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7 acres in Maine looking for helpers  RSS feed

 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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If there's anyone interested in learning, teaching, hanging out and actually DOING some permaculture stuff, I'm offering the space to do it. I've got about 7 acres of south facing hillside with lot's of little nuances that's waiting to be grand. I've reached a point where I'm limited in my time and ability and simply would like to gather some like minded folks to share in a design. Right now I'm just taking the pulse to see if there's any interest and who might be able to help with what.

I've spent quite a while getting to know the land and I have a good Idea as to what I want to do with it. I'm hoping to put together a core group of designers (I use the term very loosely) to get the ball rolling and hope to be bringing on more folks as we implement designs along the way. Ultimately I'd like this land to be a free-to-all teaching ground, but it's so far from that now it's hard to know how to get started on that path.
I'm by no means an expert on any one aspect of permaculture, though I do feel that I have a good enough grasp on most things to say that I "know" some permaculture stuff.

I'd like to say that I have any clue as to organize such a project but I really don't. I'm a thinker and a doer but not really an organizer. I know what I want but right now I can't do it all by myself. Time and money and all that.
Im looking for folks in every aspect of interest from building structures and ponds to designing wildlife spaces.

I don't have any prerequisites, only that you be serious about permaculture and like to have a good time doing it. Obviously, conventional agriculture folk need not apply.

Again, this is only just to get a feel if there's interest. I can't commit to anything yet as I have a family that comes first but it would be really great to try to make something of this place.

Interested?
Got a skill?
Want to learn a skill?
Just wanna drink a beer with other permie people?

Reply here or with a PM to me. Let's see what happens.

To be clear, this is not a blank slate. There are gardens, swales, wild spaces, lots of wild edibles and fruit trees. We have chickens (120) and pigs (2) and hope to be adding other animals as things go on. There are raised garden beds on contour as well as hugelbeds, polyculture spaces, fodder spaces for animals and a paddock shift system as well.

Anyway... hoping this goes over well.







 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5911
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Sounds like a great opportunity, Craig...good luck!
 
J.T. Croteau
Posts: 34
Location: NH and MO
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Craig, what part of Maine are we talking about? I'm in New Hampshire and could be very interested lending a hand as my land is down in Missouri and I can only get there twice a year due to the cost of petrol.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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I'm on the "Midcoast". The closest town is Belfast (20 minutes away).
 
J.T. Croteau
Posts: 34
Location: NH and MO
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4h 45m drive, I will have to give it some more thought at that distance unless gas comes down drastically.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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J.T. Croteau wrote:4h 45m drive, I will have to give it some more thought at that distance unless gas comes down drastically.


Thanks for your interest. I hear ya on the fuel/time issues. At some point I may find myself doing a large workshop or developing a large project, which may justify the time and money spent driving such distances. Right now I'm just kinda hoping that some people might find some value in standing around on a semi-started piece of land and brainstorming about possibilities. Perhaps grabbing a shovel and trying something. I don't mind making a mess and trying new things. And if it helps other people to get more confidant in their abilities, all the better.

I'm also going to try to put up a few videos of what I have so far. This way I can get some help from folks that are at a distance. Maybe inspire somebody to get started.

It's currently pouring rain and at some point the swale system will begin to fill and we'll see how well the new layout performs.




 
J.T. Croteau
Posts: 34
Location: NH and MO
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote:I hear ya on the fuel/time issues.

At 17 MPG gas is the only issue but I need my Jeep to access my mountain property. LOL.

I'll follow your posts to see things progress and looking forward to your videos.
 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
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I'm just down in Wiscasset, would be great to swing by and see what you have going on sometime. I don't have a regular job at the moment, the place I was working at closed, but I'm booked up with odd jobs for a while. As I said in my thread about a PDC, I've read the books (well, am still reading Mollison's big black book) but lack the hands-on experience.

I'm 33, in fairly good shape, certainly a lot better after doing a bunch of physical labor this spring and summer. My background is a little mixed, out of everything I've done, graphic design is what I have the most experience in. Some programming, usually have to brute force it, nothing elegant. I spent some time as a data analyst, used to be pretty good at it. I've taken some classes on GIS and digital mapping but am probably rusty, doesn't take long to get back into the swing of things though. Sketchup is the next program to learn, just have to get around to making a Windows partition, it doesn't like linux.

