• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

I have a house I love, and land I love, which may be utterly useless?  RSS feed

 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi permies:

After ages lurking, I've finally decided to join because I've decided for some insane reason to do something with what may be utterly unusable land?

Attached, please find a pic of our pad. The entire area you see in the front is leach field so I can't do anything permanent on it, but... That forest behind the house, about 6 acres of it, is rocky and on that incline all the way up. The hill is heavily forested (hardwood). There is no machinery access to that area. If this was your lot in life (ha! ), what would you do with this? Goals are simple: I'd like to provide meat, fruit, and vegetables for my household (hunting is fine, doesn't necessarily need to be domestic meat - woods are heavily hunted though, I'd need to stock) with maybe some crop or another to sell for pocket cash. I also don't mind deforesting some. Just looking for some ideas from people with experience. I have ideas and I'm probably going to work with a consultant or two as well, but I'd love to get suggestions (and 'what not to dos'!)

Zone 7a.

The more brains the better!

Thanks for answering if you have time! Hopefully I'll become learned enough to give back someday!
land.png
[Thumbnail for land.png]
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2392
79
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What would I do with a leach field? The same thing I do now, plant it with clover and chicory and mustard and run the chicken tractor around over it. Looks like you could get a LOT of eggs that way.

As far as trees, that's less clear. Looks like you will have to go one by one and see if you can introduce new trees into those woods behind you. I haven't had much luck with that type of replacement, so I will leave that to someone else to suggest.
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, many thanks! Chickens are a great idea. Meat and eggs!

I don't mind removing some trees if there's any point to it. I'm just not sure there is with that configuration - I don't much understand the finer points of agroforestry yet.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3217
Location: Anjou ,France
148
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dear Penelope
I am a bit bemused by your comments that the land may be useless .
I cannot think of any land that is useless or if damaged not worth being brought into some sort of production.
What do you want to do with it ?
Those trees look like they could with care and a bit of work provide enough wood to heat your house for starters . The field enough to provide you with eggs . Goats would like the field plus the trees could provide you with brousing for the goats . The goats and chickens to fertilize some land for you to grow veg Some bees to give you honey and fertilize your garden . Plant some trees to give you nuts fruit and wood .
That land needs a liftimes love and it will give you a liftimes reward .
Its a big job and will take years but I am sure you can do it . Lots of folks here glad to give you advice.

David
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi David,

Thank you.

I've thought about doing some supplemental heating with wood. The home is Amish built, so I've got a chimney from basement through the place.

In my biggest pipe dream, I want the land to provide all meat, fruit, and veg for my household and also a small CSA or market garden.

I want that forest to become productive in terms of forage, food, or some type of crops. Maybe I just need to get some burly fellows out there with chainsaws and have at it in small sections.

Cheers,
Pen
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3217
Location: Anjou ,France
148
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok Pen ,( if I may be so bold as to call you that) i would suggest you make a plan. You are very lucky with what you have in fact the opposite of many folks who post here . You have a house And some land.
It would help others to help you if you gave some other details of what resources you have. For instance how many people are you wanting to provide for , how big is the field? What is the water situation?
Whats your budget ? Who is going to help you?
Then others wiser that me can suggest how realistic your aims are.
As i live in France And dont know what a cas is or what local yeilds would be it Will have to ne someone else

David
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David Livingston wrote:Ok Pen ,( if I may be so bold as to call you that) i would suggest you make a plan. You are very lucky with what you have in fact the opposite of many folks who post here . You have a house And some land.


I agree with David plus it may be a good thing that you don't have a plan yet. If you take a PDC you will learn how to make your plan. I strongly recommend geoff lawton's online PDC because he's great & it comes with DVDs you can review. Check out Geoff's awesome videos, try not to be put off by the "hard sell."

Although you're in zone 7, pay particular attention to the cold climate permaculture video on Ben Falk's place because his land is similar to yours - but colder.

My land is heavily forested, very steep, lots of ledge. I have lots of livestock (you can look at my project thread link) but the easiest to run in a forest is pigs. And, yeah, chickens closer to your house.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 406
Location: Georgia
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The area uphill from your driveway looks to me like it might not be drain field.
If that it's the case, it gets sun and could be your kitchen garden.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3217
Location: Anjou ,France
148
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj , that is why I asked about a budget . There are people who are asset rich but cash poor. Therefore spending a thousand $ plus could be a big deal if all they are talking about is there one bit of earth. If they have nô intention to go on to other projects why take a course ? There funds could be spent on trees , goats , fences, seeds. For a thousand bucks I could do a lot.
Does your suggestion not assume Pen has acsess to such funnds
David
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My suggestion is based on personal experience.

