Genevieve Jones

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since Oct 25, 2016
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hugelkultur forest garden food preservation
My partner and I live in a tiny house we built in my mom's backyard, in Saskatoon SK. We live in zone 3 and usually experience long cold winters. Together my partner and I own and operate a small landscaping company that specialises in drought tolerant, native, and permaculture based designs and installations. We recently purchased 160 acres (a quarter section) 50 minutes North West of our city. Our land is comprised mainly of Aspen Forest with about 20 acres of Moist Fescue Prairie. Our goal is to move onto our land and homestead while providing neighbouring communities with food and education on growing and raising their own food.
Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Hardiness transition between zone 2 and 3
localprairiedesigns.ca
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Recent posts by Genevieve Jones

Today we are brainstorming on what our future "Wheaton Labs/ant village" system might look like. Using this thread Deep Roots Program for inspiration. We plan to establish some kind of community land share program on our quarter section in Saskatchewan. We are not accepting applications at this time. The purpose of this thread is to generate discussion and add or subtract from the ideas proposed.  

The following proposals are all governed by these overruling facts: No Electric, Water or Gas lines will be brought on site. We can kick anyone off the land (with some form of reimbursement for the homesteaders and out-backers). All infrastructure, site locations and advertisement of projects must be approved by us, the land owners. Pets must be friendly and are on trial while they stay with you (cats are on probation) you must clean up after them and manage their waste in a holistic manner. There will be no garbage or recycling pick up like you get in the city; organic waste must be dealt with on-site; non-organic waste must be minimal and taken care of either individually or with help from other tenants. Vehicles must remain on designated pathways and can be parked in the public lot. Healthy trees and snags are to be protected and their removal is subject to permission from the owners. Please don't be a horrible person.

Overruling expectations: You must work to keep the entire quarter section free of non-organic waste like packaging, cigarette butts etc. You will help maintain trails and roadways on-site. You must contribute some labour to a community firewood pile. It is your responsibility to close up and lock gates when exiting the property.

Our proposed packages:

Parkland Plots
Cost: Work Trade/ Sweat Equity
Term: One-Two Years
Allowances: Small campsite. No permanent features allowed. Campers and Tents only (Tipis etc). No garbage on site. No hunting or trapping. No earthworks. This is your observation stage.
What you get: Your own temporary campsite, that you select (with approval) and then clear and maintain. You and the other campers are allowed to establish a facilities area (with approval) for your bathing, bathroom and dining/waste cycling activities. These stations would have to be off grid and incorporate resilient/zero waste systems. You have access to the entire site and are invited to work with the owners on their permanent projects (for possible funds or perks). You are encouraged to consider moving into the homestead sites and can actively scout where you want to plant down.

Homestead Holdings
Cost: To be Determined (prices would change based on size of site chosen)
Term: One - Five Years
Allowances: 1/4, 1/2, or full acre. Infrastructure must be temporary (movable, adaptable, small). You must maintain your plot and all infrastructure you place on it. You are allowed to mark out your boundary with fencing (must be approved). Maximum building size (no minimum). Access to community pasture (2 acres) for your goat, pig, small cow, horse etc. You can keep small livestock (chickens, ducks, rabbits) on your plot. Owners are allowed to view your site with no notice. Trapping of small animals allowed. Some earthworks allowed.
What you get: A place to experiment with alternative building methods (cordwood, tiny-house, wofati, strawbale etc.). A place to test out your homesteading skills (food production, animal husbandry, woodland management). This program would again focus on community with you and your fellow homesteaders erecting a new community centre (keeping in mind the centre you established in the parkland, improvements and upgrades you would incorporate) for your bathing, dining and waste management. You have the opportunity to work together in the community pasture, establish a market garden and other systems to bring in income.

Outback Acres
Cost: To be Determined
Term: Five years and beyond
Allowances: Five acres for you to improve. Permanent structure allowed (maximum size, no minimum). Ideally you will be self-sustaining. This area would be accessible to you and the owners (24 hr notice). Hunting and Trapping allowed (quantities approved by land owners)
What you get: A place to build your permaculture oasis. More private than the Parkland Plots. You are invited to improve your parcel with earth works, gardens, animals, woodlot management etc. You can rent space on "Rotation Range" to establish holistic animal management practices. Continue to build community ties.



