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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Building a permaculture farm

Rob Petersen owns a 60 acre property in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin.  He has started the work of cleaning the pastures and trying to figure out the best way to manage the land, with the aim of building a permaculture farm.  He, his wife and his two kids are striving to be self-sufficient, raising cattle, chickens and pigs, and also growing organic vegetables.

One of the most important projects for them is to plant an orchard.  “We want to share fruit with our neighbors: Pears, apples, honey berries, and we want to put different plants and trees together”.  To help with his goals, Rob decided to attend one of Whole Farm Workshops at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute:  Cultivating Organic Fruit for Market. He has just recently learned about the institute.

“All the information I can find in these workshops is really interesting.  I’m getting everything I want to establish on my land and I hope to plant all these trees soon, instead of going out to buy fruit at the stores”.  They have also planted 150 pine trees in their woodlot.  This is another example of some of the projects that they have in mind.

After this first workshop, Rob wants to visit the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute again in order to get practical information and apply it to his farm.  “Starting this kind of business is always a challenge. Especially, on that new land because the property was neglected. And now a lot of trash trees are growing. We are still cleaning everything… It’s just the beginning”.

Now they want to absorb as much knowledge as possible in the Whole Farm Workshops at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute to help them build a permaculture farm.