Category Archives: Permaculture

New portfolio projects

Are you curious what a property design might look like? How can I help you? I can create a map custom designed for your specific property that is not only an image where to plant, but also a detailed report on species, climate, phases or stages to design, how to amend soils, and how to combat erosion issues. I just uploaded two property designs I created. Newer designs include more detail and more information with web links to plant species, links to resources for additional information, and how to start making money using your property. You do not need to have a “farm” to grow income. You can do it in just a 1/4 acre plot.  With the property owners permission I have posted two additional designs based on a rural configuration where the owners wanted to introduce livestock to their property, 50 acres. The second property is a suburban property and shows the possibilities of what you can do on a smaller portion of land, only 1 acre. You can have a design for any number of situations and configurations. 100+ acre tract down to an apartment window.


Prices for design are based on time needed and applied to the design, each design will be unique. For details on pricing use the consulting page.


Rural Design

Urban Design


Great info-posters Afristar Foundation

In one of my many circles of information I came across this amazing site for information posters. One was about companion planting which I have seen before but never knew where it originated. Now I have a source. Even though these are based around South Africa there are 15 or so good information posters. Here is the link.

You can purchase or download. There are not based here in the US however.

I asked about buying the 15 poster set and shipping to the US. I will update once I hear back. But the 15% sales tax and $100+ for the set makes it a bit expensive.

Wormfarms-AF Planting-a-Tree-AF Permaculture-Guilds-AF Liquid-Manure AF-zones- AF-Greywater A-Frame-AF- Companion-Planting Making-Compost-AF Water-AF

Midwest Sustinable Education Conference – Kenlake, KY March 21-23

If you were thinking about attending the March conference now is the time to register. March 1st is a pivotal date for registration for us. We have added a bunch of additional information and hands on activities to the schedule and program. Spring is around the corner and having the knowledge before you begin would most definitely save you time, money, and headaches.


If you are using the education gained from the conference to further your own business ventures, this may be a business expense on next years taxes. Please consult a tax professional. If you are expecting a tax return, this may be a good use for the funds.

Be sure to take advantage of the discounts available.


This will be the last conference until late fall due to everyone’s busy schedules.

March 21-23rd.

Details at

Experiment and make mistakes, it is a good thing

I was doing some research the other day. Well that is what I tell my wife when watching videos on YouTube.  I was researching some of how Joel Salatin integrated different operations of his farm, and some of the new opportunities for your farmers he is a part of. If you have not heard of Joel I highly recommend learning all you can from him, his books, online, interviews, podcasts, and videos. He is a great source of knowledge and experience. Joel integrates many aspects of his farm operation from the timbering area, to the sawmill, to the pigs, to the rabbits, to the chickens to people. I was amazed how one waste is another input for a different system. How by putting two things together that you think as separate, can give a dramatic improvement overall when you look at the system as a whole. Something he said struck me as so true, that I often say myself but in a different way.


“Anything worth doing, is worth doing wrong the first time”

He shared how the success they have found on their farm wasn’t from this great insight that just came from a book, class, or Devine intervention. They learned along the way on what works, what doesn’t, learned by accident even. Another one of my mentors Geoff Lawton has a somewhat similar philosophy, as does Sepp Holzer. One of the keys to permaculture is experiment, and see what works best in your climate, your soil, with your lifestyle. Try things out and see what happens.

 I find this very true in my own experiments and progress.  Stop researching and trying to find the perfect solution, the perfect plant, the perfect design and it work 100% of the time on the first time. You will learn much more for experimenting, making your own, and trying things out. Sure, you may not be successful all the time, but you learn an aspect, you are doing, you are getting your hands dirty. Maybe you get a totally unintended result because of what you thought was a failure, but totally was a better outcome.


When my experimental stacking fodder system didn’t work as I expected, it was by chance I was starting my spring seeds in the same area inside. The new seed trays I had planned on using have small notches on the rim. These notches were a great fit for left over pipes in the area from another project. Boom, I now can stack these new trays using the pipes in the notches as spacers. As it happens, the air gap is sufficient for air circulation. Bonus, the trays were on sale and got them for 0.99 each. So, now we have fodder system 2.0.

