Alex Michaud

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since Oct 22, 2014
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Recent posts by Alex Michaud

the beauty of reality pales in comparison to imagination, unfortunately. but I'm not still trying to do this.
2 years ago
My thoughts regarding squatting were more along the lines of living in the national forest and moving between multiple shelters made of natural materials with a small group of people essentially trying to support the ecosystems present there and increasing the presence of species which provide appropriate foods for humans. That came from reaching out to multiple communities over the course of years and being ignored by nearly all of them combined with the fact that ownership is an invisible structure that can easily be dismantled by a variety of environmental changes and it doesn't make sense in my opinion to spend the amount of time it'd take to get money to spend on the concept of ownership when I could just try to find somewhere to live where my presence won't disturb anyone. Then of course I think it would be exceedingly difficult to live in that manner alone so I thought, why not try and find other people who may be in a similar situation as myself even though that seems really unlikely?

Since I made this post I have fortunately found what seem to be a couple promising connections near where I was hoping to go to help other people with their regenerative design projects in exchange for a place to camp during the warm season.
since those things came up I definitely would prefer a collaborative arrangement rather than going alone into the mountains and either surviving somehow or dying out there alone.
2 years ago

Andrea Riley wrote:Hello Alex

Greetings Andrea,
I am doing as okay as I can be here I think, though having a rough time being in the city. I would be glad to talk with you, though I may not have a ton to say online anymore (these days I find myself overwhelmed by the drive to do things with my body, move and create things, which is why I really want to find people I can spend time with in person). I suppose I left out an important sphere of interest that I have which is philosophy. but then... I think it's hard to find some thing that isn't interesting in some way or another.
Would you like to continue to communicate here? Or, private messages? whatever works.
2 years ago
Hi all,

I'm looking to meet new people who either live in Northeast Ohio, are trying to move to New Hampshire, or both. I currently live on the east side of Cleveland and am trying to get a group of people together to either purchase in bulk and subdivide a piece of raw land in New Hampshire or to form a nomadic squatting community somewhere in Northern Appalachia.

As a longer term goal, I'm hoping to find a partner with whom to develop not only friendship and edible ecosystems, but also a high level of emotional intimacy, communicative proficiency, and potentially offspring (if we successfully establish an acceptable level of economic productivity and stability to raise children in).

In case this information is relevant to anyone who finds this post, I'll share some methods I've found of depicting an approximation of my personality.
For those who are familiar with the Myers Briggs Typology Index, my personality type according to that seems to be between INTP and INFP (my thinking and feeling seem to alternate as being the dominant trait).
In the context of the Enneagram I would probably be described as a 5w4.
My sun sign is Sagittarius and moon is Gemini.
Here I'll give a brief explanation in other words. I am primarily introverted, though in many ways I am also quite forthcoming, mostly in one on one interactions or situations which feel private or secure. Perception and intuition are the main ways that I take in information about the world, though my intuition seems to be hindered by fear and shame, especially in the context of social interaction. My value system is very important to me and I'm very particular, also a bit stubborn, about how my actions relate to my values. Highly creative person; I am a musician, artist, and sometimes a writer. The people around me have told me that my creative output is of notable quality. I just like making it, for the most part. I'm really interested in rewilding and I try to give myself as much opportunity as I can to be a great ape. I have a tendency to use words in a somewhat tangential way, because there's a potentially infinite amount of things to be said and it's hard to know which way to turn out of all the directions. I guess I will leave the rest of who I am up to be discovered by anyone who may be interested in interacting with me. I'm pretty strange but there's quite a bit to offer somewhere in here..

This is what I look like these days

Let me know if there's any particularly relevant information that I've left out or if you would like to exchange meaning chunks with me one on one or something.

I hope you find much good fortune in your endeavors, reader
2 years ago
This is more just a question than a topic but (it could become a lot of topics I guess)...
Is there any interest in the permies world into collaborative development of land that is not being used but is owned by someone else ("squatting")?
potentially nomadic habitation
2 years ago
I haven't read all of the other responses to this thread yet - gotta get off the computer in a moment - but I just wanted to say that from what I have read I would imagine myself doing some kind of small earthwork like slanting up towards the neighboring property with the dropoff on their side. not too tall though, like a foot and a half maybe, possibly with a stacked stone retaining wall on their side and then a fence of your desired construct on the top of the slope. then perhaps something like Hippophae mixed with some more ornamental evergreen shrubs (there'd be an added benefit of having fruit bearing shrubs that pair with nitrogen fixing Frankia on top of a slope leading towards your property from the sea berry) on your side of the fence.

so sort of like the deer leap but not necessarily with a ditch on the other side. with a stone retaining wall and with some shrubs at the top of the slope.
I don't know
3 years ago

Tyler Ludens wrote:
Not my experience in my climate.  I've not yet found a no-irrigation food growing technique here.  

