Jacob Gigler-Caro

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since Feb 07, 2014
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Recent posts by Jacob Gigler-Caro

Hello Grant,

Thanks for responding. Not too personal. We have a meeting with the land owners on Monday to pitch them our business plan/ future plans of the land. It is our intention to lease the land as the non-profit, that I would be an employee of. We plan on spending the first year finding our board members in the community, and continuing our education. After a couple of years of testing the waters (figuratively and literally) we'd start talking about transfer of ownership. I'm only going to implement longer term systems (earthworks, agroforestry), if I know that this will be a long term project that I work on for the next decade or more.

Our main vision is to teach people ways they can connect with themselves, their communities, and the environment through workshops, retreats, and events. Be it a yoga retreat, a PDC, bird language workshop, wilderness skills, etc. We're looking to have programming for all ages. There are still lots of things that my partner and I need to discuss in terms of programming. And yes meals will be included for most events, but most of the time not 3-course meals. Since I grew up in Chicago and experienced a bit of what lower class living is like, I have an urge to give back to that community and set up a youth program for city kids to come out and learn. There are currently 4 horses on the property that live along the entrance road, not sure if we'll be having visitors do much riding.

I hope this helps.

8 years ago
Hello. I have currently been presented with an opportunity to start an educational retreat center in Northwest Illinois. The main infrastructure is towards the west edge of 105 acres. There is roughly a 150 foot difference in elevation, so you could imagine the slopes being relatively steep. There is roughly 60-65 acres of woodland (primarily black walnut, aspen, and oak) and roughly 40-45 of open land. Unfortunately, most of the open land (10-20% slope) has been plowed and used for soy production for the past couple of years. As it sits now it is bare with about 3 feet of snow on top of it. It is my intention to put an end to that nonsense, but could use more knowledge before I implement major earthworks. It was once told to me that too many people these days are drunk off of the swale cool aid and that it shouldn't be used for more than 3-5% slope. So then I thought about implementing terraces in certain places for water harvesting. I have an idea of what I'd like to do but could use the help of other opinions. Attached are two images of the property with contour lines of 25' and my ideas for the different zones.

The slopes have been prone to erosion problems and am thinking of implementing agroforestry and silvopasture methods. I am certain that there needs to be systems put in place to slow down that water and sediment flow. I have taken an Applied Watershed Restoration and Erosion Control workshop in the past with Craig Sponholtz of Dryland Solutions, Inc. and he introduced me to various techniques to help spread the water along landscapes.

Thanks Grant and everyone else for any advice you can give.

8 years ago