Saturday, November 21, 2015

Leaving the Farm

I want to let everyone know that I am planning to move to Clearwater in early January.  I'll let you all know when the move has occurred.  I thought I was in Illinois to stay, but various factors came together that caused me to change my mind.  Following are my reasons to move:

The next phase of creation to make Lockie Farm a demonstration site for restoration agriculture (ala what Mark Shepard, author of “Restoration Agriculture” is doing) is to add in livestock (cattle, pigs, chickens, etc.) grazing between rows of woody perennial polyculture (chestnut trees, fruit trees, hazelnut shrubs, grapes, and various kinds of berries). I do not have the resources for this next step, but, more importantly, I do not have the interest to do it myself. My basic purpose is more to bring sanity to government.

I recently attended, as did 320 others, an awards dinner for the Prairie Rivers organization where Mark Shepard was the keynote speaker.  During the cocktail hour before the dinner, I managed to speak with Mark for over five minutes.  When I told him I was Case Study #1 with the Savanna Institute, he shook my hand and gave me a great acknowledgement--and then acknowledged me publicly during his speech!  Cool to now personally know "The Man"! 

I have found a young couple who are passionate about restoration agriculture and interested in furthering the creation of Lockie Farm.  Therin and Abby (see photo) will rent the house and continue to nurture the 5 rows of Woody Perennial Polyculture and 323 hazelnut shrubs around the perimeter.  They will be growing lots of food on the 1/2 acre around the house, including planting into the hugelkultur beds.  They'll likely get chickens going in spring. 

I will be leasing the remaining 20 acres to Kevin, my mentor, who will plant more rows of trees/shrubs/berries leading to the creation of silvopasture, with livestock grazing between the rows. 

The next courses (many) I need to do in Scientology are only offered in Clearwater, Florida, so it makes sense to move there. 

I'd like to work more closely with the computer person for The Affinity Exchange, who lives in Clearwater; plus there are more chances for expanding that business by living there. 

When I was in Clearwater in 2011, I started the Scientology Choir there. I would probably pick up the directorship again, which would be enjoyable. 

The Libertarian Party is pretty strong in Florida, so I would volunteer with them to further my interest in bringing sanity to government. 

Hopefully, it will be easier for me to find a “mate” while in Clearwater. 

AND... it'll be easier to stay in touch with all my friends from everywhere since so many people go to Clearwater! 

To my Clearwater friends:  I'm looking to rent a room, or share a house, ideally in a house with a yard that has, or could have, a garden.  If you have any leads, let me know.
Love to all, Marcia Powell
(818) 552-2211   (cell)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Growing Season #2 on Lockie Farm

MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#18) – October 16, 2015 –
Growing Season #2 on Lockie Farm”

My last blog was April 12th—the beginning of spring. For those of you who remember reading about last year's battle with the superweeds, I am happy to inform you that my plan worked, i.e. cutting them at ground level if I couldn't pull them out by the roots and then dumping 3-4” of wood chips on the stumps. That did kill most of them. The ones I had to pull up this year were in the areas where some flooding had occurred, and some patches out in the adjoining alfalfa.

In May I purchased two beehives and packages of bees. Had to shout out a HELP! To the Central Illinois Beekeeper Club page on Facebook, resulting in an amazing beekeeper named Mike coming to my rescue. The bees are for the plants and the environment, so I'm happy for him to do the work and sell the honey for his exchange. He gives me my percentage of yummy honey for my personal use.

As food for the bees, in late March I scattered Dutch white clover seeds all over my yard and some into the WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture) rows, praying they would make their way through the mulch, take root, and grow. Some made it; some didn't. But, as you can see from the photo, the green clover beautifies my front yard. (Remember, I chose not to have a grass lawn.) I've earmarked a section of my property to plant native/pollinator plants next spring. Doing my bit for the bees! :-)

The son of an L.A. friend, who visited me for 9 days in May, helped me plant strawberries on the septic lines, but they all died. :-( We also took down the four [ugly] raised beds, and use the dirt for some vegetable garden rows. Then we created a little patio of bricks on the west side of the house. Bought an antique red pump from my bro-in-law as a decoration, and added an arbor vitae tree and some shrubs as the “necklace” for that side of the house.

