Permaculture Design for Community Garden Project

The folks at Smart Farm in Barrington, IL, invited us to work with them on a permaculture design for a new 10-acre parcel they were gifted with.

The biggest challenge?  This was the low ground in the area and after a good rain, 5 of the 10 acres was under water, including many of their annual gardening beds.

So we designed in some rain gardens and bioswales to move the water in the direction we wanted through the property. Once the deep rooted prairie plants are established we will actually end up holding more water on the land while also keeping their annual beds dryer. Here is the conceptual design. We’ll post the ‘as-built’ design once it’s completed.

Click Here for Full View / Higher Resolution

As of this time, Smart Farm is looking for an exceptional candidate to fill the role of Farm Manager with a strong emphasis on permaculture (regenerative agriculture).  Details here.

 

Permaculture Work-traders Finish EarthShelter

It has been a real boon to have Embry Jansen and Sky Pisarski assisting us over the past couple of weeks as permaculture work-traders.  They are trading their time for one of our upcoming PDC courses. They have been assisting us with a wide variety of unfinished activities related to our CSC 8.7-acre Permaculture Land Project here in Stelle.

The Team
Work-Trade Intern team of Sky and Embry

Our 2019 Permaculture Work-Trade Intern Team: Sky (seated) from Northern Illinois and Embry from Berea, KY.

The Challenge – Mortar in the Patio Limestones

Continue reading “Permaculture Work-traders Finish EarthShelter”

Mowing Swale and Berm

Mowing a Swale and Berm System with a Ditch-Bank Flail Mower

Greetings…
A common question we get is how to maintain the ‘weeds’ or growth on a swale and berm system. I thought this pictoral summary would be helpful to many of you. Let us know what you think and about what you have been doing as well.
Cheers… Bill Wilson

Continue reading “Mowing Swale and Berm”

Plants and Pollinators Workshop

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. includes lunch.
Price – $20
Call or email to let us know you are coming.
Becky@midwestpermaculture.com
815-256-2215

Workshop will be both out in the field to identify plants and pollinators and indoors with a presentation.

For those interested there will be a casual introduction to Stelle during lunch and then a follow-up tour after 3:00. No additional charge. Continue reading “Plants and Pollinators Workshop”

Low-cost, knock-down, outdoor shower house

Here is some information about the progress we are making with our outdoor shower house projects. With campers coming to our Stelle (Il) and Bending Oak (Youngstown, OH) projects this summer we want to have a way that they can take a warm shower using current sunlight (scrap wood) to heat the water. (More on solar vs. wood burning hot shower water systems below.)

The goals for our shower houses are 5-fold;
     1. Non-permanent and portable
     2. Knock-down for winter storage
     3. Inexpensive (easily available or recycled materials)
     4. Easy to assemble/duplicate
     5. Attractive (Has to have a welcoming factor)

Prototype #1

The first concept we came up with that cost the least turned out to be more of a job to construct than first imagined, may not hold up in a hard wind, and frankly, looks a bit tacky (to me). But the price is right at $65.

Low-cost outdoor shower house made with T-posts and a tarp

Prototype #1 – Tarp and T-posts

Continue reading “Low-cost, knock-down, outdoor shower house”

Residential Design for Midwest Permaculture Home

Below is the full design map of our Midwest Permaculture Home. Click on the picture to enlarge and zoom in on any details that interest you.

Click on Above Image to Enlarge or Save if you Like

Click Here to View a PDF of Each Layer as it Develops
or Download to your own computer by right clicking, then – ‘Save link as…’ 

We created the video below for a local-food summit which we were invited to co-host. It includes many pictures and information about our (Becky and Bill Wilson) reasons for starting Midwest Permaculture and how we designed and evolved our own home.  The blog-post that follows is a condensed version of this hour-long video presentation.

Continue reading “Residential Design for Midwest Permaculture Home”

Natural Building Workshop Successful

Hello All. Our natural building workshop this weekend was a great success.

Hassan Hall, our natural-builder friend from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, taught a great hands-on class this past weekend here at Midwest Permaculture.

Hassan in building flanked by Justin and Will

Everything was ready to start the next phase of construction on the first of 9-small earth shelters we have planned for EarthCamp Village. It was now time to put the rough coat (or base coat) of earthen ‘plaster’ on to the walls of clay-slip-straw that had been packed in last fall. Continue reading “Natural Building Workshop Successful”

Late Flowering Fruit Trees to Avoid Frost Damage

Hello Fruit Tree Enthusiasts…

Why late flowering fruit tree cultivars?
We have a couple of clients with South facing slopes in Missouri. These slopes warm up much faster than North facing slopes and as such will tend to flower before the last frost thus killing the pollinated blossoms and eliminating the crop. So I emailed our Plant Guy, Bryce Ruddock, to make some recommendations.

Late blooming fruit tree cultivars can greatly minimize frost damage.

His response was so helpful we thought many of you might appreciate what he shared with us as well.  Here is the email from Bryce. Enjoy. Continue reading “Late Flowering Fruit Trees to Avoid Frost Damage”