And speaking of Manitoulin Island, I hear there is a cobbing workshop there at the Natural Building Institute of Ontario (on my list of things to get to)....wonder how close they are to the permaculture course??
If you want more moms and kids (or mom and kids) filling out your dream give me a shout! If I can find it here I'll stay instead of hiking us all out to BC, sure would make my folks happy to have us hang around Ontario.
I'm more thinking Wolfati than earthship myself, looks like you could put up a house in a couple days for not a lot of money. They've been working on that Canadian earthship home near Kamloops for YEARS now and still aren't done! Whew, lotta work that.
ETA looked at the site, I have seen that before but it's mighty expensive and I don't think it's kid friendly either. My 2 will be 10 and 4 this summer, gotta keep 'em close! Ah well, we'll find our place to learn.
I am not familiar with Wolfati and didn't pull much up from google....can you point me in a direction to learn more? Thanks
I want to build an earthship but also a cob house and I want to try my hand at a strawbale home and a sandbag home. Natural building is of intense interest to me. I've built a few cob homes and ovens for others (workshops) but never for myself. Ontario seems to be a good place to experiment with natural buildings...
And sorry for the misspell! Wofati. There is great info here. I like the post-apocolyptic hidden aspect of it. Not that I'm that paranoid, just, you know, in case
The alternative energy thread here is so great.
There is a great natural building course at Sanford Flemming with Chris Magwood in Peterborough and Haliburton. I looked into it but again, expensive. Hard to do on my own with 2 kids. We got an invite to a permaculture place in Hawaii though, that would be so great to check out. Have to see if I can afford it though, I want to take some classes etc this summer and it all costs in tuition, transportation, etc. Gotta take care with my savings, learn as much as possible.
The big problem is buying land and then paying taxes and for permits for the stuff you want to do on it. Seems so difficult to even imagine but what do I know? There must be a way.
Not too much permaculture stuff in eastern Ontario...
Check out the Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario.
There is some great stuff starting up in Ottawa and it's exciting!
Check out http://www.greenbarnnursery.ca/ its Quebec, which is a bit far, but they look like they are on the right track
Algoma district here...before I get to far into this I was looking at alternative housing didn't even know what permaculture was until I did . Not that I was against alternative lifestyles...i just didn't recognize it as one. Lived it most of my life. Long story and had a hard life.
Now apparently what I've been taught(at least some of it) can be had in a degree.Go figure. Not familier with some but had relatives from way back that immigrated from Scotland and had been doing alot of the gardening stuff most of our lives.Grannie when she moved into her apartment had a balcony garden that would amaze most peeps.The bathroom was her plants "sickroom".
Anyway Hubby and I would like to network and see about getting a small community together or get some help (a little ways)into the future building our own home .We are willing to help out others and learn differnt things . Just need someone willing to teach us or point us in the right directing.TKS
I took my PDC with geoff lawton and Bill Mollison at Melbourne U in 2009. I then spent a few months WWOOFing around at some different permaculture farms in Aus such as Southern Cross Permaculture, Milkwood Permaculture and the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia or Zaytuna Farm (Geoff Lawton's farm). I was in South America for most of last year volunteering on permaculture farms in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina.
Come check out my site North of Superior Permaculture at www.permafarmer.blogspot.com
Although I presently reside out west,I have plans to buy land in an unorganized township near Thunder Bay.
Know anyone who'd like to share this with me?
I've gardened ( large plots and small) for many years. Now embracing more perma culture ideas and have lots to learn.
Can't wait to use huglkultur beds and the beautifully chaotic forest gardening. My present yard is somewhat that way. Apple trees, berry bushes, and vegetables,with herbs intermingled. It's always fun growing squash and pumpkins in the front yard among wood chip mulch, rose bushes and more herbs. Oh and one lone but quickly spreading goji berry bush.
I have some, and continue to gain, experience in alternative house building ( cob,cordwood, clay/slipnstraw, earthen plaster and floors)
Presently embarking upon the build of a tiny trailer house, wood heated/humanure toilet ( to initially live in on the land)
There's just so much to learn and 'experiment' with.
My present house is up for sale and I would like to begin this next step in my life in spring 2012.
