I would say that soil should only be 10% organic matter. If your compost is completely finished it will have around 10% organic matter, but most compost is not completely finished/aged and so it has alot more organic matter and quite possible alot of nitrogen which can produce nitrates in some vegetables (bad for your health) and that can also promote vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production and excessive nitrogen can make some shrubs/trees/vines not harden off properly esp if you are zone pushing. The soil life in compost is predominately bacterial vs fungal so in some technical sense it may not be what someone is trying to promote.
Like everything else it depends and moderation but overall compost is very very rarely a bad thing so go ahead and add it.
With only 15inch of rain, you are going to have to give your nuts 3x the normal spacing so that you effectively have 45inch of rain (15 X 3).
If you are able to pool the runoff by the plants even better (swale on contour or 60ft basin/depression for each tree).
Areating the soil will make it easier for the plants, mineralizing/balancing the soil (rockdust/etc), making the mineral more bio-available by increasing the soil life (fungi-microbes) and also with biochar.
As for which nut trees I would use, uzbek pistachios, almonds, chickapin chesnut, yellowhorn, sweet kernel apricot, (you can probably try some hazelnut), then there are stuff like monkey nut and pine nut, etc.
I would think in terms of secession.
It is much easier to go from bare dryland TO grassland TO savanna TO woodlot TO forest.
Than to go from bare/degraded dryland to forest/savanna.
Also if you do some earthworks and create swales/man-made creeks and then plant willows/fruit tree and have the rest at grassland you would have created a type of "savanna".
Overall if you are getting over 12inch of rain per year you can make create your woodlot/savanna. If it is less than 12inches, then it will not be able to support as many shrubs/trees. But you can always use runoff/creeks/swale to effectively double or more your rainfall.
In the desert animal and plant density is lower due to limited water resources. So you might have to follow nature and have a lower productive plant density.
You can however optimize your 2 acres by using wood chip to conserve water evaporation, encourage soil life to keep mineral bio-available decrease the amount of water that plants need to extract the mineral they need, and aerate the soil to hold more water and bio-available mineral, increase the amount of biomass in the soil (bio-char/woodchip/compost/etc). So inputs like mineral/rockdust, beneficial fungi/microbes, woodchip/bio-char and machinery to aerate the soil and earthworks/water works might be needed.
In terms of desert food guild, I would start of with a layer of onion/garlic family + thyme/rosemary/mint family + blackberry/bamble "family" + currant/gooseberry family + pomegranate + stone fruit (apricot/almond/plum/etc) + there are others like jujube/fig/etc. as for nuts (almond+sweet kernel apricot+ uzbek pistachio, macadamia nut) there are a few conifer type nut and ginkgo also. I would also have an overstory of palm tree (wine palm, date palm, etc) and also nitrogen-fixers.
The above can help lower you actual water/electric usuage. You can also time shift the electrical usage to lower the dollar amount for electricity even if the actual kilo-wattage doesn't go down. Usually it is cheaper in the night so you can only water at night or use a tank and gravity feed during the day)
Actually watering only at night sounds like a very good idea to also cut down on evaporation loss and so is drip irrigation vs overhead.
You might also have to start out with the expectation that you will have to spend alot of money doing earthwork and drip irrigation to get the system started but a few years down the road you will need less inputs once the system become more self-sustaining.
With growing degree days, I would be able to give you more info.
I think that American persimmon will pretty much grow there, but Asian persimmon will not do well there. I have the hardest Asian Persimmon and it really need a micro climate to service in my zone 6b/7a
Our regular agricultural system is closer to a grassland, what we call a food forest is more like a food savanna/woodland. It is not really a grassland and not really a real forest, we like edge.
Also if we are going to be technical alot of these food forest the we are creating are on 1acres of land, maybe 5acres of land. At no point can we call 1acres of plants a "FOREST".
But there are some people creating 1000 acre food forest and other with a 1/5 acre city lot creating food forest. And it will vary.
But to be more specific what are you trying to grow and what problem are you trying to solve. If you can define that it will be easier to get some help from the crowd.
We have all this automation/machine-slave/technology and people still cant have somewhere to sleep without being a slave to someone else.
