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Alexander Rodewald

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since Jan 21, 2021
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Hi, I'm new to Permies as of 2021, and love all that I'm learning.  My wife and I are on a "journey" to un-learn bad habits and develop a regenerative lifestyle.  We just began to transform our country home into a permaculture homestead. I am grateful for all of you!!
NW Ohio
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Recent posts by Alexander Rodewald

Eric Hanson wrote:...is it allowed to plant a cover crop to grow during the 7th year but not harvest it?  If so, this might be a great time to add in a legume or annual seed mix so as to bulk up your land while it rests.

Very interesting information, thanks for sharing.   -Eric



Eric, I guess that depends on your conviction.  We literally let it all go, because that was the "letter of the law".  However, I prayed about this for a few years before doing it and felt at peace with it.  Even our house landscaping rested without annuals this year.  We rested just as much as the land!

As I mentioned in the OP, without imposing anything on the land we were able to see it's natural bent.  I grew closer to God as I walked around the property seeing and commenting about what He was showing me.  That was worth it!  (Not to mention the motivation and ideas we now have!)
Thanks for raining on my parade, Brandon!  haha  (jk)

You're right about the promises being for Israel, but I believe that many of the mechanisms for blessing are baked into the systems of nature/creation.  I'm not trying to be legalistic, but am trying to live abundantly by working with the creation's natural (God-designed) tendencies.  
Jenny, we had a wet summer, so I did not need to water anything.  (This is not always normal for NW Ohio after June.)  My pastures were green all year, so the Dexters were happy.  Also, I failed to mention that pumpkins, winter squash, and birdhouse gourds volunteered from some seeds that must've been sown in a previous year.  I even had some zinnias pop up in what was the vegetable garden.
I read in the Jewish Torah (or the first 5 books of the Old Testament) about commands with promises attached.  The one that peaked my curiosity, as it comes to regenerative gardening/farming, was the command to let the land rest every seven years.  In essence, it lies fallow.

The promise in Leviticus 25:18-22 says: " ‘So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety.  Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.  ‘And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?”  Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.  And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest."

Since the Jewish calendar year starts over every Autumn on the 1st of Tishri, which was 7 September 2021, I harvested everything I could prior to that.  Then, I just let it all go!  Since then, I haven't planted a thing, nor pruned.  

What's been interesting are the observations that I've been able to make as I watch the land do what it wants to do.  Wild grapes exploded on the south side.  Wild blackberries and strawberries came up near my driveway.  I even found fruit trees (peach & pear) on the North end where kids had thrown their pits.  These trees were already 7-9 ft high when I found them!  So, guess where I'm going to plant my grapes, berries, and food forest?

Today is the 1st of Tishri once again, so I am ready to plant/prune!  As for the fertility, I'll have to follow up next year with an update.  If it works, it's just one more tool to enhance fertility without chemicals!!  A tool that used to be a mainstay, but has been forgotten due to intensive farming practices.  I'm sure someone with more knowledge can expound.
While we're proudly sharing our first calves, I cannot resist...

This is the first heifer calf born on our property, Pearl.  We bought her mother, Clementine, in March 2021.  The two have taught us so much about having homestead cows!  For anyone who has a perimeter fence, cows are fun and rewarding.   We look forward to the day when both of these girls are producing tasty steers!  (not to mention the milk/butter!)

6 months ago
Hello Isaac!  I have thought about using NRCS for perimeter fencing and high tunnel, but am worried about the government getting too "in my shorts".  Sounds like you have experience with this, so what has been your impression about their oversight?  Is it ongoing, and/or are there stipulations about what you have to do with the site afterwards?

7 months ago
Caley, we just bought our first homestead cow, a Dexter, in March '21.  She has been a joy to our family, and has taught us more than any book!  However, starting with some research is highly advisable.  I started on YouTube and Permies.com, of course, and then read books all Winter.

Check out:  Permies.com - Homestead Cows

Some things I wish we would've done:
1. Don't be in a hurry!  Make friends with homesteaders and farmers in your area, which I wish I had done more.  The connections since owning a cow could've helped us select the right one at a good price.  Ask them about supplements and hay, etc...

2. Pasture, Pasture, Pasture!  At least some permanent fencing is a must, and I would make sure that the cow is trained to poly-braid, etc.  Plan to rotate paddocks, because a muddy cow is an unhappy, stressed cow.  (and no fun to milk!)  Watch a few Greg Judy videos.

3. Buy a tame animal with a sweet disposition.  If possible, spend a couple visits seeing how the cow interacts with people (see #1).  A skittish or aggressive cow won't do for a family milker, and maybe not even a beef cow.  Remember the calves learn everything from the mama.  

4. If the cow is bred, ask for the evidence and press the seller for a calving date.  We were told that ours would calve in June/July, but turns out she didn't get bred until just before we picked her up!!  It's almost November and her udder is just starting to swell.  (Do the sellers know what they're talking about?)

5. For beef, my advice is to go with a mid-sized standard breed.  Some of the rarer breeds might be tempting, but learning on a $1,200 animal is different than learning on a standard $300-400 one.  

Man, there's so much to say, but I hope this helps!!
1 year ago
I have the idea to build a 3-walled, un-plastered straw bale barn for the winter, as a warm place for my Dexter and calf.  Roof would be corrugated metal on a round-wood frame.  In the Spring, the bales will be used as mulch.

We live in NW Ohio, so the land is flat as a pancake and the Winter temps range from 4 to 40 F.  We could have no snow all season, or we could have a blizzard!  

Any Advice?  What other short-term barn-building methods would this group recommend?
1 year ago
I discovered a Suzanne Simard Ted Talk on a plane from Japan several years ago, and was floored!  It totally changed my view on biology and set me on a course towards permaculture and "beyond organic"/regenerative farming.  Putting evergreen shrubs (like Juniper) with my fruit trees, according to Suzanne, can communicate nutrients to the fruit trees during the winter months.  I'd love to know if anyone has had any success with that strategy!  Any caution?
1 year ago