Thanks, John. Experienced with cut-worms - don't think here. Actually have good growth from the base and new leaves. Kinda funny ... whatever it is is only choosing random leaves to make LACE, lol. All plants have only one or maybe 2 leaves that are "holey" or missing.
Good idea to look very early or late in the day ... slugs not a problem here, but they do exist.
Best regards to you 2019 season!
I started them from store-bought in FL - had good success - planted the best in growing medium and carried them in my car driving to Wisconsin. Hardened them off and then only planted the best - when time was fully right - into black grow-bags with well-amended and balanced soil ... about June 20, and no frost since then.
Some pest is eating the leaves to death! Making tiny holes, and some leaves are completely removed. I can't find any bug. I know they don't share bugs, but my Irish potatoes are bug-free and nearby. My whole garden is pest-free except for flea beetles on the brassicas.
I knew it would be a stretch to get sweet taters this far north, but I started them so early and was not expecting a pest in this locale.
Thanks for any advice to newB in Zone 4. AND best regards to all!
Yes, I forgot to mention tansy - I've got many year-old plants I was going to spread around! Most of the others are seedlings.
But I still don't know how these deterrents might negatively affect parasitic wasps and other beneficial insects.
Thanks for help - please keep it coming! ;-)
Planning on adding oregano, basil, marigolds, citronella geranium, etc. throughout my planting beds. But I got to thinking that their "stinkiness" might hinder pollinators and beneficial predators.
All help/suggestions are appreciated - ESPECIALLY as related to Zone 4. Wishing ALL abundant harvest in 2019!
UPDATE/EDIT ... Thanks to Admin for APPLE!
Made 8 more sheets tonight in 60 mins. Forgot to mention to put seeds on a white china saucer for ease in seeing/picking. I also made sure to "poke" each seed into the flour glue - used the handle of the plastic spoon - didn't get sticky. You might want to think about "diamond" spacing rather than all on the square.
Will definitely post my hopeful success!
Happy Cinco de Mayo to all! I've been "gardening" while having a libation, LOL.
First time trying this, but MANY You-tubes if you want to check. I downloaded dot/grid from someplace like this link: https://www.waterproofpaper.com/graph-paper/ and then printed them in bold.
Laid over my "recycled-paper" paper towels and copied the dots while watching TV. Surprised to find out that towels were "2-ply" so I got double bang for buck when marks came thru both plys. Pretty easy to separate plys.
Used 1-1 flour/water and a little paintbrush as the glue - afraid that Elmer's would inhibit sprouting, though many say it's fine.
"Planted" a little closely - plan to thin/harvest baby lettuces, carrots, etc, PLUS you overcome any poor germination.
Using my already prepared/marked plys - I got 7 done/"planted" in an hour here at my desk! Tiny seeds of lettuce, carrots, etc. My fingernails worked fine to pick up even the smallest, but you could use tweezers or a slotted plastic spoon. I used Sharpie to write on each "page" - divide a page - you can cut them up for better spacing when you actually plant on your soil!
I was worried that flour/water "glue" would encourage sprouting, but nobody mentioned that, and these were all dry within 30 minutes. First time to include photo ...
Wishing all of us the best for 2019!!
Welcome, Gary. In your pretty warm climate, you'd probably get best and safest results by layering Winter bedding/coop-cleanout with LOTS high-carbon input like Fall leaves, spoiled hay, paper/cardboard shreds, etc. into a 2-bin pallet system. Flip it one side to the other once a month and make sure it's damp but not soggy. Four months should be plenty, then you can use it for Fall planting. Add some worms early on - a couple little cups of bait worms will work wonders.
Most advice is 90 days from fresh manure to be added to EDIBLE plants. Best of luck!
Lots of good advice here - wish I would've checked before starting from a different blog post. Never did this before - 2 more months before they will be planted into black grow bags in Zone 4.
