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.
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.
Our 2019 Permaculture Work-Trade Intern Team: Sky (seated) from Northern Illinois and Embry from Berea, KY.
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
Chronicle of a Work-Trade Program One scrappy idealist’s venture into the world of permaculture
“This permaculture summer of mine was magical for me in a lot of ways, and beginning my journey with the work-trade program was certainly a beautiful way to get started on that journey.” Coral
Perhaps you are an experienced permaculturalist and manage an amazing piece of land or you educate others in the ways of the swale. Or perhaps you have a PDC and are eager to learn more. Or maybe you’ve recently begun this journey and are looking at what Midwest Permaculture has to offer. A Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) is a good investment but it can be kind of expensive. If you’re a young 20-something like myself you may not be able to drop a thousand bucks for a week-long training. Fortunately, Midwest Permaculture provides another option: their work-trade program.
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)
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.
Our home aquaponics system. Prefect for winter greens.
Winter is almost over, yet at the beginning of this season we were determined to bring more greens into our home during the cold months. We focused on microgreens and experimented with several methods. We used two mixes from Johnny’s Seeds, one was mild and the other spicy, mostly brassica mix. Continue reading “Winter Starts and Microgreens”