Tag Archives: consulting

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.

House

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.

Portfolio

Rural Design

Urban Design

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Follow us on social media

I have had a few questions over time about how to get updates for the website, or events. You can subscribe to the site and get updates as they are posted in your e-mail. Use the subscribe to the right. I do post things or share items on some of these other media outlets that will not be found on here.

Social Media

I will usually post events on the website which will also post to all my social media sites. There is also the new addition of the calendar on this site. Some events I am not involved with but post for others as a way to get more education opportunities out there. .

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wolf-Beach-Farms/146431008883129

Twitter

https://twitter.com/WolfBeachFarms

LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rbeach

 Google+

Meetup – Great way to see what events are going on.

http://www.meetup.com/AlternativeGardening/

Calendar – events, and to see about consulting time.

http://wolfbeachfarms.com/consulting/calendar/

New feature: Calendar of available time

Several people have asked my availability on certain days/times for consulting, giving classes, or speaking events. So I did some digging and learned how to publish a public calendar.

calendar1

Here is the new link.

http://wolfbeachfarms.com/consulting/calendar/

It will be located under the consulting tab on the home screen.

Use this to determine and schedule any consulting time or other activities, or see where I may be presenting or speaking next.

Some days/times are blocked as busy but you may just check if that is the only day/time you have available. I may be able to work something out. Additionally some day/times are blocked only to have time to work on my own projects or for time to write or prepare for a class. So It may be able to be moved as well.

A little more than 24 hrs until the Sustainable Agriculture conference starts tomorrow evening. Not too late to sign up.

A little more than 24 hrs until the Sustainable Agriculture conference starts tomorrow evening. Not too late to sign up. More details at www.midwestsustainable.org

We now have a little over 24 hours until the start of the Midwest Sustainable Education Conference. We will be starting with a meet and greet at Black Swan Brewpub 5:30pm. They are reserving space for us to mingle and discuss things before the conference. Presenters, Darby Simpson, Jason Akers, and myself are putting the final touches on presentations and designs. It is not too late. While online registration has been closed you can still use the Contact us at www.midwestsustainable.org page for pre-registration. You can still register all the way until conference start time of 7 am Saturday Morning but will be full price.

This conference has taken up a bunch of my time lately and will get back to regular posting after the conference. With 162 slides and even more photos to present in 4 hrs (240 minutes or less) I have to average 1.5 min per slide. Then there is 4 hours of property design and discussion. BUSY weekend.

If you missed out this weekend we MAY be having another in March/April but it may not be as local, like out of state, and may not be the same content. I am working on some smaller classes locally but nothing like this. Keep Feb 22 open for that. More details in the future.

Big thank you to Cambria Suites for working with us, such great accommodations, and working around our MANY needs.

Wolf-Beach Farms updates

My posts here on my blog have been irregular at best. Many irons in the fire at the moment, but follow me on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, or through e-mail and get the latest updates. Here are some of the current happenings and publications. If I am not writing here I am writing for one of the places below.

 

November 23rd full day homesteading class.

 

Midwest Sustainable Education Conference – As a co-founder, and presenter for the January conference, I have been helping get all the ducks in a row and organizing the space and materials. I have also been writing blog posts for the website and Facebook. Helping manage multiple websites, and social media accounts can take a drain on time resources.

PREPARE Magazine – PREPARE is a digital subscription which is free to sign up. I have had a couple of articles published here and even made the cover story once. PREPARE has stories on becoming more prepared for a variety of situations, as well has becoming more self sufficient, self reliant, and different how-to articles.

Aquaponics Survival Community – I have written a few articles for this paid subscription magazine which focuses on becoming more prepared and harnessing the great food production process through aquaponics. Articles on different techniques, problems, and solutions to what many aquaponics growers face.  

Brink of Freedom – Brink of Freedom is an online community page with a variety of contributors on topics of personal defense, permaculture, self reliant living and self sustainable lifestyles in addition to off-grid living. Brink of Freedom is now moving to both a online article community to a digital magazine publication as well. I have an article in the 1st issue, and one of my online articles we trending as #2 as most popular. Given some of the contributors, it was a shock to me when I looked at the stats.

