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PLEASE HELP SAVE A WORKING PERMACULTURE FARM  RSS feed

 
Mick Holt
Posts: 1
Location: Cumming, GA ZONE 7
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[moderator: not sure if this is the right thread upon which to post, apologies if it isn't.]

HELP SAVE A WORKING PERMACULTURE FARM

My story

I've been following Paul, permies.com, richsoil.com, and permaculture since about 2009 (when I looked for a critique of Joel Salatin). I've listened to all of Paul's podcasts and have been studying many of the forums. (I think the internet term is "lurking" but that sounds horribly creepy - I like to think of it as chances for Paul to periodically infect my mind).

I left Silicon Valley for Cumming, GA in 2011 where I bought an overgrazed horse pasture to start permaculture.
I've studied all the published big names and their works: Holzer, Mollison, Fukuoka, Lawton, Voisin, Heminway, Yeomans, Shepard, Salatin, Savory, PVs Diego Footer, and more..."permaculture, and homesteading, all the time."

I have completed some graduate school (finance related). I am excellent with business and financial matters but made a large personal mistake (marriage and divorce) that crossed over to my business.

So, my experience on ten acres in the past five years...

I built: four ponds, hundreds of feet of swales, perimeter electric fence (around six acres), sixty feet of 8' tall (at construction) hugelkultur beds, working hydraulic ram pump, and a small Holzer-type animal shelter.
Three of the four ponds were sealed using pigs and now hold water and fish, frogs, and turtles. The fourth may be draining from roots of surrounding Tulip Poplars. The highest pond has a drain and a monk but has not been full enough yet for use.

I planted: hundreds of stratified and/or scarified tree seeds, inoculated legumes, three crops of annuals, hundreds of flowering bulbs, and continuous plantings of perennials. I have also mulched with a couple hundred yards of wood chips. (One growing area is on the public side of the fence, along the road, in the front yard. I'm growing fruit trees, berries and perennials for anyone to pick for free).

I have rotated cows, goats, sheep, pigs, layers, broilers, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl through my pasture with electric netting and electric fences. I have raised six Great Pyrenees dogs and GP mixes (LGDs). There have been about two dozen births of mammals and about three dozen hatchings of birds. I've lost two cows (one stuck in pond/hypothermia, other caught in ice storm), three goats (worms/undetermined), two sheep (caught in fence & boar hog gave fatal bites), several piglets (still born or disappeared), three grown pigs (suspect boar hog) and several chickens (young LGD's playing too rough and licking them to death, chicken hawks, suspect boar hog). I have processed about a hundred birds (chickens and turkeys) with my own scalder and plucker. I also have two bee hives.

Finally, some other big mistakes: I have overgrazed my pastures with cows and pigs and lost two full annual crops (when I allowed goats too near and they jumped the fences - two years in a row!). I have built hugulbeds properly and improperly (renamed to "clay brick mounds").

I drive a school bus as one of my jobs and want to arrange field trips to my farm. This could happen next school year!

I've sent a fund-raising letter (BELOW) to my friends and associates, very few of whom are into permaculture...

THE LETTER


Dear friend,

I'm sending this to you in the hope that you or someone you know has interest in sustainable farming.

I'm in need of a loan or donations so that I can keep my permaculture farm out of foreclosure. In 2011, I purchased a ten acre farm in the North Georgia mountains, just north of Atlanta. Since then, I've spent all my savings and have invested five years of hard work and am now in danger of foreclosure.

I love permaculture and have committed to it as my life's work. Permaculture is a framework for designing natural elements to work together to repair, regenerate and improve land. It is science-based and proven but takes years to establish. I started with no background in farming and have no relatives in farming.

My farm is an example of how someone with no experience can produce better than organic food while improving the water, soil and environment. I recently held a successful workshop on Swale Building on my farm and have plans for youth farm tours within the next year. I have as yet only 1/2 an acre up to production. I am working with another permaculture designer to help me expand next year to three full acres, host further workshops and community demos, and add a shittake mushroom enterprise. I also want to offer for rent an acre of pasture to a young farmer to help cultivate the next generation of farmers. Additionally, last year I planted the front area of my yard along the road with edible perennials, flowers, and fruit trees as another way to share with my community.

I recently got a divorce and have not been able to execute my business plan successfully while absorbing the cost and disruption of the divorce. I had to file for bankruptcy after the divorce and need to raise $12,000 very soon or risk foreclosure. I am working non-stop, three jobs, renting out all the rooms in my house, and am focusing on off-farm income now to save my farm.

Since I have declared bankruptcy, traditional refinancing isn't an option.

So I am asking you for a personal loan or donation to continue my work and not lose all the wonderful progress made on the farm. If you are open to loaning money to me, that would be wonderful, and we can discuss terms.

Your help will provide an inspiration to the next generation of permaculture farmers. My farm is the only exclusively permaculture farm in my county. My plans are to farm and educate full-time. With your help I can continue.

Please forward this to anyone interested in permaculture, organic food, and healthy living.

Sincerely,

The only permaculture farmer in Forsyth County
(hope I'm not alone much longer)


I would love to do FarmRaisers but I need funds sooner.
I have another crowdfunding program:

http://www.gofundme.com/savepermiefarm

and can do Paypal or Squarecash.
 
Let nothing stop you! Not even this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
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