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Julia Winter
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hello Badgers!

We are nearer to Madison, on a one acre lot adjoining a small airfield. Our hangar has a room for our hens, which number 10-15. The number varies as we generally keep them for life. I'm still relatively new to permaculture in specific, but I find that I've already got many of the "permaculture favorites" on our land, mostly because I'm so into food: paw-paws planted between our apple trees (four years old--no fruit yet), lawn removed (I've been on a 12 year course of lawn reduction, often achieved via mass amounts of free wood mulch I can get from the City of Madison--no issues with toxics) (yet) and perennials planted around the fruit trees rather than turf. I have comfrey plants, but I haven't tried putting them around the fruit trees--that may be a project for the spring. I have two plantings of blueberries, one 11 years old and one 2 years old. My 11 year old peach tree is not long for this world, sadly, but it put out a big crop last year so I couldn't cut it down! I have winecap Stropharia mushrooms colonizing the wood mulch by the chicken pen, and they are finally starting to come into regular production.

I have a big patch of sunchokes because, well, because I haven't burned them--they will multiply unless severely harvested! I have not tried feeding sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) to my hens. I have 2 foot raised garden beds in a formal garden and more free-form plantings (a rapidly developing tangle of prime-Jim and prime-Jan blackberries in between pumpkin patch and sweet corn/tomato/edamame bed in the "back back" yard. My asparagus patch is a disappointment, actually--I think they need better weed control. My blackcurrant bush amazes me with how much food I get with no effort on my part beyond harvesting, and the gooey blackcurrant jam I make is my daughters' favorite.

My raspberries in the back are less than a year old, as is my horseradish plant. My strawberries aren't producing like they used to--I may need to redo the patch--but my alpine strawberries are self-seeding into new parts of the garden, which is fabulous. I installed a hugelkultur berm in my front yard this fall--that's how I found this site, looking for more information about hugelkultur. I have camassia bulbs in the new front garden, planted as an ornamental but I will try cooking some in a few years if they multiply. I plan to add aronia (serviceberry) and elderberry to the new front garden, along with a weeping mulberry tree.

In the house, I've enjoyed making soap (yes! with the scary lye stuff!!) from the tallow that I got from a half steer we butchered. We bought our third whole hog this fall and butchered it ourselves so that nothing went to waste. I was successful in making prosciutto from both hams of our first hog (the second one aged more than a year) and delicious traditional smoked hams from this third one. (I'm slightly embarrassed to say that at least one hind leg of the second hog is still in my deep freeze, waiting for me to make sausage.) We've made more amazing smoked bacon than you can shake a stick at, and large amounts of really nice sausage as well. (I can bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, with a lard/butter crust, and it is to die for. Just sayin'.) We started our butchering adventures at least ten years ago with runty lambs, and we continue to buy local grass fed lambs along with the pastured hogs and beef.

My latest culinary adventures involve fermentation, various salt fermented vegetables and right now my first batch of ginger beer is brewing. I'm proficient at yogurt and kefir, made paneer with supervision but would love to learn to make more kinds of cheese. Honestly, I dream of having a cow but with two kids in grade school and limited space, it ain't happening. More likely I will finally get a bee hive this spring. Aside from hens, we also have a cat, a dog, a house bunny and two big planted aquariums.

. . . and, I like to blather on sometimes (and I use parentheses more than is reasonable). Sorry!
Andrew Bartelt
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Junction City (near Stevens Point) here. The wife, daughter and I are 6 months into our move to the country. We have 7.5 acres to sculpt and I am just starting to investigate permaculture. We have chickens, 34 culled to 14, some garden beds and about thirty fruit trees. I will be making more beds this spring and am about to order about 500 fruit/berry and nut bearing saplings from coldstreamfarm. I figure I will plant them in the ground untill they grow more and I will have better idea of how to place them. They are mostly native (and good invasive) species and I will probably have extra for trade or sale or gifting.
I am unsure if I want to invest time and money into a PDC, so am looking for someone to consult with. We both still work so we don't have time to hugelkutur and terraform everything so I will do the best i can for now and hopefully not screw up too much, but time is a wasting and i want stuff growing! I am not trying to change the world, or save it, just hoping to spread the message of self sufficiency and liberty with proof of concept and permaculture education to the monocroppers and fast foodites around here.
Linda Krassau
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hello, new to permaculture but am supper excited about the possibilities! We live in Hudson, Wisconsin on a city lot and I want to turn it into an urban homestead complete with chickens and a greenhouse next summer. I have begun an aquaponics system in my basement and have been making my own wine for a couple of months. My husband's family also owns a hunting cabin up in Dairyland on 80 acres which we spend all of our freetime. We would love to retire up there in the woods but right now have to keep working and paying "the man." We are planning also to build a small "hobbit house" out of straw and cob out in the forest on our 80 acres for fun. For all of you around the twin cities there is a great brew shop in Stillwater, MN which also carries the wine/beer making supplies plus the supplies for hydroponics and aquaponics called Still H2O. I just discovered it and thought I'd pass it on to those who may be interested. Also, if you are starting an aquaponics system Future Farm in Baldwin, WI will provide you with tilapia, catfish or prawns for your small hobby system.
J Smith
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

