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My Dream: Eastern MA Food Forest Education Center  RSS feed

 
Kim Annon.
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I’m in the early planning stages of what I hope will become the premiere American East Coast Food Forest Permaculture Education Center. A lofty goal, but with the friends and chosen family around me I feel it is one I can achieve before the end of my life. My initial funding will probably come from a crowdfunding campaign, but it will be at least a couple months before that gets off the ground. Updates and a website will come as they are completed.

I have a list of residential lots that may be workable, in places as varied as Harvard, Foxboro, Lancaster, and Clinton. Ideally, Harvard or Foxboro would be amazing, but as you get closer to the city the more the price of land goes up. There's also the whole legal issues with trying to run a tourist attraction or destination business in a residential area. And I don't want to move further west than Worcester, because that would severely limit the amount of daytrip folks from Boston. It would also take attention away from some of the places in western MA that are already around. Any Info on things like campgrounds or old farms or run down estates going up for sale would be extremely helpful.

In ten or twelve years, I hope to be able to go to work, greet a bus full of fifth graders, and show them that the woods or even their own patio could be so much more. For now, though, it's a lot of research: Permaculture research, climate research, finance research, legal research, zoning, regulations, 'market' research...It's enough to leave my head spinning. Anyone who would like to chip in time or knowledge...Well, any kind of help to make my dream come true would be amazing.

Thanks for your time,
-Kim
 
John Wheeler
Posts: 41
Location: Slippery Rock, PA
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Sounds exciting... I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor.

Do you mind if I ask you some questions about yourself? LOL because I do have a background in real estate, and I think being able to market yourself will be an integral part of your success.
What is your background in Permaculture?
Do you have experience managing large projects?
How much teaching experience do you have?
What makes you different from other Permaculture teachers?
Have you done much marketing or fundraising?

Also, what is going to make your place special? Are you just trying to draw people from the Boston area or all over the East Coast?
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1132
Location: northern northern california
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just your post made me nostalgic for massachusetts, where i grew up =)

havent been there in forever, but for the years i was in art school in boston i lived in jamaica plains, which was about the only place i could afford to live!

but it was cool, cause most people who lived there were basically in the same boat, it was one of the least expensive places then. and many attended the art schools which are mostly on the south side of boston.....so it was a lot of art students and music students. and many different kinds of ethnic people there as well, it was quite diverse.

there were also some very nice gardens, surprisingly actually, but there were a lot of elder folks there who were growing some food and gardens in that area. plus there is the Arboretum, which is quite lovely.

not being a city person but wanting to go to college there, JP really helped me feel ....not so in the city, because of the green. there are also many businesses...and a large area with artists lofts on green street....

some thoughts, anyway....this might not be what you are looking for...its basically right beside boston, to the south.

good luck with your project.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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This sounds exciting. I look forward to updates on your progress. I am not too far away in Rhode Island and may be able to help with donating seedlings and spreading the word.

On October 30th a fellow from the Pacific northwest is going to be giving a talk about the transformation of his suburban lot to a permaculture paradise. I encourage you to come I'd you can. It will be at the university of RI.
 
Kim Annon.
Posts: 27
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Matu: Do you know the speaker by name? I'll look into it defiantly, but I may not be able to get off work on such short notice.


John:
I'm in the seriously early stages. As in, the seed just formed and is still on the tree sort of early days. I have a vision of my end product as I'd wish for it to be in 20 years. I have to figure out all the in between steps still. Right now is piles and piles of research, and the main problem is that i'm beginning to run out of the research that I find fun and the list of things that don't exactly interest me (like laws and regulations) just seems to be growing the more I read. If I can avoid burnout, this can be a reality.

As for the questions... Note that parenthetic parts are mostly statements that I know need to be cleaned up to be more professional. It's awful late at night just now.


---What is your background in Permaculture?

Large amounts of research, and I am currently going through an Online lecture series that includes all the classes from a Permaculture Design Cert. course in the northwest, and when they put up the certification option in a month or so I intend to buy in and complete that one quickly. Honestly, I have been doing permie research for at least four years in my spare time, and have found no new information in the first class series (8 hours or so). The deeper sciences later on will probably cover new ground for me, however.