I swore up and down that I did not need a PDC because I would never become a teacher. I'm a excellent researcher/reader but a PDC immerses you in a way that's hard for an autodidact to emulate.

Having now taken a PDC, I think it's worth it in terms of time and money saved.
 
Jeremy Hutchins
Posts: 27
Location: Northern Virginia (zone 6b/7a)
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I heartily second John's suggestions of chickens. If you haven't already, I would check out Paul's chicken article (http://www.richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp) and Geoff Lawton's videos on pastured chickens as a way to kick start a food forest (http://www.geofflawton.com/). I'd also suggest you get started on some simple perennials that you can plant now and then harvest from yearly. Stuff like asparagus, berries, fruit trees - which honestly is right in line with many of Paul's suggestions in his article and will go hand in hand with the chickens, if you so choose. Only other thing I'd ask about is rain harvesting... with some observation you might be able to find some places where water runs regularly down your property (since you're on a hill) and take advantage of them.
 
John Gratrick
Posts: 55
Location: Mallorytown Zone 5a
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Penelope

Sounds like to got the makings of a good homestead. Wow thats a big leech field. Anyways I echo the reseeding and running chickens or more adventurous, goats. You could run them through your wooded area to eat as well and that would cover meat, milk, cheese etc. With that much wood you could also harvest some for hugels along your driveway, which shouldn't' impact the leeching area at all.

Lots to try and plenty of raw materials on hand, makes your land IMO far from useless.

 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello kind folk! You all have given me lots of food for thought (and hopefully belly!). Perhaps I'm still quite brainwashed by the idea of 'flat land = enough space to do something with'? I just see...I'm overwhelmed I think.

Our household consists of 4 permanent adults and any given random collection of itinerant kids, grandkids, and friends. Permanent labor force should probably be considered 2 middle aged, fairly strong, women who can rope others in from time to time or hire muscle as necessary.

The idea of putting a veggie garden up where I had the trees pulled back is absolutely fabulous if I can get some sun up there. The house is in a valley to begin with, so there's not tons of sun. It's traditionally been on the leach field, but chicken tractoring sounds better. I may just do that. And there's nothing to really prevent me from having more trees pulled down in a responsible manner and making clearing spots in my forest to plant different kinds of trees/shrubbery/groundcover as time goes on to put bits of food bearing stuff IN the woods. If you don't have everything pulled out, just chunked up, the labor cost for a couple of guys with chainsaws is not prohibitive.

I know there were goats on the leach field before - I'm not sure I can get my sister to let me eat them though - she loves goats, in the pet manner. She won't even cook it for me even though I keep telling here there are SO many lovely goat dishes, especially once you look to Afghani, Pakistani, and Indian cuisines. And she's a chef! It's hysterical where her 'no' button is The field is probably about an acre. I'm trying to get the exact dimensions of the field from the installer - I don't have them just yet, I just know it takes up most of that area.

I'm very much into the idea of rainwater harvesting at some point - the house has an absolute ton of roof catch as you can see. First I want to have it rubberized though, that's next on the list. Probably that silver rubber stuff that you see on apartment buildings so it stays cooler in the summer.

As for funds, I'm not hurting. I could do a thousand dollar project, I could do a five thousand dollar project, or you could give me 5 x 200 dollar projects and that may be easier to pull off given time constraints - we don't live there right now, I have family living there and caretaking until such time as we can semi-retire and pull up stakes. We live very far away and are planning on moving permanently in 9-10 years or so. I mostly would like bang for the buck. By which I mean - feed us fully (meat, veg, fruits) off the land when we move permanently and provide an income stream. I'd like to have something on this property to make money from, at least enough to pay the property taxes every year but preferably the property taxes AND household maintenance (roofing, appliance replacement, repairs and upgrades, etc). Everyone and their brother has their own eggs and (some kind of) milk, so there's nothing there. I was considering herbs to be honest, non-traditional ones or clovers or things like that. Not like oregano herbs, but herbalist herbs.

