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Wisconsin permies

 
Posts: 23
Location: Southwest Wisconsin: Zone 5b: Clay bottomland soil near a river
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Hello from the Southwest, Lafayette county!  I know most of these posts were put on here years ago...but it's nice to see so many interested in Permaculture in Wisconsin! I live in a small village on about 1/2 an acre. When we moved in 8 years ago there was only grass, a broken up and down inground pool, and a couple mature trees.  Now? We have a couple apple trees, 5 grape vines, a kiwi vine, elderberry, 2 cherry trees, a peach, lots of blueberries, currants, gooseberries, red and black raspberries, mushrooms, and a garden that is slowly becoming gorgeous with awesome soil! Now...most of this is still on tje smaller side...but I'm hoping within the next 2 years we'll be able to have fruit available every day during the summer. Yum, right?
 We also have rabbits. We were raising them for meat, but have put that on hold for a couple years, and now just enjoy them...and the great fertilizer they give.
  We're looking at expanding our fruit trees this year again, and setting up more intricate guilds under them.  We have a possibility of buying a lot behind our house with lots of mature trees on it, I'd love to be able to turn it into a small orchard...we'd have plenty to share with our friends/family/community then!
  It's nice meeting you all!
 
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Posts: 10838
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hi Kat!  There are permies sprinkled all around the state.  Those that are able can partake in the Madison Permaculture guild.  

Aren't fruit trees and berry bushes the best?  I'm still eating fresh apples from the root cellar.  So you can still eat fresh for more than just the summer and fall
 
Kat Ostby
Posts: 23
Location: Southwest Wisconsin: Zone 5b: Clay bottomland soil near a river
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Hi Mike!
 I'll definitely check out the Madison group.  It would be nice to talk to people who already know what I mean when I say "fruit tree guild" or "herb spiral" or "zone 1 around the house"!  
  Eventually sometime faar in the future I want apples and frozen fruit in the winter too! It's going to be awhile though. We have 6 young kids and they all like to snitch off the bushes/trees/vines too.
 I dream of taking a PDC some year soon. Do they have those/host them in Madison?
  -Kat
 
Mike Haasl
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Posts: 10838
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Here's their website and they are doing a PDC this year.  It's  series of 3 day weekends which makes it pretty doable.  They were at the WPT Garden Expo in Madison two weekends ago and they are good people.

Kids snitching off the bushes is what it's all about!  It just means you need more bushes

 
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Hey Wisconsin permies. The fifth annual Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence will be Sept. 14 - 16, 2018 near Rio, Wisconsin (about 40 minutes north of Madison). The convergence will have several tracks of talks, workshops and hands-on projects, and all are welcome. Many meals, camping and lots of fun, networking and learning are included with the fee. Learn more at http://www.wisconsinpermacultureconvergence.com/ You're welcome to come for some or all of the weekend, and there are still openings in the schedule for additional speakers - please fill out a facilitator proposal here http://www.wisconsinpermacultureconvergence.com/facilitator-proposals/
 
Posts: 18
Location: Dunn county, WI
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Hello all Wisconsonites !!! My husband & I are from Dunn co. ( left for job & some family reasons 3 yrs ago) & are planning to move back when our place here sells. Am on a few FB permies & regen. ag groups, but am not on fb a ton.. ( havent been on here much either, but am seeing this as a great resource to use more, with all the categories) .. anyway, hoping to really connect with area permies & homesteaders there, when we move back. Plan to be in northern Dunn co. To Chippewa co. this time ( my bff is just west of Bloomer on an organic dairy farm). While definitely have a lot to learn & hone still, I have been into homesteading type stuff all my life, grew up daury farming & roaming the countryside & my husband grew up rural & since being married 11 yrs ago, have had chickens & gardens most yrs. & planted a lot of perennials & trees. Hubby is a diesel mechanic with wide experience base, good welder, good shot, knows trees quite a bit, & overly adores chickens & really wants honey bees. He hasnt put in the time as much, learning about permaculture type growing, regenerative ag etc., other than bits I've shared with him,  but is on board with all this kinda stuff. I am huge fan of Richard Perkins, Charles Dowding, Allan Savory & Joel Salatin, & love Singing Frogs Farm farm also.
 
Mike Haasl
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Dunn county is a pretty area.  The missus and I traveled through there on our homestead search.  Welcome back home
 
Angela Burton
Posts: 18
Location: Dunn county, WI
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Mike Jay wrote:Dunn county is a pretty area.  The missus and I traveled through there on our homestead search.  Welcome back home


Thanks ! Yes, it very much is ( beautiful !) .. not so much east side of Menomonie, but most of rest of west/central WI is, the driftless region tops it overall, but a lot of our ol stomping grounds is quite similar. Organic/natural/alternative & homesteading have been very popular for a long time ( continues to grow) in the area, too.
 
Mike Haasl
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hey Angela, not sure if you have a place yet but this one just popped up in the Menominee area.  11 acre homestead - apple orchard - $75K
 
pioneer
Posts: 84
Location: Douglas County, WI zone 4a 105 acres
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Welcome, Angela and best of luck!
 
