• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

Just looking for some thoughts regarding NE slope in zone 4-5

 
Posts: 21
Location: Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
4
forest garden fungi homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey y'all,

Just kinda looking for people's thoughts. We have a little over 50 acres up in the northern piedmont (zone 4 presently but probably 5 before long at this rate). 2 acres are cleared and the rest are covered in northern hardwoods on ~10-20% northeast facing slope. It is northern appalachia, so there are big old boulders and exposed bedrock jutting out of spots (glacial till) which makes for a lot of interesting little microclimates. There is no shortage of water though I feel some minor earthworks could give said water some focus.

We are largely headed in the direction of forest farming and silvopasture (sheep and co.) but we also would like to be as self sufficient as possible. Which means really maxing out the cleared 2 acres for food production. Thinking rice, veggies, and fruit trees here. I reckon the slope will help to protect the trees at least from the inevitable late frosts.

I have a couple of years to work on projects to prep things before we live there full time. I want to use my time wisely though. Water retention systems and soil building (though it is pretty good soil already) are my current priorities but I would also like to start establishing some perennials so that they can get to making more of themselves and/or getting closer to harvestable age.

So - looking for thoughts on everything. Keyline systems, advantages/disadvantages of slope, swales? Yes or no? Hügels? Maybe using hügels to make wee south facing slopes? Has anyone tried combining compost and hügel like a layer cake and does the compost layer create enough heat to do much? How should I go about getting fruit and nut trees/fungi/slow growing forest perennials that I cannot babysit established? Browse protection? Not just deer but moose and bears too. What about starting a living fence/hedge thing with hazelnuts, berries, etc? 50 acres is a hell of an expense to fence. Would rather grow some protection from critters than build it. Plus, I am happy to let said 'fence' be food and shelter for wildlife. I do want to provide plenty of sustenance for wildlife but I need to make sure we have our food and enough of the rest to pay the taxman and buy coffee and all that first. I'll stop rambling now. Gonna attach some pictures for reference. Eager to hear peoples ideas and suggestions.
20201207_044239.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20201207_044239.jpg]
20201220_171536.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20201220_171536.jpg]
20201220_172101.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20201220_172101.jpg]
20201220_170458.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20201220_170458.jpg]
20201220_170638.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20201220_170638.jpg]
20201220_171340.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20201220_171340.jpg]
 
gardener
Posts: 757
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
311
forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Patrick.
I wouldn't know because your situation is so different than mine. No moose and bears here. We have cows and horses and lots of bad fencing, so i try to protect the active garden as well as it goes. Now in wintertime, the pastures are not growing enough food, a horse has been in and 4 young bulls have partied there an afternoon. It's annoying, they eat stuff, but most will just grow back if they didn't take the roots out. They trample on things that's more damaging than the eating. But most plants and trees they nibbled from will just recover come spring. In your case it might be much more of a problem because there is a huge difference between finding a bear in your apple tree or finding some horsemanure and ripped out carrots. There are threads about people-bear encounters on permies, try the search bar.Mooses same thing, if they love the stuff you grow they might return quite often, but if it's too alien to what they're used to in the forest it might be not a real concern.
Growing quite a lot of what they love at the edges could repel them from entering your zone 1, close to the house.

If you're looking into growing landrace seed stock get locally adapted seeds and start growing it and save the seeds, that way you will get a healthy bunch of many of whatever you are growing, adapted to local plagues/weather. Losses can easily be replaced in cases of seed saving.

How is the soil there? Need for covercrops like white dutch clover? There is a whole forum about covercrops.
Nitrogenfixing berries like goumi might be interesting.
How about streams and sources? Well, greywater. Can you save a lot of roofwater in a pond high up close-ish to the house?
Is there a lot of wind and how to block it? Will nitrogenfixing trees like pseudoacacia/black locust for chop and drop be an option? They could function as a wind break and chop and drop material.

Is your forest a monoculture or natural?

Sorry, you get more questions then answers from me.
 