New food project – No name for this project yet, but throwing some ideas around. I am working with a local chef to put together a class on using your food stores to make edible meals. Many people are starting to store some longer shelf life foods, for any number of reasons, but do they know how to make edible meals out of them? Rice and beans may store for a like time, but have you ever tried plain rice and beans? Have dehydrated or freeze dried foods? Can you make a decent meal even the kids would eat if the internet was down or you had no power? This class and possibly cookbook is the answer. What foods you should store, how to store them, what not to store, and then how to prepare them, even if only using a singly burner stove. Interested? Let me know, so we can start moving this project up on the list. You don’t have to wait until a situation requires you dive into the food stores. You should be rotating them as part of your every day meals. Eat what you store, store what you eat.

Permaculture consulting – Responding to projects, design questions and e-mails add up. I am consulting on a project in Central Florida, and a new project that a friend is starting up there. Consulting on a 300 acre farm here in Indiana, another 6 acre farm transformation and doing some experimenting with different techniques, plants and concepts here on my 0.2 acre property.

Be Prepares Series – Designing and construction of the individual sessions for the Be Prepares Series has taken some time. So many topics that could be covered in any given series they are really starting to add up.

Then there is the day to day here. Finally finishing off storage and preparation of the 500lbs of apples we picked this year. Apple fruit leathers are the latest preparation. Basically it is the dehydrated applesauce recipe using one of our food dehydrators. Tearing down our greenhouse for a new hoop house this spring, fodder system in the garage, milking goats in the spring, aquaponics in the garage, and making more food and supplies for scratch, and that is just some of the latest projects. Apparently everyone loved the home made pretzels this week. 4 trays of them were gone within 24 hrs. Super simple to make with easy ingredients. The home made croissants and buttermilk biscuits went over well, although I cannot claim them. The wife was on a baking kick last weekend.

If you ever have questions feel free to ask.

Reminder Local learning opportunities

Tonight – Wednesday November 6th at 7pm Edible Wild Plants presented by Chris Martini, park manager of Southeastway Park, presenting at the Franklin Township Civic League, 8822 Southeastern Avenue Indianapolis, IN. This is a free class and a great opportunity to learn about wild edibles. This is definitely something you don’t want to learn from a book or online. If you want to register online please do so at the Alternative Gardening Meetup site.

  

Saturday November 23rh 9am. Full day class on homesteading. I will be presenting on turning your back yard into a food production machine, then how to preserve and store what you have produced. Lastly some DIY items you can make yourself, healthier and cheaper such as; laundry soap, toothpaste and more. Get free samples and register to win a free planting barrel. A $120 value. The cost is $40 per person and a discount for couples. Pay in advance to reserve your seat. More details and to register here. Global Soaps will be on hand to sell and discuss natural soap and lotion making.

 

January 10-12 there will be a 2 day seminar on permaculture, homesteading, selling you overage produced, rotational grazing, fencing and more. Three presenters Jason Akers from Self Sufficient Gardner, Darby Simpson from Darby Simpson Consulting and Simpson Family Farm, and I will give two full days of information. Then a meet and greet on Friday night to mingle and get some extra personal attention and questions answered and the evening of Saturday the 11th will be a round table question and answer session, so participants can get their specific questions answered or more details from topics discussed. Bonus, two properties, one urban and one rural will be selected for a permaculture and rotational grazing build. This alone is worth several hundred dollars. The cost for both days and access to the meet and greet is $150 in advance and there are discounts available and payment options available. More details later this week. We are developing a site specific to this project. I wanted to get the information out and people to start planning. It will be at the Cambria Suites hotel in Plainfield so if you wanted to stay and not have to drive out each day there are a block of rooms reserved already. Indoor pool, gym, and some pretty nice suites. Great getaway in the middle of Indiana winter

Build an aquaponics system for under $50

Recently I hosted a tour from the great folks from Aquatic Design. A local company that sells, installs, and services ponds and other waterscapes. They are beginning to enter the world of aquaponics, and wanted to see some real examples from the area. Granted my system are no commercial operation, nor are they often pretty to look at. I mean, I use kitty litter boxes as biofilters. It was cheap (free), I felt accomplished, I did it myself, it works, I can replace parts easily and inexpensively (free).  

