Less than 24 hours left in our kickstarter!

New rewards and stretch goals. CLICK HERE!



  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

My First Year Forest Garden Journal  RSS feed

 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is my garden journal on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=74085&id=616102765&l=072661262e

This is the first year I've incorporated the forest garden type of structure to my garden. It's worked wonderfully and I'll build in it. So you can see how I started from mostly empty raised(not so raised, the lumber is 2x6". The soil has good structure in the beds so that was already in place. I made some new beds with the hugelculture method.

I don't use any pesticides or storebought fertilizer or amendments. This year I focused on amendments I could recycle or scrounge--eggshells, coffee grounds, grass clippings, moss pulled off downed trees destined for firewood, wood ash, leaves and kitchen scrap compost and chicken poop with straw. The beds also needed more dirt added to raise them back up a little, so I brought in duffy soil from the woods. Structures(trellis, teepees) were built with branches.

I will continue to add photos, now I'm getting into showing what I harvest and canning. If you have any questions let me know.

I also transplanted edible or medicinal plants from the woods--violets, wild strawberries, iris, silverweed, self-heal, bouncing bet(not sure if I can eat or use it to fix something, but it's pretty), and indian plum(not really tasty at all, but will make good bean/pea supports when established). I also planted a pear tree.

I'm super pleased with the vigor and load of food I'm getting this year, part of that is because it's an awesome tomato year, but still, success!

PS, I'm just following my nose on this, I haven't read any of the books, and just read a few articles on FG. I'm approaching it from observing the woods and edges where I live, along with what I've learned about soil chemistry and botany where I live. Trying to let "my" land tell me what works and what doesn't. 

My cost for this year was $30 (seedlings, seeds and one walmart 5$ pear tree)
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Am I correct..it appears your garden is not really IN the forest but south of it in an open area? If this is true this is very similar to the area that I have been working on with berries, fruits and nuts and annual vegetables and perennial vegetables..

I have a 40 x 40 section that is dedicated to this garden that is 20' south of the woods edge. I have planted several nut trees in this area, 2 sweet chestnut, 6 hazelnut, 4 hardy pecan, 3 walnut north along the woods edge.

then I also have planted a few fruit trees in this area, paw paw, apple, wild plum, and there are some perennial flowering shrubs and flowers. There is an established area of asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish and herbs, there are bits of spring bulbs and i put in 3 rows of berry plants..one row of blueberry, one row that has 4 kinds of raspberry, 2kinds of red, one kind of gold and one kind of black.
and then a row of blackberries.

i also use the same types of scraps to mulch my beds..as well as bark and shredded paper and cardbaord..I also use spent garden plants and bring in weeds and things that i have pulled and lie on top of the mulch to build it up as well..
South of this garden area of mine is also another small baby woods that is made up mostly of white ash and lilac but i'm putting in some other hardwood seelings ,m there is a pond to the east of this garden and my drainfield garden to the south..so this little garden area..the 40 x 40 area..is isolated from the rest of my gardens..and i really like it..i have a flower are and a wooden swing back there too and a shed..so it is quite a lovely place to go..nearby is another second swing that i can sit and look out over the pond and see this garden too

ithink your garden looks lovely
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks!

I have to grow anything I want to actually eat inside a big fence, if it was out in the woods the deer or other animals would get it. SO I have a fenced area the is about 35 x35(or maybe a bit bigger) in full sun, but there are trees to the nw of it, and some young trees on the side of the road, firs that are getting big enough to catch the dust. I also have a fenced in chicken run(no chickens right now, at least 20x20), that I was thinking of establishing an apple tree and raspberries inside.

When we came here, 8 years ago, there was woods (mature fir and oak mix) which we cleared a few acres of to seel trees(for some money) and to make a clear area around the house (we get terrific winter storms that throw a lot of trees). And of course an area for a garden.  I can't tell you the respect I have for the pioneers who came to the PNW and cleared their few acrea of homestead land by hand. We have an old bulldozer which my husband used to pull some stumps, and even that was a long haul (there were trees that were 36" dbh).

I'll take a picture so you can see where the trees are in the background.

It's kinda funny about my garden, when we came here and I first started tinkering with planting stuff and we built that monster fence, people laughed because they all said you can't grow anything up here, it's either the deer, the rabbits, or stuff just doesn't grow. Well, I've finally gotten around the tricky growing part(wet and cold), the dogs took care of the rabbits and the fence took care of the deer(they can still jump it if they reeeeeally want to), and now people like looking at the garden--ha, but now it "looks like a lot of work".  It's really not. I am thinking of making more fenced garden area and growing stuff to sell/trade with neighbors(I saw the slaughter truck go by the other day...).  We are far enough from town that I think I could make a little bit with a farm stand?

If my tomatos actually all ripen up I will do that(crossing my fingers!)
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
as I said your garden appears to be in the same size and situation as mine berry patch..as it is about 40 x 40 and is 20' south of a deep woods and about 20' to 30' west of our pond and about 10' north of a grove of aspen trees..we are also about 20' from the property line here..and now the neighbors are planting the property line with a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees..so this garden will eventually be fairly well surrounded by woods..straight south about 10' is a toolshed..but it doesn't cast shade on the berry garden..however..i have been planting nut and fruit trees INSIDE the garden..so it will be forested eventually..but that's ok for berries..they'll be in the sunnier spots of the garden..and should produce well..we do have raspberries that grow in our forest area NORTH of the berry garden..and we also have 2 wildISH apple trees that are growing dead in the middle of the woods..but i plan to trim out wild cherry trees growing around one and alder bushes growing around the other to get more light to them..which reminds me i need to haul butt back through the woods and check out that one and see if the apples are ready to harvest and find out what kind they are..if they are good or not..as i just discovered this tree this spring when it was in bloom.

i had planned to plant mulberries in this area..however..the trees didn't come that i ordered (crop failure)..

i do have plans for planting IN th eforest next year or the following..wanted to do it this year but my plans were sidetracked by aan influx of piles of dirt from a pond dig..and also too busy building sheds and things..so it got set back a year or two..but the plans still are there..to begin to plant food crops among the trees of our forest..and cut down dead and dying aspen trees..
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ha, yeah, IN my forest the blackberries and black raspberries do their thing quite well and the deer just nibble the leaves, so I'll continue to let the forest do its thang I would love to establish some huckleberries tho. Where I am is a tad dry (oak savannah transitioning to fir forest), but I have a swampy pond area that would do. It's just the deer! they seem to laser in on anything intentionally planted and chew it down to the roots.  I have to build Thunderdomes to protect anything!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
our neighbor next door has a similar problem..don't know why they bother her stuff more than mine..she even has 3 dogs..but they only come up on weekends a couple times a mo.

she put HOSTAS in her little woods and they got eaten to nothing..shame..i have tons and tons of hostas and they were hardly ever nibbled..go figure..and some of mine are under an apple tree..they love the apples..but leave my hostas alone.

i could tell you stories..but the coons ate my sweet corn..danged coons will be stew yet !!
 
220 hours of permaculture video, freaky cheap! http://kck.st/2q6Ycay.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!