With all these slave-machines everyone should have a home that they own vs slave away to live in.
We should be able go outside once or twice a week and tend+harvest all the food we need for that week
A few fish, eggs, fowl, milk, and maybe red meat. Vegetables, root crop, fruits, and nuts/seeds/grains.
Solar panels should provide us with our energy and rainwater catchment/well should give us our water.
These basic needs should be on met onsite, given all the machine-slave that technology have given us.
but still we have people with 50yr slavery-mortgages
starving because they cant find someone to slave away to.
and dieing because they cant find affordable nutritious food to buy even after slaving away.
This is an injustice
we have centralize housing in the hands of a few banks, centralized food to a few companies.
we are too dependent on other for our most basic needs
we are being led into slavery
and we aren't even giving up our freedom so that we can work in a field that we enjoy
most of the times, people don't really love their job and the conditions that they work in.
but we must have gotten something in return for the slavery that we have sold ourself into.
instead of now having the freedom to explore art and sense
we now look for things to not think or be aware of our pitiful state.
we turn to anime, videogame, slapstick comedy, alcohol and brain-depressants
couldn't we have found enjoyment in other ways without slaving away.
or perhaps we are social creature and thus slaving away is an inescapable characteristic of being social like the worker bee and ant.
I understand that people need to be social
but does that have to be centralized
cant we have round robin style house parties
vs going to a hall
cant we have round robin food tasting vs going to a restaurant.
does social gathering have to be centralized.
even education does it have to be centralized teacher-centered
vs permissive student-centered learning
we have somewhat given students in college the freedom to pick what they want to learn
cant we do that to younger adults
we have enough technological tools and ad-hoc system to make it work
why aren't we working towards such a system
Would much prefer the decentralized art studio when compared to the centralized MFA
even better yet if most people were creating their own art and showcasing it with our machine-slaves (the internet) and at local festival/events/meetup/farmers market/art market.
A big fan of people being less removed from what they enjoy.
and being more creators of what they live vs just consumers.
create your own cooked meal vs going to a centralized McDonald as a consumer.
create your own short story vs watching centralized anime
create and enjoy your own sex vs just watching centralized/exploitative/slavery porn
for 99% of the stuff it should be decentralized and done at home with the help of our machine-slaves
we shouldn't just consume electricity we should also produce some on our rooftop with solar.
it should be less decentralized and more home scale production.
esp given the fact that we now have robot slaves to all live like kings and queens.
but still we suffer and live less than dogs and pigs
all this pain and hurt, centralization and subjugation, control and slavery.
but it is possible that people love centralization
and pain and hurt and subjugation and control and slavery and superiority and inferiority
the would rather have the system with the 1% hope that they can rule it all
than have no hope of being the ruler and giving everyone one equality.
Would like to see a world where fathers and mother have basic physical needs taken care of
where the children can go to school and get an education
Instead of kids having to work 12hours shift at age 7 in a mine/sweatshop/field.
Would also love to see those needs being met with our robot/technology-slave in a decentralized way at the homescale so that there is less concentration of power and corruption and human exploitation/slavery.
Would also like to see adult/mother/father have basic physical needs met by robot/technology slave so that they can spend their time in self-directed academia exploring and finding something new, combining different models/studies/theories, etc
or maybe these adult can just spend their time creating whimsical art/sculptures/music/sports/poetry/stories/games/etc, all without being forced to do
Malus fusca is a species not a cultivar
So in general any wild or even named cultivars of Malus fusca will polinate your native apple, in fact even most species in the Malus genus will pollinate your apple.
Silverberry (Elaeagnus spp) is early and strawberry tree should ripen and bloom year-round (the fruit takes 12 months to mature)
At the end of May/start of june you have: Juneberry/Serviceberry, Strawberry, green unripe gooseberry,
Cant't really think of any fruits that ripen at last frost.
releases inorganic phosphorous so that other plants can take it up (others see this as a horrible decrease in inorganic phosphorous)
increases the amount of soil biomass due to increase bio-available nitrogen and phosphorous (others see this increase soil litter as slower decomposition rate)
increases the carbon capture in living biomass by helping the area to move to the next secession level away from bare soil/herbaceous to more shrub/trees. (Others see this as something horrible and bring out the big guns to deplete the soil and revert the state of secession.
