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newbie with new property...calling all permies

 
J Reno
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Hi all, I have recently been bittin by the permaculture bug and uprooted my life in the city and moved to the country... I have the pleasure of being the steward of a vast mostly wetland lot in middle of ontario muskoka area zone 3 or 4ish depending on which nook and cranny (microclimate) you are standing in , despite the - temperatures there are spots in the forrest with green ferns still hiding out, this intrigues me and hopefully can build on these natural microclimates . There are about 6 wild apple trees on the property which i intend to put cicle guilds under of garlics, chives, oninon, comfrey, chickory in various companion types to see what works... I also intend on putting a 4'x12' hugelbed for mostly vegetable,herb ,wildflowers. Along the treeline of the forest are some piles of old tees that have been piled as compost heeps of trees fallen, the logs in these piles already have some turkey tail style fungi on them, I was thinking of just burying these piles with dirt and creating blueberry and wild strawberry mounds... Is it ok to bury any wood no matter the condition(sorry my previous progaming makes me hesitant)....Also i have small ponds or cysterns around that in the summer are surronded with frogs, ferns and others i have not yet identified.

I am looking for any feedback, ideas, reassurement, plant combinations, multi purpose pereninials that like wet cold zones ........

i would put up pics but I am not sure how yet......THANKS
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Jay
Your place sounds beautiful, although I'm sure it would freeze my soft Southern self in winter!
I find the best way to get info is to start a quite specific thread about one thing at a time.
J Reno wrote: Is it ok to bury any wood no matter the condition

How about starting a new thread asking about this, clarifying what you mean by "condition"?
 
Brad Vietje
Posts: 63
Location: Newbury, VT (Zone 4)
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Hey J,

I agree with Leila -- sounds like a nice place for some serious homesteading, and congrats on getting out of the city! I'm also a newbie on the forums, but have been studying Permaculture Design for around 5 years and have been lurking and reading here a bit too long... time to jump in.

Do you have hardwood and softwoods, or are you looking at a pile of White Cedar logs? Turkey-tails make me think hardwood -- they are all over some rotting Sugar Maple stumps I used for some HK beds this past fall. I feel pretty certain you can bury & use them, but if the piles are all softwood, it might make a difference as to what will grow best.

Any sense of the Mosquito & Black Fly populations in Spring & Summer? Around here, wet areas tend to be more buggy, but that may not be true where you are.
 
J Reno
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basiclly i was concerned slightly about the mushrooms on them, but i guess the goal is for them to rot so ... no matter

mostly firs, poplars, birch, some pine
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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As far as I know, all fungi are a good sign that your wood's breaking down nicely.
My new hugel is way too dry; I think it'll need a couple of seasons to settle in.
 
Terri Matthews
Posts: 467
Location: Eastern Kansas
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Does asparagus grow well in your area? Asparagus likes to grow on river banks. I do not know what the drainage is like on your land but asparagus does well next to my creek.

OOH! What about maples? Maple syrup?
 
Kota Dubois
Posts: 171
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Welcome to the gang. I spent several summers in the Muskokas, a truly beautiful place. Beauty is a real valuable function that most permies forget about when analyzing function stacking. My sister and her husband just bought a place up past Huntsville.

The ferns you mention are called Christmas ferns and will stay green until the new growth comes next spring, not necessarily indicative of a microclimate.

Rotting logs are fine in Hugelkultur but it might be a good idea to add some fresher ones too. To vary the composition is to create more edges and extend the life of the bed.

Ponds and their inhabitants are very important pillars of diversity in any polyculture. If you build guilds where the nutrient rich run off occurs, they will do wildly well.

Check your birches for chaga the "King of medicinal mushrooms" (although Turkey Tails are pretty good too). Last week I saw dried chaga selling for $70 a kilo here in Montreal.

You can upload pics directly to the forum by using the 'Attachments' tab, directly below this box we're writing in.

Good luck and have fun (another important function).
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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I have just read that bracken fern makes good mulch, we get that here too in Michigan (just west of you zone 4/5)

In my blog I have a lot of info for zone 4/5 that might be helpful for you, some things are as bit tender in zone 4 but I have some microclimate here too.

I also have a lot of wetland and wild apple trees on my property

you can pretty much bury any wood in any condition esp if it isn't alleopathic (like walnut) or rot resistant (like cedar)..alder is probably common in your area as are aspen and they work well.

watch for oyster mushrooms on aspens also, they are wild here.

make sure when you build your hugel beds to get out as much air as possible, several people posting on the hugel forum are having problems and that might be air pockets..water it well and try to fill in air pockets
 
J Reno
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I do hope to get some maples and asparagus

I have been out looking for what could be chaga , I have found all kinds of fungi, being certain whats what is another issue

Does anyone know of any better then average fungi identification sources?

Brenda your blog looks great! I hope that I accomplish something like that

Has anyone tried a keyhole garden ? vs hugelbeds ?

thanks for the feedback guys
 
Kota Dubois
Posts: 171
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Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada by George Barron published by Lone Pine is the best identification guide I've ever come across. (Actually Lone Pine is now my favorite go to publisher for all nature guides).

Chaga doesn't look like regular mushrooms, instead it looks like a large rough chunk of charcoal sticking out the side of the trunk of living birch trees. It doesn't kill the tree and can grow quite large over many years. It's only when the tree dies of other causes that the Chaga will grow fruiting bodies.
 
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