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Maine Permies Meetup - 2024

 
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Hi All,

You can now register for the Maine Permaculture and Homestead Meetup (formerly Maine Permies Meetup).
https://www.eventcreate.com/e/mainemeetup

The time has come to plan the Maine Permies Meetup 2024! Here are the questions that need deciding.

What? - Two parts. The first part will be education with 3 presenters. Jesse Watson (Permaculture consultant) and Dan Kaplan (Owner of HeartStone Farm and a successful serial entrepreneur.) and Justin Lapp (Assistant Professor at UMaine and Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Laboratory). Second part just down the road will be at the Timber Kitchen and Bar. This is the question I need your help on the most. Last year, we went to a nice restaurant with a lot of local food and had a great time fellowshipping. We could do that again. Many people expressed interest in something more. There are two main paths to look at here. One way would be to have a more free-form time at a park or farm with room for kids to play. The other would be more focused with work/instruction and probably need to be just adults or older children. In both cases I think it should culminate with a meal of some sort (whether potluck, catering, or restaurant is open for discussion). Other things suggested were: a special speaker, a documentary/instructional movie, a project on someone's homestead, building a rocket mass heater, an afternoon at a farm, or the fedco tree sale.

Who? - The first 40 people who want to come and can sit through presentations. The target is adults and older kids in Maine. Kids or no kids is really the only question here. And that will greatly be effected by the "What" question. Since I'm planning this, I get to decide the rest of this question. This is targeted for people living in Maine who have an interest in permaculture, homesteading, farming, gardening, sustainability, and the like. Anyone outside of Maine who wants to travel is also more than welcome.

When? - May 25th, 2024 part one - from 2pm to 5pm, part two - from whenever we get there to whenever (5:05pm until 7:30ish) Currently, I'm planning for sometime on the Memorial Day Weekend, which would be May 25th, 26th, or 27th (if I'm looking at my calendar correctly). If there are a majority of people who can't do this weekend, but can a different one, then I'm open to change.

Where? - Rize Center and then the Timber Kitchen and Bar, both in Bangor, Maine Last year, Bangor was the most centrally located geographically. Since it is fairly in the middle of the state, I think that still may be the case this year. If we have a large number of people interested, all from a certain area, this may skew things.

Please share your thoughts.
 
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Bangor, Memorial Day weekend is good for me. my daughter may come as well. ive never been to Fedco so that would be cool but I'm open to others suggestions.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Steve,
Unfortunately while researching the tree sale at Fedco... I found that things have changed after the COVID shutdown. It is sort of still happening, but not a big event and somewhat limited.

https://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees/tree-sale-past-and-future.htm
 
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Hi Matt! My husband and I moved to Aroostook County last June and we'd love to meet other Mainers who are into permaculture. We can come to Bangor on Memorial Day weekend. We don't have kids at home anymore, but I think it would be great to include activities for kids so families can come together. I love being around kids and miss that so much! Other than that my focus is on meeting people and don't particularly care what else goes on other than building relationships.

Thank you for organizing this.
 
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Since I had Memorial Day weekend off last year, I'll most likely have to work. There is a chance that I'm off the weekend and work Memorial Day itself, so if you could keep it to Saturday or Sunday, the odds are better that I might be able to attend. As for Location: Bangor is fine with me. I'm coming from Monticello.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Jennifer,
Welcome to Maine! :)

We would love to have another couple join the get-together.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Anna,
I will keep that in mind. I know many people have Memorial day off, but some do not, so chances are, we will plan to have it on either Saturday or Sunday.
 
Matt McSpadden
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As someone with a bunch of kids, I like the idea of a family get-together, but I haven't found much for that option. There are a few parks in Bangor that we could use for a picnic, but they are right in the middle of everything.

I have come across a couple possibilities for special speakers. I have not spoken with them about this yet, but one is an ND, herbalist, and enthusiast for growing things, specifically medicinal things. Another is a Permaculture consultant based here in Maine.

I'm hoping people will start checking their email for updates and purple moosages, or I'll just go with whatever I find :)
 
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Hi all, I started an organization called White Ash Learning (http://whiteashlearning.org), and we could potentially host this event at one of our sites on a donation basis. If there is interest, email or phone would be the best way to communicate with me about this! It could range from no services (just a space to meet up, therefore minimal donations needed to cover costs) to providing camping space for the whole weekend for families (both properties that would be options for use have composting outhouse systems, one has potable water (hot and cold) the other has swimming. The locations are about 40-45 min from Bangor, 10-15 minutes from Belfast. I can send more details if interested, and also happy to talk through what could be possible via phone! (Find my # on the website, don't want to post in a forum). A very tiny bit about me ... I previously assisted teaching a PDC in western Maine, now I primarily work with youth, we utilize permaculture design principles and systems on all of our properties!
 
