I just visited a spiritual retreat in South Carolina called the Meher Baba Institute. [http://www.mehercenter.org/] They also have satellite campuses in California. The Center is more spiritual based as opposed to focusing on farming. What I thought was neat was that they have 550+ acres right outside of a major urban area, Charleston SC. They have free housing for up to two weeks for registered guests. So if you guys ever find yourself in that area, think about checking them out, it’s a very nice compound. Just ignore the cultish aspects and mind the snakes and spiders! 🙂 – Phil
Farm-spiration September 28, 2012
Also! I’m collecting farm-spiring images that you might enjoy:
This little article is simple, sweet and inspiring, so I thought I’d share.
I love you all!
also a question! April 20, 2011
so! what is the word on bringing in other contributors to this blog dealie? I have a beloved friend (currently a farmer, studying horticulture therapy, and is a working blacksmith/jeweller) . I think Lil and Kele both know Jimmi (now called Gowan). Anyway she is marvellous and serious about this idea and I would love to invite her to brainstorm and dream with us. If this is just a pickles and clara deal thats just fine, I just wanted to ask. See what the thoughts are on this one. So! please post your thoughts!
It is happening: there is a group designing and publishing DIY farm tools for buliding your own village. interchangeable motors and parts so each tool needn’t have its own. and. well. basically it all the big tools you need but things you could make yourself for less money AND they are built like legos so you need many fewer resources.
here’s a link to an article about the project in general. i reccommend clicking it and watching the video at the end of the article, its a good intro to the project.
and here is the wiki of the project itself!
Amazing stuff! Love you all!!
Virginia Polyface Farm March 9, 2011
Phil, you *need* to check out this farm in the shenandoah valley: http://www.polyfacefarms.com/ this dude is AWESOME. hes talking permaculture in your language and mine. will you visit and report back???
Topographical Mapping & Cool American Indian Lore October 30, 2010
When looking at prospective land we can get topographical maps of what we are looking at from USGS. You just mail them the coordinates, select what scale you want and then they will mail you a map for eight dollars. A topographical map will include manmade structures, developed trails, roads (both asphalt and gravel), any water sources, and elevation change.
I believe the maps are now available online for free (searching the web)… Here we go: http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Other_Resources/rdb_topo.html. There are links on that website to purchase the maps and to 3rd party websites for online viewing. As an aside, it would be pretty cool to check out the topo map of where you are currently living. Especially if you live in a hilly area like San Francisco, a topographical map is the near equivalent of a bike map. COOL BEANS.
[Just read that aerial photographs are useful as well, which makes sense. Use google maps or terraserver.com]
While talking about maps I figured it would be good to record on this fine site about hardiness zones. I read some about this while researching orchards. Basically, there are several factors that affect whether a plant will grow in your area, such as rainfall, daytime temperatures, day length, wind, humidity, etc. The USDA plant hardiness map records and separates the United States into different zones depending on average low temperature, which affects whether a plant (or tree) can survive there or not.
Whoa! Just found a cool set of maps for the western US only that shows alot more information, “since they factor in not only winter minimum temperatures, but also summer highs, lengths of growing seasons, humidity, and rainfall patterns to provide a more accurate picture of what will grow there.” (more…)