I'm not completely lacking in experience regarding the growies and critters. I've helped put in a bunch of beds, planted many trees and shrubs, helped with harvest, etc. I farmsit every now and then for a couple in Newcastle and look after their dogs, chickens and goats. I think in three weeks they are going away for a few days again, can't wait to be back there, a beautiful place and the animals are so much fun.

As far as organizing... I'm an introvert so the idea of getting a group of people together and telling them what to do is somewhat terrifying. Definitely a job for someone else but I may be able to help them in some way.

No end in sight for this cloudy, rainy weather huh? Starting to wonder if it is going to be one of those summers where we get more rainy than sunny days. June tends to be wet though, will have to wait and see what July has in store.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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Thanks Ben.

There are definitely a lot of little things that can be done as well as some major overhauls in other places. Do you have a particular area of interest in permaculture? Animals, buildings, earthworks, water, fire...?

As it stands now there are more things to do than I've even been able to think of so far. My current "top Project" is to rebuild my layer house to accommodate about 50 birds over winter. The flock is spread out in two smaller coops right now. Last year's layer coop is too small for the expanding flock and I'm sure they won't like staying in the tarp covered "hoop coop" during a blizzard so...

If you're into building things, I've got to build a table to butcher animals on. Gotta be big enough to accommodate pigs, maybe a side of beef some day. Places to hold knives, towels... you get the point.

As some of the cover crops finish doing their thing, I'll be looking to re mulch (chop-drop/eat) and plant fall crops. The buckwheat has flowered and I've been bending it over to make room for collards, pumpkins, cukes, squashes, beans... blah blah blah. I've been trying lots of different polyculture combos so if you'd like to experiment with that too, I've got space somewhere.

I'd really like to start mapping out the larger areas of the property so that I can make better use of the resources I have. I don't know what interest you might have in that arena but I'm certainly not a digital design guy. I've been printing google maps and sitting with colored pencils to do most of my brainstorming. I tried to use Sketchup and was able to figure out how to make the contour lines for my property. The map just isn't that helpful because of the lack of detail. I tend to think better in real space rather than on a flat screen or paper. At one point I was trying to figure out how to make a 3-d model of the land out of clay so that I could sculpt it on my kitchen table. That was a dead end. Any way

There's lot of wild fruit popping up all over the place but getting to it is sometimes tricky. Being that everything here is over grown hillside, making paths and access points is more challenging. I've got a very basic A-frame level that has treated me well this year. It's made things much easier to understand when looking at the land. Contours are not always where you might think. Most of the time it ends up being a pleasant surprise.

So anyway there's lot to do if you're interested. I've got some time off coming up soon so I'll be free to really put in a solid effort.

 
C. Kelley
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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Hi Craig and Ben,
I finally joined the site as a posting member so I could chime in here and say hey. My husband and I just moved on to a 5-acre parcel near Appleton , an off grid house that used to be the home place of a dairy farm many decades ago, but has gone to mixed hardwoods (mostly coppiced through bad management and brush hogging) that we are reclaiming as a food forest and silvopasture. We are currently raising chickens and ducks, but have had goats and other hoofstock in the past.

We'd love to meet some other permaculture minded folks, either to do work-swaps on each other's land (some things just need more than 2 sets of hands) or just to get together and enjoy some local brews and spit-roasted goat (my husband's specialty).

Cheers!
The Kelleys
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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Glad to have you here C. Kelley. Spit roasted goat sounds like a really good time.

I'm going to try to post some photos to show how things have progressed so far this year.


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April 2013
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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MAY

One solid weekend with an A frame level and a shovel. Finished digging the rough layout just before the rain. That swale stayed filled for 3 days. All the land below it was wet but NOT flooded and stayed that way for a week. The growth in that area has been great.
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May 2013
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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June

Cover cropped and growing on. Mostly buckwheat, collards, mangels, sunflower, clover, mustard, wild flowers, pumpkin, beans. There are also blueberry, cranberry, service berry, cherry, apples, siberian pea shrub, mulberry, ash, maple, chestnut, hazelnut.
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Covered and full of life.
 
