Let's start a dialog on what is going on here in Boise and the Treasure Valley.
I'll go first:
I am an architect, Planning and Zoning Commissioner, resident of Boise for 22 years plus, Originally from Tucson. My wife is a native, originally from Gooding.
Two sons who also raise their families in the Boise area.
We live in a house built in 1894, in south-east Boise on just under an acre. We have six fainting goats, four Brahma hens and three cats. We have perpetual water rights to the irrigation canal, so I do dump as much of the water that passes by my home on the dirt around my home. We also 'thoughtfully direct' rain water from the roof to where it is needed most. We both work from home, so our transportation is pretty minimal on a daily basis. A bike handles it pretty well except when it's really cold or fresh snow.
I found out about Paul and the Permies from a link to the Rocket Mass Heater. It seemed so simple and in keeping with what had influenced me since I was a kid with things like "The Whole Earth Catalog" "the Dome Book" Paulo Soleri, Arcosanti, Taliesen and my education in passive architecture at the University of Arizona.
My obsession is solar power. I think we are trying too hard to make it high tech. I keep working on an idea for a DIY storage battery, so we don't have to use banks of commercially built batteries for storage of free energy.
I have a 'brown' thumb when it comes to gardening, but am really trying to get my 'green' on and have just discovered that the Mallow that I have been trying to eradicate from my lawn for years is edible (my goats don't eat it!) so my need to reduce cholesteral by eating dark leafy greens has been staring at me from the lawn all this time!
Mostly, I want to know who else is out there in the Valley reading and doing "Permie" things...
Well Ty I am not necessarily in the Boise area I am about 4 hours north of there but if I would love to get a dialog going from more idaho-ians for sure. It is nice to meet you. I am a permaculture newbie but have been practicing many gardening and sustainable living aspects since I was young. I work over in Seattle so during the growing season (May - Aug) and I spend the rest of the year at home. It makes it a challenge but my parents live over here and we are building a property together that will eventually be close to self sustaining. I have lived here on and off for 17 years with my two boys 10 & 2.
I am just beginning to build the property and only have 2 cats and a dozen chickens so far. I am definitely looking forward to adding cows and goats this next year. We live on 13 acres up in the mountains about 3200 elevation. Our growing season is pretty short and we are trying to figure out how we can get the warmer weather crops to succeed. It is a fun and exciting adventure. We are in the process of creating a pond and expanding our garden. And since I work most of the summer I am putting up a 30' x 100' greenhouse so I can play year round.
I love to wild harvest up here in the backwoods. We have an abundance of herbs that grow on our property and on surrounding land. I have about 60 fruittrees that I've healed in for the winter that will be ready to plant this next year. Hopefully the majority of our place will be up and going in the next 5 years. There is so much to do sometimes it gets overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. lol
I love that you found Paul from the rocket mass heater info. Are you planning to attend the Missoula workshop? I would love to hear about your solar power system you have set up. We at one time had a generator and batteries but we are now hooked up to the grid. I cannot wait to get back off and collect our own power. I do not feel we get enough sunshine during the winter to make it feasible to implement an all out solar power system. I do believe we should be able to harness enough wind though to provide for our needs and supplement it with solar power.
Michael here. Born and raised in Idaho. I'm only 20, but don't let that faze you. Recently, I attended a PDC/SLS course at Aprovecho in Cottage Grove, Oregon. I'm eager to transform my 1/2 acre backyard into a productive, multiple yielding, permaculture system. I'm also interested in getting plugged into the permaculture/homesteading community in the Boise area.
If anyone is interested in meeting up and talking about permaculture over your hot beverage of choice, send me a PM and let's talk!
Another permie over here in Gooding. I've been looking for some locals to bounce ideas off of, so I'm glad you started this thread. I would definitely like to hear your ideas on low-tech solar.
Hi, I'm Julie, living up in Council. I'm originally from Illinois, came to Idaho in the late 70's, and just returned last year after a 6 year stint in Portland. I found a small acreage and am looking to explore all aspects of permaculture concepts. I am really interested in learning and disseminating information that helps create a lifestyle outside of the corporate system.