---Do you have experience managing large projects?

I do not, but one of my partners in this endeavor spent a year deeply involved in the advertising and street team section of the activities board at a medium sized state college. I have been in a lower level management position in retail, and taken several management courses in college, but I know that's hardly the same thing. I hope I will be able to either recruit someone, or build my and my group's knowledge base in this arena before moving forward towards a launch.

---How much teaching experience do you have?

I have been helping others learn since elementary school, when I began helping my younger brother learn his material early. Throughout High School I tutored several students, and in college I taught the basic algebra course to several of my class mates who could not understand the professor because of his accent. Currently I am teaching several friends and students how to knit or crochet (a long lived hobby of mine). I have often been thanked for my ability to reword something in a way that makes more sense to my audience than the textbook explanation.

---What makes you different from other Permaculture teachers?

My goal in passing on permaculture knowledge is not to try and create converts to off grid, green living. Rather, I am trying to show them a way of changing a few small habits that will have a great impact on their personal food supply and overall global health. One person completely rearranging their life will do less good globally than a hundred regular consumers planting a single guild-garden or container garden to help feed themselves, and maybe convincing their friends and neighbors to do something similar.

---Have you done much marketing or fundraising?

At this early in the game, no. I am looking for a few cheerleaders and helpers in cyberspace to ask questions to force me to articulate my ideas, keep me motivated, and point out the weak spots in my own knowledge of business. There is a lot more research that I need to do, mostly market and regulatory, before I will have a plan worthy of advertising beyond a friendly permie community. I want to have a much better view of what I have, what I need, and what I would like to have in terms of resources - both personnel and actual - before reaching for funding or media attention.

---what is going to make your place special?

The idea I have is to market the location as both a field trip type educational center with tours and lessons on (life sciences/ecology and how that knowledge is used in permaculture and agroforestry) and a state-park style recreational area with trails and picnic tables, and possibly event rentals depending on the space I end up with. The produce itself will lend itself to a farm stand / gift shop sales venue with the eventual addition of an inspected kitchen. Additional income will come from classes on permie design, local/indigenous edibles, local edible identification, cooking with seasonal and local produce, and preserving the harvest. Most of these classes can be offered as both adult and family courses to increase (customer draw).

--Are you just trying to draw people from the Boston area or all over the East Coast?

Initially I intend to draw mainly from the Boston area, hopefully the Boston/Worcester/Providence area if I am able to find a really ideal location. Eventually, as the forest matures, structures are completed, and our reputation grows I hope to be able to be a large draw to New England at the very least. It would be wonderful to have the forest become an East Coast Destination before I reach late retirement age.

---

Whoo, that's a whole lot of stuff to siphon out of my head. Thank you so much for the on-point questions, and keep 'em coming! The more I have to actually write out about my plans, the better chance I have at making this crazy dream into a reality.
 
John Wheeler
Posts: 41
Location: Slippery Rock, PA
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The most important thing is having a clear vision of what you want. The second most is having a written plan.
So, since you said to keep 'em coming, here are some more questions:

What parts do you find fun?
What would you do with your time if you had a genie that did everything you asked it to?
What are you good at?
How many people are on board with this project? What do they enjoy? What are they good at?
Are you literally keeping a list of what you need to research? Are you organizing the results of your research in a way that is handy for you to reference?
Do you have experience in gardening or homesteading?
Do you or people in your group have experience with marketing or fundraising?
What is your plan for financing the purchase of the land?
How many people will this place support financially/materially, both initially and in the long run? (recognizing that with permaculture many needs can be provided for without using money)
 
Kim Annon.
Posts: 27
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After taking a slide down the stairs on my tailbone just a few moments ago, this is a great reason for a smile and a way to ignore the resulting bruise. So, thank you again.

---What Parts do you find fun?

I'm a dreamer, and a teacher. I like learning about permaculture in general, and I like being out in nature.