C. Kelley
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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Wow! Great progress. I see you take the same approach I do - muscle power. My husband works six or seven days a week, and i do the same on the land, but at 90lbs soaking wet with pockets full of rocks, progress working with hand tools (and a limited selection of them at that) is sometimes slow. My current project is twofold: clearing the area where we hope to build a barn next year of saplings and smaller trees (leaving the few big oaks, birches, and maples) and using the wood to make a wattle combination grow-out enclosure/compost pit for all of the cockerels we hatched this spring to fatten out in. I'm using a pruning saw, bypass loppers, hand clippers, and a hatchet. Digging the fence post holes with a pry bar and a Hori Hori. Once the land is cleared-ish, ill use pallets to fence it in and we'll get a couple of pigs to pull the stumps and till the ground. We're focusing on one area at a time now, we got a little overexcited when we first moved in and there are some half-finished hugelbeds and a half-finished test holes for ponds scattered around...we are more focused now. Weve been finding all kinds of cool plants and trees left over from the old farmstead, there's a huge hazel hedge down the driveway that ill clean up this winter and start interplanting/expanding into a perimeter hedgerow, blueberries, and an acre of so of wild raspberries behind the pond.

Do you frequent the Liberty Tool Barn? We love it, almost all of our tools have come from there - a tenth the price of new, and usually higher quality than you can get new locally without paying through the nose. We've had to make some repairs to things we've gotten there, sharpening blades and replacing handles, but the price is right for old, solidly built tools that'll last another couple of lifetimes with good care.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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AWESOME! The tool barn is an awesome resource I had no idea existed. Thanks for the tip.

I've done everything with a decent set of hand tools, a chainsaw, heavy brush-cutting trimmer and a LOT of sweat. I've rented a tiller twice to quickly convert lawn to forage crops. Now I'm mainly using the pigs and chickens to clear things up. That's working just fine for now. I'll try to get more pictures up from other areas of the land. The stuff above is just the new hugel garden.

Gotta go make lunch right now.
 
C. Kelley
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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The Tool Barn gets new shipments every Saturday at 8am - midmorning Saturday seems to be the best time to turn up if you're looking for something in particular. They're right on the main street in Liberty, right across from the Liberty Graphics Outlet. I can't tell you how much we've saved since we found them, they're our go-to place anytime we need something. Its like any other funky antique shop, you have to do some digging, but it's way worth it. We got a great old scythe for my husband there for less than $25 with a nice thick brush blade on it, all it needed was sharpening. My bypass loppers were $8 and just needed a bit of tape on the handles. Well worth the sacrifice of a Saturday morning to go check them out.

We have a nice chainsaw, but so much of what's here is too small to make using it worthwhile. My trusty Japanese pruning saw does the trick nicely (and quietly). Eventually we'll rent some equipment to restore the silted-in farm ponds, but until then it's me and my shovel. Sure beats the hell out of going to the gym, though, right?

What kind of chickens do you raise? We have Faverolles, Cochins, and some miscellaneous mutts. I'm working on breeding the Faverolles back to their original farm-chicken standards, the feathered feet, beards, and tiny combs make them remarkably cold-hardy, but the hatcheries have bred too much Leghorn into them over the years and they've lost a lot of the dual-purpose-ness that made them the top meat bird in France for almost 200 years. They've become a novelty exhibition bird, which is a crying shame since they're so well suited to a northern farmstead environment as a self-sustaining flock.

I'd love to pick your brain about pigs sometime, we've never had them ourselves but our land seems to be well suited to them - especially with all the oaks and teeny stumps!
 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I'd love to be involved, whether just to get together and talk permaculture, do work swaps, or whatever. Hard for me to commit to much these days, both because I have a two-year-old under my feet most of the day (I get a lot of my gardening done in the blessed hour and a half of naptime every day) and because I feel a great pressure to get things accomplished on my own 7 acres, but I'm itching to meet other permies in the area! Maybe we should plan a meetup at the Common Ground this year?

I'm a city girl turned homesteader. Started out as a singer and actress, and found myself living on an intentional community in Northern NY learning to grow organic veggies and compost everything from weeds to poop. I've been living in Maine for 10 years, mostly in Brunswick, where I moved to take a semester-long course in wilderness skills. Owned a restaurant focused on local foods there for a couple of years, met my husband, and we bought our piece of paradise late last summer here in Readfield. So, I'm on the other side of the Kennebec from most of you guys, but not too far away.

