Paul Wheaton

Welcome to the Paul Wheaton Blog, a place where you can keep in touch with the inner workings of Missoula’s most passionate proponent of Permaculture. Enjoy his most recent posts below.

See the entire Paul Wheaton archive.

paul-wheaton-bioPaul Wheaton is the tyrannical dictator of, the largest permaculture forum on the web. As a certified master gardener and permaculture designer, he’s built an empire around what he calls, ‘infecting brains with permaculture’. His forums are full of rich information, and there are a number of great free resources, guides, and articles that can be found on his sister site, as well.

He worked with rocket mass heater experts Ernie and Erica in developing a series of movies about making your own rocket mass heater and produced a series of movies on permaculture gardening on permaculture gardening, which detail how to use hugelkultur, swales, and natural ponds to capture and utilize water without irrigation. His recent work with natural buildings based on Mike Oehler’s designs has resulted in the creation of the Wofati, a semi-underground natural home design.

Crowned the Duke of Permaculture by Geoff Lawton and the Bad Boy of Permaculture by the Occupy Monsanto movement, Paul continues to educate and inspire at his property – dubbed Wheaton Labs – in western Montana, where he conducts experiments in permaculture and natural building, hosts workshops, and entertains the curious passerby. Learn more about staying at Wheaton Labs.

The State of the Jungle

By PAUL WHEATON - The more stuff I create and post online, the more peo... more

Swords, Iron, Missoula Blood and Pie

By PAUL WHEATON - Turns out I have too much iron in my blood and it's ... more

Jumping Spiders and Daddy Longlegs in Your House Keep Away Brown Recluse

By PAUL WHEATON - This video is of a jumping spider that found its way... more

Struggles, Hurdles, Challenges and Observation

By PAUL WHEATON - I'm not yet of retirement age, but I suppose I could say that I am retired .... from being a software engineer. Sorta. ... more

Junkpole Fence: Freaky Cheap Chicken/Deer Fence

By PAUL WHEATON - We needed a permanent fence that would keep flighty chickens (layers) in and keep the deer and the wild turkeys out. This fence went up mighty fast and cheap.... more

Quest for Land: My Advice for Permies and Homesteaders
Part 3 of 3

By PAUL WHEATON - I want to grow the future of permaculture. Not just with my ideas, but with 20 different artisans in seed and soil. Each permie would have their own vision for what is “best”.... more

Quest for Land: My Advice for Permies and Homesteaders Part 2 of 3

By PAUL WHEATON - When it came to picking a piece of land, I have a powerful bias. I just love Missoula, Montana. Someday I want to be able to say that I grow a lemon tree, outdoors, in Montana.... more

Quest for Land: My Advice for Permies and Homesteaders Part 1 of 3

By PAUL WHEATON -Decades ago I was obsessed with gardening and outgrew my urban lot. I needed more space. Not only for my horticultural endeavors, but I needed to expand into all sorts of animals.... more

Rocket Mass Heaters: The Absurdly Efficient, Cheap, and Comfortable Way to Heat Your Home

By PAUL WHEATON - So what’s the big deal? Well, Rocket Mass Heaters are one of the most sustainable and affordable heat sources in the world! ... more

The Dark Side of Native Plant Enthusiasm

By PAUL WHEATON - What’s wrong with native plants? The problem has nothing to do with advocating for native plants, but in advocating against all other plants – not just for oneself, but for all people.... more

Did you Just Should on Me?

By PAUL WHEATON - The word “should” is seriously embedded in our culture and habits. And I think it is possible that it may have slightly different meanings for different people. ... more

Infecting Brains with Permaculture 52 Cards at a Time

By PAUL WHEATON - When I give gifts, rather than giving people stuff that they might like, I tend to give them things that I like them to have. Check out this gift idea:... more

Capitalism, Gift Economy, and Prices That Are Too Damn High

By PAUL WHEATON - My feeble understanding of capitalism is that I can work super hard for a year, save up all my money and then live without working for several years.... more

Bee Huts

By PAUL WHEATON-I’ve heard that by adding a roof to protect your bee hives, you can increase honey production by as much as four or five fold. The secret: The happiness of the bee matters!... more

Flies Really Bite. Are they Bugging the Cows?