---What parts would you have a genie do, and what would you do?

The legal research and paperwork is something that mostly just frustrates me. Regulatory research is also entirely new for me.

If I could, I would spend my time teaching, chasing chickens, harvesting, planting, and spending time with my chosen family.

---What are you good at?

I've been told I have a knack for teaching to my audience, instead of simply repeating source materials. I have a very easy time understanding what I learn, be it from an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic source. I grew up the daughter of an analyst, so I was taught early on to work smarter instead of working harder - one of the reasons permaculture agroforestry calls to me so strongly. I have a fairly easy time talking to folks when on equal ground with them, or when teaching, but I tend to get nervous and shy when cold-calling for information or help.

When asking my fiance, these are the (edited) responses he gave me:

baking, listening, creative solutions to potential money problems, general money management, reading people, and my force of personality is nothing to neglect -serene and matronly, not controlling or overpowering.

---How many people on board, what do they enjoy and what are they good at?

Chris: Enjoys being outside, is supportive, and is the muscle man of the operation.
V: A little bit of marketing experience from being part of a street team, serve safe certification, cooking experience and skill, and possible contacts from her school days in fitchburg, tyngsborough, and Worcester.
You, John: asking good questions so I can pull the ideas out of my head and give them form. XD

---Research:

Right this moment I have a honking pile of handwritten papers (loose leaf) that are covered in all the everything that I've been pouring out of my head. This week's project is typing them up and, with the help of Google's free spreadsheet software, making some sense of it all. I like spreadsheets, all neat and organized, easy to edit and easy to read.

--Gardening and Homesteading Experience:

ATM, I have a shaky container garden that didn't fair well across my last move. Managed a good crop of tai bird's eye chili, and a couple tomatoes. I have grand plans for my parent's back yard where they live in the next town, but that involves convincing my parents that growing food will not have them overrun with skunks and other furry annoyances more than the wild 'woods' did. Maybe local 'ornamentals' that are actually food worthy? Convincing your parents that you know better than them is always an uphill battle...in the snow.

Despite apartment living, we buy as little processed food as we can get away with. The dehydrator gets regular use in the summer and fall, and the stand alone freezer, coupled with a second hand vacuum sealer, is a godsend. I bake a good majority of our bread at home, although our roommates refuse to let me start a sourdough culture because of the 'smell'. V cooks most nights, and two meals a day are always home made, while the third is most often covered by leftovers. Breakfast cereals are a treat we have a hard time dropping, though. A home canning set up is next on the list, but horror stories of steam powered explosions are a bit off-putting.

---Marketing and Fundraising Experience:

I was involved in the marketing campaigns of a couple events in college, and V was an integral part of her activities board Street Team. We have a friend who is planning to major in Graphic Design, and will be willing to help us out as a portfolio builder. This is an area where we need help.


---Land Financing:

I hope to be able to crowd fund for a down payment, or possibly the whole cost depending on my success. This is a very serious weak point in my plan, as it stands.

The permie community is huge, and things like the ability to name gardens within the forest have the potential to attract businesses, and lifetime discount admission passes may attract schools or 'friends of the library' groups. Individual donors tend to be interested in memorial bricks and the like on property, or a year or two of 'membership admission' free from the date of their first visit. I am also willing to put my hobby skills to use, and offer things like custom hand made hats/scarves/gloves.

---How many would this place support:

Initially, I intend to continue working at my Day (night) job to pay for things like taxes and utilities.

As food production begins in earnest, I intend to be able to support, materially, my family and a handful of on-site helpers. Excess harvest will be used to supplement income, in the form of fresh produce and materials, to pay for more improvements onsite (an inspected kitchen for production of value added product tiers at the top of the list).

When doors open and income begins coming in regularly, I intend to no longer work off-site.

As more land area matures and is opened to visitors, outside paid help and live/work interns will find a place in the workings.

When well established, excess monies will allow for donation to similar causes, and excess produce will allow for donations to local food kitchens and pantries.