Council is an interesting area. There's been a small group of alternative folks here since the 70s, there's very high unemployment, and while there's the usual Idaho politics there is also a lot of community cooperation without the politics. It's a good zone for food, warm enough for tomatoes and cold enough to keep the snakes out.
This season I established a large no till vegetable garden which will be expanded next year. I plan on building some sort of passive solar mud hut for my primary living space along with various outbuildings - chickens, greenhouse, studio, at some point, and am trying to decide the most moral path to take with the current structure, a not too bad manufactured home full of lots of ways to use electricity. Seems a shame to get rid of a functional already existing structure, so I am thinking to keep it and use it as housing for folks that can help out.
In the meantime I am really enjoying being back on the land. I've signed up as a host farm on the WWOOF site and hope that brings new ideas and some younger people into the valley.
Hello from Emmett, We moved out here from Bend OR to ID a year ago and we just bought a place in Emmett and I am in the process of getting my homestead designed so I can get it going this spring. Right now I have 8 free range RIR's and a 12' x 24' greenhouse started for my aquaponics system, also I will be getting a miniature jersey cow next year as well as raising meat chickens.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin
Ty - We know one another, but I didn't know you were a permie! Great reason to re-connect!
Everyone - I'm a music teacher in Nampa with a little suburban lot, trying winter gardening in south-facing beds, and trying to utilize as much vertical space as I can. I'd love to find a reason to get together with others of like mind.
caseychristo4 (at) gmail
When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction. - Proverbs 24:32
I am new to permies and live in dairy country near Wendell- Home to some of the largest manure / milk producers in the state of Idaho. I am interested to learn more about permaculture methods. We raise beefcattle and have a few chickens. We use our cattle for vegetation control around the pivots and canals. I have many dream projects and attempt to use what I know to create a sustainable farm. I am getting things done but I need more information on how others did it. I would like to learn what worked for them and what mistakes to avoid from their experiences. I have lived here for five years; I've replaced many fences and cleared some land for pasture. We have upgraded some of the buildings. I am recycling/repurposing salvaged glass for an earthship type project. I am not overly familiar with framing/construction/roof pitch for my greenhouse but I am still collecting glass, wine bottles and haven't started to dig yet. I figure it will take 3-5 years. I hope to learn as I go. My plan is to use what I have to achieve what I want. I want a water-collecting cistern, solar heated/powered glass wall structure between buildings that will have heat and living area... I am still in the planning process.... and welcome ideas.
I am John Carter. I am new to permies and permaculture all together. My wife and are slowly working towards converting our new to us home and suburban lot in NW Boise into a more sustainable place to grow our 6mo old. Most everything (including the baby obviously) is in the wee tot stages, but we hope to have some small hugel beds and raised beds in this spring. We are also hoping to start our lil troop of layers and fryers this spring. I am most interested in the building aspect of all this. I have started collecting materials for straw bale (infill of pole building) shop I plan to put in over the summer, and this fall I put in my first rocket mass heater in our winter camping gettaway up near McCall. It was a surprising success.
I was really excited to stumble onto this thread and can't wait to talk to and learn from others around the area who are doing this kinda thing.
Just signed up for Permies, there is a Yahoo! group for the Boise Permaculture Guild that hasn't been very active in a while, so a couple permie friends and I are planning an event and would love to draw the permie community together. I hope folks can make it, we are looking forward to bringing the permaculture community into a more prominent role in this area!
Howdy Permaculture folk!
It's been a while since we've had a local event and we thought that with as cold and dreary as it is, now would be a great time to get together and talk about things bright and beautiful! Mark next Tuesday at 7pm on your calendars!
Eric Johnson has had the wonderful idea of us all doing a plant share (since thanks to the amazing new Commonwealth Seed Library we don't need a seed swap). Eric had a great crop of Jerusalem artichokes last year and would love to share some tubers to help sunchokes conquer the world - starting with Boise. Eric can also share grapevine cuttings of himrod and maybe a few other vines. Dan has Lamb's Ear and probably a few other things that he'd love to share. What cool plant have you got too much of that you'll be tossing into the compost pile come spring? Wouldn't it be great to have some local market or virtual commons to give and get and sell and trade stuff like this? We thought we could all get together and compile a list of what people have to share and figure out the logistics of splitting things up and moving them around.