We're here in Dane County, homesteading on my partner's old family place, happy with our zillion critters and gardens. Hello Wisconsinites.
T Holden
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

SW Wisconsin newbie here. We (3 families) are building a permaculture village in the Driftless Region. We love barter and sharing.

Hans Finanger
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Big love to all you in WI... I'm just across the river in the NE corner of IA. Planning to close on 10-15 acres within the next few months so that the lady and I are ready for projects come spring. We're buying from a family member, so we've had access to the above mentioned land for some time. We've been building hugelkulturs, branching in the woods, and clearing trail. We're lucky that cattle grazed here for many years, so they've created nice trails...we're just trimming them up. We'd like to plant fruits and nuts in the spring. First order of business is a driveway, then the first building will be a sauna. Anyone have any specific apple/pear/nut varieties that have done well for you?

Josef Theisen
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Greetings from Kenosha County, down in the Southeast corner of the State. My wife and I have 1 acre that we are developing into a homestead. We have chickens, and gardens. I am currently working on moving the gardens up into zone 1 and converting the back yard into a food forest/paddock area. I have also been saving open pollinated seeds for that last three years, and plan to offer some of them for sale online now that I kind of know what I'm doing. I am also open to barter.

I have been lurking here for a while and look forward to joining the discussions with this fantastic group of people. For more details on our projects, check out my new blog.
Lissa Lane
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hey Sconnies!

Just wanted to let you all know about an awesome event coming up in the Driftless region...
Local Food Day, October 24th, 2012, taking place at the Food Enterprise Center at 1201 North Main St. Viroqua.

Here's the latest line-up of events:

03:00 - 04:00pm
Open Session - tour of the facility, live music, informational booths, kid's events, farmers market and local food vendors

04:00 - 05:00pm
* Informational Sessions - round one
Cooking Demonstration
Funding Your Food/Agriculture Idea
Vernon County Community Food Assessment - 5 Years of Progress
See Jane Grow - How Women Are Transforming Food

05:00 - 06:00pm
Break and Open Session - tour of the facility, live music by Parrish Music Song Group, informational booths, kid's events, farmers market and local food vendors

06:00 - 07:00pm
* Informational Sessions - round two
Farm to School in Vernon County
Farm Bill
How to Access Local Food
Farmstead Chef - Grow, Harvest, Prepare & Share

07:00 - 08:00pm
Social Mixer with live Music & Munchies
(catered by Rooted Spoon - produce & other food items donated by Just Local Foods and dairy products donated by Organic Valley)
Growing Community - come share your knowledge and passion for
local food with your fellow community members (nurture existing
relationships and build new ones).

* For session descriptions view them by time & topic here. You can learn more about each of our speakers here.

