Harper Stone

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since Mar 28, 2012
Whatcom County, Washington
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Recent posts by Harper Stone

Whatcom Skillshare Faire
August 23rd & 24 - Two days with camping!
Hovander Homestead Park, Ferndale, WA (20 minutes north of Bellingham)

The Whatcom SkillShare Faire – a fun festival about teaching and learning all kinds of useful & practical resilience skills. Years ago, lots of people knew how to repair & sharpen tools, make a braided rug, raise chickens, make soap, build a fence, make simple toys, & much more.
The goal of SkillShare is to help revive those skills, showcase some new ones, and provide a place where all of us can come learn from people more experienced in these crafts and trades.
Our August-sunny Faire this year will have two days of family-friendly Workshops and Demonstrations, plus a great lineup of local Musical Talent, tasty local Food Offerings and the ever-popular local brewery Beer Garden and Fermentation Station.

Lots more information at our website! http://whatcomskillsharefaire.org
(Camping scheduled through Hovander Park - see our website for details)

Also, this year it will be the site of the Northwest Permaculture Convergence. There will be lots of permaculture workshops at the Faire, and the Convergence will have their annual meeting at the Faire, the morning of the 24th. NW Permie Convergence members can get a deal on food for the weekend from the Faire. See http://www.northwestpermaculture.org/ for more info.

Also Also, the PDC at Inspiration Farm includes free admission to the Faire, as both events are sponsored by Transition Whatcom. See https://permies.com/t/35357/cascadia/PDC-Inspiration-Farm-August and http://www.transitionwhatcom.org/

Do you have a skill to share? Register at http://whatcomskillsharefaire.org/share-your-skills/

Volunteers have a great time at the Faire, and can get free admission and meals. To volunteer at the Skillshare: http://whatcomskillsharefaire.org/volunteer/

Vendors can register at: http://whatcomskillsharefaire.org/vendor-registration/
7 years ago
I'm interested in your yurt. Would you please send me a message when you've figured out a price for it? I've lived in yurts before and seen them being built, so I understand some of the process. I live in Bellingham, WA, and would probably be able to pick up the whole thing in one trip in my van.

I'll PM you my email address, as I don't check Permies all that frequently.

7 years ago
Last year our Goumi (or was it an Autumn Olive…) underneath the cherry tree outproduced the cherry by about 1000 to 1. Likewise, the chervil underneath the black currant grew quite happily, being munched on all season, and self-seeded.
7 years ago

Lisa Allen wrote:What a completely awesome find. Watching this made my day! Sepp Holzer is the punk-rock of permaculture (and I mean that in a really good way)! I also wonder if I am the only one of the opinion that Sepp Holzer is the real-life wizard, Aiwendil - or better known as Radagast the Brown!! http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Radagast

I do believe the Radagast of the recent Hobbit movie must have been modeled after natural builder SunRay Kelley (or at least Radagast's appearance and dwelling…):
Up in Boulder, my parents have a grape vine that produces bountifully every year with almost no inputs whatsoever (only some watering in the summer).
Thompson grapes, I think. Dark purple when ripe, very sweet, great for jam, crap for wine.
It grows along an old picket fence that encloses their front yard. They don't prune, fertilize, mulch, or anything.

I also met a guy who had developed a system (I think near Colo Springs) for using mushrooms to help plants grow inside a greenhouse. He said he was getting 7 crops of marijuana a year, and "was beginning to experiment with the technique in the vegetable garden". Basically, it goes something like this: build raised beds. inoculate some big pieces of wood with primary-decomposer fungi (eg oyster mushrooms), and use these as the bottom layer on the raised beds. Add some smaller pieces of wood too, also inoculated with primary-decomposers. Fill in with dirt and cover the whole bed with a thick (4-6"?) layer of leaves (also perhaps inoculated). Wet the whole thing thoroughly. After a couple of weeks, he said, it's practically like cement, the leaves are so stuck together with mycelium (you might have to water some to keep it from drying out). Then dig a hole (he used a piece of rebar to get through the leaves and make his planting hole). Insert a seedling that has been inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi. As the primary decomposers work through the wood/leaves, they leave material in a state that the mycorrhizal fungi, being secondary decomposers, can take up and make available to the plant roots. When his plants have reached near-maturity, he plants another batch in between them, which take advantage of the shade to get settled in and develop roots. Then 1-2 weeks later he cuts the mature plants, giving the young ones full sun. Rinse and repeat.

