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Need permaculture ideas. Got a 40 acre mountain to use.

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So today I went to go shooting with my brother and my grandpa, I just turned 21 and had never been so that was fun. My papaw took us shooting on his land that I didn't know he had, he owns a mountain. I've been really getting into learning about permaculture over the last 4 months so instantly I was intrigued. I asked him if I could grow stuff there, he said I could. He got the land from my great-grandfather. My great-grandfather wanted the land to never be cut down for lumbar. On the mountain there are thousands of trees. Many over 100 feet tall. The soil is rich, it is mulched somewhat heavy. One side is very steep, the rest seems gradual.

I was only on the land for a few hours and I only got to see a portion of the mountain, it was epic though. I loved it.

I live in TN, the weather is pretty chill zone 6b I believe. If I get good responses I will take a video and show the land.. However I haven't even got to see the whole land myself yet.

My question is, what should I be growing?

Permaculture seems endless. There are thousands of different plants that you can choose from. It doesn't end there though.... Even when you pick the species, you have to pick the layout and where you plant them so that they are most productive and sustainable.

I am young, and not very knowledgeable yet. I may say something you disagree with, if I do, Correct me. I love correction, I dislike hate but I love the haters anyways.

Praise King Jesus, he gave me a mountain

Proverbs 15:22 "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established."
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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For now just save up some money so that when you do get ready to start you have some capital.
But for now just observe the place, does it have a stream, where is the deer path, where are the clearing, what type of soil do you have, etc

How do you want to use this place:
just create a awesome deer plot so that you can go deer hunting,
a place to come and harvest honey once a year
a place to harvest nuts, and other interesting Sept/Oct exotic fruits.
A summer cabin
your future homesite?

Assuming you just want to start planting stuff right now and worry about the details later
I would start off by clearing a 100ft by 100ft area and plant 25 dwarf trees in there at 20ft centers
if you went hunting there, that means that you have a deer problem so you might lose all the tree that you plant.
If you are not going to be able to water the new bareroot plants, then a fall planting is the best time.
The roots get to develop a few months before the spring leaves come out. So hopefully by the summer sun sets in they root will be more than enough.

John F. Johnson Jr
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Tomorrow I will try to take pictures or mabey a video of the land so you can see it. That should make designing an efficient permaculture easier for everyone. I've never even successfully grown a vegetable yet lol. I've got another piece of land (1 acre) my land that I have been trying to develop into a permaculture. 40 acres seems like much more labor, however mabey not.

I'm open to planting anything at all. I'm open to having cattle. I have 1 rule, I can't kill anything. Thou shall not kill. Mabey as the project progresses I'll be open to it. For now I have plenty of room to plant whatever already. I like the trees. I'm open to having swales. I don't know if I will be allowed to create ponds, if my papaw will allow me to though, I want them.

Anyone see Sepp Holzer's mountain, it is epic!!

Current starting plan for me. Is to establish a living border. Preferably with a bush that produces good berries/something useful that is 7+ feet tall and preferably thorny.Better ideas? Also I was going to gather all the fallen lumbar and sticks on the property and then create hugelkulture beds in target areas. I don't know the target areas yet though unfortunately lol.

Is there a better way to start this?

I will try to get my papaw to show me the corners of the property tomorrow and walk the entire 40 acre mountain... I'll back to you. I know it should be a lot easier to design something great if you can see it. I haven't seen it all myself yet.
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Welcome to permies John. Sounds like a great place. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures!
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I am 21 too...nice to see others my age on this forum.......I personally have been reading about permaculture practices for over 2 years now. I have even tried out some of the techniques. There are a number of things you can do without having to log an area. For your property I would suggest that you consider growing American Ginseng.....the roots take several years to develop but they can eventually become a cash crop selling for a few hundred a pound. They will grow on the forest floor in a shaded location. Beware of poachers though.....Also consider black cohosh. You should be able to cultivate many of the rare medicinal plants and wildflowers that people want....might even be able to make a business out of it. Another option is syrup; I am sure you got sugar maples somewhere on that property. If not you can also use hickory. Yet another option is beekeeping....you could keep a number of hives in your forest and sell the excess as wildflower honey. For food, you could plant understory trees and shrubs. Understory trees/shrubs will happily grow in the shade of another tree. Examples include pawpaw (edible fruit), american hazelnut (edible nuts), american plum (edible fruit), american cranberry bush (edible fruit), Cornelian cherry (edible fruit), redbud (flowers edible), and many others. Whatever tree or shrub you plant your going to have to protect from the deer with some chicken fencing about chest high. Perennial herbaceous crops may include wood nettle.......annuals include things like sorrel, kale, arugula, chard, lettuce, spinach, scallions all of which can be grown in shade. good luck.
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