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Project: Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia, Spain. Land rehabilitation

 
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Hello everybody!

My name is Antonio and I have the project of transforming the family land in Denia, Alicante.

The land was bought in the 50's by my great grandmother, and soon inherited by my grandma, Doña Carmen. At the beginning, if I remember well, all the land was used for raisins. Denia in fact was a very important raisins exporter in the world. But there was a huge crisis because of the filoxera, and people started to focus in Citrus. My grandad was from Cantabria (north of Spain) and he had this love for the animals, so he started also to have cows, chickens, rabbits, making a profit with it (and some pigs just for family consumption). Here is the thing: they were between Denia and Madrid, and with the roads of that time, Madrid was 8 hours away. My grandad had a job in Madrid but took care of the farm. After that, my grandad died, and my grandma, who didn't was a lot into animals, changed everything to 100% citrus. They had basically Salustiana, Valencia and Washington oranges, and changed through the years some of them for Navel Late or Navelina. Also, some fruit trees for family consumption: figs, plums, satsuma, clementine, lemmons, grapefruit. And lot of bay.

It was big enough to sustain the house expenses and my grandma way of life (wich was easy). But life changed and big wholesalers started to impose prices and asphyxiate the economy. So slowly, the citrus business was abandoned . Also, my grandma was aging , Denia was changing, local government started to focus in tourism and forgetting agriculture. So on her last years, orange trees were abandoned, some of them ripped of. This was sad.

In the area there is a huge monocultive tradition. First raisin, then citrus. And the problem with tradition , when it's centenary, is that it can be a curse. People are so used to their old ways, even when they start to fail, that their mental model is difficult to change. They were in citrus monocultive, with trees aways from each other, pesticides, soil cleaning/burning, lots of habits difficult to take away.

Anyway, my grandma died and the land was divided in two parts. The big house and 2150 sq meters of plantable land, were for my father. And another huge part, was for my father, two brothers and one sister (now, one cousin) shared. So well, with this situation, they left the orange abandoned or ripped of, my dad left something in his part and that was it.

Since I was a kid, I could say I was the more interested in the land. My grandma was a woman who had a deep inside love for trees, land, cultivation. She was no innovative, neither had a philosophy of organic or permaculture or anything. She just thought that the land was the right thing and urban development couldnt give anything good in the long term (and she was right, because Denia was devastated by tourism, poor quality jobs, seasonality...). And since I had some use of reason, I started to ask myself questions: how can we do this better? How can we use the land? My dad, my uncles, all were with the "impossible". "That belongs to the past" "you need to invest a lot of money". And also, my dad "you need more land, you need all your uncle's land and they are not selling it, you need a lot of room between trees, our part is very small to make something profitable".

But we have the land and specially in the last 2 years I've been thinking more and more on it. My dad planted some trees "for shadow" in a random way, but I think there is still room. And I think that I can make it profitable in some years. In some parts of the house I started to plant some trees, just to play, some years ago

I have two problems

1.- I have all this but I don't know exactly where to start. At this moment I can make monthly investments but not a huge investment at once. Also, I'm afraid of doing it because I don't have a defined plan. Somehow, I like to experiment and see how it developt, but I'd love also to go faster
2.- I usually spent most of time in Madrid, but took care of things in Denia, going and coming. I say usually because with the Covid 19 and lockdown, I'm spending most of the time in Denia. But don't know how to work things out in the near future, if I should install the family in Denia and leave everything behind or if it is better keep developing the project from Madrid and go full throttle when it starts to be more mature. I have concerns on my kids college, because it's in Madrid. They are only 3 and 1.  The 1 yo doesnt worry me, but the 3 yo was so engaged with her school and friends, so sad when they closed it... but also, it's now 5 months without schools and don't know if in September we'll have schools (they are still debating it!). Anyway, my grandad had the same situation and managed the farm travelling a lot. But I feel the sense that I have to spend more time there. I wanted to go more gradually and not leave all in Madrid without having the project more advanced, but with the postcovid life... I don't know

Finally, in Denia they still have the development mentality, eventhough it's ruinous. But we're somehow in the border between farms and cities and I'm always afraid that some day some mogul is going to come and "force us" to leave. Unlikely to happen in the next 10 years (huge crisis there), but the location is in the edge. But I think that if I keep on going with the project and plant more trees, and build something different and attractive for the area, we can have help from the town government (in a close town, called Palmera, a guy called Vicent Todoli started a huge citrus collection, the town thought it was something valuable so they declared "no urban development in the area").

I have the idea of keep planting things, and maybe make it profitable in some ways: selling seasonal fruit , varied fruit boxes or something like that // nursery for rare trees // making the house a place to visit.

So, what do you think on the project? Some ideas to stop going blindly and have something more like a plan? I want to make all our plantable land a crazy fruit forest. And I'd love to go non-stop. Not to rush (also, because I can't) but non-stop, improve something every month. Sean Dembrosky (Edible acres) gave me some advide and pointed me to this forum, so maybe some of you could give me ideas on next steps

The zone is 10, the weather is stable and soft. End of July and August can be very hot. And for some weeks between September / October is common to have  some days of hail. But rest of the year, everything is soft, no frosts, no nothing

I post also some house pics, so you can have some idea.

Soil: Is clayey, but I'd say very fertile. From October to May is totally green, weed grow everywhere. In June my dad removes them because it get's very dry and he's afraid of fires. Palms and Bay Trees are constantly growing spontaneously. Water: we have our own underground well


z3_4821.JPG
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Captura-de-pantalla-2020-08-03-a-la(s)-09.52.49.png
this is the more recent aerial pic of the house. All the oranges on the right side of the pic, we don't have them anymore
this is the more recent aerial pic of the house. All the oranges on the right side of the pic, we don't have them anymore
 
pollinator
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I dont know your life or circumstances Antonio so I can't offer anything that I could expect to be deeply meaningful but here is my response to your post.

I think that if you try to go at this bit by bit, you will end  up with a pleasant yard. I think that if you want to make a go at making it profitable and a business you need to make a real go of it. And this seems like the perfect time. Make a plan (remembering it can always change if needed), do your best to execute the plan, and see where it can go.

