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Starr Brainard

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since Nov 26, 2014
Starr likes ...
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Wrapping up permaculture/alternative agriculture research in Western Canada. Aspiring to start an urban farm in Minnesota. Always looking for plant nerd friends and permie allies!
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Recent posts by Starr Brainard

Has anyone priced out all the materials for either of these models? What are the $ amount for the raw materials?

~Starr
1 month ago
Hello! In 2019 or 2020, I am hoping to work or intern on a farm in New Zealand for the whole growing season. If anyone can refer me to any established sustainable commercial farms using permaculture principles that has or would be interested in hosting a foreign aspiring farmer, I'd appreciate it!
2 years ago
Hello! In 2019 or 2020, I am hoping to work or intern on a farm in Sweden on Norway for the whole growing season. If anyone can refer me to any established sustainable commercial farms using permaculture principles that has or would be interested in hosting a foreign aspiring farmer, I would appreciate it!
2 years ago
Thank you all for your feedback! I was thinking I would try to supplement limited soil I have with fallen leaves that are available in abundance, or at least use those to fill in between logs and branches. Has anyone built a hugel the fall before planting in the spring? I was thinking that would allow for some decomposition before planting, but realistically it'll probably just be frozen all winter.

3 years ago
EVERYONE. I have just had my mind blown. I just purchased the book "Earthworms of the Great Lakes" written by a professor at a local university.  I'm only a few pages in, but have already learned that there are no native worm species in Northern North America and introduced worms are having really detrimental impact on local hardwood forests by drastically changing the soil. We always talk about how worms benefit human influenced systems like gardens and farms, but are we having a conversation in the permie community about the potential detrimental impacts on our native wild ecosystems?

Here's is a radio segment on this if you're interested:
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/09/28/invasive-worms

So, given this new information I have learned, I have two big questions for the community:

What's the best way to compost if we avoid using worms? Or do we as community think it is acceptable to keep using Asian composting worms; and if yes, how can we do our best Earth Care and keep worms from spreading in wild ecosystems?

How can we as a community constantly be critical of our practices to be certain we are using the most responsible strategies? How do do we update ourselves and use modern research?

I would love to hear your thoughts.
3 years ago
Anyone in this conversation still active? Anyone working in the Duluth area? If yes, please get in touch!
3 years ago
Did you ever get any help with this inquiry?
3 years ago
Anyone is Superior? I currently live outside of Duluth and would be very happy to meet some local permies, Minnesotan or Wisconsinite ;P
3 years ago
My parents have lots of wood debris on their property form recent storms and so I have offered to build them a hugelkultur bed instead of hauling away the branches to the dump. They are nearly convinced, however my step-father is concerned I will not have enough soil to sufficiently cover hugel bed, even if I dig a trench for it first and use the sod on top. Could someone with experience building hugel mounds please share details on how they got their wood buried? How deep must the logs be buried? Did you have to haul in top soil, or excavate another part of your property? Are you using exclusively quality garden soil, or do lower quality soils work at the beginning?  Please let me know. Thanks.
3 years ago