D Stark

+ Follow
since Jan 30, 2011
NYC and Catskills
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by D Stark

Densely planted sunchokes make a good screen during the warmer months. For a more year round screen, try poplar, black locust, willow, or any other fast growing species. The dec can help you there with affordable seedlings.

In a temperate climate, soft fruits such as berries can do ok in the understory. Otherwise, most tree crops need full sun for max production. I was thinking of doing groundnut or air potato in the understory as a vine crop.

Not sure of the laws in regards to pond building, however you have an ideal pond site to the left of the field. Notice the shape of the contour line in relation to the creek. Though you probably won't have to irrigate much.
4 years ago
Hey Andrew

I sent you a purple moosage with contact info.
Did you get it?
4 years ago
Hey Andrew

That sounds like a solid plan. Since you are starting out with a mostly forested area, the focus on observation is key. That PDC sounds great as well. Learning with a true master there.

I'll make some general resource recommendations for our area:


Ben Falk- The Resilient Farm and Homestead (essential reading for Northeast Permaculturists)
Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel- Farming the Woods
Ben Hewitt- The Nourishing Homsestead
Will Bonsall- Essential Guide to Radical, Self-reliant gardening
Carol Deppe- The Resilient Gardener
Sam Thayer- both of his foraging books
Miles Olson- Unlearn, Rewild

And in case you haven't read them already, my two faves: Tree Crops and Restoration Agriculture

NY Permies:

Sean Dembrosky- edible acres
Steve Gabriel- wellspring farm
Justin Hood- the vital farm
Mellisa Madden and Garret Miller- good life farm
Akiva Silver- twisted tree farm
Sean Zigmund- root and roost farm

Probably more around the Ithaca area.

Other inspiring Permies from the Midwest: Grant Schultz. Peter and Maureen Allen

Even though you are still in the observation stage, you might want to get a small perennial nursery going. That way if you grow from seed soon, they will be a decent size when you are ready to plant. I like Schumacher seeds and sheffields seeds. You'll save money and time while gaining experience. If that's not feasible, no problem either. You can get affordable bare root tree and shrub seedlings from Musser Forest nursery in PA. They are great.

For more specific plants from truly permaculture nurseries, check out Edible Acres and Twisted Tree Farm. Those guys are awesome and I've learned a lot from them. I highly suggest visiting their sites and buying top quality plants and seeds from them.

Your local DEC forester might be a good resource too.

Have an awesome trip and talk to you in March !

- Dennis
4 years ago
Hey Andrew

I'm also living in nyc with land in the catskills (Harpersfield). I volunteer on a really small food forest at the queens county farm museum. What are your goals for your project? I can offer advice on agroforestry/silvopasture. Mostly based on reading with some field experience.

- Dennis
4 years ago
Nice place, Ian. You can do a lot with the pond and slope. I know you still have a bit of observing to do in the spring. I am in a similar situation. Living in NYC with land in the catskills. What are your goals for the site? Agrotourism? Nursery?
5 years ago
I'm thinking of having Holm Oak as one of the more dominant and common trees in the forest garden. I know it casts a deep shade so it will need to be spaced and/or coppiced. This species has very edible acorns. The subspecies quercus ilex ballota (common in Portugal and Spain) can be eaten raw (from what I've read). It is a native tree that once covered Dalmatia. The wood is fantastic for firewood and useful as a hardwood.  I need to observe this summer what grows well with it.

I heard Italian alder should work well. I saw examples of it from Martin Crawford's book. I'd still like to try the black locust out, despite its invasiveness. It is just too good. Great, strong wood and firewood.

Blackberry already covers a lot of the island and does well. I'd probably add some rosa rugosa (what we call sipak).

Thanks for the folklore on linden. Very interesting. The linden would be coppiced. Martin Crawford says the young leaves make a great lettuce substitute. I have yet to try them, but it's worth a shot.

This Mediterranean plan right now is still theoretical. My experience is rather limited (a little gardening, WOOFing, and a PDC last summer in Maine). I live in NYC and I am creating two small backyard polyculture gardens this summer. I'll have more to say about that in a few months.
9 years ago
Thanks for the info. I guess I would have to do the same. I am going to be in Portugal and Croatia this summer so I will see how they grow chestnuts there. I know they are all over the place in Portugal. My family is from Croatia and I don't think much chestnuts grow on the island where they are from.

Maybe the chestnuts could go in a north zone 4- zone 5 (permaculture zones, not climate zones) buffer zone. I would test groundnut, raspberry, and an evergreen eleaganus species under it. Or grow chestnuts with greater spacing like an alley crop system.
9 years ago
Zones 8-9. A few days below 32 F. Mostly mild, wet winters.
9 years ago
Here's the tree and shrub level of a potential Mediterranean forest garden.

What would you add or remove?
What polycultures and guilds have proven to be successful?


Large Trees

Holm Oak
Stone Pine
Black Locust
Italian Alder
Small Trees

Cornelian Cherry
Judas Tree
Strawberry Tree

Siberian Pea Shrub
Elaeganus x ebbingei
Sea Buckthorn
Prickly Pear
Winter Savory
9 years ago