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Proud Owners of a New Farmstead! Need YOUR Advice!  RSS feed

 
Travis Schulert
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Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Hello!

Last I posted we were getting kicked off of our farm and forced to move the tiny home on wheels, without warning.

I cant help but feel this happened at the perfect time. I think we found the perfect property for the money... Some things really are a blessing in disguise.

We found a 10 acre parcel, with a fixer upper that sits on a full walk out basement, with 2 car detached garage, 2 sheds, and a river with about a half acre of land on the opposite side of the river from our house. 5 acres is a floodplain with several feet of super black humic rich soil. about 2 acres of a mix of the black top soil and sand, and then about 3 acres of higher ground above the house thats just straight sand. All this for under 40k, and it came with a warrantied deed. also agricultural zoning, on a private drive, with only 3 neighbors on the street. All this is surrounded by 2 state recreation areas and a massive marshland/wildlife preserve. Currently there are several thousand sandhill cranes nesting in and around the property, the sounds are beautiful.

So now that I am done gloating about our amazing property, we are moved in and we own it... I am currently working on getting house more livable (I have been a general contractor for 10 plus years so no problem on the remodeling), and just observing the land and planning... trying to resist too much planning, as I know its better to wait a year.

So I attached some pictures below, and I would like for some ideas from all you crazy permies.

Zone 6 middle of Michigans mitten. we have 3 main soil types, some small plots of mixed trees, 3 kinds of oak, poplar, pine, russian olive. The floodplain has a pretty good diversity, mainly 6'+ grass, russian olive, and raspberry among many others. We have some cleared areas of grass that are fairly flat I plan on putting our market garden in.

We are not interested in raising animals as I procure most of my meat through hunting which is far easier in my opinion than fencing, watering animals, and chores chores chores. At least hunting is fun and the animals raise themselves out in the wild without any help from me, then just come in to feed on my garden...

I may run pigs or sheep in the future, to help prep floodplain for future garden or perennial plantings. But chances are slim.

I am thinking first and foremost my market garden, which is already kind of decided as to where the easiest place to put it would be in relation to zone 1 and 2 from the house.

Second, we need a living fence. Ben Falk suggested I do poplar, apple, seaberry, black locust. but I am looking for a couple more species to put in that 15'-30' wide living fence. So what do you all think? Anyone in my area have any suggestions for helpful species for my living fence, or just plain helpful plants or trees to get onto the property asap? I have a lot of the popular ones like comfrey already. But maybe you have some tried and true michigan permaculture approved varieties?

Any other ideas, plans, anything is appreciated. This is a totally different game now that we OWN the land we are farming. Before we were leasing so it stayed pretty much all annuals except for some basic perennials and herbs.

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Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Wow, congratulations! Sounds like you've found a good opportunity. Since I have zero experience in the Michigan area, I don't have any suggestions for you. But I'm going to be very interested in hearing your story as you create your farm.
 
Robert Bizzarro
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Really not much to add, but I also wanted to congratulate you on your purchase. It sounds like a good piece of earth to make a life on.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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My wife and I have twenty wooded acres in Fennville, further west than you are.  But, we aren't on it, so no experience we can share yet.
 
Angela Aragon
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It looks like you got a fantastic property. Congratulations!

I have one question. Is the 3rd photo of the river or a pond? I ask because it does not appear that the water is moving, but it could just be slow. If it is the river, then it is wide, with a large volume of water. How deep is it?

Again, congratulations.
 
Daniel Schneider
Posts: 32
Location: Sweden
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Hej!
Congratulations, it looks lovely! In terms of the living fence, are you thinking of something that just defines a border, or something that's an actual barrier, like a hedgerow? For a more hedgerow-y type of fence, you might consider blackthorns, hawthorns, and/or dogroses (rosa dumalis). All of them are thorny, so they'll discourage things from pushing through, have flowers that will attract pollinators, and all have edible fruits, to a greater or lesser degree: sloes (blackthorn berries) can be a bit rough, raw but with the right handling can be useful, or they can be left as bird food. Haws are good in jellies and syrups, or can be made into wine, and are also popular with the birds. Dog roses are the real star: they are an excellent source of vitamin C- one of the few local sources in the far north- and here in Sweden, they're used to make a soup that's  *the* home cold remedy (our version of chicken soup over there).

