Nathalie Poulin

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since Feb 07, 2011
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Recent posts by Nathalie Poulin

Thank you for the responses! Definitely some great stuff to consider.

Tyler, I loved the links on agroforestry and alley cropping!
6 years ago
Hey everyone,

I live in Ottawa, Canada and I have a few questions for any farmer's out there, specifically who are implementing permaculture in their farm or who have converted from a conventional farm to permaculture.

If I knew a farmer who grows a monocrop of corn, who had just discovered permaculture and wanted to start changing the way he grows things to incorporate permaculture into his farm, what would be a good place to start?

How do you begin implementing changes to a farm that has been primarily monocropped/conventionally grown? What are beginning and middle steps to take, plants to help bring back fertility, keeping in mind that winter's here are very severe and constitute snow that can be many feet deep and freezing temperatures of (sometimes more than) -28C (-18F) in January. How can this farmer maintain the same yield of corn (or more?) while preserving soil fertility and diversifying crop?


Thank you!

6 years ago

Carson Beauregard wrote:Shortly after starting this thread I actually found a similar list in book form produced by a PHD researcher in Canada named Gina Mohammed. The book is called the Canadian NTFP Business Companion. Its focus is on exemplifying the development of alternative income streams derived from wild crafted products specifically in Canada, as opposed to the current economic paradigm which is mainly focused on deriving income by raping the commons, ie large scale mining projects or the harvesting of old growth forests for timber and pulp materials.

To say the least I was pretty excited to find this book, good old synchronicity at work again. The book costs about 50 dollars and I believe it is only available in cd form. Regardless I do intend to purchase this in the near future so ill keep you all posted relative to its usefulness.



I'm in Ottawa, I would love to get a copy of it! Let me know what it's like!
6 years ago
I think hazelnuts are more native than almonds (depending on where you live.) I'm not sure, but I live in Canada and I know that hazelnuts will grow better here than almonds!
6 years ago
It would seem to me that importing clay would be a huge investment of time and energy and possibly cash. The best way to retain water is to build the swale, then fill it with lots and lots of mulch. Once you have a swale built on contour, you'll already be holding more water than you otherwise would. Adding mulch, then planting around the swale will hold a lot of water.
I also don't think it's a good idea to pipe the water down to keep the swale full unless you'll be building a dam or a pond or something. Once you have your swale planted, the first couple of rains will help keep the water on the land and the plants to grow. Even during a draught, you'll find that the plants won't be as bad off as if you just had a regular vegetable garden in the summer.
If you fill the swale with as much mulch as you can find, that will go a really long way to preventing evaporation and keeping the plants healthy during a draught.

Good luck!

6 years ago
This is a bit of a broad question, but at what age(ish) do you harvest animals? How old do you let them get before you send them out for slaughter?
Rabbits? Ducks? Pigs? Chickens? Cows? Goats?

I appreciate the info!

Also, this one is probably more for Paul, but how does Sepp Holzer harvest his cows and pigs when they're living in big family groups mostly in the wild? Does he cull the young ones so there aren't too many bulls? I know he keeps them in paddocks, but I remember reading that his paddocks are pretty huge. Does he familiarize the animals with his presence? Any insight would be great!
6 years ago
Hey Everyone,

I posted this in the Great White North section, and I was told I might have better luck posting it here.

I'm from Canada, and I'm trying to write a business plan to start my own permaculture farm in Ontario (I live in Ottawa, and am not opposed to moving to Quebec). Has anyone written a plan like this? Does anyone have recent numbers about market trends in buying produce, especially 'organic'?

If anyone could offer any help or suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

Basically I'd like to get a 10-15 acre piece of land and start with a fruit tree orchard, pigs, chickens, eggs (maybe goats too) and annual veggies like mixed lettuces, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, peppers, and maybe some corn.

Thanks!
7 years ago
I'm surprised no one here has mentioned maggot buckets.

Take a 5 gallon bucket, drill some holes into the bottom and around the sides of the bottom. Hang it a foot or so off the ground. Toss in a bunch of nasty stuff, kitchen scraps, rotten meat, etc to attract flies. To prevent it from smelling, toss leaves or old news papers on the top. The flies will lay eggs, which will pupate and the maggots will fall out of the holes and the chickens will grab them right up! (I actually saw this on a video Paul put up a while ago.)

Also, I just want to say that I feed my dog a primarily raw meat diet and she's sweet of temperament. I have 3 children and I've never had a problem with my dog. Just sayin...
7 years ago
Hey guys!

I'm trying to write a business plan to start my own permaculture farm in Ontario. Has anyone written a plan like this? Does anyone have recent numbers about market trends in buying produce, especially 'organic'?

If anyone could offer any help or suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

Basically I'd like to get a 10-15 acre piece of land and start with a fruit tree orchard, pigs, chickens, eggs (maybe goats too) and annual veggies like mixed lettuces, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, peppers, and maybe some corn.

Thanks!

7 years ago
Check out this video about Sepp's farm, it's incredible. In it, he mentions that it's just him (he?) and his wife who do the farm work. It's a long video, but it's really great one.

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/930/The-Agro-Rebel
7 years ago