• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

my new food forest

 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Day-1

Ok, we've taken the plunge. We've got compost (free horse manure/straw from a local ranch), a dump truck load of top soil, and a load of mulch. We've decided to start with the front yard where we will also put our kitchen garden this year. Why the front yard? Because there's no HOA, and if the neighbors don't like it, I don't really care because they mostly suck, and it's a southern exposure.

Our property is .47 acres near Hickory, NC. Zone 7a.


Plants so far:

Bartlett Pear (existing)
Weeping Willow (existing)
Asian Pear
Pineapple Pear
Fuyu Persimmon
Wild American Persimmon (existing)
Winesap Apple
Arkansas Black Apple
Paw Paw x2
Brown Turkey Fig
Texas Everlasting Fig
Loquat
Pink Lemonade Blueberry
Climax Blueberry
Powder Blue Blueberry
Catnip
Lemonbalm
Muscadine Grapes (2 var.)
Scuppernog Grapes (2 var.)
Hardy Kiwi (male and female)
Butterfly bush

As more herbs become available or can be scounged, we'll be adding them in. Might have found a good local source for medicinals, culinary, and permaculture plants (bonus).

So not counting yesterday, when we cleared some old 50+ year old Boxwoods and some overgrown vines along the back fence, today was the first day getting trees in the ground. Got about 1/3 of them in and pruned, plus we hoed up a section of grass between the drive and the eastern property line and cleaned all the old pea gravel out of the beds against the house.

Here's some pics of the place so far.

20140315_181643.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140315_181643.jpg]
20140315_181849.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140315_181849.jpg]
20140315_181759.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140315_181759.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
More pics.

These things never look very foresty on the first day. Best part of the day was when my 1 cool neighbor saw us working hard and called us over for shots of 151.
20140315_181741.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140315_181741.jpg]
20140315_181658.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140315_181658.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Future projects:

Sheet mulch and plant garden in front yard.
Remove large alleopathic trees and a large pine in backyard.
Repurpose and expand pen in backyard to house chickens.
Build colony pen for meat rabbits.
Add 1500 sq.ft. garden in backyard.
Add zone3 food/timber forest in back.
Build rmh in place of existing fire pit.
Build greenhouse.
Whatever takes my fancy when I have time and money.


One thing I've learned from digging all day is, I need to hurry up and get my PDC so I can charge people to come do this work for me. J/k
 
Lee Real
Posts: 28
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great plan. I keep my fingers crossed for Your projects!
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Day-2

Got most of the other trees in before it started raining too hard. Just 4 left plus the grapes and kiwis, but those are the ones I haven't locked down on placement yet.

Got some bamboo that I cleared from a neighbor's lot. Gonna use it to built trelli across the front of my house for the grapes. I like the idea of walking out on my front stoop and grabbing a bunch of grapes. My family goes through 3 lbs of grapes within 2 days, and that's only because that's all we get at a time at $2-3/lbs. But, it's supposed to rain for the next 2 days so that'll have to wait for Tuesday.

I have the greatest wife in the world. As soon as I got my boots off, I was greeted with a stiff rum and coke. Love you, honey!



 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some more pics.
20140316_122844.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140316_122844.jpg]
20140316_122850.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140316_122850.jpg]
20140316_122858.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140316_122858.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Day-4

Well it rained most of today too, and has been generally nasty. So, I didn't get to the trellis. But I was able to score a fair amount of cardboard from our local discount store. Looks like I'll be spending the evening peeling tape and breaking the boxes down.
20140318_182219.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140318_182219.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well despite all the distractions, I've finally got the first grape arbor built. It cost $2 in twine and about 10 hours of actual work time, plus some seriously sore hands from getting the bindings tight.
20140322_190826.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140322_190826.jpg]
20140322_190814.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140322_190814.jpg]
20140322_192600.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140322_192600.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It only looks crooked because it's free standing on the ground. I left the legs long so I can trim the to length when I put it in the ground tomorrow.
 
Heidi Hoff
Posts: 127
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Victore! What a fabulous project. Way to jump in with both feet and no looking back!

I'm envious on several scores: all the things you'll be able to plant in zone 7, the fact that you can plant on March 16 in zone 7, and the unimaginable riches of having a neighbor with bamboo to clear!

You might want to check out the work that Stefan Sobkowiak is doing with polyculture plantings here. He is really big on getting his nitrogen-fixers (locust or caragana or whatever suits you) in the ground between his production trees. The Bullock brothers plant N-fixers in the same hole with the fruit tree, let them grow on for a while, then simply cut down the N-fixer when it starts interfering with the now well-established fruit tree. You could also simply plant things like clover and beans around your trees, but don't let the beans take over and swamp your trees when young.

