I have a small plot of land - about half an acre with a small barn on it (2 stables and a workshop/storage space) a small shed which needs re-building, and the base of a 10x15 greenhouse which also needs re-building. I also rent about 2 acres of grazing just down the road.
I have 2 ponies, who come in at night and go out to the 2 acre field in the day to graze. 10 (at the moment) goats who mostly live in with a couple of hours roaming in the paddock each day while I do chores, Geese, ducks and chickens.
Yes, I am overstocked for the amount of land I have but am struggling to see how to cut that down at the moment.
The land at the barn is divided into a couple of sections and I would like to plant small food forests in 2 of them.
There is a space approx 30' x 80' which was originally fenced against pigs so should be fairly secure against the goats. This space has nothing in it at the moment, has a few elders in the hedge line, and I am hopign to plant up the hedge properly this winter. This space is a slight slope but is at the bottom of a slope and so tends to get washed over a bit, is a bit compacted and clay underneath. but reasonably sheltered from East, North and West. I dug a small swale in this one earlier this year and am looking at what I need to do to the soil.
And there is another similar sized patch behind the barn part of which will be shared with the ducks at certain times of year. this patch is VERY sandy, has an elder, 2 small hazels 1 crab apple which has jsut taken off and a buddleia, and comfrey. It is very sheltered being an East facing bank, but with the barn on the East slope and South facing having the shed on the North.
I want to start to plant one or both of them up as food forests this autumn/winter.
I have an abundance of muck that I can use - both very well aged with woodshavings and fresher with straw.
I am really struggling to get to grips with what are the best things I can put in first by way of plantings, and how much I should do to the soil before I start and how much I should let nature take care of.
Can anyone offer me any suggestions or advice please?