Congratulations on your project nomadcanuck. You're not that far from Thunder Bay. I look forward to following your project.
I had no Idea there were so many permies in this area
We have fifteen Acres near lake Hurons southern Shores in the "other" orchard country. and five years of permaculture developement. Would love to network some more on every aspect of this awsome lifestyle. anybody have any suggestion for frugal 'side' walls for raise beds (hugleculture) containment. the chickens will flatten it otherwise.
How about some found wood or pallets, deadfalls?
Im in Thunder Bay, and am starting to dabble in permaculture in my back yard. I also started to collect seeds from plants around here. So far I managed to sprout a few silver maples, and have some amur, and norway maple seeds too.
Its hard to grow some things here. THe zone rating here ranges from a cold 5 (in places) to a zone 2 (by lappe). Most of the area is zone 3. For instance, the winter that just past, had a day where the airport recorded -37.8C, where as my house, recorded -31.8 (coldest its been here in years).
Ive always been more of a, zone pusher. I have 2 kinds of bamboo (real bamboo, Fargesia Rufa, and Phjyllostachys Aureosulcata alata), Hibiscus (survived last year), musa basjoo some elephant ears (i dig these up) and some others. But now since ive gotten into permaculture, ive been focusing in creating a forest garden in my back yard (more like turn the backyard into a forest). I now have a Honeygold apple, a pear seedling (for rootstock if it survives the winter), an apple seedling (same as the pear), a quicksilver russian olive ( 6 foot tree fot 17 bucks, how could I say no?), 4 highbush blueberry (2 types), raspberry plants, and black berries.
Im going to experiment with apricots, and even figs ( they will grow much like peony, die back and regrow, if protected well, thats the experiment there are more then enough cases of them surviving zone 5 with minimal multch to get me to try), as well as certain grape varieties (Himrod and Vanessa).
Glad to see someone else up here trying this
I have gardened in southern Manitoba, BC and now Alberta and can relate to the varying growing zones that can be a surprise!
I look forward to hearing more about your growing ventures. I have an indoor fig tree here ,just small still but haven't set it outside. I could see one surviving( maybe even thriving) by a cob garden wall.
When I scouted out land last summer, I was drawn to the south and west of the city in the Nolalu area.
Presently my house is up for sale and I'm building a tiny cottage on a flat deck trailer.I would like to gather a 'community' ( although the word 'alliance' has a better feel for me now) of people to live on an acreage and will put more specific values/ect together over the next few months.
LJ what about using 'urbanite' /old broken concrete bits for the side build up of your raised beds?
Enjoy the day.
I live in the east end, basicaly 5 minutes from the mall. So im as urban as you can get in this city LOL.
Fig trees survive decently down by toronto with a deep multch. Using a raised stone bed would probably help lots. Also, ficus caricia is recommended to be planted right next to your foundation, even better for the zone pushers!!
How long have you been in the area? There is alot of mixed information about the climate here. It is really variable depending where you are. For instance. My aunt lives 20 minutes from my house, out on highway 11 17. In november, we got a decent rainfall, only for my aunt to ger a few CM of snow. My friend out in nolalu, got 2 inches of snow from the same storm.
The lake has a major moderating effect on the climate here. If your 4 km from the lake you are generaly a zone 4. You get past oliver road (going west/NW) you instandly drop one zone, to zone 3. Nolalu is concidered zone 3. My house is generaly slightly cooler then where the airport is (about 14km inland) in the summer, and the nolalu area is hotter still. In the winter, the areas closer to the lake generaly stay warmer and the further you get from the lake, the colder you get, and the more snow (could be a savior for your plants in this area!). Its gorgeous out there, and there are tons of lakes, and small mountains to mess with the climate, so its really a matter of trial and error.
If I had to guess ( ive looked into this a bit), the warmest place around here is on the sleeping giant penninsula (good luck getting land in teh provincial park lol), and the southern shores of lake superior. I specificaly looked at cloud bay. Its right beside the lake, tons of land, and is a good hour south of the city. You wuld probably have a better chance of getting a better zone down there IMO, but the land in nolalu is dirt cheap compared to down by cloud bay ( its a rich cottage and camp area).
The area where I would try to stay away from around here, is going west, to the lappe, upsala, raith areas. This includes out on john street road and oliver. This is where the coldest area of the city is. I talked to a lady that lives out there, and she has trouble with some day lily species. That alone is a red flag for how cold it can get LOL. You want to stick as close as you possibly can to the lake shore here ( with in 8 km, but 4 or closer is the best) OR stick to the south of the city.
And ya, community sounds like your trying to make a cult LOL. Lets stick to alliance lol.
I am not affiliated with any of these sites but I figure they could be helpful. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting these links.
Fresh City Farms empowers young people to farm organically in the Greater Toronto Area in backyards, front yards and beyond.
Dragon's Breath (Biomeiler)
Punk Permaculture E-Zine
I live in the GTA currently staying with my mother til my american husband is able to live full time in canada - we have a rather large garden, 3 pear trees, lots of pressure canning experience. I have a strong interest in natural building, specifically cob, interested in ways to tie cob in with hay bale construction inorder to have a good R rating and thus a habitable and sculpted home where ever our homestead may be! also love to bind books!
We have a website if anyone is interested in checking out our progress...
I guess I should properly introduce ourselves.
I recently moved back to Northern Ontario with my husband (who is immigrating from the US), and our little 3 yr old little girl from Arizona.
Our dream is to be self sufficient/sustaining. Off the grid!
We found land we want to purchase, but with my husband still in the process of immigration, we want to hold off until we get the green card.
So, we have been searching and found land NEAR Kakekabeka Falls that is unorganized, so we're just waiting,waiting,waiting....and since we have time on our hands, we decided to build a cob home and do some gardening while living with my sister and her family.
We are hoping to be off on our own soon....maybe next spring. Cross our fingers!
So excited to have found a Ontario homesteading website at long last!!!
saving to buy land in unorganized, and lucky to rent an old homestead style house in town.
Chickens and gardens and a small pasture that gets visited by a neighbors horses to keep it tidy. The phone is on the wall inthe kitchen with a 3 foot cord and a dial and it has a canning storage room, a pantry and an outdoor root cellar and a chicken coop that just needed some love.
We just want to have a mixed farm and a tiny log home, but most property in this area is tiny lots with giant "cottages" and huge prices. Land is not available often, so we will wait and save for the day the right one comes along.
I wish they would open some crown land for farming here. Not everyone wants a big mansion on the lake or a small lot in a subdivision, and it seems that is all they allow.
There are probably enough permies to start whole towns if the land was made available.
WOW! Boy, are my husband and I glad to find you! We currently live in Sioux Lookout, ON and are currently building our own cob studio on my sisters property. It's 75 sq ft. It is more of a demo of cob, because we are not sure anyone has built cob this far north before and have it hold up to the elements of a Northern Canadian winter.
I did some research on cobb in cold climates, and they do a few thing different, deeper, larger foundations, larger roof overhangs, and even using insulation or air spaces for more insulation.
I guess cobb will freeze eventually in our -35 temps, even if it takes awhile to get the mass cold. then the heat inside and colds walls make condensation. I am sure some sort of insulating core material would work, but a natural material may be hard to find. So far, strawbale with cobb seems the best for our kind of cold.
I did a clay oven, but my clay was too silty, too funny, and it collapsed, but not untill i make some great bread in it. Check your clay/dirt carefully. I did a test, but I thought the layer was clay, and there was no silt, just sand. It was more like no clay and sand and silt only. A second one was much more successful.
I am a Chef of many years, so an oven was my first choice.
I am very excited to see so many people doing this so close to home
I am still living in an apartment, but I am planning my future homestead eagerly! Would love to meet up with some people who can teach my boyfriend and I some homesteading skills first-hand! I am especially interested in learning about cob building, soap making, beekeeping, preserving, as well as wind turbine assembly and usage.
If anyone is doing a cob project nearby next spring please let me know, I would love to volunteer my labour in order to gain some experience.
My urban homestead is in Wallaceburg Ontario. Anyone else from the area? http://vancampenurbanhomestead.wordpress.com we are transforming our yard into a food forest, tasty and fun!