Info can be found at

Stacy Zoozwick
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

My family and I just got wonderfully blessed with a new small farm and house. We are 15 min east of Marshfield Wi on the top of a beautiful hill. We will be signing a land contract in Jan. 30 arc or what we will be getting to start our new homestead. The chickens and goats are already in heaven here and can’t wait to start my organic pasture raise chicken next April. I didn’t think we would ever have the opportunity for this much land. So you can imagine how my mind is going a million mile per hour right now. I defiantly will be opening up my homestead to the public for free range eggs and healthy chick and food. Its going to be a lot of hard work to get thing up and going to where we need it. But that the fun of it right? First goal self-sustaining homestead, second get off the grid. Lord I’m glad I have praying friends lol.
Todd Parr
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Lisa, I'm close to you. I live near Tomah. I have two acres that I have just started on, my girlfriend has three, and we are looking for 40 or so. I would love to get together sometime and see where you are going with your land.
Kristen Hohlfeld
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hi, We are near Chaseburg, WI, just learning about all this permaculture!
Stacy Zoozwick
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hello Lisa from the devils triangle LOL.
I’m from Rapids area and am excited to see someone so close to home on permies.
I grew up in Junction City went to SPASH, so I know your area very well.
I am excited for your big taboo at your farm.
Hope it is coming together with ease.
Looking forward to meeting people with the same concerns and love from this lifestyle.
Lisa Albrecht
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hey to all my fellow Wisconsinites! I have 12 acres up here near the Stevens Point/Wausua/Appleton Bermuda Triangle! Was very fortunate to be able to go to the Sepp Holzer workshop in Detroit last month. That man was a wonder of energy and I am still reeling with enthusiasm! I am planning on getting the same excavator from our Detroit workshop to come here to my farm and have a hugel/kratergardenpaloozaaa! All of my fellow Wisconsin Permies are invited. Bring your tents! I'll update you when the events are finalized!!
Peter Mally
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

HI!! I'm orginally from Wisconsin, grew up in Delavan, though I got dragged to MI by my wife , I still have family in the area and come to visit as often as I can. nice to see some people on here from my old neck of the woods
Margaret Hess
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Good to hear from you Dale. I want to visit the Aldo Leopold Center in August or Sept and perhaps that can be an occasion to meet or at least we can communicate more directly once I am on the ground in WI. I will look you up. My profile has my email address. Good day to you.
Dale Bunger
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Greetings from Whitewater, WI. We are hoping to turn our 10 acres into a productive, natural oasis in the middle of a corn/soybean desert.

Most of our immediate challenges are a direct result of choices we made without the benefit of a practical understanding of Nature and its systems. We are constantly being reminded that almost every decision would have been made differently if the basic concepts of permaculture were applied. Doing lot's of reading, attending some classes, and interested in meeting with like minded individuals to discuss what works.

Here's to the journey...
Margaret Hess
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hi from central Brazil. I will be visiting family near Wausau, WI in August and September. Would love to meet permies in the area. Am considering returning to WI or as close to WI as possible in ON (Thunder Bay, Thessalon?). Would love to visit a wofati house and agroforestry projects. Looking for cooperative living on chemical free farm. Possible purchase of toxin free cottage with garden area or build a wofati. Please see my profile for more info. And do email - would love to explore and make plans.
Logan Alan
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hello from Janesville!

First official post here on Permies; looking forward so very much to learning as much as possible here.

my main interests lie in natural building (mostly cob) and hopefully one day building my own home as well as teaching others how to do it as well. hopefully even building houses for some folks and becoming an experienced person in the natural building community as a whole.
Neal Styka
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hello from Milwaukee.

I live in community owned housing and we have several houses on the block and an empty lot that we are working on doing more perennial based planting with several fruit trees and shrubs. We are also trying to do small scale rainwater harvesting. Chickens became a part of our yard last fall and hopefully we will have a beehive in the spring. There is lots of good stuff going on here in Milwaukee with 2 PDC offered this summer and a good buzz about what's happening.

Christine Raymond
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Driftless region, La Farge area here. Excited to find this site and this particular area. Nice to have a spot to connect to like-minded neighbors!

We have 16 acres and raise rainbow trout, dairy goats, heritage pigs and chickens...with a few stray critters here and there. Always looking for barter and knowledge opportunities. We are in year two of our new farm and trying to be as sustainable as possible. I enjoy having this forum as a learning space!

Deedles Johnson
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hi from Winnebago county and soon to be Waushara county. Looking forward to planting an edible landscape starting this spring and also getting some hugulkulture beds going. We had chickens a couple years back and will again be getting into that and maybe adding some ducks. Would love to know if there is anyone (or anytwo) like minded folks in eastern Waushara county.
Ryan Quinn
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Hi All! Stockholm, Wi here! Right next to Maiden Rock bluff. That is kind of west central wisconsin across from Lake City, MN!

Would love to get to know some permies in this state and region.