* Started halves of store-bought potatoes with the tooth-pick in water situation
* Took a while, but now I've got lots of little sprouts/slips from eyes ABOVE the water
* Last week I noticed that all the "halves" have roots from their bottom edge in the water - no "slips" attached - NO roots coming out from the slips above the water
This is completely not what I was expecting from the blog tutorial, nor what I've read in this discussion!
My thoughts: Can I do some surgery to excise a little of the flesh around the slip base and then hang that unit in water to grow roots? FYI, I'm using distilled water.
It might be possible to cut slices from the slips all the way down to and include the roots, but am feeling this wouldn't be successful.
I've read that placing a whole tuber in the ground lessens the production - can I do that in a pot and then cut them apart for final planting?
This is my first adventure of gardening in the Northland - so much to learn - know that sweet potatoes will be a challenge, but we love them.
THANKS so much for advice and wishing best to all.
So sorry to hear of the sudden loss of your brother, Trace. Please take care of yourself as others have suggested. Let yourself feel your feelings, even if there is some guilt or anger (common), but try not to dwell on those. Allow yourself to cry as much as you need, and think of the good times and the positives of your brother's life/legacy. Talk and share with others - proud of you that you did that here. Grief support groups are common in every locale at no cost. If you are affiliated with a church or religion, clergy are well-trained to help you with sudden loss. It's going to be a process, and the only thing you can "do" is take your time to get thru it in a healthy way. Sending support and best wishes, MB.
WOW! Christopher! Such good info and details - just the kind of multi-faceted system I want to have. Glad to read about amaranth - been looking for real experience with that.
What is that picture you posted?
Searched threads before posting - no luck - sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere.
Zone 3b/4, N Wisconsin, clay soil, long days, kinda windy, reliable rain/can irrigate, 85 days or less, smallish patch for my first try.
Probably can amend the clay a little bit this first garden year. Depending on my timing and workload, I may start seeds in toilet-paper tubes to transplant, since I know they have a long taproot.
Reliable OP is sorta preferred for the "long-run" - no corn nearby. But, mostly, I LOVE sweet corn and want to have some in my first WI garden!
Very grateful for any advice on varieties and/or cultivation practices. Best regards, MBA
The house will be far from done when I move May 1; the ground is nasty clay in the process of being improved - not ready yet; we've got voles, rabbits, deer, etc. and no permanent fence yet - maybe by the end of the summer.
Soooo, this is my crazy plan.
We have an old metal barn door about 12 x12 - got bracing -will add more.
Gonna whip up some cheap saw-horses to hold the door up and make a relatively flat platform.
Unlimited access to boxes 8" deep, 12" wide, 15 " long - heavy-weight/double-wall - used for soft-serve ice-cream mix bags. I'm using them for my packing - perfect for my fabric hoard!
Put boxes on platform - double row around perimeter of platform, fill with half store-bought potting soil and half "black dirt": farmer sells mix of well-rotted manure+sand. Excellent - used it for fruit trees last year.
Drip irrigation set-up.
Surround all garden area with makeshift chicken wire/whatever to temporarily keep out critters.
Planting in BOXES: greens, lettuce, beets, brassicas, peas, pest-control flowers, and beans.
DIY BAGS on the ground: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra. I'm talking "grow bags" I can sew from landscape cloth or VivoSun bags from Amazon.
ROUND BALES(3-yr-old rotting): squash, cukes - vines trailing down.
LASAGNA BEDS(1-yr-old): potatoes, maybe sweet corn.
Labor is going to be in short supply, since I'm 67 and my son and "EX" will be working on finishing the house + other projects. We will have to get the tractor in there to work on building more lasagna, improving the clay, and installing fence. I'm not a beginner, but only have experience in Zone 7. I'm basically wondering if these double-layer corrugated boxes might completely fall apart, even if they were jammed all tight together AND if planting in a cardboard box would have the same drawbacks as a plastic container/pot. I'm thinking I could easily wrap poly "deer-fence" strips around the perimeter of the box rows to help stabilize the cardboard.
I know this community is busy planning for their own 2019 season, so I'm VERY grateful to you all for reading this and for ANY thoughts/advice/experience. Best wishes for a happy and productive 2019!