I too have dreams of making this land a place of learning, a light unto the darkness, if you will. I feel called to be an advocate for a different way of living, because I love living this way, and because I feel my skill sets are starting to align - I feel comfortable speaking in front of groups with coherence and passion, I've lived in cities, the country, and places inbetween, and I'm learning more all the time about the myriad ways we can be more sustainable in our lives.

Sorry if I run on...and let me also put in a plug for the Liberty Tool Barn. My husband and I love that place - he's an artist who makes assemblages with all sorts of bits and pieces, and that place is full of bits and pieces. I just want all the tools.

It would be great to meet others living this life. Sometimes I look at my land, its possiblilities and its limitations, and I feel totally overwhelmed. It would be wonderful to have guidance from others who have gone down this road before me.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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Look! a happy permie Pig turning grass into bacon.
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Peppers is the name.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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C. Kelley: We raise a flock of Australorps, giants, RIR, Barred rocks, Buff Orpington, Wyandottes, Easter eggers and about fifty mutts. There is also a Silver Laced Polish Rooster that we keep on as a "pet". Our plan this year was to build a flock of various birds and then eat the ones we don't like. Then eat the roosters that won't be breeders and then eat the hens who turn out to be bad layers. That should bring the layer flock to about forty hens and two roosters for the winter. So between now and winter roughly sixty birds will be going to the freezer. I think my favorites right now are the australorps. Nice layers, good attitudes, great foragers, decent sized birds and winter tough. We have one hen that lays EVERY DAY and went broody this spring so I'm encouraged by her gusto. We hatched the fifty mutts ourselves in an incubator which was a fun learning experience but next year I'll let the Mommies do the work.

Jessica: With two young kids of my own, I know how it can be. I'm always tiptoeing around the house to get tools while they nap. You're right. That nap time is precious time. When my kids were first born I'd be running in and out of the house trying to get it "all" done at once. I had so much to do and so little time. It felt like I was moving in reverse for a while. I quickly lost my mind and will to try. I felt buried by all the "to do". I found that making lists of quiet projects and quick "fix-it" tasks was the best way to make use of that quiet time. Now, I've managed to get ahead of the game. I plan my projects seasonally and work around the tea parties and dinosaur stomping grounds that my kids have set up EVERYWHERE. If you ever have the chance to come out here, feel free to bring the little one, my kids are 3 and 5 and always happy to play, pick fruit and flowers or just be silly. They are really good at being silly





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A snake in the hand... Way more in the bushes
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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And about the pigs


We got our pigs from Walter Jeffries at Sugar Mountain Farm in VT. He and his family are on point with the pigs and have been incredible to do business with. Walter is here on Permies and has a site of his own too. I would direct you to his site first Sugarmtnfarm.com for any info you need on pigs.

I can tell you that our two gilts are as kind as could be. They lay down for a belly rub and a scratch of the head, then it's back to eating the field stuff. We keep them in with the chickens on a paddock shift system that's still in development. Because the field hasn't been mowed in 7 years there are lots of little trees and shrubs. Hundreds of apples, cherries, hawthorn, beech, oak, maple, birch, alder and ash are all just getting to be about 2 inches at the base. The pigs and chickens are awesome at clearing away the grass and bugs from those trees. If you really want to motivate them, a little bit of "chick starter" feed sprinkled at the base of the tree will clear it up in no time. As long as they are moved often enough, I've never had them mess up a tree. I'm trying to restore the field to food and timber forest. So far, So good.
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Keep up the good work
 
C. Kelley
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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Craig, those pigs are adorable! I've done some reading on the Sugar Mtn site, but I think we'll try to find our pigs more locally - Vermont is a long drive.

Jessica, welcome! We should definitely try to all meet up, though maybe one Saturday at the Tool Barn instead of Common Ground if we're all such fans of it! I hear you with the little ones in tow, my niece is almost 2 and its quite a challenge to get anything done with her around, especially anything involving sharp tools. My sister brought her over today and we took turns babyminding and using the hatchet...got almost as much done as one person without the kiddo. But she's a sweetie, so we don't mind.

