Okanogan Permaculture Study Group is having a pot luck gathering on Feb. 13, Monday, 6pm at Peter James' house just North of Tonasket, White House with red trim.
Art Heinemann a local organic farmer will be attending and this past year he built a climate battery greenhouse from plans he purchased from CRMPI's Jerome Osentowski. He will be able to answer questions.
I can add my two cents from my recent visit to Jerome's place last fall where he took my group on a 3 hour tour of his greenhouses and forest gardens.
And for those of us who have yet to build any type of greenhouse, I'll cover Winter Sowing of seeds in recycled plastic milk jugs as " mini greenhouses" for outdoor plant starts, with a big nod to Julie Ashmore who taught me about this technique!
So even tho the sun was out today and our temps got above freezing for a few hours so we're all running around outside without hats and coats---I still think you'll enjoy our meeting and gathering around with fellow local permaculture enthusiasts-- hope to see you at Peter's. Just email me if you need directions:
firstname.lastname@example.org Stay warm and happy,
I live south of your border in the Okanogan County of Washington state. I bet some of our weather patterns are similar. Our county gets from 14-20" of precip annually a lot in the form of snow.
Although, we just had record setting rains for October (3.4") and it's been very warm for November so far.
Garlic grows wonderfully here hard neck and soft. Plant it in fall.
Trees are great, the Ponderosa Pine are typical and are much more resistant to wild fire (I can attest to that after the worst wild land fires in our state history, burned through our county including my land in 2015).
Saskatoon berry shrubs are native and good to eat, I have read they are being grown commercially in Canada now. They grow great on my land, elderberry shrubs too.
I had some Favas drop seed last year, over winter on their own and come up in my garden this year. But it wasn't very cold last winter, only down to -6F degrees. The lowest temps I have experienced here were a few years ago down to -18F degrees for about 3 days, but generally it stays between -5F and 10F degrees in the winter.
I'm not sure if browsing deer are a problem for you, but they certainly are down here, so trees and shrubs must be protected until they are large enough to withstand munching.
Comfrey is a reliable plant here along with rhubarb, walking onions, stinging nettles, French sorrel, French tarragon, parsley, hops, dill and arugula (both self seed), raspberries and blackberries (more deer protection), strawberries and Jerusalem artichokes aka sun chokes.
That's all I can think of right now that might be there when you returned in the spring. Oh yes cover crops are always good too.
Good luck ! It's sounds like you found a nice piece of land with water ( a huge plus)!
You are right that we don't meet much during the growing season. Everyone is just too darned busy! Below is the announcement I sent out to the group a few days ago. If you are interested in attending feel free to call me to get contact info for Isaac who can give you specific directions, I can give you general directions. 509-560-3613
Also, I think maybe Erica did mention you (Devin) as being interested in attending our meetings. Both you and Elisa, can send me your email info, if you wish me to add you to the group email listing that we announce meetings and other info relating to permaculture and organic type farming and gardening.
Mostly, our meetings happen in the general Tonasket area, but because there are also members who live closer to Omak and Okanogan, I try to have meetings in that area once-in-a-while, and this meeting is going to be one of those.
Don't worry if you can't make it to the Dec. one, I will be scheduling others during the winter.
Glad you are in the area and have an interest in Permaculture!
I look forward to meeting you both sometime soon.
Isaac and Kirstie Bickford have kindly offered to host our Permaculture pot luck meeting at their house. The address is 2170 Burton Ave. Okanogan, WA. You may remember it is the previous home of the Darleys.
It will be Monday, Dec. 5th, 2016, at 6pm, a pot luck, and we will talk about low tech but effective ways of irrigating tree plantings and gardens.
I can also talk about my recent visit to Jerome Osentowski's place high in the Rocky Mountains (7200 feet) and his Forest Garden Greenhouses, aka climate battery greenhouses.
Feel free to bring a friend or pass this message along to anyone who you think might be interested to attend.
Also, if you no longer wish to be on this email list, please just let me know.
I just contributed to your work, I hope you reach your goal and get this film produced. It's such an important topic and there needs to be much more thoughtful discussion regarding our human approach.
Thank you for dedicating your time to this!
Thanks David and Laurie for bringing up the topic of Morels.