I don't know what "zone 6" means in the American zone system, so you'll have to see if these will grow in your area, but  if they'll survive in your region, they're worth looking at.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Angela Aragon wrote:It looks like you got a fantastic property. Congratulations!

I have one question. Is the 3rd photo of the river or a pond? I ask because it does not appear that the water is moving, but it could just be slow. If it is the river, then it is wide, with a large volume of water. How deep is it?

Again, congratulations.


Thats a river and no it's not fast flowing but it is a good size. I don't know the depth yet. But in between the house and the river there's probably 800 feet of Russian olive and tall grasses, as well as a few wet areas I plan on putting in ponds that hold water most of the year.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Daniel Schneider wrote:Hej!
Congratulations, it looks lovely! In terms of the living fence, are you thinking of something that just defines a border, or something that's an actual barrier, like a hedgerow? For a more hedgerow-y type of fence, you might consider blackthorns, hawthorns, and/or dogroses (rosa dumalis). All of them are thorny, so they'll discourage things from pushing through, have flowers that will attract pollinators, and all have edible fruits, to a greater or lesser degree: sloes (blackthorn berries) can be a bit rough, raw but with the right handling can be useful, or they can be left as bird food. Haws are good in jellies and syrups, or can be made into wine, and are also popular with the birds. Dog roses are the real star: they are an excellent source of vitamin C- one of the few local sources in the far north- and here in Sweden, they're used to make a soup that's  *the* home cold remedy (our version of chicken soup over there).

I don't know what "zone 6" means in the American zone system, so you'll have to see if these will grow in your area, but  if they'll survive in your region, they're worth looking at.


Thank you! Great information. I will do some homework on the species provided.

Basically zone 6 means we can get down to about -20f don't know what that is in Celsius. Probably similar to Sweden in places. It's temperate climate. Cold in winter, warm in summer.
 
howie story
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Hey congrats on the property. But getting your own place (while awesome) is similar to hunting.... once you pull the trigger the fun is over....the work begins.... field dressing, skinning, carry out the animal. Of course you have spent time drawing up your design plan, for your fencing I recommend Alder, it is low maintenance, grows easily, is prolific, can be grown densely, can be pollard for fuel and is a Nitrogen fixer for increased soil fertility.  Enjoy! Seasons Greetings.
 
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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howie story wrote:Hey congrats on the property. But getting your own place (while awesome) is similar to hunting.... once you pull the trigger the fun is over....the work begins.... field dressing, skinning, carry out the animal. Of course you have spent time drawing up your design plan, for your fencing I recommend Alder, it is low maintenance, grows easily, is prolific, can be grown densely, can be pollard for fuel and is a Nitrogen fixer for increased soil fertility.  Enjoy! Seasons Greetings.
 


The hard part was trying to find the right land, and the whole terribly drawn out purchasing process. The fun is only beginning, I wouldnt be doing this if the hard work wasnt a lure for me. I am thankful every day I wake up here knowing there is a never ending amount of work for me to do to keep busy and to keep making more income streams within the property I can now proudly work on.
 
Hans Quistorff
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Location: Longbranch, WA
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There are some comparables with my 10 acres, the san upland and floodplain.  Though my 1 foot floodplain is not from a river but just back up from hard rain on a flat former lake bottom so not as much topsoil.
What I advise you to look for is the boundary layer between the sand and clay where ground water continues to seep out during the dry part of the year.. This is my most productive garden area and seldom do I need supplemental water. Except for chicken tractors I also have chosen not to have animals. But the neighbors have cows which have learned from past escapes that I have 3 acres of lush green grass. What keeps them if I close the gate, out is a 10 to 20 foot wide stand of native roses along the road and part way up the driveway. The roses are thick enough stand that they shade out most things from germinating and the love the wet clay soil.
I cut the flood plain mostly with scythes progressively depending on what grows in different areas and what my mulching needs are. 

