Ian Pettit

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since Sep 18, 2013
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Recent posts by Ian Pettit

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but I came across a plant guild guide put together by Midwest Permaculture, which includes a pawpaw as part of an oak tree guild. http://midwestpermaculture.com/eBook/Plant%20Guilds%20eBooklet%20-%20Midwest%20Permaculture.pdf They also have a fruit tree guild template which lays out good ideas for companion planting, many of which have already been mentioned here.

In fact, I noticed this thread because my intent is to use their template to include some pawpaw trees in with existing oak trees I have in my back yard, which is fairly well shaded (thus the pawpaw). For my site conditions, I will likely be doing a bit of soil conditioning before I plant too much to help ensure future successes, but when it comes time to plant I will definitely be revisiting the forums here to get additional input. I will probably also be following the advice I have found in both Edible Forest Gardens and Gaia's Garden and putting together some additional analogs for companion planting suitable to the existing trees on my property. Tedious as it has been, I sorted through something called "Plant Communities of the Midwest" (Indiana Subset) by the Association for Biodiversity Information and found a plant community similar to my own. I've even put together a Pinterest board! http://www.pinterest.com/pettitsounds/local-woodland-species-and-analogs/ Now all I have to do is find a few useful analogs and I should be all set for a nice guild. It might be a while, but I'll be sure to post my progress and I look forward to the helpful feedback that everyone here loves to provide!
7 years ago
Fort Wayne checking in!

Just a few months ago I came across the concept of permaculture when I stumbled upon John D. Liu's Green Gold documentary on www.filmsforaction.org. Though in recent years I have begun buying more organic foods for my family, I now see that there's so much more that I can do not only for improved quality of life, but also to be a force for actual, positive change in the world. Growing up in the city all of my life, I've had minimal experience with gardening and the like, so I'm at a bit of a disadvantage there. However, as my wife will attest to, I've been doing non-stop research into the subject, and have mostly been working carefully on the all-important planning phase for our property.

Our home is in the city, occupying around a quarter acre, with the majority of the landscape being a chainlink-fenced in back yard to the south, which abuts a small creek (ditch) and woodland, much of which is owned by my (friendly) neighbor. We have had the place for around 4 years now, but have done minimal landscaping, which is probably for the best, considering that I probably would have just followed the methods of "tidy disorder" that most people seem to prefer! To get the ball rolling, I have bought (though too late to plant) seed and inoculant for a sod-buster cover crop mix from Peaceful Valley Organic, which I am going to use both as chop-and drop and as weed control some degraded areas, including the perpetually problematic area behind the back fence. Funny though how I now know that it was my own action of "weeding" that has made it such a haven for Pokeweed! I may also use some of it as green manure to mix in with my annual harvest of autumn leaves for compost. (No more curbside service for me, thanks!) We had to have two large oak trees taken down after some heavy storms in June-July 2012, but I decided at the time to keep all of the branches for burning and chipping for mulch, even though I don't have a fireplace or a wood chipper. I'm sprouting apple seeds, composting kitchen scraps, and will be having Energizing Indiana over soon to help reduce my energy consumption in zone 0. I'm about halfway through reading Edible Forest Gardens Vol. 1, so I know I'll be wanting some fruit trees and, of course, the corresponding support species to go with them. Maybe even a pair of Paw Paw if I'm feeling adventurous! The good news is that my wife has been very supportive of my being a "permanently infected" Permie, and since my 1-year old hasn't yet objected, I'm pretty sure I've got the whole crew on board.

I'll be posting more in the future once I get some pics and drawings put together, because I already know I'll be wanting some opinions on water routing and storage, as well as ideas for stacking more functions on whatever designs I come up with. Anyway, I look forward to interacting with all you fine folks, and I wish you the best results from all of your design projects!

Cheers,

Ian
7 years ago