when we had a lot of bare ground here I bought some of the most aggressive species I could find to populate the area..some now I wish I hadn't gotten (mallow would be one of them)..although edible and provide beautiful flowers and birds and bees and foragers love them, they are a bit too aggressive swamping out a lot of other species..
but other than that the aggressive plants have worked out well for me
both do very very well from cuttings, so if you have a person nearby that has one, and is willing to give you cuttings, best time to plant them would be in late fall..but if you can get them quickly enough before the snow flies you can push them into the soil NOW.
this is an often repeated question, so do some looking down thru the threads.
my best advice is, if you are going from a bacterial makeup ..which lawn is..and going into a fungal make up..like woods are..you will do best if you clear a small area for each tree/food forest you wish to start, removing and composting the grass or upturning it..and bring in some forest soil to put in your tree hole..so that there is fungal medium in that soil to feed the roots of your tree..rather than just backfilling your tree with bacterial soil.. this will give you a better start by far.
then wor out from each tree with your food forest..other herbs can handle the bacterial soil..but not your trees, they need the fungal..as do all woodland plants
well someone asked what we are doing to make a profit. I'm not really doing much but I have planted a lot of fruit and nut trees, which will provide much more food than we'll need when they are all in production, so I can either sell or give the excess..so not only will I have less to buy, but can share..
In the past I have sold our abundance for a profit, but mostly we use what we grow and give what we have leftover....but it also does tend to Profit in other ways..
we have given to people and they have given us..not really barter....just giving..we have been given things like bear and elk meat, sausages, produce we weren't growing, jellies, firewood, etc..those kinds of profits are difficult to measure..I have also been given plants (blueberry, trees, tomato plants, asparagus, etc.. ) and seeds and cuttings..there is no way to measure the profit of things like that but they are still tangible
what I did in Permaculture regarding "plants" was to make a list of every plant that I thought might grow in our area that I didn't find totally repulsive in growing..and then I alphabetized the list.
then I took the largest thickest spiral bound notebook I could find and i started with A at the beginning..and looking up everything I could on say Apples, or Asparagus..
I would make notes of everything I could find out...number of days from planting, type of soil, sun or shade, nutrients needed, nutrients supplied, height, spread, best time to plant, when it would be harvested..years to harvest of things like trees, differences of different varieties (such as things like summer squash, winter squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, etc.) things that will cross, thigns that won't cross,. ph, best mulches, no mulches, best fertilizers, better without fertilizers..prune or not, every tiny little thing I could think of..
Honestly i ended up having to do this 3 times getting larger notebooks each time..to where now I'm happy with mine..I have photographs or tags from the trees or plants I have planted taped or glue in also.
I have gone from the tiny little plants to trees and even have some non food things listed in the book and herbs and beneficial weeds..etc.
i have also listed some things I haven't grown ..may..or may not...and also some wish list items that I would hope to grow..some failures..etc.
I have also tried to use some colored pens or markers to highlight some things to make them easier to find....like I have clay soil so if something loves clay soil it might be written "loves clay" in red in every plant that loves clay..etc..
I also have a lot of shade..so shade lovers are highlighted. I've been trying to concentrate on protein plants, so I've noted protein contents..etc..
I'm sure this isn't what you were seeking but it sure helps me a lot.
absolutely the ones mentioned above..my favorite book is Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway (revised ) ...also The Country Living Encyclopedia by Carla Emery, One Straw Revolution, M Fukoka, and my earliest intro to Permaculture was Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison (in the 1970's), there are lots more but I'd say go with what you have right now mentioned..that will get you thru the winter
the north american biodynamic sowing and planting calendar 2013 maria and matthias thun
$13.95 US isbn 978-086315-918-3 florisbooks.co.uk can't remember where I ordered it..somewhere online think it might have been amazon
even if you are paying less for food cause you are growing your own, that is a net profit of what you didn't have to pay out that you would have. And there also might be non $ profits such as better health, less dr visits, exercise in fresh air, etc.. There is also the profit of more rain, better quality soil, time management, etc.. so it is hard to define profit only to $ and c
I was walking in my woods yesterday and I noticed this fungal growth on my shiitake logs..it was different than I would have expected to see, but it is dang cold here (34 at the time) so maybe that is why? These logs were innoculated with shiitake dowels in May this year, in the one photo you can see the dowel end with a tiny bit of the fungi smooshing out around it that matches the fungi that is growing.
