We need to go one step further and demand our roosters as well as our hens.

There are problems with roosters just like there are problems with anything. They all have easy solutions. I’ll more about these problems and there solutions in another blog. For now I simply ask that you all look beyond prejudice and look instead to balance and harmony. Seek and promote diversity. It is not just hens in every back yard we should have but roosters as well.

Captain, but not leader,
Stan Wilson.
Infrastructure Coordinator, Permi
Preacher, Rooster Advocate.
Skills Tour.

To Donate go to www.permibus.org
To Donate online go to www.permibus.org,
click "donate now."

May. 21st, 2009

(no subject)

Captain’s Blog,
May 3, 2009
Wolf Creek, OR.

The Captain is resting now so I, the Permibus Two, decided to take up the blog and give you the low down from my perspective. The trip so far has been a lot of fun and a lot of work. My human companions pressed hard to get me transformed from a former Sheridan County, Wyoming school bus to and Permaculture Demonstration bus. I must say it was quite odd having all of my seats pulled out of me. As a used vehicle one always fears the scrap yard. For any vehicle that means death. These loving humans however intended to give me new life. And that they did. In a whirlwind six weeks they crawled over every inch of me until I was transformed. Well, nearly transformed.
The humans had a pressing deadline so we left Montana back at the end of February with me still painted yellow. I felt kind of weird. I looked like a school bus but I wasn’t transporting kids from place to place. As the weather here in the northwest has cooperated however the humans have done all they can to finish my transformation. As of today I am nearly all John Deer green. My roof is becoming white. I am beginning to really feel that I am a new vehicle.
I have a few needs. Most pressing is a break job. I understand that I am the home and project of a non-profit group now. That means that the funds so readily available as part of a school district are scarce now. I also understand that brake jobs are expensive. If some person or persons with the means could donate such services or the funding that would be great. I’d also love to have things like my turbo looked at to see if it is leaking. This would really improve my performance and lower my carbon footprint. Lastly, some artwork would be a real treat.
Well ,it’s been a real treat to have this opportunity to talk directly with you all. My human companions will be up soon and want their computer back. Look into your hearts and ask how you can help. It will be greatly appreciated.


Donate On-line:
Go to: www.permibus.org
Click on: Donate

Donate by Mail:
Make check payable to: A.C.T.
On the “For” line write: Skills Tour”
Send check to: Alliance of Community Trainers POB 160757Austin, TX 78716-0757

The Permibus Two,
With help from the Captain.
He’s got the thumbs.
“Small wheels turn by the
flywheel and rod, big wheel
turns by the grace of God(dess)…”

Apr. 4th, 2009

New Chickens Need Names

Captain’s Blog
Visit our website @ www.permibus.org
4/3/2009
Sutherlin, OR.

Brand New Chickens Need A Brand New Name.

As has been previously chronicled, the Permibus has taken on two new hens. As our journey has continued we’ve taken on two new hens. The first is a plucky, spry young Bard Rock who has enough attitude to move into a situation foreign to her but is gentle enough to take easily to all the handling and attention they constantly receive. The Bard has been with just a couple of weeks and she can already be called a part of the clutch. The young hen is obviously intelligent but doesn’t take herself too seriously.
We had initially landed on Buffy the Buff Orpington as Joan River’s replacement. With Buffy we would remain with a black, a white, and a light red hen. Farm born and bread however, it is clear that Buffy will never be happy in our life full of movement and stimuli. Our new Rhode Island Red will replace Buffy. The Bard is being traded for B-O-B who, while a great layer, is not really a great exhibition hen. An ability to be exhibited easily is a necessity with all of our hens. B-O-B does not have that desire. It should be much easier to train a young bird to the task. Rhode Island Red’s are one of our favourite breeds of chickens.
So now we have two young hens in need of names. Photos will follow shortly and Megan will be taking a poll. We will be naming both of the birds at Beltane.

Donate On-line:
Go to: www.permibus.org
Click on: Donate

Donate by Mail:
Make check payable to: A.C.T.
On the “For” line write: Skills Tour”
Send check to: Alliance of Community Trainers POB 160757Austin, TX 78716-0757

Captain, but not leader,
Stan Wilson,
Infrastructure Coordinator,
Skills Tour.

Previous 10 | Next 10