Hey all! I'm looking for some new friends in the SE Michigan area. I know there is the Smitten for the Mitten threadhttps://permies.com/t/13349/Smitten-Mitten, but it is pretty old and I'm not sure who is still active.
Where are you all living these days? I'm just outside of Ortonville, so if you are in the Clarkston, Flint, Holly areas (maybe even in Detroit) I'd love to see if we can meet up.
I'm in a rental with about a 3/4 acreyard. I've been given permission to do mostly anything back here, so I'm planning on lots of fruittrees, tractored chickens, and mainly other woody/perennial plants. Girlfriend manages a demonstration farm, so we are pretty well set on annual vegetables. Can't see myself putting too much money into infrastructure since this isn't a permanent situation for us, but there may be some things I will spring for.
I'm Erik! I live in Grand Blanc currently (just 10 minutes north of Holly), so I think we're pretty close to each other. I'm probably looking at moving in the not too far future, but while I'm here I'm looking for people who want help on their land in exchange for conversation and maybe want to go to some classes with me.
Have you visited the Strawbale Studio in Oxford? If you're into natural building techniques it's a pretty incredible place.
Thanks for the message. That would be awesome to meet up. I've decided that I am going to try to build a round wood framed wood storage hut by our firepit, so if you are into building I would love help!
I have heard of the Strawbale Studio, my partner and I are both friends with Deanne. She is awesome. I still haven't taken a full class with her but I did try to go to her thatching class in January.
I'll be buying fruit trees soon and possibly starting a small nursery if you are interested in those things too.
What are you doing up in Grand Blanc?
Excellent. I also have only went to her potlucks - no classes yet, but as I get closer to have my own land that I'll be building on, it'll be higher on my priority list.
I am into building, but I'm pretty new! I do have a book called "Timber Framing for the Rest of Us" sitting next to me as I type this, reminding me I should be reading it.
If you haven't seen already, many of the Conservation Districts for local counties have begun their tree sales and most of the varieties they pick have a tendency to be native. I'm not sure if the fruit trees are the typical hardy, local varieties permies have a tendency to go for, but if you find out first or I do, let's let each other know!
It's kind of far away, but there's also a seller over in Shelbyville who is a permacultrist selling primarily native varieties. If you already know where you're sourcing your fruit trees, never mind, I just thought I'd give some resources I found all within the last week.
And me? I'm not doing too much up here at the moment, hence why I'm here looking for others with more happening. :D I'm growing plants in the kitchen, mushrooms in the basement and composting in the garage (and outside, but that's frozen solid) for now, but that's about it. There's also some folks down in Brighton into permaculture I'll hopefully be helping with a specific spot for their fruit guilds in their yard sometime this spring / summer.
Awesome, thank you for all of that info. I've been a bit reluctant to buy shrubs and trees through a mail order nursery because they are all $20-$30 each... So that is awesome that all of those plants are $4-6 each.
Where are you looking to buy land? What do you do for income?
I've also been growing mushrooms. Starting out with blue oysters on straw, but will be trying out golden oysters and maitake very soon. Hard to do inside in the winter, but I had good success last summer with oysters in my garage. What kinds are you growing? What methods do you typically use? I am trying oysters on straw in 5 gallon buckets.
Yeah, I'd rather skip the mail order stuff and support my local community. Plus, if it was grown here, I know it'll make it here weather-wise!
I'm primarily helping my mother look for land along the I-69 corridor to a strip along Lake Michigan along the western side of the state. It's nothing I'm too invested in beyond being able to help her since she's not often at the house overnight and I plan on using it as a test site for cob buildings and fruit guilds, etc. before staking my own claim. I'm currently entering a 'pre-apprenticeship' certification program for skilled trades. My goal is to do plumbing - it's a very unfulfilled niche I see in these kinds of communities and yet one that's super useful. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it'll get me a lot closer to the 100+ acre potential eco-village mark I'm looking at in the future.
I'm just starting out with mushrooms - these are my first two wooden-dowel inoculated logs with shiitakes. I'll probably try some oysters and other edible mushrooms in the future - although mainly outside. I like edible mushrooms, but what excites me the most is the symbiotic relationships some mushrooms have with tree and other plant roots. In the future I'm looking forward to likely doing some more heavy property reclamation (especially if it means more acres), so anything that helps the native flora thrive is great in my book!
All of your projects sounds groovy and great. I just went to a winter-sowing class for seeds yesterday and got a few cool native plants (and some radishes).
This crazy guy I got some seeds for yesterday is called, "Rattlesnake Master". Not something I'd ever look at and would assume was from around here! I'm also trying to find more seeds, especially if they have lineages from Michigan and more vegetables I can grow that already mesh with the local ecosystem. If you have any insights, let me know!
That sounds very cool. What is your mom looking for in land?
What is your vision for a large-scale eco-village? I also have a dream of a project of that caliber, but it is very daunting to think about a project of that scope. Very daunting to me. Is there an organizational framework or example eco-village that you are drawn to right now?
I haven't done much with shiitakes, mainly because it is also daunting to try to find a source of wood. If I was to go into it, I would probably want to start with 100+ logs since they take so long to fruit. I'm also excited about the relationships with fungi and vegetation. Coming from a vegetable background, it is extremely interesting to read about how tilled soils are predominantly bacteria driven, while undisturbed soils are predominantly fungi driven. There is a lot of evidence pushing towards a no-till approach to gardening. Just the fact that weeds don't grow is enough to convince many people.
I will keep a look out for interesting plants. I'm going to slowly start growing some things on a small nursery scale and see how I am at that project. There is bound to be experiments with cool plants!
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