3 years ago
Today we are brainstorming on what our future "Wheaton Labs/Ant Village" system might look like. Using this thread Deep Roots Program for inspiration. We plan to establish some kind of community land share program on our quarter section in Saskatchewan. We are not accepting applications at this time. The purpose of this thread is to generate discussion and add or subtract from the ideas proposed.  

The following proposals are all governed by these overruling facts: No Electric, Water or Gas lines will be brought on site. We can kick anyone off the land (with some form of reimbursement for the homesteaders and out-backers). All infrastructure, site locations and advertisement of projects must be approved by us, the land owners. Pets must be friendly and are on trial while they stay with you (cats are on probation) you must clean up after them and manage their waste in a holistic manner. There will be no garbage or recycling pick up like you get in the city; organic waste must be dealt with on-site; non-organic waste must be minimal and taken care of either individually or with help from other tenants. Vehicles must remain on designated pathways and can be parked in the public lot. Healthy trees and snags are to be protected and their removal is subject to permission from the owners. Please don't be a horrible person.

Overruling expectations: You must work to keep the entire quarter section free of non-organic waste like packaging, cigarette butts etc. You will help maintain trails and roadways on-site. You must contribute some labour to a community firewood pile.

Our proposed packages:

Parkland Plots
Cost: Work Trade/ Sweat Equity
Term: One-Two Years
Allowances: Small campsite. No permanent features allowed. Campers and Tents only (Tipis etc). No garbage on site. No hunting or trapping. No earthworks. This is your observation stage.
What you get: Your own temporary campsite, that you select (with approval) and then clear and maintain. You and the other campers are allowed to establish a facilities area (with approval) for your bathing, bathroom and dining/waste cycling activities. These stations would have to be off grid and incorporate resilient/zero waste systems. You have access to the entire site and are invited to work with the owners on their permanent projects (for possible funds or perks). You are encouraged to consider moving into the homestead sites and can actively scout where you want to plant down.

Homestead Holdings
Cost: To be Determined (prices would change based on size of site chosen)
Term: One - Five Years
Allowances: 1/4, 1/2, or full acre. Infrastructure must be temporary (movable, adaptable, small). You must maintain your plot and all infrastructure you place on it. You are allowed to mark out your boundary with fencing (must be approved). Maximum building size (no minimum). Access to community pasture (2 acres) for your goat, pig, small cow, horse etc. You can keep small livestock (chickens, ducks, rabbits) on your plot. Owners are allowed to view your site with no notice. Trapping of small animals allowed. Some earthworks allowed.
What you get: A place to experiment with alternative building methods (cordwood, tiny-house, wofati, strawbale etc.). A place to test out your homesteading skills (food production, animal husbandry, woodland management). This program would again focus on community with you and your fellow homesteaders erecting a new community centre (keeping in mind the centre you established in the parkland, improvements and upgrades you would incorporate) for your bathing, dining and waste management. You have the opportunity to work together in the community pasture, establish a market garden and other systems to bring in income.

Outback Acres
Cost: To be Determined
Term: Five years and beyond
Allowances: Five acres for you to improve. Permanent structure allowed (maximum size, no minimum). Ideally you will be self-sustaining. This area would be accessible to you and the owners (24 hr notice). Hunting and Trapping allowed (quantities approved by land owners)
What you get: A place to build your permaculture oasis. More private than the Parkland Plots. You are invited to improve your parcel with earth works, gardens, animals, woodlot management etc. You can rent space on "Rotation Range" to establish holistic animal management practices. Continue to build community ties.



