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Windbreaks on slope facing predominant winds...

 
Posts: 24
Location: SE Australia
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Hi all,
This is the site we're looking at purchasing at the moment....
Most of the wind comes from the West, so just trying to get my head around how you could use windbreaks & plant fruit/nut etc trees on the contours as well, with decent grazing space in between .... any tips, suggestions?!  
(It's a cool temperate climate with around or over 1000 mm rain/year, basalt soils, 4.5 kms from the coast, low frost.  While it can be quite windy, it's not that bad that you get trees growing at a lean or anything!)
Much appreciated!!
Jonie
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I have some land that is similar, with one spot that is incredibly windy. It has a nice view, but the area is almost unbuildable because of how windy it is. So our plan for that location is to build an underground house that will let us have the southern light, and yet protect us from the north wind.

A few other things we do is watch the percentage of alfalfa in the grass mixtures. That type of grass is great for nitrogen fixation, but is prone to winter-kill, and so the winds will blow the snow off the fields and expose the grass to cold temperatures and thus kill it. In protected fields we can get 90% alfalfa stands, but on the more wind-prone fields, we can only plant a 10% alfalfa.

Other issues are moving water off the land. As snow-melt happens, we must get all that water off the hill safely, so we have a lot of swales to do that. Rock check dams, dry-ponds and the like help to keep erosion at bay.

Some of these issues you will not have in your location, but the point is, we grow crops despite being prone to high winds.
 
Jonie Hill
Posts: 24
Location: SE Australia
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Thanks for the thoughts Travis.  I know we can certainly do a lot with it, but wonder if our ideas of an orchard over much of the site would be the wrong way to go ... perhaps we'd have to limit that to certain small areas and be very selective about the trees/bushes we plant up the slope.  
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