Did you abandon plans for peaches?

Keep us posted on all your progress.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Heidi.

I just got some inoculated clover and alfalfa seed i'm going to broadcast along with turnip, radish, and other root crops, ala Ben Falk. Also I was thinking of getting some bareroot black locusts from the forestry service. Only issue is the minimum order is kinda high for my needs, but I might be able to pot them up and sell them for $10-20/plant.

Getting some of the stuff I want locally is a bit tricky in this area. Very few people here have heard of permaculture, let alone practice it. Perennial legumes are hard to find, so I'm constantly on the look out. Things like seaberry, hawthorne, goji berry, and other "weird plants" are practically non-existent.

This has brought me to the conclusion that I will need to be the wind-blown weed seed that has found a niche, and will take it over.

And no I haven't given up on the peaches. In fact, my mother just told me of someone trying to get rid of some peace and plum trees for free. Just need to get that hookup quick, because the end of dormancy if fast approaching.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A pic.
20140323_181505.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140323_181505.jpg]
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 98
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm getting sore & tired just looking at your pictures...LOL
Awesome work - keep it up.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Haha, yes my hands were quite sore from tying all those knots and getting the lashings tight enough. But I would rub some fresh cut aloe vera on at night and they were good by morning. There something very satisfying about the soreness you get from doing/making something for yourself. It's a feeling I don't get from working for an employer, even though I would give my all and try to work with the highest quality and integrity, it would just leave me weary and drained. Here I felt a feeling of accomplishment and invigorated, especially from all the nice compliments from friends, neighbors, and fellow permies.

Thanks
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Victore Hammett wrote: Also I was thinking of getting some bareroot black locusts from the forestry service. Only issue is the minimum order is kinda high for my needs, but I might be able to pot them up and sell them for $10-20/plant.


Excellent idea if they let you. Our forestry service forbids that, but there is no problem trading them for different plants. You just can't SELL them--although you could probably sell the pot they are in....
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
13
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Victore Hammett wrote:There something very satisfying about the soreness you get from doing/making something for yourself. It's a feeling I don't get from working for an employer, even though I would give my all and try to work with the highest quality and integrity, it would just leave me weary and drained. Here I felt a feeling of accomplishment and invigorated, especially from all the nice compliments from friends, neighbors, and fellow permies.


I would thumbs up this comment a thousand times if I could.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let the sheet mulching comenceth.

I'm kinda regretting the decision not to rent the skid steer, but I have to stop the funds from siphoning out of my bank account. I am one tired puppy. 9 hours of chipping, forking, spreading, shoveling, carting, and more spreading will take it out of ya, but my previous statement still holds true. Definitely gonna sore in the morning when I get back at it.

At least I had the help and companionship of my lovely wife, the garden ninja! And we did make more progress than is shown in the pictures.
20140331_154702.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140331_154702.jpg]
20140331_171849.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140331_171849.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beware the garden ninja!
20140331_170447.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140331_170447.jpg]
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Awesome stuff victore
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Finished laying topsoil on the first section of the garden. Covered it all with composted horse manure, scounged more cardboard and got it cleaned, dug first section of swale, and fixed a leak on my side of the watermeter where the water guy conveniently blew out an o-ring when he cross-threaded the pressure cap, and turned my compost pile. Life on my little 1/2 acre farm is getting pretty busy.
20140401_191226.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140401_191226.jpg]
20140401_191314.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140401_191314.jpg]
20140401_191237.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140401_191237.jpg]
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 280
Location: North Carolina zone 7
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looks like a well thought out project. I really dislike cardboard for any project that produces edibles. However, I know plenty of folks that do it without issue.
I'm really looking forward to seeing more pics as it matures. I live in kannapolis so I get to Hickory on occasion. May message you just so I can drive by to check it out. Great project! Keep up the good work!
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Scott. Feel free to message me, any time.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple update pics. Been working on it all week. Swale is done. Garden is covered in topsoil. My black locusts whips came it, so they'll be going in this weekend or early next week. Really pushed to get as much done as possible today, due to the storms we may get tonight. Out of manure, so I'll be getting the rest of the garden covered, this weekend hopefully, when I can get some more.
20140404_175412.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140404_175412.jpg]
20140404_175343.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140404_175343.jpg]
20140404_173633.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140404_173633.jpg]
 
Aimee Grimmel
Posts: 18
Location: Western Mountains Maine Zone 5a - 4b
bee chicken forest garden
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looking really good! Since I could not find many of the trees and such that I wanted locally, I ordered lots of seed off ebay. You'd be amazed what you can find on there. We'll be starting most of ours this month!
Can't wait to see how your yard looks as everything grows in
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm gonna keep a sharp eye out when we go to the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, next weekend. With my tickets I received a coupon for $1 seed packs. We'll see what they got, and I'm sure there will be a few whacko permies around who I can network with to find the skinny on local sources.
 