Patrick Edwards
Posts: 21
Location: Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
4
forest garden fungi homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hugo Morvan wrote:Hi Patrick.
I wouldn't know because your situation is so different than mine. No moose and bears here. We have cows and horses and lots of bad fencing, so i try to protect the active garden as well as it goes. Now in wintertime, the pastures are not growing enough food, a horse has been in and 4 young bulls have partied there an afternoon. It's annoying, they eat stuff, but most will just grow back if they didn't take the roots out. They trample on things that's more damaging than the eating. But most plants and trees they nibbled from will just recover come spring. In your case it might be much more of a problem because there is a huge difference between finding a bear in your apple tree or finding some horsemanure and ripped out carrots. There are threads about people-bear encounters on permies, try the search bar.Mooses same thing, if they love the stuff you grow they might return quite often, but if it's too alien to what they're used to in the forest it might be not a real concern.
Growing quite a lot of what they love at the edges could repel them from entering your zone 1, close to the house.

**
That right there is pretty much the plan. I want to grow a 'fence' around the property that can serve as food and shelter for all the wild critters so that they will leave the rest alone. It's gonna be a while before any of that is established though. I worry about the process of getting said plants established. I'm happy to share with the critters but I need to get things going to do so.
**

If you're looking into growing landrace seed stock get locally adapted seeds and start growing it and save the seeds, that way you will get a healthy bunch of many of whatever you are growing, adapted to local plagues/weather. Losses can easily be replaced in cases of seed saving.

**
That's the plan here too. I want to locally source all of my seeds. I need cold hardy versions of all the things. We are heavily headed in the STUN method direction with a focus on native plants. Particularly for the forested area. Kind of a Fukuoka/Shepherd fusion. I feel like trying to perfectly pinpoint a hardiness zone these days is a little difficult due to general weather wackiness (hurray climate change...). Our area can range from 3-5 depending on the year and seems to only gets warmer every year. Our plants, consequently, are going to need to be pretty tough. I reckon this largely means developing my own variants and acquiring my seeds locally.
**

How is the soil there? Need for covercrops like white dutch clover? There is a whole forum about covercrops.
Nitrogenfixing berries like goumi might be interesting.
How about streams and sources? Well, greywater. Can you save a lot of roofwater in a pond high up close-ish to the house?
Is there a lot of wind and how to block it? Will nitrogenfixing trees like pseudoacacia/black locust for chop and drop be an option? They could function as a wind break and chop and drop material.

**
The soil is pretty good on our land. It's not a very good piece of land for any conventional form of farming. So it was left wild (post 19th century sheep boom)  until the mid 90s. Then it became a hunting property and a couple of acres and some trails were put in and some selective cutting until the early 2000s. Consequently it has been just kind of mulching itself for a long time now. Doing cover crops anyway though. Since we won't be living there for a bit there is no need to harvest anything I put in. So I'm mostly planning to just broadcast a good mix of cover crops for spring and fall and chop and drop them until we do move. Thinking crimson clover (native), buckwheat, and some undetermined legume. I'm open to suggestions though.

There is definitely water though I have not found all the sources. Figuring that out and expanding on it is one of my very first big projects. I do have a plan involving a gravity fed water system but the house is downhill a bit so said rainwater collection will not actually be by the house.

Definitely going big on the berries and nuts. It should be a good spot for it. I'm not sure about black locust. I did want to get some hemlock going in the lower elevations. I reckon forest garden/orchard in the meadow. It gets enough light but that NE slope should help protect stuff from thawing too early. Hope so anyway.

Wind shouldn't be an issue. Most of the wind comes from the west and we have a big ridge that protects the meadow from said winds.
**

Is your forest a monoculture or natural?

**
It's as natural as any forest in New England is pretty much. A mid-late succession northern hardwoods. Beech/birch/maple (mostly sugar and red). Lots of yellow birch. Which I love so I'm all about it.
**

Sorry, you get more questions then answers from me.



**
Hahaha. All good. Context is important. Sorry for the horrible response format. It's easier to make sure I respond to everything this way.  