I'm also very interested in black Morels. Since the big Okanogan Complex wild fire swept over our land last August, I've been looking forward to the small silver lining of finding them on my land.
I started in early spring, but nothing!
Some woods wise friends came and looked last week and found a handful, of kinda dried up ones ( but still edible).
My question is, do you know if deer or other animals eat Morels?
I'm thinking perhaps I had too much competition...
Thanks for coming to the Permies forum.
Having access to land is exciting! Making plans and even planting or building is hard to resist. It feels like there is a mountain of stuff to do and little or no time to do it in.
Remember Mollison's words, "protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor"...
Get out on your land in every season first.
Watch and observe what goes on there.
It really is best to spend a whole year living on your place making all those observations, taking notes and posing questions about what's going on there, maybe drawing some conclusions.
You will be amazed how much you learn and by contrast how little you knew in the beginning!!
You may avoid some expensive (in time and/or money) mistakes, by taking your time.
If your in laws have lived near by for a long time, engage them in telling you what they've learned about the land and what they've noticed.
You must get to know your land.
In the meantime, read everything you can not only about permaculture but other related areas like Holistic Management, ReGen Ag Etc.
Take multiple PDCs especially if there is one in the same type of bioregion or climate zone. Talk to long time farmers and neighbors from the area your land is in, listen to what stories they tell about historic events ( floods, fires, freezes, etc) make notes.
This will help you make better decisions when the time comes.
Another good source for supplies and really great information is Dr. Magritte Dogterom's page: beediverse.com
She has been studying mason bees and their cousins for many years, I have found her site to be a wealth of information!
1. Yes, I would be very happy to work with the NRCS, in order to have a free or even low cost permaculture design for my ranch. I have earned 3 PDC certificates over the last 12 years, but in the case of my own ranch, I feel it's important to get another designer's input and thoughts on my own land, to get some clear eyed vision. I am currently working with a good friend Permaculture Designer, to do this very thing and I am paying for this, because it is very much worth it!!
2. I am planning on investing in my land by implementing in stages the permaculture design. Of course, because infrastructure permaculture or otherwise, is expensive, I will need to do this over years.
3. I would definitely like some financial "aid" or grants or loans in the form of: fencing to exclude cattle from sensitive wetland type areas, I would really like to get some help with perimeter fencing to exclude range cattle, so I can establish agro-forestry plantings. Fencing to protect small tree plantings from deer and other wild browsers. Help with installations of water resources on the ranch to irrigate for tree plantings, water tank storage for gravity feed irrigation, livestock watering and for wild fire protection. Funding for nursery tree stock, establishment of infrastructure for producing my own nursery stock for tree plantings, and herbal nursery stock. Funding for pasture monitoring tools and training. Access for training all aspects of Holistic Management and other workshops in Key Line Design, permaculture and innovative marketing techniques.
4. I think its a great idea, because the more education federal agencies can access on the topic of permaculture, the better. There is potential to expand the information about permaculuture to many varied populations of land owners. Having workshops at landowners who have installed some permaculture designs, would help spread the word about permaculture also.
You are welcome to include these thoughts in your report, and of course you may email me questions. As you know, I am located in Okanogan County in Washington.
I have a friend who lives near me in the Okanogan Valley of North Central Washington who has a great blog on growing her food with the buried "Hugelkultur" or wood beds with some , but minimal water used during our very hot and very dry summers. Yes, we were in the middle of the new worst wild land fires of Washington this August.
Her name is Julie and this is her blog info, http://woodforfood.blogspot.com/ she has documented the transformation of her poor soils over a few years, into a bountiful garden on her blog.
She may be able to tell you just how much water she uses, and yes, in our dry and hot summer, it would be wishful thinking to expect big mounds of above ground Hugels to stay very wet for veggies.
I hope this helps a little bit.
Welcome to Permies,
Super excited to have the whole book when it comes out in "hard cover", got your first chapter the first day it came out! Excellent! Love the drawings and the info! Thanks for your work, it's so important to us all!!
That's great news, I just submitted an application to be on the farm plan interest list at the NRCS office in Okanogan! I look forward to meeting you and your wife. The same invitation goes out to you, that if you are interested in being on the Permaculture Study Group email list just send me an email at my address listed above in my reply to Herman.