"Subsistence farming" growing a diverse list of vegetables, herbs, root crops, perennial fruit trees and nuts, usually free ranged chicken/eggs and milks/goat/beef, open pollinated no-named 'wild' seedling of fruits, nuts, vegetable, ususally with little to no water inputs and other resources due to little wealth. Where neighbors will actually lend you some salt/sugar, and neighboring kids are mostly free to go into each others yard and eat fruitd, etc. Some people might call that 3rd world farming/living others might call that permaculture but they are pretty much the same to me.
To me said subsistence farming with no PDC training is 'more' permaculture than 'gringo Bob' living in New York City with his 2ft by 6ft plot of veggies and herbs with four $2,000 PDC certification, eating his organic banana that has traveled 3,000+ miles.
I don't think that the author disagrees with the concepts of permaculture or that they wouldn't follow it. What they disagree with is PDC certification prices.
Mob Grazing and pasture rotation are not the same thing, they are however similar.
Whenever someone practices animal husbandry it is best practice to give each pasture at least 30days of rest.
Which naturally mean that you need to create st least 30 'tiny' pastures, that really should only be used for 1 day at most.
30 days of rest allow the grass to recover alot, and also lowers the chances of the animals being contaminated/infected with it's own feces.
Using only 4 pastures aka 1 pasture for 7 days doesn't sound like a good plan to ME. They are going to destroy it in my opinion. I would recommend that you create 30 tiny pastures and rotate them daily.
Arnold Arboretum located at Forest Hill, Boston has a Huge selection and most of them are pretty sweet (The birds get the best ones).
Are you actually able to get winter bloom and April harvest from your silverberry, While the plant does survives in my backyard I don't really get any fruit due to the cold.
I do have 2 goumi too.
Thousands of sample across my city has shown that our avg lead level is 2 times the EPA recommend limit of 400ppm.
Additionally, the city used to make and give out compost but after researcher backed up the numbers that gardening groups and non-profits have been finding, the city has now halted their composting operation. The finish compost had lead levels in the 300-400 range. http://www.wellesley.edu/news/stories/node/30659
My city has very high lead levels.
I have been going around and composting/collecting plant material that grew in this polluted soil. I wouldn't personally eat kale that grew in that soil but I am importing kale/wood chip/plant material that grew in this soil.
Mostly I am importing wood chip from these polluted soil and I am wondering if I am not raising the amount of heavy metal in my soil, and esp the amount of bio-available heavy metal.
Would you eat mushroom that grew on these plant material? How about vegetables or nuts, is it only safe for low mineral fruits?
Checkout Meetup, they list in person meetings for farming and pretty much anything else.
You can also volunteer, at a non-profit to be their gardener, plant some fruit tree and get a local group.
You could join some religious group and visit every, Wendesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.
Pick any hobby find the local group doing it and then join, with a big colorful book. Someone will probably say, wow what a big book you have there.
Unfortunately not all soils are the same and perfect. Some soils are rich in gold, others is iron, some in calcium. That is why specific places had gold mine/iron mine.
Not only did the soils not 'arrive' equally perfect everywhere but on top of that some soil had alot of rain that dissolved certain minerals more than others, once that mineral gets dissolved it then flows with the water to the sea.
Some soil has less rainfall to dissolve the minerals and so they have more than a heavier area.
Some soil have been abused for 'billions' of years, others have been refreshed with fresh soil just 50years ago by volcanoes, others by river flooding, some by glaciers depositing new boulders/sand/rock dust.
Now even if we were to assume that every single soil, over the entire earth is has the exact same ratio of calcium, iron, mineral. Not all of them have the same amount of organic matter, and bio-availability, so it would still make sense to help this along to bring some in vs waiting '200yrs' for nature to fix it. The same way how you would bring some tools in to make swales on contour.
Now if you want you can wait a few years and grow your own biomass via straw and you can import some mineral into the top layer of the soil with some 10ft tap roots that will bring up some mineral.