We have a 60 acre farm. This spring as the ground thaws we'll be working hard to permascape it. Doing permaculture u-pick strawberries and hopefully other veggies. Adding ponds, aquaculture and more grass fed cattles and some pigs n ducks.

Would love anyone to stop by if you're in the area. And maybe we could do a MN/WI potluck here on the farm. We're located on the bluffs, about a mile from the big Muddy and a mile north of Maiden Rock Bluff. Maybe you've heard of the Maiden Rock Winery/Cidery if you been up WI35 up here. It's just me and my mama running this farm, and now that she's on board with permaculture this should be a great year!


Stacy Zoozwick
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Blessing from Wisconsin Rapids. My husband and I are just in the infant stages of changing the way we live. We have always been geared towards organics and living a simple life. This site is a great tool for our growth and education. Our goal over the next 3 years is to buy 40 acr a small farm house that we can homestead. I already have my horses for the heavy work and to run to town, chicken for meat and eggs. Can’t wait to get land so we can get goats sheep and cows. Thank you Permies for your awesome site!
kayakplayer Hatfield
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

Hailing from Southeast Outagamie County with lots to learn. I'm gradually converting sod and an above ground pool area into gardens around my house located on a good sized city lot. Attended a day long bio-intensive gardening workshop this summer which fired me up and wet my whistle. Built a pair of cold frames this summer from a set of windows and some 2"x2" lumber picked up at the restore, combined with 4" styrofoam from a hot tub cover found on the curb, they are well insulated. I'm starting lots of winter vegetables out there. Also picked up some electrical conduit and made a low hoop house for the second stage in the life of those vegetables. Been working hard to get the compost pile large enough with the leaves and lawn clippings available this Fall. Wondering, has anyone ever placed their compost pile inside of a hoop house to heat it through winter? I've read about cold frames placed over manure in a deep hole covered with soil to heat them from beneath.
neschuler McCoy
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

I'm from SW Manitowoc County and would love to connect with some other like-minded people nearby!

@summerstripes - Where are you located in the state? Love the 'disposable pop culture' reference!

@dandelionacres - Where in NE WI are you located?
regrets HD
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

Hello all.  I am in Milwaukee, just getting started into the perma research but already I am very satisfied with all of the amazing ways to make life as self sufficient and wasteless as possible.  It's not easy to get tons of experience stuck here in the city (unfortunately my brother convinced me to buy at the top of the bubble).  Gonna be a bit till I can manage to drag my ass out of here.  As far as city living goes we do have a pretty good sized yard so I can't complain too much.

I am always happy to lend a hand if I have the time and would love to stay connected to the perma community in Wisconsin.
keralee Hatfield
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

Greetings all--I am in Two Rivers, 1.5 hours north of milwaukee on the lake.  Totally PC-ing my tiny 1/10 acre (less?) very urban mini-yard... I am a PDC course graduate if any of you want help.  So far so good, the neighbors stop and stare and this is only year two.  My mulberry grew 1o feet in one year (a sort of hugelkultur and rain garden did the trick), I got good fruit on most trees in first year too. 10 fruit and nut trees so far, but I think I can squeeze in a few more. I keep 5 hens, they help a lot by expediting the compost cycle and converting grass and weeds into planting beds and eggs.  Permaculture definitely works, I expect to grow most of my fruits and veg from my yard within 5 years, by which time you probably won't be able to see the house for the plants.  Bees seem to be needed next, there aren't enough of them here--my pollination rates seem poor, am working on a "stealth hive" to install in my basement floor joists, accessed from below, with a bee door out the side of building.  Anyone done this yet?  Advice?  And have any of you tried building a rocket mass stove in a basement yet? I really want to build one...
Have any of you tried growing mashua in WI?     
I have experience building with strawbales if any of you want to play with those.
Do any of you have exp. with greywater here in winter?
jessesmith McCoy
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

freespirit wrote:
Please do share if you hear of anything going on in Polk Co. as I live there too.


well Me equals 3 for polk county, just found this site today.
we have a couple gardens and are trying to figure out how to make the most of the land we have,
and the wooded garden/ layered permaculture seems ideal when we can work out what to grow.

cheers to you also

Marie Meglic
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

KapKarl wrote:
Up here in the NW, in the area of the St. Croix valley, we're moving slowly toward toward self-sufficient sustainability.  Many interesting projects going on in and around Polk County.

Please do share if you hear of anything going on in Polk Co. as I live there too.

