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working on my plan  RSS feed

 
Kristine Walker
Posts: 32
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So, I have been working on my plan to start doing what little i can on my small piece of land and I wanted to outline what i have in mind so far here to get critiqued by you all. so please feel free to give suggestions, corrections, advice, ect. i would really appreciate it as i don't know anyone in 'real' life that is into this stuff. i have zero dollars to put towards this and i am a stay at home mother of 4 kids, 2 of whom are disabled. i am not afraid to work though and get the kids involved in whatever they can do, like collecting rocks.

so starting out, my back lot is 48x62 in northern ontario, canada. i also have a smaller front lot, i am not measuring it though and i can't exactly 'farm' there but i do have plans....
what i am starting to do now:
-collecting fallen trees from the forest near my home. so far i have a couple fresh ones but i need to find some a couple years old that are close enough to carry/drag.
-gathering materials to make a worm farm
-saving all my paper, organic waste
-i buried the logs i did have in leaves and dirt, not quite a hugelkulture bed but they can start to break down now.
-looking for free/cheap materials i can use. so far i am keeping my eyes open for gardening equipment, rocks i like, bins, old tires for growing potatoes, leaves, compost.... i am not sure what else would be helpful to have around, suggestions would be nice.

my plan of attack... so first i am collecting things and piling them in the yard. i am going to set up a hugelkulture bed in my front yard, about 2 feet high(i think i could get away with that without causing issues with the neighbours) i need to cut down two cedars because of home repairs we are currently doing. i know cedar is not ideal but i will use them in the bed, and then plant it with a blueberry hedge. there will be another hugelkulture bed in the back, it will be somewhat square to fit the area i want to put it, probably about 5x5x3 unless there is some reason that wouldn't work that anyone knows of? this will be planted but i'm not sure with what yet. i'm thinking annual veggies this year. the rest of the back yard will eventually become a forest of food. next year i will plant some type of vine on my pagoda to provide shade for us. suggestions welcome, must be food bearing. i am considering small cucumbers for pickling or summer squash if it can grow that way. i know there are climbing beans that could work. grapes would be ideal but they don't grow well here and the ones that do are awfully bitter. i am thinking of burying logs through out the yard at intervals to provide future food for the plants. in the spring i will be ordering trees. i may order a couple extra and plant them in forest clearings in my area. (: kind of a secret location. i just found out my neighbour has an apple tree so i don't have to worry about pollination and i will get only one of those(for now anyways) my other half has asked for pears, so i will get two of those, one in the front yard, one in the back, i am going to try cherry trees because the 'can' fruit here and with global warming perhaps they will do well, it is worth the risk for me because i do so love cherries. the only nut tree i could find that grows well here is the butternut and it gets really big, it also grows wild here so i think i may order a few of these and plant them around the area, hopefully they will grow. i am also planning on rhubarb this year, and adding several more raspberry bushes. i will also be adding hanging planters around my pagoda to grow food in. i think if i can accomplish this much for now that is more than a good start. i was considering putting in a water storage tank but i don't think i can at this time as my other renovations are turning out to be quite a lot more costly than i had expected. i would also like some advice on improving the over all soil quality in my yard so that things have a better chance of living when i plant them.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Can you try to grow Hazelnuts? http://www.songonline.ca/nuts/hazelnuts.htm

Maybe Hardy Kiwi for your pergola? http://plants.glenecho.com/11100002/Plant/1690
 
Kristine Walker
Posts: 32
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wow..you sure found those fast. those are both great suggestions. thank you. i actually didn't know hazelnuts could grow here, and they are my fathers favourite type of nut. i have never heard of the kiwis. i am looking them up (:
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9698
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
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My pleasure.

Here's a list of perennial vegetables for cold climates: http://perennialvegetables.org/perennial-vegetables-for-each-climate-type/extreme-cold/
 
Kristine Walker
Posts: 32
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thank you, sir!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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I'm just west of you in zone 4/5 Michigan, you can see in my blog what I'm growing ..however the kiwis I planted died as did the paw paw, so those might not do too well.. you should be able to do sour cherries and you might also get away with some zone 4/5 peaches and grapes..i have a lot of seedless grapes growing here, and they do quite well..

sounds like you have a good plan
 
Kristine Walker
Posts: 32
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thank you Brenda. i think i am going to risk trying the kiwi's anyway, if i can find them. wouldn't that be a wonderful surprise to guests?
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3379
Location: woodland, washington
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even hardier than Actinidia arguta is A. kolomikta. the kolomikta also has the advantage of being considerably less vigorous than arguta, which could easily swallow a city block.
 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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May I suggest St. Lawrence Nursery for cold-hardy fruits and nuts? http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/

I haven't actually bought from them (although I'm planning my first purchase for my new property now - hazelnuts, elderberries, highbush cranberries, and more), but I met the family and toured their place a dozen years ago when I was learning to farm in the North Country, and they were wonderful! I can't wait to start planting...good luck with your property!
 
