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How can I use this land? *pics included

 
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So, I am wracking my brain as to how I can best utilize my property. I would ultimately like to have a small farm stand where I sell extras from what I don’t use on my homestead.
We have a mainly wooded property.
I have a semi cleared area that is bordered by 2 creeks. It is also kind of a bottomland since all the water runs down to it to get to the creek. Our house and barn are considerably higher than this land.
I’d like to have an orchard with berries, apples, cherries, etc plus a kind of silvopasture understory.
I’m also open to lots of other ideas!
Help! 😁
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pollinator
Posts: 11693
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
892
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
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I really like what Micheal "Skeeter" Pilarski does with his agroforestry.  He grows medicinal plants, vegetables, and berries as an understory for his young trees, so he gets a useable and even saleable yield almost immediately.  He plants very intensively in small spaces, wasting no room.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 2714
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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As it is you can grow mushroom.
But most likely you will have to clear cut some of your land.

Once you have the land cleared,
then a pasture/silvo-pasture can be done.
Or a pond could be built.
there is also a food forest
or just a intensive vegetable and herb garden.
 
pollinator
Posts: 973
Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
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#1 is to observe and let the land tell you what it wants.

Too often people get trapped in telling the land it should behave in ways it is not, just because it is trendy now. So look at what you have and what it is telling you. Start at the bottom of the food web, with microbes and water. If you get those right the rest will follow.

Channeling water is very important. Letting water build up and sink into your property. Acting so it recharges the aquafir rather than depleting it. You can do that in many ways, the land should show you what it prefers.

Soil microbes are very important. Bacteria, Protozoa, Nematodes, and Fungi are all in healthy soil. In fact life is what makes soil healthy. With out the right life in the ground what you want will not grow. Grass is a bacteria heavy soil, and trees are are fungi heavy soil. Grass eventually wants to become trees, so if you want grass, remember it is a constant struggle with succession. Remember too that forests still have the same amount of bacteria, just more fungi.

I would highly recommend you look into soil heath and what to look for in your area.
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
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I actually see and talk with Skeeter at least once a year (often more) at the Barter Faire. In fact I went on a nature walk with him at one of the faires I saw him at. If you get a chance to go to a Barter Faire, he is a lot of fun to hang out with.
 
pollinator
Posts: 445
Location: San Diego, California
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Interesting proposition!

Climate/elevation or general area of your land might help us recommend specific species or varieties for planting, if you'd like.

I would definitely echo Benji and Devin - wise counsel.

If you do end up planning to clear some trees - make sure you know what species you are taking out versus keeping - it would be a shame to take out something valuable and/or accidentally leaving something less useful(ie, taking out a Butternut to plant a Walnut tree or keeping the "trash" tree and removing the valuable veneer log or Pawpaw sapling you never knew was there).

Also try to plan out in advance what you're going to do with the wood - enough to sell to a logger? personal firewood? mill into lumber yourself? chip the branches onsite to make some wood mulch?  It would be a shame to let all the useful material go to waste.
 
Cookie White
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Thanks ya’ll, Just getting back here! We are in NC, zone 7. I think probably the best thing to do with it is to dig a pond. That just requires more skill and heavy machinery that we have available currently. I’m super inspired by “Skeeter” thanks for that link! Also very curious to read more about bacteria vs fungi soil. This spot is definitely eroded and dead soil as far as I can tell. I have a ground over legume/vetch/clover mix that I thought about starting out there after getting a good cover of compost and straw. I think I’ll also try my elderberries out there since they don’t mind wet feet? We have a large garden spot and a more shaded garden as well so I don’t need this spot to grow food currently. I did think of running pigs down there for a season but I’m not sure I could swing the pig fencing this year! Thanks again guys!
 
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