Michelle Schurko

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since Jun 11, 2015
Saskatchewan
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Recent posts by Michelle Schurko

I don't have access to trees or nearby logging areas and I live in a cold climate (Zone 2b).  Wood ends up being quite expensive other than a nearly unlimited supply of free pallets.  What are the best methods to minimize the need for wood?  I've been thinking partly-underground earthen/cob walls with light straw clay insulation.  But my education, experience and budget is quite limited.

Very much interested in thoughts and ideas!
Thanks!
1 year ago
Is it possible to lay brick on its side so the largest side (the face) is facing out instead of up as it usually is?
2 years ago
@ Marco B: What a fantastic outline of goals! I'm already feeling so much more confident and not just anxious. It's hard to block out the parts of my brain that keep yelling "do it! do it! now now now!" But it sure is helpful to hear so many other people saying just relax and take it easy. I have a LOT of data to collect!
2 years ago
@RedHawk: I'm very grateful for your perspective. As a settler/occupier of Indigenous land now known as Canada, it is really important to me to establish a strong connection to those who rightly own and belong to the land I wish to steward. I've struggled a lot trying to learn how to best move forward - learning from my heart, from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers, and from the land Herself. I hope your wife is better soon. Maybe some of the people you and your wife have helped might be able to lend you a hand on your little homestead!

@John Weiland: Do you think some chicken netting would help? I'm planning on a heavily mulched garden. It's on the edge of a town so it's definitely not wilderness but far enough on the edge that it's more rural. There seems to be some birds who live in the spot and I'm trying to find out if they're insect eaters that I would love to befriend!

I've been thinking about some soil conditioners as well. Some daikon radish, alfalfa and clover.
2 years ago
Thank you for all the responses so far. I feel less pressure to get it all going as soon as possible. There's nothing there now and I'd be driving about an hour and a half for visits until I build something.
2 years ago
I'm getting close to closing the deal on a small piece of land. I've been dreaming, studying and planning for years and now with a purchase potentially a matter of days away, I feel totally stuck at the beginning! Where do you start a permaculture design? The lot is 5 or 6 acres, pretty much bare, square and flat. I have a very, VERY small budget so I can't be too ambitious with my goals. What are the best things to start right away? I'd really like to produce some food this year at least.
2 years ago
From my experience and education, it does WAY more harm to not provide exercise and stimulating activity for an animal. But it is quite true that there tends to be a bit of anthropomorphic projection onto animals. I'm a pretty big Cesar Millan fan!
2 years ago
Not sure if this would be better under critters or under energy, so I'll try here.

Would there be a method of using animal power (I'm thinking mainly dogs, but also cows or horses) to generate electricity that wouldn't be harmful to the animal? Or even a mix of human/animal power generation as in bike or treadmill power generating. I suppose their pulling power would be the best option, perhaps somehow hooked to a turbine or alternator or something. Also a nice back up for days that walking the dog seems like way too much work...
2 years ago
I visited an off grid farm that used tree leaves for carbon and then added the waste into a worm pile. The worms process the "offerings" faster than just composting and they eliminate many of the harmful bacteria that can grow and accompany humanure. It was a very lovely system that I would highly recommend.
2 years ago
Mike's work opened my eyes to a whole new world where, not only building, but a lot of things can be done totally outside the box. My current house plans are heavily influenced by his designs. His contribution to our weird world of permaculture will live on, even though his physical presence will no longer be with us.
Much love to the entire Oehler family in this difficult time.
2 years ago