Treasure Lake Permaculture Elements

Eco-forestry has been the mainstay since I started working the land here even before I got into permaculture (2001 started my degree in Fish and Wildlife Management). However overtime more and more has been added in and amongst running the current business of pay fishing lake, bar, campground, and event rental/production.

Existing Permaculture Elements include:

  • Sculpted Earthen Oven/ Cob social Space: In 2012, we added a cob oven to start this space and continued over the next few years adding elements under the carport at the house on the land.  Its a work in progress still but has hosted many a cookouts and we have cooked pizzas for festivals and events.  
  • Extensive Native Food forest actively managed for biodiversity, especially paw paw, spicebush, and sugar maple: This is the ecoforestry operation that has been running since 2001.  Because of my global travels over the years, I have done stints here and there on the land hacking away at invasives, encouraging natives, and thinning what needs to be done.  In 2012 we did a light logging allowing us to keep the property which also augmented the forest canopy quite a bit.  You can read more about this work here.  But yes indeed paw paw and spicebush were my main aims but general biodiversity is always key along with forest health.  Now we have moved onto sugar maple stands being improved. Fish and Wildlife management will always be the primary goal since that is where i started as an ecologist.
  • Perennial Hedgerows of mixed species: In 2017 fall i began one hedgerow and moved onto another in 2018 called the triangle garden.  the original one, facing south, sits behind the farm road that separates it from Dark Wood Farm.  Its a mix of fruit trees and berry plant guild circles forming nuclei which are complemented by plants like comfrey, bee balm, and Egyptian walking onion. The triangle garden is much the same mix except the herb layer is more focused on perennial vegetables like asparagus and jerusalem artichoke.
  • Ongoing Development of a Permaculture Campground: I don’t publicly advertise it as such yet but the forestry treatments i have been doing alone with adding a compost toilet and other bits and bobs do push it towards this.  We are aiming for more usability with water catchment, off the grid power, more compost toilet, edible trails, and educational signing.  I am planning on turning our best site also communal so people can congregate and share not just sit at campsites individually. To help with this we expanded the campgrounds with earthworks in fall of 2018 to also integrate tree crops and campers.
  • Mushroom production: In 2018 we added logs and grow beds of mushrooms.  The logs were inoculated with oyster mushrooms on maple logs.  We also did quite a few beds of king stropharia wine cap mushrooms in grow beds.
  • Composting: Hot and Vermi: Both hot and cold composting are taking place on the property to feed into the farm and new agricultural projects.  Food wastes are cycled from personal households, from the farm, and from wastes garnered in the city like fermentation or coffee wastes.  The compost is put out solid or put into liquid form through compost extract.
  • Beekeeping- In 2018, a friend of the farm, Gil, donated one of his beehives to us.  It is located at the back of the farm in a sheltered area.  Honestly, we didn’t do any management on the hive itself, just try to provide the best organic landscape possible for the bees to survive and thrive.
  • Aquaculture- For years i have been slowly adding plants for a diversity of edge plantings to compliment the fishing lake.  I began in 2013 with Duck potato. There are now extensive patches.  I also add in 2018 Thalia, sweet flag, and yellow flag iris to give some contrast to the existing patches of cattails and phragmites. I am also interested in adding beneficial microbes to the lake to help with nutrient cycling.
  • Medicinal herb biodiversity plantings: To compliment our plant walkers event of spring 2018, I purchased a descent chunk of high value medical herbs bare root.  Ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot, wild ginger and blue and black cohos were all planted by participants and the rest by myself in the north facing slopes of our forest.  I have seen none of those in the area except the bloodroot so we do hope these build towards seed bank more than anything right now.  Production will occur one day.
  • Animal Husbandry year round and seasonal: In 2018 three sets of ducks were given tow us, most being peking but also a mallard and mallard cross in there as well.  They help with controlling the duckweed, waking campers up early and the eggs are delicious.  Also goats were leant to me and they helped do some brush foraging in the summer of 2018.
  • Fish and Wildlife Management techniques for accelerating succession: From augmenting the canopy for more fruit producing to doing extensive stream repair, this kind of stuff is my true passion.  I get to be in the forest and enjoying all that is.  The work will take probably more than one generation to complete, but what forest is ever done?  I do see it as my life work and relish in the pulsations of work to improve habitat.
  • Permaculture Nursery in conjunction with Cincinnati Permaculture Institute (CPI): In 2018, I took on nursery work at the lake and in town with CPI.  The extra stock was housed at the lake and plans for our own nursery are in the works.  Some of our homemade compost was in the mix and vermin compost extract helped to feed them as well.
  • Host site for educational programs from the Winter weekend PDC to plant and forage walks:  Starting in March of 2018 we hosted our first portion of the PDC at the lake.  Over the years, mainly from 2014 on, we have had numerous ways to reach people through different events like Pollination and Treasure Fests and other plant based educational events. Its really great to show off this work of forest stewardship and we definitely want more of this.

 

  • 1.5 acre Market Garden housed on the land known as Dark wood Farm:  In 2016, I brokered a deal with Annie Woods to move her farm, Dark Wood Farm, to Treasure Lake as she was seeking a new farm location and we had land and a house for rent.  She is a wonderful farmer, local foods ad land access advocate.  She grows wonderful produce and has been fun to collaborate with over the years even before she moved onto the land.

The plans are to do so much more and it takes a team.  I need help, want to join?

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