In addition, as our thoughts begin to turn towards the planting season, Eric had also suggested a cooperative buying thing. We are all familiar with some great catalogs that we've been salivating over and haven't we all wondered if anyone would like to go in on things together to buy en mass and save on costs and shipping? Eric just got a great amish nursery catalog that sells all sorts of wonderful fruit trees for about $15 each. Dan is working on an order from One Green World (which has great permaculture appropriate plants. Let's make a big order and save cost and share shipping.
Maybe you have some inside deal or even propagate stuff you'd like to sell at great prices to your fellow permies? I'd wager Eric and Chad both have a few things they could propagate for us.
After the fun of plant swapping/trading/buying, Eric has a pretty cool idea that he'd like to bring up for anyone who wants to stay and chat about it. Eric's idea... "There is a piece of land i go by often that has been set aside for a future city park. I'm guessing there are a bunch around town (around the whole country even?) that are just sitting there unused. Wouldn't it be cool if we could use these undeveloped park sites to start setting up permaculture example areas? A permaculture park?
Some potential benefits would be:
1 - Sustainability demonstration, educational and volunteer opportunities
2 - Low resource usage areas - would cost the city much less than a normal park and could actually produce income
3 - Could produce valuable high nutrition food and materials that could be used in food banks, school lunches, rehabilitation training programs, art programs, etc.
We could talk to nurseries, schools, the city and state sustainability departments, rehab programs, about getting involved. This sort of project has the potential to get more folks innoculated with the permie bug, build the local food web, jumpstart some permaculture product growth, build local community, and lots more good things! What do you think?"
Seems like we've got plenty to talk about and it's a great time to get together as a community. So... how about a get-together at Dan's house (2701 North 29th Street) next Tuesday (the 29th of January) at 7pm?
Thanks to all who came out for the meeting last night, it was great to get the Permaculture Guild back together and back on track! Wonderful to see old friends and new faces alike! All of us that were there have some good action items we are working on and will be reporting back to the group with some answers as soon as we get some. We are going to keep our threads over on the Boise Permaculture Guild Yahoo! group, so if you're not signed up to it, feel fee to join up with it.
To facilitate Eric's action item of putting together a database of plants that we have locally and can share and barter, please see the email below and respond to Eric with what you've got. This list will be kept in the file section of the Boise Permaculture Guild Yahoo! group when it is finished.
We've got some fantastic ideas and are putting them into action! Hell yeah permies!
really looking forward to getting together this tue and meeting you all.
here's a suggestion for those of you who have a list of what you have and what you are looking for. i'm trying to keep this simple, so if you format it according to the following example and email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, i can make a nice spreadsheet or database that's easy to manage. or just post it here and we can all see what's what. basically if you separate each item with a semicolon ( it's easy to work with. if you have a list of plants already, it's just a matter of using copy and paste to put it together.
put your name and then a semicolon ;
followed by your contact info - phone or email and then a semicolon ;
followed by what you "have " or "want " and then a semicolon ;
followed by how many you have / want and a semicolon ;
followed by any notes about what you have or want.