There's also a meadow section in the woods that isn't grown up yet, but it's so thick it's not passable. Never got trees though, just tons, and tons of thicket. I was considering pigging in there, but getting water to them would be nigh impossible. It's near the top of the hill (1000 feet) and carrying water daily or even once, just not happening. Not to mention trying to do movable fencing/penning. The cost to get someone to fence and getting water up there into a pig pen...just doesn't feel like a solid initial investment? VERY expensive, not so much return? Also, getting water up to pigs where I'd want to put them would be nigh impossible for the current caretakers. And I'm not a fan of fencing sections off in wild game areas - impedes natural healthy ecological traffic flow. What about just releasing things in there? Upland birds perhaps? I was thinking pheasants, grouse, etc. Maybe some bunnies?

I'm currently taking an online permaculture design course, not sure how I feel about it yet: Regenerative Leadership Institute. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Thanks everyone - some great ideas here. I'm really glad to see it's not what I was thinking. Definitely better off than I thought I was!

TLR: You all rock for taking the time to answer me.
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 94
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
2
books chicken dog food preservation goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think when people mentioned water I presumed they meant dams etc. with a slope you should have a catchment area.. See keyline info. With a dam it would be possible to pipe with a pump water to the pigs without a huge cost. Giselle
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I admit to being new to permaculture, but I just cannot fathom any way in which the middle of a dense forest, 800 feet up a 40 degree rocky slope, can in any way be keylined by one or two middle aged women with a shovel since no equipment can get up there at all. Much less electric for a pump or fencing and solar doesn't work under canopy...? I haven't found any natural basins sadly. If you have any concrete suggestions on how to overcome these limitations, I'd love to hear them. Thank you!!
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 94
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
2
books chicken dog food preservation goat trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rain must collect somewhere, especially in the winter. Keyline is using the contours of your land to your advantage, it is not necessary to plow rather redirecting water to natural collecting points. A few well placed rocks or swale can work. Giselle
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah, yes. Unfortunately, it seems to collect mostly in my basement.

In all seriousness though, most of it runs off the back of the slope directly into the stream. The opposite of where I need it.

But back to the pump idea - how would you propose to power it? Just gravity somehow?
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 94
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
2
books chicken dog food preservation goat trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Check out a pulser pump that has no moving parts and no power requirements that is designed to move water uphill. Giselle
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 94
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
2
books chicken dog food preservation goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How deep is the stream? Could you dam it and use it to make a micro dam, that pressure can be enough for a self powered pump. Giselle
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No, the stream dries up in the summer. I will Google the pump, thank you
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 94
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
2
books chicken dog food preservation goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love your plans, and agree that chickens at the front are great and pigs in the woods , which is their natural environment is perfect. Fencing would be a problem and I would go electric fencing due to the terrain. It's cheaper too. You need to chose a breed that is older that can revert to the wilder living.. Water does not need to be available in open areas rather few tanks that are filled up using a trickle feed would be easier. Wind power is also an option for pumps. I too have a wooded wild slopes that is rocks and wildlife. We have thought about pigs to keep the vegetation down for fire control. My concern is not the water which I think you can crack rather the fencing will be the problem. We have 5 miles of fencing to do before the pigs go in and I am in a wheelchair. So I will have to pay a contractor to do it, As I do not want to lose the pigs into the forest. Giselle
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3217
Location: Anjou ,France
148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are a couple of threads on the course you are doing
http://www.permies.com/t/28308/web-sites/Regenerative-Leadership-Institute-Free-Online

It seems there are er ... views Not for me to say as I have not looked at it .

Why do you think goats = meat ? would not goats = milk =cheese be an earsier sell to your sister ?

David
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for the link to the threads on the course. I had a coupon to access all the course materials free and did not buy the certificate exam rights as I am just taking it to learn. This thread ought to be fun just on first glance tho.

Goats should always = meat! Milk and cheese are certainly useful, but meat too please!

I really like the idea of pigs in the woods, but the process of getting them there seems daunting. There are a couple of permaculture consultants in the area though that seem well respected, so I'm going to ask them how they'd approach it since we can hike to the pig area ourselves.

Thanks again everyone, some wonderful advice here. You've certainly 100% changed my mind on the value of my land!
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3217
Location: Anjou ,France
148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of these could help you move water
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_ram

David
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Penelope Fortenberry wrote:... a 40 degree rocky slope, ....... Much less electric for a pump or fencing and solar doesn't work under canopy...?