Running the risk of being labeled "Typhoid Mary" or Debbie Downer ... but I completely DON'T GET this exercise of "pex/pep".
Am VERY thankful for so many of you willing to share your experiences and expertise AND questions! That's what I selfishly need as a NB permie and homesteader. Looking forward to soon being able to contribute to this community, which has already helped me so much.
I'm guessing that pex/pep is supposed to encourage people to try new things/branch out/become educated/etc - ALL GOOD. We already know that, as "permies" we are trying to recreate/relearn lost knowledge to put to use in the 21st century.
But, I'm concerned that this will become a "social-media game" with unverifiable results; potential "shaming"; and wasted time for "reportage" to the moderators.
I'm looking forward to reading about your successes and failures within the proper threads - PLEASE put your ZONE in your profile or post!
FOR EXAMPLE, If you have "spare time" (lucky you) - I hope that you would share photos of the toxic/non-toxic mushrooms you found.
THANK YOU to everyone here - the contribution, volunteerism, and sense of community is outstanding! I'm very grateful and am wishing all of us the best.
Hi, Mike. Finally going to be moving up to the N. WI, Douglas County farm in a few months. Love Edible Acres and Justin Rhoades. Our awful clay ground needs LOTS of help!
Was planning to free-range layers and CornishX, starting in our orchard with a "chick-saw" for overnight safety.
After the meat birds are butchered, I was hoping to be able to overwinter a small movable coop for 8-10 layers, place it under a movable hoop house to slide along a future raised bed in the garden area.
Leaves are NO PROBLEM! Got about 60 bags in 2 weeks while visiting last October - had to pass up much more because I wasn't able to use the pickup.
My question is about predators. We've got coyotes, etc - some say wolves! Very rural surround to our 105 acres.
Even if the chooks were safe overnight in a little coop, wouldn't the coyotes,etc try to tear thru the plastic hoop house or dig under? I was hoping to be able to move that hoop house along as the birds worked their magic.
Very little "woman/man-power" is going to be available on our place, LOL. Trying to be as efficient and safe as possible. Looking forward to hearing any advice from the permie "hive-mind"!
Keeping worms alive in WI winter without heat??? Haven't yet built the bin, but we really have no place to keep it warm, and I want worms for my chooks during the winter. We've got a an unheated barn and sheets of 4"-thick foam left from the house build. Could we insulate somehow? Appreciate any suggestions from other cold-climate folks.
Very timely discussion for me - seems like I will finally be moving up to WI in the Spring - planning "starter" garden on our new place, which has been uninhabited for 3 years . When I visited in mid-October, the voles had already girdled EVERY new (May/2018) fruit tree because my house-building son hadn't been able to keep weeds away, and his roaming German shepherd was lessening their natural predation. When I replace those trees, I'm using 1/4" hardware cloth for individual barriers on each tree. But I'm having nightmares about the potential vole damage to my garden. They were practically running over my feet when I was in the orchard! I've heard that the little b....stards will actually pull carrots, etc down into tunnels to eat! Gardening work is already going to be hard enough for 67-year-old me - DO NOT want to share.
The rabbit/woodchuck/deer fence will be created sometime later in the Summer, and the dog might be help, but it seems that these tiny critters are problems above and below ground. We can't build the permanent fence with hardware-cloth down into the ground until we are done with the tractor in there. Even so, we'll still have a gate area, and they can get in no matter how tight we can make the clearance.
I'm planning raised/lasagna-type beds on our heavy clay soil. Though the beds will likely be permanent, they will not have permanent structure this year.
Sooo, what is my permanent plan? Will it help to keep my paths clear - do I need to insert hardware-cloth along my bed edges - do I need to get a Terrier or barn cats or let my chooks in there regularly???
I DO realize that a multi-faceted approach is best, and I'm looking forward to hearing all your experiences/suggestions - especially for the northern Midwest, zone 4. TYVM, and best regards to all for productive 2019!
