What is MLT?
The MICHIGAN LAND TRUSTEES a non profit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to the goal of revitalizing rural and urban communities by promoting responsible land use and the development of localized food and energy systems.
What do you mean by that?
Everywhere we see the results of wasteful land practices in the name of expedience and short term profits. MLT seeks to examine and improve connections between people and the land and thus enhance personal responsibility for environmental health.
A land and capital intensive food production system that relies on short term chemical fixes that can result in the loss of small farms, meaningful employment, soil erosion, pollution of ground water and the general wasteful use of fossil fuel resources.
Another example is forestry, which as commonly practiced now, promotes short term expedient profits as a justification of even aged management and clear cutting when mixed aged management and selective cutting have been shown to be the most productive of quality wood and the other forest products that a healthy forest produces.
So what is the MLT doing about these issues?
MLT has a 30 year history of promoting stewardship of soil and land resources. In 1978 we acquired through donation, a 36 acre run down farm and started a living-learning homesteading program affiliated with Western Michigan University. Many men and women learned small scale organic farming and self-sufficiency skills, by actually doing it. This program existed in various forms through 1984. Then interest and energy evolved to delving into permaculture.
Permaculture is the concious design of land and its biota in ways that mimic natural ecosystems and provide the stability, efficiency of resource use, and productivity found in healthy ecosystems. Appropriate productive species and varieties are used along with symbiotic structures that maximize both the "edge effect", and three story woody polycultures, and by assimilating animals-both domestic and wild-to exploit their additive and synergistic productivity. People function as components of this polyculture.
What other activities has MLT been involved in?
Many. Although MLT sold the land trust farm in 1994(It is still farmed organically with permaculture principles in mind.), the interests and activities of MLT has been diversified as is the membership and the board of directors. A newsletter is produced about 2 times a year. The group has been involved, over the years and at present, with community gardens, a LETS program, and Moffa (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance), among many others. The quarterly meetings of the board are always interesting and stimulating.
What does membership entail?
Thirty or more dollars a year
depending on what you can
afford. In return you receive a newsletter. Larger donations, of
course, may be made to take advantage of our tax free status. Being a
land trust we have a special interest in land donations which we can
use to further our prime directive. Other avenues of involvement
include the contribution of articles to the newsletter and
contributing at the board meeting or the annual membership meetings.
Michigan Land Trustees Newsletter
of articles, stories, poems, commentaries, and history.
Homesteading, a Compilation
By students and others of the School of Homesteading and the Land Trust Homesteading Farm from 1973 to the present (about 1998). Check it out!
Articles and essays NEW Material! (taking contributions)
Virtual Permaculture Slide Show
Documentaries Mainly a pictoral record of MLT Events
NEW BOOK! (May 2017) THE ORGANIC MOVEMENT IN MICHIGAN edited by Maynard Kaufman and Julia Christianson (Informational flyer)
A Couple of Offerings:
The Roots of OGM, Organic Growers of Michigan
on You Tube!
A 48 minute video of a conversation between Founders: Judy Yaeger and Maynard Kaufman in 2010. Maynard and Judy discuss the origins (1973), character, evolution, obstacles confronted and demise(late 1990's) of Organic Growers of Michigan, one of the earlier such groups in the country. This Southwest Michigan chapter of OGM evolved into a statewide organisation with many regional chapters.
The Wild Ones Kalamazoo Chapter
We would like to hear from you!Michigan Land Trustees, Inc.24760 CR 681
Edited on May 25, 2017