We moved to the area not too long ago, and haven't met many people. I'd love to host a permie meet up at our place sometime - bring all the kids to cruise around the huge lawn space we have while the adults shoot the breeze, maybe a potluck barbecue? I have several young cockerels who'll be ready for the grill before too much longer. It would be nice to develop a "meatspace" permaculture group here in the midcoast area.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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Horn Worms! Just thought I'd let everyone in Maine know that the horn worms have hatched on the midcoast. I always try to get them while they are tiny so the damage is minimal. This morning I noticed the teeny tiny black poo piles on the leaves so I went on the hunt. I crushed about 25 worms or so. All were under a half inch in size and hanging on the underside of leaves. I just use a spray bottle with water to blast the poo off the leaves. That way I know if I see fresh poo there is another worm to find. Keep an eye out and save your crop.

All mine were about 2 feet off the ground. They always work their up so always look higher on the plant from where the poo is.

Best wishes
 
Derek Pinson
Posts: 2
Location: Ellijay, GA
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Hey, guys! Are you still looking for some help? I'm a newly-certified permaculture designer who is embracing the return of his wanderlust. I've always wanted to visit Maine, and it sounds like you've got an incredible place. Lemme know! I'm flexible right now, as I just quit my job to travel about again.

If you're still looking, do you have a minimum stay requirement? I'm trying to get a job as a volunteer coordinator on a permaculture farm in the Dominican Republic which would start sometime next month.

Thanks and be well,
Derek
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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Sorry for my lack of attention on this thread. I'm happy to see interest from so many different facets of the permaculture community. Aside from the discussion here, I've also received a number of private messages from folks interested in getting together over a project. The problem I'm finding is that timing and traveling logistics makes things tough to coordinate. Some folks want to come and stay for months and require only a bed and food. That would be awesome but I'm just not set up for that right now. At some point I would love to have a full time intern/assistant/coordinator, but I don't think I'm qualified yet to take on that responsibility. I don't think I could offer enough to make it worth your while in that capacity. YET
On that point I feel bad asking for people to travel out to my place for a day of pulling weeds, moving wood, digging swales, laying mulch and plucking chickens all for no quantifiable reward. I feel like I should be offering more than just grunt work when what needs to be done is just that... grunt work. At least for now. I'd gladly dig a ditch at your house just to have the chance to talk permaculture with somebody else, but I have a hard time expecting others to want to do the same here. Does that sound crazy?

On a side note and probably a better note: I MAY have the chance to design a garden space for a medical facility next year. From what I'm told there are two separate spaces on either side of the building. I've offered the building owners a proposal to turn these spaces into educational food forests and gardens. This may be the kind of project that we could all get together on planning this winter. My understanding is that the building will open for business next spring so there's time to plan it and get the funding. I'm offering my planning and work for free as long as they cover the cost of the materials and plants. I'm hoping I can convince them that all the money that they would spend on a landscaper to weed n feed, mow and spray will be better spent on educating their patients about nutrition and healthy productive outdoor spaces. In our area I see a lot of old farm houses that are neglected and lawns that have sooooooooo much potential to grow food for the nutritionally deficient humans that own them. Many of these people spend a great deal of time at the doctors. What better place to educate them?

I'd love some feedback and hope that eventually we'll get something going.
Again, sorry for my lack of attention here.
 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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Did anything ever come of this group? I'll be headed to Maine to start my own permaculture homestead very soon so I am wondering if you all ever meet up or anything?
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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I'm still up for it. I've got a lot of projects lined up for the day after the ground softens up again. I bet everyone has a list a mile long too. Most of these projects get done faster with more hands working. It's been tough to get all these hands organized in one place though.

Anyone who is interested in helping out each other or doing skill sharing thing post the idea below and lets use these late days of winter for some good.

Leave your project list below and then we'll pick through and see what works.

 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
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My Projects for 2014

Earthworks in back yard as play space and food production. Minimum 2 swales.

Build rabbit barn to accommodate up to 10 hutches

Raise 6 piglets

Bush hog (using hogs) the central section of pasture for food forest installation.

Hatch and raise Ducks for the annual garden slugs.

Expand egg production from chickens

Transplant hardwood saplings from the wooded areas to create windbreaks and food forests

Expand ponds and stock with critters.


