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Hi, Newby from Wisconsin

 
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Hi there. I just joined this site. I am from Wisconsin just working myself around this site. I am interested in living a better sustainable lifestyle. Would love to find land/home with more property on it eventually as we live in town now. I garden and love to grow things. I wish I had more room lol. It seems like housing prices have gone way up and I have been looking for years, in a lot of different areas of the US. Has anyone noticed this too? Looking for other ideas for finding property/housing that is "affordable" but has enough property for growing and gardening, privacy etc. Thanks. Mari.
 
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Welcome Mari!  Come up north, it gets cheaper the farther you go

Welcome to the site, there are lots of resources here including many posts on things like "where should I buy land?"
 
Mari Henry
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Hi Mike! Thanks for the advice. I will keep searching. I have looked north at land and such and it sounds nice. I dont think we can do large acreage anymore though as we are not spring chickens anymore lol. We also will probably need to be near a hospital/Dr etc. now too. Everything we see is way out of price range, or the house is a wreck lol.

Mike Haasl wrote:Welcome Mari!  Come up north, it gets cheaper the farther you go

Welcome to the site, there are lots of resources here including many posts on things like "where should I buy land?"


 
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Welcome to Permies, Mari.
 
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Hi, Mari! I'm new & in Wisconsin, too! I am way up north on the Bayfield peninsula.

What do you like to grow? I'm relatively new to gardening, but learning more each year. I start some seeds indoors, and I've been scheming lately on how a gal can put up a greenhouse inexpensively. Do you do anything to extend your growing season (greenhouse, cold frames, those hoops/tunnels...)? How do you preserve your harvest, or do you prefer to eat it all fresh and share the excess?

If you had more space, what would you add? I mean, would you expand your gardening efforts, or are there other things you want to do by having more land?
 
Mari Henry
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Marisa Lee wrote:Hi, Mari! I'm new & in Wisconsin, too! I am way up north on the Bayfield peninsula.

What do you like to grow? I'm relatively new to gardening, but learning more each year. I start some seeds indoors, and I've been scheming lately on how a gal can put up a greenhouse inexpensively. Do you do anything to extend your growing season (greenhouse, cold frames, those hoops/tunnels...)? How do you preserve your harvest, or do you prefer to eat it all fresh and share the excess?

If you had more space, what would you add? I mean, would you expand your gardening efforts, or are there other things you want to do by having more land?



Hi Marisa!!! Bayfield area is very pretty. I love our Great Lakes, don't you? Lake Superior is lovely, but I am partial and more familiar with Lake Michigan. I live in south central Wisconsin in a small town with a very small yard lol.

I keep my gardening really simple as I don't have a lot of space either inside or outside. I used to start seeds in a sunny window, but I splurged this year and bought a shelving greenhouse thing (it is small) with grow lights and a few heat mats to start seeds inside. It is going ok so far. I don't really have room for a greenhouse outside, but I did experiment with some plastic sheeting and stakes in 2 places outside about 2 feet area. The first one blew down right away lol, live and learn. The other I put up against my house and it seems to be holding up. Not sure what is under it as I haven't checked is a few months and it was covered with snow. There are lots of videos about how to build cold frames or places to buy them and you put them together.

I do a lot of canning. Mostly tomatoes, and sauce. Other stuff I freeze. Or I buy it at a farmers market and freeze it. I keep it really simple. I also grow sprouts in the house for greens over the winter. And eat frozen and dried fruits, which are a real treat. I have heard people like using a pressure canner, but I have not trued it yet. I just use the old fashioned water bath.

I like to grow and use herbs for tea and in my food. I think it is fun. I read a lot about herbal remedies as I think it is interesting.
 
Mike Haasl
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Wow, lots of questions there.  I'll answer a couple...

I grow salad stuff, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic and a few other things.  You might be a tad warmer depending on where you are on the peninsula.

Preserving is a fair bit of root cellaring along with some canning, drying and freezing.
 
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Welcome to permies Mari.

Y'all might want to try growing kohlrabi. The veggie that looks like Sputnik. I grew some in MN one year, in nothing but very well composted cow manure & hay, and they were amazing. Almost volleyball size & still very tender & juicy. I think the climate is just about perfect for them around there. That same year I grew the things on Mike's list except sweet potatoes & Brussels sprouts. Everything did quite well. Some of the credit goes to that wonderful compost but the kohlrabi was WOW compared to the other plants.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlrabi
 
Marisa Lee
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Mari Henry wrote:

Marisa Lee wrote:Hi, Mari! I'm new & in Wisconsin, too! I am way up north on the Bayfield peninsula.

What do you like to grow? I'm relatively new to gardening, but learning more each year. I start some seeds indoors, and I've been scheming lately on how a gal can put up a greenhouse inexpensively. Do you do anything to extend your growing season (greenhouse, cold frames, those hoops/tunnels...)? How do you preserve your harvest, or do you prefer to eat it all fresh and share the excess?