 
Hugo Morvan
gardener
Posts: 757
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
311
forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow! Patrick! Sounds like a good plan to me, great potential! Keep us posted with updates!

I believe people, being people, will be more inclined to respond to specific questions.
Your project is covering many, many different topics which all have been more or less covered on Permies as a whole. Maybe chiming in at them. Revive old topics with new posts. I say this because i am afraid such a huge project might go unnoticed otherwise in the avalange of new posts Permies recieves on a daily basis.
I mean we're a helpfull friendly bunch and as eager to learn of you as you are to learn of previous experiences of others.  

All sounds good. Regarding the landracing, since you're not living there, i would make a mechanic industrial fence discouraging most wildlife. And propagate in there and harvest seeds that have had their first hard lonely season. This way it ensures you won't be wasting years and have lots of seeds to STUN away with on less protected areas of the terrain maybe selecting for traits that repel wildlife. Then bring them back into the fence for superpropagation reasons. Later grow shrubs in front the ugly fence or get rid in total once it's all going. If you have enough seeds that would ensure your position in exchanging them with others in the same climate zones once you have tracked them down. Because that unstable climate freaking which many notice is going to make it more difficult then it already was, it might be necessary to team up with others. Whilst they have a supercold season and select those traits you might be having a super dry season and select for that. Later bringing these two kinds of landraces together might select for a plant able to better resist both extremes.
 
Patrick Edwards
Posts: 21
Location: Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
4
forest garden fungi homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hugo Morvan wrote:Wow! Patrick! Sounds like a good plan to me, great potential! Keep us posted with updates!

I believe people, being people, will be more inclined to respond to specific questions.
Your project is covering many, many different topics which all have been more or less covered on Permies as a whole. Maybe chiming in at them. Revive old topics with new posts. I say this because i am afraid such a huge project might go unnoticed otherwise in the avalange of new posts Permies recieves on a daily basis.
I mean we're a helpfull friendly bunch and as eager to learn of you as you are to learn of previous experiences of others.  

All sounds good. Regarding the landracing, since you're not living there, i would make a mechanic industrial fence discouraging most wildlife. And propagate in there and harvest seeds that have had their first hard lonely season. This way it ensures you won't be wasting years and have lots of seeds to STUN away with on less protected areas of the terrain maybe selecting for traits that repel wildlife. Then bring them back into the fence for superpropagation reasons. Later grow shrubs in front the ugly fence or get rid in total once it's all going. If you have enough seeds that would ensure your position in exchanging them with others in the same climate zones once you have tracked them down. Because that unstable climate freaking which many notice is going to make it more difficult then it already was, it might be necessary to team up with others. Whilst they have a supercold season and select those traits you might be having a super dry season and select for that. Later bringing these two kinds of landraces together might select for a plant able to better resist both extremes.



Thanks. I am very eager to get started on it. Planning to go out there in March, plague willing.

I am sure you're right about being more specific in my questions. Though this post, in particular, was meant to be pretty overarching and broad. I have a pretty good notion of what I am going for and mostly how I want to go about it. There are a whole lot of folks with more knowledge and experience than I though (a LOT) and I wanted to see if the concept and images may bring about some good ideas from the Permies brain trust. I comment periodically in various posts but I definitely do far more reading than commenting.

My issue with some variety of manufactured fencing is that I just don't have the funds for it. Not for that much by any means. Whatever it is, it needs to be made on the super cheap or grown and the latter takes a while. Was thinking maybe I could do some hingeing to help deter wildlife traffic. I am leaning in the direction of just making a lot of small 'fences' though. I don't really want to keep wildlife out exactly. I just need the slow growers to get established enough.

You make a very good point about harvesting those first round of seeds. Whatever thrives and survives should be tough as nails and should make it through all sorts of climactic nonsense. I'm big on seed saving as it is anyway.    

I am definitely trying to make connections for seed sharing and general bartering of goods and services. Been trying to do so through here and through other permaculture/regen ag groups. Mostly on the book of faces. Make useful connections and generally nerd out over nature. All that goodness.    
 
