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Blank Canvas Property

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Hi there!

I am a first time poster, and have only relatively recently discovered many of the permaculture concepts discussed in this form.  I own a vacant lot and have been doing some landscape designing and planning, and would like to incorporate some permaculture and forest garden concepts into the design.  I am seeking general support and advice as a newcomer in this world with a "blank canvas" property to work with.  Some details about the property:

- lot size:  16.8 acres
- plant hardiness zone 5b, Atlantic Canada
- Köppen-Geiger zone Dfb; humid continental climate
- summer average daytime high 23 deg C (approx 72 deg F); summer average monthly sunshine hours 230 hrs; average annual rainfall 855 mm (23")
- site topography / contours as per attached .jpeg (.jpeg is oriented north-south); generally level to gently undulating terrain; some moderately steep sections  on north/northeast side of property.
- soil generally fine sandy loam.
- site is mostly wooded; dominant tree species poplar, white spruce, white birch, red maple, pin cherry, balsam fir, alders, and apple trees.
- property was previously cleared and cultivated for agriculture up until approx. 1950s; forest has since regenerated

General objective is to establish permaculture zones within the property for small scale food production, wildlife habit, biodiversity, and aesthetic value.  I am drawn to the permaculture methods of water management through ponds and swales. I am open to the use of heavy equipment when preparing the site.  Where would you start if you were me?  Please let me know if more information is required to provide meaningful feedback.


[Thumbnail for contours.jpeg]
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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If that were my property I would start with some perennial vegetables and berry bushes.

Will you be there often enough to keep the plants watered as they get established?

We have some forums that will help you with those:




I also suggest trying some native plants.

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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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If you're not in a hurry, this seems like a great place to do some hugels or swales and then plant trees by putting seeds in the ground and thinning the survivors. Restoration Agriculture by Shepherd has sample polycultures he used with that system. If you put the rows far enough apart, you can have room for annuals, or quick producing perennials like strawberries in the short term for quick food.
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