Caitlin Horigan
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Also! Highly recommend Jesse Watson as a speaker https://www.midcoastpermaculture.com and also Mark Fulford - no website that Im aware of, but he is my neighbor so happy to put someone in touch, here's a randomly selected video of one of his presentations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDBEFNXAxgI

If a longer list of potential speakers / presenters is desired, I've been working in and tangential to this field for 10+ years in the northeast and happy to brainstorm a longer list. There are some very cool projects going on
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Caitlin,
Welcome back to permies :), I see you had a couple posts from years ago.

Jesse Watson was actually the Consultant I mentioned, haha. He and I spoke yesterday, and he was excited to hear about the gathering. I would love to see you there as well.

I have not heard of Mark Fulford, but I will be sure to check out that video in more depth. I hope to make this a regular annual thing, so it might be nice not to always have the same speakers each year.

As to the locations, thank you for mentioning it, and I will contact you for more details. It is a bit farther from Bangor than I would like, but I have begun the process to find a place to meet, and I would be remiss not to add yours to the list of possibilities.

***Edit PS - I think two presentations in a single day is probably sufficient for this year. I want to keep it simple, while expanding from just a meal. There are other people and groups who do the more in depth teaching and workshops (such as Jesse). Until we get a bit more a base of people coming every year, I think keeping it lite would be good (for my sake planning, as much as anything, haha).

 
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I’m available that weekend and Bangor is a do-able distance for me. That weekend is always a busy planting weekend as it’s often the first weekend past our average last frost. I imagine MOFGA might be a possible meeting place, too. Looking forward to meeting everyone!
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Laloo,
Welcome to Permies!

Good to hear from another Mainer, and I look forward to meeting you. I had thought about MOFGA as well. It would add another hour travel for those coming from the north. Of course it might knock an hour off the trip for those coming from the South. I was conversing with another Mainer about how big our state really is. It would be great if there was enough people that we could have a couple meetups or even several for the state, so people didn't have to drive so far. Unfortunately for right now, my capacity is planning just one :)
 
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Hi Matt;
I just checked and Maine is 320 miles from top to bottom.
Larger than the other New England states combined!
As a reference, Montana is 630 miles wide.
Both are big beautiful states bordering our friendly neighbor to the north.
 
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When I drove from the bottom of Maine to the top it took me 6.5 hours!  Was a very nice drive, though.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Well if anyone wants to donate a helicopter and pilot, we can fly around and pick people up, haha, otherwise we will have to make do, and just understand that some people will not be able to make it.

I'm going to wait a couple more weeks to see if people find this post and give feedback.

I have made contact with several groups who are doing permaculture/homesteading but are not part of Permies.com. So I am going to be making a website to allow people to register, so I know how many to plan for. Since I can't just count posts on here, if we have some others come :)
 
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Good to see the Maine contingent is growing!  Bangor and any day Memorial Day weekend sounds good to me.
Anyone else around the Augusta area thinking of attending?
 
Matt McSpadden
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Update:

Saturday afternoon/evening is looking best right now.

The second speaker that I had in mind is not available that weekend. So I am continuing to research people in the area who could share something useful.

As to location, so far it is either too far (45min or more from Bangor) or too expensive ($600+ for a room for 30 people for a couple hours). I am currently planning to end up at Timber Kitchen again... so I don't want to be too far away from Bangor. I also wanted to keep this event free or inexpensive, so a $600 room is a bit more than I wanted.

I am open to any additional suggestions for speakers or locations.
 
Randy Butler
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Good Morning Matt

Have you considered the University?  Not sure if they provide space for public service activities.

Thanks for all the legwork to set this up!
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Randy,
That is one possibility I had not thought of yet. There is actually a Permaculture department up there. I'm inviting the staff and students if any are interested. https://umaine.edu/sustainability/community/terrell-house/

Depending on Traffic and where you are going on campus, that is more like 20 minutes away. Not as close as I would like, but maybe doable. Its worth asking.
 
Matt McSpadden
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So, I am waiting for the final confirmation, but I have a general confirmation that we have a space finally. It's in Bangor and just down the road from Timber Kitchen. More info to come soon.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Things are coming together!

The official date is May 25th. This year we will divide it into two parts.