This doesn't look like what I would think Shiitake fruiting should look like but maybe that is cause it is so cold?? any one know about this or did some other fungi infiltrate my log and my dowels??
if you are able to, leave some of the hemlock to form a windbreak and protection for the baby fruit trees and create bays in them to plant the fruit trees on the South ..if possible..then they'll grow better
if you plan to build on the land eventually check with zoning and power co and see if you actually will be able to BUILD on the property..the power lines could prevent building and is it large enough to build on according to the zoning?? if not..wait for something else..some places require an acre to build on and you can't build under power lines
i read once of a woman who gathered soil from gutters..with all the toxins there are now I doubt if that is a great idea..but you could carry bags with you when you leave the area and try to bring back soil, or composting matierals in bags ..just small bags if that is all you can carry.. on your trips away from the building.
as for what to grow there I'm not familiar..but I would grow things that I am buying at the sore..say a grapevine, some salads, etc.. Gaia's garden and Sepp Holtzers boooks ahve some good advice in them
i used borax to kill fleas..worked like a charm..I sprinkled it liberally everywhere..waited as long as I could stand it around, then vacuumed and repeated (as eggs hatch when you vacuum cause of the vibrations)..
never had another flea..and had no reactions to the borax on the furniture, rugs etc..no ill effect to our cats either
depending on where it is in location to buildings, foundations, septics, etc.. If it is far enough away you could always plant a water loving tree in it..say a weeping willow or hybrid willow or some other water lover..they'll quickly suck up all that water and grow huge..
you could drain it..if there is a downhill area to drain it to..by installing some draintile materials..or just open up a channel
my hugel beds have all been DUG out first to make a hole..
I dug down about 2' or so, put in the wood and brush and wood chips etc..and then repiled the dirt on top..mine were never as large as Sepp Holtzers..good grief I'm just a short gal (5'2") I'd never reach the top to harvest..and anything that grew taller would have to hang down !!
do remember that they will settle so pile up some above the ground if you can..but even if you don't it still holds a lot more moisture and food for plants than bare ground.
before I saw the second photo I was going to suggest a lovely curve to go along with your curve that is naturally there..and low and behold duh..the second photo has a curve..
it just seems natural to me that you would want to use a curve.
on OUR property, we had a 60 x 60 raised drainfield behind our house..and it led me to use a circular pattern of lawn with planting around it (see my blog or maps)..so I went with circles..and curves on my property, the circles are OK but I totally LOVE the curves..they really work well for me..
curves are so easy to maintain..esp with equipment, corners are difficult to deal with and straight lines but curves..what a pleasure
Elis, I am 62 this next summer and I am still planting more and more fruit trees (and my son has no children so grandchildren aren't in the picture).
I am just now starting to get some fruit from some of my newly planted food forest trees, (lost my food forest in a fire in 2001)..and am thrilled to even have a nut crop off my hazelnuts this year.
I use aspens and alders as a nurse tree or stumps and logs and brush to nurse small trees into growing and not being eaten...and I also use remnants of fencing and other things to keep rabbits and mice off the baby trees.
look at the food you buy and try to plant what you like and purchase the most..I'm a huge apple and pear and cherry eater so those were high on my list but I also have lots of other fruit and nut trees and bushes and vines.