By the way in my signature line, do to my age I am making 5 acre or 7 1/2 acres available on an ANT like contract for development for the cost of the taxes. 
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 155
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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you probably know it already, but just in case,
https://oikostreecrops.com/

a permaculture/ landrace/ type nursery in sw michigan
Congratulations!!!
 
Me Remington
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Congratulations!  This is an interesting book that I found at my public library:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7716482-the-profitable-hobby-farm-how-to-build-a-sustainable-local-foods-busine

The book details out how to create a farm for profit (well, a really small profit).  It is written by a former Wall St. broker, now full time farmer.

I agree with you that you should wait a year before making large plant investments.  We've been on our land for four years and have barely planted any long term items.  Thank goodness we waited.  Each year has brought a new set of lessons in how this land works and the multiple facets of our climate (we live in Maine).  This summer will mark the first major investment into zone two of our 5 acres. 

We also had to wait because we have to spend a lot of cash in deer deterrents.  I've lost 80 percent of my garden every year to deer.  This may be an issue for you too.  It is a shame to plant such nice, native trees only to have them chewed to the root by deer.

Anyway, congratulations on taking the first step!
LR
 
glen summers
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Hey Travis

Ya, I agree with  not raising animals.  Lots of better ways to spend your time and resources at first.

You mentioned that you have Russian olive.  This is an invasive plant that you may find to be a nuisance.
Difficult to get rid of and hard to keep from spreading.  I don't have experience with this plant specifically,
but I have experienced autumn olive and bush honeysuckle.  These two plants will own
your property over time if you let them get ahead of you.

Another "invasive" plant to avoid even though it is native to some small areas of the eastern US is black locust.
I grew up just south of you in Wayne county and our neighbor planted these along his property line with us.
As these trees grew they began to send out lateral roots which sent up sprouts in our garden. 
None the less, thinking it would be nice to have this useful wood around, I planted a dozen or so of our
neighbors sprouts here on our place in IN.  I now have over an acre of locust trees and they are expanding
exponentially...and that is despite merciless harvesting.

I think a good rule to follow when starting plants is, as far as possible, use what is native. 
Other than food species, keeping it native will lessen the chances of introducing something
that will cause problems.

Finally, I'm not sure that you will be able to get a living fence to hold hogs.  Would be good to hear from
hog farmers on this.

Glen
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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I have a very different conclusion regarding raising animals than you have reached.  In choosing not to raise animals, you're choosing to take upon yourself all the various work the animals can do for a farm. You're choosing not to have eggs, or dairy. You're choosing to clear brush either by hand or machine, neither of which gives a return, while goats do a fine job on brush and you get meat, milk, possibly fiber as a by-product of their clearing the area. Plus animals contribute tremendously to soil fertility and well managed grazing builds soil faster than any other approach.

Chickens are terrific at prepping garden beds and making compost, along with eating insect pests and getting returns from your food scraps. Ducks are great slug management. Pigs are rototillers on the hoof complete with bacon. All of them are part of integrated pest management strategy and soil fertility and they all convert things we won't eat into things we can.

For our land, goats and pigs both factor in as significant workers to clear underbrush and develop our property's potential. Because our land has some significant wet areas, we're planning on more ducks than chickens, but we'll still have chickens and they will be used for preparing garden beds and working compost. By purchasing laying hens, rather than getting chicks, we can put them to work and start collecting returns (eggs) immediately, and they can replace themselves. If we get goats already in milk, they are giving returns from the beginning as they work at clearing land. Pigs are a slower return, but they do some heavier work while we wait to collect ham and bacon.
 
Yvonne Chirea
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I have nothing to suggest but I want to send my appreciation and admiration for what you are doing. May you and yours have a long and productive life, and don't forget to enjoy your freedom. What a wonderful feeling.
 