Thanks all for advice! The problem is as mentioned: long-term, un-tilled ground - very heavy clay. We have ended up with the 100 acres that was not suitable for haying/planting - only ever used for grazing with uneven surface and at least 3 smallish watercourses. The "coulters"/disks are very shallow - this old pasture has at least 6-inch deep root structure. This piece of equipment is nearly brand-new with instruction books, and there is much better/not clay land within driving distance. We have a big tractor capable of pulling it. Hoping for more suggestions on how to use it, or it will be for sale in Douglas County, WI.
TY, Travis - it does look brand-new, tho this is a stock photo. My son is concerned that the "coulters"are not deep? enough for our clay soil. Also, I'm not sure we got "seed-plates" with it. I'm trying to convince him that it's not a "boat-anchor" - still looking for advice on how to use it.
Before we actually purchased our land! - my son got this piece of equipment in a package deal with a small combine. We have 100 acres of sorta lumpy, heavy clay, grazing land, but he wants to plant small sections of grain for beer and fodder - Zone 4. He now believes this thing is for "turf" planting. All info and suggestions gratefully accepted!
Thanks, Redhawk, for info and encouragement! Seems like we're on a good course in Zone 4. This current arrangement of ten (2017 wet-harvested) bales in 2 rows was just an accident due to them being delivered so late in the season - July of 2018. Because of house-build, decided not to try to use tractor-grapple to toss them with manure - over and over, etc.
They are in the area chosen for the permanent garden - I do understand that they will be improving our clay from the bottom up - I plan to use them for planting the garden Spring 2019.
Bought a cheap copy of Joel Karsten book on "Straw-Bale Gardening" SBG. Because we're using hay bales and have already introduced manure - his "sterile-soil" practice is not happening.
We've got 2 perforated PVC pipes in each bale down to about 3/4's way and have introduced blood-meal slurry through those. Crazy rain until recently - may need to add H2O this week after we've just spread a layer of manure and red wigglers.
1. Is this likely to get "hot" with a rough frost date of mid-Sept? And a Spring frost date of mid-April? Will we actually get an advantage from composition heat?
2. We have NO good soil to introduce into planting holes or seed-bed. We did buy "top-soil" for orchard planting, but it was very sandy and very iffy provenance. We can get 1-yr-old manure/black dirt for $100/ton, but that seems too rich iIMHO - never mind cost.
3. I got your msg about mycorhizae. I have a well-mixed group. Guessing they should be applied to tomatoes, potatoes (nicintomide family), peppers and okra.
4. We have mild slope to the South - was thinking to plant tomatoes at that end with trellis. Should I poke them into lower side of bale - will they get enough nutrients and not be too high for harvest?
5. Irish potatoes - really want a major harvest of these! SBG book suggests planting them 12-inches under lettuce, radish, early cole crops - what do you think?
VERY grateful for your input! and commitment to this deep resource for new "permies". Looking forward to hearing any and all advice - hoping my queries help others - wishing best success to all, Mary Beth
Todd Parr, how are those round hay bales working out? We got ten 2017 HAY bales in late June 2018 and laid them down on their sides, all together. My son poked pvc into them to introduce water before it started raining like crazy, and he also used those pipes to introduce blood meal AMAP. We have HORRIBLE clay and have been very delayed on the house-build - no time for much garden prep.
I just told him to throw our composted manure on the top - few inches or so - red wigglers are coming on Wednesday - I know it's late for zone 4. We also have a sack of those "mycorhizae" and could add some of them. Anybody can jump in here and let me know if this is likely to be a good garden area in Spring 2019! I expect I might have a weed problem from hay, rather than straw. But I'm prepared to mulch with a layer of newspaper and then wood chips. Thank you to all for any advice/experience and best wishes to all, Mary Beth.