Josh Wells
Posts: 26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looking good! That ground is starting out looking pretty bare. Will be fun to see it transformed into a lush food forest. I would add some comfrey plantings.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I got a hook-up for comfrey. He said he would see about getting me some root cuttings Thursday.
 
Rusty Shackleford
Posts: 22
Location: Tidewater Virginia
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great effort Victore, please continue to share throughout the seasons! Have a look at the bottom of this page http://www.carolinanature.com/plants/ for some books about plants in our general area.
also, check this yurt out, it's in your neck of the woods. https://www.facebook.com/ncyurt
Cheers
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the great links, Rusty.
 
Jenna Sanders
Posts: 54
Location: Michigan, zone 5
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! for posting this. We are starting on our own projects this spring (the snow is almost all gone here!) and it is so fun/encouraging to see yours going up.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The swale in action. Looks like I need to raise the height of my dam a little and may trim the corner of the bed, but other than that it seems to be working as designed. Any earthworks experts have analysis?
20140407_071631.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_071631.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few more pics.

Water seems to be undermining my front beds along the original ditch, riding along the cardboard. I think I'll cut the cardboard away along the paths, remove the grass there and drop some mulch.

Also it's going around the end of the swale, so I think I'll extend the end of the swale by about 6 feet, slightly above the contour line to keep that water from flooding my neighbor's driveway and channel it more through the garden.

Any thoughts?
20140407_075301.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_075301.jpg]
20140407_075332.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_075332.jpg]
20140407_075347.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_075347.jpg]
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And a few more.
20140407_075425.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_075425.jpg]
20140407_075458.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_075458.jpg]
20140407_075517.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140407_075517.jpg]
 
Cris Bessette
gardener
Pie
Posts: 766
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
35
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

"Getting some of the stuff I want locally is a bit tricky in this area. Very few people here have heard of permaculture, let alone practice it. Perennial legumes are hard to find, so I'm constantly on the look out. Things like seaberry, hawthorne, goji berry, and other "weird plants" are practically non-existent. "

Same thing here. Very rural. Thanks to Ebay, Amazon, Bountiful Gardens, and other sites on the net, these "weird things" are available everywhere.

Though, you do tend to have to start with seeds or very small plants. I did find my goji bush at a Master Gardener's Spring plant sale though.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't mind starting from seed, nor do I rule out using online sources. I just prefer to support local/regional businesses whenever possible. And I'm not in any big hurry. If it takes a little while to go through my options, ok no biggie. When I'm ready they will come, and with all the work I have already on my plate, I have still have work to do to prepare for when they arrive.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bump
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Something interesting I observed regarding the water in my swale. The water pretty much sat there all day with little evaporation or absorption. It was a sunny, warm day and the water level dropped 1-2 inches. Within a few hours of sunset the water level began falling more rapidly and was mostly gone by morning with only some pooling at the low point in the silt trap/dam. That represents a drop of about 6" over night. I would assume that evaporation would be less at night with lower temperature and little to no solar radiation. So that indicates water absorption rates into the ground are much higher at night.

I'll be interested to see if these observations are repeated over time.
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Victore Hammett wrote:Something interesting I observed regarding the water in my swale. The water pretty much sat there all day with little evaporation or absorption. It was a sunny, warm day and the water level dropped 1-2 inches. Within a few hours of sunset the water level began falling more rapidly and was mostly gone by morning with only some pooling at the low point in the silt trap/dam. That represents a drop of about 6" over night. I would assume that evaporation would be less at night with lower temperature and little to no solar radiation. So that indicates water absorption rates into the ground are much higher at night.

I'll be interested to see if these observations are repeated over time.

Another possibility is that the soil got moist enough that it finally started wicking the water. In your pics the soil looks pretty dry (before the rain, obviously). If you continue to have better absorption at night, that would be interesting. It might get me to look more closely at my swales rate of absorption.
 
Victore Hammett
Posts: 54
Location: near Hickory, NC
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thought I would add a few update photos to show how things are going. We're making progress. We've added to the tree count with some black locusts scattered around the front and put about 60 of them in a small area in the back for future timber. We've added quite a few plants and are adding more as we can. Plants we put in early on are doing great and the garden is showing patches of green from the veggie seeds we scattered around. We also added some elderberry and goji berry that we found locally. While it's totally a work in progress, we're happy so far and look forward to the continuing journey.

20140503_155747.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140503_155747.jpg]
20140503_155753.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140503_155753.jpg]
20140503_160111.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140503_160111.jpg]
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic