After 34 yr of living in the Piedmont, my husband and I have recently moved to our new home. We have 8 A of wooded land with a large pond. Our goal is to keep the property wooded but to manage it to improve tree health and overall beauty. After working hard at our old place managing an organic garden, fruittrees, water catchment, etc, we are ready to slow down and enjoy our new space while sourcing most of our food from the farmers market and grocery store. We have cleared a small area around our house site and plan to landscape it with low maintenance edible natives as much as possible. Thinking chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) var Nero and Viking, pawpaws, hazelnuts, blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) and blueberries. Other ideas are welcome. There is an extensive natural ground cover of golden ragwort. Plus many ferns and some yucca plants. Although I was taught in permaculture workshops that it was not okay to clear woodland for homesteading, we found with our previous house that the wildlife much preferred our plantings of edibles to sweet gum, pine and maple trees. We just extend and expand on the forest edge.
We are putting our house in Hillsborough NC up for sale. Considering that houses sell within a few days to a week of listing there, we have chosen not to list it with a realtor. Instead, we are listing it here and with other list serves in the hopes of finding someone who will appreciate the good soil, plant variety, garden ponds, water catchment system and my specially designed garden/wood shed.
Hi Rob, The 1080 sq ft house is one and half story with two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs. The downstairs has living, kitchen, study, sunroom, half bath and screen porch. It is passive solar as far as south facing glazing but does not have mass for heat storage. There is a wood stove plus 3 mini split heat pumps. It sits on 1.16 A on the edge of Duke Forest. About a quarter of the lot is fenced with 7 ft black mesh deerfence surrounding raised beds, fruit trees, greenhouse and one pond. There is a 2500 gal black poly tank for water storage that fills from one house gutter. That connects via a sump pump in a tub to a 300 gal tote tank on a hill above the fenced area. The tote tank provides water for irrigating the gardens in the fenced area. The gravity feed is adequate for drip irrigation. The ponds also receive rain water from the house gutters via rain barrels and hoses. There is a 150 gal poly stock tank full of lotus.
Greta, welcome to Permies! Your new place sounds wonderful; lots of desirable features and lots of potential. I don't know if you've found it yet, but Permies' Forest Garden Forum has a lot of interesting discussions on the kind of plantings your talking about, with several people asking specifically about the southeast. You may find some useful ideas there.
Thank you for the welcome. I have been checking on the Food Forest Forum. Good to have the reminder about the need for deer protection even on young shrubs that may be somewhat deer resistant. I have found a local person who sells native plants at the Ashe County Farmers Market. He sent me a list of what he has. So I will crosscheck it with the forum to learn more about potential plants for my place.
Thank you for your interest in our property for sale. We now have a contract on it. We never listed it. Just one neighbor telling another. The buyers have a background in permaculture and wanted to buy the place before they even saw the inside of the house. We are very happy that the terraced gardens, fruit trees and water catchment system were all pluses.
Congratulations on you your move! Your old place sounded pretty nice as well! I'd consider some apples for your new place. There is a small green apple that grows around Boone and seems to do well with little to no care, although they look bad this year, I'm thinking due to the large amount of rain. Most years though, they bear heavy crops.
Greta, congratulations on your home sale. We are a young permaculture family looking to buy something similar to (or more rugged than) what you recently sold. If you know of anyone else in Western NC looking to sell directly to a permie family will you please let me know? We are having a less than easy time competing with the market there as things move so quickly and at increasingly high prices.
Thank you for considering!