---------------------------------------------------------------


Keep 'em coming! Anyone is welcome to poke holes in my logic, or point out gaps in my knowledge! I really can't hope to do this all by myself!
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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The presenter is named Jan Spencer. I'm looking forward to the presentation.

 
Kim Annon.
Posts: 27
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Sorted out my mission statement today, for those of you keeping an eye on me here.

The Greater Boston Food Forest will be an acreage between Boston and Worcester MA, planted and lived on in a (macrosustainable) manner, open to the public to teach about simple steps to take towards living sustainably in urban and suburban environments, and offering locally sourced, locally made products, food, and plants.

(Macrosustainable - adjective, pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability on a very large scale, with very little input, to support a large population

From:

Macro, adjective 1.very large in scale, scope, or capability.

sustainable, adjective 2. pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse.
)
 
Russ Wall
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Kim,

There is a group largely in the Roxbury/JP/Roslindale area that has been gathering as the Boston Food Forest Coalition. We have recently begun a proposal for a space in the city, and the hope is that this space is just the first of a whole network around Boston. It sounds like our visions are very intertwine, so let me know if you have interested in joining our efforts.

Best,
Russell
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Nice to see you here Russell.

Jan Spencer the Oregon guy will be in Boston this Saturday and Monday so if you can make it to either one of those days let me know.
If you need a place to stay in Boston for a night or two. I also have a spot available.
http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Permaculture/events/144683062/

I would really recommend getting in touch with the Boston Food Forest Coalition, they have goals similar to yours in a lot of ways.

As for things that will grow in your area. Check out eric toensmeier house/backyard near Springfield, MA if he can grow it then so can you.
 
Kim Annon.
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Russell, Bengi:

I will definitely look into the BFFC, but I don't know how much I would be able to contribute. I live out in milford ATM, in an apartment complex, and I work full time third shift so I barely have time for my own errands and weekly obligations between the commute, normal business hours, and my sleep schedule. A lot of my research and such is being done in the hour or so of unwinding before bed or work.

Bengi:

I've had this idea, in earlier personal space only incarnations, floating around in my head for at least two years. I have a great big honking list of all types of plants that grow around here and do useful things. Might make a weekend of a place like toensmeier's yard at some point. Probably closer to spring as I'm not the biggest fan of traveling in the cold months.

___


Right now my major hurdle is turning my 'list of things I want to do, and in what order' into an actual business plan with all the numbers, projections, and risk assessments needed to get the people with money to invest in the project. I still plan on trying the crowd fund route first, but the more professional a spread I can show, the better my chances. It's very overwhelming, all the info 'they' say should go in a good business plan, and all the tweaking necessary from the templates to create a start up business plan.

___

For Anyone out there who knows how to do the market research song and dance, or someone willing to offer time to help mentor me in starting a business:

I will be eternally grateful, and am perfectly willing to trade your time for hand made, high quality crochet gifts: blankets, hats, scarves, mittens, skirts, shawls. Because who doesn't like hand stitched presents made to last from materials like natural cotton or baby alpaca wool?
 
Kim Annon.
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So, market research. Step one: Will people actually want us here. Share the love if you would.

Survey:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=92qb0xygfg7fijd264744
 
Kim Annon.
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It's been a long while since my last update here. The survey thing fell a bit flat, but really I was getting ahead of myself with it anyway, so no worries there. Currently my major stopping points are: True Market Research, and Cost estimates. And I can’t do any cost estimates without a look at the land and some blueprints for the buildings. I’m planning on joining my local time bank in Mid March, and hopefully I can find some help there. I figured I'd come back here and re-answer all of the questions the wonderful John had left me before, as a look at how far I've gotten making my dreams concrete.

What is your background in Permaculture?
Lots of research, and 'sitting in' on a PDC Course lecture series online, but no nice certificate to show.

Do you have experience managing large projects?
Does herding cat’s count? Not really, but managing a house is more experience than I had before.

How much teaching experience do you have?
I've been teaching informally for years, and have taught hobbies formally for a few months now. Can’t forget all the teaching involved in answering the question “You want to do what-now for a living?” about this food forest business.

