Garrett Wilmer wrote:Good afternoon! My name's Garrett and I'm new here. I'm going to be starting a small free range chicken operation in Minnesota in the Spring, just outside of Lake Superior. I didn't know if anyone would be interested in starting an eco-village as I will have plenty of additional land. No weird cult-y vibes, just good, simple living. But anywho, I would like to be as self sustaining as humanly possible so even if you just want to bounce ideas back and forth I would love to hear from you! Thanks for your time!
Welcome Garret! Congrats on your new business, sounds like fun. I'd be curious to hear about how your journey goes, keep us updated What made you want to start a free range chicken operation?
YEA Corps is having our 3rd annual Summer Sustainability Internship for youth here in the Twin Cities. We're a quickly growing non-profit empowering youth through sustainability education and action. This summer is going to be action packed with Aquaponics, Vermicomposting, Algae Production, Mushroom Cultivation, MicroBiology, Permaculture design and gardening, and much more! We're partnering with local organizations to take the action beyond our lab as well. It's a chance to build the resume, skills, and make some change in the community. The program is for youth, under 30yrs old. It's a 10hr/week commitment with a certification upon completion. Check out or website for more info or send us an email at email@example.com
I've recently updated my journal on PermaMN about Nutrient Cycling, Raising Rabbits, Vermicomposting, Dry-Curing meat, and more. PermaMN is an organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable and community-focused Minnesota through the application of Permaculture. I was hesitant to post a link, but Paul in his most recent Podcast talks about how he'd like people to share their blogs/journals and such. I've referenced Paul and Permies many times in the journal, including this post. I'm happy to send links back to Paul's stuff, he's been such a great resource and I'd love to see the empire expand. I'd love some input, thoughts, and if there are people in Minnesota on their on journey to sustainability and Permaculture, their own journals on the site. Here is a excerpt from the lastest post:
Despite the fact that the previous growing season has long ended and the next is still a few months away, I've continued to progress towards sustainability thru experiments and education, and even obtain a yield (Permaculture principle #3). I have continued to involve myself in the community and help build a better Minnesota. This winter has been a great chance for me to innovate, expand my homesteading skills, and work on nutrient cycling. I've replaced the warm-months barrel composter with indoor worm composting, started raising rabbits, and experimented with growing food indoors. In the kitchen I learned to culture sourdough, dry-cure meat, how to cook and care for cast-iron--a solid alternative to the toxic teflon coated cookware--, and I continued brewing beer. Sustainability doesn't end with the growing season, it's a life-long journey.
If anyone would like to keep up-to-date with the journal and PermaMN, I'd encourage to join the Newsletter.
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein wrote:SUMMER? Are all the classes are happening during THIS year? It would be crucial to know as SOON as possible The amount of time given for this spring event was very very short, I need like 6 months to gather that kind of money, again.
I think Roxanne brings up a good consideration. It'd be helpful to know when, at least roughly, the future workshops are going to take place. It would definitely help in regards to planning the funding needed for all of the workshops.
Ken Peavey wrote:
Board rot is a problem. Down here I've seen 3" thick lumber disintegrate in just a few short years when left in contact with moist compost. I have one compost heap contained on 3 sides with 9 pallets. I've tried a few methods of treating the boards, and found a solution that seems to help for me. I slather it with kitchen grease. I keep my bacon grease for cooking, but there is plenty of stuff I scrape out of my pans from hamburgers or spare ribs, or deep frying oil that I don't use in another dish. I keep an old brush on a handy nail, use it to slather this grease on the boards. It only takes a minute, but the wood is holding up well after 3 years. Mind you, I get a cat sniffing around over there now and then, and its not the best looking thing. Theory says this grease will decay through putrifaction and create a stink. I live out in the woods so a smell would not be an issue, but I don't notice a smell other than the first couple of days, and I think that is from the water content of the mess I slather on. I've only done about half of the pallets, stuff has been heaped up on the other side. The greased boards, while messy, have been protected somewhat from the moisture in the heap. There is a caveat: the greased side is also not usually piled up as high as the other side. It seems to be helping.
This seems like a pretty cool idea. I'm curious, has anyone ever tried beeswax? Perhaps there'd be less issue of attracting unwanted vermin/pests and bad pathogens?
I wanted to make it know, as I didn't see any mention of it anywhere else in the forums, that there is a Sustainable Agriculture Summit here in Minnesota this February 15 & 16. It's being put on by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Sustainable Farming Association. For those that cannot afford the full cost there are some Scholarships. It looks like there is going to be some great panels and sessions. I'll be attending the event both days and hope to see you there!
That's a brilliant and thoughtful idea, thank you Paul for sharing! I've never considered that aspect of Bee care and it's great to see it done in such a caring way. Great lead-in comment at the beginning too! Another great brick to making the world a better place.
