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Bought 7.6 acres mtn land, to homestead and permie. Nice to meet you.  RSS feed

 
Connor Ireland
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Hello, I am Connor, the new owner and steward of Metal Mountain. It is a 7.6 acre tract in North-Central Arkansas, on the southern edge of zone 7. My soil is sandy loam and sandy clay, pretty sandy, on a bedrock of limestone and sandstone. I have dramatic rock formations, huckelberry, raspberry, greenbriar, and fragrant sumac growing everywhere. Big oaks, big pines, cedars, and some smaller maples, ash, on the north facing slope. I am under the impression that these plants indicate I have acid, rocky soil.

1. I am considering getting some of the land select cut. I am very shady, the land hasn't been timbered or used in many years. There is a very paddock on it with an oak tree that has grown around some barbed wire. The tree is over 20" in diameter and the barbed wire goes straight through one side and out the other, through the center. How long do you reckon this would take? This is the most recent sign of habitation, there is little left of that old home site. Anyway, I have big straight oaks and big straight pines, and though I am going to build my own home, I don't have the means to fell, skid, and saw these big logs. If I got a logger in there, would I have any say in where he put his logging roads? Access and letting light in are my main motivations, any money I get out of the deal is gravy.

2. I want to transition to a food forest. I posted a year ago about a food fortress, I am a doomer seeking self-sufficiency. I thought I could plant many many fruit seeds this fall, marked with piles of stones, and in the spring when they start to sprout I would start felling trees above them. There would be a strong mix of leguminous and thorny trees in addition to food species. People around here have luck with prunus, apple. I haven't seen any pawpaw or serviceberry, I may be the first person in my neighborhood to be growing these varieties. I intend to grow a few hundred trees from seed, Sepp style, and have a few young trees that I plant and fence. People around here plant their fruit trees on a north facing slope, so that they flower later in-case of an early frost.

3. I will be getting critters this year. I think I have enough brush to feed goats and enough ticks to feed chickens for free until winter. Goats wise, i would get two nubian milkers and my own billy, and keep them separate. I intend to string barbed wire on trees, and I will move the paddocks a couple times a year. This way, the trees shouldn't grow around the steel wire and become disfigured. Outside of the garden, I imagine the critters would like 3 acres a year, so I would be able to rest the land for plenty of time between browsings so it doesn't get trampled.

Please comment, give me advice! I am startled by the size of this undertaking
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Don't underestimate the need for good fencing with goats.
 
Willy Kerlang
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This place sounds amazing. Please post pics!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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my guess is at least 40 years after the wire was placed on the tree for it to grow thru the center..it takes about 40 years for an oak to get about 5" in diameter but after that they grow fairly quickly to adult hood.

great Idea of a food forest garden..you can start with seeds ( i have a lot of seed trees) but you also might want to put in a few boughten trees to get a quicker start on them, if you want to eat from your property..I have done both and both worked well for me.

I agree that goats are going to need much more fencing...also don't allow them near the baby trees or you'll have no trees.

 
Connor Ireland
Posts: 23
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photobucket.com/metalmountain

As you can see in the pictures, we are young and strong enough to do it. I'm looking to pull a syndicate together to pull this project off, know anybody?

Also to grow my own grains in the bottom land of the seasonal creek. Fukuoka talks about rice ripening in the fields, when it is flooded. Does this mean he floods it when it is going to ripen, or it ripens when it is flooded? I would love to grow rice bonfils style, and not have to irrigate it 'cept in the worst years.
 
Don Splitter
Posts: 53
Location: Ely and Minneapolis, MN Zone 3
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2 things...

1. Congratulations on your purchase... some good trees.. especially the Cedar. Alot of indigenous cultures found many uses of cedar.

2. Being a "doomer" is doing you, and your loved ones no good. Keep in mind I'm not naive about the human violence factor when faced with crisis. Be prepared for emergencies, and self sufficiency, but don't focus on it. Venturing into Permaculture because you're trying to avoid the end of the world or collapse is the wrong mindset to approach your new life. My journey to permaculture started with the whole "doomsday" outlook of 2012(reason for buying my land), but was actually my re-birth into becoming a better person. That "doomer" approach is nerve-racking, and just really bad energy.

With that being said...have fun! Permaculture is so inspiring, and offers great things.
 
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