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The tour was a learning experience for both I felt. I shared my experiences and lessons learn, often the hard way, and what I, as a new consumer, or someone just getting into aquaponics might be asking, looking for, and solutions to some problems I encountered. I have been a past customer of Aquatic Design and probably continue to be. It was a great feeling when they asked me to come see their new building which will house their aquaponics examples and configurations and maybe give advice as they were setting things up. I felt like all my lessons learned the hard way, shortfalls, and set backs were for a reason. I didn’t need to go to a course, an educational institution, or pay a big chunk of money for the education I had experienced. So when I tell people you don’t need to spend a ton of money on videos, books or classes, to learn about aquaponics I come speaking from experience.  

 While they were here I talked about the largest system 4500 gal outdoor down to my smallest system 30 gallon. As of now we have 4 systems in operation. 4500 gal outdoor pond, 3000 gal currently in a greenhouse but being converted to hoop house, the newest a 275 gal poly tote in the garage – still under development, and the 30 gal inside our kitchen/dining room. This 30 gal is something many people can put into place for inexpensively, it is a great conversation piece, it is entertainment, it is educational for kids of almost all ages, and in my mind, it’s really cool.

 

4500 gal system

4500 gal outdoor system

3000 gal greenhouse system
3000 gal greenhouse system
275 gal still under development

275 gal still under development

Tubs on top of the 275 gal tank. Using Raft grow system

Tubs on top of the 275 gal tank. Using Raft grow system, romaine, celery, and azola growing

30 gal indoor system

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Romaine from purchased head

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Romaine 3 days later

I made this system a continuous recycling flow system. I got the aquarium from a friend who was throwing it out. Free. You can look on Craigslist, Goodwill, or friends and family for aquariums. Many times people would love to get rid of them. Bonus if you get pumps or other stuff with it you can use later.

The rocks on the bottom of the tank are landscaping lava rocks. Mine were free. The previous owner of my current house landscaped with it. I hate the stuff in the yard. Again free. (well, if you count the $10 I pay kids to collect if they want to earn money). Fish habitat or hiding spaces I used left over PVC pipe from another project. Find them at building sites, or look around. It could be old Tupperware, or food containers just something for the fish to swim in and out of.

I actually paid for the submersible pump. But it was 75% off so I think I paid $10. Some big box stores will clearance pond and fountain pumps in fall and early winter. Just watch for sales. Or it may come with your aquarium you got for free. You can watch Goodwill and I have seen fountains or other pumps on occasion. Worst case $30 or so retail price.

The grow beds are wash bins. This was a Goodwill special and I only paid $0.25 each. Dollar Store has them for a buck. The grow media, lava rock again. Do not pay for the extruded clay. Not worth the extra money in my opinion. I drilled holes in the bins and had the pump take water from the tank, pump into the bins, and out the drainage holes in the bottom. It is important to add more holes than you think is necessary, because over time roots and other gunk can fill the holes and it will overflow. Another important lesson, add overflow holes below the lip. VERY important, if you don’t, and your drainage holes become clogged, your tank will overflow, and all your water will go onto the floor. Want to know how I learned this?

