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Treetops Permaculture - Stamford, CT

 
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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Treetops Permaculture is a private, 2 acre garden in Stamford, CT. Our site features, swales and rainwater catchment, a native (primarily) edible food forest, mushrooms logs, bee hives, a greenhouse, annual and perennial veggies and tons and tons of flowers. We are entering the 3rd year of our 3 year installation plan. The goal is to the then turn Treetops Permaculture into a non-profit that will teach PDC's, give tours, offer work shops and donate food. I set off on the right foot last year by teaching a UMass accredited internship, and giving some tours and lectures. I aim to have a full business plan and non-profit application finished by the time 2014 is through.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this project is its' location. Stamford, CT is not exactly known for its' sustainable food culture ... at least not yet. I have noticed an extreme disparity in wealth, that is echoed loudly in the surrounding towns (Westport, Greenwich, Pound Ridge). I have the unique and daunting task of bringing permaculture to a place where it has certainly not been before *Cue Captain Kirk*. The upswing is that there is a lot of land in this area, that is owned by people with a lot of money. Those are two inputs that are often hard to come by for those seeking to use permaculture to restore land and grow food to support community health and education. That is why I am jumping on the trendy-train. In order to make a difference, I need to show that permaculture is A) a viable system of home-scale land use EVEN WHEN saving money is not necessarily a prime objective B) MORE aesthetically pleasing than joe-shmoe's landscaping company C) A hip and inspiring way to give back to the land and D) an intelligent investment for future generations. I am sure I have more I could try to prove with this project, but I think I'll cool my jets there for a bit in an attempt to not spread myself too thin (yea, right).

I would love some feed back/advice from those who have taken on difficult social environments in the creation of their permaculture projects. I'll be posting pictures (and hopefully videos) in this thread from time to time to time in an attempt to feel somewhat connected to people who resonate with what I am trying to accomplish. This should provide some interesting conversation and keep me motivated in fighting the good fight. If you are interested in visiting or more information, feel free to ask and we can work something out.
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Compost Delivery in 2012
Compost Delivery in 2012
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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More Pictures, I'll keep uploading throughout the day. I had some computer troubles and lost a lot of pictures I took with my nice camera of construction and earthworks we did in early 2012
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Path with espalier tunnel spring 2013
Path with espalier tunnel spring 2013
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Spring 2013 from sitting area
Spring 2013 from sitting area
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Early Polyculture with grafted apple 2013
Early Polyculture with grafted apple 2013
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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More pictures
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Budding Shiitake
Budding Shiitake
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Oyster's
Oyster's
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reshly Planted Apples for espalier tunnel in 2013
reshly Planted Apples for espalier tunnel in 2013
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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Hope you all don't mind the picture spam! I'm not done yet...
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Happy Helpers
Happy Helpers
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First time beekeeper
First time beekeeper
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Sitting area
Sitting area
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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still goin!
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Shallot Harvest Summer 2013
Shallot Harvest Summer 2013
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Panoramic Early summer 2013
Panoramic Early summer 2013
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Dirty Garlic Fiend
Dirty Garlic Fiend
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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Om nom nom
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Garlic Storage 1
Garlic Storage 1
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Garlic Storage 2
Garlic Storage 2
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Wineberries!
Wineberries!
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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Posting all of these pictures is making me yearn for springtime even more!
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Sunflowers early summer 2013
Sunflowers early summer 2013
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Gladiola's in the pollinator garden/apiary
Gladiola's in the pollinator garden/apiary
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Solar Dehydrator!
Solar Dehydrator!
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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Woo!
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Panoramic summer 2013
Panoramic summer 2013
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Butterflies and Marigolds
Butterflies and Marigolds
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Sewing lettuce mix from Growing Power!
Sewing lettuce mix from Growing Power!
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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...almost done
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Bees love Sunflowers
Bees love Sunflowers
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Gnome Home!
Gnome Home!
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Praying mantis on nasturtiums
Praying mantis on nasturtiums
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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One more...
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Gnome home round 2
Gnome home round 2
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Giant shiitake
Giant shiitake
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'll put my pumpkin soup up against anyones...
'll put my pumpkin soup up against anyones...
 
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Hi Sam,

Welcome to Permies and thank you deeply for what you are endeavoring to do in a place like Fairfield County. I lived in Stamford area for about six years, and know the area (and what you face in the culture gap) very well. If there is ever a specific question, or concept to ask about this is the place to get wonderful feedback for a "world wide" collective of likeminded folks. If there is anything in my "wheelhouse" that you would ever like to discuss, let me know. I wish you all the best as that area really needs a trend setter like yourself in this area of sustainability in all fronts from food, life skills, to architecture.

Warm Regards,

j.
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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Last few pictures for now... At least until the spring entices me to take some more.

Thanks for looking! Glad to finally get these out to folks to who want to see them!

Find us on Facebook! (I am working on remembering to post more frequently HA!)
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One of 5 such benches
One of 5 such benches
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Me and the Mr. Salatin himself!
Me and the Mr. Salatin himself!
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I sat down for lunch, and all of the sudden, Geoff Lawton was being interviewed right next to me!
I sat down for lunch, and all of the sudden, Geoff Lawton was being interviewed right next to me!
 
pollinator
Posts: 4696
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Very nice, so much going on there!

Looks like you have an underground root storage area ? How was it built and how is it working?

Love the shrooms!

How about a recipe for the soup.
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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The root storage has been here long before I came around... Don't know much about it's construction. It works fairly well temperature wise, but it needs to be de-humidified. I learned that the hard way with my potatoes

As for the recipe, I never really measure anything, I've just made it so many times it comes naturally... but I can give you the general process and ingredients:

-Clean, cut and roast one small pumpkin in 1" cubes in a 350 degree oven until soft
-Sautee Mire Poix (Onions, celery, carrots) in Olive Oil until onions are translucent
-Add 3-4 qts Veggie Stock (depending on the size of the pumpkin and amount of mire poix)
-In a Bouquet Garni (Herbs and junk a cheesecloth bag to be removed before blending) add Fresh ginger, bay leaves and cloves
-Bring to a simmer and let reduce for no less than a half hour (I usually let it go until the pumpkin is finished and cooled)
-Remove the Bouquet, Add the pumpkin, Blend until smooth. At this point I often add heavy cream (depending on my audience)
-Salt, pepper, nutmeg and honey to taste (It can take a ton of salt, again play to your audience)
-The version you see the picture of is served in a roasted and hollowed sugar pumpkin and garnished with candied walnuts and creme fraiche.
 
Sam Billings
Posts: 37
Location: Plainville, MA
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An Apple!? Hot Shit! ... I sure hope it's a Courtland.
 
steward
Posts: 1387
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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It is a fine looking project.
 
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Location: Connecticut
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Hi Sam, I know you've moved on to a new project but it would be great if you could post an update of how this looked at the end of your time there..
gift
 
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