By PAUL WHEATON-Biting flies can sure make life miserable for cattle, horses and even people! Big or small, those insects can inflict painful sores. Here are a few solutions for getting rid of biting flies:... more

20 Tips for Staying Cool and Saving Money in the Summer

By PAUL WHEATON-It’s hot! So it is perfect timing to talk about how to stay cool on the cheap – both long term and short term. Here are 20 tips on staying cool this summer and saving money too.... more

Keen on Mason Bees

By PAUL WHEATON-And now boys and girls, it is time for Uncle Paul to tell you about the birds and the bees. Or, more accurately, the flowers and the bees. And, even more accurately: Flower sex.... more

Reversing Desertification

By PAUL WHEATON - Man-made desertification impacts climate change more than the burning of all fossil fuels. This includes contributions to greenhouse gasses, and overall warming.... more

Passive Annual Heat Storage

By PAUL WHEATON -When heating or cooling a home can a comfortable temperature be obtained year round with far less energy use? Can we get it down to a tenth of the national average?... more

Apple Trees from Seed

By PAUL WHEATON -There is this story going around that if you try and grow apples from seed, then there is only a 1 in 20,000 chance that you’ll have an edible apple. ... more

REALLY Saving Energy

By PAUL WHEATON -Recently, I was invited to give a TED Talk. I chose to speak about the fact that pollution and war are icky and both are rooted in energy. Here's what I said:... more

Electric Versus Compressed Air Vehicles

By PAUL WHEATON - Electric Versus Compressed Air Vehicles...that is the question. Some pros and cons to both plus some cool video!... more

Is Black Locust the Ultimate Permaculture Tree?

By PAUL WHEATON - You can spot where the old homesteads are in Montana by the stands of black locust trees. They're famous in permaculture circles as nitrogen fixers.... more

Hand Washing Dishes Versus Dishwasher: Which Saves More Water?

By PAUL WHEATON - The misconception that washing dishes with a dishwasher saves water is an great example of how people succomb to greenwashing myths.... more

Horticulture of the United States of Pocahontas

By PAUL WHEATON - The foundations of sustainable horticulture seem to include permaculture, bio-dynamism, respectful harvest, and a symbiotic relationship with nature.... more

Humanure and Composting Toilets

By PAUL WHEATON - Recently, I visited Missoula’s wastewater treatment plant to learn about the reuse of treated wastewater as a source of irrigation and fertilization.... more

Compost-Based Bio-Energy Systems

By PAUL WHEATON - When done properly, composting creates a great deal of heat – heat that can be harnessed to heat water and create usable energy.... more

How to Keep Deer from Eating Your Stuff

By PAUL WHEATON - The creative ways people attempt to control deer seem endless, but they aren’t generally effective. There is ONE thing that really gets it done.... more

This Winter, Save Energy with Just a Tiny Bit of Knowledge

By PAUL WHEATON - The real solution to energy sustainability is to get information passed as far as possible. This, friends, is saving the world with a bit of knowledge.... more

Solar Food Dehydrators for the Fall Harvest

By PAUL WHEATON - The fall harvest is upon us. Apples, plums, kale, and tomatoes abound. In the quest for sustainability, solar-powered food dehydrators are on the rise.... more

Replacing Irrigation with Permaculture

By PAUL WHEATON - There are scads of ideas of what permaculture and irrigation are. For me, I see a good permaculture system as one that has eliminated irrigation.... more

The Many Benefits of the Amazing Sunchoke

By PAUL WHEATON - Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) are one of the best homesteader crops, especially for those wishing to be self-sustaining.... more

Paul Wheaton on Polyculture

By PAUL WHEATON - A polyculture is a mix of plants all trading their unique goodness with other plants. All plant-eating animals are designed to eat plants from a polyculture.... more

Tired of Tilling? Try Seed Balls

By PAUL WHEATON - Ever thought of lobbing seeds into your field? No tilling, just a good arm? Seed balls are used in no-tilling cultivation to get seeds established.... more

Eliminate the Cost of Chicken Feed

By PAUL WHEATON - I used to sell my chickens for nearly the same price I paid for feed. I found ways to not only eliminate feed costs, but provide higher-quality feed! ... more

Can Pigs Build Ponds?