Part 1 - From 2-5pm we will be at the The Rize CoWorking and Collaboration Space in Bangor Maine. They have a conference room that can hold 40 people. My hope is to have 3 presenters with time for Q&A after each one. This part is free with optional donation. I want people to be able to come regardless, but the room does cost $150 for up to 20 people and $300 for the full room for up to 40 people. I'm going to front the money and ask people to consider a $10 donation per person to cover the cost of the room. More information on the presenters themselves as I hear back. My hope is to have one on permaculture itself. One on chickens or another homestead animal. And one from a successful organic market garden farm.

Part 2 - Somewhere around 5:15 or 5:30 we will be at the Timber Kitchen (as long as they don't mind a larger group). Pretty much whenever people get there, and it's just down the road from the Rize. Just some good fellowship over some good food like we did last year. This one just costs however much you want to spend on food.
 
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I'm definitely (tentatively) there  Will be nice to escape the swarms of black flies for an afternoon! Might wrangle in my cousin who moved up here recently, too, but we'll see.
 
Anna Messerschmidt
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I don't know if I can male it or not, but I'll gladly pitch in $10 to make sure you aren't stuck with the room cost. Besides, I want this to be viable and your efforts coming to fruition. You put a lot of work in this and I appreciate it.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Still working on a third presenter, but I have two confirmed. Jesse Watson (Permaculture consultant) and Lisa Steele (Author and blogger). We only have room for 40 people for the presentations. Since I am optimistic that we may have more than that, that wish to attend... a registration site will be forthcoming.
 
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All ...
I am not going to be up there for the end of May this year.  Maybe  next year!
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Ter,
Life happens :), we would love to see you next year if you can make it.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Here we go!

https://www.eventcreate.com/e/mainemeetup

There are 40 spots available. Permies.com gets first dibs, then I will be sending this link out to a wider audience.

In order to cater to a wider audience, I have changed the name to the Maine Permaculture and Homestead Meetup. There are several groups in Maine doing some great work in a permaculture way, that do not call it that, so I wanted to make sure they knew it was not just for people who identify as permies.
 
Matt McSpadden
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We have 8 people signed up so far. Ten, if you count the two presenters. That gets us up to the same size as last year, and we have just started. I'm sharing around with some local groups in Maine. If you are interested, don't forget to register, so I can give a firm count to the restaurant.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Finally was able to get a 3rd presenter! Dr. Justin Lapp, an assistant professor at the University of Maine and the Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Laboratory. He will be presenting "Sustainable Energy Use On A Homestead".

We are already more than 25% full, so if you are interested in coming on May 25th, don't forget to register. https://www.eventcreate.com/e/mainemeetup
 
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Matt McSpadden wrote:Hi All,

You can now register for the Maine Permaculture and Homestead Meetup (formerly Maine Permies Meetup).
https://www.eventcreate.com/e/mainemeetup

The time has come to plan the Maine Permies Meetup 2024! Here are the questions that need deciding.

What? - Two parts. The first part will be education with 3 presenters. Jesse Watson (Permaculture consultant) and Lisa Steele (Author and blogger on backyard chickens and cooking) and Justin Lapp (Assistant Professor at UMaine and Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Laboratory). Second part just down the road will be at the Timber Kitchen and Bar. This is the question I need your help on the most. Last year, we went to a nice restaurant with a lot of local food and had a great time fellowshipping. We could do that again. Many people expressed interest in something more. There are two main paths to look at here. One way would be to have a more free-form time at a park or farm with room for kids to play. The other would be more focused with work/instruction and probably need to be just adults or older children. In both cases I think it should culminate with a meal of some sort (whether potluck, catering, or restaurant is open for discussion). Other things suggested were: a special speaker, a documentary/instructional movie, a project on someone's homestead, building a rocket mass heater, an afternoon at a farm, or the fedco tree sale.

Who? - The first 40 people who want to come and can sit through presentations. The target is adults and older kids in Maine. Kids or no kids is really the only question here. And that will greatly be effected by the "What" question. Since I'm planning this, I get to decide the rest of this question. This is targeted for people living in Maine who have an interest in permaculture, homesteading, farming, gardening, sustainability, and the like. Anyone outside of Maine who wants to travel is also more than welcome.

When? - May 25th, 2024 part one - from 2pm to 5pm, part two - from whenever we get there to whenever (5:30pm until ?) Currently, I'm planning for sometime on the Memorial Day Weekend, which would be May 25th, 26th, or 27th (if I'm looking at my calendar correctly). If there are a majority of people who can't do this weekend, but can a different one, then I'm open to change.

Where? - Rize Center and then the Timber Kitchen and Bar, both in Bangor, Maine Last year, Bangor was the most centrally located geographically. Since it is fairly in the middle of the state, I think that still may be the case this year. If we have a large number of people interested, all from a certain area, this may skew things.

Please share your thoughts.