here's my list:
name; contact; have / want ; qty; notes
eric johnson; email@example.com; have jerusalem artichokes or sun chokes - Helianthus tuberosus; lots ; edible perrenial tubers, grow to 10ft, lovely flowers, kinda invasive you have been warned
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; have himrod grape vine cuttings; lots; nice seedless white grape, good eatin, may have a few other grape vine cuttings too
eric johnson; email@example.com; have comfrey; some; am ordering some
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; have Autumn olive - Elaeagnus umbellata; some maybe; am propagating cuttings now
eric johnson; email@example.com; have Siverberry - Elaeagnus Ebbingei; few; may propagate some this spring
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; have mulberry; some maybe; am propagating cuttings now
eric johnson; email@example.com; have goji berry - Lycium barbarum; some maybe; rooted cuttings ready in spring
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; have various ornamental willows
eric johnson; email@example.com; want bamboo; any; looking for cold hardy clumping variety, preferably with edible shoots
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; want Guomi - Elaeagnus multiflora
eric johnson; email@example.com; want Sea Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; want Oregon grape - Mahonia aquilfolium
eric johnson; email@example.com; want Sweet Cicely - Myrrhis odorata
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; want nice cherry scion to graft on seedling tree; any; have some seedlings that came up and would like to grow some nice cherries on them
eric johnson; email@example.com; want Black Salsify - scorzonera hispanica
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; want Lemon Daylily - Hemerocallis citrina
eric johnson; email@example.com; want Hosta montana or Hosta sieboldii
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; want Scarlet Runner Bean - Phaseolus coccineus
eric johnson; email@example.com; want Climbing / Vining Asparagus - Asparagus verticillatus
eric johnson; firstname.lastname@example.org; want dolgo or other good edible crabapple
Hi Boiseans! I just joined the group. I heard about this group on a private preppers group on facebook, most of whose members live in Alabama,
Georgia, or other southern states, so I was very excited to see that there is a Rockies forum. My husband and I live in NW Boise, have an interest in prepping, organic foods, gardening, getting off the grid (not likely for quite awhile), building a 2nd residence on property we own in Boise County and we are very interested in meeting other like minded people.
Welcome to permies.com and the Rockies forum.
Lots of good info around the various fora here, and plenty of friendly folks.
Dig in, and browse around. We're all here to learn and share. Don't be shy about asking questions.
A tip about the search function here: If you are in a particular forum and start a "Search", by default the software only searches that forum. If you want to broaden your search (any given subject may be in various fora), when you enter the search function, there will be a box displayed which shows which forum will be searched. Scroll to the top of that box, and click "All available".
Haven't posted on here in some time, but I thought I would let you all know that it looks like Ashley Lubyk and Heather Noakes from Dirt Craft Natural Building will be coming to teach a straw bale workshop in June here in Boise. We are still working out all of the nitty gritty but it is shaping up to be pretty cool build.
Hi there! I'm new to this forum but I thought I'd finally join, since everyone else uses it.
I'm posting in this thread to let everyone know that there's a new permie group meeting regularly in the Treasure Valley! A few of us found each other through Facebook and, since every local group we could find online appeared inactive, we decided to start a new group. We're calling ourselves Southwest Idaho Permaculture, and for now we're just a casual club that meets monthly. Our first meeting was in January, and the next is coming up this weekend, on Saturday, February 15th at 2 pm. We're focusing on various topics for each meeting based on the wants and needs of the group members -- this week's meeting will cover fruit tree guilds, with a basic overview of what a guild is, how to design and plant one, and example plans of the food forest we're installing on my site this spring. We would love to get some more people at our meetings, so check us out! We have a Facebook group, which is our main method of communication for now, but if you're not on Facebook feel free to send me an email for details or just to chat.
A bit more about myself, since people are also posting introductions in this thread:
I'm 21, and since I'm from California's North Bay I've been exposed to sustainable agriculture and various subcultures my whole life. I grew up gardening, and when my mom started taking permaculture courses I got interested. In my senior year of high school I read The One-Straw Revolution and took a course at Cob Cottage Company, and I was hooked. In 2011 I earned my PDC from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. I moved to the Boise area with my family in 2012 and we've been working to get our property healthy and productive ever since. We've called our site Laughing Duck Permaculture -- we have a blog and a Facebook, for those who are interested.
I'm so glad that I found permaculture, because it connects all of my ideas about farming, politics, and philosophy into one compatible framework. I plan on taking a permaculture teacher training course at some point in the future, and I'm enjoying my chance to educate others at the Southwest Idaho Permaculture monthly meetings! I hope to see more new faces in the coming months, and get more of a local community established.
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
Just checking in, and letting those of you watch this thread know about some more events!
Southwest Idaho Permaculture Initiative (the name has changed slightly) has another monthly group meeting on April 19th. Out at my place, Laughing Duck Permaculture, we're constructing a hugelkultur bed and everyone's invited to come learn and help between now and March 31st. If you don't use Facebook, SIPI is currently working on a webpage. In the meantime, feel free to PM/email me for details.
Gee, it's been a while since I looked at my own start!
Nice to see there is inertia in the Treasure Valley.