What makes you different from other Permaculture teachers?
See my Company Description..

Have you done much marketing or fundraising?
Not yet. Getting a lot done on writing up a crowd fund campaign, though.

Also, what is going to make your place special? Are you just trying to draw people from the Boston area or all over the East Coast?
See Company Description.

What parts do you find fun?
Dreaming, planning, researching. Turning ideas into jumbled ramblings into lists into polished plans. Winter doesn't leave much time for playing in the dirt, so I've been hard at work at the keyboard.

What would you do if you had a genie that did everything you asked it to?
If the genie had full blown magic, I’d have him hand me a deed and plonk down some buildings for free.
For now, I could use someone to actually call the Realtor listed for the property I've been drooling at for three months and have them do the talking for me. Cold feet...blargh.
I also need someone to draw up a basic blueprint from my ideas, and someone to draw up a cost analysis from that, because I don’t know anything about the cost to build.
I also need help with proper market research still. I know what and who my market is now, but I’m still not entirely sure where to go from there.

What are you good at?
Teaching, creating, herding cats. The trick is to make them think your way is the only way. lol.

How many people are on board with this project? What do they enjoy? What are they good at?
Still just me, Chris, and V. Dori is willing to help, but I haven’t figured out her strengths yet so we’ll see how that goes.

Are you literally keeping a list of what you need to research? Are you organizing the results of your research in a way that is handy for you to reference?
Much better organized than before, thanks to google drive. It could use some rearranging and consolidation, but as I polish each document I move it into the most appropriate folder.

Do you have experience in gardening or homesteading?
No more experience since October, but more contacts and resources.

Do you or people in your group have experience with marketing or fundraising?
No, another weak point that needs to be filled via recruitment or a crash course.

What is your plan for financing the purchase of the land?
Still hoping for mostly crowd-funding, and working on things to make it a more viable option.

How many people will this place support financially/materially, both initially and in the long run? (recognizing that with permaculture many needs can be provided for without using money)

By the time the grand opening rolls around, It will be able to fully support my extended-immediate family, with a few full time employees and few more seasonal/part time employees for peak season and events.

Company Description, nice and polished.

(“The Forest”) is a to-be-created acreage between Boston and Worcester MA, planted and lived on in a macrosustainable manner, open to the public as a tourist destination, outdoor recreational destination, and an educational center teaching about living sustainably in urban and suburban environments, offering classes taught about ecology, agriculture, permaculture, urban homesteading, and handcrafting, and selling locally sourced, locally made products, food, and plants.

The Forest will be an extended Agritourism Destination. It will be an educational venue with family friendly and age appropriate tours, programs and classes, offer indoor and outdoor destination event rentals, be a retail destination for locally sourced and locally made crafts, and have a farm stand and restaurant selling locally sourced, healthy fare. Our main target market is the Urban and Suburban Homesteaders, a quickly growing niche including families, older couples, and young singles who are turning towards local, hand made, homemade and environmentally sound products because of the hidden costs and damages associated with the current corporate model. We have an advantage over current local Agritourism in our focus: how the consumer can bring the ideas behind our model home to help themselves. Our advantage over similar museum destinations is in our multi-tiered income streams, which will allow us to forgo relying on grants and donations, and instead keep admission prices down through natural revenue strength. Our multi-tiered income streams are visible even in our start up plan, where revenue will begin coming in as soon as we have a chance to walk the land in spring, and more layers will be added after each construction phase.

All rights reserved, and all that jazz.
 
Chris Badgett
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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Hey Kim,

Currently we're down in Costa Rica filming a full length permaculture design course, but will be up in New England in the spring to film a maple sugaring how-to video course in New Hampshire. That's great you're thinking of building this resource in the northeast. There's such a good population density there and demand for ecological education in the region ... your idea makes a lot of sense.

Currently we have two food forest online video courses at Organic Life Guru

One with toby hemenway: http://organiclifeguru.com/course/food-forest-design-care-for-cites-and-suburbs/

and

One with Michael Pilarski: http://organiclifeguru.com/course/how-to-grow-a-medicinal-food-forest/

If these courses could in some way be a part of your Education Center, let us know your thoughts.