There's another 500 things but that's just a bit that might get done. Wanna help, learn, trade? Need help, tools, animals, seeds?
Now is the time to plan.

How can I help you?

 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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Let's see:

Build a hoophouse style cover for my firewood out of saplings harvested on my property.

Cut up the tree that came down in the ice storm and use it for a hugelbed along the road...then plant with edible hedge plants.

Expand the garden spaces with sheet mulch and build some kind of sunpath viewer so I can plan the best spots to plant my sun loving plants.

Plant a shorter windbreak hedge along the south side of my property to break the wind but not block the sun too much.

Mostly I'm looking for feedback on some of my design choices, fresh eyes to take in the potential opportunities and pitfalls on my land!

I'm going to nominate Craig's place for our first gathering, since he's the one that started this thread and has been the most active (plus has the most apples ). Maybe we could start thinking about potential dates soon...April sometime, or May? I don't work a 9 to 5, so my schedule is pretty flexible, but I'm a minister's wife, so Sundays are always out for me. Maybe the host could provide some kind of main dish, and we could do a potluck? I'm just looking forward to getting to know some permies face-to-face!
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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I'm happy to host and give you all a tour. I'm sure we can find something to eat too. Spring means early wild edibles, some fresh garden items, chickens, rabbits, eggs, pork... so I'm sure we can fill our bellies.
I'd also be happy to assist anyone who might be looking to start flocks or rabbit barns of their own. Early spring is good time for seed swaps too. I'm sure we can organize something good.

I'd also be interested to know who is able to grow what in their spaces. AND what you can't grow. Perhaps if we coordinated things well enough we can plan crops according to a pre-planned swap. I just can't seem to grow onions and other such crops and I use a lot of them. If you can grow them well, I'll happily trade you for something that I can grow well. Or labor... or chickens ...you know... whatever.


Just a few thoughts
 
C. Kelley
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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Wow, so I missed a bit...got all distracted with a job and stuff, didn't get notifications for the thread, and wouldn't you know it's been months since I even came to the site.

Craig, im totally down for trading ditch-digging for conversation. My husband is getting sick of me babbling on about permaculture/long descent/historical precendents for current economic state/social justice of green movement... Hazards of being the lovechild of an environmental scientist and an ecoforestry activist, I guess.

Some...structural issues...came to light about the place we have been rent-to-owning, so it is back on the market and so are we (though not in a rush to move). If anyone hears about a cheapish place for rent within a reasonable drive of waldoboro, that'll take dogs, chickens, and ducks....give me a shout. At this point, im about ready to start stalking tax liens at the town office, Im so deadly sick of having to move once a year. If i had a five-spot for every compost bin I've built, filled, and had to move away from to buy compost for the next garden...urgh.

Anyone here got a spare acre they want to sell? We're quiet, safe with our woodstove, and dont use pesticides or grow gmos. All we want is a 20x20 cabin with serious insulation and a sweet woodshed.

Keep me posted on the meet up plans, i dont have any projects due to not knowing where we'll be living next growing season, but i do have THREE electric egg incubators (two still air, no turners, one with all the bells & whistles) as well as an astoundingly large pressure canner that i would be happy to loan out/teach the use of. I won't be making nearly the use of the incubators this year as i did last spring, so if you want to enlarge your flocks, I'd be happy to hatch some chicks out for anyone who wants them - im not equipped to brood this year, but i can do the incubating at least.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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C Kelley : Welcome back. I though we lost you for a minute. Sorry to hear that you housing isn't working out for you. My wife and I were just talking the other day about how it would be nice to downsize our home or rent it and then build a small house on the land someplace else. The current place is way too big for us but I'm really in love with the land so in the future I'll probably be building a nice small house and then renting the big one out to wwoofers. We've also talked about letting wwooofers build the small house and help run the "farm" while camping or living in yurts. Who knows... there are lots of options I guess.
Thank you for all your equipment offers. I'm planning on growing a lot of simple things this year for canning and drying. If I grow a bunch of beans or whatever for you, perhaps you'd care to undertake the task of canning it for us? I've got the land to grow on, jars, lids and rings, and a water bath canner with gear. But I don't enough time to do all the processing.
Anyway... gotta go make breakfast.

