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Permaculture homestead establishment phase -- questions for Ben Falk

 
Posts: 19
Location: New Hampshire, zone 5
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Welcome Ben! I'm stoked about your book -- been following your work on Facebook and your website for a while. As someone in another thread pointed out, we have a real need for genuine *cold*-climate work.

I'm interested in your experiences that might shed some light on my particular homestead establishment roadblocks/mind-blocks:

1) was there an existing house on your property when you bought it? Do you still use that structure? If so, how old is the building, and what, if anything, did you do to retrofit it?

2) How wooded was your land when you first started? I'm sure that being on a hillside as opposed to a river valley like I am gives you many more opportunities for good sunlight, but if you did have a lot of "excess" trees, how did you choose what to clear when? I have heard Dave Jacke talk about making small clearings in existing woods to plant crop trees into -- would this be a method you would recommend, or would a one-time clearcut of a particular area end up being easier to work with in the long run without causing too much damage?

The piece of land I'm working with has a cleared area around the house, but it buts up against tall pine/oak/maple forest with basically no edge -- someone has mowed right up to the treeline for decades. This means I'm kind of in a fortress of shade, but I'm a little stuck as to how to start tackling this.

Thanks for being here and for any input you may have!
 
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Posts: 55
Location: Mad River Valley, VT
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Zoe Wroten wrote:Welcome Ben! I'm stoked about your book -- been following your work on Facebook and your website for a while. As someone in another thread pointed out, we have a real need for genuine *cold*-climate work.

I'm interested in your experiences that might shed some light on my particular homestead establishment roadblocks/mind-blocks:

1) was there an existing house on your property when you bought it? Do you still use that structure? If so, how old is the building, and what, if anything, did you do to retrofit it?

2) How wooded was your land when you first started? I'm sure that being on a hillside as opposed to a river valley like I am gives you many more opportunities for good sunlight, but if you did have a lot of "excess" trees, how did you choose what to clear when? I have heard Dave Jacke talk about making small clearings in existing woods to plant crop trees into -- would this be a method you would recommend, or would a one-time clearcut of a particular area end up being easier to work with in the long run without causing too much damage?

The piece of land I'm working with has a cleared area around the house, but it buts up against tall pine/oak/maple forest with basically no edge -- someone has mowed right up to the treeline for decades. This means I'm kind of in a fortress of shade, but I'm a little stuck as to how to start tackling this.

Thanks for being here and for any input you may have!



Thanks...
A house was here and we still use and rent it.
We cleared with horses and a skidder at difft. times and a tractor. We chose to log when we needed lumber. I would always opt for the one time clear cut unless you want to carefully drop every other tree without wrecking existing plantings. Sometimes that might be practical, though.
We tend to cut 20-80 trees a year and plant 200-800. We had a white pine monoculture of 2 acres or so shading the house and zone 1. So we needed to log right off.
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