Another example, v1.0 of worm composting completely failed. Smelled bad, all the worms died, and wife was NOT happy with the smell. By chance, I met a local guy who teaches worm composting. I had done everything wrong that I could possibly do wrong. Worm v2.0 success. When we collected all the surplus apples that fell on the ground, I fed them to the worms. I needed paper/cardboard for bedding for my worms. This is where my junk mail/cardboard shredding system comes in. Worms are taking a waste and turning it into a resource. This year, I started making compost tea with castings, and spraying on my seedlings. I now have an additional resource from a waste. Had I not failed so miserably, I would have never wondered why I had failed so miserably prompting me to use the failure in a class I was giving about what not to do. Had I not stated how I failed in a class I was giving, this gentleman wouldn’t have offered his help, and I wouldn’t have some of the best looking plant starts ever.

The point is, you NEVER fail. You learn something that didn’t work. Learn from this, but don’t repeat it. Try a different variable; maybe a different plant, a different location, or a different interaction on your part.

MSE participant comments from January

We just uploaded a few of the comments from the January conference that participants filled at while attending.

We took the suggestions to heart and made some additions and changes based on what the participants had to say. Changes such as, simultaneous classes on varied topics, hands on activities, more depth discussion on certain topics, and location change.

Some things we left the same as what people wanted, such as the meet and greet session, and the open Q&A sessions.

Get away weekend Feb 22nd

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you haven’t planned anything yet you may be in luck. Cambria Suites in Plainfield if giving discounted room rates if you are attending any of the Homestead and Preparedness classes. I stayed there during the MSE Conference in January. The rooms are very nice, large, andway nicer than places I have stayed in the past. Each room is stocked Wolfgang Puck Coffee and teas, Bath and Body toiletries, have coffee maker, Wi-Fi, and a mini refrigerator. Indoor pool and hot tub is a nice bonus as is the larger gymfacilities. They also offer free transportation to the airport. While there is still snow on the ground and still more to come. It could be a nice getaway. The conference is the weekend AFTER Valentine’s Day, February 22nd but surprise them this weekend. Have dinner and drinks in the hotel and bar or walk over to The Black Swan.

There is a wide variety of classes to take, something that would fit just about anyone. Start planning for your growing season, or come get firearm training, or training about refusing to be a victim. More and more there is news about the crime rate here in Indy. Learn how to help prevent being one of those statistics.

8-9 Introduction and starting your garden (FREE SEEDS), how to get started, and maybe learn some new tricks

9-11 Introduction to permaculture – Exact class that was part of MSE conference but reduced price

11-12 Canning water bath and pressure – how to preserve your foods, not just from your garden, but save money at the store too.

1-3 Applying Permaculture Principals -Exact class that was part of MSE conference but reduced price

3-4 Dehydrating – how to preserve your foods, not just from your garden, but save money at the store too.

4-6 Aquaponics – Growing both fish and plants with no chemicals, more productive than ANY other agriculture technique per space

6-8 Medicinal Herbs – What medicinal herbs you can grow, some potential uses, and preparations

RSVP through the Alternative Gardening Meetup.

I have partnered up with a pair here in Indy to offer some great security and personal defense classes. Very knowledgeable people.

8am-12pm Utah Permits

1pm-5pm Refuse to be a victim

5-7 pm Introduction to preparedness

The RSVP on Meetup

Feb 22 flyer

MSE March Schedule now available

The MSE conference schedule is now available and up on the site. There are several discounts available for the conference.

1. Register early and prepay. 5% off
2. Prepay and register early and get multiple tickets. 10% off
3. Use MSB discount from The Survival Podcast prepay. 15% off
4. Use MSB discount and get multiple tickets prepay. 20% off

MSB registration is $50/yr. You save $60 on MSE conference with registration. You just made $10 by getting the discount, and registering. PLUS you get all the other MSB discounts.


I have spring fever!

                Permaculture is a transformation of your landscape. Have you wanted to implement permaculture principals but have no time? Or are you lacking the correct tools? Have you wanted to have fruit trees but pruning them and management of them is intimidating? There may be a solution.

                I can help you design your landscape, and have recently found someone in the area who can help you install and manage it. With years of experience in landscaping and tree management he can help you install the initial phases of your project once mapped out. With experience in diagnosing tree issue, and an experienced climber he is able to treat and trim trees back to give optimal sun exposure.

                Now is the time to start planning your permaculture food plot. With 8 inches of snow on the ground it is hard to believe, but planning out well in advance can save you time, money, and frustration down the road. I added a little here and a little there for years, and never looked at my property as a whole. Had I taken some time and planned it out I would have gone about things completely different.