Posts: 55
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Hello! I see this isn't currently the most active thread, but still wanted to say hey. I'm on six (mostly wooded) acres in rural Bayfield County. My first summer here was just observation, and then this past summer I started with a small garden and a small flock of chickens. We'll see what comes next!
 
Posts: 84
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
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Marisa Lee wrote:Hello! I see this isn't currently the most active thread, but still wanted to say hey. I'm on six (mostly wooded) acres in rural Bayfield County. My first summer here was just observation, and then this past summer I started with a small garden and a small flock of chickens. We'll see what comes next!



Hi there.Glad you reactivated this thread with your post. I am not rural, but live in a small town in south central Wisconsin. Your property sounds beautiful.
 
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Hi, here in Monticello WI.  Just got my first land and home on 10 acres mostly woods. In the planning stage and very excited.
 
Mike Haasl
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Thanks for reviving it Marisa.  You're pretty close to The Draw permaculture nursery.  I'd give them a visit when you get a chance.
 
Marisa Lee
Posts: 55
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Mike Haasl wrote:Thanks for reviving it Marisa.  You're pretty close to The Draw permaculture nursery.  I'd give them a visit when you get a chance.



Oh yeah, that's super close. I just checked out their website quick, and it sounds like they have some plants available that I'm looking for. I will definitely visit. Thanks for the tip!
 
Mari Henry
Posts: 84
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
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joshua cockroft wrote:Hi, here in Monticello WI.  Just got my first land and home on 10 acres mostly woods. In the planning stage and very excited.



Congratulations!
 
Mari Henry
Posts: 84
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
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So how is everyone's spring going?? Any plans and ideas in the works? So happy to see the sun, though still chilly here in Wisconsin.
 
Marisa Lee
Posts: 55
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Hi, Mari! I'm looking forward to getting my garden in. Of course, it'll be a while for most things, but I'm planning to direct-sow some cool weather crops at the end of the month. I've got a few different dates for starting seeds indoors (depending on how long before transplanting they should be started - I won't transplant until Memorial Day to June 1, since June 1 is supposedly our "last frost" date).

I have a little flock of nine hens and I ordered a few more chicks. Well, I ordered nine more chicks because that was the minimum and I wanted a certain breed so... figured I can sell the extra chickies and at least cover shipping. A smart person would have found a friend or two to order with but I was impatient and impulsive as always. Worst case scenario, I have 18 chickens.

This month while the woods are bare, I'll be going around with my wagon, picking up rocks. I'm lining our garden beds with rocks to hold heat. I've also gotta cut a few small trees now before they leaf out. My teenagers and I will be cutting them to length, drilling holes, and putting in spore plugs to grow mushrooms next year. It's a homeschool project! Although I expect at least one if not both kids will return to public school in September. One wants to, one does not. I liked having them home this year, but I'll be looking for work by then, myself, so less available to teach them.. I graduated from law school in January and take the bar exam in July.

Ooh! One other project is setting up compost next to the chickens. It was dumb this past winter trudging out to where I originally put out compost, when I already had a nice shoveled path to the chickens that I had to visit at least twice a day. It'll be more efficient to take the compost there.

And finally, sometime in the next few days, I'll boil the last of the sap and pull out the taps. The forecast looks like temps consistently staying above freezing overnight, so it's done.

What about you?
 
Mike Haasl
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Spring is springing up north here.  The snow left a week ago but it's been chilly the last couple nights.  I have about 20 flats of seedlings going in the greenhouse.  Rhubarb is starting to show itself out by the garden.

I cut down some big white pines this winter and am having a buddy come over to saw them up this month.  Before that happens I have to find a place to stack the lumber.  Which will need to be under cover (cover that I don't have yet).  So I'm sorting that out, moving a firewood rack that's in the way of the proposed location and other odds and ends.

Plus I'm running the SKIP kickstarter with Paul so that's eating up most of my time right now.  But it's worth it.  

Is it possible to plant peas and salad greens too early?  Once the frost is out of the ground can we do that or would I be jumping the gun?
 
Posts: 23
Location: Wisconsin
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Howdy. I've been doing a lot of permacultureish stuff over the last decade around Milwaukee and Madison, just finding out more specifics after being referred to these forums. I'm looking to buy some land around Forest County, between Rhinelander and Iron Mountain, in the next month. Planning to do some mostly off grid projects with natural building techniques and hopefully convince a few others to join in.

Reading through this thread, looks like Mike is the furthest Northeast in the state around Merrill? Any good permaculture resources to be aware of round these parts? I've already heard rumors of someone in the UP doing strawbale construction. I'd definitely like to go with a Rocket Mass Heater(s) in any structure that is built. A wofati walkthrough might tip my building style preferences...
 