Thanks for posting in the other thread, I would have missed out otherwise! Excited to see you all again this year!
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Anthony,
Glad you found us :) I tried sending out some PM's to people from the old thread, but I don't think many people got them.
 
Anthony Dougherty
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Matt McSpadden wrote:Hi Anthony,
Glad you found us :) I tried sending out some PM's to people from the old thread, but I don't think many people got them.

maybe I did see it once, I just saw it in my messages but like is crazy so I might have got distracted!

I'm excited to see us getting more formal! Next year or the next we may have our final property and we'll be doing an Eastern building workshop! So I hope to find those who would be interested!
 
Matt McSpadden
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I need some help making a decision about one of the presenters.

When I contacted Lisa Steele in February, she said the event sounded interesting and would love to do it, and would pencil it on the calendar. I have not been able to get a hold of her since. I have emailed 3 different email addresses from two different emails. I have contacted her PR group. I have left a comment on facebook (couldn't figure out how to send something directly to a business page).

I'd hate to try to find another presenter this late in the game, and I would be afraid that both would show up. On the other hand, I don't want to rely on someone that I cannot confirm is coming, and end up with an empty slot.

Does anyone have instagram or tiktok that would be willing to try to reach out for me? (I don't have any social media accounts, I had to borrow a facebook one just for that comment).

Do you think I should wait longer to hear back?

Do you think I should assume she won't be there and try to get a different presenter?
 
Tristan Vitali
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Matt McSpadden wrote:
I'd hate to try to find another presenter this late in the game, and I would be afraid that both would show up. On the other hand, I don't want to rely on someone that I cannot confirm is coming, and end up with an empty slot.

Matt McSpadden wrote:
Do you think I should wait longer to hear back?

Do you think I should assume she won't be there and try to get a different presenter?



You can try waiting but if there's someone else you had in mind but thought might be a little weird, I bet that might be a lot of fun for us whackadoodle permies... chickens are sort of the bread and butter of presentations and us permies are generally not averse to exotic flavors and strange combinations

Can't help you on the facebook / instagram account thing. I, too, don't use them or any social media outside this forum.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hey Tristan,
Its good to see some names from last year popping up. I know chickens are the bread and butter, but they are not called the gateway drug to homesteading for nothing :) and last year over half the people were new or newish to homesteading type things.

I have two other fairly technical presentations. One on design and one on sustainable energy use... I was hoping for something with animals.
 
Matt McSpadden
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21 people signed up so far if you count the presenters themselves (18 otherwise). Over half way full, so if you have not registered and you are planning to come, please do so soon.

I have taken Lisa Steele out of the lineup. I could not get a hold of her after the initial response. I am talking with Dan Kaplan from Heartstone Farm for a presentation on grass fed beef. He has said he is willing, but I have not heard back about details yet.

I thought the hardest part would be finding presenters. Apparently the hardest part is getting a response after the initial "sure, I'll do that", haha.

 
Matt McSpadden
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We have 10 seats left for the education part. We have already tripled the number of people who came to last years event, but since I had to get the full room anyway, we might as well fill it up. If you have not signed up, but are planning to come, please click the link below and register so I can get a count.

I drive by a place on my way to work with a farm sign and a phone number. Looked like it was just getting started. I called them up out of the blue, and the couple is going to try to come. Never under estimate the simple power of asking a neighbor (or a stranger) if they want to come.

https://www.eventcreate.com/e/mainemeetup
 
Tristan Vitali
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Matt McSpadden wrote:21 people signed up so far if you count the presenters themselves (18 otherwise). Over half way full, so if you have not registered and you are planning to come, please do so soon.

I have taken Lisa Steele out of the lineup. I could not get a hold of her after the initial response. I am talking with Dan Kaplan from Heartstone Farm for a presentation on grass fed beef. He has said he is willing, but I have not heard back about details yet.



To me, grass fed beef is a trade up. Definite goal of mine (someday) on my small acreage

Still trying to confirm my "second" right now, which I did put in for...if all else fails, I'll be the weird guy with a scraggly beard that shows up alone ;)  That would mean an extra seat available, however - will let you know.
 
Matt McSpadden
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We had one cancellation and a couple more people signed up, which brings us to a total of 31 people for the education part, and 25 for the food and fellowship part. And we still have a week left. I'm still inviting random people who look like they are doing homestead stuff in the area and we will see what happens.
 
Water! People swim in water! Even tiny ads swim in water:
Sepp Holzer's 3-in-1 Permaculture documentaries (Farming, Terraces, and Aquaculture) streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/141614/videos/Sepp-Holzer-Permaculture-documentaries-Farming
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