Josey Schanen

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since Oct 16, 2016
Hello everyone! I am a 17 year old boy who lives in a rural setting here in Wisconsin. I used to be like many other little kids growing up in the industrial capitalist United States, naive to the problems that we face, particularly to the severe issue of human sustenance over the long haul. But then I became awake and aware to the problems we faced, and I became especially passionate about ecosystems and food. In October of my 6th Grade (2011) I delved into the modern hunter-gatherer movement, and I truly got into foraging the next August. And I still do that as a hobby because it is easy (for me) and fun, but I then discovered the permaculture movement and was truly inspired (and I have greatly evolved on the philosophy of permaculture as well). The best I have done so far is a rather pest-infested tiny sheet mulch garden and a small Berkeley compost pile that is going well, but my ultimate goal in life is to become as self-reliant as humanly possible while regenerating landscapes. Some of the systems I hope to implement include Chinampas disturbance crop beds in our current pond, Hugelkultur beds for small areas of unused areas of lawn for more disturbance crops, bee hives, house water harvesting, biogas cookstove, compost hot water and (potentially) home heating systems (although if that isn't possible I'll pollard black locust, use a rocket stove, dry it thoroughly, and make biochar), efficient food preservation methods, and most of all swaled silvopasture systems, with non-disturbance perennial crops on the mound, intensive rotational grazing in between the swales with ruminants and birds, and a resilient system to water the animals, and much more than I can think of at the moment. I am hoping that my life will be a pleasurable adventure and that ultimately I can have a positive impact on the world around me.
Grafton WI, USDA Zone 5b, AHS Zone 4, Very Flat, 35", Alkaline Dry Sand and (More) Neutral Wet Clay
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Recent posts by Josey Schanen

I am actually going to answer my own question. Considering how much biomass is produced by cattail, I think I will leave the cattails intact and use them for biofuel and for goats.
2 years ago
Hello everyone!
I have an idea that could perhaps come out of Joel Salatin's "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal" for several years out after I receive my Bachelor's Degree. On our property, we have a marsh surrounded by a c-shaped hillside that was formerly a shallow pond but became overtaken by the narrowleaf cattail. I was wondering if it would be a practical idea to scythe the seemingly infinite amount of brown carbonaceous matter out of that area for bedding, mulch, compost, biochar, etc., and then place pigs in that area to uproot the cattails. Here they could produce pork while ridding the area of most cattails, and thus creating more favorable conditions to perhaps grow willows for biomass fuel and various other uses. Or perhaps I could just scythe it and use the cattail foliage for fuel and goat forage.
2 years ago
Thank you all for making me more confident in the future as for how to properly dispose of the conifers on the property. And on another positive note I just saw the image in Ben Falk's book The Resilient Farm and Homestead of how he transformed a conifer (white pine) desert into an unbelievably lush pasture in just one year, so yes indeed we can do something about the vast unused and abused areas that have a dominant overstory of conifers.
My intention has changed somewhat on the placement of the hugel beds. I don't want to put them in wetlands in particular, I want to put them in small patches of what is now lawn to make use of the small spaces (and the chinampas in the pond) for growing disturbance crops while using large enough areas for silvopasture with intensive mob grazing between the swales and perennial crops on the mound. The wet ground I am referring to is not at all completely saturated for a long period of time, there are many grasses and perennial crops that not only can grow in these conditions but also thrive in these conditions (and anyways too wet is usually not nearly as bad as too dry, even in a humid climate).
2 years ago
Thank you Michelle, that makes me ever more optimistic about the potential that exists to create even more growing mediums that are protected from inundation after spring melts and hard rains and summer drought (yes even in the wetter locations) simultaneously. In true wetlands I am already planning on well in the future (because after all I am only 17 and in the observation phase) to create chinampas beds.
2 years ago
Hello everyone! One challenge that I want to deal with in the future is to dispose of unwanted pine and spruce trees in a regenerative matter, so I was wondering if I could create Hugelkultur beds with pine and spruce in a wetland anaerobic clay area (which also happens to have the most neutral soil in our alkaline area due to the wet clay and possibly the conifers) and plant conifer and (possibly) acid tolerant species on the mounds (think: highbush blueberries in particular). And if you have any other inputs regarding the disposal of pine and spruce, it would be greatly appreciated!
2 years ago
Hello everyone, by no means is this urgent, but I do have a question regarding watering animals on VERY flat land such as this. I plan to establish Ben Falk-style silvopasture on our former 8 acre airstrip in six years after I graduate from college (perennial non-disturbance crops on the swale mound with intensive rotational grazing of ruminants and birds trailing behind), which is a great system (no doubt about it, it builds AMAZING soil), but where I have seen it it seems to be in areas where there are steep and big enough slopes to be able to harvest tremendous amounts of water in a upper holding pond. So my question is, is there any way I could gravity feed water for animals on a very flat runway where the highest portion leads to a sudden dropoff and the only place higher than the runway is where horse manure is spread (probably not), or would it be a good idea to use the lowest pond at the "bottom" of the runway and use a solar pump to use this water that otherwise would run off. All inputs are greatly appreciated!
2 years ago