Doug Kalmer
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Trifoliate orange
The cultivar "Flying Dragon" is dwarfed in size and has highly twisted, contorted stems. It makes an excellent barrier hedge due to its density and strong curved thorns. Such a hedge had been grown for over 50 years at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and is highly student-proof.[6] The plant is also highly deer resistant[7]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trifoliate_orange
 
Barbara Clowers
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Regarding large guardian dogs.  I have had a rescued Akbash for six months. We got him one month after we bought our farm. They guessed he was 18 months old. I think they are a remarkable breed but they will not behave like a normal dog. Don't expect them to be interested in balls or fetching. I recommend having two--I have one and he is lonely. Our dog is mildly interested in chasing deer but is fearless when it comes to predators. We had a wild pig come on our property only once. I joined a Facebook group Akbash Dogs and got lots of good information about the breed. There is also a group for LGDs.  There are frequently dogs that need homes on the group and they keep at lookout for pounds that say they have a large white lab for adoption because the posted picture is obviously an Akbash. I have seen videos of a bear going after penned goats. An Akbash came at the bear barking and showing no fear.  The bear left. Your place looks great!  Your post inspired me to post about our 27 acres in Northern California.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
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Peter Ellis wrote:I have a very different conclusion regarding raising animals than you have reached.  In choosing not to raise animals, you're choosing to take upon yourself all the various work the animals can do for a farm. You're choosing not to have eggs, or dairy. You're choosing to clear brush either by hand or machine, neither of which gives a return, while goats do a fine job on brush and you get meat, milk, possibly fiber as a by-product of their clearing the area. Plus animals contribute tremendously to soil fertility and well managed grazing builds soil faster than any other approach.

Chickens are terrific at prepping garden beds and making compost, along with eating insect pests and getting returns from your food scraps. Ducks are great slug management. Pigs are rototillers on the hoof complete with bacon. All of them are part of integrated pest management strategy and soil fertility and they all convert things we won't eat into things we can.

For our land, goats and pigs both factor in as significant workers to clear underbrush and develop our property's potential. Because our land has some significant wet areas, we're planning on more ducks than chickens, but we'll still have chickens and they will be used for preparing garden beds and working compost. By purchasing laying hens, rather than getting chicks, we can put them to work and start collecting returns (eggs) immediately, and they can replace themselves. If we get goats already in milk, they are giving returns from the beginning as they work at clearing land. Pigs are a slower return, but they do some heavier work while we wait to collect ham and bacon.


Peter, I know where your coming from as I've had animals on leased farm land in the past. And for me personally it's not worth it at the current time, please let me explain why.

Sure if I want to clear land I could let the pigs and goats do it, that's all well and good if you don't mind taking care of goats and pigs during all the times that they are not just doing work.

Sure, on a good system you can make it so you do a lot less work than a factory farm to raise each pound of meat. But through the life of the animal I am inevitably working, doing chores, to some extent, to keep it happy and alive.

BUT, we are not all sepps, or salatins. I will have big investments of fencing and infrastructure for animals up front, money I don't have. Or time I don't have.

I can help the neighbor who has chickens by buying her eggs, and the other neighbor who has grass fed beef by buying his beef, also there is raw milk near me that I can turn into all the wonderful dairy products, all while building community and supporting my neighbors.

Now for the bulk of my meat, is venison and squirrel. They raise themselves without fencing, are not always as dependant as livestock, but literally cost me nothing.

As for land prep, for 300 bucks and a few days of rented equipment I can turn an acre of brush into farmable land. And on a 1/4 acre I can make almost 10k in greens and veggies.

In terms of resilience, I'm losing out by not having pigs, but I am also not a target to marauders if I don't have animals and shit hits the fan.

Also the fall of Rome  was 300 years or more. Currency was inflated heavily by several million times it's worth over the course of 300 years. As the silver content of the Roman Denarii was diminished and replaced with worthless tin. Sound a lot like our own currency?

Well I'm hoping I have 10 or so years before I have to worry about fencing, and by then the black locust should serve as my free fence posts. But I think things have to get a lot worse before they can better. And the odds of it happening over night and catching me completely with my pants down are pretty slim. I also live In a sandhill crane fly corridor, if shit ever got that bad, I have hundreds of thousands of 4' tall birds fly over my house every year, plenty of good meat there.

 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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glen summers wrote:Hey Travis

Ya, I agree with  not raising animals.  Lots of better ways to spend your time and resources at first.