Yard w improvments

                I have always wanted one of the trees that grow up against a wall and not only is great to look at, but produces fruit. I never know how to go about doing that. Or when to prune, how to prune, so that I don’t kill the tree and make it as productive as possible. I personally don’t prune because I have a 20’ pole and I want the trees as natural as possible. This does mean I get less production. But with 30+ fruit trees at the moment, I have more fruit than I know what to do with. It is possible to get trees pruned in such a manner as to only allow them as tall as you can reach, and get huge crops off of them. I now know someone who can do this for you. This method can really save space on tight urban lots.  You could even use them as privacy fence, although when the loose their leaves you loose  your privacy.

picture from

picture from

Over the last 2 days I just planted 2,000+ seeds for my spring/summer crops. If I take off the grow bulbs since we don’t have a good window to put them in all of the seeds, containers, soil cost me less than $20. I did this in 8 sq. feed of my basement and I only used 30% of the available space. You can do this too, you just have to think outside the box. From vegetables, to greens, to herbs both medicinal and culinary. What we don’t plant at the three garden sites, will be up for sale/trade. Bartering is a wonderful thing, FYI still looking for some logo work help.IMG_0905



IMG_0908 IMG_0909

Want some help getting started? Need help mapping out what to put where? Use the contact us page. Want to make space for a new garden but overhanging tree branches get in the way. Use the contact us page. Want help installing your permaculture food plot. Use the contact us page. See a theme? 


Fodder fail: Another lesson learned

I hate to refer to any of my experiments or projects that don’t go as I expected as failures. In my mind a failure you didn’t accomplish anything. Quite the contrary I believe. Because I have a science background and use the scientific method for everything there is a hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion.

I had a hypothesis. Could I make stacking fodder system that would save space and use vertical space rather than horizontal?

Experiment design, I used recycle ice cream buckets for my fodder beds. I cut recycled PVC pipes to use as risers for the fodder, give an air gap, increase airflow, and still allow one bed to drain into the other. Drilled holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain. I could water the top one and it in theory flow all the way through. Each day I would add a new stack container of soaked seeds to the bottom. By day seven, the top container would always be ready to feed to the animals, just soak and add new seeds to the bottom each day. Boom, done.


What a stack could look like



Here is what I learned. A, never leave your experiment unattended when there is a 2 YO who wants to help. 20lbs of seed all got soaked at once. Here I wrote about that day. B, there is not enough airflow moving around the seeds, and mold will develop. C, stacking will allow watering the top, and draining all the way to the bottom. D, the next experiment will involve suspending the buckets rather than stacking. I should still be able to water one spot, save horizontal floor space, and increase the airflow to the seeds.

What the top looked like

This is the second layer


Third layer


I have come to realize that there is much more learning involved with doing than talking about it, talking about it on forums, and YouTube. More people should get out there and start doing, learning, and stop fearing failure. THERE IS NO FAILURE, only a lesson on what didn’t work. To not learn from experiments, trials, mistakes, then that is a failure, because you failed to learn anything, and gave up.

My next experiments:

No. 1: Will hanging the grow beds give more air circulation and prevent mold growth using the current ice cream buckets?
No. 2: When soaking wheatgrass fodder, what is the optimal time soaking vs. fastest germination. I have read and heard, various times. I have heard 30 min, 12 hr 24 hr and varying results with each. I plan on soaking for 30 min, 1 hr, 3 hr, 6hr, 12hr and 24hr.

Student and client feedback on permaculture design

Here are some comments from the MSE conference we held in January.

“When you have a room full of people, and many of them have or are doing what we want to, it shows that it can be more than a dream for us.” K.F. Indiana

As part of the January conference 2 properties were selected for a permaculture and sustainable agriculture design. Some highlights were what to do with your septic field to make it productive, where to put internal and external fencing for livestock, where to install waterlines, establishing an orchard, where to put swales and so much more. We will be having another conference March 22nd in Kenlake, KY.

While the property owners got a 20 page report detailing species, phases, and suggestions, this is some of the maps we helped them with. It may just look like a bunch of squiggly lines but each dot and line has a meaning and how to implement.


Property Map Rural     Septic


Rough Fence - water Blog      House

“Thanks for the plan and work you put into this project.  We are thrilled and excited to get to work on transforming our property.  We couldn’t be happier with the results of the design.” K.F. Indiana  

Do you want something like this for your property? Do you want to do more with your land but need a map on where to start? Want to see the possibilities? I can help. Check out the consulting page, or contact us page for more information.