My web design company, Badgett Web Design has recently pivoted it's focus to developing learning management systems (LMS) if you ever want to discuss how your center could deliver food forest and permaculture educational content globally for free or profit from your base in the northeast.

~Chris and Sam


 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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You might want to consider visiting Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates site that the book Paradise Lot was written about. They are up your way and it sounds like it would be a good place to be a role model for some of your development. They have also some videos about it on YouTube and geoff lawton recently did a video on the place too.
 
Kim Annon.
Posts: 27
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Jen: I've read about and seen clips about them, and dozens of other places doing the permaculture thing. I've got the vision pretty well down. Still want to visit them, but not in a mid level blizzard, halfway across the state. XP I'll make it out there eventually.


I know where I want to take this. I know what sort of plants I want onsite, what kind of classes I want to offer, where I want it to be. I KNOW there is a market for what I want to offer in my chosen area.

I don't know how big, exactly, the market is, or how far away people will travel from to be part of my customer community. I don't know how much it is going to cost to design the buildings, build, furnish, stock, permit, and advertise. I don't know what my overhead is going to be at start up, or after 'green grid' services will be installed. I don't know how much to charge for what I sell in order to break even, or make profit. I don't know how to drum up a community now, online, as a base before I launch.

 
Kim Annon.
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On the front of creating a community: Poof, facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/SoulOfTheForest
 
Chris Badgett
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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Hey Kim,

Here are some ideas on "how to drum up a community now, online, as a base before you launch"

Be a leader and publish content on a regular basis about your vision for the project on forums like this, social media (like your new facebook page, and most importantly your own online platform (website).

There's a lot of average websites and projects-to-be out there. I would say the biggest thing to focus on right now is getting clear on your USP (unique selling proposition). What is the core offer of the center?

Think like a marketer. Think like your ideal customer. People likely don't really want "the premiere American East Coast Food Forest Permaculture Education Center." Don't get me wrong. That's great. What people really want though is a solution to a problem. Exactly what problem are you solving for that bus full of fifth graders, their teachers, and their parents. Write about that on your website. Make videos too. And get other thought leaders involved.

Start with why ...



How will your center be unique?

What will the personality or brand of the center be like?

Who will your early adopters be to the vision and first potential customers?

My biggest piece of advice is don't be average, and don't try and do it alone.

Cheers,

Chris
 
Kim Annon.
Posts: 27
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Chris,
You, sir, need to be hauled from your seat and danced with until you colapse in joyful laughter. As I'm nowhere near you, please employ your partner to do so on my behalf.

In the mean time, I will channel my inner 5 year old to find my root why. I'll post the results when they have some sense of order.
 
Kim Annon.
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Let us show you another way. Not just another way to eat, but another way to live. A way to live with nature, and with modern comforts. A way to live smarter now, and live more easily if harder times hit. A way to live proud of what you can do for yourself and your neighbors, and a way live satisfied with what they share in return. A way to live in a healthy community, and not just live in a good neighborhood.

Learn to Work with nature, and you'll find nature working for you.
Learn to Use more of what you have, and you'll be wanting less.
Learn to Make what you can for yourself, and you will be proud of what you can accomplish.
Come Together to Share excess with your neighbors, and everyone will have more of what they need.
Come Together to Invest in your community, and you will enjoy the success and support of those around you.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 563
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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there's a food forest in the works already in Boston--the greater boston permaculture meetup on meetup.com has the info. maybe you can join forces or collaborate or share resources. they're very friendly and super-helpful.
 
Susan Doyon
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Have you any new progress on this ? I am in west Bridgewater and interested
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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About the Boston food forest? there's been a bunch of work days this year, and it's coming along. If you join the Greater Boston Permaculture Guild on Meetup.com you can read info about it there and the work days should be posted there. If that doesn't work, purple moosage me and i'll dig up the email and forward it to you. It's in Mattapan, at the Audobon Boston Nature Center, if you want to drop by and look. Herb spiral, sheet mulching of the fruit trees, and probably a couple other things done by now.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Around the fruit trees. You know what I meant.

