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Posts: 9
Location: Chelsea, Michigan
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Just wanted to add our names to this list. We are in Ann Arbor, but absolutely IN LOVE with the entire state. Currently hoping to find more like minded people. We love everything permaculture, and wish at this time in our lives it was more accessible to us. We currently live in the downtown area, while my husband is finishing his Master's in Geographic Information Systems. Cannot wait to be at a place in our lives where we can once again(we once owned a farm) grow LOTS of food and have lots of animals. Would love to meet more people like us.

-Bree & Brett
 
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Briannon English wrote:Just wanted to add our names to this list. We are in Ann Arbor, but absolutely IN LOVE with the entire state. Currently hoping to find more like minded people. We love everything permaculture, and wish at this time in our lives it was more accessible to us. We currently live in the downtown area, while my husband is finishing his Master's in Geographic Information Systems. Cannot wait to be at a place in our lives where we can once again(we once owned a farm) grow LOTS of food and have lots of animals. Would love to meet more people like us.

-Bree & Brett



Hey there, Bree and Brett!

Glad you've found the Michigan permies. Sounds like you're on the right track! I suspect that my husband and I are a few years ahead of you -- we finished school, saved up for a few years whilst living in Lansing, and are now out in 'the sticks' on our own small acreage north of the city. We have rabbits, chickens, house pets, a toddler, an enormous veggie garden, and the beginnings of a permaculture property. Our next BIG projects are constructing a greenhouse and installing a water-catchment pond system. Busy, busy!

Use this time as an incubation period. Learn all that you can, and get your hands dirty as often as possible. Seek out community gardens and workshops, like those hosted by Tillers International (they're in mid-Michigan). Expand your skills, library and knowledge before you become landowners. Once you've got your boots on your own soil, you'll have so many projects and chores it can be hard to find time for other stuff!

Enjoy, dream, and keep on working towards that goal! -- Audrey
 
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
3
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Hello, fellow Michiganders! This is my very first post on this site, although I've been reading for quite a while. Another SE Mitten'er here--we have 3 acres close to Ypsilanti (zone 6a). So far I have been doing standard raised-bed veggie gardening, but we just had a bunch of dead trees taken out, which gives me much more space to expand! Planning on fruit and nut trees, berries, veggies, pollinator-friendly flowers... I kept the wood from the dead trees, and plan to set up a couple hugulkulture beds in the next couple weeks. I am all-in on the permaculture philosophy, and I'm actually meeting with someone later who took a PDC course to see if he can help me out with some planning. Right now it's really a blank slate. So excited!

Our two main challenges are (1) our soil is SAND... like you think you're at the beach. We have a small composting set-up, but I plan to buy some "off-site" compost to help kick-start things... and (2) DEER. OMG so many deer. I need to get a fence up, but I can't find anyone in my area that does standard agricultural fencing (any leads??). I am getting ready to just DIY a fence because the deer are eating everything, but I want something that will last and not be totally janky. Accepting any and all advice on this matter.

Happy to have found this community!
 
Posts: 1
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
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Hello,
Although the Mitten is nice, I am biased to the Upper Peninsula.  I am way up North in McMillan....about an hour plus West of Sault Ste. Marie, MI.  I recently, with my family, bought a sizable are of land.  I am looking to produce food for my family and also enough to sell locally or at co-ops.  The previous owners have already planted an orchard of apples and have apple trees scattered about the property.  We also have raspberries, blackberries, and concord grapevines.  This past fall, just after moving in, I was able to harvest the great apple harvest and the grapes.  We are looking to move into generating enough income for me to stay home.  I look forward to reading more posts as to what people have and are selling.  I have also just planted Honeyberries and aronia berries.  I am interested in the aspects of permaculture and how to work efficiently and keep everything from being eaten by bugs!
 
Posts: 7
Location: SE Michigan
books tiny house trees
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Hey, fellow Michiganders!    I'm brand new to permaculture and this forum, though I have done a bit of reading on permaculture.  I'm in the Belleville area (halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor, off I-94).  Looking forward to getting to know folks and learn some cool stuff!
 
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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Soon to be on 20 acres of woodlands in Allegan county MI. Wife and I walked it last Wed. Backs onto state game lands. Planning on building a homestead using permaculture design.  Huge leap for us, from suburban NJ, to very rural, almost primitive, land in MI. From a town of over 50,000 people  to one of less than 4,000.
 
