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urban plot situated next to state highway

 
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Location: Central Texas
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hello!

I am helping a friend start their permaculture project in the rather large back lot of an old church. The lot is adjacent to a major roadway (5 lanes, 40mph) so there is a lot of wind coming in west, noise and air pollution. I've had the most experience in organic agriculture than anyone he knows so he's asking me tons of questions I can't answer but am excited about. I figure we need to do something about the west end of the lot and wonder if anyone has any advice for a permie project adjacent to such an area. We are in the middle of the city, have compacted red clay soil and full sun. Very exciting.
 
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Hi Taylor,

For starters I would suggest that you plant something fast growing on that western side.  It seems to have everything that you don’t want—a highway, wind, and hot, afternoon sun.  Maybe a hybrid poplar would be good just to get some protection early?  The come in either the tall, narrow column or a more typical shade tree shape.

Let me know if this sounds good to you and if so we can go from there.

Eric
 
Taylor Tersine
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I like the idea of doing something like a willow -- for medicinal uses too. I'm going to have to do some research to see if they'll do well there though. I live in Zone 8b (central texas), very extreme summers. Despite the fact that we're in a city, there's still deer activity. The site has some fencing and I was thinking of growing nopal or agarita around the outside of it, maybe blackberries, to discourage natural foragers. There's a mulberry tree on the south end so that might be a sign. I'm dreaming about moringa, fig, olive and meyer lemon trees. Our first step is dealing with bermuda grass; mowing it all down, raking it out, covering it for the next few months. We have the inside of the old church to work with as well. Curious about mycoremediation and might be an opportunity to experiment. I'm waiting on soil tests right now...
 
Taylor Tersine
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Eric Hanson wrote:Hi Taylor,

For starters I would suggest that you plant something fast growing on that western side.  It seems to have everything that you don’t want—a highway, wind, and hot, afternoon sun.  Maybe a hybrid poplar would be good just to get some protection early?  The come in either the tall, narrow column or a more typical shade tree shape.

Let me know if this sounds good to you and if so we can go from there.

Eric



I like the idea of doing something like a willow -- for medicinal uses too. I'm going to have to do some research to see if they'll do well there though. I live in Zone 8b (central texas), very extreme summers. Despite the fact that we're in a city, there's still deer activity. The site has some fencing and I was thinking of growing nopal or agarita around the outside of it, maybe blackberries, to discourage natural foragers. There's a mulberry tree on the south end so that might be a sign. I'm dreaming about moringa, fig, olive and meyer lemon trees. Our first step is dealing with bermuda grass; mowing it all down, raking it out, covering it for the next few months. We have the inside of the old church to work with as well. Curious about mycoremediation and might be an opportunity to experiment. I'm waiting on soil tests right now...
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