I don't do the Facebook thing so this is the only way I keep up on all the activity around here. Since I live in east Boise, I doubt I will make a gathering in Caldwell, but I am glad to know that folks are gathering.
I will be interested to see how you Hugelculture experiment works. Some folks in my area tried a small scale version after removing a tree on their property. I don't think it has the necessary 'mass' to work, as nothing seems to grow well on it.
I am stockpiling sticks to go along with my logs, but have yet to attempt a 'standard' installation as I don't have the dirt to cover it with.
I heard Geoff Lawton thought a 'Banana Circle' was an upside down Hugelculture bed. Anyone tried a 1/2 trench, 1/2 berm version?
My fiance and I are coming out in April to check out Boise before we move there from Indianapolis in June. Our plans for the future are to buy land and build our own homestead/raise chickens/grow food/live off the land. We are new to permaculture and would love to get involved in the community and meet up! If anyone is free, we will be out there April 22-25 and would love to meet some like minded locals!
Hey everyone...even though I'm not in Boise, but rather Blackfoot. I thought I would chime in with a hi, how ya doing?! Seems really quiet here for sometime...any updates since you haven't been here in so long? I'll keep up when I can, working 12 hour shifts bites the big one. But you do what you have to right?! lol
It's good to see other Boise people here on Permies!
We're renting part of a triplex, south of the prisons and Boise airport, east of Kuna.
We are unable to make any property improvements, but learning in order to plan our dream homestead.
Our current projects aren't too impressive:
90 assorted chickens, 2 dairy goat doelings
Greening the desert with used bedding to build soil...
And a garden shared with FFA/chem-ag experienced neighbors that didn't get started this year...
Over the course of the past eight years I have been living here in Boise, Idaho and working full time for an environmental consulting firm. That firm laid me off back in September and it looks like I am going to have to leave Boise to find a reasonable job in my field (archaeology). Over the course of the last eight years I have taken an otherwise standard quarter acre urban lot in a nice neighborhood and transformed it into a permaculture homestead. It has served as a center for community gatherings and a demonstration site from which we have hosted a community garden and lots of permaculture presentations and workshops. It pains me to leave, but if we can find a permie to take the place on it'll ease my heart.
Enough of my emotional rant... the property is at 2701 North 29th Street in Boise, ID. If you check out the Google Earth image you can already see that it is different from everything else. The basics:
-Urban lot in a great neighborhood on 0.2 acres of land
-Three bedroom/one bath house (also has an outdoor shower/bath)
-New or nearly new heating, cooling, water heating, and plumbing systems. Also an "eco-friendly roof" done in the past couple years with light-colored UV reflective shingles
-Has a woodstove for supplemental heating with a cord and a half of wood laid in for next winter
-Has an orchard, vineyard, food forest, herb spiral, lots of established farming space
-Has hosted a community garden for the last six years
-Hugelkultur bed and sunken hugelkultur gardens are a couple years old and rocking
-Has a semi-subterranean, earth-sheltered, four-season greenhouse (a la mike oehler)
-Has a greywater irrigation system and an unregulated hand-dug groundwater well
-We've got a couple Langstroth hives of well cared for bees and a great spot for them
-Developed biochar kiln system for production of biochar and reuse of woody carbon-based waste on site
If anyone is interested I'd love to pass on more info and share photos or tour them around. It'd be a great spot for an urban permie and a great way to help me continue the legacy of this place.
Hi, I see that this thread hasn't been active for a few years. I'm interested in making contact with permaculture people in the Boise area and nearby. I'm a permaculture designer thinking of relocating from Joshua Tree, CA to Boise. I will be traveling through Boise this August and would like to meet up with some permies. Anyone game?
I am from Nampa, Idaho. Interested in permaculture. I have a vegetable garden some fruit trees and chicken. We moved here from WA state where we had abundance of water. Here is totally different climate. I am still learning the perks about this area.
We are in Mountain Home, trying to make of go of applying permaculture to our little patch of desert. We've had good luck with our gardens, and are trying to start a permaculture orchard. Composting cow manure has improved our gardens a lot. Next year we're going to try to turn the alfalfa hay field into something the cows can graze on year round.