Traditionally it was very common for folks to live in the city/village and have a farm on the outskirts/sheep in the hills.
Alot of cities will unofficially allow you to have honey/bees, chickens/eggs (no roosters), dwarf goats (milk/meat), pools converted to fish farming aquaponics, as long as you are friendly with the neighbors and they don't complain to the city. I HAVE started the process of getting friendly with my neighbors.
It seems like he just bought the house you are living in 12 month ago. I CAN totally understand why he is reluctant to start moving already. Most renters don't want to move that often even more so if they have kids and extended family members for support. Permaculture is all about observing, and taking small steps. I DON'T know if buying new property and moving every 3 years is enough time to observe and adjust, esp if I HAD to include other ppl.
It is quite possible that hubby reduced his 'prepper hobby' to save up and buy the house that he moved into 12 months ago. And now he feels like after all that 'suffering' he can finally treat himself after 'treating his family'.
If I WAS considering how can I can fund MY future permie homestead, without any financial support from my partner:
1) I WOULD hire someone to take care of the kids and work more money than I AM paying out. FYI:the gov has free school/babysitters
2) I WOULD work more hours/freelancer jobs
3) I WOULD start my own company and if possible hire other people to do all the work.
Alot of us on this site is still struggling to start/fund our homestead.
I SEEM to get the idea that the partner wants you to pay for your share of the household bill so that he can have more money so that he can enjoy his hobbies.
I WOULD take him up on that offer and work 40hrs per week making money, and pay my 1/2 of the bill and have my own 'permie hobby' money.
Modern-day Women work full time and spend their own money on their own permie hobby and their hubby spend their own money on their own prepper hobby.
Old time Women stayed at home with the kids while the man worked for money and she didn't worry her head about all the family money he spend drinking as long as food was on the table and a shelter over the head.
Personally I would work my own money and pay my 1/2 of the bill and do my own hobby.
At establishment you only want 10% of the space to be productive fruit&nut tree/shrub. The other 90% should be support species. After 20yr when the trees reach max/mature height you want the garden to be at least 20% support species and 80 productive fruit&nut tree/shrub.
So for now/establishment
fruit/nut patch = 10%
legume family + daikon radish patch = 65%
mint family patch = 10%
carrot family patch = 10%
native flower/seed mix = 5%
About 80% of the plant calorie that WE eat comes from 1)wheat seed, 2)corn seed and 3)rice seed. To me that sounds like a very bland and boring diet.
I have flip that around and I get 70% of my plant calorie from coconut/olive oil, legume(30% perennial), nuts seed (walnut, pecan, chestnut, almond, hazelnut), fruits(rose/stonefruit family, banana, orange)
My herbs, seasoning&species is 80% perennial. (Onion family, mint/thyme family, black pepper) the other 20% is from the tomato/chilli family and carrot family.
Unfortunately my vegetables are 100% annuals. (Kale, Collard, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Carrot, Pumpkin, Lettuce, Mix Vegetables). I am glad that you brought up this topic I will have to figure out my list of perennial vegetables (other than onions and asparagus). Sea Kale, Sea Beet, Garlic Mustard comes to mind, but I wonder where I could find a vendor to buy that in bulk from (I live in the city and I have to buy most of my food).
The mint family includes: lavender, thyme, rosemary, oregano, winter savory, marjoran, hyssop, catnip, lemon balm, (basil and summer savory), etc
It is a huge family and you can pick and choose, which one you want. I enjoy using mint as chop and drop mulch. And if nothing else will grow without irrigation I would welcome mint, there are also specific cultivars, that grows slowly.
Hourly Energy Production:1300W from the solar panel
Daily Energy Production: 1300W x 4Hr =5,200Wh
Usable Battery Storage: 40% (charging above 90% full wastes alot of energy and going below 50% kills your battery faster)
Minimum Battery Need: 5,200Wh/.4 = 13,000Wh
Actual Battery: 2x Minimum Battery Needs = 27,000Wh
Ashrssuming these batteries are used batteries (storage reduced by 50%) then you would be just about okay. If they are all brand new you have alot of emergency power.