3 years ago
Wonderful video, thank you so much for the visual aid! You're website is a very nice resource, I am filing it away haha. Also love your website layout, very clean and effective! For the hoop houses is it plastic tubing that you formed into arcs?
3 years ago
Wonderful post!! Your space has come a long way! I really enjoyed how you laid out this post to show seasonal change. I do have a question..did you let the area rest under that tarp for a whole season or just a couple weeks??
3 years ago
We are going to try and keep this post open as our journal/log book for some of our first projects on the property. Currently we are clearing our potential home-base of all brush and dead standing trees (avoiding snags). We have thus far left most of the mature aspen in place until we know exactly where we will plant down. All cleared materials are separated into two piles: green brush and dead logs.


Green Brush


Dead Stand Logs


Both Piles on Forest Edge

Hopefully by spring we will have large enough material piles to efficiently build some large hugelkultures. We like the idea of building hugelkultures to trap moisture for trees,. We've been looking at Sepp's Shock method with the trees planted in between hugel beds. We have no running water on site so we will be relying on rain water for the first little while.  We have applied for about 250 trees through a local program that provides them for free. Hoping to receive: Sea Buckthorns, Bur Oak, Jack Pine, Larch, Scots Pine, Blue Spruce, White Spruce, Lilac, Siberian Crab, Sandcherry. Right now we plan to use these trees to fill in all areas that are open to the roads.
3 years ago
Hi Cristo! We certainly have to spend more time at our place before making any final decisions. We have so far seen the property from high summer up until now, high winter. We are excited to experience a spring and summer transition and observe the weather/climate patterns for those seasons. So far the soil is very absorptive. The water level in the old well, which is at one of the lowest spots on the property, is between 5-8 feet down so far this winter. The tentative sight we have chosen is low compared to the open pasture but it is also the top of a ridge that is hidden to the north in the tree line. To the south east of our chosen spot we have a lower area which might be a good place for our first pond.
3 years ago
Hi Tom! I have a couple ideas, hope they can trigger something for you! Personally I would bring in an animal to deal with the grass. A dairy cow would be perfect, you could even find a small breed like the Zebu. If you don't have time to milk or no space for meat that is okay. The cow can be your friendly lawn mower, it will even enjoy the hay field you have.

Option two: You could try to reseed a more vigorous transition crop over the grass. Try a blend of 10+ different species. Look for species that spread by seed and by root, especially nitrogen fixers. Look up your native plants and make selections from them, they will be hardy to your area and many may be vigorous enough to take on the grass. You may already have some plants in mind with the design you've been working on.

I work in landscaping so i have the luxury of renting a sod cutter and getting grass out of the way in a single day. This could always be an option for you if you work in small sections and rent a sod cutter, just be sure to immediately seed any open ground.

Hope that helps!
3 years ago
Hi Daron! I would personally recommend avoiding the lawn mower and rototiller. Rototillers are very effective at making your grass "problem" worse. The rototiller is going to dig too far into the earth, shred the grass roots and then shoot them allover the place. You will very effectively being multiplying and spreading the grass. I have personally worked in a food forest that was built on top of grassland. This food forest required hundreds of volunteer hours each year to deal with the grass infestation. The reason they had this problem was because they sheet mulched the area. I understand that sheet mulching may work in some scenarios but it unfortunately did not work so well for this food forest.

My recommendation: bring in a pig and some chickens. A pig can clear about 250 square feet in a summer. So four pigs could till about 1000 square feet. Using animals is a win win situation for you and them. They get a free buffet of wild edibles, insects and rodents (if present). You get an edible work force/auto fertilising system.
3 years ago
I am in the early stages of planning as well! I have read a good amount of Rob Roy's books, his one book called Stoneview: how to build an eco-friendly little guest house.it shows you how to build your own small house/guest house. He explains the importance of cheap and easy building to get a person started on their land while they plan the bigger main house. The house is an octagon and uses simple timber framing methods that can support a green roof. Its a really informative book that gives most details of how to build the structure as he did.

The structure in the book is probably half the size of what you want, however I think it will work for me!
3 years ago
I have bought seed from the cottage gardener when they come through my city with the annual Seedy Saturday Event. It is my understanding that they grow and save all of their own seed on their site, located in Ontario. You could also try https://prseeds.ca/seeds/  This is another small family operation that grows their own seed on site in Saskatchewan.
3 years ago