Kristine Walker
Posts: 32
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thanks for the link. we caught the tail end of Catrina and it totally destroyed our yard and everything i was working on.....sigh. took off half our roof too so i can only imagine what it was like for the people who lived near the impact zone. on the bright side, it cleared out everything i was thinking of getting rid of and made space for me to set up things the way i actually wanted them. this week i built some teepees with fallen trees and i am going to grow as many beans/peas as i can on them to store overwinter. i reassembled my pagoda into a trellis area where i am going to grow climbing squash of different sorts, and i have put in two raised beds. one is fairly small and the other one is descent sized. i have found material to build trellis for that as well. i am planning on going with blueberries/cranberries in my front yard and assorted edible flower like nustertiums. my shed ended up upside down and roofless so it is now being reassembled into two good sized compost areas. i found four nice raspberry bushes along my fence while i was pulling vines and trimming trees, i will be adding blackberries with them. it's pretty cold out right now and everything has a nice layer of the white stuff on it so i am staying indoors from now until spring. i started an aquaculture system in my southern windows to get my gardening fix over the winter. i have organic lettuce and nusturtiums growing, and some tomato and hot pepper plants which i'm not expecting to be productive. i can't wait for spring so i can get going on this!
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
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It seems that you need a very decent windbreak. We have high winds here too and I am very aware of that. It helps against drying winds too and against cold winter winds.
I can't make any suggestions for your climate, but if you are in a bushfire prone area, bear in mind that anything pine burns easily. I think a windbreak must be evergreen too it helps with the heating of the house.
I would not introduce tyres in the garden because they contain toxins and if you ever want to get rid of them it costs you a fortune.
For your annual area you could make four or so sections, all fully fenced and rotate chicken or ducks over them to give you eggs and a lot of fertilizer. For your climate ducks might be better. It's expensive in the beginning though wire, concrete starposts.
Furthermore you could ask your neighbours for the garden waste or even call lawnmowing companies or gardeners.
 
Dan Cruickshank
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
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On a budget? Rhubarb is very easily grown from seed. We made some indoor seed starting "greenhouses" from used water bottles half filled with dirt and an appropriate amount of water and then capped. Put them in the window, ignore them for a couple of weeks, and you have growing rhubarb! It's really easy.
 
Cris Bessette
gardener
Posts: 801
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
36
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Dan Cruickshank wrote:On a budget? Rhubarb is very easily grown from seed. We made some indoor seed starting "greenhouses" from used water bottles half filled with dirt and an appropriate amount of water and then capped. Put them in the window, ignore them for a couple of weeks, and you have growing rhubarb! It's really easy.


How do you use rhubarb? It seems to me it's mostly used in deserts.
 
Kristine Walker
Posts: 32
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i haven't had rubarb in years. when we were kids we used to pick it from the garden and dip the end in sugar then eat it just like that. thanks for the suggestions...... i have already reconsidered the tires for growing although i have already got some. it doesn't cost money to get rid of them here, there is a drop off area where they are collected weekly which is where i got them from. the kids have them made into an obstacle course. i'm now thinking of hay/straw bale gardening for the potato's. i have seen a few online set ups using this method that look good. i have never considered a wind block before. i seem to get more wind than anyone else because the highway goes by our house and there are lakes in both the front and back of my neighbourhood so it might be a good idea. it's definitely windy especially in the winter. it is increadibly cold today and i am so glad to have a freezer filled with things i harvested over the summer. i am making a big pot of apple sauce for the kids today and pumpkin pies for my hubby and me, and an elderly neighbour who has no family.
 
Time is the best teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all of its students - Robin Williams. tiny ad:
learn permaculture through a little hard work and get an acre of land
https://permies.com/t/59706/permaculture-bootcamp-boots-roots
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