If you were to dig a ditch on contour 'perpendicular' to the 'stream' you would slowdown/stop the flow of the water as it fills the swale. Even after the swale is filled with water the stream would have lost it '60 MPH erosion force and would be have to start all over.
Lining the stream with rocks will create alot of eddies and make it reduce the speed/force of the water. So yes you are on the right track. You can also build a series of 'dams' that will allow sediments to drop out and each dam would slow down the speed of the water.
I also love the idea of keeping the carbon as long as possible. So instead of letting you carbon plant trunk get eaten every year you keep it locked up in big perennial tree trunk.
Also prefer if the carbon get eaten by slow moving, long lived, deep dwelling fungi vs quick cycling surface dwelling microbes. And if we could store some of the carbon as biochar, locked up onsite even if it doesn't help the food forest produce any better, actually even if it hurts it a bit it is still better to store it on site.
root: onion family, yam family, sweet potatoes family, earth nut (legume).
vegetables: we mainly eat annuals in the cabbage and spinach family for minerals so we still need to find and eat more perennial ones or switch to perennial nuts for minerals.
herbs: perennial lovage vs annual celery, more thyme/mint family and onion family
fruits: reduce tomatoe family/melon family fruit and eat more rose family/fig family/etc even dehydrated fruits
seeds: reduce corn seed/wheat seed/oat seed/rye seed/rice seed and increase walnut seed/almond seed/hazelnut seed
oil/sugar: perennial nut oil vs annual canola oil, sugar cane sugar vs beet sugar, maple syrup vs high fructose corn syrup
We currently get 50% of our calorie intake from annual grain seed, most people could easily eat a few handful of nuts throughout the day and get 1200 calories and really enjoy it. The only problem is that they would have to stop eating 1200 calories of cakes, bread, pasta, high fructose corn syrup and who wants to do that.
Overall we are going to use up the estimated 4,000 GtC in the fossil fuel pool. Where can we store this newly released carbon.
Some in the above ground land based biomass, by doubling the avg height of biomass (I refuse to believe that the forests of Europe can only have a max height of 40ft vs 100ft, if we reduced logging and other degenerative practices, or that the remaining forest of eastern USA cannot return to the 200ft tree vs the 50ft trees I see in the national forest, that are regularly clear cut). I am pretty sure that the living root and fungi in the root will also increase to a similar depth.
So far increasing the avg height of the earth's biomass did not increase the amount of carbon we take out of the atmosphere per year, we are simple increasing how much carbon we hold.
Now if we were to pump water into the sparsely covered semi-desert places and plant more trees we could also take more carbon out of the air per year, in addition to now storing.
I can see the biomass pool increasing by 1000GtC (height & surface area increase), followed by an increase in the soil: living roots (1000GtC), long-lived dept dwelling fungi vs short lived surface dwelling microbes (100GtC), and even if biochar doesn't actually help biomass to store more/grow more. It would be a convenient way to 'dump plant leaf/branches' and store carbon into the soil/cave/peat-swamp (500GtC). We could probably make another 1,400GtC of biochar and dump it in the sea.
But how long would it take our biomass to transfix 4,000GtC, at the current rate of 60GtC per year: 67 years
It is also possible to double the biomass pool, by covering more of the land with dense vegetative cover.
Sparse vegetative cover in semi-arid area could be turned into land covered with dense vegetation.
This would in turn reverse desertification, With the deserts of america, africa, middle east, india and australia now holding extra biomass.
But whats steps can we take to make the semi-arid places more densely covered by vegetation:
Water: Swales on contour, deep-rooted plants, mulch
Mineral Absorption: Fungi dominated soil, mulch, accompanying nitrogen fixer,
Pest: proper grazing system, fire-tolerant plants, pest confusing plants, predatory animals and insects.
Above we just discussed increasing the surface area of our biomass, but how about the height of our biomass.
How can we increase the avg height of this vegetative cover:
1) Buy and eat more perennial based food
2) Eat more nutrient dense food so that we need less farmland
3) Convert lawns into food forest/native wildlife habitat
4) Alley-Cropping, Silvo-Pasture,