June was unusually wet. One day/night we got 6”! The irrigation ditch rose so high it reached the bridge I-beam, which stopped the corn husks, beer cans, whiskey bottles, styrofoam, and other junk. To prevent this stuff from ending up in the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, I recruited my friend Tracy and we pulled some up with rakes; then I braved the wicked current, waded in and got more. Felt so righteous! But the bad news was that the 6” rain took out the seeds I had just planted into my new square foot garden. :-(

Another downside of all the June rain was that my farmer was not able to do the first cutting of the alfalfa/grass. It grew so tall it both shaded the WPP and pulled nutrients away. Once he did cut it, I had to go out with my newly purchased weedwacker (you should/ve seen lil ol me trying handle that baby!) and take down the “fringe.”

Met a fellow, Brent, in August who was good enough to come out many evenings and lend a hand in exchange for some home-cooked organic dinners—plus my delicious blackberries. Together we rescued the poor struggling hazelnuts from the tall alfalfa/grass all around the property. Brent also dug up a lot of grass clumps which were close to the WPP plants, which we put over in the rows of poplar trees as some extra mulch. Plus we together managed to get the dried up paint (and big spiders!) out of the (ugly) 300-gallon bin in front of the garage; put it in the pickle buckets I've been getting for free from Burger King and used them to create a border on the SW side of my yard. We used lead pipes to roll the still heavy bin over to where the others are along the road. What a win to then be able to put a beautiful big pot of geraniums where the bin had been. It's been interesting to find out just how important aesthetics are to me.

In September I hosted my first Savanna Institute Field Day. Was misty-moisty, so glad that all 20 attendees were able to fit into chairs in my garage. Told them what all I was doing, especially about the Woody Perennial Polyculture and restoration agriculture, and then did a quick tour, followed by refreshments.

The Field Day motivated me (well, Pete Havranek) to create a website for the farm:

As I think you know, I have long been concerned that GMO food causes adverse health effects. There is a new book entitled “Altered Genes Twisted Truth” by Steven M. Druker that is probably the definitive work on the issue.

While we're on the subject of health, I have just watched the first four episodes (of 9) of “The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest” created by Ty Bollinger. I highly highly recommend watching the series. A couple of years ago I made the decision to NOT do chemo/radiation were I to be diagnosed with cancer. This data corroborates this decision.

Drove to the Outer Banks in North Carolina at the end of June to spend a week with family at a lovely beach house. Ashley and Ethan flew out from Portland. Ashley's leg was in a cast from an accident she had (walking down stone stairs in the dark!)--broke the tibia, fibula, and ankle—not good, especially since she is a massage therapist! She is finally now out of the boot and able to walk with a cane—and drive. Yea!

Sister Jane and I continue our lifetime Scrabble tournament (she's ahead), and we can play a ton of piano duets from half a dozen different books. Also enjoyed some family get-togethers at the pond.

Attended the Illinois Libertarian Convention in August—always informative and enjoyable. Had a booth at a couple of local festivals and garnered 50 new names. More and more people these days are turning to the Libertarian party.

Am still on a quest for a “mate.” There was a fellow in Lincoln, Nebraska... we needed to meet, so each drove halfway and had a long lunch in Williamsburg, Iowa. Not a match, but a new friend made.

And, of course, people continue to match up through the Affinity Exchange. See success stories on home page: Please refer your friends!

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Winter of Less Cold and Less Ugly

MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#17) – April 12, 2015 –
The Winter of Less Cold and Less Ugly”

A year ago I titled my blog “The Winter of Cold and Ugly.” Fortunately this winter was less severe, and, thanks to last summer's efforts to beautify the property, a little less ugly.