You mentioned that you have Russian olive.  This is an invasive plant that you may find to be a nuisance.
Difficult to get rid of and hard to keep from spreading.  I don't have experience with this plant specifically,
but I have experienced autumn olive and bush honeysuckle.  These two plants will own
your property over time if you let them get ahead of you.

Another "invasive" plant to avoid even though it is native to some small areas of the eastern US is black locust.
I grew up just south of you in Wayne county and our neighbor planted these along his property line with us.
As these trees grew they began to send out lateral roots which sent up sprouts in our garden. 
None the less, thinking it would be nice to have this useful wood around, I planted a dozen or so of our
neighbors sprouts here on our place in IN.  I now have over an acre of locust trees and they are expanding
exponentially...and that is despite merciless harvesting.

I think a good rule to follow when starting plants is, as far as possible, use what is native. 
Other than food species, keeping it native will lessen the chances of introducing something
that will cause problems.

Finally, I'm not sure that you will be able to get a living fence to hold hogs.  Would be good to hear from
hog farmers on this.

Glen


Native to where and when? I'm one of those crazies like Falk and Mollison who am not as worried about non native species. Invasive and native aren't the same thing. Black locust as far as I know is a native invasive, whereas apples are not native, but not invasive. I plan on growing apple trees, and many other fruit trees that arent native. And when it comes to invasives, i understand there are tricks to coppicing or removing them without it sending up hundreds of shoots, so that's definitely something I need to learn before I plant any invasives like locust. But locust will later be my fenceposts and firewood. Just like poplar will be cover now, but later become fungi logs for growing a few different mushrooms on.
 
Casie Becker
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Travis Schultz wrote:
I can help the neighbor who has chickens by buying her eggs, and the other neighbor who has grass fed beef by buying his beef, also there is raw milk near me that I can turn into all the wonderful dairy products, all while building community and supporting my neighbors.



This is one of the areas of permaculture design that you don't see discussed very often on these forums. Strong communities build resilience. Build a strong enough community and you will never see SHTF.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Me Remington wrote:Congratulations!  This is an interesting book that I found at my public library:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7716482-the-profitable-hobby-farm-how-to-build-a-sustainable-local-foods-busine

The book details out how to create a farm for profit (well, a really small profit).  It is written by a former Wall St. broker, now full time farmer.

I agree with you that you should wait a year before making large plant investments.  We've been on our land for four years and have barely planted any long term items.  Thank goodness we waited.  Each year has brought a new set of lessons in how this land works and the multiple facets of our climate (we live in Maine).  This summer will mark the first major investment into zone two of our 5 acres. 

We also had to wait because we have to spend a lot of cash in deer deterrents.  I've lost 80 percent of my garden every year to deer.  This may be an issue for you too.  It is a shame to plant such nice, native trees only to have them chewed to the root by deer.

Anyway, congratulations on taking the first step!
LR


Yeah I don't know how much area your trying to cover, but electric fencing is really economical if you don't live in a really dry place.

I use 12' 4x4 posts for my corners, and then use 8' T posts for in between. The only wire that's above the 8't post is the top wire. And using poly wire you can span much greater distances with less tension. The fencing covers a 1/4 acre at a time, but could be moved every couple years after trees have better established themselves.  Use a strip of foil on the lower wires when you first install it, and smear peanut butter, molasses, honey, etc on the foil. Deer get one good zap trying to lick the foil and don't come back to test it again for awhile.

Re do the foil thing in a couple areas (mainly the places the deer are exiting cover to feed on your trees or garden), re do it monthly or bi monthly. I have had almost no deer damage with that setup in 3 years, and have a huge herd in my area.

Of course this was the place I just moved from, I don't have anything set up at the new house but you can bet that's how I'm doing it come spring.
 
Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Travis Schultz wrote:

Peter, I know where your coming from as I've had animals on leased farm land in the past. And for me personally it's not worth it at the current time, please let me explain why.

through the life of the animal I am inevitably working, doing chores, to some extent, to keep it happy and alive.

I can help the neighbor who has chickens by buying her eggs, and the other neighbor who has grass fed beef by buying his beef, also there is raw milk near me that I can turn into all the wonderful dairy products, all while building community and supporting my neighbors.