Katy Rose
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
3
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Peter, that sounds incredibly exciting! Does the land have any existing structures, or are you starting with a blank slate? I hope you'll keep us posted--I'd love to hear more about your plans.

Renee, we're practically neighbors!  What are you up to over in Belleville? Any projects planned or underway?

I started an Instagram account just to document my garden and permie projects, so if you want to see pictures so far you can find me @ypsipermie. The big project this fall will be grading the orchard area (adding a few swales) and planting fruit and nut trees. Can't wait!
 
Renee Lynn
Posts: 7
Location: SE Michigan
books tiny house trees
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Katy Rose wrote:
Renee, we're practically neighbors!  What are you up to over in Belleville? Any projects planned or underway?



*waves* Howdy, neighbor!  

I don't really have anything planned at present, just a lot of thinking and ideas.... This year I put down a layer of cardboard topped by a layer of tree mulch, and my beans, cukes, and zucchini/yellow squashes are growing nicely (though the plants seem a bit small, probably because we haven't had as much rain this year).  I have a gigantic silver maple in my backyard that shades most of the yard so I'm not sure what I can really do back there.  I'd love to have fruit and nut trees, like you're going to do, but I don't know where I'd put them!
 
Katy Rose
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
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Gah, yes, it's been desperately dry--up until the past couple days! And now we're getting so much rain so fast that it's just running off the dry, parched land in rivers. Sigh. Better than nothing, though!

I wonder if you could tap your maple?? I've heard they are real water hogs, though, and send out lots of shallow roots, so that will make things tough for you as far as planting underneath it. You could remove it of course, but it's always a bummer to take down a healthy tree. We had a bunch of dead and dying trees (mostly elms) removed earlier this year--it is amazing the difference it made in opening things up, but I would have had a hard time doing it if they were all healthy!
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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Katy Rose wrote:Peter, that sounds incredibly exciting! Does the land have any existing structures, or are you starting with a blank slate? I hope you'll keep us posted--I'd love to hear more about your plans!



No buildings, not even a driveway. We are taking on an enormous task, trying to make our home in and from this place. Exciting and scary.
We plan to start with small livestock, chickens, ducks, rabbits; mushroom cultivation (obvious choice for a wooded space); goats to clear brambles and, in time as we can get fencing established, pigs (acorn finished pork!).

We will try to establish food producing trees as well, but that will require some more evaluation of what we have and what we can add in. Perennial vegetables as well and something of a market garden with conventional annual crops.

Water management will be needed, land shows signs of water flowing intermittently in places and that will need to be addressed. At least one pond that will go below the house site.

House plans involve cob and timber frame construction, rainwater collection, southfacing greenhouse, Passive Annualized Solar Heating and a rocket mass heater for supplemental heat if needed.

Studios for my wife and me to pursue our crafts.

Lots of exploring the area, looking for markets for our products, refining the systems on the land.
 
Renee Lynn
Posts: 7
Location: SE Michigan
books tiny house trees
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Katy Rose wrote:Gah, yes, it's been desperately dry--up until the past couple days! And now we're getting so much rain so fast that it's just running off the dry, parched land in rivers. Sigh. Better than nothing, though!

I wonder if you could tap your maple?? I've heard they are real water hogs, though, and send out lots of shallow roots, so that will make things tough for you as far as planting underneath it. You could remove it of course, but it's always a bummer to take down a healthy tree. We had a bunch of dead and dying trees (mostly elms) removed earlier this year--it is amazing the difference it made in opening things up, but I would have had a hard time doing it if they were all healthy!



I've gone back and forth about taking the tree down....pros would be more sun in the backyard for food production, a huge woodpile, lots of tree mulch for the garden; cons would be losing a fantastic, healthy shade tree, unhappy kids, and cost to take it down.  I have thought about tapping it for maple syrup (along with the other two maples in the front yard), but haven't attempted it yet.  What I *am* going to do, however, is post photos of my property somewhere on this forum and ask for advice!
 
Posts: 281
Location: SW Michigan
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Tapping a maple tree past March is a disaste. It brings bugs and the sap is of a thin poor quality. Past that point it is worthless.

A tree is alive. Deal with it. You can plant shade loving crops like cabbage and other stuff. Keep the tree
 
Katy Rose
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
3
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Daniel, I don't think anyone was suggesting tapping the tree right at this very minute, ha!
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 281
Location: SW Michigan
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You never know!
 