As far as model, I would explore the membership/CSA/subscription model. This will require more work in marketing you and your farms story but will also maximize the price you can get for your efforts.
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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s. lowe wrote:I dont know your life or circumstances Antonio so I can't offer anything that I could expect to be deeply meaningful but here is my response to your post.

I think that if you try to go at this bit by bit, you will end  up with a pleasant yard. I think that if you want to make a go at making it profitable and a business you need to make a real go of it. And this seems like the perfect time. Make a plan (remembering it can always change if needed), do your best to execute the plan, and see where it can go.

As far as model, I would explore the membership/CSA/subscription model. This will require more work in marketing you and your farms story but will also maximize the price you can get for your efforts.



Thanks for your reply. We definitively want to "go for it", but not "suicide for it". I've been involved in some other small business and I'm a believer in the "lean startup" way, when possible. My idea is to find a pace where I advance every month, with trial and error. As long as right now I don't need to make a radical life change, and as long as the trees take time to grow, this was my idea. Plant something, every month, observe, keep planting, observe, and when production starts to take form, make the change. So, to keep moving with a business mentality, don't want to be a hobby, want it to be again a source of income as it was for my grandad and grandma.

Problem is, if I have to give steps, month by month, what would be first step? What would be second and third? Main trees to plant? Where in the house? This are the things that I'm trying to figure out, and, with this in mind, thinking if it makes sense to go periodically 450km away or if I have to make the jump. One positive thing is that with Covid working remotely is more accepted and I could do that. Only thing troubling us is that me and my wife can come and go with our current jobs, our younger kid is in the nursery school so that's easy, but the other one, going to be 4, we have to have her registered in some school, and that means a year, and lot of paperwork (Spanish bureaucracy)

Personal aspect of things aside, what I'm trying to figure out are steps. I have to prioritize areas of the land (as it surrounds the house), I have to mulch, to plant... Next steps are going to be plant this trees: 2 hazelnut, 2 seaberry (M/F), 1 grapefruit, 1 Alder (already bought and waiting to be planted). Also, I ordered this seeds that grow well in the Mediterranean: Fennel, Oregano, Thyme, Ruda, Chive, Asparagus, Artichoke. Also found  Madroño (Arbutus Unedo) and ordered it, 4 small plants. And counseled by Sean (Edible Acres) I'll plant Goumi (found it in a nursery in the Basque Country), Lupino, Senna and Baptisie.

I have two areas more planted than others, and I know that if I have 6 trees and 6 areas is better if I plant 6 trees in the same area and grow from there to next areas (all are conected, it's a way for me to organize in my mind) instead of planting 1 tree in each area. Also I planted things that grow pretty well there (Different Citrus, Apricot, PomeGranate, Acerolus, Almond) and I know what I enjoy more eating (nuts, acid fruits, avocado, tropicals), so also another idea is to start traction with the known and bit by bit introduce more unusual things. But this all takes time! Maybe my problem is that I get overwhelmed when I see all the room that I have and don't know where/what to plant next
 
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Hi!

We might want to talk to each other. Please check out http://granja.caimito.net We are "next door" in Andalucia. Please send email to info@caimito.net

There is a lot of things than can be done in Spain but one might stir up things a bit and get a negative reaction because of the positive thing one is doing.
 
s. lowe
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Antonio, what I meant by "go for it" was make the full time move and make a plan. In my experience commuting to a farm is a recipe for other things to take precedence, especially when little ones are a factor.

I would say that you also need to make a business plan. Who is your market? What are you going to sell them? How are you going to deliver it? How much will they pay for it? How much will they buy? The answers to these questions will guide your planting choices. Just planting a diversity of things you like to eat is a great way to make a personal garden but not necessarily a good approach to an agricultural enterprise.

The choice I think you need to make first is this;
Do you want this space to be a place where.you experiment and learn while building a wonderful food forest for your families enjoyment?
Or
Do you want to turn this into a commercial enterprise in relatively short order?

If its the latter, then I think you need to make a business plan before planting more things so that the planting can be aligned with the business plan. You might try producing some annual crops and selling them as a way to test your markets and to test different bottom story plants. I just think that if you dabble around building lovely gardens you will have a hobby and a nice home but some years from now you will still be facing the problem of how to monetize your garden instead of having a farm
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Stephan Schwab wrote:Hi!

We might want to talk to each other. Please check out http://granja.caimito.net We are "next door" in Andalucia. Please send email to info@caimito.net

There is a lot of things than can be done in Spain but one might stir up things a bit and get a negative reaction because of the positive thing one is doing.



I'll write you this week!
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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s. lowe wrote:Antonio, what I meant by "go for it" was make the full time move and make a plan. In my experience commuting to a farm is a recipe for other things to take precedence, especially when little ones are a factor.

I would say that you also need to make a business plan. Who is your market? What are you going to sell them? How are you going to deliver it? How much will they pay for it? How much will they buy? The answers to these questions will guide your planting choices. Just planting a diversity of things you like to eat is a great way to make a personal garden but not necessarily a good approach to an agricultural enterprise.

The choice I think you need to make first is this;
Do you want this space to be a place where.you experiment and learn while building a wonderful food forest for your families enjoyment?
Or
Do you want to turn this into a commercial enterprise in relatively short order?

If its the latter, then I think you need to make a business plan before planting more things so that the planting can be aligned with the business plan. You might try producing some annual crops and selling them as a way to test your markets and to test different bottom story plants. I just think that if you dabble around building lovely gardens you will have a hobby and a nice home but some years from now you will still be facing the problem of how to monetize your garden instead of having a farm



Hello and thanks again. In this point, we are going to have a friendly disagreement 😊

I'm a firm believer in the lean way of business and a firm no believer in business plans,and in the small business that I partner now, I've always done this. So, when some failed, it was not a big deal, and when they succeeded, it was great because we took no huge risks. When possible, I'm an advocate of this way

Here, I've got some ideas on what could work: CSA, Nursery, Visits, a combination of them... but without facing the market, is difficult to know. So I think it's better (here and in any business) have some hypothesis in mind, walk to them, analyze and pivot if needed. I've got some ideas on what can work, and some concept (the base has to be an impressive food forest, because that might be unique in the area) , but, what will work in the end? Just work to build the different options, learn, analyze, trial,error, iterate if needed.

Can the lean startup way be adapted to farming, food foresting, etc? I think so! 😊
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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You dont need an official business that you will bring to a banker to borrow some money.
It's more along the lines of dont invest more than you can afford to lose and do your due diligence and market research.

I would say that growing the food isn't hard the hard part is selling it. You can start out by buying the food from farmers and resell it. And then steadily start growing it all by yourself. I would focus on vegetables and herbs to get a profit in a few weeks/month.  And then expect profit from fruit trees in 3-7 years
 
Stephan Schwab
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Can the lean startup way be adapted to farming, food foresting, etc? I think so!



Of course it can. That's exactly what we are doing at http://granja.caimito.net

Antonio, please contact me. We have things in common.
 
pollinator
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Just two comments:

First: Would Moringa trees grow in your region? My parents are in Andalucia and they tell me that local people are grasping the "hype" around Moringa leaves and planting them there.

Second: I sometimes get ads in my Facebook feed for some Spanish citrus producers that sell organic oranges directly to the German market, without intermediates. I don't remember the name of the organization but you might want to check, also if this is a profitable way at all.
As far as I remember, in this case (and probably also with avocado) the producers hire a truck to ship the produce to Germany.

Good luck!
 
Posts: 19
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"    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings." - Henry David Thoreau       This quote helped me 20 years ago to realise my dream and move to Crete, and despite all crises or other problems I have encountered, sustained me until I found the solutions, and often in a way that could well be described as "magical", simply because I followed my heart. (Will continue in new post, can't insert any paragraphs.
 
Maria Hoffmeister
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I've only started this year with restructuring my garden, so I can't give you any specific advice, but I can tell you what I did and why, maybe that will spark some ideas for your own situation. (Still can't do paragraphs, so this will be a long one.) The climate here is exactly as you describe it, and so is the attitude of the locals, especially when they've been farmers for generations.  😉 Including the house, my plot is about 800 m2 and has 8 olive trees on it. The soil is not very fertile, and in some parts there is sheer limestone, so I consider most of it a foundation for raised beds rather than soil. ----- The first thing I did was to get clear on a plan: What do I want this garden for in the long term (food, plants for dyeing wool, beauty) and what can I achieve with ease (on average not more than one hour per day) in the next couple of years to get things started. For food I want to focus on what others don't have - I get lemons, oranges, cabbage and butternut squash from friends, sometimes potatoes or avocados, so im planting sweet potatoes, New Zealand spinach and strawberries and can give some of the young plants to others as well. Apart from the olives I have a loquat and a mulberry tree, and want to add three more mulberries, a pomegranate and a grapefruit, which are either difficult to get or expensive. ----- The second thing was not to cut the weeds, but to observe what comes up and what their properties are, and then see what I want to keep, to relocate, or to replace with something similar. For example, a lot of the ground is covered by oxalis in winter/ spring, which keeps the weeds down, delivers acid to the very alkaline soil, and gives a bright orange dye. Another example is Bitumen bituminosa, a legume that binds nitrogen, gives shade, can be cut to encourage longer growth, the stripped stalks make wattle and the flowers and leaves are mixed with the soil to loosen it up. ----- The third thing is water; as you know, there's hardly any rain from June to September. End of May I get many sheep fleeces from a local farmer, and the first wash (just clean enough for storage and further hand processing) is only with water. On average I use 5 buckets of water per day which is enough for most of the plants that need watering, and an additional source of fertiliser. The base of the raised beds this year is cut weeds (most of them wild oats and such) plus urine for moisture and nitrogen. In a few weeks this will be topped with cardboard, compost, topsoil and straw which I can get from a friend who had some strimming done. ----- I don't consider my garden for making a living by selling the produce, although in a couple of years it will cover most of our fruit and veggie needs, but as part of my life and what I want to do (design and make clothing and other items from wool) it contributes directly. By the way, I've spent so far 60 Euros, 20 of it for tools, the rest for potting soil in order to get started as I didn't have any compost yet. ----- Regarding compost, over the past years I had no success at all with slow composting, but hot compost and raised beds work well in this climete. ----- As for the locals, most of them are too polite to "correct" my point of view regarding my gardening ideas, but I can tell what they are thinking . 😄 However, I've been planting thought-seeds by telling them about a not-new-but-forgotten traditional gardening method called permaculture, that gives better harvests with less work ... now who wouldn't like that!  At least one of them must have looked up some information, because I saw some straw bales on his pickup, and as he only got chicken for animals, I assume he'll start with mulching.
 