Adam, we've been held up by more than a year since the original 1921 house was totally lost in a fire last Nov - the renovations were 1/3 done and the solar system installed - he had just taken possession in July/17. Suddenly, my son had to plan and build a brand-new house and couldn't begin building at that time of year. We've both been studying soil remediation for some years and are planning on cover crops, charcoal, comfrey, etc. in small areas to start - but nothing really yet. The 105 acres were mostly used as pasture in the past, but not grazed for probably 15 years. Too lumpy to cut hay in the old days - the old farm had many more acres of hay ground which has been sold off. We are planning to remediate with rotational grazing of pigs/chickens to start. He's working on giant compost piles of manure, hay. wood chips, shredded cardboard, and worms to create something for me to start a smallish raised bed/grow-bag garden next Spring.
In this mid-May, we did plant a 27-tree orchard + honeyberries + 9 grapes + asparagus into the old "lawn" in front of the house. We used an excavator to dig large holes/trenches, removed the clay, and replaced it with a mix of purchased sandy topsoil, 2-yr-old manure, and wood-chips. We used mycorhizia on all the tree roots, planted 2 comfrey with each + horseradish, tansy, garlic chives - and threw in some night-crawlers!
I'm still living/working in Florida, so I haven't been able to assess the progress, but he tells me everything is doing well except for one apple tree and possibly some honey-berries which were planted in a VERY soggy spot. We did not have soil testing done, though I did get good results from careful DIY tests. Just gettin' started - glad to see some things growing well!
BTW - I mentioned Wrenshall, MN. It is quite near to us but DOESN'T have horrible clay. Best of luck to you and yours, Mary Beth.
Greetings, Adam! Sort of a newbie here, too, but my son and I have 100 acres of horrible clay just south of Superior. Haven't got much started yet ourselves because he's building the house. There seems to be some "permies" in Wrenshall, MN. GOOD LUCK!
Newbie to growing in northern Wisconsin - 2019 will be our first season and only for personal use that year. We'd like to get to a marketing point eventually. Initially planning tomatoes in grow bags with our own soil and compost and probable "hoop" protection. Of course, we want heirlooms and will choose short-season, indeterminate varieties and hope to save seed. I'm wondering if VFN are a problem in a cold climate? If so, what do you all think about grafting heirlooms to hybrid/VFN resistant root-stock? I understand the process of grafting, but do NOT understand how it works to improve the plant! I know that a tomato is actually a perennial, and that I can save/overwinter it indoors or a greenhouse long enough to take slips/clones for replacement. But I am confused as to whether that clone will have the disease-resistance ... AND if seeds from that grafted plant will have resistance.
I'm in awe of all of you working so hard on breeding and researching - thank you so much for your efforts and sharing of your knowledge and seeds!! I'm looking forward to hearing your expert advice on my newbie questions and wishing the best results to us all.
THANKS, everyone! We havn't come up with anything yet - actually my son is laughing at me! I knew it wasn't the same thing as perlite - I'm not going to "chipperize" it - the mealworm idea seems creepy AND potentially toxic - he says we have no use for "air-crete" ... so, I'm flummoxed so far
What with the house burning to the ground and needing to replace everything, appliances, etc; and my son outfitting a wood and metal-working shop - we are inundated with Styrofoam AND cardboard. We got a great deal on an almost new Earthquake "hammermill" chipper, and I've been going like crazy on the cardboard. We figured it was a multipurpose item: chipping brush, shredding cardboard, and hopefully smashing charcoal - so a worthwhile infernal machine!
I'm wondering now if I should try chipping some of that Styrofoam? If it came out pretty fine, it might be like perlite - I could use it in a greenhouse setting ... But, I realize it would eventually end up in the environment. It's in all those weird, "pocketed" shapes - can't figure out how to use it for insulation, etc. I'm also wondering about how to use those flexible foam sheets.
Gonna post with pix about my cardboard shredding/chipping in a different thread, but I might could put it here if you're interested. No access to leaves/other carbon source for compost piles/beds until Fall of 2019 - so cardboard is going to be mixed with spoiled hay, manure, sod, etc. THANKS for suggestions on Styrofoam!
