Crunchy Mama's Urban Homestead

Come learn about awesome plants on my homestead

Onto our new and exciting journey in Michigan

A warm greeting from the Mitten!  We have been in our new home for 3 months and things are going wonderfully.  We actually really love our new area, even though we are in the heart of the suburbs.  It may be big and traffic might be awful sometimes but I like to look on the bright side.  There are a lot of very interesting places to visit and a lot people with similar interests here: Permaculture, holistic living, etc.  With the help of Facebook and Meetup, I have joined some homeschooling/unschooling groups and Permaculture groups and have made friends quickly.

Now that the craziness of moving, settling in, and the holiday season are just about over, I am really looking forward to increasing my knowledge base through reading.  Thankfully, Michigan has a similar inter-library loan system to what Ohio has and I have requested a slew of books on Permaculture and related topics.  I plan on sharing my thoughts on the books as I read through them.

I also have been able to go to several in-person workshops (or skillshares) hosted by the various Permaculture groups that I participate in.  In November, I attended two different workshops: a rocket stove workshop as well as a “making hard cider” demonstration.  In December, I attended a meeting wherein three presenters presented their craft in short demonstrations: carving wooden spoons, making paper and wool felting.  I was really intrigued with the wool felting.  The presenter said that she doesn’t like knitting or sewing but really found that she likes wool felting.  I am not enthusiastic about knitting or sewing either.  I prefer other crafts such as soap-making, growing plants, and cooking.

In November, a co-leader of my county’s Permaculture group put a call out to invite people to present a skillshare at future meetups.  I offered to present on seed sprouting, soap-making, and baking artisan bread.  She took me up on my offer.  In a few weeks, I’ll be presenting on sprouting seeds for eating (not gardening) and then in March I will be presenting on cold process soap making.

alfalfa seeds sprouting in a sprouting tower

alfalfa seeds sprouting in a sprouting tower

In preparation for my sprouting presentation, I am doing a lot of researching — revisiting what I already know but also expanding my knowledge base and my experience (by sprouting a larger variety of seeds).  I am really, really glad that I am.  I am learning so much.  I have also improved my previous sprouting techniques.  So, I plan on posting a series here on the blog about my adventures in sprouting seeds for eating.

There is more to write but I will save that for later.  Happy New Year to each of you!

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Geoff Lawton’s FREE video series on Permaculture

Greetings, friends!  I mentioned this video series in my post on Jack Spirko’s video series on permaculture.  At the time, I had not watch the entire series by Geoff Lawton.  Now that I have, I highly recommend his video series.  They are more of an overview of what can be accomplished with permaculture design rather than a specific “how-to” video series.

The first video is called Surviving the Coming Crisis: Designing your Way to Abundance by Geoff Lawton.  The titles of the other videos are at the top of that webpage.

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Another great free video series on Permaculture

I just came across another series on Permaculture.  This one is produced by Midwest Permaculture.  It has 18 videos and they are great!  I love hearing about Permaculture design from different perspectives.

The first video of the series is here:

If you missed my post on Jack Spirko’s video series on Permaculture you can find it here.

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Homesteading Word of the Day — plant guilds

Greetings!  I hope that this post finds you happy and healthy!

Today’s Homesteading Word of the Day (or rather PHRASE of the day) is “plant guilds.”  Plant guilds are groups of plants that grow together and support each other in various ways.  In nature, many plants grow together in the same area.  In gardening and homesteading, we can choose plants that will actually help each other grow instead of compete with each other for the nutrients in the soil and for the sunlight needed for photosynthesis.  Many plants will actually share the nutrients that they acquire from the soil with other plants

I came across this webpage that has a great explanation of plant guilds or permaculture guilds:

Here are some of great excerpts from that webpage: “Permaculture is based on natural systems like those that we see in forests.  In a forest system, there are multiple layers of vegetation growing together in a very diverse setting.  We see many types of trees, shrubs, plants, insects, animals, and various other things all living together in a system that continually strengthens itself.  All of these components of a natural ecosystem serve a function (or several functions) that support each other like the strands of a web.  One strand on its own may be weak, but the combination of all the strands together add to the overall strength and usefulness of the web.”

“A good Permaculture guild generally has seven components: food for us…food for the soil…diggers/miners…groundcover…climbers…supporters…protectors.”

PLUS at the bottom of the page there is a free one-page illustrated download called Permaculture Guild.  From that download: “A “guild” in Permaculture is a system of efficiently grouping different plants together in order to use everything to its fullest potential.”

And here is a free ebook on plant guilds by Midwest Permaculture

Want to see all of the Homesteading Word of the Day posts?  Scroll down and look for “Categories” on the right then click on “vocabulary” or just click on this link:

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One of my favorite things about winter is…

…expanding my knowledge of growing plants and animals!  I have to admit that sometimes I prefer to read and watch videos learning cool skills than actually doing those skills.  I feel like I just can’t get enough knowledge!  Well, in winter, I don’t have to feel guilty because my garden is under almost a foot of snow!

December Sunrise

I have been watching some very informative videos on permaculture and I decided that I’d go ahead and start blogging again on this blog (my last blog post was in August!!!).  I hope that you gain some great knowledge along with me.  I will most definitely NOT be the expert on this topic but I’m blogging about it to share with you in case you are interested in learning along with me.  Of course, if you are more knowledgeable on the topics than me, PLEASE share any thoughts or tips!  That would be awesome!

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