Mark Shepard and Forest Agriculture Enterprises: Mark is doing exciting work with tree-based staple crops (mainly chestnuts and hazelnuts) as alternatives to annual corn and soy. He does this in alley-type systems that have pasture strips on “keyline” contour between tree rows and moves various livestock species through these alleys to harvest the grass and nuts/fruits from the trees. Each tree row has a shallow “keyline”-type swale that is interspersed with ephemeral “pocket ponds” that support diverse amphibian life which aid in pest control in the tree crops. Overarching all this design is biomimickry of native plant/animal communities. He has achieved 96% perennial feed source for his hogs, cattle, chickens, turkeys, and ducks—that’s very impressive if you ask me. He has a new book out called Restoration Agriculture that I found to be very enlightening.
The Stockman Grass Farmer: My favorite publication hands-down. This monthly periodical focused on pastured livestock production is a delight to read. Excellent editing and writing help me to devour this within a few days of receiving it every month.
Kentucky State U Pawpaw Program: This is the most comprehensive site to learn more details about the wonderful pawpaw fruit. KSU has the largest germplasm collection of pawpaw in the world, and a working pawpaw orchard to evaluate this as a new crop for farmers.
Silvopasture forum: A social media/forum site focused on practicing silvopasture.
Permaculture Activist: Learn more about what permaculture is, find permaculture design courses, subscribe to the Permaculture Activist periodical, and more!
Blue Rooster Farm: Friends of ours who are doing an amazing job of raising pasture-based meats in central PA.
EatWild: Great directory of pastured meat producers and general info of pastured meat’s health benefits
Polyface Farm: The Salatin family runs this famous pastured meat farm in the Shenandoah Valley of VA. Site has a tremendous amount of resources about rotational grazing and pastured meat production.
Permaculture Hub: A social media forum site focused on practicing permaculture.
Fedco Seeds: A co-op, they provide seeds for market gardeners as well as home gardens from sustainable sources and smaller producers, as well as supplies, trees and shrubs and tubers.
Lehman’s Non-Electric Catalogue: Everything from hand operated water pumps, to low-tech tools for home & garden, to solar power appropriate appliances. Not cheap, but a good place to figure out what solutions are out there to meet your homesteading challenges.
Mose Yoder is an Amish man in Orangeville, IN, a few miles NW of Paoli, who custom mills hardwood flooring and molding from locally harvested lumber. (The link is for directions to his farm.) You can also snail-mail orders/requests for info to 3420 W CR 550 N, Orleans, IN 47452
There are Amish sawmills on just about every corner. We recommend stopping at the nearest Amish farm to your house and asking them where the closest sawmill is. We've done business with several and have ones we'd recommend over others in terms of quality of work, so call us for suggestions. We generally recommend looking for a sawmill using a band saw instead of a circular saw, since the band saw is much more efficient since the blade is thinner and takes a smaller kerf out of the log - you end up with more boards and less sawdust from a given size of log. There are at least two band saw mills in the Orangeville area.
The Amish in our area are a wealth of resources for many different homesteading needs, including blacksmithing, raw milk (for pet food only), leather work, custom woodworking, and there are small stores that mostly just serve the Amish community and are usually unadvertised for everything from basic sewing supplies to grocery dry-goods, to off-grid living supplies like kerosene lanterns and chimneys. Again, just stop at your nearest Amish farm and ask. Prices are almost always very reasonable or even too cheap.
Sander Processing is the closest Indiana inspected processor that will custom butcher livestock (45 min from Paoli in Celestine, IN). They have natural sausage mixes available, and natural cures for bacon and ham (you have to request these). The Orange County locker plant is just North of Paoli, if you want really local, but they're not inspected for resale of the meat if you want to sell at farmers market. Some Amish families are also willing to process small numbers of poultry or rabbits for your own freezer. Sander's does turkeys, but I don't know of any processor less than 4 hours away that will do any other poultry or rabbits.
Bread & Roses are friends of ours near Bloomington, IN. They do permaculture-based landscape installation and carry many varieties of herbs and other edible landscape plants that we don't offer. They are a great source for a wide variety of pollinator, nitrogen fixer and ground-cover plants.
Lost River Market & Deli in Paoli, IN is a small member owned co-op that is unique in it’s focus on supporting local vendors and bringing healthy local food to a very rural area. You can find some of our products and wooden utensils here in season.
Orange County Homegrown operates farmers markets in Orleans, Paoli, and French Lick.
Dinky's Auction Center is a cultural experience. Auctions can be hit-or-miss, but if you have time to frequent them, you can get some amazing deals. Dinky's is the largest we know of. It's usually a good place to sell, often a good place to buy, depending on what you're looking for.
Craigslist is always a good place to look for many homesteading needs such as livestock and used building supplies. Since there nearest craigslist cities are all an hour away, we occasionally have had good luck posting an "in search of" (ISO) post on the Orange County For Sale facebook group. It tends to be full of yardsale clothes and bric-a-brac, and is pretty unsearchable (as of the date of this writing), but if you post a wanted ad people often come through. There is also a Southern Indiana Farm and Livestock facebook page.