Sorry to keep "spamming" this post, but I wanted to point out for those that might not see, I made a thread about bringing Paul to the Duluth spring workshop. If you think this is a good idea and want to see it happen, make it known. I think it'd be a great addition.
In the thread on the 2013 Holzer workshops, Paul mentioned he'd be interested in joining the Duluth workshop. I think that is a grand idea and I would love to see Paul attend, either as a visitor or as a speaker. We could definitely use more Paul Wheaton here in Minnesota! As Paul mentioned, he'd be willing to come if the costs were covered and the interest was there. I'd like to see who else would like to have Paul join us, and if perhaps crowd-funding would be a viable option. It'd help if we knew how much we'd have to raise, and if the logistics are possible. I'd be willing to pay to bring Paul to Minnesota, who else?
Also, there could be possibilities in expanding Paul's time here, perhaps doing a workshop or event in the Twin Cities? There is a possibility that PRI Cold Climate, MN's own Permaculture Research Institute, could be interested in Paul speaking. I know a few people within the organization, and if we can work together and get Paul to the workshop in Duluth, then I'd be happy to talk to them.
I'd love to make this happen, and would be happy to take the lead on this.
Like I said above, I'm going to the Duluth workshop. I live in the Twin Cities and I'd like to put it out there that I'd be happy to help in whatever way I can for people that are also going, I'm sure we could figure out a ride-share and such. Let's make this a great event!
I haven't had any luck finding organic or GMO free rabbit food here in MN, but I've been thinking about developing my own rabbit feed. It's something that people used to do before mass market feeds, but the difficulty was in the recipe and making it so that it gives the best diet for the rabbits. With making your own you get full control of quality and quantity, you could use Organic ingredients or even grow your own. Often feeds have really high protein content, making a rabbit often overweight. There are definitely a lot of variables. In Bob Bennet's book on Raising Rabbits he provides Mr. Reynolds' Special Rabbit-Feed Recipe, Mr Reynolds is the former ARBA President. But it's labeled as a supplement to pellets.
It's almost unbelievable that Sepp is coming to Minnesota, and starting a certification program! I cannot wait to start. I've registered and will be working on the certification. I really hope you can join Paul, I'd even pay extra to have a whole Paul day. I feel like this is the opportunity of the year and I'm glad I went for it.
I was very excited to listen to this podcast once I saw it come out, thank you Paul for another wonderful and free podcast! You're amazing.
I've been doing research into raw milk, and have always wanted to try it. Thanks to this podcast, I've gone ahead and added trying local MN Whole Raw Milk to my new year's resolutions. I checked out RealMilk.com and love it, what a great resource to help me complete this goal. I also checked out Farm to Consumer, and would love to support it once I can do so financially responsibly. Now, with a expired farm bill, would be a great time to make some changes in Raw Milk legislature. It's really tough to get Raw Milk in a big city.
Edit: I also want to thank Sally Fallon, she brought a lot of useful and powerful information to the table and made some really strong arguments. I'd love to hear another podcast with you two. Even if it's a paid only.
I'm glad I found this topic here on Permies, because I think it's really important and I'm blown away that it's basically been an ignored topic in the mainstream. It's unfortunate and a disappointment that Congress cannot work together to do this, and I feel bad for farmers that are going to be hit by this. This can be a wake up call and a lesson, and with higher milk prices perhaps people will realize how nice they have it with all of the subsidizes and, as S Bengi pointed out, people can learn to be more self-sufficient.
"And the extension doesn't include funding for disaster aid programs and programs designed to encourage young people to get back in to farming. It also doesn't fully fund programs that help support local farmers markets and agricultural research provisions."
This is something that would be a better idea than so many subsidies. Perhaps the next farm bill can be even more radical.
Paul Redmond wrote:It seems Paul had a thread about this before but I can't seam to find it. Is he still doing the drop a dime thing? or what other ways can I get a little $ to him? Buying the podcast seems to have a high fee.
Tip the Web is still available at The RichSoil site at the bottom of the page. Doing it this way you can show your support for individual things by clicking on the appropriate page you'd like to support. Or buy podcasts.
I'm currently raising some rabbits here in Minnesota, it's winter and the rabbits are indoors. I vermicompost the rabbit litter (wood shavings, hay, urine, feces, and whatever else is in the drop tray) but I add a buffer to it. When I clean out the trays or cages, I scoop out the litter and dump it into a 5 gallon bucket. I let it all sit for a while before I add it to the worm compost. That way the rabbit urine has some time to break down a bit. I'm loving the new vermicompost input stream, and if it all works well enough perhaps the rabbit litter will replace the coir one day?
I'm also looking into either then use that compost as mushroom medium or soil amendment for something to grow for the rabbits to help tie in the resource stream?