(see my blog)
in all established forests you'll have trees that die, fall over or break in wind, etc..that is where you first want to establish your new fruit trees..or watch in the summer if there are areas of sunshine..clearings or patches of sunshine in the forest where there would be enough sun for a baby tree..and plant it there.
when you remove trees look at those that are damaged, dying or aren't valuable..and use them or sell them for firewood or build hugel beds, etc from them.
you can also lay parts of the dead trees and branches on the ground around your baby new trees as food and protection from grazing...esp by the deer.
also if you have extra perennial material from your gardens you can start those things in your woods as well ..I have moved an over abundance of Jerusalem Artichokes I had into the woods as I found that the wildlife loved to eat them..and have them growing all over my woods and fields now..i take cuttings of other things and push them in the soil in the woods as well and toss out seeds etc..
i did have wildlife totally eat the hostas i put along my path..so that wasn't the best use of those..
we had an open field on our property that was studded with a few alders and a variety of evergreeens years ago, we have allowed those to seed and have thrown in seeds and berries and nuts of other trees and we are now getting quite a forest growing in that open field (about 6 acres) and it is filling in really really nicely..there will be an abundance of fruit there also as I have buried rotting pears, apples, plums, cherries, and all kinds of wild berries etc..along my trails in that previously open field as well..
I'm not familiar with fruit tree circles done the way you are doing them..but it would be interesting to see how it works. May I ask where you got your original information on doing things this way? I'm a bit curious about new things.
I do fruit tree circles but mine are different..with ONE tree in the center of the circle with perennial crops under the tree and annual crops here and there in the open areas..in the forest garden way.
keep us posted as to how this works for you and please link us to any online info or let us know of books that teach this method..thanks
My husband drinks coffee and used to use only instant, but began brewing it in the past couple years. I have been putting his filters and coffee grounds on my garden since..it is probably too early to notice much but in the areas I have put them it seems to be healthier
the iris narcissus and tulips are great for pollination and also really good at holding soil in high erosion areas..such as banks.. some permaculture people use narcissus as a weed barrier around the dripline of fruit trees in a food forest system, but they do warn not to confuse them with onions..(can't see most people confusing them)
I don't see that cherry would be a problem as it rots well, but the cedar will resist rotting and won't provide much in the way of food in the bed..you might prefer to use those cedars for fence posts or other things that need to be built that will last a while.
as for the grass..i was concerned when I built my last hugel bed as I had quackgrass problems in other ones..so I removed all the sod and used it where we needed sod ..not adding it back into the beds...that avoids that problem..quackgrass is a huge concern in our area.
in my opinion the best removal tool for bramles is a darn good pair of leather gloves.. they generally have fairly shallow roots and if you cut out all the dead stuff in the fall or winter..and then pull out the baby green stuff in the spring as you are able..you should be able to rid the orchard of the brambles quite eaisly..
also mowing them over and over and over might kill them but I would cut out the dead stuff first and remove it to get the mower in easier.
pull close to the tree trunks so as not to damage with a mower
i agree with the walking onions and asparagus, no one mentioned Jerusalem Artichokes, never saw a higher yielding perennial. also Daylillies are quite high yielding and mallows, violets, good for salads..and quite prolific.
I believe lambsquarters is an annual but it reseeds and is quite high yielding.
and then there are fruit and nut trees which are perennial and generally are very very high yielding, berries and grapes as well. they do take a while to start providing but once they do they last a long time..but never hurts to plant their replacements in advance as well.
i have no results yet but did buy the biodynamic calendar for 2013 so I'm all ready to start getting results this year.
It makes total sense to me now to plant by the moon after studying it..and I always planted my tender plants after the first full moon in June..so they wouldn't freeze..here in Michigan and that always gives better results than earlier..
I'm thrilled that you plan to do this when you get out..and I hope that you will have great success.
there are a few companies that are making it a priority to HIRE veterans..so you should have some research in those areas before you get out..there are great jobs in the police and fire departments for service people and a lot of other "companies" are promising to prioritize hiring service people.
think of jobs that you could do ANYWHERE..so that you could do them and still say homestead a property..working out of your home would be another option while you are getting settled into a homestead.
planning now is a great option..there are still tons and tons of repos for cheap..my son owns a home next door to us but is working 1 1/2 hour drive away..and he is going to be having to find a place to live closer as gas is around $800 a month..so we have been looking (in Michigan) at repos..etc..and I found several in the $17,000 to $39,000 range that he might be able to purchase..some in the $26, to $29K range have land that could be put into permaculture..so there are bargains out there..he is only a few miles working from a major city in Michigan (Grand Rapids area)..and so that is a lot of places that have land and homes and even outbuildings for a great price..with a very short drive to work...less than 10 miles..so there are places available at good prices.