Renee Lynn
Posts: 7
Location: SE Michigan
books tiny house trees
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No, I know that winter is maple syrup time, not summer!  
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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Little update.  We have a closing date on our New Jersey house, February 13.  Which means moving to SW Michigan in February. And trying to get a driveway cut and a container for our stuff placed and a travel trailer purchased and positioned and our possessions moved into said container and trailer -- in Michigan, in February.

And we're still excited as all get out.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Fennville MI
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Coming down to the wire. My last day at the job where I've worked for 28 years is next Tuesday. Our house is emptying out as we pack into the PoDs that will carry our stuff to Michigan. Transitioning into the next adventure.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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We're in Michigan at last.  Not on our property yet, but we've got a contractor working up a bid for our driveway and we bought the travel trailer for living in once the driveway is there so we can place it. Applied for our street number and submitted permit applications for well and septic (this process is estimated to take no less than 21 days....mutter).

Soon we'll be able to start showing the transformation from untended, uncared for woodlands to permaculture homestead and farm.
 
Katy Rose
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
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Peter, welcome! I am glad to hear you've made the move! Looking forward to seeing pictures of your transformation. I've been happy to see spring finally arriving here--looks like all of our baby fruit trees made it through the winter, and I started the first of the veggie seeds today! Such a delightful time of year.
 
Posts: 11
Location: michigan
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Wow this thread is pretty old.
We are from Central michigan area Mecosta county. Looking for people up this way, anyone still out there?
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 281
Location: SW Michigan
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Hi! It is an old thread. SO am I! I am still splitting my time between Detroit and Kalamazoo County. This year I push the envelope and get urban chickens and plant more. BTW, welcome to Michigan those from NJ.. The land of lots of good stuff. Whats new anyone? Lots of small organic and natural farms popping up! Good. Fracking is still a problem. As is the rape of the state by multinationals for our water and other resources.
 
Posts: 102
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
5
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I'm trying to get a small, intensive farm growing here on my suburban plot in Clinton Twp., Macomb Co. (Not to be confused with the City if Clinton, about 90 miles away.) I'm planning to set up a black soldier fly bin to deal with food scraps in the coming month. Is there a chicken farmer nearby willing to trade BSFL for eggs and meat? I'd be happy to make such an arrangement, since my zoning doesn't allow poultry.

I'd be willing to process the BSFL (dried and ground) if you want, or I can deliver them fresh.
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 281
Location: SW Michigan
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Sweat! Lets meet and talk seeds. I some extras.  I am in hazel park for a month or two.
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Heya Michiganders!
Was happy to see all the reply's in this thread! Lol That means I'm not alone!
I live in the Montrose MI along the M57 corridor and if you have ever driven that route you may get why I may feel that way. (Lotsa well medicated and abused soil microbes along that route.)
Anyhoo. I think this is my first post on permies!  You guys got me excited enough jump out of my lurking on this webs!
I am working to turn my little bit here into a permainspired homestead.  As I slave along in my regular job that pays the bills and all the purchases of those perennial veg, trees and tools that allow me to create that idea and work efficiently as I go (not machines lol I want to rid myself of those critters)... so ... its slow going.  I cant jump in head first and full on but I'm in up to about where your damn sure the water is cold! The next step is a shocker! haha if ya get my jest?

I just want to say hello! And express how happy I am to see that even in Michigan these ideas are gaining ground so to speak in our area
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 281
Location: SW Michigan
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Excellent job folks. How are your crops doing? Whats new? Is anyone having issues with zoning? Zoning needs to be a big issue in our state with elections coming up. Homes too small, urban farming, off grid and many issues we need to address at the state level.

Lets get a dialog going. Dog days of summer are here. Woof! And howl at the moon everyone.

I think we all need to have a meeting and talk about our issues and get active.
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 281
Location: SW Michigan
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Well, I did it! I will be rehabbing a house built in 1865. One of the original farm homes in the area. Sadly the farmland went for much more than I can afford. Still, we have a few acres here to play and grow with. Looking forward to living here. We need to put a temp roof on it. She slopes, she sags but is proud and is stable. I jumped on all the floors. She is like a rock. No neighbors and a quiet road. Still, Smitten for the Mitten. Going to be more involved now.
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Katy Rose
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
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Dang, for some reason I have not been getting alerts when people post on this thread, so I have missed a lot! Hey-o, mitten permies! Daniel, that house makes my heart happy. She's beautiful and I'm so glad you'll be giving her some love--I hope you'll post update photos. 1865, my goodness, she's seen some things.