Thank you Paul, for the early and free podcast, that's very kind of you and Helen. This was a in depth podcast that I'm definitely going to listen to again soon, it's a lot to take in.
Julie Anderson wrote:There was a lot of discussion about balancing the mineral levels by adding amendments (e.g. limestone to increase calcium).
I thought this part of the podcast was very valuable. I'm going to have to work towards learning to be able to determine the soil conditions based on the plant growth alone, a skill that will take a long time I'm sure.
Julie Anderson wrote:How are those amendments applied?
I like Paul's point of planting a nutrient accumulator. But if that doesn't do it, Calcium (according to one of the earlier podcasts if I'm correct) when dusted over soil increases earthworm reproduction. Though if you dusted calcium you'd want to add moisture to prevent it from being blown away.
paul wheaton wrote:Jack is cool. And I am not Jack.
I am wired differently from most others. And there is something that has gone wonky in my innards.
The important thing is that podcast 229 and 230 were not for sale. At this moment, they are a gift to a select few. And somehow, this makes me feel better.
It makes things a different flavor of odd. Not sure what's going to happen in the next few weeks, but I do know that I currently feel better.
You're right, you're not Jack. But thank you, Paul Wheaton, for the two podcasts I received. I cherish them and I'm also glad that you are feeling better. Just one other thought I had, was that you could possibly sell on scubbly packs of your podcasts of book reviews. Such as Sepp Holzer's Permaculture review podcasts. This might be another way to pull in some more revenue thru scubbly. Thanks again Paul, I'm going to have to listen to the Agronomy podcasts like you said, over and over until it's in my head.
I can't wait to hear those new podcasts, and I'd be happy to pay for them like the Art Ludwig ones. If you do decide to make the podcasts pay only, it might be worth doing one free podcast announcing it or maybe just a short podcast explaining your new approach or decision. Whatever you decide, I'm sure will be the right thing. Jocelyn raises some good points, and I'd like to follow suit and say thank you Paul!
I would guess that the price up front would have to be something on the order of $10,000.
I would think that to get him to speak somewhere would probably be something like $25,000. But a two hour speech would still eat up more than a day of his time. So a podcast might only eat up two or three hours of his life.
By asking "how much" I was hoping that the answer might come back as something much less and then I could try to figure out what to do from there. But I think your thinking is spot on: "if you have to ask, you can't afford it." And I am not in a position to offer $10,000.
We could set up a kickstarter, either for a single podcast or video, or perhaps a lump of them, or a lump of your time? If there is money upfront for you to work with to get stuff done you can be more free to do that.
I think that is a great idea, and a great way to monetize podcasts. I'd love to do it myself in the future. The idea to talk with Bill Nye is great, I think that'd be a great podcast or video. Is a Bill Nye Podcast/Video something that could be done as a Kickstarter?
I appreciate all the information, it's good to understand the actual use and composition. It seems like a treatment of a symptom, the kind of thing Fukuoka warned against. I like the idea of using the insects as shellac too!
I'm currently reading Fukuoka's The One Straw Revolution, which I've found to be marvelous philosophy in the mask of agriculture. But there is one thing that is bothering me as I'm reading this. In the Four Principles of Natural Farming section in Part II under the fourth principle of No Chemicals, there is a double asterisk explaining:
Mr. Fukuoka grows his grain crops without chemicals of any kind. On some orchard trees he occasionally uses a machine oil emulsion for the control of insect scales. He uses no persistent or broad-spectrum poisons, and has no pesticide "program."
This seems a bit contradictory to the fourth principle, does this bother anyone else? Can anyone shed some light on this issue?
Thanks John! You're quite a wealth of knowledge. I had no idea you could make Buckthorn Syrup, and I love that you provided the recipe. Is buckthorn less of a problem when the woodland matures? I know the local woodlot is infested with it and it has been taking out some of the undergrowth. I wonder if something like goats would eat at some of the young seedlings that are only a foot tall or so that come up every year.
Sorry to see the podcast is being such a drain for you Paul. I'd love to support you financially to keep going on podcasting, and I've purchased the art ludwig podcasts. I like the idea of a kickstarter, but I think it'd be better to have a kickstarter for a whole set of podcasts and have the topics chosen. It's something I'd definitely support. I wouldn't mind also if it went paid-only, no free podcasts.
If it doesn't work out, then you have to do what's best for you Paul.
The Pollinator Partnership has a series of 24 page booklets that are divided into regions. Depending where you are in MN they would have a different booklet. These booklets identify the native pollinators, and the plants they seek.
Here is the link to the Twin Cities area: http://www.pollinator.org/PDFs/EasternBroadleaf.Oceanic.rx18.pdf
If you live elsewhere, go HERE, and enter your ZIP code, and the site will take you to the appropriate guide book.
Thanks John, these are some great resources! I'm looking forward to reading up all of this! I'm glad to see the MN DNR have some good resources as well.
I'm trying to understand better the role of the shrub Rhamnus cathartica, also known as Buckthorn. Here in Minnesota it's seen by the Dept. of Natural Resources as an invasive species, often going in and tearing out large swaths of buckthorn and sheet mulching the land. It definitely spreads relatively fast, but I'm unsure how to view it. I would imagine a permaculture way of dealing with it is letting the woodland area mature and it will find balance.
Can anyone give me a better idea of this plant's role and how to best work with it?
lyndonraaum Hatfield wrote: Hello i am interested in bee keeping in minnesota and i have been looking for forums clubs or any info about bee keeping in minnesota looking forward to your comments thanks in advance oh btw i live in the owatonna area or south central minnesota
I'm wondering if any of you Minnesotans or regional folk have any suggestions or recommendations for books on local plant communities? I've done some research and seen "Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota" by Lynn M. Steiner and "Wetland Plants of Minnesota: A complete guide to the wetland and aquatic plants of the North Star State" by Steve W. Chadde. Has anyone read any of these? Are there any others people would recommend?
Lissa Lane wrote:Hey all! I just want to say its great that you folks are here and communicating about this... this lack of permaculture community in MN. I just moved back to the state as well, after a decade or so of traveling and living in very progressive areas. I too was discouraged by the challenges of living in a very 'red' area and came very close to relocating again to a town full of people just like me. Then it dawned on me.... this place is the perfect blank canvas for permaculture.
I love the positive attitude, welcome back! I like the perspective that we have a great opportunity here in Minnesota.
Lissa Lane wrote:I encourage everyone to take a second look and reach for a common thread... be it wild rice, old ways of plowing fields, hunting, canning, beer (everyone likes beer, right?!) or even sewing. People are rich with knowledge and if you ask the right questions, most are more than willing to engage. And those of us with unique skills are potentially very valuable to those who don't yet have them. If we all knew everything, there'd be no reason to converse right? But if we keep inquiring, sharing and learning, who knows, before long we might just turn ourselves into that community we were missing.
I love beer and brew my own, and I'm sure others do too. I look forward to learning from a lot of local people, you're right that we all have a lot to share.
Lissa Lane wrote:And yes, I'd be interested in a meet-up too, although logistics may be challenging in this far reaching state of ours. None the less, lets give it a whirl!
That's great! Perhaps we can figure out a median point in which we all or the majority of us are.
daniel zetah wrote:Hi all, my name is Daniel I'm a 36 year old guy who grew up on a farm an hour west of Minneapolis but moved to tasmania in 2001 where I met all kinds of permie folks and became a strawbale home builder, renewable energy installer, composting toilet builder and joined the permaculture guild of tasmania.
I came back to the farm 6 months ago to help my parents transition from farming and build the infrastructure needed to make the farm more attractive to csa / permie farmers. I love this land and its an amazing opportunity to be given a farm but as someone who is extremely unconventional, I'm finding the dominant culture here to be suffocating and am considering going back to tasmania where I may not have a beautiful farm but I have a community of critical thinking, like minded folks that pull me in the direction I want to go.
I am really glad to hear all you people exist in MN, thank you for being salmon swimming upstream in a very strong current. I personally need close community around me to be happy and was wondering if there were any other people on here that dont buy into the cultural norm of one nuclear family on one farm. I think I could stay here if I could find a small group of people who want to live a simple, honest life, creating and growing thing of quality and beauty, sharing land and infrastructure, tools etc. people who want to live with intention. Right now I feel like most people that have a similar mindset leave MN and go to the west coast or elsewhere and the few holdouts are dotted around the state like the handful of organic farms in the sea of corn and soybeans. It's nice to know they exist in theory but it doesn't make me feel less alone and isolated here. Are there any folks out there who like the idea of living closer together? Thanks for reading my long rant:-) Daniel
Daniel, welcome back to Minnesota! Sounds like you have some amazing skills, we could definitely use them here in Minnesota. It'd be sad to see you leave, I'd love to see you stay and help us make Minnesota great! I'd love to see a great Minnesota Permie culture built and sustained. There is even a Permaculture Research Institute here in the Twin Cities. Maybe we should have some meet-ups here in Minnesota? I've recently started a Minnesota focused Permaculture site, PermaMN. I'm hoping PermaMN can help create a more sustainable Minnesota using Permaculture.
I saw that you are going to be in Minnesota, great! We have here in the Twin Cities the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate, perhaps a possible session with them? Would it be easier, if it fits, to have one of you two or myself contact them? It would be great to share Rocket Mass Heaters with more Permaculture folks here.