Mike Haasl
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hey Coydon, welcome to the Northwoods  The only established permaculture place I'm aware of is The Draw Permaculture near Bayfield.  Another promising thing is the Northwoods Community Garden and Permaculture Training Center in Rhinelander.  The "Permaculture Training Center" part is more aspiration at this point but give it a year or two.

As for natural building up here, it's mainly wood related.  I know of three cordwood builds so I'm sure there are more.  Log cabins are very common.  A major cordwood builder is in Merrill (Richard Flatau).  Straw isn't very plentiful up here.  I'd love to see a local wofati but I'm not aware of one.
 
Coydon Wallham
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Location: Wisconsin
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The properties I'm looking at are from a timber plantation, so plenty of red pine logs to work with. I'm almost sold on the underground/berm structures, but not excited about the plastic/rubber membrane aspect. Also the ground I dug up for a sample today was heavy on sand, very little clay, so cob looks like it could be difficult.

Thanks for the mention of cordwood, that hadn't made my list yet- helps on the insulation problems with wood. How suitable would red pine be for it? Hopefully there's a good permie recipe for mortar to dig up around here...

Are those cordwood builders/owners social people?
 
Marisa Lee
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Hello! I'm in NW Wisconsin (rural Bayfield County). I know there is a straw bale house in Bayfield (in town), but they were required to put siding on it. There is a cordwood house right on Highway 13 but I don't know the person. And there's tons of small-scale permaculture around here, or at least (as you said) permaculturish stuff. Something about being on this little liberal hippie peninsula leads to people being very interested in sustainable & clean alternatives, though admittedly it is not super close to where you're looking at land. I'm sure you will find kindred spirits there, too!
 
Mike Haasl
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I'm a bit leery of the untreated wood underground element of a wofati in our climate.  I'm not sure an umbrella is enough to keep water in the earth from wicking up and rotting out the posts.  Hopefully I'm just misinformed about how soils work.

I think cedar is the best for cordwood but pine is fairly high on the list.  I think Richard has a non-cement mortar recipe.  I'd base my decisions off of Richard's books before I did on either of the houses I know of (one I've been in).  I think, much like RMHs, the first one you build isn't great.  Neither of these were built by their current occupant.  The problem is that people don't usually build a couple practice cordwood houses first.  So their first one is the one they live in and they don't let the wood dry enough so it shrinks and leaks like a sieve.  

One of the places (I also haven't seen it) is a museum near Pelican Lake Facebook Link.  That would probably be a good first stop, along with reading one of Richard's books.
 
Coydon Wallham
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Location: Wisconsin
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Marisa Lee wrote:Hello! I'm in NW Wisconsin (rural Bayfield County). I know there is a straw bale house in Bayfield (in town), but they were required to put siding on it. There is a cordwood house right on Highway 13 but I don't know the person. And there's tons of small-scale permaculture around here, or at least (as you said) permaculturish stuff. Something about being on this little liberal hippie peninsula leads to people being very interested in sustainable & clean alternatives, though admittedly it is not super close to where you're looking at land. I'm sure you will find kindred spirits there, too!


I'm in the area because of an amazing small community near where I am looking. I've been assured almost anywhere else I go around here will be full of people dedicated to our recently replaced national leader, but I'm decidedly unpartisan so planning to simply demonstrate there are better ways to do most of this living stuff somewhat similar to what Paul is doing in Missoula.

Interestingly, I recall the first time I payed attention to the word 'homesteading' someone was talking about folks up in Bayfield. It is sad to hear about the siding obligation, sounds like the old hippie >>> yuppie progression happening?
 
Marisa Lee
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Oddly, the "city" of Bayfield (less than 500 people, so odd to call it a city) has many aesthetic rules, so I think that's what happened with the siding. They've done a good job maintaining the historic small town feel, partly by keeping out chain businesses (no Starbucks, McDonald's, Walgreens etc) which is cool, and also by restricting paint colors, exterior lighting, and things like that. It's important for tourism. A lot of people who live in town are wealthy retirees. Rural Bayfield is farms, orchards, vineyards, the rez, commercial fishing, logging . . . so that's where your permie/homestead/off-grid folks are at. But even those townies tend to be pretty committed to environmental sustainability.
 
Posts: 3
Location: Kenosha Co., WI, USA
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Hello, fellow 'sconnies!  I've recently become acquainted with the permaculture philosophy and I've come here eager to learn more. I currently live on a small suburban lot in Kenosha county, but I've got my sights set on purchasing a few acres in the area when I have the means. Very exciting to see other folks in Wisconsin, thanks for having me!
 
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Hello WI permies!  I am currently in IL but looking for property up there in your nice state.  I hope to you join you all soon in permi adventures in WI.

Shout out to the Antioch people.  I lived there over the winter at my friend's place.  It's a nice area.  

 
Coydon Wallham
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Anyone care to share opinions/reviews on the Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence (Sep 24-26 this year)? I'm deciding if I should go ahead and buy a ticket or wait to play it by ear while figuring out schedule pressures...
 
Been there. Done that. Went back for more. But this time, I took this tiny ad with me:
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