Bryan Mets

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since Oct 31, 2012
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Recent posts by Bryan Mets

@Mike the most active group in the SE is is AMPY (Abundant Michigan, Permaculture Ypsilanti) they're doing a lot of good work.
5 years ago
Hi All, (especially Jay: should have invited you in the Cornerstone thread)

The convergence is happen Nov 1-3 at camp Talahi in Brighton
Folks from all over Michigan have already registered. We kept the price to a bare minimum so as many people will come as possible and hope that it will be less in future years, as we start hosting it on people's sites across the state and making it more permablitzy. This year there will be a number of local speakers, networking, a small work project and night time activities

5 years ago
Hi Chris! Your site looks awesome! Surprised I haven't heard of it yet. How'd you come into stewardship of it? Who built the earthlodge? (also how does it hold up to the humidity?

Do you know Brad Kik? He just moved into your area and did a cistern building workshop with Peter Bane.

If you're looking for more people to help, we're having a Michigan Permaculture Convergence in November you might like to come to. The plan is to start moving it from site to site across the state each year to provide a "permablitz" at a large weekend scale. This year it's mostly getting people together to enhance the community. Website:

Another thing I'm excited about is getting some collaborative growing/selling - working together so we can increase our growing time and decrease marketing time. Chestnut Growers Inc might be a coop you'd be interested in joining eventually if you don't know about them.

There's also a group up in Harbor Springs at Soul Springs Permaculture really cool folks there.


5 years ago
Hi all!

Wanted to let you all know that the inaugural Michigan Permaculture Convergence is happening this fall in Brighton.


Meet more Michigan permies as well as folks from all over the Great Lakes bioregion for the cost of a weekend camping trip!
Share knowledge, skills, food and music.

Hope to see you there

5 years ago

M Troyka wrote:

Use of cobble mulch augments, traps, and retains available runoff moisture, elevates nighttime temperatures, and decreases soil erosion.

Thank you. It makes a lot more sense now, there are more crevices for the rain to fill as the rocks do not pack as densely as finer materials.
6 years ago

James Slaughter wrote:I think another thing worth considering about rock mulch is that by reducing absorbent surface area you get better water penetration when it does rain.

Are there some sources for this? I'd like to read more about how that works.

Thank you,
6 years ago

Why do you say that? The named varieties can be quite productive. The short shelf life is a downside, but the pulp can be frozen for use in baking and in smoothies. Fruit that are just starting to soften can be kept in the fridge for a couple weeks. With a couple varieties that ripen at different times, you can have fruit for a couple months.

I have only seen a couple wild stands, and the only herbaceous plant in the vicinity I recall was mayapple.

Since they are pest free, insectary plants for attracting parasitic wasps et al are probably not as high a priority in a paw paw guild as they would be for other fruit trees, unless you can come up with something that attracts the flies that pollinate pawpaw flowers. They can be slow to get going, and can take several years to reach fruiting size, but respond well to nitrogen, so N-fixers should be a priority. Pawpaws want to grow a deep branching tap root, so if your soil is dense, add plants that are good at breaking up soil.

As I said, I'm learning so it was just a thought. What I mean more is that I wouldn't design it as a staple crop. At least in my zone.
My only experience though is with wild paw paws and the yields in the strands around here (southeast Michigan) are not very good.
Maybe specific cultivars could increase that but I do not see it becoming a large portion of a diet
To me it would make more sense to use the pawpaws a part of a guild designed around another plant/plants, or after you already have other perennial food systems in place.

Thank you for your tips; they've definitely got me thinking a little more. I'm going to have to go back to the wild strands with a camera in spring and take records of the other plants in the areas.

I like permaculture, it makes me feel stupid in a very good way.
6 years ago
I'm working on developing a pawpaw guild myself right now in zone 6a. From my understanding they grow best in partial shade when young but produce best in full sun once mature. it's my 1st guild and first year so I wouldn't mind suggestions either.

The plants in the guild so far are

2 pawpaws (for pollination)
1 red currant
1 gooseberry
coral bell
sweet woodruff
garlic (this is a temporary item, I'm making use of this being early stage as there is a decent bit of sun in the area still)
morel mushrooms (not sure if they'll take - I mixed quite a bit of ash into the sheet mulch but only time will tell. This is one of my higher likelihood of failure experiments)
raspberries (planted slightly further out)

I plan on having the ground cover a mix of leafy greens. I'm going to add more fruit bushes as well.
One of my weaknesses is knowledge of perennial plants, so I'm mostly trying different things and seeing what works.

You can see more at my blog, but I'm not sure it is very helpful to you as I am just learning as well.
Maybe it will help facilitate some more discussion about what might work and what may not. My thought right now is that this is a sort of guild
one designs out of curiosity but the pawpaw itself is not all that practical as a food source.
6 years ago