Angelika Maier wrote:While all this planning which permaculture suggest makes a lot of sense, because it gives you a feeling on what you can do and what you don't want and what you don't know, I found that the best teacher is experience. What works on one land does not work on the other. You gain this experience working outside a lot.
That means I would try to make a plan, just a scribbley sketch and as John said start right on your backdoor, start something. The important thing at this stage is that you don't put anything in what is difficult to change later like fences, buildings maybe even fruit trees. You can plant some "permaculture" trees in other areas meanwhile which help to restore the land if this is necessary. When you have planted right on your backdoor your vegetable garden, and you are successful in growing what you need go a step further. All the time revise your plan and let it grow like your garden. I myself was too fast putting rigid stuff in like fences and I would have done a lot of things different now.
The same holds true when you are trialling a new gardening method say square foot or huegelculture, always try a little bit especially when it's high work input, I tell this from experience too. It is always easy making a little annual bed, if it works OK, if it doesn't make something else your soil gets better meanwhile.
S Bengi wrote:
Build a fish pond or 4 at the wettest spot in the "valley". That way you take care of some of that water and you also get a source of meat.
During the rainy season, most of your plant will be fine as long as the water doesn't sit for weeks at a time.
And being that it will be in the winter, you will not be doing much harvesting. You might have to clear some of the hilly portion for a winter pasture if you plan on keeping animals.
Aim for a more savanna look than a close canopy food forest.
yukkuri kame wrote:Start saving seeds from your fruit (stone fruits, apples, etc) and toss them in pots or a mature compost pile. By the time you figure out where you want them, they'll be ready to plant out and graft.
Figs, mulberries, grapes and pomegranates are propagated easily by cuttings. Grapes are probably the easiest cuttings to come by, because they are usually pruned back aggressively creating hundreds of viable cuttings.
Buy chestnut seeds, they will take 3+ years to start producing.
Trees take a while to grow, so start now, even you don't have the full picture yet.
Same goes for soil. Get all the wood chips, leaves, straw, coffee grounds, manure and food waste you can get your hands on and start composting more than you think you'd ever be able to use.
Sure, hire a designer. There is no substitute for experience, especially if you are going to be doing earthworks.
Connect with local permies. In Southern Oregon, you might be somewhat close to Lost Valley ecovillage and permaculture training center. http://lostvalley.org
I think Toby Hemenway is based in Portland? http://www.patternliteracy.com
Larry Korn, who is in the Fukuoka lineage is in Ashland. http://www.onestrawrevolution.net/One_Straw_Revolution/Larry_Korn.html