Geoff, I just watched your Zaytuna Farm Video and was absolutely thrilled! I wish my climate allowed for the diversity of perennial food plants you have there.
I would really, really welcome any design thoughts or suggestions for things that might work on my farm...it is a daunting project...
I am in hardiness zone 2b and it's quite dry. Undisturbed sites (a rarity!) are a 'parkland' mosaic of grassland and aspen dominated woods. I have some native parkland to preserve, and a large area of cultivated land that has previously been in industrial monocrop. I want to convert the bulk of this to permanent pasture / parkland and keep about five acres in crops.
I rotational graze cattle and sheep, and plan on adding chicken and turkey. I can easily propagate siberian pea tree, serviceberry, willow and a hybrid poplar and would like to establish a hedgerow / alley system. In the crop area I am planning on rotating green manures, grazing and annual crops (dry beans, potatoes, squash, small grains, etc.) There are good locations to add an additional pond or two, and swales if i can ever afford the earthwork.
The weed seedbank and perennial weeds are a nightmare and I'm hoping to start sowing maincrops into mulch, or perhaps into grazed and winter killed green manures.
We can grow a few hardy cherries and apples, but they are slow getting going. The native forest could provide serviceberry, chokecherry, rasberry, pincherry, cat tails, rose hips, deer, and moose.
Especially cut and add the weeds left by your stock after cell grazing and add to compost.
Get shelter belts up on those contour swale lines as soon as you can, as shelter is going to make a huge difference where you are, especially use species that can multifunction in any way, forage, firewood, nitrogen fixing, bee forage, fungi etc etc. 20% of the productive landscape can be designed into shelter with no loss in production of stock or crop. Wind born nutrient harvest will be an added benefit and snow soak in spring rather than snow evaporation will give you great gains. Design for wind shelter, sun trap, and springtime snow shade and don't make it hard on yourself and become a vegetarian.
Thanks so much Geoff, for the thoughts, links, and especially the inspiration! and enthusiasm! It's nice to get excited about the farm, I was just out for a long walk thinking about the layout for swales and shelterbelts .
Geoff Lawton wrote: don't make it hard on yourself and become a vegetarian.
Tyler you would enjoy my secret plan to convert my girlfriend to omnivory...she is starting to think that a Mean Rooster Soup might be a pretty good idea