Project Great Northern Forest Gardens – June 2018
Project Description: The great northern forests are the largest above-water biome in the world. Proper relationship to them is crucial to the future well-being of humanity. Stable life systems for a northern woodsman people MUST be implemented and functionally resilient before the worst of climate change is to be seen. This project, undertaken with the beginning of my career as a homesteader in the spring of 2016, is a synthesis of the social and ecological patterns of northern people and their biomes. Its primary article of concern is the buffer zone composed of space used by humans that would resort to forest if we did not continually disturb it through management practices, situated between the virtually unmanaged expanses of wilderness far north and areas of higher human species densities, our townships of sorts.
This project is a grand fractal, an orchestration patterned through time of projects that build atop eachother: it is a ladder of ladders, a full-length generational cycle of events; like a forest in its structure. It is inclusive, multi-generational in its methods, and is an amalgam, a persistent spirit of survival from the past manifest today creating the tomorrow our bloodline seeks.
Location: Inland from the pacific Northwest, at the international edge space of Boundary County ID, inland northwest permaculture network runs the northern US rocky range. A conventional small town in many senses, dilapidated leftovers from the hey-day of an extractive economy, yet a hot spot for preppers, American re-doubt, anarchists, veterans, hippies, republicans, retiring Californians, hideout felons, dozens and dozens of different Christian sects in a county of 13,000, and a whole lot more. This area has been receiving national attention in intense waves and is either going to be modernized/washed out or renewed from the community being woken up by proper leadership. We seek to create that renewing, we are those leaders here at Boundary Conditions.
Goals: We are on something of a 50 year design implementation plan to push as far as possible for the planet. Realistically, we have around 10 years mapped out on the horizon, and pleased to announce that we are taking steady, solid steps forward today.
1-5 years: Donate resources, time, and energy to developing permaculture in places of high social energy that trickles down- churches, public spaces- places that passively improve quality of life and influence people’s thinking every time they drive past it. Develop the market for regenerative landscaping, and educate about sensible design. Gain respect and credentials in community, prove methods, develop reasonable and solid socio-economic-ecological roots.
5-20 years: serve the people in what is an established craft by this point – being a local consultant and filling in the county with well-designed life systems. Obtain results sufficient to travel to similar climates around world (Northern Europe, inland eastern Europe, Far southern South America at higher elevations [Argentina, Chile, and such] and spread knowledge of successful permaculture tactics for these types of climates, learn from their systems to bring back, and establish networking relations.
20+ years: have teams of designers trained and implementing jobs, working jobs in a regenerative economy slots already paved out for them in the community. Many established forest gardens abound, and a sector of industry revolves around them. New set of adapted and specific goals will be well-developed by this time, and 20 years of accomplishments will be a precursor to them.
Progress Profile: Boundary Conditions is the name of my business, a reference to the field of partial differential equations but also among the most important of considerations in sound design. It was started after my third PDC into the PRI earlier this year. After 5 years of study my competency emerged. While we work with clients in many ways, we donate a regular portion of time and services through public education opportunities of permacultural nature. Those ones, carved out by societal necessity, are what we focus on here. As a public display vessel for between-worlds interface, this business is growing more set up in relation to other solid local businesses, which are already establishing the future. We have developed connection with industry standards and are moving into that sector slowly but decisively. There are awoken people actively working hard to make the world a better place, and there are many good natured people held back by conventional restraints. The social patterns of the area are a subject of study unto themselves, highly complicated. But we have a regional permacultural practitioner network, the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild, which has been of enormous benefit, as well as a local Boundary County Permaculture Guild. Lower order growth is happening, but we are at least at the beginning of a new timeline because of it. Yet current farming and logging practices keep the fertility of overarching ecosystem tied back, and life is harder on people for it. This can all be reversed with sensible design. Boundary Conditions has indeed been carving out a place in the community and regional guild, and even the international PRI community, partaking in the mission. Project GNFG is the golden thread uniting the events, mounted by this business. Crews of people have been mobilized and are taking action in volunteer and business sectors of society, working to create a regenerative economy that can serve as a national example, using our attention as a strength.
Current Fractal Arms of the Project GNFG – Practical progress:
Our accomplishment is in our working with other people building communities. Momentum has been acquired. We are into the 3rd year of the design. Being a youth, establishment is an uphill process but the project has taken many steps, below are listed a few.
– We are a part of the design crew on the first public forest garden in the state of Idaho and a groundbreaking connection between the medical industry and the forest garden community, on land donated by the boundary county community hospital, – more information can be found at THIS LINK. Fence posts are in the ground, planting to commence 2019.