Glad you checked in today too.
Herman Miller wrote:I am living near Republic a bit higher in the mountains and have survived the first winter so far I am getting ready to move into a larger home with acreage and luckily I already have a chicken coop in place though a garden will have to be placed though my wife has been reading a lot into "the square foot garden" ideology and is really loving it. I want to dig/sink a greenhouse into the ground a bit and heat it in the late winter via a rocket mass stove. I am hoping my wife (who was an educator previously) whom is a homemaker to take some classes in Tonasket. While the area is to cold for a true cob construction I hope to incorporate the building technique into future projects. Also I am hoping to get her over to take a course on rocket stove construction. Of course all of this would help us connect with other people in the area as we are really marooned not knowing anyone here.
I am the organizer of the Okanogan Permaculture Study Group, we meet on and off in and around Tonasket, WA. We study permaculture, have gatherings sometimes and enjoy gardening and permaculture. I have an email list that I post events on. If you would like, I can add your email to the list. We try not to spam one another, any one can use the list to announce permaculture things, also the entire list can be viewed by everyone (not a fancy list). So if you are interested, send me an email: email@example.com Coming up, Skeeter (Michael Pilarski) will be giving a day long workshop on 1,000 alternative crops for gardeners and small farmers, suggested donation $20, but no one will be turned away. Bring your bag lunch. It will be held in Tonasket Feb. 26th Thursday. If you want info details on this, but don't want to be on the Permaculture email list , just let me know, I will email you the info.
Hope you find more permi folks in Republic, its a great place too!
Please keep doing your video blogs!! They are really great! It has become how I keep up with Permies news and it has definitely gotten me to make more comments. I find myself delving into more forums as well. I think perhaps a longer film of you and Permies could be in your future. Kinda like Alice in Wonderland but it could be Cassie in Permieland!
That could be the outreach to the uninitiated you were speaking of perhaps.
Just please consider continuing if you have the time and energy!
Thank you for the dedication.
PS thanks for following up on the Livestock Guardian book prize, I got it in the mail today and it is wonderful!!
Thanks for coming to permies and thanks for giving us your time and expertise!
My question is about Azomite, I have used it in the past for myself and my cattle as a trace mineral additive and it seemed to work very well. I believe it is a clay base, as its kinda pink and a bit gritty. It was also really great to sprinkle around my fruit trees again for added minerals. I know it comes out of Utah.
Do you have any experience with this as a detoxing agent?
Excellent lists of cold hardy food plants here. I will benefit from this discussion very much here in North Central Washington zone 4-5 depending on what micro climate I can use. My comment has to do with easy early seed starting (which in my very small trailer is a big deal), here is a link for a guy in New England area that starts his stuff in January outside in the snow in mini green houses out of recycled milk jugs. I've done this two years now and it works well for me just in the hardiness of the starts I get, eventually I will build some cold frames and then won't need to do this, but for now its cheap and works.
I met you at the NAPC in August, and find your advice here very helpful! I am embarking on our shrub-steppe land planning here in North Central Washington and there is a great deal of sagebrush, scattered underneath Ponderosa pine, Aspen and other larger shrubs. The land has been grazed for the last 100 years, which I am guessing has selected for the current trees, shrubs and forages. I must certainly begin learning more about these sages, but I thought I heard somewhere that sagebrush had some allelopathic effect ? Is this true? You mention that it is a good nurse plant for some trees, I would be interested to learn which species (after your PDC is long over of course!)
I will stay tuned to this topic and as I gain any little experience, I will certainly share it here.
My friend and fellow permie Julie Ashmore, has a great blog with excellent photos on exactly this topic. She has been experimenting on deeper in the ground "upside down hugels" (sort of) her blog link is here:
http://woodforfood.blogspot.com/ and I know she has posted in permies before, so you could contact her to see if you could use some of her great photos (and enjoy her blog too).
I'm in, its a book I've had for a long time, and only read bits of here and there, life is busy. So, this will be a great opportunity to enjoy it from beginning to end.
Thanks for setting this up!
