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Year one coming to a close on my great permaculture project...  RSS feed

 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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My wife and I moved bout and moved onto our property a year ago this month. The property is 5.6 acres. Besides the native plants, the only two trees planted here before we moved in was a privet and an albizia. The native flora consist of White oak, foothill pine, california bay laurel, sierra gooseberry, buckthorn, ceanothus, manzanita, yerba santa, elderberry, and lots of poison oak! My first year goal was to plant some fruit trees and edible landscape, as well as start a vegetable garden.
My landscape:
Pomegranates
Strawberry Trees
Black Hawthorn
Olive
Seaberries
Highbush cranberry
Japanese Quince
Yellowhorn
Autumn Olive
Goumi
White Mulberry
Red Mulberry
Santa Rosa Plum
Gala Apple
Che fruit
Jujube
Fuyu Persimmon
Trifoliate Orange
Kumquat
Chaste Tree
Kadota Fig
Cornelian Cherry
Prickly Pear
Jelly Palm
Loquat
Rosemary
Banana Yucca
Pineapple Guava
Greek Bay
Greek Myrtle

In my fenced of vegetable garden:
three raised beds, two for annuals
the third raised bed has artichoke, sorrel, lovage, chives, Egyptian onions, tree kale, ground plum, and sea kale
chilean guava
blueberry
strawberry
golden currants
wolfberry
yarrow
oregon grape
muscadine grape
european grape
aronia
service berry
raspberry
oregano
mexican tarragon
maypop
passion fruit
akebia
Hardy Kiwi

I worked at spending the least amount of money as possible, which means all of my plants are quite young. I'm not expecting very many yields for a while.
There is an area below our house I hope to eventually clear out so I can plant a food forest.

I would like ideas on where I should put my resources and effort in year two. I would like to work towards being as self sustaining as possible. While I am not a vegetarian, I don't have it in me to butcher my own animals. I figure if I were to be 100% self sustained I would probably not eat meat. That may change though.

So please, give me ideas and feedback. Room is not an issue, just the effort I'll need to put into this great project.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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That's an amazing number of species to have planted in a year, good work!
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Steve - looks like a great start!

Since it sounds like you have a lot of room yet that you can use, propagation of the plants that have done well for you may be a good next step. There are some good threads on this forum regarding setting up propagation or mist systems. Rooting of dormant wood cuttings is even easier (and requires less infrastructure) for a number of the plants on your list.

Other than the yellowhorn and native oaks, do you have any other nut producing plants? Chinese/european/american chestnuts may do well in your area. Seedling trees are quite inexpensive, but will likely take 5+ years to start bearing. Grafted trees can start in a couple years. Carpathian type walnuts may also work well for you, since you have room to expand.

I've got hazelnuts, almonds, and sweet-pit apricots, too, but they haven't been happy with my conditions, so far. My current thought is to keep building up the organic matter in my soil for another couple of years and then expand my nut plantings.

If you are looking for more brambles to add to your collection, tayberry and thornless loganberry have done the best for me, so far.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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well unless there are other plants you need, you may want to spend the next year on improving the soil, protecting the plants from critters that will browse, etc..also observing..replacing things that die, moving things that may be in the wrong place..also watch for ways to get divisions, cuttings, etc. if you want to increase.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Given your climate, I'd focus on managing and capturing water flow on the site by tapping into sources of water (roof roads, incoming from off site). I am working on that now in my zone 1-2 garden, and have very flat site, so mulch and microtopography meets most of my needs, but if I were any drier or more sloping I'd be regretting it now... once you have your stock in the ground it is hard to insert swales and other earthworks. Better to build your plantings around your water system.

Second, I'd think about a plant nursery...unless you have plentiful cash flow. I like my spot on the East side of my shop... It is close to activity, gets full sun for the first half of the day, but is protected from the afternoon heat in summer.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Thanks for all the input!
I forgot to mention that my father-in-law and I are also keeping bees.

I do want to plant more nut and seed crops. That is definitely a priority.

I do agree about improving my soil. My soil is clay. Has anyone had any luck the daikon radish method? A good friend of mine is a gardener/landscaper, during the fall and winter he has an almost unlimited source of pine needles and oak leaves.

I would like to set something up on low budget so I can start plants from seeds and cuttings. Any Ideas? The east side of my house is not really available. It is slope, then driveway.

I am interested in growing more high energy plants, by that I mean a good source of proteins and starches.

 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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Steve - How has your site been progressing?
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
8
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Thanks for asking. Its going well, not as much progress as I hoped for. My wife and I almost have our greenhouse built. Some of what I planted when I first posted had died. My focus and priorities have changed a little. Im hoping to find chaya cuttings this year. There is so much work to do, but I have high hopes this will be a good year.
 
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