Now for the bulk of my meat, is venison and squirrel. They raise themselves without fencing, are not always as dependant as livestock, but literally cost me nothing.


Hey Travis, I'm in agreement in you here.  It's my opinion everyone starting out should really think through all aspects of animal ownership.  They can really set you back from establishing a profitable farm in the beginning.  Which is hard enough without heart break and financial losses associated with animal loss or injury.

Thanks for sharing Travis and best of luck to you in Michigan. It's a beautiful state and dispute being rivals from Ohio we are state neighbors. Glad to see practical permaculture start ups relatively close by.

Maybe we can swap perienniels in the future, or seeds if your interested.  I will be starting up a plant and seed exchange In the Akron Area this year.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Steve Taylor wrote:
Travis Schultz wrote:

Peter, I know where your coming from as I've had animals on leased farm land in the past. And for me personally it's not worth it at the current time, please let me explain why.

through the life of the animal I am inevitably working, doing chores, to some extent, to keep it happy and alive.

I can help the neighbor who has chickens by buying her eggs, and the other neighbor who has grass fed beef by buying his beef, also there is raw milk near me that I can turn into all the wonderful dairy products, all while building community and supporting my neighbors.

Now for the bulk of my meat, is venison and squirrel. They raise themselves without fencing, are not always as dependant as livestock, but literally cost me nothing.


Hey Travis, I'm in agreement in you here.  It's my opinion everyone starting out should really think through all aspects of animal ownership.  They can really set you back from establishing a profitable farm in the beginning.  Which is hard enough without heart break and financial losses associated with animal loss or injury.

Thanks for sharing Travis and best of luck to you in Michigan. It's a beautiful state and dispute being rivals from Ohio we are state neighbors. Glad to see practical permaculture start ups relatively close by.

Maybe we can swap perienniels in the future, or seeds if your interested.  I will be starting up a plant and seed exchange In the Akron Area this year.


Sounds good Steve, thanks. And you're spot on about the loss that can accompany early animal production, I experienced it myself with chickens, it sucks... 

And fyi, I could care less what our college football teams do, so you being from Ohio means nothing lol, glad to be in your neighborhood.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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dog fish food preservation forest garden hunting tiny house
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Figured I'd add a couple more pics.
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View from the back door
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Looking to the west from the front door
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Back of the house and garage.
 
Travis Schulert
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
29
dog fish food preservation forest garden hunting tiny house
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Couple more for design purposes.
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Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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Travis Schultz wrote:

Native to where and when? I'm one of those crazies like Falk and Mollison who am not as worried about non native species. Invasive and native aren't the same thing. Black locust as far as I know is a native invasive, whereas apples are not native, but not invasive. I plan on growing apple trees, and many other fruit trees that arent native. And when it comes to invasives, i understand there are tricks to coppicing or removing them without it sending up hundreds of shoots, so that's definitely something I need to learn before I plant any invasives like locust. But locust will later be my fenceposts and firewood. Just like poplar will be cover now, but later become fungi logs for growing a few different mushrooms on.


I think we are very much on the same page on this one, Travis.  People say "Invasive!" and I hear "Successful!" I'm always dumbfounded when people condemn something as "invasive" when it is native to the area.  I like Mark Shepard's comments on the lines of why do people try so hard to keep alive things that want to die and fight so hard to kill things that really want to live?

If a plant, or an animal, for that matter, has good potential for useful application, if it will grow well in the situation I am working with and its useful applications mesh with my needs, then having an "invasive" nature is a bonus for me - it means the thing will be successful with a minimum of effort on my part.  Black locust is a pretty good example of a multiple purpose beneficial plant that fits into permaculture's philosophy and design approach really well. Excellent nectary for bees, foliage edible to a variety of livestock, extremely good firewood, after they get to be about ten inches in diameter their wood is something like 30% fungicide by weight, making them incredibly rot resistant building material, they cast a light shade that can help protect some crops from sunburn and they're nitrogen fixers.  If that wants to go nuts growing on my land, I can find uses for all of it
 
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