My question about livestock and guarding livestock has to do with the livestock itself. My question may be very naive here, but, what do you think about selecting cattle that have characteristics of good self protection, as in circling with young in the middle, adults facing the threatening animals, cattle with horns or long horns vs polled varieties, etc.? Of course, these wouldn't be the only traits for cattle selection, but do you think this line of thinking would help prevent livestock loss from predators? Or is this silly?
Thanks and I look forward to reading your book to learn more.
Barbara from North Central WA where the wolves and cougars and bears live too.
Yes I too stayed up to get a spot that first night.
Looking forward to expanding my knowledge and learning from everyone.
Thanks for providing a Permie spot for further sharing of the 2014 course.
I'm up near Tonasket on almost 70 acres of rangeland looking to use our land for my design submission.
This will be a great experience I am sure!
You did see a mock orange, they grow all over up here at Pine Creek, our elevation varies from 2600- 3000 and also elderberries grow anywhere there is some moist soil, even higher than where we are, so you may be able to grow them where you are.
Julie from OHA, has been doing "hugel" "holes" for a few years now, Jason and I helped her install a larger one last fall, several cords of wood, manure etc, dug out with her husband's back hoe, she has a great blog all about her experiments: http://woodforfood.blogspot.com and she also has great looking blueberry bushes!
Talk with Mariah Cornwoman (if you haven't already) about cover crop seed ideas, she has such a vast database in her head about this area!
If you are open to having the Conservation District folks come out, they had and may still have a pasture management grassland expert, who will for free, come survey your land. A few years ago, she came out here and gosh did she know every single grass or weed that was growing here AND she sent me a very detailed report a few weeks later, with suggestions to help the native grasses along! It was really great!
Thanks for starting this forum, I will stay tuned!
Thanks for the great discussion and good ideas about "Hugulkultur type swales" and terraces. I do have fairly good soil a sort of sandy loam mixed with a healthy share of rocks and I was planning to use mostly brush and the dead aspens we have lying about here. The idea of waste straw bales seem good too. Yes, you all are right that getting the slope within the terraces might cause some undermining of the Hugul swales, I will have to work on that to avoid catastrophic failure of the bank.... well I will try experimenting. Also, if its possible, it would be so great to see a photo or two of what you all are doing or have done! Sometimes a picture really helps to clarify what you are explaining. Thanks again.
I am interested in trying to terrace a south facing slope (of perhaps 30 degrees) where the outer side of the terrace is composed of Hugulkultur beds, as it appears you do sometimes. How much slope is considered too steep to try this, and what happens as the beds begin to break down? Would there be a need to plan to rebuild those Hugulkultur beds in a few years time to keep the terracing intact?
Thanks for getting your book translated into English! Barbara
I posted a question on your introduction page, and I think it was the wrong place. So, I will ask you again here, your book looks great! I don't have it yet, so I was wondering what led you to write a book on the people part of permculture? I am very familiar with Rob Hopkins' Transition movement, I helped start Transition Reno, in Nevada. I am very glad that the people side of permaculture is getting attention, as it seems like its people culture that has caused most of the environmental problems and so its with people we must start to help spread permaculture principles to further earth healing.
Thanks and I look forward to reading your book!
I agree that deer go for the tender stuff and less so for the older tough plants. I also find that if you are not on their regular path of nightly feeding rounds, you might get away with less damage until you can get a fence up to discourage them. I moved out to our land in June and brought 8 large tubs of yummy fruit trees, strawbs, vines, onions and other plants. It was at least 2 months before they even got nibbled upon, I think they just hadn't discovered them (not on their regular route), even now 2 months later, the plants don't have much damage. Of course, I will be building a fence soon.
After reading the great review here and also looking thru your book on Amazon, I am convinced its a book I will eventually read even if I can't win a copy thru Permies! Not having your book yet, I would love to hear a little bit about your background and what led you to write on the People Care part of the ethic triad. I also agree that Permaculture has been more focused on earth care (understandably) over the years than the people part, until Rob Hopkins started the Transition movement. I was thrilled when that happened and took a Transition training workshop a few years ago and with my small permie group in Reno, NV began Transition Reno. I feel that we need to help people work together and help each other in order to help our earth and Transition seems to be one way that reaches out to people and helps introduce them to Permaculture, even if they didn't know about it before.
Well, I am looking forward to reading your book, thanks for dedicating the time in your life to write it!
