Shawn Klassen-Koop

gardener & author
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since Dec 16, 2014
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Shawn spent the most formative years of his life working at a summer camp where he quickly gained a passion for nature and for building a better world. Struggling to see how his future career in computer engineering was going to solve these big problems, he decided to leave it behind and dedicate himself to finding practical solutions that people can implement in their backyards. Shawn looks forward to starting his own homestead in southern Manitoba in the next few years, where he plans to implement many of the techniques laid out in his upcoming book and come up with a few more solutions along the way.
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Recent posts by Shawn Klassen-Koop

Devan Jones wrote:I’m interested in more info on this property if it is still available. Mainly where is it located? Which direction from portage la prairie?

Thanks for your interest. It is no longer available.
I spent many years dreaming about building a homestead on this property. I think there is a lot of potential for this land in the hands of someone with a permaculture perspective. Unfortunately, personal issues have changed my ability to realize that dream. I'm posting this here in the hopes that maybe I can find a buyer that will take good care of the property.

The property is a 160-acre parcel near Portage la Prairie, MB. It is off the beaten path - no thru traffic. With utility lines a half-mile away, this property is especially suited for anyone who is interested in off-grid living. In non-drought years roughly 25% of the property is marsh. Most of the rest of it is forested (mostly aspen), though there are a couple of clearings. There is a nice little area with few trees that would be a great spot to build a house. There is also 3-strand electric fence around the perimeter except for the wet parts.

Asking $130,000

Please only ask questions if you're seriously interested.

Here are some pictures. I believe they were taken in 2016.

Theresa Bush wrote:Hi.  I just found this post (thanks to the daily-ish so I hope I'm not too late.

I am an Android user with 30 acres - mostly forest and much smaller developing homestead (gardens, chickens, etc).  I am, it seems, constantly finding plants/trees that I want to keep track of but no way can remember where I actually saw said plant.

If it's not too late, I'd love to test out your Android version.


Hi Theresa, yes, absolutely still time to get in on the testing! Please follow the link in the original post to get access.
2 years ago

Kevin Young wrote:This is a great idea! I don't have land, but I do make a habit of finding free food all around town. I realized that basically any fruit tree or grape vine in someone's yard was probably not planted by the person now living there, and many people have trees without any intention of using the fruit. Plus there are wild sources of food. I can imagine using this app to map out all the sources where I have been given the ok to pick, along with contact details of the person I spoke to, and I could set a reminder for the following year. It's not just food--I would mark which yards have interesting flowers where I might collect seeds, or which people have nice gardens and might share seeds. It might be even better if there could be a social aspect, where people could share sources together to facilitate community foraging and seed swapping. It might be nice to have an option to add tags. Maybe I have a tag for grapes, one for apples, one for apricots, etc. and then I could search for "grapes" and see all the places where I have documented vines.

Hi Kevin, thanks for the ideas. I've had a few testers suggest different ways that we might make it so people can organize their notes. I have gone back and forth a few times on how a tag-like feature could work. It's definitely on the list of things to consider.
2 years ago
Last week I released a big update to the Android app, bringing it more in line in appearance to the iOS version. I would like to get a few more testers to take a look at it and then I think I am ready to release the first version to the main app store for the public to use.

2 years ago
Hey Rob, it'd be great to have your feedback. The current features are mostly targeted for smaller, individual-size projects (like your homestead), but I have a few ideas for more team-based, larger scale features down the road. If you have any thoughts in either space, I'm happy to receive them.
2 years ago
You make a good point - whether intentional or not. A fair portion (the northern hemisphere portion) of the target audience is probably pretty busy right now and might not feel like they have the time to add taking a look at this into their lives. Fair enough. I'm grateful for those who do feel like they can spend a bit of time playing around and offering feedback. And for those who don't, no worries. There will always be a chance for more feedback later, even once the app is fully published.

Thanks for your enthusiasm!
2 years ago
Here is a preview of the detail view I mentioned yesterday. You can see the image, the description, the location, as well as a reminder that has been set to remind me of this note in the future.

At the bottom you can see the button to delete the note, the button to view or add the map location for the note, and the button to share the note.

You can also see that the iOS app works in dark mode! (Dark mode for the Android version is on the to-do list)

2 years ago
For those who are interested, here is a screenshot of what the iOS app looks like. This is the view that shows all of your notes in chronological order. You can click any note to see further details and do things like add a reminder to a note.

2 years ago

Nearly 5 years ago my partner and I bought some land with the hopes of one day building a homestead there. When I first went to see the property, there was a huge abundance of wild Saskatoon berries all over the place. Hurray! We were excited about having Saskatoons to eat every year.

The next year rolled around and we wanted to go out to the land and pick Saskatoons. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we could not remember what week we had gone to see the place the year before, the week when all the berries were ripe. So we made our best guess and went there. Nothing. We tried again the next year. Nothing. Ugh!

So I tried to start keeping a diary of every time I went to see the place. I think that diary ended after the second time I wrote in it. I guess I'm not very good at keeping notes. Really, it's never been a strong point of mine. I wished that I could have just taken a picture with my phone, attached a quick note to it, and then set it to remind me about the note the next spring. I looked for a while and couldn't find something that felt like a good fit for what I wanted. So then I started thinking...

I have a background in computer engineering. Maybe I could make the thing I want - as a hobby project. And maybe there would be others who would be interested in it when it's done.

And then, as these things go, life took priority and the idea collected dust for a few years. Eventually, once things slowed down, I started slowly picking away at it bit by bit. And here we are now, when I'm excited to finally start sharing this project with others!

Both the Android and iOS versions are in need of some testing. Priority #1 is making sure that there aren't any critical bugs left in the system. Priority #2 is getting general feedback on the app - features, look and feel, etc. Once the testing phase is done I will release the app into the wild. Then, if there is sufficient interest, I may start working through my long list of additional features that could be included down the road.

I am using Discord as a platform for hosting the test-related info and providing a space where I can talk with testers about their experiences and ideas. Clicking the following link should open a Discord invitation to the Land Notes server:

Once in the Discord server, you should be able to find the instructions for how to access the test versions of the Land Notes app. Thanks in advance to any who provide feedback!
2 years ago