It's still a long ways from Kramaterhofhood, but it's an inspiring thing to see so many people get up early on a weekend and work with vigor and enthusiasm, harmony and humor, really lovely experience being there and genuine work getting done.
 
Susan Doyon
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I was asking about Kims project this time
another member sent me a note inviting us to Sundays gathering so I am bringing some strawberry plants up to Mattapan Sunday ( I grew up in Boston )
( and plan to bring My Husband to try and get him interested ) Hope we have nice weather . Will you be there Sunday ?

Sue
 
Kim Annon.
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Sorry for the long hiatus. Depression is a heck of a thing.

I can't believe it's been a year since I've put myself out here and said this is what I want to do with myself. Since then, I've gotten a job teaching crochet part time in Northborough, moved to Fitchburg so V can go back to college next semester, had a little bundle of baby added to my life, and had a hearty battle with depression.

Through the depression, and the move I'm still not happy with, I've been picking at my ideas for this. Refining what I've had, and doing a bit of research on how to run a good crowdfund.

I still don't know enough about the legal process of land permits, food production, and designing a good building. I still don't have the knowledge needed to safely ID edibles in the wild when it's time to survey the land. I've still got cold feet about cold calling anyone about my idea, although the land I'd like is still up for sale.

I'm happy to see the Boston Food Forest Coalition getting some land and support, though.

Susan, I could use another person to poke me with a stick once and a while, or to help me with the legal side of things. I'd love the help, actually. Let me know.
 
Susan Doyon
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Well then consider this a poke !

I have been there ( depression , kids moving to a new area , hang in it gets better ) we are working on our property a bit at a time
the last 2 years horrid losses from dear eating every thing to the ground so after years of being anti hunting I now understand the importance of keeping the dear population inn check.
we are improving a watering hole that had dried up on them and have invited hunters for this season .


I would love to learn more about the wild edibles on our land such as which actually taste good !

Sue
 
Kim Annon.
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Sue, have you tried putting up something like a living fence against the deer. A wall of bushes that are thorns and fruit that people prefer to not eat. I don't remember where I heard the idea, it was ages ago, but it might keep them out of your best areas.

Thanks for the poke and encouraging words. Once I finish up the round of crochet orders I am on, I am going to get back to work on this. I feel like there's never enough time.
 
Susan Doyon
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What are you crocheting ? I crochet but not often . I work at home ( sell fiber ,dye and doll hair ) and between that and the farm house + garden there are never enough hours .

Ahh the deer , or lately the damn deer , they happily jump 6 foot brush piles and shrubs and jump over the 4' to 5' fences around the garden the other day they jumped in and pulled down the netting ( deer net ) that was over the beats and chard and went to town and ate every leaf from one section of pole beans and most leaves from the other variety . they even bit a few tomatoes and left the ones they did not want to finish on the ground .
dear warden said we need 10 foot fences to stop them . the garden is big so that is out of the question but next year I may try to add a bit higher fence it gets very expensive when the garden is big .

I am looking into planing clover and other forage stuff for them and the other varmints we have . and we are working on a farm pond on a section of the property away from the garden , my hope is if we have food and water elsewhere the garden will be less attractive .
 
Kim Annon.
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A big stack of knights helmets is my project this month. Wish I could afford to lose the day job and just be crafty, but I'm still the main income for the house. Best of luck with the deer. A closer, more attractive spot ought to do the trick.
 
Susan Doyon
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LOL when you loose the day job, and work full time at crafts it then becomes the day job ! and the days can be very long .

starting a business to do full time is slow to build with lots of starts and stops . you have to find a niche that needs filling that you are interested in

I am not sure how profitable crochet for adults is , but lots of my customers have web shops selling hand made doll stuff. it is the type of on line shop that the products take less yarn to complete and less time . The Waldorf dolls are very big now with lots of moms supplementing income by sewing or crocheting doll accessories
 
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