Brandon Charles

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since Feb 15, 2021
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Recent posts by Brandon Charles

Hi there! Yes, I've definitely found the main way to successfully control them in an area is to dig each and every one up by the root. Unfortunately, they got far too great a head start on me so the prospect of getting and keeping ahead of them is basically nil at this point. Even if I could, I wouldn't want to. The plan would be to create paddocks for the goats where the blackberries are most prolific, and in places where I have no food trees planted, and just let them have a heyday. My plan is to turn certain patches of my property into pseudo native prairie anyway, as that's actually the most threatened ecosystem in our local area. Forests abound and have no trouble reestablishing without our help, or with minimal help. If I were going for a native forest I would just selectively mow (with a brush hog or heavy duty weed eater) the blackberries down year after year, being careful to avoid the most important native trees and shrubs, until the forest could eventually shade out and outcompete them (and also do some selective spot pulling in areas that make sense and where I have the time to devote). But since I'm aiming for prairie in several areas, I don't need to worry as much about losing some native shrub and tree species. I think the statistic is that only about 4% of the pre-colonial native prairie land still exists today, and since as much of my philosophy is about conservation and regeneration as it is permaculture focused, I have no problem letting the goats do their thing in those specific areas. Other areas they will never ever be permitted in, such as those where there are a lot of native food bearing plants (I have tons of native hazelnuts and at least 5 species of native berry), and obviously where I have my non native perennials planted. It's a very calculated plan, and I've had 4 years of watching the land to come up with it, but time is my biggest deficiency at the moment. And energy I suppose.
1 month ago
We are currently looking for help that could potentially evolve into a long term living situation for the right person. I have 3 different properties that I'm currently splitting time working on, and one of those in particular really needs a full time steward. It's five acres of recently (5 years ago) clearcut land, so it has a ton of potential for someone wanting to participate in restorative permaculture. There's a ton of native food bearing plants already established, but the invasives - blackberry in particular- are working overtime to outcompete them. This is where we need the most help.

The long term vision is to incorporate goats, as they will be instrumental in helping manage the weed situation, but I don't want to do that until I have at least one other person invested in stewarding the property with me. Currently I'm not around quite often enough to justify brining animals in without any backup help. The property is currently off grid, but we will be bringing power in shortly. There is one tiny cabin on the land, which is where I stay when on the property. Water is from rain barrels and also imported for drinking. We plan on drilling a well eventually. Any person interested should have a comfortable RV or camper van that they can abide in during the trial period. They should be accustomed to off grid life and confident in living self sufficiently in a very rustic environment.

The arrangement would be some kind of work trade and/or modest rental fee for the space. The real benefit here would be a section of property you could essentially make your own, doing whatever permaculture oriented projects you can dream up. As mentioned I'm quite busy elsewhere, and I would really like to set the right person up with a situation they can take real ownership of. As  long as the blackberries are being controlled, and when it comes time, the goats are well looked after, there would be few, if any, additional expectations. If things worked out and you came to love this land as much as I do, then we could look at building another permanent structure such as a yurt, another cabin, as well as adding an outdoor kitchen. RV power will be the first main addition, then everything would flow from there.

We don't have nearly enough work right now to keep a person employed in any way, so anyone interested would need to be economically stable and/or willing to get a job locally. Olympia isn't far at all and most people I know commute there for work. Again, we aren't going to require much of your time with the work trade. At first it would be just a few hours a week pulling blackberries, and once the goats are here, helping take care of them while they take over the blackberry work. If it happens that you are working full time elsewhere, we could structure the arrangement however we needed to to accommodate. Most of all, our goal is the create a situation you are happy with!

My personal favorite thing about the property is its location. Being backed up against miles of forestry land, it has a beautiful wild essence and a huge assortment of wild animal neighbors. It's at the end of a long gravel road, and has that serene secluded feel that is hard to come by in this day and age. The land itself is very injured from former logging abuse, but our aim is to slowly help guide it back to a beautiful forest, complete with an abundance of perennial food bearing plants. But we need your help to do it! Feel free to message me if interested. Thanks for reading!
1 month ago
Hi Emily - I’m also in Rainier. Nice to see the area out here finally getting some representation in the permies world. It would be great to connect sometime. We are really hopeful to establish a locally-minded community out here, and I also have foraging workshop aspirations, so perhaps we could team up.  I don’t have much of a social media presence anymore, but I did check out your Insta account. Very cool! Based on some of your photos, I have a good idea of where you are at, and if I’m right you’re barely a stones throw away. And, again if I’m right, you’ve found the score of the century as far as locations go. Congrats, and welcome  to the neighborhood!
10 months ago
Sounds like we have a lot in common. I’m also in my mid thirties, into Stone Age technology, indigenous cultures, healing, psychology, eastern practices, archery, etc. etc. Also equal parts introvert/extrovert, country/hippie. Not sure what your regional preferences are, but I have two five acre pieces of land in the cascade foothills East of Olympia, WA, both in the early stages of development, and I’m in great need of help. If the area suits you and you’re open to living rustic for a while as we get things set up, our situation here might be ideal for you. We’re a short drive to Mount Rainier national park, and a little longer to the Olympics and Gifford Pinchot, so there’s a ton available in terms of wilderness options. Our lands also both back up to huge expanses of private timberland, so, while not as pristine as the adjacent parks, it’s  still quite wild, with great hunting and foraging opportunities and lots of quiet solitude. Feel free to shoot me a message if you’re interested in talking further.

Best,
Brandon
11 months ago