susan stone

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since Mar 16, 2014
A long-time organic gardener, recently fallen into the amazing universe of permaculture.
My garden SW Mich (zone 6a), my kids' - to whom I'm an advisor -Chicago (zone 5)
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Recent posts by susan stone

Hello Rufaro,
 I just been reading your thread and I ‘m so glad to know you haven’t lost any of your enthusiasm and commitment to permaculture and to developing conservation agriculture in your community.  I love hearing your story and admire your spirit and your PATIENCE.  The pictures of your maze growing and of your garden, and especially of your family and friends working together are beautiful and have lifted my spirits .
 I’ve been gardening for many years in the U.S. midwest for fun and fresh food and have been incorporating permaculture methods and principles for several years.  As Kate has lamented, it seems harder than it should be to interest people around me in the benefits of permaculture for solving the problems facing the planet.  My daughter who gardens is gradually incorporating some of my methods and her children – ages 3 and 5 – love to run around and “work” in my garden.  So I have hopes that that I can gradually help spread permaculture ideas.
 It's heartening to see how many people in the Permies community have responded with support and with offers of help and ideas.  That's just the way it should be.
 It’s exciting to hear what you’ve accomplished and how you’re working to spread the word while being wise about how to bring people on board, by starting where they have a level of comfort.  Good luck, and please keep posting!
1 year ago
Hello, Tao. I read your book about 6 months ago and thought it was terrific - authoritative, wise, and beautifully written. Some of what you described as methods employed by restoration ecologists might have sounded far-fetched and cherry-picked from a range of approaches to make your point. Except I’d just learned from friends who have acreage in SW Michigan, and who are involved with a habitat restoration organization there, that they were advised by that organization to spray quite a large area with Roundup to prepare it for native plantings. So it turns out to be a very mainstream notion, as you report.
They were surprised and I was flabbergasted at the idea of seriously damaging the soil food web in order to ‘save’ the land. They chose not to follow the recommendation.
I’d be glad for your opinion on purchasing mycorrhizal inoculants for planting ornamentals, berry bushes and fruit trees. Do they really add value, or if the planting is in an area that hasn’t been disturbed in several decades, should I assume there are plenty mycorrhizae already present?
Thanks and congratulations on a really wonderful book and on the work you’re doing.

Susan Stone
3 years ago
Hi Simon,
Thanks a lot for your clear answer to my questions about planting the hugelkultur - your method makes sense and should help in the spring. Good luck on your hugel (sorry about the chickens) and I look forward to more pictures.
4 years ago
Hi Simon,
Congratulations on your accomplishment. Love your pictures and your enthusiasm. I've just built my first hugelkultur too in SW Michigan (zone 6) and appreciate the challenge of making it up as you go along. This is at a vacation home, so I'm only there on long weekends - most of them during the summer, one or two/month the rest of the year. Mine is now sprouting a cover crop very nicely and I'm looking forward to dreaming and planning all winter for spring planting.
I'd like to know how you planted the tree and any other woody and perennial plants, because it looks like you have the same few inches of soil over the logs as I do. I'm hoping to plant several blue berries, flowers and some of the perennial vegetables I've read about. I currently grow lots of perennial flowers and shrubs in conventional beds, so I'm pretty optimistic about getting these started. But it's hard for me to visualize what I'll do with root balls and crowns of perennials when I hit the wood underneath. All suggestions are very welcome.
4 years ago
I'm also a newbie and was delighted to see this thread. I wonder if anyone knows whether these ideas for "hugelkulturing" tree stumps would also apply to an old yew hedge. Do yew stumps take a particularly long time to decompose?
5 years ago