Landon Sunrich wrote:This looks like pretty familiar terrain... I'm slightly hesitant to give out too much advise because I'm fairly new at implementing permaculture - and I really need to stand somewhere for a bit and get the feel of it too - but I will say your place looks like it needs ducks too me! Geese would love those grass patches too while you spend some time thinking on what to plant and what to thin out to make more sun room. Chickens to appease your husband would be a good option if you have lots of rotting wood (to smash up for bugs) and leaf litter. I am working on a chicken jungle (mostly hemlocks) myself. Also I sneak things in next to existing foodstuffs. Lots of nettles? Try sneaking in some mint or strawberries as an understory - pick out the relevant nettles (to avoid shade out) and leave some for seed. You could also try ripping a few lines on contour on that sandy hill and planting some carrots parsnips and leeks. I have had some luck with those three in sandy soils.
Landon Sunrich wrote: I might be thinking about some raspberry and loganberry bushes as well as perhaps some blueberries near the wetlands
Nicole Alderman wrote:Thanks for the help! Our current hugel is only about 3 feet tall--we will have to build higher! I'm wondering, though, if they should be on contour or not? If I having them so one side faces north and gets lot of sun, then it's on contour and water (I have a very wet property) will build up, right? My current hugel mound has one side facing SW and the other side NE. That specific spot is slants to the NE, so the hugel ends up being perpendicular to the contour. The rest of my property slants straight to the south. Should I face the beds so their sides face west and east? It won't get as much sun that way, but the water won't pool up, and it won't cast shade down the hill, either (the other reason I've been wary of building so high). What do you think?
Landon Sunrich wrote:
The grocery store I go to has them just a couple feet away from the wheat grass
John Saltveit wrote:I would plant tap rooted trees to stabilize the landscape: Madrona, pawpaw and walnut if you get enough heat for them to ripen, gooseberries and currants and berries because they don't need as much sun. Is the issue amount of sun or stabilization of steep slope, or both?
Nicole Alderman wrote:
There's already some wild gooseberries up there, and they do really well. I'll definitely be adding more of them, as well as currents. I have no idea if walnuts and pawpaw do well here. I'd read somewhere that pawpaws aren't very successful in the Pacific Northwest, which disappointed me, because all our shade seemed conducive to it. Maybe I'll try experimenting with it down the road, after we've bought things we know will succeed, like berries!
As for your second question, the hill is currently very stable. It has some maples, cedars, hemlocks, salmonberries, blackberries, and grass roots holding everything in. I don't however, know if it would stay stable if we rotated, ducks &/or chickens &/or sheep across it. I'm afraid of messing around with large earthworks since I'm very inexperienced, and I don't want to destroy the stabilization that's already there. I'm afraid if I put in swales, I won't have them level, and I'll have large erosion problems...
Hugel mounds are seeming rather safe, though, especially if I put them slightly off contour like Jesse said. We have large amounts of rotting trees and limbs left up there by the previous owner, so we wouldn't even have to move them that far!
Thanks for all the ideas and inputs, everyone. You guys are great!
John Saltveit wrote:Pawpaws do great in the PNW, especially anywhere near sea level. I have had many produce fruit at both of my houses. They are way more than hardy. I have had some be amazingly productive. We are in Portland smack dab in the middle of the PNW.
Paw Paw Varieties:
He said there are few Paw Paw varieties that will ripen well in Seattle. If your goal is for good production and you don’t care about messing around with more experimental varieties, he’d recommend skipping on the Paw Paws.