This is a work in progress as we update our seeds lists, plans for growing, and join a few trials to grow out new varieties for testing/research or seed purposes.
Click to view the google sheet in progress: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VxLb230ck2eiWdeCArtXjtVbn7CPJJ7bd54zOjI-C-I/edit?usp=sharing
This winter, I decided to take a permaculture certification course to help me organize and expand Lunar Hollow. I have taken a class online via U of Oregon, and a free permaculture year class (https://www.permaculturewomen.com/)in the past, and wanted to move it up a level, and possibly even host educational events here to teach about what we do in addition to growing herbs.
One of the first projects is making a base map, so I spent awhile drawing and re-drawing our property. I have a few base maps, and then layers with terrain mapping, zone mapping, water and wind mapping, wildlife and external forces mapping, and more. I love this process, and working through what we have now, and then adding future plans and upgrades into that system. What I love about the good permaculture classes, is that is isn’t just about plants and soil. It is about using everything in your home and environment to better live in harmony with our environment, and also optimize and conserve energy and resources while doing so. The course I am in also looks to social currency and social permaculture, which if you know of my day to day work and life, is pretty much me. So, finding ways to also utilize resources and assets to contribute to the greater whole and community, is wonderful. I can’t wait to work through this and consciously review all of our big dreams like solar, rain irrigation systems, the bog garden, food and community herbalism, education, and sustainability (along with self-sufficiency).
This course also includes a permaculture mentor, and I selected a woman in the UP, who shares much of my regional climate. I plan to also include our dream plan in addition to the realistic plan, and see which I want to present for my final project. Some of our dream plan includes purchasing the two acres behind us (already zoned and plotted on their own) for additional land to grow more bulk herbs and have more animals, and of course to go fully solar. A solar powered herb drying shed is a dream, as is a commercial kitchen and outbuilding office/guest tiny house. Some are not likely to ever happen, some maybe we will see.
‘’it is a good time of year to start this, as I am planning the gardens for 2021, the seed starting schedule, and mapping where we are expanding.
So, these two sketches are my first two styles of base map. One is a rough sketchy style the other more saturated. These include primarily zones 0-4, with zone 5 outside of the main area here. I’m working on another master plan using the Permaculture template art so it will also have one version with the classic look for some of the future plans and versions as I work through them. I feel like I am off to a good start.
Spending so much time on this land and in this place this year has made us realize it is really perfect for us. We could use a few more acres, but the place, the view, the air, the trees, the animals, the privacy, the dead end road - it has really made this pandemic tolerable even in our lockdown.
We all are grateful that we have this space, and, our original pre-COVID plan was to also use this for Herbalists Without Borders based education and events. Of course this property is still used for Herbalists Without Borders - over 1,000 square feet of this house is a dedicated donation storage and community apothecary space. Throughout the entire pandemic I have been intaking donations here, and then packing up donations and shipping to free clinics and for community outreach throughout the entire US and Puerto Rico. I have shipped something like $85,000 of donation value from my house in the past 3 months. Pretty amazing. But, we have had to do all this alone. The long-term goal is having training days and farm work days, planting days, plant walks, and distill hydrosols and all of that ... with people. The other part of the goal is to create other opportunities for my teens to work with other teens learning about plant conservation, habitats, natives, and how there is food and medicine all around us if you just know where to look.
This is the time of year where the plan means looking to the next growing season. This year we didn't have the ability to expand as much as we hoped due to covid, but we did add the greenhouse and then enforce it all summer and insulate for winter. We expanded the orchard, the fruit canes, the perennial medicinals, and ground fruit. We added more mushroom logs (both blue oyster and turkey tail), woodland bushes, woodland medicinals, and started the native plant nursery for trees and medicinals that will take up to 2 years before they can be planted out.
For 2021, we have a lot of goals, Including expanding on some flat areas, adding a forest permaculture format into the existing greenhouse, expanding around the greenhouse to have integrated plantings, create a seating area with a firepit in the greenhouse area, and then continue to expand the woodland and shade medicinals.
One plan I didn't get to try this year was the bog garden using native Wisconsin tamarack bog plants, so I have seeds and will be growing plants from seed for that fun project. I completed an environmental and garden education program to get some more ideas for bringing kids into the mix, and have an open source plant walk app/wiki/platform in progress, so that is all great.
We are also looking at significantly expanding our seed saving and seed grants. I manage a large seed library and seed grant program with Herbalists Without Borders where we share seeds out to communities to get gardens growing. By growing more seeds to save and sharing them out, we can increase the use of native plants and the use of plant medicine that is from our bioregion, and, that grow in this climate.
So we are working on sketching out, planning, plotting, outlining, expanding and listing. I will be sharing the 2021 plan here soon, but until then, I wanted to share the photos of our beautiful view, the night sky, and this land we call home.
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.