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Zone 5 - Food Forest

 
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the beginnings of a food forest … there are several trees that have come down, and most are fluttering aspen, and from the looks of it - an area of about an acre is about 75% the same type of aspen.  they all have conks and mushrooms growing off them, so - figure it is only a matter of time until the rest blow over or break off half way up. been losing a least 2 a year over the 5 years I've been here.  Taking advantage of the opening in the canopy I started clearing out some of the smaller trees and experimenting with planting some things.  This is a couple beds of cover crop mix I put down about a month ago, seems to be coming up good enough.  I also put in a lot of vegetable seeds around these beds just to see what would happen.

The plan for the larger area, about 1.5 acres is to put in strategic tree and bush seeds this fall, and do some more clearing this winter to hopefully get a little more sun down to the ground next season.  Slowly over time many of the larger aspen trees will just blow over - so, I'm just setting the seed for my chosen vegetation to grow instead of completely natural selection filling in the gaps.

I'm in no hurry here - it would be fun to have some things we could harvest, but to me this area is an emergency survival type garden area.  If the power went out or if there was a major emergency, I'd just go up there and take all the trees out so there would be ample sunlight.  That is a lot of work and time I don't have - so, thinking I will just clean up the ones that fall naturally and try to slowly cultivate some things that grow edibles.

The second photo is a pic of the opening in the canopy.  I really think this area will only get maybe 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight.  I put test beds under this area, and also around the lot where there is much less sun - although, some areas now get a couple hours of direct morning or afternoon sun as well as the sun goes over this opening through the day, so maybe I will be surprised a little, but there are probably 25 or so - little planted areas all round the 1.5 acres just to observe what happens in those beds.  
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