Because of the location in my house the system doesn’t get enough direct light to support plant growth. So I added a florescent light. The light, the stand, and the bulbs maybe $30. I made the stand out of PVC pipe and fittings. I could have just as easily hung from the ceiling and saved the cost. I use this system sometimes when I to talks or presentations and the stand is needed for display purposes. You need to use a bulb that will hit 2700K to 6500K, read the labels on the bulbs. Choose a T5 over a T12 type of bulb. T5 is higher intensity over T12, and more efficient use of energy. The fixture should match the bulb type, T5 bulbs fit in T5 fixtures. You could use HID, or LED. But for the money and energy I found fluorescent was just fine. HID gives off too much heat, and LED was too expensive. With fluorescent lights you want them 2-6 inches from the plants. The light needed for photosynthesis loses its intensity after 6 inches using fluorescent bulbs. HID can be several feet away because it is a more intense light (and 2-6 inches will literally cook your plants).  

We have some kale, some medicinal plants, and a philodendron, which are poisonous, but we can split and propagate to other containers to sell, or help purify the air in the house. We always leave the main plant so that there is always a plant purifying the water in the system. We have had tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, parsley, basil, cilantro, marigold and more. You can get plants from what many people think of wastes. We have started planting the bottoms of romaine lettuce. It was originally just an experiment, but now we are just harvesting the leaves for food. Celery is another plant that can be planted from the hearts when you buy them at the store. Here is another list of plants you can plant from cuttings when buying food. You can also regrow scallions, 3+ years of cuttings from the same plant.

Regrow

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Celery, this is the 4th regrowth for this plant

I got feeder fish from the pet store $0.12 each. I got a plecostomus (sucker fish) to eat the algae off the sides so I didn’t have to do it. $2.00. I feed the fish azola or duckweed I grow myself. So feeding them is free.  From an educational standpoint there are so many things to learn. From the 2 year old feeding and watching the fish, to adults and learning about the nitrogen cycle. There are lots of lessons to be learned. Want to learn more. Contact us, or follow us here, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  Or come see us in person November 23rd for a full day class on homesteading, growing your own food, preserving your own food and more! Ensure your spot is reserved by registering and prepaying for the class. Schedule your own series of classes with the Be Prepared Series.

Question of the day, Who owns the interstate cloverleaf?

I have a question and putting it out to as many people I know and can reach. If you know the answer please either respond in the social media which you saw this or comment on the website for the original posting. This website is linked into all my social media outlets and I home one of you will be able to answer.

FW Cloverleaf

I have researched but not been able to get a good answer. I want to know who owns the cloverleaf exchanges at interstates. They are maintained by the state, but does the state own them? Is it city, county, state, federal? Is it a little of all of the above? I see some with trees, some with “do not mow” signs, some with grass, some even have art around my area downtown, but who controls them. If some of you know me, and know my passion for permaculture you may see where this is going. I would like to know who owns them, how and possibly how to contact them. Is it a department, is it a group? What is needed to “make improvements”? Do  you have to have a public hearing? Additionally who “owns” the medians between the interstate. For the purposes of my area (Indianapolis) Interstate 65, 70, 74 etc.

I have a plan and once I get to the bottom and have some answers, more to come as I may need help in “persuading” these same people this could be a good idea.

Be Prepared Series

Be prepares is a series offered by Wolf-Beach Farms. It is designed to be a multiple series of classes picked by the audience, and delivered as often as you would like. The course designers pick from a series of classes or all of the classes. The class on average is about 2 hours and can be one a week, twice a month once a month or every other month. The goal is to fit what your needs are in the time you have.

The series starts with an opening class to go over what and how the classes will be organized. The beginning class the participants will be given a binder. This binder will hold the class notes, handouts, examples, etc. from that particular topic. Each class, the participants will get the handouts, listen and participate in exercises and gain useful insight into the particular topic. Each class will have a section in the binder. At the end of the series the participants will have a handy binder with the necessary information all in one spot. This binder can be used as the “go to” book whenever it is needed.

Classes can be purchased on an individual bases, a series of classes (at a discount) or a whole series at once for a set number of participants. Pricing and classes are flexible and affordable. These series can be customized for your group. Do you want a stronger community built around your church group? When an event happens, who in your group or organization has the skills to help the fellow members out?

Be Prepared series were designed to give participants tools and information in case something happens. This is not to instill fear or doom and gloom. This series was design to help participants face challenges and situations with knowledge and strength rather than fear and ignorance.

Here are some examples.

When a snow storm is announced, what happens at the grocery store? A rush on bread, eggs, and milk. Is everyone going to make French Toast during the storm? These are the wrong things to be stocking up on. Two of the three require electricity to keep them cold and preserve freshness. What if, an announcement was made of a bad storm and you and your family didn’t blink an eye, because you didn’t need a single thing at the store, EVEN if the power went out for days?

Here is another example.

A family of 4 on average spends about $400 per month on groceries according to recent information. Some may be more some may be less. What if I told you that our family of 6 can spend less than $275 per month? It isn’t rocket science, and our pantry is completely full. We eat three meals a day. We even have reserve that if needed could outlast any storm sent our way. Hurricane Sandy had some people without power and local groceries for 6 weeks.

In both cases people say they will just go to the store. Having worked in a major grocery store I can tell you what you see on the shelf is ALL there is in the store. There is little to nothing in “the back room”. The fancy scanner that is used to checkout automatically places an order for the item as it leaves with the warehouse or distributer. IF the trucks are running and they are able to get on the roadways it is 48hrs or more before delivery. The benefits of on demand stocking.

A tornado comes in and wipes out your house. Everyone made it out to safety and you had the keys to the car and everyone is in their PJ’s. You are thankful your family is OK. You return home and everything is gone. How do you document who you are, what you had? Where are all of your papers for insurance, mortgage, bank accounts, and credit cards? In this day and age fraud is rampant. You will need to prove who you are, that your kids are YOUR kids, that what was once your house was YOUR house. Can you imagine the stress, the heartache? Taking a few simple, easy steps and proving who you are, and all the important information will be easily retrievable. Better yet, what if you left, but each had a bag that had cloths, the documents and everything you needed for three days. Three days to put things in order, Three days to not worry about where to sleep, clothing, feeding the family. Sounds like a lot but it is easy to accomplish.

Did you know if you drive a car, SUV, truck etc. you already have access to a generator capable of giving you power in your home if the electrical grid goes down?

Did you know you may already have access to 60+ gallons of water in your home if the water is shut off?

Did you know that you can still communicate with loved ones if cell towers are overloaded?

Did you know that you can produce 800+lbs a year of food on less than 1000sq feet of yard or patio?

Did you know that you do NOT need a rooster to enjoy the benefits of backyard fresh eggs?

These are just a few examples. The Be Prepares series allows you to plan ahead, so that IF you ever have to use these skills, tools, and tips it was planned and thought out when you had a cool, calm, and collective thought process. Here are just a few classes

The series is designed for groups as small as 5 and up to 100 or more.

This is for the average person. It explains things from a basic point of view and uses practical, real world solutions. The series explains how to use what you already have. This isn’t a demo of the latest and greatest gadgets. This is how to accomplish your goals with little to no investment and on a budget.

Do you already have a meeting location? Church space when no services being offered? Meeting rooms, halls apartment club house? All can be used. No location? We work with various venues on different sides of town in and around the Indianapolis area.

Contact us for more details or to start scheduling your own series.

Get advice before you buy property

Are you interested in buying a property but would like some advice or opinions on how you can incorporate permaculture into the design? We can help. Before you buy, bring us out for a tour of your potential property. We can help advise for home placement, pond locations, swales, and general design. Permaculture doesn’t have to be a all at once endeavor. Want to phase it in a piece at a time? Want to know what to do first; what should be your first priority, what needs to be done now and what can wait? We can answer questions like this. We are not structural engineers, nor can we advise you about current codes and regulations. Each state, county, and sometimes city or township has their own rules and is best left to people who know the area. What we can do is advise based on the permaculture principals of sustainable agriculture where ideal placement would be. It would be up to the buyer or owner to verify no zoning, code, or rules would be broken. Do you already have property. We can still help. Let us help you optimize your food production machine. 30 minutes of advice and consulting could save you hundreds or thousands and the additional headache of things we have already learned or mistakes we have already made.

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