Antonio Hache
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Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Maria Hoffmeister wrote:I've only started this year with restructuring my garden, so I can't give you any specific advice, but I can tell you what I did and why, maybe that will spark some ideas for your own situation. (Still can't do paragraphs, so this will be a long one.) The climate here is exactly as you describe it, and so is the attitude of the locals, especially when they've been farmers for generations.  😉 Including the house, my plot is about 800 m2 and has 8 olive trees on it. The soil is not very fertile, and in some parts there is sheer limestone, so I consider most of it a foundation for raised beds rather than soil. ----- The first thing I did was to get clear on a plan: What do I want this garden for in the long term (food, plants for dyeing wool, beauty) and what can I achieve with ease (on average not more than one hour per day) in the next couple of years to get things started. For food I want to focus on what others don't have - I get lemons, oranges, cabbage and butternut squash from friends, sometimes potatoes or avocados, so im planting sweet potatoes, New Zealand spinach and strawberries and can give some of the young plants to others as well. Apart from the olives I have a loquat and a mulberry tree, and want to add three more mulberries, a pomegranate and a grapefruit, which are either difficult to get or expensive. ----- The second thing was not to cut the weeds, but to observe what comes up and what their properties are, and then see what I want to keep, to relocate, or to replace with something similar. For example, a lot of the ground is covered by oxalis in winter/ spring, which keeps the weeds down, delivers acid to the very alkaline soil, and gives a bright orange dye. Another example is Bitumen bituminosa, a legume that binds nitrogen, gives shade, can be cut to encourage longer growth, the stripped stalks make wattle and the flowers and leaves are mixed with the soil to loosen it up. ----- The third thing is water; as you know, there's hardly any rain from June to September. End of May I get many sheep fleeces from a local farmer, and the first wash (just clean enough for storage and further hand processing) is only with water. On average I use 5 buckets of water per day which is enough for most of the plants that need watering, and an additional source of fertiliser. The base of the raised beds this year is cut weeds (most of them wild oats and such) plus urine for moisture and nitrogen. In a few weeks this will be topped with cardboard, compost, topsoil and straw which I can get from a friend who had some strimming done. ----- I don't consider my garden for making a living by selling the produce, although in a couple of years it will cover most of our fruit and veggie needs, but as part of my life and what I want to do (design and make clothing and other items from wool) it contributes directly. By the way, I've spent so far 60 Euros, 20 of it for tools, the rest for potting soil in order to get started as I didn't have any compost yet. ----- Regarding compost, over the past years I had no success at all with slow composting, but hot compost and raised beds work well in this climete. ----- As for the locals, most of them are too polite to "correct" my point of view regarding my gardening ideas, but I can tell what they are thinking . 😄 However, I've been planting thought-seeds by telling them about a not-new-but-forgotten traditional gardening method called permaculture, that gives better harvests with less work ... now who wouldn't like that!  At least one of them must have looked up some information, because I saw some straw bales on his pickup, and as he only got chicken for animals, I assume he'll start with mulching.



Hola Maria! This sounds great. I’m now thinking on setting up a backyard nursery to grow my own things, I think I will save money with it

I did many things the last weeks, but couldnt use much Internet. I’ve got a lot of land planted and mulched, and more to come!
 
Maria Hoffmeister
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Antonio Hache wrote:I’m now thinking on setting up a backyard nursery to grow my own things, I think I will save money with it

I did many things the last weeks, but couldnt use much Internet. I’ve got a lot of land planted and mulched, and more to come!

I think a nursery is a great start, and very flexible because you don't need to be totally clear on what you want to do later, there a so many options! One of them for instance developing/breeding plants specifically for your climate, while having plenty to eat yourself and even surplus to give away, trade or sell. I think the size of your plot would be sufficient for keeping test plants separate. As for money, in my calculation above I forgot that I spent 2 Euros on seeds for the New Zealand spinach and climbing strawberries. Anything else came from friends as a gift or swap, and the single sweet potato from the supermarket shelf. For onion, celery and lettuce seeds from local plants, I have planted the bottom parts with the roots, with the sole purpose of growing them for seeds. Of course there will be a great variety of plants, not as with true, bought seeds, but by selecting the best over a few years I'll get customised plants.
 
pollinator
Posts: 709
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
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If you have done any of this already, good on ya, but here are some resources I’d check out:
Geoff Lawton’s soil video, and many others
Free online PDC lecture series be Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison
Gaia’s Garden (Toby Hemenway)
Sepp Holzers Permaculture
Permaculture, A Designer’s Manual (Mollison)


In terms of general strategies: access, water, earthworks/soil in that order. Access allows all the work on the latter parts to be easier and more efficient. Water is necessary for any life we want to support, and understanding our water needs and devising a master plan for water flows on the site  will inform our earthworks design. Soil will form and stick around naturally with sound water management and earthworks design. Beyond that, keeping the ground covered with organic matter living or dead is the basic principle I follow. No BS  (no bare soil)! Manure from male cattle is fine though
 
Ben Zumeta
pollinator
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Oh, I’d also host or join some fruit juice pressing events and take the mash home to plant where you don’t plan any other earthworks or buildings. Sepp Holzers advice, which I’ve followed with success, is to spread the mash on your poorest native soil, cover with mulch, and let nature select for the strongest tree for that spot amongst thousands of seeds.
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Ben Zumeta wrote:Oh, I’d also host or join some fruit juice pressing events and take the mash home to plant where you don’t plan any other earthworks or buildings. Sepp Holzers advice, which I’ve followed with success, is to spread the mash on your poorest native soil, cover with mulch, and let nature select for the strongest tree for that spot amongst thousands of seeds.



I dont know how I had not seen your replies! And they are very helpful
 
Antonio Hache
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Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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I had to come to Madrid for job reasons (always like this), I’ll post pictures on the evolution of this as soon as I go back there.

So far, I decided to focus on 100sq m and plant different trees with different height potential. But I needed a method and I’m going to focus more on the Syntropy lines, just to have a reference. Between corridors I will plant vegetables and small bushes, and some random tree just to break the straight lines, wich make me nervous. Between trees Im going to experiment with seed mixes directly on the soil, and try to have the whole place sowed. I want to see what grows and what doesnt

I want to find my “method&madness”, develop a concept, break my rules , experiment, correct and let the system find its own pace
 
Antonio Hache
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Ok, as promised, some pics of the development.

Does the soil looks messy? It is because we had some boar attacks. I think controlled, who knows.

As 2000sq m is a lot, I decided to focus on one single area and keep growing from there. First I just planted with chaos, but I thought I needed some guidance so I’m following the syntropic rows, although I will plant something random just for the sake of outside the areas. My father planted Magnolio and Celtis Australis, so I will use them as a reference for the rows. I focused on 100sq m, and I will develop rows from there. I’d love to do the 2000sq m at once, but I cant afford it, so step by step.

I’m planting a mix of locals (juniper, pomegranate, almond, betula, ulmus, populus , pistacia lentisca, citrus), permaculture recomendations (alnus, goumi) and “I just want to plant it” (pecan, redberries, for example) . Also I’m propagating at home some seeds, but with others I play and plant them directly. All the white signs are seed mixes that I just threw there, I put the sign it as a recordatory for the weeding days. Also , most of the fruit seeds that we eat, we plant them. In between the rows, we will plant ground covers, vegetables and bushes no taller than 1m. Every now and then I will plant some tree also between rows, because I dont like all this straight lines, although they are helpful

I have the dip irrigation,  because this summer was pretty hard. For dry things (as almonds) I just dont make a hole in the drip system.