Keep the ideas coming..
Also... Anyone use skype?
 
                            
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My girlfriend and I, Angel and Sean, are very interested in helping out on your farm. We would love to help with canning and preserving your food. We have a strong passion to expand our permaculture knowledge and experience. We have past WWOOFing experience in which we were introduced to permaculture and had the opportunity to practice it.

I am 28 years old and my girlfriend is 25. We are from Los Angeles. I am a college graduate and currently work as a substitute teacher. My girlfriend recently graduated and is in the process of developing homemade body care products. Our hobbies include gardening, hiking, cooking, reading, writing, yoga, and permaculture. We love to be productive and I think we can be a great help on your farm. We would plan to arrive mid July and are able to stay until October.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


Regards,


Sean
 
Gregorski Novak
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Hey guys thanks for the awesome thread, I am also coming to maine on a permaculture mission this spring.
Looking for more permie family to visit and work with as i cruise around in my van.
I studied mech. engineering but have been overseas woofing in australia and new zealand the past few years and and now back to look for a community in the north east.
Took PDC and interned for the inland north west permy convergence last fall, out west.
Nice little group forming here, i am looking to get involved in some permaculture ventures, volunteer for experience and work along side some other motivated creative people.
yoga? wildcrafting? off grid anything? food?
Count me in.
Gregor
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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It looks like the weather is about to break here in the next few weeks. We'll be starting tomatoes and peppers indoors but the rest of the annual crops will likely be direct seeded. I've got plans to transplant a lot of trees for windbreaks along the pasture borders. We're expecting the arrival of 6 piglets sometime in May. So between now and then, I'll be trying to get the chicken coop moved and the first of the paddocks set up for them and the pigs. I've put together the order for rabbit supplies too. New cages, feeders and water crocks. By the end of the season I hope to have 2 bucks and 6 does to work with into the winter.
There's a few trees that need to come down. December's Ice Storm busted a few of them up pretty bad and the firewood pile is shrinking so... Problem = solution. My total bill for home heating oil was 24 dollars this year! YAY trees!
I'm going to be doing the Online PDC with geoff lawton at the end of the month so I suspect I'll have my plate full with that.
I hope everyone is gearing up for the snow to melt and getting all their seeds and tool in order. It's going to be here before you know it. Are you ready?



Anyone interested in long term stays (more than a week) here please PM me. I only have room for one or two people and I've had a lot of requests so I want to get a feel for who's really serious. We're only in our third year so there's still lots of work to be done. You'll get out of it what you put into it. At least that's the way it's been for me. Ideally I'd like to have a person who can build structures for animals and people as well as somebody with knowledge of food preservation. SELF MOTIVATED and Confident


 
P smith
Posts: 1
Location: Massachusetts and Maine
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Craig,

So excited to see someone from the area where we have recently purchased a second property!

Our primary residence is in Mass. And this is our first spring with the property in Waldo County. Our property reminds me of yours in your pictures.

So excited to see someone else.
 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I've somehow stopping getting updates on this thread...hopefully posting will help.

I am getting pretty antsy for the thaw, which seems to be upon us finally! This rain today really helped. I've got some seedlings well started, brassicas and nightshades that need potting up, and a bunch of onions, though I want to start more of those (and maybe some for you too, Craig!). I got the apples pruned with my new-to-me long-handled pruning saw. I think I did okay. We're almost out of firewood - and I don't have a chainsaw or a woodlot - I think we'll be purchasing a seasoned cord to get us through the end of the season. Oh well, it's been damn cold this year.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1951
Location: Maine (zone 5)
233
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
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Jessica: Welcome back. What variety of onion are you growing? . My soil isn't too keen on onions and leeks, so I'd be happy to trade with you if have room to grow some extra. I will likely have all the brassicas and squash you could want as well as things like sunchokes, potatoes and legumes.

P Smith: Welcome to Permies. Glad to have you here. If there's anything I can do to help you out while your getting settled, let me know.

 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I've got a few Copra and Redwing up, and started more this week. I like storage onions ....I should have plenty for trading, if all goes well. Last year I interplanted a lot of my onions, and they didn't get that big, so I'm going to be more careful to give them some room this season.
 
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