Welcome to you, Evergreen, and congratulations on your land purchase! The WA state community is very well represented here on permies, though I am in WI myself. Be sure to fill out your profile with your location/zone, etc so people can better give advice. You've got the right idea to be patient and plan while you start on generally improving your soil. Looks like you have a nice buddy to keep you company, too. Best of luck - and keep us posted. Regards, Mary Beth
Hector, I was going to just jump in and say that eucalyptus are very fast-growing, but I thought I'd quick "fact-check" that assumption on Google, and I found this link:
http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/eucgrowth.html Tons of info and pix - mentions best species, since a few are slow.
Hope this helps!
Todd Parr - is it really only the 3 of us?? I've seen another woman very newbie make a post on another thread. Anyway - thanks for the offer. We're VERY underwater, what with planning a "tight-house" build, and all the other stuff that has to wait
I'm hoping to visit you and Mike Jay some time. Best regards to YOU AND all the permies!
Welcome to Nick and Jane in Bulgaria! I love how this site makes it possible to hear from others around the world. Also, you two are inspiring to me - a "retired" couple taking on a LOT. I'm always a little nervous about the 3 of us getting "all this" done. Best regards!
In 2 weeks, I'm going to see our property for the first time, and be "there" for 2 months - living in rental in town. My son and I need some face-time and walking the 105 acres! He's going to be very busy this Spring and Summer building the replacement house. So we decided that the only reasonable goals he might achieve beyond that, would be to put in trees/windbreak/orchard.
I've been VERY worried about deer since the start, but he has not - even tho he saw them all over the place/driveway/etc when he was remodeling last Summer, and his giant German shepherd was running all over!
We WILL have a living fence. The area to be fenced is in front of the intended house on a slight and smooth N - S slope - probably 1/2-acre rectangle, and running along the driveway to the East. I want quick-growing willows, etc to "weave"; lilacs; native honeysuckle; and other "shrubby" nectar/fruit-producers interspersed with native basswood for the windbreak on the West. Because the total area is relatively small, I don't want plants that will wildly produce suckers from roots. Willows might be a problem, but poplars are also - I'll have to go back to the WI DNR list to see what we can get for cheap. Will be planting the orchard trees individually at best times for them.
MIKE JAY, I'm highly interested in this fence idea! My son and I can get it built even with frozen ground - I'm leaving April 3 - but how is he going to quickly plant within it when the ground warms up?? OPTION 1: I'm thinking we can leave off the outer strands and make a trench right up to the "re-mesh"; add some amendments to the soil; then plant the "sticks" or bare-roots; finish stringing the outer strands. All the new plants will be deer-accessible thru those outer strands.
OPTION 2: We could dig a trench in February - we have access to "ditch-witch"; amend the soil; erect the "re-mesh" fence over the trench; plant the sticks; complete the outer strand barrier.
PROBLEM is that our ground is VERY clay and will not be happy in March/early April - I don't want to create concrete.
Very grateful to any and all who have advice/experiences - best regards.
Thank you Redhawk, Todd Parr, and Mike Jay - especially since you last two are "neighbors" - was hoping to hear from you guys!
Mike Jay - I want to talk about a little pond AND that great "remesh" fencing idea. Gonna try to navigate a bit - don't want to go off-topic here. Regards!
So much good info here!! I'm planning a "lasagna" treatment to get the old garden plot going for Spring 2019 - Zone 4a. There will be no animals or garden this year because my son is building the house - the old one burned down in Nov after QUITE a bit of remodeling! So I can't move up there until Jan/2019.
I will soon be going for a 2-month visit - haven't "seen" it yet. We want to plan for orchard planting this year - pasture fencing/living-fence, etc. I also think we could start "layering" the garden plot even tho the ground is frozen. He will have a year to add to it: worms in the summer; wood chips; grass clippings/ mowings; old hay; biochar; etc.
I'm thinking a cardboard layer first with a layer of composted cow manure to hold it down - this we can get done now. I'm not sure how much "wood" is laying around, but we could start with with a little "hugel" under the cardboard. Probably starting with a plot of 100' X 50', though we have double that available.
SOOO, what do all you experts think about my plan - my son is highly committed to a great garden, and I'm sure he will take SOME time from house-building to throw on some more layers until 2018 Winter. I'm sure he's not going to have time this Summer to "layer" in any kind of a layout, tho we ARE planning on raised beds, but might not be able to afford cedar boxes for Spring 2019. We have a nice tractor. Will it be OK to drive it thru there in the Spring and scoop out paths and mounds? Will the cardboard be rotten enough by then?
THANK YOU very much for ALL suggestions and advice! Regards to all.
Greetings to all from another "lurker" of about 6 months. Learning so much!
Short? backstory, since you WILL be hearing from me again.
My son spent 7 years as an IT contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan dreaming/researching permaculture - "Restoration Agriculture" by Mark Shepard was his "bible" - he even insisted on buying me a copy - we do not yet live together.
June/2017, he purchased 105 acres + 1921 house + pole barn ... in the NW. WI county where he grew up. Of course, the house needed more work than he was expecting, and I was not able to move up to a "construction-zone", plus MANY projects were delayed due to excessive Spring and Summer rain.
He DID get the solar batteries and all electronics installed in the basement - they worked but were not in use, made good buys on a bunch of appliances, and a bunch of demo done .... then the house caught fire one night in mid-Nov when he was in the pole barn alone and the lights went out! His Dad and dog were in town, nobody got hurt, but the 2-story house burned down into the basement and destroyed the foundation from the heat!! The grief was astounding at first, but insurance was good, and we're going to have a much better house, though needing a LOT of "sweat-equity"/general contracting from him.
Sooo, now we are additionally delayed by probably 18 mos, and he is feeling even more overwhelmed by time and finances.
Relatively flat/gradually sloping land which has at least 60 nice acres of pasture - un-grazed for 10 years - plus more pasture, and a small stream running diagonally through the entire lot. I guess the "silver-lining" to this disaster is that we have a lot more time for planning. We have TOO MUCH land, LOL.
Because of house-building this up-coming summer, there will be no garden or livestock, since we decided that I should keep on working my yearly contract for Disney - April-October, but I will be going up there now for February thru March for "face-time" planning for trees, orchard, and instructing him on preparing "lasagna" garden for next year's use. Hopefully, I can also meet up with local, experienced "permies": we are especially interested in top-bar beekeeping; apples/fruit/grapes; self-sufficient/"home-use"? hog raising/chickens/beef/dairy cow; barley/hops for home brewing; and mushroom cultivation. We do hope to be able to do some market-gardening, eventually. I'm an experienced gardener, but Zone 4a is going to be a new challenge!
Other than my gardening experience in Zones 7 and 9, neither of us has ANY animal husbandry experience .... we have been studying You-Tube like mad and have a LOT of well-chosen books, LOL.
I've been following Todd Parr and Mike Jay here on permies, but am hoping other N. WI/Zone 4 peeps will notice and respond to this intro ;-).
Before I end this opus, I DO have one odd question for which I could not find the correct forum: not plants, animals or Zone! We have about 10? total acres of BNSF railroad right-of-way running through our property - YES, we own 20 acres on the other side of the tracks, which is NOT R-O-W. I've Googled up restrictions on our use of that in any way - crickets. My son says nothing is allowed, but it would only cost about $900 for a crossing. We don't really care about that, but the R-O-W is really the only woodland we have, and the majority of it is on our side - more than 70 yards wide. Would love advice: can we take dead-fall out of it; can we make mushroom/blueberry plantings; can we hunt there; etc. It's semi-boonies - no probability of widening or development.
Sending my sincerest THANKS to this community and to all who have read this intro! PLEASE feel free to share/send links or connections/give advice. I hope to be able to respond, though I'm rather new at that process. Best regards and wishing a prosperous 2018 to ALL of us.
Wasn't planning on putting them at back of 60 acres and knew I'd have to make a swivvel and check 2X day, but am so crazed by this latest setback, that I didn't even consider NIGHT, CK! We do have bears. Was only planning on very temporary - glad I asked - thinking now about how to add in a "safe" shelter.