if the area has been grass for a long time you might want to go to some place where there is woods and get a couple bucket loads of some forest soil and stick that in the ground around the trees when you plant them..as your grasslands will be mostly bacterial micro organisms..rather than fungal..and you really need fungal to support your tree roots..this will give them a much much better start.
clear cutting the property could easily have devastating consequences, loss of moisture being the biggie as well as loss of all that mass..
I guess a lot depends on what you want to use the land for..but almost everything but haying will be OK with some of the trees left..esp the food forests.
I think I might try something like, getting some trees that you want for your food forests and placing them where there are natural openings from dead or dying trees, removing the dead and dying for firewood or hugelbeds, and planting the new trees in these openings..or edges..or on the slope (maybe with swales or terraces?)
then go from there..an older woods will have a lot of things ready to remove, and you can always put in what YOU want to grow for your replacements..and build the food forests around those
thanks everyone for all the info..it has turned winter here and I have no coop so I'll have to wait until I can build a coop..but I'm going to plan on going for some chickens next year for sure..wish I had a coop now as I really could use some fresh eggs !!
any pond needs a gentle slope on one side for critters that fall in ..to be able to climb out...but anything shallower than a few feet deep will fill up quickly with cattails and weeds if there is seed in your area..so deeper better..
i agree with the mentions above..smaller ponds tend to not really hold much water..unless they have been compacted or lined..due to evaporation and leakage.
you can visit my blog (below) and check out the pond I have..it is much larger than you are describing, and the shallow areas are all filled with plants..all brought in by nature except the water lilies.
ledges are great for planting plants..and do help give a foothold to critters.
you did mention urban but I didn't see a location.
I agree with Tyler, I wouldn't just throw out seeds in such a small area..you are likely to get better results if you plant what you want where you want it...unless you have tons of land.
I also try to keep some seeds with me to put in everywhere I pull a nasty ..(real weed).. so that the ground has something producing rather than just more weeds popping up.
the most important information is to plant what you will use....I have found myself in the past years planting things cause they were recommended, but they went to waste when I didn't care for them and didn't use them..or my family hated them (like rutabagas)..if you have domestic animals to feed them to that might not be a problem but IF I'm growing something I want it to be something i can use or that is useful to the critters around me (including beneficials)...or will build soil..or have some use...I have to room for mistakes but would rather grow things we can use
they might be maximillion or some other sunflower rather than Jerusalem artichokes, same family only not as productive..although maxi's can produce some edible roots.
I would put down a serious barrier to block the bamboo..or you may no longer have a yard.
there is a walnut thread on here that gives a list of what grows well near walnut trees so check that out (use the search)
Gaia's Garden by toby hemenway has a great bit of information on dealing with urban sites..you might really like to read that one..forest gardens work very well in small acerages..and you can grow a lot on one acre but you will be somewhat limited by the juglone in "that" area.
any interplanting with blueberries would require the same type of soil..highly acidic. I have tried a few things with my blueberries, and actually the blueberries seem to do best somewhat alone..but in t he wild they grow in swampy woodsy areas where there are a lot of rotting logs and moss..so it would seem that would work well in the garden as well..seems the rotting logs hold the moisture same as what hugel would only these logs are on TOP of the soil rather than buried..best wild blueberries found by these..also wild mushrooms
it never hurts to plant a seed if you have the land for it..we have accidentally grown some lovely fruit trees from seed because we had bait piles for hunting 30 years ago when hubby hunted deer and cause we tend to throw out our pits and seeds and stuff..in the field so they don't sprout in the garden, thus in the field we now have lots of fruit trees growing.
3 of our lovely accidents have survived well and are giving us beautiful apples..not same as the parents..but nice apples..we have peach and plum also growing and some cherries that have not yet produced fruit but we are waiting..as well as a lot of tiny seedling fruit trees that we'll find out what they are someday.
as for the clones..I love clones..
when I prune my grapes for better production..i'll often stick some of the prunings in the soil here and there along fencelines, in woods, etc..and sometimes they'll grow and give me new grapevines of my favorite grapes..seldom do I get any from seeds of rotted grapes though..wonder why?
I have read that you can actually take cuttings from fruit and nut trees and root them off rather than just grafting, but I haven't tried that yet..hope to some day when I remember to do it..that would be a neat way to get some great fruit if it does work...obviously digging up suckers works well for lots of fruits as well...and some nuts like hazelnuts.
often the baby so called "seedlings" you buy are really just rooted cuttings..sometimes not very well rooted cuttings either..
as far as self sustaining permaculture..from things just dropping and reseeding themselves..some do..some do not. Plums are very very prolific at reseeding themselves around a plum tree..apples sometimes will..nuts nearly always will esp if a squirrel helps them out..but all too often we just keep things way too clean under our fruit trees, so we don't get the babies sprouting..if you go to an abandoned orchard often you'll find juvenile trees growing at the drip edges of an old fruit or nut tree.
i keep a spiral bound notebook handy ..very handy...and I list pages of things that need to be done. I put some pages with things that will only take 5 min or less..20 min or less..etc..so if i have 5 min i can go to the 5 min page and pick a project and get er done..20 min..etc.
plan to at least cross one or two items off of a list a day..
there are lots of dogs that are good ratters..like terriers
also you can bury a pipe in the ground..you take a pipe and put a cross section of pipe so it goes side to side..and then you put some rat poison in the pipe and cap the top..put it in the tunnel areas..nothing else can get to it but the underground critters that way..
since you have a lot of rock you should be able to make the terraces with a slight lean back to prevent the soil washing out and saving your water..Sepps book has info on how to do this..also careful of the mulch and things from your municipaility as it could contain weed killers and pesticides
i've been dealing with this now for 60 plus years..I've tried everything..I actually prefer a tightly woven piece of fencing around each trunk..as it will keep the rabbits out..and if tight enough will also keep out the mice and voles..
nurseries use cardboard and staple it along one side it will last a couple of years..but in the summer you want the trunks to breathe so they don't rot..I have used "caution" tape but it can cause damage to the trunks when it gets moisture behind it..rot
the plastice tree guards that expand do work fairly well when the trees are quite small..
if you go to www.permies.com you can read about bone sauce
if you haven't tried black raspberries try them, they are wonderful..I also didn't see mention of honeyberries.. Elderberries are my favorite for jelly, love to make it for holiday giving. as for hugel beds..they would all do find but the runner berries will take over the bed (if you don't mind that it is ok but it might be better to isolate your runners)
if you live in an urban area but have a bit of soil around, read the book Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, he has a lot of useful information on getting started in a neighborhood..and no need to get a spouse on board..just do it.
spouses will appreciate you just working in the yard and not expecting her to do it for you.
once it gets interesting she may just join you and chip in..and catch the bug..let her read the book too
if they say "compostable" why not bury them in a compost pile..you would get more aerobic action in a compost pile than burying them in the ground..it would seem..I think I would put down a layer of straw or hay ..used animal bedding maybe..and then put in the diapers and pile other compostables on top..mix in plenty of green like grass clippings in with the brown and diapers..scraps, leaves, etc..and turn it over every couple of weeks or months..then you should be able to spread it when it is finished compost around your plants..also if you have a wooded area..make a pile in the woods and use branches, leaves, etc..in it.
you have to keep your food in metal cans, with tight fitting lids..a trash can is good. I use alum flashing on the poles of my bird feeders and keep them from trees and bushes..that keeps the squirrels and other climbers down..as for the food you grow, I really don't have problems with them getting into that stuff..they don't even bother my hazelnut crops
I really really want to have free range chickens on my property but I have 3 killer cats..so far the largest birds I have seen them actually kill are like doves or blue jays..however..they will kill a rabbit. I like the fact that they are good hunters as they keep the riff raff off the property (rats, mice, voles) however..I'm very afraid that IF I GET CHICKENS..they'll be expensive cat food.
I was wondering about buying already grown chickens..I know most people get the babies and raise them, but with the cats everywhere here, I'm afraid that won't work for us..even if I do lock them in a pen or something..when they are still small..I want them to be able to free range as I have tons of bushes and trees that grow food great for chicken forage.
I really want to build a coop and get me some chickens next year..I'm on atkins and I eat tons of very expensive eggs that aren't worth buying..I'm thinking of only say 4 or 5 chickens and a rooster (for chicken protection)..do you think it can be done or am I wasting my time??
yes I'm aware of chicken tractors, fencing, etc..but that won't help them to be able to forage in the brush and bushes and woods where there are tons of berries and nuts
some of the people that rented their land out (at $50 per year per acre) are now wishing they hadn't..but they signed the leases.
The animals have left the land that were there..my friend that leased out his land went hunting this week, he went into the woods south of his land to hunt deer and got one, but then couldn't figure out how to get it home..as the fields are all plowed and muddy and a mess and even his tractor and 4 wh dr truck couldn't go to where the deer was..he did find a neighbor with a quadrunner that dragged it out for him..but man was he disappointed he couldn't get it himself..
the deer will no longer cross the property, there is a place where they can still cross where there is a pond and a few trees, but even that isn't working well for the animals..
immediately the bluebirds and bobolinks dissappeared, the sandhill cranes are no longer using the field and the rabbits are gone..
I think this question has two variables or more..one is your depth of knowledge and another is your location.
If you live in a city it is going to be a LOT harder than if you live in a rural area as your resources will be less and more people will be after them
Your depth of knowledge is a huge deal..do you know what wild things are edible and what will kill you?..I on purppose have things growing on my land that LOOK like food, but if you eat them you will die or get very very ill...if someone was to come onto our property and attempt to STEAL all of our food or enslave or kill us during a food shortage..guess I might make them up a deadly nightshade meal or some poison mushrooms..while I graze on my edible forages..
I think I would survive quite well, we have flowing water, heat available anytime, wild food even under the snow that can be dug out and eaten, ammo and guns for hunting..etc..but I am glad I have the education and am in the right location
I love Eric's books and writings however this looks by your description like another "warm weather" book, I just cry out for a more temperate book or two..I am a real bookaholic..but am so tired of reading books that do not apply to my zone..would it be worth reading if you live in snow ??
the way you made it sound was that a pond above the house would flood the house, if it won't then it is a good place for a pond..so that is the only consideration I was concerned about when I said that..a pond above the house can gravity feed water to the house..which is also helpful..but do protect your house and foundation from overflowing.
sounds nice, I think I would try to get goats or sheep (rent or buy) to graze it off..and remove the brambles for you.. as for the pond, no if it is uphill from your home, is there a place for a small one that wouldn't be uphill from the house?? otherwise maybe some water catchment from the eaves.
are there fruit trees? If not I would probably put those in North of the area for vegetables..maybe remove some woods in that area first so it will be manured and cleared for the fruit trees.
don't worry about zones..they aren't THAT important when you don't have room for them..just make sure the things you need the most are closest..to the house.
in my signature is a link to my blog..I am in zone 4/5 so most everything I grow should grow in your area..but I am not at as high an elevation so things might have some wind problems there that they wouldn't have here.
I always suggest that people make a LIST of what they like to eat or what their animalsneed to eat and then cross off any that can't grow there..like bananas..etc..then see if you can start to grow the things you eat the most first..and esp put in the things that take longest to mature first..like fruit and nut trees.
I have been on the receiving end of free stuff and free information and even helpful phone calls so I can honestly say that Paul gives way more than any other permaculture people that I AM PERSONALLY aware of..of course I don't know them all..
toot your horn, yell it from the roof tops and be proud and happy Paul..many blessings to you..you have been a huge blessinig and I appreciate you
I do know that some shallowly buried trees or logs will produce mushrooms on their own on our property. we have both edible and poisonous ones sprouting here from buried wood .
My son pushed over a bunch of aspens and wild cherry when he put the soil dug from our and neighbors ponds into the woods..covering the pushed over trees with clay and sandy soil and muck. Now we get flushes of mushrooms, mostly inky cap and oystsers and also a poisonous variety ..they pop up along the length of the buried logs
Person in OP is now working at a much better job than he was fired from. He is making about $6 more an hour, unlimited overtime, profit sharing, monthly bonuses, 50 % matching on 401K and will have health ins after 6 mo. and even a week of vacation after 90 days..so he is HAPPY
They LOVE him at the new job as he is so experienced at what they need and dedicated (he had not missed a day of work in 6 years prior to being fired and worked 12 hour days or more for 7 days a week)
they figured at $6 more an hour they have a bargain,
yes he has to drive nearly 2 hours to work every day, but he will be looking for an apartment or something in that area and only come home to his house a couple times a week to take care of business up here, maybe get someone to live in his house...the gas cost will be about $800 a month..so it would be cheaper to rent something where the job is.