Rciofm Hatfield
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

WOW!!! What a great site. My Wife and I are south of Milwaukee In Racine. We live in the city and are in the process of converting our entire back yard (well almost entire) into a food plot. I have built 18"X6' long boxes that we put next to the house and grow out the top and bottom of them (the bottom of the boxes are aprox 4' off the driveway). We are trying to grow enough to can and last into the winter. We are also opening a year around farmers market in Racine so the locals can sell there crops direct to the consumers. We are hoping it goes well. Good luck to all!!!
Kap Karl
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

Up here in the NW, in the area of the St. Croix valley, we're moving slowly toward toward self-sufficient sustainability.  Many interesting projects going on in and around Polk County.
David Castillo
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

I'm in Antioch, IL as well. Just a few houses down from the border. Currently working on converting my 1/3 acre into edible foodscape. If only I didn't have to work  .
Travis Halverson
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

My wife and I are living in Minneapolis now but are saving money and "window shopping" for a bit of land in northern WI.  We're trying for a 90 minute drive time radius outside Superior/Duluth.
Joe Skeletor
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

I'm in Antioch, IL. Could walk to Wisconsin from here. Just wanted to say hello. I spend a lot of time up in WI. Michael Fields Institute in East Troy has some nice workshops on a bunch of different topics (grass-fed rabbits, perennial food systems, dairy goats, ect).

Keep me updated on any WI permaculture happenings. I may move up there soon anyhow -
Drew Carlson
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

I am located in Madison. There is a pretty strong Permaculture movement picking up steam here. I am going to be working on some urban and rural projects this summer. 
etomaro McCoy
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

I'm from...the exact same corner as JulieBE (hi babe!).  Thanks for starting this thread, summerstripes. 
Julie BE
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

SW corner  here.  Just purchased 40 acres, will be s l o w l y  building a permaculture homestead over the next life time.  Just two of us always looking for advice or as things progress trade for seeds, meat and animal fibers. 
Marie Meglic
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

Hi from the St. Croix River region.

I'm completely new to permaculture gardening, but it really aligns with me.  I'm currently saving to buy some land, which is challenging for me, but any guidance on that will help.  I don't want to live too remotely, however.  I would like to start small with a little land and to produce enough for my own sustainability and to just barter any surplus or sell to small local markets.  I'm contemplating about a larger piece of land to do more in the future with nut and fruit trees, but that is out of my reach at this point.

I just heard of a week-long class in forest gardening at the University of River Falls -Wisconsin in March, but I can't take a week off from work, nor afford it right now.  Perhaps others would be interested, however.   

Enjoy the winter!
Dandelion Acres
Post     Subject: Re: Wisconsin permies

Hello from the NE part of the State! Just found this site! We are a family of five trying to live as sustainable as possible on a couple of acres. We raise Beyond Organic Layers, meat birds, and pastured rabbit. We are starting a market garden this year as well. Interested in getting into some fruit trees, turkeys, lamb, and possibly even some pork. Love the idea of local contacts and connections!!!
Barrett Johanneson
Post     Subject: Wisconsin permies

Are you out there? I know I have met a few online over the last while, but I wanted to start a thread that was just about those of use forging ahead in the Badger State.

We all have a lot in common, but what exactly? There's a love of the environment -- like Gaylord Nelson, Aldo Leopold, Frank Lloyd Wright, and of course others whose names I wish I could recall right now. We share the Great Lakes, rivers, forests, and certainly our soils. Our state politics can be pretty different, for instance we fired Russ Feingold this year but our new odious governor might finally legalize raw milk. Community supported agriculture continues to grow. I keep seeing solar panels, solar hot water, hearing about people who have turned to growing fruit trees, vegetables, trees, chickens, grapes, and some, like us, who want to grow an entire ecosystem. I often see pieces of a growing community, but not the whole picture. And I definitely don't know anyone in my circle of friends, little nearby town, or anyone really at all who works with permaculture. Shocking now that I realize it! 

I will hold my own introduction until a comment coming soon, but please introduce yourself if you count Wisconsin as your home. I think it would be great to establish more local and regional connections, which means learning more about our climate, which means trading heirloom seeds and grafts and bulbs and cuttings. It could mean all kinds of great benefits for us and our state, a place that needs more permaculture than it needs anymore disposable pop culture.