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Daniel Brown 's Profile
Daniel Brown
Details
Joined:
02/02/2011
Last Updated:
17/04/2013
Location:
Milwaukee, WI, United States
Climate Zone:
Cold Temperate
Gender:
Male





My Projects

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Projects

(projects i'm following)

Molokai Permaculture Education Initiative - PRI USA & Sust`aina ble Molokai Partnership The Resilience Hub / Portland Maine Permaculture Permaculture Neighborhood Center Traverse City Permaculture Design Project
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brian mogley Carolyn Payne-Gemmell Carrie Shepard Denise Grant Don Tjader Ernest Rando Fred Tanner Grant Van der Merwe James B. Melcher IV Keith Mikkelson Kelly June Hutcheson Malia Akutagawa Mark Crumpton Micah Slavkin Nathan Dow Peter Lundy Richard Larson Russ Purvis Wyatt Regan
Following
Andrew Jones brian mogley Christopher Milton Dixon frozen gardener Geoff Lawton Hunter Heaivilin James B. Melcher IV Justin Kemp Lisa Fernandes Malia Akutagawa Marcus Spallek Mark Crumpton Mark Miller Micah Slavkin Nichole Ross Parker Whiteway Penny Livingston Stark Robert Love Tanya Mendija Todd Sickler Vick Pacini Zachary Langer

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First permaculture design in planning stages.

Posted by Daniel Brown over 8 years ago

A veteran landscape architecture company has contracted me to create my first Permaculture design on their home property, and then implement it.



The property, also headquarters of their company, has 2 acres of zoned agriculture in the rear.  Currently, it is not utilized.  The client is seeking retirement income and security so that they can leave the landscape architecture business they've owned and operated for over 35 years.  The land has a gentle slope which is angled to the south, with an unobstructed southern horizon, making it ideal for water harvesting contour swales.  The heavy clay soil is slightly compacted, poorly drained, and lacking in fertility and micro-organisms.  Having previously been exposed to granular fertilizer and damaged with heavy farming equipment and monoculture grain and trees, there is much work to be done.

This is a tremendous opportunity for me to practice what I study and preach, as well as begin a portfolio for my design work.  Having worked on an organic farm all of last year, I'm feeling confident in my knowledge of vegetables.

My plan is to quickly restore soil life and fertility with a series of 26 sheet mulched beds on contour, multiple forms of homemade compost, terra preta, soil inoculant, hugelculture mounds, and pioneering legume species.  Initially we will grow a variety of vegetables (the focus being heirloom tomatoes), companion planted in guilds with pollinator attracting species nearby.  In the first year, we plan to offer all heirloom varieties of peas, sweet corn, summer and winter squash, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, bell peppers, carrot, tomato, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, sweet potato, and a wide assortment of culinary and aromatic herbs.  A small beekeeping operation will ensure a steady supply of fruit.  Multiple species of mint (including catnip for the resident kitties), will hopefully help to repel marauding raccoons from the garden.

In the long term, two swales will steadily extend two lines of fast-succession forest systems further down the slope.  Eventually the vegetables will be replaced by cold temperate fruit trees and shrubs such as apple, pear, peach, plum, pawpaw (surprisingly a native to Illinois), blackberry, raspberry, mulberry, blueberry, and strawberry.  Acid loving species will be planted in hugelculture mounds, downhill from an existing patch of confierous trees to maximize acidity.  The multi-layer forest  area will also be planted in guilds of native or otherwise local species, most of which are compliments of Midwest Permaculture and their invaluable online resources.  Fruits and veggies will be sold at a local farmers market from early summer to late fall.  Depending on the size of our yield, we would like to start a CSA.  We may also open the farm up for tours and picking.  I will be paid a small percentage of the profits made from farming.

Hot and cold compost heaps will be constructed with free wood chips, local manure, yard and garden scraps, and inoculant species of plants such as comfrey.  I will also establish a vermicompost tub to supply us with worm castings and tea.

A living fence on the east and west borders of the property will block strong winds, an unsightly view of corn smut, provide an uncommon variety of hops to a local brewery, and browsing shrubs for the horses next door.

I will also make an effort to convert a persistent puddle of murky water at the low point of the land into a small, clean, productive aquaculture for fish and watercress.

We have abundant access to labor, tools, machinery, nurseries, funding, markets, local businesses, emails of potential customers, and organic material of all kinds.  The only limits are the climate and my imagination... in other words, just the climate. I could not have asked for a more perfect venue or client for my permaculture debut; at least, not in Illinois.  As we proceed to implement, I hope to include eggs from a chicken tractor, duck eggs, roof rainwater catchment, culinary mushrooms from logs, an outdoor rocket stove furnace for char-wood production, maple syrup, and honey from multiple bee colonies.  If the client is feeling as ambitious as I am, we may also get to install solar panels and a free pressurized air system for their range of pneumatic tools using the infamous trompe!

When the design is fully implemented, and if it is okay with the client, I will consider teaching a permaculture design course on the land I poured my sweat into.  Wish me luck.

Comments (4)

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Ute Bohnsack
Ute Bohnsack : The F word certainly gets one's attention ;) Sounds like a great plan. Don't forget to observe, and post pics.
Posted over 8 years ago

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Carolyn Payne-Gemmell
Carolyn Payne-Gemmell : This sounds great, definitely take a lot of before photos when the site is raw. Just one thought about the F word, please make sure it doesn't affect the credibility of this obviously great job. I use the word myself on occasion don't get me wrong,Aussies swear plenty, but I pick my audience. And please do some good documentation as you get your CSA up and going, and share it widely, they are going to become a major force if we are to combat industrial Ag and the thousand mile salad mentality. Yours Abundantly
Posted over 8 years ago

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Richard Larson
Richard Larson : Good Luck!
Posted about 8 years ago

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Grant Van der Merwe
Grant Van der Merwe : WOW! Great way to start!!
Posted over 7 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant I'm male, single, and looking for a permaculture partner
My Permaculture Qualifications
Other course verified
Permaculture Earthworks Course
Type: Earthworks
Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
Other Teachers: Nadia Lawton
Location: Molokai, HI
Date: Dec 2010
Verified
Permaculture Design Course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Andrew Jones
Other Teachers: Shenaqua Jones
Location: Molokai, HI
Date: Oct 2010
Other course verified
Permaculture Practicum: Incorporating Traditional Hawaiian Plants, Foods & Fuels into a Permaculture Design
Type: Other
Verifying teacher: Andrew Jones
Other Teachers: Hunter Heaivilin
Location: Molokai, HI
Date: Oct 2010
Other course verified
Permaculture Design Course Teacher Training
Type: Teacher Training
Verifying teacher: Andrew Jones
Other Teachers: Shenaqua Jones
Location: Molokai, HI
Date: Nov 2010

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