Never has the arrival of spring meant so much to me. For the first time (this lifetime), I planted some bulbs in the fall, and now they are just starting to flower! So exciting! 

In my last blog of November 17, I had spent the summer pulling and mulching the dreaded “superweeds.” Throughout the winter, as I received more truckloads of wood chips, I would “suit up” and spread the mulch over the ½ acre around the house—my personal “playground.” Got inspired one day while mulching and wrote a 3-page humorous essay on the art and science of mulching relating to my B.A. and M.S. degrees. Let me know if you'd like to read it. I'm told it is funny...

One very cold day, a new horse-owning friend brought me a trailer load of horse manure. Had to wait a few weeks until the compost in my two big compost bins unfroze enough to add the manure. Manure is like gold to a farmer!

How's my WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture)? Looks like most of the plants survived the winter. There are some berry rootstocks that are iffy—I'm waiting to see if some root suckers show up. Last Tuesday, I paid a professional to graft scions (a detached shoot or twig containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting) onto the fruit trees so that they will bear edible fruit. He then instructed me to pull the mulch away from the rootstocks to prevent fire blight. Yikes! (The pic is of a grafted apple rootstock, with budding berry plants in the background.) 

I donated $15 to the Arbor Foundation and received 10 blue spruce seedlings. Sister Jane and grand-niece Katie helped me plant them down at the pond where they will be sheltered for a year or so; then I will transplant them to my property.

The friendship with Dave Christian did not evolve into a relationship, but we parted good friends. I posted a local ad and currently have a very nice married man renting the master bedroom for 4 nights a week to lessen his commute. I AM now looking for a more permanent companion—either gender—who would enjoy sharing a lifestyle such as mine. If you know anyone, please have them contact me.

Mid March I drove to Clearwater to receive a few days of counseling. Managed to arrive just in time to catch the end of the choir rehearsal. Good to connect with them again. Was able to attend an inspiring graduation event—heard Kelly Preston speak, no less! I'm now set up for the rundowns re survival, which I plan to do next January.

A friend had told me about the book “The Fight for Immortality” by Peter Arthur. I was able to read most of it while in Clearwater, and found it VERY good, especially the way he works truth into it. One of my on-going policies is to support our artists; so I highly recommend you buy it, read it, and then encourage others to as well. Similary with Neal Fox's new DVD and CD entitled “Conspiracy”--truth delivered on the aesthetic wavelength via his songs and art.

Politically, I was one of nine Libertarians in the state who ran for an office in the local elections held on April 7th. Living out in the country, my only option was to run for the Ogden grade school board. My campaigning was pretty low-key--made up my own flyers and delivered them to the houses in Ogden (850) and Royal (350). Introduced myself at the Ogden Village board meeting, and spoke to a dozen people at the seniors' luncheon. Didn't win (only got 9.44% of the votes), but it was a good learning experience and earned me some name recognition in the community. Will probably give it another shot two years from now.

Note that I consider the presidential elections to be pretty much a “dog and pony show,” with the outcome being determined ahead of time by the global elite. Thus I encourage people to concentrate on political matters in their state, county, and city. Strengthening the Libertarian party these days gives those disenchanted with the D's and R's an alternative. The party IS growing, which growth also can influence the platforms of the main parties. Blah-blah... soapbox... blah-blah... :-)

A few months ago I sent some messages to retirement homes about performing, but got no responses—until the end of Feb, when the Windsor of Savoy contacted me about doing an hour's show. I had finally connected with a very good singer only 3 miles away from me, and we worked up some songs. However, at the last moment her back went out. It's an older audience, so I gathered up a bunch of popular songs from earlier eras and played “Name that Tune”--including some back and forth communication between them and me. Fun all around, and the feedback was such that they plan to book me again. Yea!

And, of course, people continue to match up through the Affinity Exchange. See success stories (e.g. Holly and Mike below) on home page: Please refer your friends! 

Hope you all are flourishing and prospering (thriving)!
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.

Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell