Hours: 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Regular Tours and Events
Please join us for Stelle’s annual Celebration of the Earth this May 5th. As tradition goes, various members of our community wish to share and educate others of their gifts and talents that are recognized as being inspired or modeled after some of the wonderful patterns and processes that the Earth shares with us.
Tour of the Off-Grid Stelle TelephoneCompany -1:00pm Tim Wilhelm manager of the Stelle Telephone Company and Professor of Renewable Energy Technologies at Kankakee Community College will give a history and overview of Stelle Telephone. Stelle Telephone was the first totally solar powered digital telephone exchange and the first solar powered internet service provider in the U.S.
Jon and June Haemes’ Straw Bale Home withPVtour! 2:00pm A bit too far to walk but just 3 and a half mile drive, the Haemes’ home was the first straw bale home built in Illinois. Jon works for Trina Solar as a technical support manager. He used his solar powered work trailer to power all his tools used to build the home. About 30 residents of Stelle helped stack the straw bales in a single day. Jon will also talk abou the ARE 110 wind generator and its energy saving features.
Kids Garden and Pond Activities – All Day at the Pond (Children should be accompanied by an adult)
This year we are bringing back a time-honored tradition of having family activities in the community garden. Here are the activities that are planned so far:
Kids’ Activities will be going on throughout the day in the garden.
Join us throughout the day in between our other programs. The activities are all simple and low key, but the more the merrier. We will request that parents accompany children 10 years and younger. (Only a limited number of families will be able to fish at one time since we are furnishing the cane poles)
Midwest Permaculture and some of us CSC folks went up to Chicago to listen to Warren Brush of Quail Springs Permaculture talk about “Peace in Permaculture”. The MA Center of Chicago was our host at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum at University of Illinois Chicago.
It was exciting to meet some new permaculture folks from the Chicagoland Permaculture Meetup Group and it was equally exciting to see some friends that took some PDC courses here in Stelle. While the number of Permaculture folks are growing every year, the fact remains we are pretty spread out, and so it’s kind of strange to spot permaculturalists you know in public. Continue reading →
This January the 24th, the Center for Sustainable Community will be hosting its monthly permablitz. We will be pruning and collecting scions in our community’s three-acre orchard. We will begin by reviewing some of the main principals of orcharding at 9 a.m., then begin pruning trees throughout the orchard. We will also demonstrate how to harvest scions and perform various grafting techniques. We will, of course, allow anyone who desires to harvest scions to take them back to their own communities for propagation. Continue reading →
This is an online instruction on orchard pruning. We will be watching a few selected basic orchard pruning videos. We will also look at some of the photos of the Center for Sustainable Community orchard and we will discuss what could be done with the trees. This will be an online Google hangout event and we hope to have a guest expert from the Midwest Fruit Explorers group to hangout with us and answer questions.
We are gaining knowledge and experience in orchard pruning and the use of Google Hangout. This event is will hopefully provide pre-site educational support for the upcoming Dec 22nd, Orchard Pruning Perma-Blitz, but all enthusiasts are welcome, please invite your friends even if you just want to learn about Google + Hangout!
You can sign up for the event via Google + or Facebook
(See this Perma-Blitz’s description and invitation in this former post.)
The Center for Sustainable Community November Perma-Blitz went well for our first Perma-Blitz. Our aim is to create a no-cost skill-building Permaculture Event (Perma-Blitz) each month. We also hope to be able to support some local permaculture Meetup groups around the state once a month. The organizers of the November Perma-Blitz were Hayden Wilson, Ernest Rando, and Megan Krintz. Our participants were Steven, Ruth, Wayne, Drew, Bill Wilson, and Jodi from the Suburban Chicago Permaculture Guild.
We set out to build a Hugelkultur Keyhole garden bed with the Hugelkultur beds dug into the ground. The details are in the photos, but we used a space about 18′ x 23′. At the highest spot we placed a large compost pile ring (in the center of the garden bed), but then slightly sloped the soil away from the compost pile and then leveled it out so that the water settles into the body of the Hugelkultur beds. The wood in the beds will then soak up all the water like a sponge. We hope to grow all the compost that is needed and soak up and store all the water that we need within the keyhole garden bed area. Next year, we are going to measure and pay more attention to the garden resources and yields, and we hope our only input is seed! We also had time to double dig one of the beds in an experimentation plot as well. Enjoy the photos.
Our community garden as it stands now (above) takes more effort to water than a passive irrigation design would. We’re building swales to create the optimal low-energy water retention.
November 18th through 20th Hayden, Ernest, & Megan will be hosting their first Perma-Blitz. if you would like to get experience in building swales & creating a passive irrigation system for medium-sized gardens, then this is the Perma-Blitz for you!!
This seems like the last break of warm weather we are going to have for the year, so here is the agenda:
Have a cozy dinner Sunday night with Hayden, Megan, & Ernest and relax with a game of Taboo or your favorite Permaculture book.
After breakfast, go over basic design and begin with the Perma-Blitz
Come in for lunch and enjoy salad and potato soup made from scratch with CSC garden veggies.
back to Perma-Blitzing (we gotta get these swales level, folks!)
Enjoy the sunset and work of a hard day and stay for Monday Night Dinner and spend some time with folks that you may have met during one of the past Midwest Permaculture Courses (suggested $5 donation)
Everyone is welcome to stay for one more evening and do it all again on Tuesday, that is why it is called a Perma-Blitz!! Continue reading →