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Short story: just bought 5 acres of farmland (Literally, yesterday), now what?

Long story:
In the past ten years I have converted my backyard into a small farm, chickens and all. Then I expanded to community plots (I have 5 around the city today). So I know a thing or two about no-till gardening, cover cropping, composting, Huggleculture, and vermiculture. However, I never had an experience staring at a 5-acre, round-up sprayed bare land, not knowing where to start. It’s mid-May, raining cats and dogs for the next week. I am thinking about throwing some tillage radish, clover, and buckwheat on this land just to get it through this summer, and then plant garlic in November. But I don’t even know how to do this the smart way. Till, no till? What machinery is there to help me? Buy or rent? Where at? So many questions, makes my head spin. HELP!
 
pollinator
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Location: Hudson Valley, New York, USA
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Wow, congratulations!

If I were trying to decide whether or not to till, I'd have a good look at the soil (dirt).  If it's incredibly compacted, it might be necessary to till to get any cover crops to grow.  But I'd hesitate to till before I could spread any compost - might as well make that tilling worthwhile and not want to repeat it.  

Where are you located/climate/growing zone?

I know there are plenty of people here with more experience than I - likely they'll be posting.  Best of luck!
 
Tatyana Piven
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I am in Ohio near Cincinnati. We have clay soil, grow a lot of soy and corn. Zone 6b.
 
Anne Pratt
pollinator
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Location: Hudson Valley, New York, USA
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I'm a little new to permaculture, but I think that many practitioners would recommend starting small, observing for a year, looking at the slope, water, sun, and so forth.  And who am I to disagree?

But I am somewhat impatient and sometimes impulsive.  I would certainly want to do something this spring!  Cover cropping seems ideal.  I couldn't possibly advise about equipment, except to say that this is an area to do a lot of research on beforehand, since it's so expensive.  

Right below where I'm writing is a section named "similar threads," and one is called "How to plant cover crops without tilling."  Seems like a good resource!
 
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Tiny lumberjack ad:

World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.
richsoil.com/wdg


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