Guest Introduction

Hello readers, my name is Alex and I intend on posting here occasionally to talk about permaculture and self reliance. A little about myself, I currently live in central Minnesota on a farmstead that my father has owned for quite some time. With his consent, I’m planning the establishment of an edible food forest and the creation of sheet mulched garden beds. I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors here lately, studying the land and getting the feel of the layout and what I have to work with. The 12 acre property is a mixture of woodlot, sod yard, wild grasses and a portion of field that is rented out to a local farmer and aggressively tilled year after year for the sole production of corn or soybeans (I’m working on changing that.)┬áJust this morning, while watching the sunrise on top of an old boxcar that sits out back, a owl came across the meadow flying straight towards me, tactfully veering left before I had a chance to realize how close I was to a face full of feathers.

As you might be able to tell, my living situation greatly contrasts with┬áthe nearby urban metropolis of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Rather, I live in the ultimate symbol of American waste, the exurbs. Cheaper and more isolated than the suburbs, the exurbs take what was once mainly rural agricultural land and turn it into large, sprawling neighborhoods that spread across the countryside. The property I live on is now just a relic of that former past, and contains a run down barn, silo, corn crib and grainery that I’m fixing up. But just down the street from me is a housing development that was built in the mid-2000’s. The developers took a large farm field, paved some roads through it including several cul-de-sacs that dead end in the adjacent forest and began building spec houses. They called it “Scenic Hills,” and placed a large granite monument at the entrance with the name, despite the fact that there almost no hills to be found for miles in any direction. That pretty much sums up the nature of the all housing developments around here.

 

That being said, any posts I make here will strictly pertain to an urban audience. I don’t believe societal transformation can be accomplished with a smattering of isolated, rural enclaves, and I have much respect to those who are in the thick of it and trying to be self-reliant in the city. I consider myself lucky to for the opportunity to practice permaculture on such a large plot of land, and will try my hardest to spread and distribute useful knowledge and ideas through my experiences. You can read more about my projects on the blog I recently started, and I look forward to posting here.

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