Hugo Morvan
gardener
Posts: 757
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
311
forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have not been specific, i meant to have a mechanic fence around your seed propagation area, not around the whole of the place!
If that is not feasible monetary, maybe look into wildlife repelling shrubs. Maythorn,Crataegus monogyna or Sloethorn/blackthorn prunus spinosa are two prickly bushes that spring to mind, in europe we form hedges with those, might be similar where you are, or there might be another similarly functioning shrub. But to be honest i am always surprised how much more terrible things tend to be on the other side of the pond, so i might be completely off with my suggestion.
 
pollinator
Posts: 302
Location: Gulf Islands BC (zone 8)
93
hugelkultur goat forest garden chicken fiber arts medical herbs
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe a couple of strands of solar powered electric fence would be affordable? Especially if you could support it with existing trees or posts cut on the property?
 
Patrick Edwards
Posts: 21
Location: Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
4
forest garden fungi homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hugo Morvan wrote:I have not been specific, i meant to have a mechanic fence around your seed propagation area, not around the whole of the place!
If that is not feasible monetary, maybe look into wildlife repelling shrubs. Maythorn,Crataegus monogyna or Sloethorn/blackthorn prunus spinosa are two prickly bushes that spring to mind, in europe we form hedges with those, might be similar where you are, or there might be another similarly functioning shrub. But to be honest i am always surprised how much more terrible things tend to be on the other side of the pond, so i might be completely off with my suggestion.



Well that is kind of the issue of it. The forest plants I plan to install are going to be kind of all over the place. "Wild Simulated" stuff, so to speak. I am not really worried about things coming in and eating any of the cover crop mix. Since we don't have animals out there yet, it would honestly benefit us to have critters come and munch on buckwheat and clover. As I said, I am not harvesting any of it for a couple of years at least. So I don't mind if some deer and moose and whatnot want to come chow down. I do need to protect the fruit and nut trees that we want to plant there but I reckon I can just use a small fence around the individual trees. The things I worry about are the real slow growers that will be spread out under the forest canopy. Ramps, Ginger, Goldenseal, Ginseng, Cohosh, Ostrich ferns, etc. and some mushroom totems and logs are going to be a big chunk of it all and those are going to be more scattered (microclimates) and largely very slow growing. So that's my predicament there. The only thing I have been able to think of is a whole bunch of smaller fences (a la 'orchard') that can protect each individual or small group of plants. I think you would have to have some very seriously spiky plants to deter a hungry moose in the fall though it may not be a bad idea. It would at least probably deter deer and there are WAY more of those. Hedges are my long term plan for fencing and I hope to start establishing them soon.

I am not sure I would agree on the "terrible" aspects of this side of the pond but it heavily depends on what we talking about. As far as nature is concerned, I think of having the bears, moose, eagles, hawks, coyotes, etc. as a blessing. They are incredible creatures. It means one must take extra care to protect ones young plants and animals but all in all, I think pretty worth it to be able to share this space with them. Of course, we only have black bears to deal with out east and they are big scaredy cats mostly. Politics and social issues are another story entirely but that's for the Cider Press.
 
Patrick Edwards
Posts: 21
Location: Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
4
forest garden fungi homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Andrea Locke wrote:Maybe a couple of strands of solar powered electric fence would be affordable? Especially if you could support it with existing trees or posts cut on the property?



I will look into it. We do have a small solar system out there already that is presently just sitting there doing nothing. Posts shouldn't be a problem. We have lots of beech trees. Therefore we have lots of sick beech trees (bbd). Therefore there are a ton of root suckers from said sick beech trees. I plan to girdle the sick beech soon (I wanted to do it earlier this winter but you know.. plague) and cut the root suckers. The latter could certainly function as posts to some degree, Though it is beech and won't last super long outside. It needs to get done anyway though. I want the healthy beech trees to procreate and take over where the sick ones were so that I can move toward a BBD resistant woodland.
gift
 
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic