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Exemplary floodplain forests managed to produce product for the market?

 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Any leads?... prefer Oregon or Washington or British Columbia in Cascadia.
Needs to be on the 10's of acres scale, privately owned, in floodplain setting, can be any mix of products, must actually provide some kind of livelihood. Can be simple... 1 or two products. Thinking mushrooms, gourmet culinary, timber, craft materials, etc. Want to do info interview, take photos and scope enterprise plan.
 
Tim Southwell
Posts: 116
Location: Hamilton, MT
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Like the idea of utilizing flood plain as opportunity to grow edibles / income option. Just purchased 75 acres, where approx 7-9 acres in the flood plain. It is scattered with black cottonwood and ponderosa pine. It is under 6-8" of water April thru October. Little running water, more like standing water. It is an old river channel with many river rock and black organic matter 1-4 inches then rock. I am located in Hamilton, MT. I am thinking of perennial rice, crawfish hole, bamboo generation, other... I have just been shoveling snow off the ice layer, so there is local ice rink option as well. Taking winter to let ideas germinate while using downed trees as hugel bed material at other locations on prop.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Floodplain condition strongly affects cold water fish habitat... trout, salmon etc. Many streams are reaching terminal phase due to deforestation, grazing, armoring, water withdrawal etc. Permaculture COULD have a role in developing economic uses of floodplains that also provide for ecosystem functions. There could easily be public funding and land acquisition subsidies for such an activity under Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, or Farm Bill.

But I cannot find functioning examples.
Timber overstory, berry understory, spring vegetables on the floor?
Craft and pole material, hazel coppice under flood tolerant nuts?
Seasonal stock forage under timber?
Native reveg and livestake nursery?
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1322
Location: northern California
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Look in the area around Williams/Applegate Oregon. Lots of cool stuff there....Tom Ward and social forestry, Don Tipping, Horizon Herbs, someone growing grafted-willow furniture....etc. You should find some good permie sightseeing opportunities......
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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After working in wetland restoration for 15years,I applied the techniques to create an edible wetland of several acres in the PacificNW.Most of the plants can handle seasonal flooding.Mostly tree and shrub focused but not yet producing a marketable yield except the improved salmonberry habitat which yield more and are sold for seed.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Matt -- where are you at... 80 inches puts you in the foothills or out on the coast? Do you have any pictures? Are you planning on production for market?
 
Dennis Lanigan
Posts: 172
Location: Philomath, OR
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Matt, or anyone else, I would also love to hear what plants, shrubs and trees you have planted other than salmonberries. I am moving out to 40 ac on a flood plain near Olympia, WA (65 inches of rain, zone 7) and plan on growing for subsistence and eventually a little for market. I also live on a creek with an active salmon run so there will be lots of native plant restoration as well.

I'm mostly focusing on basket willow, blueberries, red osier dogwood, hazel, and different elders (off the creek) for now.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Im in Rockport WA.I used analog gardening when replacing the natives so twinberry was replaced with highbush cranberry right on the edge.Alders were removed but autumn olives put in for N.The overstory is mainly butternuts and heartnuts with shellbark hickories and hardy pecans.Swamp white oak and swamp chestnut oak too.Fruit is apples(drier areas),crab apples(inundation tolerant),wild raisins(edible viburnums),mulberries,aronia,hardy kiwis climbing existing cascara and much more.All ninebark,twinberry,elder was removed as per native american management practices for my area.
 
Jeff Mathias
Posts: 125
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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I would be very interested to see any examples of this as well; as this is exactly what I am about to begin designing in a sepp holzer based permaculture design. I have recently purchased a 20 acre property composed of roughly 4-7 acres of cleared floodplain/alder the rest being mixed redwood forest with a seasonal creek (actually just run off from the surrounding properties but it all flows on to and through my property and there is a lot of potential here for water retention basins and potentially a year round creek in time.)

