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Need Ideas/Inspiration for Zone 6 Food Forest...

 
Clarissa Logsdon
Posts: 13
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Hi yall,

I know this question has probably been asked time and time again, but hopefully it can bear repeating... I live in Central KY in Zone 6 and I need ideas and inspiration on what to plant on my 6 acre chunk of land. I aspire to turn this place into a food forest, but I'm having trouble finding anything online to learn from. (Besides permies, which is the best site yet!)

I don't have much money to go out and buy things with, and therin lies the biggest problem: Finding cheapie or freebie things that will help me out.

I don't have any critters yet, so I have no manure for composting, just kitchen scraps.

I need help figuring out how to create guilds and how to plant with zones or levels in mind. I know a bit about what trees I can try to grow, and some shrubs, but other than that I'm clueless. I don't know of any vines or ground crops I can really use, or any of the other layers' respective plants.

I also have a "dry" pond (holds a puddle after lots of rain) that I need to figure out how to seal. I figured leaves of cardboard or dry matter layered in the bottom might help, but not sure. Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch in advance!! You guys are truly awesome!!! ^_^
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Here is my garden in zone 6 Boston. I have over 4 dozen fruit/nut trees. The top row is all vines
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjpWBJwPQ0nMdEpjV1AwcVJ0dGFZbnVpVEw0RlFQR0E

If you need more info on trees here is a link
http://www.onegreenworld.com//product_info.php?cPath=1_15&products_id=279

As for guilds. It really just Chestnut/Apple family/Prunus family/Hazelnut/Blackberry family/Currant/Grape or Kiwi/ then your usual herb/vegetable/annual.
 
Mark Shepard
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I know this question has probably been asked time and time again, but hopefully it can bear repeating... I live in Central KY in Zone 6 and I need ideas and inspiration on what to plant on my 6 acre chunk of land. I aspire to turn this place into a food forest, but I'm having trouble finding anything online to learn from. (Besides permies, which is the best site yet!)

Mark: Clarissa... My highest recommendation would be to get a good set of tree and plant ID books, and then begin observing nature. In Central KY, you live in one of the most well-watered, fertile, benign climate places on the planet... You are currently surrounded by what nature has done of the past zillion years and what has survived the human onslaught has a LOT to teach....

You are square in the middle of the heartland of the Oak Savanna... the biome I've imitated at New Forest Farm and the one that is the easiest to replicate. It's also the biome that I deal with at length in the book Restoration Agriculure: http://www.forestag.com/book.html

From tallest to shortest you can plant Chestnut, apple (or cherry or pear) hazelnut, raspberries or blackberries, grapes, currants or gooseberries underneath it all and livestock (or not) grazing all around. It's a full, complete system that provides more calories than corn per acre, WAY more nutrition per acre and never needs to be planted again... It has survived at least 4 different ice ages and interglacial warmings... It knows what it's doing... Redesign your Agriculture in Nature's image...

If you have river bottom land, go ahead and base the plant family on Black Walnut or Pecan... Once again, that plant family is described in Restoration Agriculture.

For inexpensive plants, grow from seed. A great way to do this in a small space is described here: http://littlehouseontheurbanprairie.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/chestnuts-and-hazels-for-the-future/

Seedling plants are perfectly good... If the fruit or nuts aren't the greatest, you can graft onto the seedling roots that you've planted.

I would encourage you to boldly imitate nature and don't listen to anybody who might try to discourage you!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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