Deb, I too found your post to be very interesting and full of information. I am sure you will announce your workshop on permi pasturing on this site, I would be very interested in attending. We are just starting on our 69 acres (that has been traditionally grazed) to move toward a keyline and holistic managed system, here in North Central WA. So I have a big interest in your knowledge. I also want to explore tree/hedgerow plantings which provide forage/protein to cattle and also explore (without hurting the herd) winter under snow foraging.
I intend to do some poultry "grazing" hedgerow plantings too, if you have experience in that area, it might be another good topic for your workshop.
I have 6 panels, but was only planning to use 2 of them for this project. Thanks for your reply, I was wondering about wind worthiness, so if they are tied down well (as in T posts) they will do fairly well?
Does anyone have tips on building with cattle panels? I have several 16' by 4' ones and having just moved back onto our place, am in need of a quick "shelter" for my tools and in the stacking functions tradition, will probably use it as an unheated greenhouse to extend my season or start veggies in the spring. I have found several blogs on doing this type of thing for hogs and chickens, but just wanted to check in with the Permie crowd to see if there is some group wisdom about this. BTW, I also have a huge amount of transparent plastic in a roll left over from putting it under our RV, which I hope to use in this project.
We are having a potluck meeting at #4 Western Ave. Tonasket, August 9th at 6pm to schedule more work bees (hopefully) and talk about topics to study come winter. Please come, if you have questions, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell 509-560-3613 if you have questions.
We settled in the Okanogan, near Tonasket WA, which is east of a few mountains from Twisp. (About 1.5 hrs drive between the two). I think Twisp is beautiful, but it seems cooler in climate and thus more snow. Tonasket area has some permies, most notable is Michael Pilarski (Skeeter) of Friends of the Trees. Interested people here have started a loosely organized Permaculture Study Group to help each other learn together and help each other out on projects. This area was more affordable in land prices as well. BTW we also looked at Enterprise and Joseph areas, both beautiful and abundant rainfall too, several of the folks we met that the farmer's market seemed into Permaculture, they had Joel Salatin speaking at a workshop the day we were passing through!! So, keep working at it and you will find what you need and good luck!
This may not be much help, but if you want to come south to the OkanOgan, we have started a Permaculture "Study" Group here in Tonasket and around the US county of Okanogan. We usually meet at Skeeter and Peter's house, I would be happy to put you on our email list, I only email if we are meeting or doing work bees (helping one another on some sort of permi project). My name is Barbara Greene my email is: email@example.com and I took one of Skeeter's PDCs in 2004, had a small organic farm on the coast, did permi stuff there and moved here because of my friendships with several organic farmer friends and of course Skeeter too!
Our next potluck meeting is scheduled for Aug. 9th at Skeeter's house at 4 Western Ave. Tonasket at 6pm, we will be setting up more work bees and talking about what we might want to read or study in the winter when we are too snowed in to do much work outside.
I hope you find fellow permies up in BC, when I looked on "Meet Up" there were several groups that met up in Penticton or nearby and none "down" here, that's why I started this one, 'cause I also have to work and couldn't zoom all over to the really cool things that Paul and Skeeter are always doing
Perhaps "if you start it they will come" put up some fliers around your town and see what happens, I feel we are all students and all teachers on this bus, maybe it will help?
Good luck and I hope to see you sometime down here or up there.
I know you advise to use glass jars and that is what I have done in the past, but if I am at a garage sale or even hardware store and see a crock, how do I know if it might be glazed (as in not lead glaze) safely. Also, do they absorb bad stuff, like if someone stored motor oil in it before they put it in their garage sale?
Anyone interested in attending our next work bee in Okanogan County Friday May 11th can contact me (new phone #) 509-560-3613 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
we will be practicing site assessment at a piece of land near Cameron Lake Rd. near Omak/Okanogan. We plan to meet near the county fairgrounds and car pool from there.
Just FYI we are forming a Permaculture Study Group in Okanogan area of North Central WA. The first meeting will be Friday Feb. 17th at 6pm (pot luck too) at Skeeter's house in Tonasket, WA. Please contact me if you have questions, my email is: email@example.com my phone: 360-710-3088.
Thanks hope to see you there,