Hello all - what a great forum. So happy to be here
I'm Sherri and I live with my husband and kids on a rural 2.5 acre property NW of Edmonton Alberta. We've been here 3 years and have been slowly transitioning this land into sustainable food production. I've been gardening for over 20 years, but much of that was in BC on the west coast - a totally different ballgame than here (long, frigid winters). We have 5 kids but only the 3 younger kids are still at home (15, 10 & .
I recently finished an Organic Master Gardener Course through Gaia College and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was challenged and I learned a tremendous amount - great course! I'm registered to take a PDC course through Verge Permaculture next month and I'm so excited about it, I'm literally counting down the days. I discovered permaculture last year and have never quite been the same since... LOL. It was as if I discovered something that I was always looking for but didn't know existed! I've read a lot of permaculturebooks to date, but I feel like I'm at the point where I HAVE to be taught in person. Most people here think I'm a little nuts because very few people have heard of permaculture in Alberta. I hope to change that
Our current projects in the planning stages are a chicken coop/greenhouse/worm farm structure and an outdoor composting toilet. We have MUCH to learn.
Thanks for having me here and thanks to everyone who has contributed to make this place such an incredible resource!
Hi Sherri, welcome! It's super seeing some new members here from Alberta. Great that you are taking a PDC....maybe you can pass a long a few tips on things you learn about dealing with our climate?
(i won't ask why you left the coast, but i've been asking myself that question a bit lately....they're not that many weeks away from daffodils)
Have you found the Edmonton Permaculture group yet? They are somewhat active, I am a few hours drive away so haven't went to any of their events yet, but i'd like to soon.
Location: Northern Alberta
posted 7 years ago
Yes, I did find the Edmonton Permaculture Group and I'm receiving emails from the digest there. I'm planning to connect with them at the monthly meetings starting in Feb. Couldn't make the January ones, sadly. I'm not that far out of Edmonton so a doable drive for an evening meeting.
What part of the coast are you from? We were originally on the Sunshine Coast but we moved here for my husband's work 14 years ago. We lived in the city until 3.5 years ago when we couldn't take it anymore and moved out here in the peace and quiet.
The biggest challenge is growing in the shoulder seasons, but we are working on remedying that with a chicken heated greenhouse. Hubby built a 3 sided greenhouse on the south side of a carport last Spring which netted a bountiful tomato harvest right up to October (well past frost). We got sick and tired of covering and uncovering tomatoes for weeks on end and it was too risky to lose them as they are a staple here for winter eats. I've just started a compost in that greenhouse to start heating it up for seedling flats. Between the compost and relocating some hens in there, we just might get enough heat to get some cold weather crops going in very early Spring (long before last frost). It's an experiment, so I have no expectations
posted 7 years ago
I think Verge has a pretty interesting greenhouse set-up, so you'll probably be able to have a look at that when you are down there...I'd love to hear what you think of it. I'm going to try a mike oehler style earth-sheltered greenhouse. (it's searchable on the forum, and google-able). Hole is dug, we'll see if I can find the hours to build it this spring. I don't have enough electricity for supplemental lighting, so light is going to be really limiting....but I'm hoping to keep a bunch of kale in 'suspended animation' into the winter. I'm daydreaming about a rocket stove in it, and being able to use it to keep early spring chicks or turkey poults.
( I was pretty nomadic all through bc, with tree-planting, biology work, and sailboat living...have a bit of a base on one of the tiny gulf islands.)
We are slowly changing our 7500 ft. elevation "homestead" too...put in a greywater system, got some chickens, have a should-be-bear-proof-composter, are collecting old windows for a greenhouse... We are now looking into composting toilets. Does anyone have any experience with the Euro Separret models?! They seem to be better because the urine can route into greywater.