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Something to Mulch Over

Welcome to my World! After much consideration, this self-proclaimed introvert has decided to share our permaculture adventure with y'all through writing, poetry and photography. You'll get to know us better in future blogs but just as a quick intro. I'm Laurie and the laughing guy in the pix is my fiance Dan. We live on 3 acres in west-central Wisconsin; a land of brutal winters and hot summers. It's not unusual for the temperatures in our area to swing nearly 200 degrees once windchill and humidity are factored in. In the words of Led Zepplin, this is the land of ice and flame.

Our permaculture journey began just a couple short years ago. I was at work at a local greenhouse, enjoying some down time and googling why our ten-year-old apple trees had never produced apples. One of the articles I read suggested "tree guilds" and my first thought was, "Tree guild? That sounds like a fun club to be in!" So I continued researching tree guilds, and much to my chagrine, discovered they were not clubs after all, but a permaculture method of companion plantings for fruit trees. And so the door opened, or the leaf unfurled, or the flower blossomed, or whatever catchy phrase seems appropriate for the beginning of an adventure that truly would change our lives.

It's been one hell of a ride so far; from building a fence around our orchard in the middle of a drought, to "harvesting" cardboard from the local recycling bins and spreading nearly 200 yards of mulch as we began converting our orchard to a food forest, to edible landscaping, to replacing our turf grass with native plants, to watering sometimes 8 hours a day when the rain circled around our little slice of nirvana.

So pull up a seat, or walk with us, as we recap how we got to this particular moment and where we want to be moving forward. We hope to make you laugh, you also might cry ( I did, more than once), maybe you'll learn something, maybe you'll just enjoy the ride.

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