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How to get a start on improving soil...

 
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Hello everyone, I'm not exactly a newbie at permaculture...but I need help. I am stuck in analysis paralysis. There are SO many websites and opinions and courses and info...I have a 30-acre property in the Finger Lakes NYS region. I need to know how to start and how to develop a plan. I don't mind going at it very slowly, but I need an overall vision. I found a thread on this site about good PDC's but it's an old thread...I am so stuck right now. To give an example, I dont' know whether to bring in goats and pigs and chickens to begin to remove the tons of honeysuckle and buckthorn and other vegetation (I'd like to see fruit guilds all over what used to be a vineyard)...or do I need to bring down that vegetation and put in ground cover. People provide all kinds of opinions, but they are all different, and I end up stuck. I'm feeling like I need either a good, reputable PDC where I'll be able to ask specific questions about my site and my vision, or I'll need to work with an expert who comes to my land and works to develop the plan.
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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I've had people come out and advise me on my land. And I started with a vision and changed that about a bit. Personally, I've found that just trying stuff has worked the best for me. When something works I add to that. My plan is goats for brush removal and milk. It suits my land. I have an almost endless supply of shrubs and trees that goats love, and I need fuel reduction work done. So it's a win-win. The cost to have the shrubs removed by machine and people would be astronomical, and I have no desire to spend my time that way.

I've found it very helpful to be able to let go of plans that aren't working.
 
pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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"Analysis Paralysis" -- overthinking the problem -- that's me! Castles in the sky, and no shovels in the ground. Awaiting the grand design, accomplishing nothing. Here's how I approach the problem.

I find the first part of the solution is to define Success 1.0. This is a reasonably achievable goal this year, such as "create a modest garden plot, plant carrots and beets, and share the surplus with family and the local food bank." As you do this, you will define Success 1.1, next year's achievable goal. The big win is an incremental process.

The second solution, I think, is to walk your land. I am a walker, and have found, as both a backpacker and a grower, that every landscape has a sort of inherent "rhythm." Until I sort of absorb this rhythm, physically and unconsciously, I can't move through the landscape efficiently. This is not new-age mystical mush at all; it's about intuitively knowing the best place to step, and the best place to plant. The plants and animals that live there already know. Walk the land, and it will tell you what to listen for, and where to step.

My 2c. Hope this makes sense.

 
maria holden
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Yes it does, alas. I so, so crave a big, general plan but yes, I will put shovels in the ground. I think I am also afraid bc I have this idea of myself as having a black thumb, and I am afraid of making mistakes again.
 
maria holden
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Stacy, what is a reasonable expectation for goats?? I have about ten acres. What can a herd of goats eat in a day? What do you do with the diminished bushes/stumps that they leave? Don't they just grow back again?
 
Stacy Witscher
pollinator
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Maria - I don't have the goats yet, the goal is next year. So we will see how much they can eat. I have 80 acres, and the plan is to let things grow back, so that they have more to eat, at least in some areas, but it will take things a long time to grow back to our current density. Other areas, I will probably switch species, like in an area that is heavy in oaks and buck brush, I'm hoping that the goats thin out the buck brush enough, so that I can move pigs in to eat the acorns.
 
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