Darren, welcome! What perennials are you working with so far? Always looking for suggestions of new additions... today I just heard of "caucausian mountain spinach" and I gotta say I'm intrigued (perennial vining spinach?!). Might have to get some of that to try out!

Chris, we are ramping up our poultry production but so far have 10 ducks (silver appleyards and black runners) and 8 meat chickens that should be at size in another month or so. We're going to get some dual purpose chickens in the spring, and then may start expanding the flock enough to provide some eggs and meat for friends, but not sure how much you're looking for. I'm interested to learn more about the BSFL production, though!

T Boon, I'm down in the southeast (near Ypsilanti), and I know there are others in the SW on this thread... not sure if anyone's closer to your location. What are you up to at your site?

Peter, I'd love to hear an update! Did you have a separate thread you started? If so, can you drop a link here? Excited to see what you've been up to on your property...
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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Kind of funny thing - when we got started actually DOING the permaculture/homesteading thing, my time for chatting about it online pretty much disappeared.  We got a couple of videos up on YouTube, but our ambition to video document the whole process lost ground due to various technical issues (from running for the first few months with no AC electric power at all, so we couldn't use our laptops for video editing, a cracked laptop screen, very unreliable internet access - changing cellular providers has helped that). You can look for "Tenelach Farms" on YouTube for what we did manage to get up.

We bought wooded land with no development at all. Since May, when the driveway went in, we've been living here in our travel trailer. We've got the septic system and the well installed and are cleared to have our grid electric attached.  The electric is its own ironic frustration, in that the Only existing infrastructure on our land was the Consumer's Energy power line running through about 200 feet from the road, and less than 200 feet from our building site.  You wouldn't think getting hooked up to that would be difficult  Today I dug the hole for relocating our temporary electric service pole.  Where the electrician installed it (not where we told them to) won't work. So I get to move it. In December snow ..

While I wanted to get our small animal systems started this year, we were on bottled water for most of the time we've been here. We got the pump installed, but had no power for it.  Eventually got to where we are now running the pump as needed off our generator. Really can't do any scale of livestock with bottled water

We've had adventures with zoning and code regulations and the arbitrary interpretation of same, but we've got s permit to put in our foundation, and are waiting for the engineer's report on our planned timber frame. I've cleared roughly an acre, much by hand, and have been stockpiling timbers that will, hopefully, go into that timber frame. This winter should see more timber harvested for the frame, and some of the digging for the foundation.

There are plans for a pond below the house, and for the kitchen garden to run in swales that cross the slope between house and garden.  I've picked up several plastic 55 gallon barrels that will be the manifolds in our under house PAHS (passive annualized heat storage) system.
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Too much time has been sunk into building a frame for a winter cover (greenhouse) over the trailer.  Strawbales in plastic contractor bags are skirting the trailer, blocking wind and providing some insulation to the undercarriage.

Our attempt at a garden was a huge bust, including an education about deer pressure here (they like beans, all the beans), but we discovered we have blueberries all along the power line cut.

It's a huge adventure, an incredible amount of work, and the most rewarding stuff I have ever done.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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SW Michigan in winter. In a travel trailer.  With a well and well head protected by a temporary shelter and a 4x4x4 insulated box. We have just about a foot of snow on the ground now, with forecasts for somewhere between three and nine more inches in the next couple of days.  It's been so cold that the well head has frozen on us, and the trailer's plumbing has frozen as well. We've been able to thaw out the well, but the trailer plumbing, not so much yet.

Winter caught us much less prepared than we had hoped to be. The frame over the trailer for the greenhouse cover didn't get more than halfway finished before the weather stopped work. The "skirt" of strawbales in plastic bags around the base of the trailer is no doubt better than nothing, but the plan had been for the overall cover to provide the protection against air flow - the strawbale skirting has too many gaps for that.

Part of what this means is that I've got to install plastic under the trailer, wrapping all the way around to enclose the space.  In weather with temps in the teens to single digits.  Tape isn't holding, and crawling around on the ground, in the snow, under the trailer.  Well, maybe you can imagine how this would have been easier to do before winter got here ...

For all the complications (I'm not going to call them hardships, it's all part of the adventure), we continue to love the area, the people out here, and our land.  The snowy woods have an amazing beauty.  Even if I did have to dig out the generator to get it started to run the pump

Since the last time I posted, we have hooked up to the electric grid, which should save us some money on gas for the generator!
 
Peter Ellis
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Another new development for us.  We have joined the GRMakers group located in Grand Rapids.  This is a maker space operation with some pretty substantial resources for working on all sorts of projects. With many of my tools still in storage and zero sheltered work space on our homestead, this is a terrific resource for us, even with a one hour travel time in one direction. While some might debate whether a CNC machine or laser cutter/engraver are "permie", the idea of a community using one of these tools to serve dozens of people is very much permaculture.

http://grmakers.com for anyone in the greater Grand Rapids area who might be interested....
 
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Hello All!  We moved a month ago from Oregon to Luther (1 1-2 hours North of GR), to 10 acres of pine and mixed hardwood forest.  We have lived on a number of ranches and farms, and had a small permaculture property for 10 years in California.  It is quite different up here, but we are already in love!
We are working towards indoor and outdoor mushroom harvesting, a large medicinal herb garden (western and eastern), cut flowers; a 2 acre market garden; a large greenhouse/nursery setup; raising meat chickens,turkeys, and pigs (and possibly a steer or two), 2 dairy goats(probably Nubians), and starting a 4 acre Permaculture Orchard.  
We are homesteading in our fifth wheel and our cute little tiny house this year, and next year will be building a Cordwood House and Barn.
I am also an Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Lifestyle Counselor, Yoga Teacher, and Personal Holistic Chef.  Hubs is an amazing Handyman and Massage Therapist.
We have 2 boys, 7 and 14.
We'd love to connect with others in the area, for dinners, campfires, bartering, or whatever other magic happens
Blessings, Hara
 
Posts: 5
Location: Michigan
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I know a lot of the responses in this post are old, but I thought I'd see if there's still a heartbeat out there somewhere!

My name is Erik, and I currently live just south of Flint (but will likely be moving soon). Over the past few months since I've moved back from Oregon, I've just started to get my feet wet with the sustainability world. Now I'm growing plants in the kitchen, mushrooms in the basement and composting in the garage! I'm looking for more people around the state who are interested in meeting up, attending classes and maybe even want some help on their farm (I love to work outdoors). Also, anyone interested / part of the local tribes and anti-pipeline stuff I'd love to hear more from. I'm about to start an apprenticeship readiness program for plumbing so in the meantime I have quite a bit of free time and would love to make and meet some new friends.

Awesome thread to read about and even see a few of the projects ya'll have been working on! It looks like satisfying work!
 
Briannon Cierpilowski
Posts: 9
Location: Chelsea, Michigan
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Per Erik Torske wrote:I know a lot of the responses in this post are old, but I thought I'd see if there's still a heartbeat out there somewhere!

My name is Erik, and I currently live just south of Flint (but will likely be moving soon). Over the past few months since I've moved back from Oregon, I've just started to get my feet wet with the sustainability world. Now I'm growing plants in the kitchen, mushrooms in the basement and composting in the garage! I'm looking for more people around the state who are interested in meeting up, attending classes and maybe even want some help on their farm (I love to work outdoors). Also, anyone interested / part of the local tribes and anti-pipeline stuff I'd love to hear more from. I'm about to start an apprenticeship readiness program for plumbing so in the meantime I have quite a bit of free time and would love to make and meet some new friends.

Awesome thread to read about and even see a few of the projects ya'll have been working on! It looks like satisfying work!




There is a heartbeat! And probably a lot more going on in the permies world than is apparent on this forum!  https://thecooperativeatdawnfarm.org/ Is a cool project that some friends of mine are involved in.

I have some ideas for my own property..etc.  Would love to chat! bcierpilowski@gmail.com
 
Daniel Morse
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Location: SW Michigan
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Hi guys,

SO, I have a small field I am rehabbing from corn/soy production. Any input. I have oats for forage to sow there. I got a bag from a guy. I want to do biomass like waste and leaves. Any input kids? BTW, welcome to the group. I often wonder if our posts get noted, but hey we are here and working hard.

Whats is new this spring for anyone? Lets hear it.

 
Per Erik Torske
Posts: 5
Location: Michigan
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Thanks for the welcome Daniel and thanks Briannon!

Daniel, I'm curious to hear if you have any specific end goals for that field - that might help point in the right direction. Also, does the land seem fairly compacted from machinery? I'm wondering if some stuff like radishes and native grasses like big bluestem, Indian grass and switch grass might really help penetrate the soil - and maybe provide a decent cover crop with the oats because they grow so fast. Would love to know more!
 
I just had the craziest dream. This tiny ad was in it.
Roots Demystified by Robert Kourik
https://permies.com/wiki/39095/Roots-Demystified-Robert-Kourik
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