I've been away working on vineyards and orchards in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Back in the Northwest Lower, Traverse Bay region, I've stumbled on a treasure house of resource opportunities. A large, rural forest farm is available for use.
I remember being "captured" in urban areas and the deep yearning for a big garden and big spaces in which I could concentrate on my own reconnection. A quiet place to garden and camp. We are discussing ... and now proposing ... a seasonal camp and garden colony from roughly April to November.
The Garden Revival Camp will feature large spaces, abundant compost and berm/wood material. Unlimited mulch. Nearby star restaurants and market outlets for produce, and lots of space to walk, ride your horse, forage for wild herbs and mushrooms ... and so on. It is a place to re-create yourself organically.
We have a huge network of master gardeners, new organic farmers, natural resource professionals and specialists who will be here to mentor, instruct, and share the joy of health and garden.
This region is widely known for its four seasons tourism and especially for the long cool summer and the succulent orchards and vineyards that result.
Traverse City is now widely accepted as a kind of foodie paradise with hundreds of CSA's, scores of outdoor food markets and a climate that nurtures both plant and soul. The region has the highest per capita rate of vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms, micro breweries and fine food establishments of any place in North America.
It is an endless landscape for exploration and connection. Our garden camp will also cater to cyclists on the designated scenic trails around the lakes. It is wonderful country for horses with hundred of miles of quiet trails and camps.
Need a seasonal place to camp and garden? This could be the best. Long term options are possible.
I LOVE the idea of a garden camp - a little personal experience of Eden. Especially if the camping is available in a range of experience from rustic to "glamping." Some folks like to rough it, some don't but still want the outdoors experience.
And a good reference point for quickly evolving the idea. The space resource is really very large. I tend to see space for 20-40 campsites ... all VISUALLY PRIVATE one from another ... unless they WANT to camp and garden with sight of a nearby site. Gardening and camping really can be highly social. I would just like an environment in which I could control that sociability and find as much quiet and private as I may need. A "COMBO" I guess.
There are acres and acres of premium garden and orchard/vineyard sites. Access to mechanical equipment too.
I like to "evolve CAMP" ... meaning to build and work on "camp" with or without structures. I like to make camp from the materials I find right in front of me ... and there is plenty to work and play with here, including cabin logs. But for me, having lived in a yurt for several winters, a smart "bender" is about all I would really need. A shelter that simple, that I can walk away from each season and feel no loss ...and it leaves me so much more time for garden and forest forage.
Yet, we also have room for the modern camper as well. Amenities are available. We can share the same campfire and learn from each other.
That is really the major point of the effort to create a simple gardening community ... TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER ... and to learn from the environment as well.
How do you feel about a mix of ages? I would love to see some retired folks who really have a garden destiny to fulfill come and work around others reaching as well.
Good neighbor gardening. I see elements of it all the time. But a nature based community build around GARDENS? Yeah, you betcha, that's where I want to be.
The idea has already picked up some local momentum, and it looks like the coming season will see a new garden dynamic in this area.