In the other areas of the 2000sq m there are trees planted by my father. I will use them some how when the time comes. Also I started with the strategy of “nucleii that merge” of the Toensmeier book (create nuclei in different areas, and work to make them merge), but I found it tiring. I created another area with chestnut, almond, walnut, arbutus unedo and some other stuff. I found difficult to focus in all the areas, go mulching here and there, so I just decided to focus in one area. The trees in the other area are suffering more, but I hope they will make it.

This area, is the “B area” of the maps. Rainy Mediterranean. But it is tricky, because most of the rain happens in 2-4 weeks, and they are about to come
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Rainy Mediterranean area
Rainy Mediterranean area
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annual precipitation accumulation
annual precipitation accumulation
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
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Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
 
gardener
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Excellent work Antonio Hache! Spain is becoming desert rapidly. Trees, trees , trees are needed, and especially food trees as a start.
Are you going to do something with herbs as well?Shrubs like rosemary and sage will do good as well won't they? And grapes maybe?
And are you going to attract biodiversity by collecting all local plants as well?
 
Antonio Hache
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Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Excellent work Antonio Hache! Spain is becoming desert rapidly. Trees, trees , trees are needed, and especially food trees as a start.
Are you going to do something with herbs as well?Shrubs like rosemary and sage will do good as well won't they? And grapes maybe?
And are you going to attract biodiversity by collecting all local plants as well?



Hola Hugo!

The answer to everything you ask is... yes! 😊😊

I planting some shrubs like rosemary, lavandula and others, and I also got seeds from them, so they will have a role. Grapes also, I planted Moscatel Grape besides a Palm, so it will grow there, hopefully

Also, I made a list of all the plants present in “Parc Natural del Montgó”, natural park close to here (the mountain you see in the pictures). I found some of them available in nurseries so I planted them

Lets see how it goes!
 
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I love the idea of planting what you can't get, as someone mentioned. For me, I plant what I can get. I know for sure, here in a poverty stricken area, people eat these items and will buy. I also know we will use them. And for sure they'll grow here, especially if native, or "invasive" (ie abundant!)

Your question, to me, feels like my question. You have trees. What is your next layer? I have the same question, but perhaps we can stoke ideas together.

Here's what I know:

7 layers and several uses:

7 layers (shape and size)
Canopy ☑️
Trees ☑️
Bushes/shrubs
Herbaceous (I feel like this is simply normal knee to waist high plants, not necessarily spices. Am I wrong?)
Groundcover
Vines (trees aren't tall enough yet, so we're good here)
Roots
(You can add mushrooms. I would LOVE to add mushrooms. ❤️❤️❤️)

Uses: (these can be any shape plant)
Food
Accumulators (COMFREY!!! Elderberry, mulberry ❤️❤️❤️, mint, etc) these (aside from their multiuse as (super) foods are mother plants and feed those around them alive and from trimmings. Comfrey is KING but we can't find/grow it here yet, but I found and feel in love with mulberry.
Nitrogen fixers: nut trees, beans. Similar to above but they accumulate nitrogen. Very important.
Flowers: attract good bugs, confuse bad ones. Even sellers are partial to marigolds here. (I hope that's right. Pretty sure it starts with an M. They look a little like a cross between a daisy and a rose and are often orange.)
Chili peppers: (this isn't on lists I've seen, just a personal preference.) Also helps with bugs and you can make insect spray with it. The spray also feeds the plants and heals your chickens.

Have I missed anything?

So here we are. You have trees and clean land. I have trees and weeds.

(Groundcover) For me, I have started overtaking weeds with sweet potatoes. I was doing cancun but realized it's not something anyone buys, and we seldom use it. (Wifey! 😡) But so far I love the spread of these sweet potatoes. I'm not being creative, so it might be one of my main crops. I consider potatoes as well, but haven't had as much luck YET. I thought squashes might be good groundcover for a lazy farmer like me, but I should have done more weeding. They did thrive though. It's just they're in a pile of weeds

We have neighbor chickens that forage at our place. Such a blessing! Free poop. What will you do for poop? (I've heard some talk about urine. Hey y'all! I heard female pee is bad for plants. True or false?)

I've read onions and garlic are great blah blah blah. Don't fall for it. They are consumed by weeds in days. Unless you want to weed... Maybe they'd work in a compost pile???)

I love my taro (Gabi, elephant ear, Filipino potato) for herbaceous layer. It survives shade better than others. I shove those under trees, along with ginger and turmeric. These I'll leave alone and let them become mothers. Don't find this layer inspiring though, and could use A LOT of ideas. I think my wife's okra seems permie and will put more of that out right now.

Um, don't be afraid to plant things because they won't fit in the future. That's not how forests work. Things will get overshaded now and then. Death is life and excess wood is gonna send you down the hugelculture route later. If you feel you might have room for vines but worry perhaps try something lightweight? Kiwis, grapes, passionfruit❤️❤️❤️ (yummy and abundant) are some ideas.

I love your business responses. I'm an ex engineer, and I know you can plan and create, but the universe gets the final decision every time. Follow your path and your simple life abundance will find you.
 
Antonio Hache
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Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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sarah jane wrote:I love the idea of planting what you can't get, as someone mentioned. For me, I plant what I can get. I know for sure, here in a poverty stricken area, people eat these items and will buy. I also know we will use them. And for sure they'll grow here, especially if native, or "invasive" (ie abundant!)

Your question, to me, feels like my question. You have trees. What is your next layer? I have the same question, but perhaps we can stoke ideas together.

