Question about the stun method of 'sheer and total utter neglect'. When establishing, say 5000 apples, do you grow 5000 seeds from multiple varieties in a nursery bed, in the field, or elsewhere? If so, how do you prepair the beds for seeds?
If you are planting seedlings by the thousands, do you have suggested nurseries that you purchase from (other than Forest Ag )? Gather from zone 5 wilderness? How do you go about gathering that volume of plants affoardably?
What about gaining access to large quantities of seeds, any suggestions on how to get 10,000 cherry seeds of various varieties? Etc.
Equally, how do you gain access to large quantities of scion wood?
The way to start making money from year one is to plant your land with annuals and the same way how you prepare your soil/land for the annuals would be the same way for "apples seed/seedling"
Then as the "apple" trees get bigger you would then get plant less and less annuals between the rows of trees.
Depending on the terrain you will have to do terrace/keyline/swale/hugulkultur/imprinting usually it a combination.
If you are planting on that scale 10,000 of a single 20ft tree how many acres plus space for machine harvest and the oher plants underneath that. How many acres do you have in mind?
Just keep in mind that you are aiming for a savanna landscape not so much the dark floors of a "climax" forest.
One year later, I'll rip the ground with a subsoiler and plant the trees way too close together. After a year in the field, I'll graft the very tops but leave a branch of the seedling rootstock to grow out the side. This way I know I'll get a decent variety (the one I grafted) while simultaneously "variety trialing" the rootstock....
An alternative method especially good for smaller spaces, is to graft a piece of your seedlings onto another root.. a bunch of them! I've done this with pears at New Forest Farm.. I've got two pear rootstock in the ground to which I've grafted over 14 genetically different scions. As the years go by remove the branches of the varieties that don't perform the way you like, and re-graft the branch with winner...
YEs... Plant way too many, then remove the losers as a yield... If nothing else you'll have plenty of beautiful smelling campfire wood, or sticks for your smoker...
As far as "gathering that number of plants affordably" you've got to remember... "affordably" is a concept. Plants cost what they cost. It's called the cost of doing business.. Seeds and nursery stock are all tax deductible investments in your operation and fruit and nut trees can be deducted for 15 years, if my memory serves me right.
I would also recommend looking at state tree nurseries. I'm not sure if MI has a program. State nurseries usually have good prices for seedlings. For example, VA sells Apple Trees for $300 per 1000. Well worth the price for not waiting a couple of years for stratification. It puts you on the same playing field with selecting new varieties from "common apple" plantings, and grafting in what is most desirable. STUN is still in effect, you will just buy a couple of years. If you need to expand your search beyond state lines, I'm not sure what MI law says about importing trees, so make sure you have a green light before you attempt to bring in a truckload! Here's some links to a couple state nurseries:
Actually this last post was VERY significant for a couple of reasons....
For one, there are tree and shrub nurseries all over the place where the proprietors are working their buns off to grow quality nursery stock to sell for their customers... Here's where we Permacultuists can help... Instead of figuring out how to start out own nurseries (because it costs too much to buy plants!) how about we support our fellow tree-people.... Contract with your local nursery grower to grow the seeds that you provide... It's a win-win-win all around... Since you provide the seed (acorns or honey locusts collected in the wild or pits sucked from cherries and peaches), you save the nursery grower money.... THEN, since you guarantee that you'll buy every last plant that comes from that seed, the nursery will give you the best possible price. S/he gets free seed and all of the plants are guaranteed to be sold... HOME RUN!.... You get to buy plants at wholesale prices that have no seed cost and no inventory cost included in the prices... You get cheap trees, they get a guarantee....
Also... Nurseries are in the nursery business FOR REAL.. They have the right soil. They have the right equipment, irrigation, weed control, fertilizer, digging equipment, storage facilities... Why on earth would I want to re-invent the wheel when Og has a wheel that he's already invested in and Og knows how to use that wheel and would get a kick out of getting a better deal for using that wheel?
YES... Oftentimes your state nurseries have WIKKED cheap trees!... Most of the time they are "wild" unselected trees... Which is great for reforestation and wildlife if that's you're thing... BUt... since they are seedlings... They are part of the future variety discovery (see Restoration Agriculture: http://www.forestag.com/book.html ) Your State NUrseries represent a WIKKED cheap source of rootstock to graft onto... They represent genetic variation with possible "ringers"...
Use your local experts... even if they don't think like you!
Correct Mark! I can get a lot of trees from Nationwide trees in Victoria bare rooted for$ 1.50
Thats in OZ, surely nurserys are cheaper over there!
If you google Nationwide trees they give an ariel shot of their operations; Quite interesting