By PAUL WHEATON - Don't even THINK of using a pond liner if you have pigs around. Paul Wheaton shows us a better way to seal a pond using pigs.... more

How NOT to raise chickens

By PAUL WHEATON - This comic artist is exceptionally brilliant at capturing very common and complicated issues that can arise for people who have never raised chickens before. I think the desire to steward chi... more

Greenwashing Light Bulbs

By PAUL WHEATON - The object propelling the greatest greenwashing scheme of all time is the CFL.... more

Keep those branches, twigs, rotten logs, and Christmas trees!

By PAUL WHEATON - Paul Wheaton shows us ways to recycle wood. These tips sure beat making a big pile and burning it!... more

Testing to see if you are an Eco Poser

By PAUL WHEATON - It's cool to be green. Especially in Missoula. Here's how to test to see if you are an Eco Poser.... more

Being Noble

By PAUL WHEATON - Paul talks about people, community, intentional community, being nice, mean and even noble.... more

How I Cut 87% Off My Heating Bills Last February

By PAUL WHEATON. Paul tells us how he cut is electric bill by 87% last winter. Try his simple ideas for yourself.... more

Diatomaceous Earth: Bug Killer You Can Eat!

By PAUL WHEATON. Paul tells us all about Diatomaceous Earth. ... more

Organic Lard is Health Food!

By PAUL WHEATON. Learn about the surprising health benefits of cooking with good old LARD... if you can find it... more

Green Your Kitchen with a Cast Iron Skillet

By PAUL WHEATON. Learn about the benefits of Cast Iron cookware and watch an egg fry and not stick!... more

Mullein Heals the Earth

By PAUL WHEATON. Mullein is a biennial plant with fuzzy leaves. Often called "cowboy toilet paper," mullein will grow in the worst soils on earth -- improving the earth as it grows. More about this amazing pla... more

The Tiny House Movement

By PAUL WHEATON. People are saving money by downsizing their house. How far can you take it? Take a look at these Tiny house. One was built for $15!... more

The EdgeMaster: How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife Blade

By PAUL WHEATON. Watch the EdgeMaster sharpen a serrated knife blade in record time!... more

How to REALLY Save on Your Summer Utility Bills

By PAUL WHEATON. Learn more than 20 great tips to save energy and save on summer utility bills too. Cooking, cooling, lighting tips and more -- all for REAL utility bill savings.... more

20+ Things to Do for Kids Visiting Missoula

By PAUL WHEATON. Paul has family coming to visit. He could go on and on about how great Missoula is, and this post lists some of his top attractions!... more

Mount Sentinel: the Lushest Farmland in All of Montana

By PAUL WHEATON. Could we convert Mt. Sentinel into a lush hillside? Paul has a plan.... more

Clean, Sustainable Wood Burning

By PAUL WHEATON. The Missoula Urban Demonstration Project celebrated earth day last Sunday. I got together with the Missoula Free Cycles folks and we found a way to do a bit more than most folks for earth day.... more

#1 Gyro is My Favorite!

By PAUL WHEATON. #1 Gyro is my new favorite! Their gyros and greek fries are excellent! And they easily have the best spanakopita. This post features a review of Missoula's #1 Gyro.... more

Sepp Holzer is Coming to Missoula!

By PAUL WHEATON. Sepp Holzer has done so many huge things, that his property is crawling with dozens of doctoral students doing their thesis work based on Sepp's work. And he's coming to Missoula!... more

Bike Panniers from Kitty Litter Buckets

By PAUL WHEATON. Watch this cool video and read the story about a couple of guys riding across America and discovering Missoula. ... more

Conservation Farming, Living Mulches and Raising Chickens!

By PAUL WHEATON. Missoula darling, Helen Atthowe, talks at length about conservation farming techniques, living mulches, mammal and insect eco systems and, in general, aligning farming practices with nature ra... more

Free Dinner on Friday Nights in Corvallis!

By PAUL WHEATON. Check out the video! There is no begging for money. No preaching either. Just a dozen teenagers trying to pull their community together using nothing more than a good meal as bait.... more