The benefits of this system are:
  • Water retention
  • Heat production (fungi produce heat as they break things down)
  • Weed control
  • Extra nutrients for the plants
  • Edible mushroom harvest (from time to time, if you're lucky)
  • Extra oxygen for the plants (fungi breathe like we do, and plants can absorb more CO2 then they normally have access to. mostly this can only be captured in a greenhouse)

  • In fact, pretty much all those things carry over outside the greenhouse too, except that the extra CO2 produced usually escapes the system.
    9 years ago
    You should definitely connect with Jeff & Elise at TerraVita springs. It's a newly-formed regenerative project, permaculture farm and education center near Ashland. http://terravitasprings.com/
    and an article about them here:
    9 years ago
    Yes, note that Alderleaf is different from Wilderness Awareness School, and Kamana is part of WAS not Alderleaf.

    I visited alderleaf and found it nice. I sat in on a guest lecture on Forest Gardening by Jenny Pell, which was great. I liked their garden fencing design - short double fence so that the entire garden is surrounded by a chicken run, and the chickens eat the weeds/bugs before they get into the garden. Also, with two fences close together, the deer don't want to hop inside, even though they could easily get over the 3-4 ft height. It's still a new program, and they're trying things out… good folks.

    From my impression, they're basically trying to do what WAS does but without the spiritual component that comes along with the Jon Young wilderness lineage. Personally, I can't afford to spend the kind of money that either of them are asking for in their programs, to learn primitive skills and connect with nature. That's what finding a spot to live free off grid for a year is good for…

    Now, to go find my spot…
    9 years ago
    Even if you think "I don't need to take a PDC", you ought to consider this.

    Some folks have just purchased some land on the southern side of the Olympics, on the Decker creek, with the intention to create a community called Clearwater Sanctuary there. Huckleberry Leonard, the lead teacher for the course, has studied and taught with David Holmgren, Toby Hemmenway, Geoff Lawton, and others, and has been teaching permaculture since '98. His specialties include natural building and design, edible landscaping (30 years experience prior to permaculture) and all things botanical of the Pacific NW. More on him here.

    This course is unique because it includes co-designing how the community will be created. Starting in January, the design that's created in this course will begin to be implemented. How cool is that?! A permaculture course that's actually based on a piece of land, and design that will actually be put into practice.

    This is also the gateway to being involved in the community, so if you've ever wanted to learn about community, permaculture, sustainability, living off the land, or how to follow your dreams and live a magic life, come along and we'll have a great couple of weeks!

    We still need some more participants for the course to fly, so please help spread the word!
    9 years ago
    I just noticed this topic and haven't read through all six pages, so forgive me if I'm duplicating information.

    The only Tree Bog I've ever been to was at Coed Hills, in Wales. It was built by a guy known as Tree Bog Dave. The structure was raised like a regular dry outhouse, and had a urine separator built into it. Surrounding the poo hole were strawbales, encased in a wire mesh to keep the rodents out. Many osier-type willows were planted all around this, and cut down every year so that they'd coppice, and provide branches for basketry or their biomass heater.

    I was only passing through, so I can't say how it's fared year in and year-out, but I know that in that part of the country they don't really get ground freezing much, so the dormancy issue is less of a problem.
    9 years ago
    cool! that's a good idea. I haven't done any seedballs yet but it's a neat idea to try. rewilding the bulbs…