Any slope 20 degrees or greater is supposed to be left alone (not brought into production). Still, it might be a good idea to remove the trees closest to the house so they don't fall on the house. You could use those trees to make a terrace Sepp Holzter style. The plant shade tolerant species in the terrace.

You can still run electric fencing for pigs under a heavy canopy. The power supply could 2 batteries which you rotate as needed. They don't draw too much power unless something is grounding out the fence. I have 2 solar chargers for my pigs and I swap those out as needed.

The one caveat about pigs in your forest is you would need to check on them/feed them at least once/day. That might be a problem on a 40° slope!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's why you have to check the fence everyday for pigs:


They root around, pushing soil up in a mound till they get to the fence. If you look at the left of the pic, you'll see the mound is just about touching the fence. Everyday after feeding I would walk the fence to make sure nothing was touching it.
 
Nicole Robinson
Posts: 1
Location: Maryland
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't think I saw anyone mention this: mushrooms. People with shaded, steep, or forested land may not be able to grow a more traditional garden, but growing edible mushrooms is actually really easy. It's a great medicinal food source, and it turns wood into awesome soil. Find younger trees in your forest, preferably with a 4-6" diameter, and cut them into 3-4' sections (thinning the forest responsibly won't damage it, but instead will provide opportunities for nearby trees to access more resources and thrive). For very little money, you can buy yourself shitake, oyster, or other spawn from a supplier like Field and Forest plus a few basic tools for inoculating. Invite some friends over and inoculate a whole bunch of logs in a day. Although it takes a year to 2 years for the logs to start fruiting, they can provide you with edible mushrooms for 4-10 years depending on the size of the logs. There are also other methods for inoculating, like the totem pole method where you use larger pieces of logs set on top of each other. Also, if you have any trees cut down and generate woodchips, you can create mushroom beds to grow winecap mushrooms (winecap spawn can be bought from the same suppliers).

Once you get a good supply going, you can sell them for quite a bit of money to local restaurants - a great cash crop.

Michael Judd's book Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist has a chapter on growing specialty mushrooms that is extremely helpful and easy to follow with lots of photos: http://ecologiadesign.com/2013/07/03/new-book-on-edible-landscaping-by-ecologia/
Plus check out the Field and Forest site: http://www.fieldforest.net/
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So many things to do. one of the very first things I would do, we're it my property, would be get a topographical map of the property. That would help to figure out where I might put ponds, where the slopes were too steep for swales, lots of things.

The existing woods provide a source of fuel, right away. Almost certainly there is a quantity of fallen trees/limbs already on the forest floor that can be pulled and used for hugelkulture.

A couple of modest sized oaks, ones that would not make for good timber, could be harvested, cut into manageable sized logs and inoculated with mushroom. Shiitake is a popular choice and growing mushrooms is a possible cash crop with a very low entry expense. They need a simple shelter over the logs, or just placement within the edge of the forest where the trees provide plenty of shade for them. The hard part, in terms of labor, would be cutting the trees and stacking the logs. Drilling holes and inoculating is not hard work, and harvesting is pretty simple. Otherwise, they need virtually no care.

If the slope is above 17 degrees, Swales are not recommended, but there are some other strategies that will still work to let you harvest water and manage runoff, even on steeper grades.

You say the basement tends to flood. I would definitely look at putting a Swale on contour above the house, to help reduce that problem.

On the matter of watering animals up on the hill, you could almost certainly find a spot to dig a hole and put a watering trough in the ground where it would fill naturally from runoff. A ram pump might be helpful moving water from the stream to such a tub, and there are solar powered electric pumps as well that might make sense for moving water up the hill.

The brushy clearing you described might be a good place to start with some perennial forest garden plants, or it might make more sense to use it for annuals, depending on how large it is, how far from your house and various other factors.

One of the important concepts of permaculture is that it is extremely adaptive and versatile. There may be land where it cannot help you to do much, but there is much more land that it will work very well on, as compared to conventional farming that really wants flat bottom land.

 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any slope 20 degrees or greater is supposed to be left alone (not brought into production). Still, it might be a good idea to remove the trees closest to the house so they don't fall on the house. You could use those trees to make a terrace Sepp Holzter style. The plant shade tolerant species in the terrace.