Here's what I know:

7 layers and several uses:

7 layers (shape and size)
Canopy ☑️
Trees ☑️
Bushes/shrubs
Herbaceous (I feel like this is simply normal knee to waist high plants, not necessarily spices. Am I wrong?)
Groundcover
Vines (trees aren't tall enough yet, so we're good here)
Roots
(You can add mushrooms. I would LOVE to add mushrooms. ❤️❤️❤️)

Uses: (these can be any shape plant)
Food
Accumulators (COMFREY!!! Elderberry, mulberry ❤️❤️❤️, mint, etc) these (aside from their multiuse as (super) foods are mother plants and feed those around them alive and from trimmings. Comfrey is KING but we can't find/grow it here yet, but I found and feel in love with mulberry.
Nitrogen fixers: nut trees, beans. Similar to above but they accumulate nitrogen. Very important.
Flowers: attract good bugs, confuse bad ones. Even sellers are partial to marigolds here. (I hope that's right. Pretty sure it starts with an M. They look a little like a cross between a daisy and a rose and are often orange.)
Chili peppers: (this isn't on lists I've seen, just a personal preference.) Also helps with bugs and you can make insect spray with it. The spray also feeds the plants and heals your chickens.

Have I missed anything?

So here we are. You have trees and clean land. I have trees and weeds.

(Groundcover) For me, I have started overtaking weeds with sweet potatoes. I was doing cancun but realized it's not something anyone buys, and we seldom use it. (Wifey! 😡) But so far I love the spread of these sweet potatoes. I'm not being creative, so it might be one of my main crops. I consider potatoes as well, but haven't had as much luck YET. I thought squashes might be good groundcover for a lazy farmer like me, but I should have done more weeding. They did thrive though. It's just they're in a pile of weeds

We have neighbor chickens that forage at our place. Such a blessing! Free poop. What will you do for poop? (I've heard some talk about urine. Hey y'all! I heard female pee is bad for plants. True or false?)

I've read onions and garlic are great blah blah blah. Don't fall for it. They are consumed by weeds in days. Unless you want to weed... Maybe they'd work in a compost pile???)

I love my taro (Gabi, elephant ear, Filipino potato) for herbaceous layer. It survives shade better than others. I shove those under trees, along with ginger and turmeric. These I'll leave alone and let them become mothers. Don't find this layer inspiring though, and could use A LOT of ideas. I think my wife's okra seems permie and will put more of that out right now.

Um, don't be afraid to plant things because they won't fit in the future. That's not how forests work. Things will get overshaded now and then. Death is life and excess wood is gonna send you down the hugelculture route later. If you feel you might have room for vines but worry perhaps try something lightweight? Kiwis, grapes, passionfruit❤️❤️❤️ (yummy and abundant) are some ideas.

I love your business responses. I'm an ex engineer, and I know you can plan and create, but the universe gets the final decision every time. Follow your path and your simple life abundance will find you.



Hello Sarah!

I started with trees and shrubs, and having problems with the other layers. Well, not "problems", but I know more about trees and less about the other stuff. But I read and learn, also try and try, and I think that by trial and error I will find a way. While I do it, I have fun (except when boars attack the property).

On roots, I'm going to try with "chufa", very popular here. Also sweet potato is popular, but chufa is more romantic. More local, not in lots of manuals. I'm also starting to learn about bugs attractors, flowers etc. And I found here a post by James Colbert with a seed mix for different climate that I will use.

My thing now is : trees, focus in some rows and areas. And as the trees grow, play with seeds here and there. Day by day I'm going to invest more time in seeds, less in seedlings, and less in grown trees. By now, I'm doing the opposite. But I'm eager to see the seeds growing. On this summer I worked a lot on the soil, mulch etc, to get it ready for October. As soon as the "cold drop" passes away, I will make an intense planting session.
 
Antonio Hache
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Hi! Just an update on how the things are going.

I started a little bit random and step by step I’m finding my “method&madness” way

I studied a lot on Syntropic Agriculture and Agroforestry Academy. Check out their videos on youtube, it is impressive.

Their method is going to be my “basecamp” for my project, because the funny thing is that part of the method is madness.

First, they plant on pretty dense tree rows. Although I dont like straight rows, it is a good way to systematize and distribute the space. You can have as many rows you like, and have 3-6m between rows, depending om what do you want to grow .

So, for the rows, the basic thing is to think about trees strata (canopy/climax, understory, etc). And for the whole place, strata and succession (what will grow when). And then, plant all at once.

They recommend to focus on main crops if you want it to be also a business, but it is not mandatory. Starting from what I have, using my place as a lab, I will make some rows sytem with local varieties and see what goes best: Citrus, Figs, Plums, Kaki, Pomegranate, Olives... I want to give chestnut a try also, just for the sake of it. Being this the main crops, I’m going to intercalate biomass trees like Robinia Pseudoacacia, Meliah Azedarach and others for fast growth that might give me mulch material.  So, with that, all the trees in the rows must be one meter apart.

In between trees, for cash and for play, we can develop annual systems in consortiums. For example, corn, tomato and green beans might be one. This, it is planted in the corridors, this is the area between rows. I cant plant the whole property like this fast, so I will focus on 500sq meters for the corridors part, and the rest, plant it with seed mixes, like the one James Colbert made, and grass and flowers mixes that I found on the net. This might be done broadcasting and I already broadcasted 500sq m like this.

As the trees rows grow and there is more shadow, you can decide what to do with the corridors. If you want to keep a part for it, you can do as the mayans and make a permanent clearing in the forest, pruning conveniently, just for this crops. If you want to make it more a forest touch, you can plant there other permanent stuff and let it grow. Probably I will leave a 500sq m area clear, and the rest I will leave it forest style if I can. Who knows.

So, where is the madness? They not only plant all this seedlings and annuals, that is the “method part”. Once you have this, what they (and I) love is to fill all the in between trees space with seed bombs. So that is your R&D department to see what grows.

For example, yesterday I did this, in the rows that I already had established, I planted hundreds of seeds of hazelnut, walnut, almond, peach, palms, banana, robinia pseudoacacia, acacia, mulberry, coffee, giant sequoia seeds!.. and on the four corners around each tree I planted allium tuberosum, saltbush, rhubarb and borage. Why? Just because I had it at hand. Notice that this are not my main focus crops or whatever, I just threw them there, and I will check how it goes.

I’m eager to plant all the fruit trees in October/November. Only bad news is that we have new covid lockdowns in Madrid, where I work. I’m a Denia resident, so I can travel, but for the big establishment I needed my wife and brother help, because we’re talking 400 seedlings, so I might see what can be done if they cant travel, maybe I have to do it slower than I wanted.

