The site is 80 acres of land with stands of red pine, and mixed hardwood stands, in a region which is famous for fruit orchards such as apple and cherry, and beautiful lakes.
This will be an ongoing project, our mission is to create a haven for education about nature, sustainable living, and homesteading. We will be living on site continuing Permaculture and Agroforestry research, maintaining existing dwellings, designing and planting gardens/food forests, and mushroom cultivation, building (structures, lodging, rocket mass heater, raised garden beds, etc.)
We aim to offer the regional community a service of sustainable/regenerative design options, not only by using our site as an educational resource, but also implement designs for interested parties.
We are currently in search of clients who are interested in this type of service.
In addition we would like to invite those interested in getting hands-on experience with us as volunteers.
Check out our indiegogo site for more information
and our topic on the Projects thread
The thing about northern Michigan is that it is a destination. Few pass through it on the way to somewhere else. The peninsula and big waters mean it is never a shortcut. So people who are there MEAN to be there.
Within perhaps ten miles or so of the big lakes and inland chains of lakes there are unlimited wild forage possibilities. Wild food plants abound throughout this area. Seems the growing period is almost zone 6 in many spots, and migrating flocks of birds carry seeds from all over while roosting and foraging on their annual journeys. Autumn olive, of course, is prolific. Many ignored or forgotten pastures and other disturbances can hold many hundreds and thousands of pounds of fruit per acre. Almost all of it goes untouched by human hands. Really sustains a lot of wildlife ... especially birds. Wild turkeys chow down on them.
imho Autumn Olive makes one of the best fruit wines I've ever tasted. Good chicken food too.
Other forage? It would take a book ... but one annual treasure breaking out this time of year is the wild leek (aka RAMPS). They cover vast stretches of the upland mixed hardwoods. Can't put a foot down without stepping on leeks ... or morels (I wish).
Also wonderful country for biking and hiking. Got a kayak? Put it on the chain of lakes in Charlevoix and Antrim County and travel otter, heron, loon, wild rice and walleye shorelines for 60 miles...with a thousand places to camp along the way.
Love your country. It seems you've won the Lottery!
Great chance to join us in harvesting, processing, or selling to regional restaurants.
So yes, it is really like winning the lottery, and we are aiming to build a good community to head this amazing research and growing that we are able to do.
Emil Spoerri wrote:I just moved 70 miles east of you. Converting 100 acres of land that has never been farmed (always been woods) into a grassland farm. Fruit growing would be a lot harder and less profitable here, but I am hoping to plant plenty of alternative fruits and possibly converting them into wines. However the staple crop will definitely be livestock. I love the area, wood ducks, ravens, green box turtles, green snakes, eagles and sandhill cranes all call the farm home. We have amazing black sandy soil, like I have never seen. The area is considered highland moorland, my property has both. I have heard that this area has some of the best water in the country and it's true, I haven't drank much water in years, but now I drink plenty every day! The county is 80% forested, mostly government land, really great wild harvesting around here.
Big Mitten Greetings, Mr. Spoerri ...
Are you over around Hillman? Alpena? Nice country over there on the sunrise side.
You're right ... too frosty for most fruit, except for homestead experiments.
I wonder about your conversion of forest land to farmland for grazing, etc. Did you convert most of the 100 acres or a portion of it? Are you intending to raise beef, mainly?
Care to tell us more about your farm plans? Sounds like you have some ideas about economics and grazing. Could you lay that out to us and help us understand the economics you see?
Thanks for letting us know you are in the Northern Lower and open for business? Need a hand, please rattle this cage.
What a journey! This lifesyle demands one to be present and give it your all. There has been lots of work involved and at a point we realised reality kicked in, where we had many ideas that have fell through. That is not to say we haven't accomplished so much which we are so excited to share with you.
The invitation still stands for people to engage with us on on location or simply express your thoughts and opinions.