If you had more space, what would you add? I mean, would you expand your gardening efforts, or are there other things you want to do by having more land?



Hi Marisa!!! Bayfield area is very pretty. I love our Great Lakes, don't you? Lake Superior is lovely, but I am partial and more familiar with Lake Michigan. I live in south central Wisconsin in a small town with a very small yard lol.

I keep my gardening really simple as I don't have a lot of space either inside or outside. I used to start seeds in a sunny window, but I splurged this year and bought a shelving greenhouse thing (it is small) with grow lights and a few heat mats to start seeds inside. It is going ok so far. I don't really have room for a greenhouse outside, but I did experiment with some plastic sheeting and stakes in 2 places outside about 2 feet area. The first one blew down right away lol, live and learn. The other I put up against my house and it seems to be holding up. Not sure what is under it as I haven't checked is a few months and it was covered with snow. There are lots of videos about how to build cold frames or places to buy them and you put them together.

I do a lot of canning. Mostly tomatoes, and sauce. Other stuff I freeze. Or I buy it at a farmers market and freeze it. I keep it really simple. I also grow sprouts in the house for greens over the winter. And eat frozen and dried fruits, which are a real treat. I have heard people like using a pressure canner, but I have not trued it yet. I just use the old fashioned water bath.

I like to grow and use herbs for tea and in my food. I think it is fun. I read a lot about herbal remedies as I think it is interesting.



Your new seed-starting setup sounds great! Hope it does well for you. I just use trays with lids and/or clear plastic bins for a mini greenhouse effect, and shop lights on rainy days. Some seedlings do better than others in this scenario. A shelf/rack would be nice, to go vertical. One odd thing about my house is there really isn't space along a south or west window to set up seedlings, so they make do with morning light.

I haven't canned much, mainly applesauce, and like you, no pressure canner. I don't have a chest freezer either, so want to learn more about drying & growing crops that store for winter without processing, like squash, potatoes, onions, etc.

It sounds like you are doing a lot with the space you have. I love learning about herbal medicines, too! Nice to have in the garden and many to be found growing wild.
 
Marisa Lee
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Mike Haasl wrote:Wow, lots of questions there.  I'll answer a couple...

I grow salad stuff, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic and a few other things.  You might be a tad warmer depending on where you are on the peninsula.

Preserving is a fair bit of root cellaring along with some canning, drying and freezing.



Cool, I should learn more about root cellaring! Freezer space is at a premium here.

Do you split up sweet potatoes from the store and start them yourself? I have not thought of growing sweet potatoes, which is silly, because my household loves them.

I'm up in the orchards, or "on the fruit loop" as my husband says, about 500 feet above the lake so I think it's warmer in the summer. My yard gets a lot of shade, though. One of my projects for early spring, as soon as the rest of this snow melts, is to line my garden beds with rocks and hopefully give them a little extra warmth that way.
 
Marisa Lee
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Mike Barkley wrote:Welcome to permies Mari.

Y'all might want to try growing kohlrabi. The veggie that looks like Sputnik. I grew some in MN one year, in nothing but very well composted cow manure & hay, and they were amazing. Almost volleyball size & still very tender & juicy. I think the climate is just about perfect for them around there. That same year I grew the things on Mike's list except sweet potatoes & Brussels sprouts. Everything did quite well. Some of the credit goes to that wonderful compost but the kohlrabi was WOW compared to the other plants.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlrabi



I struggle with brassicas! It makes no sense.
 
Mike Haasl
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Oh, I should say that the brussel sprouts are touchy.  Sometimes we get a crop, sometimes they barely make any sprouts.  Sweet potatoes are similarly random.  We always get tubers, sometimes they're all "rat tails" other times they're fatter.  But they are never as big as in the store.  My best approach to getting slips is to attempt it, fail and then get them from other homesteaders who had better luck.  This year I'm cutting them in half and standing the halves up in a tub of water.  

Root cellars are perfect for here.  They cool down about when you need them for the fall harvest and then they're cool enough until at least April.  Mine is in the basement which isn't ideal and I still store a bunch of stuff down there.  There are cheaper ways to do it as well.  If you can get some of those square clay chimney flues you can bury them vertically (1 or 2 deep), fill them with roots and put an insulated lid on them.  Then you just go out to retrieve the load of food and keep it in the house for a few weeks as you eat it.  Then empty the next cache of food.  That way you aren't always slogging through the snowdrifts to get to the root cellar.
 
Mike Barkley
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Found a kohlrabi pic from that year. This is about the size most were harvested. The ones I let grow until mid October reached twice the size. One broccoli reached larger than basketball size but couldn't find a pic.

I tried growing Brussels sprouts in TX for several years. Usually very tiny sprouts & not worth the effort there (too much heat) except for one particular plant one year. It grew to about 6 feet tall with good sized sprouts. It survived winter. The following spring it grew one softball sized sprout on the very top. I think it was trying to seed. It never did make any visible seeds but it was so much fun to look at.
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