Here, some yesterday pics. All the white sticks means “seed cocktail here”
1E6D9557-1F34-4369-BC5F-32E9B90B151C.jpeg
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
6442CF0E-BA29-4462-B3C0-8467AFF8E22C.jpeg
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
943DC61E-A3AF-45CC-A3FE-D513A585DF12.jpeg
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
Intense Food Forest in the Mediterranean Coast of Valencia
 
Antonio Hache
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Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Some pictures of the BIG PLANTING WEEK

We planted 480 seedlings this week. And a vegetable bed. We followed the syntropic agriculture method, tree rows with fruit trees and support trees, and vegetable beds in between. This was super hard work. In the areas with no vegetable bed (yet)  we broadcasted cover crop mixes, different kind of seeds, grasses, flowers... lets see what happens. For soil improvement I think I will do this mixes every quarter.

The fruit trees consortiums are: Olive + Chestnut // Citrus + Figs // Kaki + Pomegranate // Plum + Pear. Also, a mix of Avocado, Mango, Guayaba, Papaya, Apple, Apricot, Cherry, Peach. Total, 80 trees.

As support trees: Robinia Pseudoacacia, Grevillea Robusta, Casuarina Equisetifolia, Citisus Multiflora, Morus Alba, Morus Nigra, Populus Alba, Populus Nigra, Eucalyptus. 400 seedslings of this. The function of this trees is rapid growth, soil healing, green manure... not all of them are intended to be kept.

For the vegetable bed, peas, spinach, carrot and parsnip. Chufa on the sides. And some jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, horseradish and orange daylili. Just cause we had them, but not a lot.

In between trees, lots, but LOTS, of seeds. Hundreds. Avocado, Peach, Mango, Ziziphus Jujuba, Almond, Hazelnut, Walnut, Guayaba, Cidra, Carob, Alder, Açai, Coffee, Caoba, Sequoia, mulberry, caragana arbirescens, senna suratensis, senna alata, senna spectabilis, prosopos chilensis, dodonea viscosa, spartium junceum, musa ornata, gleditsia triacanthos, aleurites molucana, eucaliptus pauciflora, tecoma stans, passiflora edulis, akebia quinata, cornus mas, prunus insitia, tree onion... this is my “research and development part”, just create seed mixes, bury them (some of them were put in water before) and hope for the best. Many of them will not make it, but the goal is to try, try and try. I aim to sow 100-200 new seeds minimum each month.

E3EC752A-6759-4DC8-BE8D-0DF01FBF7660.jpeg
Big planting week
Big planting week
D7691794-07F2-420E-8735-32B71007B547.jpeg
Big planting week
Big planting week
BE01570B-538B-4728-A68C-27D247306EBD.jpeg
Big planting week
Big planting week
 
Hugo Morvan
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Excellent!! What a great diversity!!!
 
Antonio Hache
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Ok, some update. The 480 trees, 400 were support trees, from those, I’d say 50 are not okay and the others are making it. The fruit trees, except one avocado tree, all of them are looking good. I made also three vegetable beds. One was two weeks ago, and the other two I made them this last days. On the first bed, I am already seeing results as peas are growing okay. But it is not the same with spinach or carrots, I dont know if they have been taken away by ants

I planted also lots of seeds around the trees.

I am having a concern that it is making me sick and is this: I’m seeing LOTS of ants, carrying my seeds away. I plan tree seeds, vegetable seeds, lots of them... and I see more and more and more ants going away with them.

I dont know what to do, maybe just wai. I know they are improving my soil, and I know that some predators might arrive and re balance the system, but it is really painful seeing all this little creatures marching as an army with my labour.
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[Thumbnail for 61A74193-9EBE-4D24-B0C2-67835BE08B6E.jpeg]
 
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Hi Antonio, your project looks really interesting. Love the diversity of plants you are experimenting with.

Regarding ants - yes they can be extremely annoying and this autumn they took away most of the spinach seeds in my garden too. Don't be surprised if next spring you find spinach and carrots growing in clumps several meters or even much further away from where you sow them. That happened to me several times with different vegetables, there is no rule there. Currently my approach is to just sow some more seeds, but I'm still not sure if that is the right way to go. Sometimes it feels like I'm providing them a regular supply of seeds and they get accustomed to always have something to collect at the same spot season after season. I want to try seed balls for the next seeding period for leafy green seeds and see how that goes.
 
Antonio Hache
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Mare Silba wrote:Hi Antonio, your project looks really interesting. Love the diversity of plants you are experimenting with.

Regarding ants - yes they can be extremely annoying and this autumn they took away most of the spinach seeds in my garden too. Don't be surprised if next spring you find spinach and carrots growing in clumps several meters or even much further away from where you sow them. That happened to me several times with different vegetables, there is no rule there. Currently my approach is to just sow some more seeds, but I'm still not sure if that is the right way to go. Sometimes it feels like I'm providing them a regular supply of seeds and they get accustomed to always have something to collect at the same spot season after season. I want to try seed balls for the next seeding period for leafy green seeds and see how that goes.



Hehe, in fact, I already found carrots growing meters away from where I planted them 😂.

Thinking about this, my guess is also to plant 2x or 3x, and I have the same concerns, that maybe that way they can get accustomed. But I think that if this can make me increase my chances to grow things, also I will gain time for other creatures to appear and balance the presence of ants here.
 
Hugo Morvan
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Saving seed is a nice way to save money and have enough not to worry about things going wrong. Dead ants end up in your soil biome sooner or later.
This is my spinach seeds after the autumn seeding, i bought a package 8 years ago i think, still going strong.
SPINACHSEEDS.jpg
[Thumbnail for SPINACHSEEDS.jpg]
 
Antonio Hache
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Saving seed is a nice way to save money and have enough not to worry about things going wrong. Dead ants end up in your soil biome sooner or later.
This is my spinach seeds after the autumn seeding, i bought a package 8 years ago i think, still going strong.



Merci bien pour ta responde, Hugo, c'est super :)

About ants, do you think that a solution might be just to plant 2x or 3x and hope for the best? I don't mind if initially they take away seeds, my problem is if they take away EVERYTHING. So I don't know if a good solution might be just to plant more and in different places or if by doing so they will just have more food.
 