Have you tried sunken mulchy beds? like paddies with a lot of organic matter in the bottom but without intentionally keeping them full and for growing vegetables or whatever you want? maybe put some clay and/or silt down on the bottom of it before adding in soil and mulch

You could put some nitrogen fixing windbreaks around it, where the sun wouldn't be blocked, perhaps. and of course cover the surface of the ground with dead vegetation. But maybe these are all things you've tried.
4 years ago

Gilbert Fritz wrote:
It is much less work harvesting when everything is not a big tangle; hunting down enough lettuce scattered through the garden is difficult.

Now imagine if there were 20 different types of vegetables all mixed, and various weeds and things . . .

Ah that is a good point. Though I do wonder if those issues could be prevented or reduced with particular planning. I guess the intensity of the polyculture would make a difference too.
4 years ago
I'd think that in addition to obviously depending on what annuals you wanted to grow and where, the ideal composition of a raised piece of earth would be different in different climates. It seems that in wild ecosystems both rises and falls in elevation are beneficial to ecosystem health. Additionally, in such systems, the composition of those rises and falls will be shaped largely by its biology and climate.

Perhaps a hugelkultur mound of sorts could work well even in a very hot and humid location if it was less dense and composed of sandier or siltier soil and with less wood. The resulting mound would probably not be as tall as Sepp's mounds and likely wider.
Alas, I haven't tried it before so I don't know what it would do.. I would think that even in a local ecosystem examples of annual growth environment could be found.

Not sure what the benefits of less polyculture/diversity would be though.
If it was me, I'd try both.
4 years ago
Greetings all,

Before I ask what I'm posting here to ask, I'll provide a bit of context.

I've been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what I want, and am able to bring myself, to pursue financially. An idea that I've been poking at in my mind for a while is doing freelance consulting for people who are interested in making their property more regenerative or at least more sustainable. I don't have a whole lot of hands on experience yet but I have spent a large portion of the past 5 years researching permaculture on my own, watching and listening to lectures, reading, talking to people, etc. I volunteered at a farmer's market with a garden attached back in 2012 and we were implementing some permaculture thinking to what we did there. I also took a class called Home Permaculture Design this spring at a Unitarian Church near where I live and ended up taking care of some of my teacher's garden while he was out of town after the class was over. Since 2013 I've been building soil and experimenting on my own in my backyard and during the class that I took I created a design for the whole backyard which I'm currently working on implementing to turn it into a mostly perennial and fairly diverse little berry and pollinator thicket (with other plants and a bit of space for annuals on the side nearest the house as well of course). I've also attended a couple annual NE Ohio Permaculture Potluck gatherings with guest speakers and talked to a few people there.

I recently contacted a local organization called Green Triangle through which I attended a natural building workshop this year and asked them about the possibility of a PDC course this year or next year in my area. They had one in 2015 (with Peter Bane, Mark Cohen, Jonathan Hull, Marilyn McHugh, Chris Kennedy, Allison Hurley, and other local guests). I'm hoping to hear back from them as I'd really like to do this course in person. I've looked into the Permaculture Design Course and Certification on Leadership Institute and am considering that as an alternative but I would really prefer to do it in person and work on my networking skills with local people at the same time.

Now to my question(s) to whoever may be reading this...

Do you think freelance regenerative landscape consulting seems like a practical way to make a decent amount of money? (below I will try to address some of the other variables that would influence answering this)
Not necessarily enough to live on, I plan to do other things as well, just to have a significant impact on income. I have been pretty interested in the residual income discussions on this site and have a lot of ideas for that as well as some stuff already made that could potentially result in residual income (if you want to check it out, my original music can be listened to and bought at

As previously implied, I'm in Northeast Ohio.
I'd like to help people with surveying, planning, and creating designs for properties ranging from small urban plots to rural sites whether they have been previously used for conventional agriculture, are largely undeveloped, or whatever else.
I'm curious what people's ideas are of how much demand there may be for this, I'm not looking to charge a lot of money or claim that I am an expert obviously, just to help people become more regenerative and hopefully more self-sufficient while making some money to support my own goals.
I would hope that my target client base would be people who are either unfamiliar or not very familiar with permaculture and looking to make the biological systems in the space they manage more diverse and productive and that after working with me on their project, they may feel more inclined to pursue further exploration on their own into permaculture thinking and practices.
I intend to talk to some of the people I know in the permaculture community around here about my intentions with this once I have a PDC and start looking online for work as well.

Do you have any suggestions for being found by people who may be interested in this type of service?
Are there other things that you think I should do besides completing a PDC course before I start to look for freelance consulting work?

To recap, even though I know I have an infinite amount to learn, I think that I do have a good deal to offer others in terms of understanding and interacting with systems. I am extremely passionate about the (re)generative potential of biology, diversity, and the human species and I think that I am good at considering a wide range of variables. I hope that through this kind of work I can gain more hands on experience while helping other people and generating some of the money needed to develop the kind of system that I hope to one day live as a part of.

Thanks for reading!

I hope that you all have good fortune in your endeavors.
4 years ago