– We are also working to develop the first Church Forest Garden in our area, and promoting the idea of a church forest garden to lead to development amongst all churches interested, where the inspiration can then trickle down into parishioners. The idea has gained substantial traction and details of land use donated by church are being concretely developed alongside volunteer coordination. Contact
– We have done much with educational outreaching, whether consulting through extension agency, monitoring people/animal behavior and educating them on it in the mountains through the FS and several related local groups, offering merit badges to local scout troop, and teaching at wilderness camps. We have reached out to county extension and will soon be teaching permaculture classes through them ~ local, cheap, acclimatized PDC to be offered within next year or two. Likewise steps have been taken to teach via the local library. We have donated time, effort, and money to the planning and development of our inland northwest permaculture convergence which pulls together solutions-thinking individuals every year. I am believed in by my peers enough to be made a board member of the guild, participating in a serious role in its multi-generational community.
– We have taken on a number of clients in this line of work and actually gotten some private property design recommendations implemented, in multiple states across the northern latitudes of the US. We are ready and growing more ready every day to offer services to higher-stakes clients as well.
Every project makes the next project easier and becomes a footstep towards naturalized patterns being made the norm. Patterns of industrial decision making are influenced and successively larger scales. I am a representative of the regenerative movement attending their cycles, being a voice, and bringing a positive & professional industry. I have reached out to the local tribe with a muted, slow moving success. We are steps into the creation of systems that allow society to fund its own regeneration.
Current Task list: These are those tasks that cannot be completed at once but chipped away at over time.
– The Hunt for a site suitable for a Northern Rockies Permaculture Research Institute has been going on in different forms for years. While I have not acquired the land yet, I have developed sites that serve as a nursery for forest garden plants and products for distribution at farmer’s markets, and such, myself now. Land prices here are overwhelming at this time of global crisis, but the search is still on.
– We are experimenting with “forest garden patch” products, where we install a tree or two, and a guild system for you to give forest gardens a small chance and see how you like them, rather than an expensive big scale design.
– Long term, we’re working towards programs to use loggers to install access roads, harvest your timber through selective and firewise “forest pruning” tactics, and using the funds generated from the timber sale as your working budget for design. This can all be done with proper forest management plans filed, etc. Many classes have been taken and contacts made in these networks and are documented in the UI extension forester records.
– Develop part time jobs for teenagers to learn restoration work – this is being done in the community, its patterns are being observed, and can be found in the Herald archives summer 2018.
– PDC at the extension office winter 2018-19, or 19-20
– Conversation has been made with community members regarding the creation of a tree crop processing facility, co-op owned machinery, and the creation of jobs based off very multi-dimensional niches. This idea has gained public traction, and we are working to develop it.
– Work with forest service to naturalize useful plants?? Idea has been pitched to a few people.
– Proactively use fire fighting budget to log firebreaks in landscape serving multiple uses, preventative use of budget that gets extra effects rather than last-minute disaster fighting, etc – This idea resonated in casual conversation with the volunteer fire dept. at the Curley creek potluck in June 2018.
– Work on creating permacultural maps of resources, forest composition charts, habitat type profiling, etc, of public hikes to educate people on that type of thought. Develop ecological cataloguing of microclimates in county – pre-emptively design mainframe forest gardens to ease it for people doing it for themselves.
– Instead of monoculture, multi crop that can be mechanically separated easier. Rows of flowers on sides for pollinator habitat, insectaries, etc – this is being taught in the county, there is a market for it correspondent to how well we can educate them on it.
– Big public lands strategies – Wildfire regimes, push for preservation and creation of oldgrowth groves, widespread semi-wild food forest buffer zone along forestland, “recreational” customs shift to quiet n peace. Food miles n local gardens, smart transport,
– Permie BnB network, open/provide paths for the serious and convicted city people to do their work in harder-to-get-into areas out here. Various loose channels already exist within the INPG, but have not been societally designed.
– Set up rideshare culture, eliminate wasteful, unnecessary, and costly elements of travel. Observations of the necessity of this have been seen on the internet and local newspapers.
– Work with farmers to identify problematically high water spots in the flooded valley that make them wait and lose out on growing season- plant out with patch of multi functional, useful swamp-savannah combo perennials and increase ecosystemic productivity by big scores through small patches.
– Develop trends in the real estate market to economically motivate water retention landscaping- create more value by creating micro dams, seasonal ponds, water holding landscapes facing summer drought (anticipated to get longer with time). Push industry based on the ecology/human value interface.
In short, we are trying to create appropriately designed and flourishing forest gardens everywhere.
Current major design constraints for the well being of the county needing clever thinking:
– Conventional mindedness in populace, one side or another
– Growing polar extremities of people around, lack of unity in populace
– Dependence of herbicides, systematic unnecessary use of them
– Massive amount of import of agro-chemical foods – we have a very partial food sovereignty.
– Substantial soil erosion, people not seeing it as a problem.
– Improper elements of logging regime, fire suppression regime, and such.
– Extinction of species (the woodland caribou, recently…)
The future is positive because we are making it. We are the ones creating the old growth-forest gardens, very great and very northern, 50 years and longer from now!