The following are the things I am currently looking at:

1. Berries in general; Wild blackberries - looks like about 1/2 acre of mature berry bushes - berries generally sell but if necessary can be processed into jams etc. Other berries are being considered for family use and as a short term sales item before fruit trees become more established.
2. Trees - fruits, nuts, wood. Trees take awhile to get going so the sooner the better. Multiple income sources here as well as further reducing food expenditures.
3. Mushrooms - I have a lot of alder that can be brought down to better use some of this land so getting mushrooms inoculated works with my interests and available resources. Fresh mushrooms sales in potentially 6-12 months. Mushrooms can always be dried if not sold and then used/sold as whole or powdered or used in teas etc.
4. Chickens - Bug control, land clearing and eggs and meat to boot for the family. Extras can be sold or processed into other food items for sale.
5. Ducks - Being near the coast I can have 60 -80 inches of rain a year, the climate is just better situated to ducks with the moisture levels. I admit a love to help rare breeds as well and so will stretch the possibilities to make sure they pay for themselves. Also part of my design will be to include deeper areas in the flood zones to create a system of ponds in the wet season for the ducks. This should help slow flood waters but also collect runoff nutrients for use growing crops in the drier part of the year. Eggs, meat, chicks and breeders.
6. Pigs - I will be new to pigs so am starting out small, but do intend to follow through with them so will spend the effort to get a good set of breeder genetics (possibly rare breed again) to work up to full scale production including potentially breeders, feeders and market pigs. Starting small we will use them mostly to learn and help clear and work our land. Eventually harvesting excess for our own use and moving further in the direction that appears to be marketable.
7. Herbs and grains - Intend to grow most of our own herbs in large enough quantities to have extras to sell potted,fresh, dried or by further processing to make essential oils or extractions. Also interested in home brewing so will be experimenting with hops and grain production. With success could be producing excess for sales.
8. Plant and tree nursery - at first for our own use on the land but done to excess with a plan for eventual sales.
9. Goats - Need helpers on the land as much of the forest is too steep or not situated well for machinery use. A good breeding pair for selling breeders and extras for meat.
10. Rice - Ducks, floodplains, ponds etc. - being in California it seems like I should at least give wild rice a shot as feed for the ducks; excess or success could be sold in local markets.
11. Cows - this is much farther in the future but a cow calf pair for milk part of the year is certainly a possibility with the option to expand just a bit bigger eventually.

There are a lot of other possibilities of course but right now these all fall in my interest level as well as what look like potential sales in my area.

Longer term I see adding rabbits as a specialty meat for higher end markets. As well as developing markets for processed items from the above categories. We also have some other craft/art ideas but these would be more hobbies that might one day produce some extra income instead of actual living wage jobs.

Jeff
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Matt - have you had the nut trees long enough to see how the species you've selected ripen and yield in our subdued climate?!
My suggestion with the livestock and fowl is to consider how you'll remove the fecal and nutrients before it gets to groundwater/stream flow. I suspect we have enough poop in our streams these days.
Other than raspberries-blackberries-elderberries-gooseberries-currants, I'd recommend nettles as a good understory staple (we freeze bags every spring) and a good nitrogen sponge. I'd like to find a good fiddlehead... I find Pteridium somewhat insipid... I've heard Athyrium is toxic if too old (how old is too old?!)... suggestions? High spots might grow salal. Huckleberries too... I like V. ovatum. Mike Dolan (Burnt Ridge) grafts M. domestica selections to native crabapple rootstock.
 
Dave Aiken
Posts: 26
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Unless you're concentrating large numbers of animals very near or in the stream, I wouldn't worry much about shit in the stream from your livestock. Cattle and hogs should not be allowed free access to streams for a plethora of reasons. But a well-managed grass or timber paddock 100 feet from the stream I wouldn't worry about. That is not an unnaturally large source of nutrients or bacteria. Deer, waterfowl, and other animals do in fact shit in the woods in lakes, and in streams.
 
Dennis Lanigan
Posts: 172
Location: Philomath, OR
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Paul, or anyone else in the South Sound looking for flood plain land, John at Wild Thyme just purchase a whole ton of property on a flooding creek by Wild Thyme (Oakville, WA). Rumor has it he is wanting to lease/rent land to folks to do projects on. I haven't talked to John about this myself, so I would contact John and ask him about all this. John is into agroforestry and permaculture so I imagine he'd be open to discussing many possibilities.

http://www.wildthymefarm.com/
 
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