Ben Zumeta
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While ants do have ecological benefits like soil improvement, I am not entirely passive about their presence. With a few exceptions where particular ant species will hunt you down for killing their sisters, a pile or little windrow of ant carcasses around highly valued seeds will deter many of them. Letting chickens have the run of things briefly before seeding would help with ants as well, but you'd need to protect your preexisting plants.
 
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I have leafcutter ants in the garden and I take a no-mercy approach, I will dump boiling or soapy water down their holes til they decide to move elsewhere. Assuming you can find the holes. You've got to watch them carefully though because the new hole may get built somewhere even worse.
But for normal ants, what I would do if I were in your shoes is give them something else even more attractive to eat, in a place where you don't care too much about the presence of ants (the "honeypot" approach)- I will put my kitchen scraps out with either some nasty candy that has been sitting on the counter since last Christmas, some honey, even the sugar water from the humming bird feeders. they find it very quickly.
 
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Is that a factory in the back ground ?
 
Hugo Morvan
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Hi Antonio, i understand my tip of seed saving is not possible if all seeds are carried off. Maybe the ants will be less active in a month or so if temperatures drop a bit more. Don't they hibernate at some point? You could get seeds that will sprout in colder conditions. And then safe those seeds to have a lot next year.
On your remark of feeding the ants. It's possible you will feed them, they will grow and send out lots of queens and you'll have even more ants next year. But they also need other stuff, like dead leaves and insects and what have you. That might be more of a limiting factor. Usually if there is a lot of something disaster will strike for that. A predator can arrive, also in the form of a disease which will cut down the ants population.
So both the active approach of Tereza and the do nothing and observe and adapt approach will have some effect.
All the plagues that have struck my projects always have attracted attention of predators praying on that plague, sooner or later. Where it aphids or slugs. Something came for them and started to live in my garden that kept them down. In the pond frogs came, they hunt at night for small snails, glowworms kept down the snail population, all sort of insects prayed upon the aphids, i've observed waves of predators i had no idea existed on my peaches. I did nothing about the aphids, only noticed that i got sprayed by their sugary piss if i walked under. Nice! But next year, record crop peaches.
If some plague arrives just when you try to make big changes in your garden it can really make you feel desperate, so thank you for sharing, because it will also help other people who read about this, and please keep us updated.  
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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John C Daley wrote:Is that a factory in the back ground ?



No, different stores. Furniture, kitchen stock...

When I was a kid, all of that was Citrus Orchards
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Ben, Tereza and Hugo, thanks for your advice.

I have been thinking about it and I might make something more agressive on this issue. At the moment, the system is unbalanced, and I dont want to risk all that I planted, it hurts. I know ants might have their place, and I am okay with it, but it is terrible to see them carrying everything away
 
Hugo Morvan
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Advice are words, you are there, observing the damage, feeling the pain of an unbalanced system. I've been hauling off buckets full of snails,when that didn't work, snipping them in two in the morning and the evening. I've read on Permies of super sweet all loving hippie mothers turning into snail slayers. It's defense. Don't touch my baby!
Still i am removing grass and unwanted dominant herbs from my system.
All with the intention of creating a system where that work part will be minimal. Where the suffering will be minimal. But to get there takes tough decisions. The ugly side of the fight. Tell us about it Antonio! You're not alone. We are the first generation that can actively share these experiences with others.
It used to be that oddballs would depend on the information of neighbors (not best intentions at heart), then books if oddballs could read(not very inter active), now we are all connected advising and encouraging each other creating a global hive mind, the giant for future generations to stand on the shoulders. It's amazing and humbling.
So enough philosophy for the morning. Back to work
 
Posts: 28
Location: Málaga, Spain
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Hola Antonio,

I don't know if this can help you, but if you are going to try the enterprise route, then maybe you could get some help from a group that works in Granada and Almería. Alvelal, they offer help to farmers there to create what they call the 'almendrehesa', something like a dehesa but using almonds. The turning point of this system is that they make work together farmers and restaurants in branding their products. Since, you know, farming in permaculture style has lower yields (but more resilient), something must be done to increase revenues. They have some neat ideas, so maybe they can offer counsel.

The easiest path is to use a market garden just for your family needs, something easy that leaves you time for homesteading, cooking, preserving your food and all. This way you can raise whatever you want, full diversity, and only your wife might complain about not having what she loves to eat (mine is not thrilling with the verdolaga in our salad). But this is only profitable if you are gardening at home, thus reducing inputs of all kinds, transport, etc. You can't do that and sell your produce to shops, since most people only want tomato, lettuce and onion in their basket, not a diverse crop. But those are found at shops at prices you can't compete with. So, in order to make money with a thing like this, you have to look for alternative ways, different sell chains. Or turn it into a workshop for volunteer to work for you! :D

 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 62
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Abraham Palma wrote:Hola Antonio,

I don't know if this can help you, but if you are going to try the enterprise route, then maybe you could get some help from a group that works in Granada and Almería. Alvelal, they offer help to farmers there to create what they call the 'almendrehesa', something like a dehesa but using almonds. The turning point of this system is that they make work together farmers and restaurants in branding their products. Since, you know, farming in permaculture style has lower yields (but more resilient), something must be done to increase revenues. They have some neat ideas, so maybe they can offer counsel.

The easiest path is to use a market garden just for your family needs, something easy that leaves you time for homesteading, cooking, preserving your food and all. This way you can raise whatever you want, full diversity, and only your wife might complain about not having what she loves to eat (mine is not thrilling with the verdolaga in our salad). But this is only profitable if you are gardening at home, thus reducing inputs of all kinds, transport, etc. You can't do that and sell your produce to shops, since most people only want tomato, lettuce and onion in their basket, not a diverse crop. But those are found at shops at prices you can't compete with. So, in order to make money with a thing like this, you have to look for alternative ways, different sell chains. Or turn it into a workshop for volunteer to work for you! :D



Hola Abraham, muchas gracias, that is good advice that I have to consider!
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