I'm very confused by this. The trees are already 20 feet back from the house, everyone is saying to put swales and ponds up there (how the heck 2 middle aged women and one spade are supposed to even dream of EVER accomplishing that on hilly, rocky ground where no machinery will ever, ever get I can't even figure out). Same for fences and pigging and doing much of anything up in that meadow. The stream doesn't run all the time, it can't be a source of water, the forest gets no sun, it's too dense. So no solar. I'm starting to become overwhelmed and discouraged again.

The mushrooms are an interesting idea, I've definitely considered it. Cutting and stacking the trees I actually don't find too difficult. Have chainsaw and strong back.

I'm considering begging my neighbor to sell or life-lease me 5 acres of his land. He's a 2 week a year dude and has 25 acres, mostly cleared.

Thanks everyone!

Regards,
Pen
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 406
Location: Georgia
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Put in a garden along your driveway and plant berry bushes on the edge of the woods.
If you do that and chickens you will have a start. I would include asparagus and herbs like
Rosemary, thyme and oregano either in the garden or along a path to it. Then when you move
in full time you will not be starting from scratch.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Penelope Fortenberry wrote:The trees are already 20 feet back from the house...


The pic might be deceiving but it looks like if the trees closest to the house fell, that they would fall on the house. If that's the case, you should probably pay someone to cut those trees down. The terrace would be behind the house where the land isn't so steep.

The swale doesn't have to be in the woods. If you dig a swale, on contour, at the spot where the angle become less severe behind your house, you might be able to stop some of that water flowing down the hill that winds up in your basement. You could do it with a spade or heavy equipment since it's right behind the house and not in the woods.
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The trees by the house are healthy and fine. I will have someone take them down if they cease to be so. I honestly don't think I can dig a ditch with a spade big enough. I'm just not that strong/have that much stamina. Maybe I can hire someone. There's no visible water running down the hill. Thanks though!

Alex, that's an awesome idea! Someone had suggested hugelkultur along the drive, and I'm totally doing it! I have the trees ready and everything from where we just had the area around the house cleared.

Cheers,
Pen
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The trees are twenty feet away from the house.. are they more or less than twenty feet tall? The suggestion to cut them back has two aspects, one, it creates some more open space near the house, convenient for gardening, two, it removes the risk of damage from a tree falling on the house.

You have already indicated that hiring a couple of guys with chainsaws to take down trees was an option, so starting near the house, creating more open space that is not leaching field and is convenient for a kitchen garden seems like a fairly reasonable idea.

Lots of people have managed to do swales with handtools, and if you can hire men with chainsaws you could probably hire youths with shovels as well. It isn't necessary for the swales to be huge.
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought gardening on the slope if it's over 20 degrees was bad?
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Penelope Fortenberry wrote:I thought gardening on the slope if it's over 20 degrees was bad?


You can garden on slopes. It is doing earthworks on slopes that makes a bad, I.e. Unstable condition.

Photographs make it very hard to judge slopes. Presumably you are saying the slope behind the house is over twenty degrees.

So, if the slope is too steep for earthworks, you can still plant the area. Indeed, you need to make sure such slopes are planted to prevent erosion.

 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can garden on slopes. It is doing earthworks on slopes that makes a bad, I.e. Unstable condition.

Ah, I understand now thank you I could hugelkultur there, or simply plant. (It's already planted for erosion control.) I think the slope is probably about 40 degrees or so. I just don't know if I'm going to clear more trees or not. Time will tell. I have plenty of projects from just this thread to kill my vacation for this year!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Penelope Fortenberry wrote:I thought gardening on the slope if it's over 20 degrees was bad?


It is better left alone but if you terrace it, it's not angled, it's flat. At least the land in production is flat.

That's why I suggested putting in a terrace at the base of the hill:


Permaculture draws on successful systems from the past and terracing is one.
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see, thank you!
 
Penelope Fortenberry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Annnnd, the basement flooded again.

Now that I'm going to be uber poor fixing that, our spring projects will be to build a chicken tractor and plant the field, hugelkultur and plantings along the driveway, and dig a swale/ditch on the bottom of the hill to help control/route runoff.

Thanks everyone!!! You've been AWESOME!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The spring projects sound good, the basement flooding, not so much.

Just FYI, a swale is level and stops water and allows it to soak in. It could overflow into a ditch, which is not level and moves water away.
 
No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad:
learn permaculture through a little hard work and get an acre of land
https://permies.com/t/59706/permaculture-bootcamp-boots-roots
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!