I would say, figure out what areas you are interested in and begin a search on craigslist for that area..also any schools you might be interested in attending etc.
There are lots of places near colleges in Michigan..if you are heading this direction and I am sure other states have similar conditions at this time...blessings on your future.
the drainfield was about 60 x 60 feet..and it was raised 4'..we had it backfilled with good soil from our property and i planted the backfill around the drainfield, leaving a lovely lawn circle on top of the drainfield..at the far end I put in an arbor and planted grapes and roses up the arbor and then beyond I put down a path to the east and steps to the North..also nearer the house are two paths going down on either side.
directly on the drainfield itself is only lawn, it took a long time to establish ..it has alot of wildlings in it like dandelion, clover, yarrow, etc..as well.
all around it is garden..it is mostly perennial flowering plants like iris, and daylilly, herbs and other perennials (daisy, coneflower, phlox, gaillardia, and on and on) then as you go DOWN from the actual drainfield into the fll there are lilacs, honeysuckle bushes, cherry trees, smoke bushes, roses, etc..
when you get down to the level at the bottom of the slope there is a lawn again..so access is from the lawn on all sides..or paths..it makes a lovely garden..i have a lot of photos of it on the blog below
most important in my opinion if you are planting trees in an area that has been grass, is to go get a few buckets of forest soil from your forests and put that soil in when you plant your trees, the grasslands have a bacterial microorganism make up and the woods would have a fungal make up..you want that fungal soil to support the roots of your trees..so that would be a good plan to start.
ok just realized you didn't say BURIED>.so all I said may be a mute point..if it is above ground, you likely won't have the same options..bummer.
I still would put a row of trees outside of the 85' and maybe if you need to screen it you might consider a nice row of Jerusalem Artichokes along the sides..they grow about 10' tall and will in about 2 years screen it really nicely..plus give you a crop.
still would consider a simple fence along the sides and run animals in there if you have animals to run..but the ends might be hard to fence with a gate wide enough for their equipment if it is above ground..
ok as you say you have no choice, eminent domain and all that jazz.. Where are you in Michigan I'm NE of Cadillac.
I would say wait until they are done..ask the DEPTH of the pipeline..check the soil as they are digging to see what they bring up..etc.
Then I would just go ahead and plant any perennial bushes that you want to in the area over the pipeline alonjg with some good perennial greens ..as unless there is a problem they will not be back to dig any further..I would ask what THEIR plans for after digging prep are..do they plan to put down grass seed?? I would definately intervene if they plan to do that as you probably don't want the grass seed down there, ask them to GIVE IT TO YOU rather than sow it..unless it is hydroseeded or something like that..so you could use it where you need lawn repair or whatever.
you said 85' wide..so that means that you can plant a 40 canopy tree on either side ..correct?? I would plant an avenue of the trees you want AFTER they are finished..on either side ..measure well..the canopy isn't going to affect the pipeline..but make sure they are tall enough that they can take any equipement down the line under the tree canopy to do any annual inspections or whatever.
I would suggest nut trees or standard fruit trees to keep the canopy high enough..put your food forest plants under the fruit/nut trees, like your comfrey, stinging nettles, clovers, etc..
the pipeline itself will increase drainage in the dug area, so anything that requires really good drainage should be considered for that section..but make sure it is something you are willing to lose should they come back and drive over it..something that will take a little traffic..also you should be able to graze that area if you want to..so you could put a fence along each side of the 85' alleyway with the trees outside the fence and the forges and pipeline inside the fence (a fence that has access for them for any inspection at either end) ..and you could run about any kind of domestic animals inside that 85' section after they are finished working and it has regrown..except maybe pigs that dig.
would be great for chickens, goats..etc.
try to plan around it..that 85' between trees will give you a sunny area for forbes..at least..hope it doesn't mess you up too badly..but take the $ and use it for what you want it for or at least buy some great trees for the edges.