• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Boy, would I love a few knowledgeable folks around my kitchen table sipping tea about now!  RSS feed

 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm finally done lurking and ready to raise my hand to you folks! I've been resourcing Permies for years now and have made enough mistakes to float a boat. Maybe by putting myself out there I can shorten my learning curve to the relief of all around me!

I'm one of those semi-insane optimists that think she can be a wife and raise a handful of very young children all the while doing:
X- Have Dexter cattle, Kune cross pigs, Boer goats, chickens/ducks, Maremma dogs, and other interchangeable animals as suits me at the time.
X- arrange and re-arrange my animals around me on 5 acres to their best advantage on a weekly or monthly or yearly basis depending on my next best idea (or when they find their way to the neighbors - again!)
X- carve the land to a keyline design with a shovel, a broadfork, and a pickaxe (still working on the finer details and dryer ground for this one - HELP!)
X- create a forest/pasture situation from the ground up
X- Create smaller paddocks for rotational grazing
Oh, and do all kinds of in house farming of ferments and the like...

I do have a fabulous husband that is able to help sometimes, but this is mostly my thing. He's working full time and remodeling our 120 year old farm house.

The facts:
I have 5 acres of SWWash land to work with that is all moderate hillside west and southwest faced slope.
2.5 overgrazed acres are in pasture with 4 paddocks fenced with at least one good sized hole in each making it basically one big pasture (oh, how I try.... Electric fencing is going up on the top and bottom as I can get out there)
I figure I'm a zone 7.

What I'm after:
Anyone recommend a good Permaculture Advisor to help me sort through my wishes to see what is possible and what to do first?
Is there anyone local who would come have a look-see and give me their feedback?
Any keyline plow available nearby?
Any insane person willing to work for trading?

Offering:
I'm all for plant swaps - especially those kind that forest gardens and forest pasturing are made of.
I have to offer in smaller quantities: Black current, Raspberry, Iris, comfrey, and other assorted starts....

I have searched high and low for locals on this site and don't see much.... Lots of lurkers likely enough....

I'm holding my breath in anticipation to see what bits of wisdom fall my way!

Thanks!
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Heya there Carmen,

Sounds like you already have a pretty good Idea of what you want out of the place and a good start at it too! I don't travel much but if you put up pictures I'm more than happy to sit around drinking tea and pretending I'm there. The farthest south I've really worked is in Thurston County, with much more experience a bit further north. But I think the differences are pretty minor. I'm much better acquainted with 'farm' type work - but it has involved lots of manual earth forming.

Put up some pictures and I'm sure you'll have a bunch of people talking about um. Listen to what sounds good and ignore the rest, ay?

Hopefully you'll find some people around on here who can actually set boots on the ground. Best of luck - there are some people from the PNW cruising around on here for sure.
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 376
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
11
duck food preservation solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tel Jetson is our Permies ambassador assigned to your locale

Look up a few of his posts here and you will see what he is doing - maybe stop by his place and buy some eggs or a beehive!

My place over in Rainier, OR is long on hay, beef cattle, and starting to have more trees. My sis lives in Kalama so I make it there once in a while.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
87
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Start a project thread.

Nice to see another maremma owner.
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey! Great to hear from you all! Thanks! I'll get some pictures loaded up here when I get some decent light to shoot some this morning. If anyone has any tips for helping to show the scale or... of the landscape? this is largely a hill side... I'll give it my best shot
Eric - I'll look Tel up! And hey, next time your in Kalam welcome up!
Landon - I"d really appreciate your feedback
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
87
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Google Earth is good depending on your location & it has a scale. For better or worse I can make out 2 cows & eletronetting on my satellite image!
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1132
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
127
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to permies from another new type person. This place is a fertile land of ideas and information, I hope you find what you are looking for here.
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Boy, between waiting for decent weather to take pictures and figuring out how to upload them is taking a bit of time! I'm trying to put worthwhile pics here to get the best input !!
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is the pictures from mid slope looking from the house facing south
Another set of pictures are further up slope also facing south

I'm not sure how much you can make out of it. I tried to get a google maps view or a county assessors map but couldn't seem to get it figured out.
IMG_20140329_180125.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20140329_180125.jpg]
 
Nicole Alderman
garden master
Posts: 1554
Location: Pacific Northwest
209
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hopefully this link will take you to Cowlitz County's Permit/Zoning Map: http://www.cowlitzinfo.net/netmaps25/index.html

I got to it from here: http://www.cowlitzinfo.net/applications/cowlitzassessorparcelsearch/%28S%28if4vs3553xgornq00qdip255%29%29/Default.aspx

You should be able to type in your address and it will lead you to an aerial view of your house/property.

For some reason, I couldn't get google to show me terrain contours, but http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/ will show them to you if you zoom into where you live and click "my topo" on the top right corner of the map.

I hope this helps!
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks! I looked there and the topo isn't available in my area (arrg) and I couldn't find a way to get it as a file to upload here... ?
IMG_20140329_175802.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20140329_175802.jpg]
IMG_20140329_175808.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20140329_175808.jpg]
IMG_20140329_175816.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20140329_175816.jpg]
 
Nicole Alderman
garden master
Posts: 1554
Location: Pacific Northwest
209
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To upload a map picture that you see on your screen, you can hit the "prt scn" (print screen) button on your keyboard. It should be above your arrows, at the top of your keyboard. Then, open up paint (or photoshop, or other image program) and hit "paste" (you can use "ctrl" and "V" keys at the same time, or select "paste" from the menu). The screen image should appear, and then you can save the image on your computer, and then upload the image. If that makes sense...
 
Nicole Alderman
garden master
Posts: 1554
Location: Pacific Northwest
209
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Cowlitz County Road Atlas might also have your contours: http://www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=725

It opens in a PDF, and you have to find the page that has your address. But, it's better than nothing!
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So the uphill side where the house is is north and that entire slope is facing south? You look like you have a lot to play with!
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nicole - Thanks for your ideas! I really put some time into getting that topo map figured out and at this time I'll have to continue on without it, sadly enough.

Landon - I am taking pictures facing south - so the slope is mostly west with some southwest. It is at least an open site where I don't have to work with existing plants other than grass.

Bill - Stars!!! I get lost in here everytime I get here! Suddenly the other daily life chores take an instant back seat! Good thing kids come with self adjusting volume as the needs be.

CJ - I'm topo less on google maps, bummer.

One thing I have not found on here is anyone using broad forks for making swales?! After selling a dexter yearling I went out and splurged on one. I drove an hour down to Boring, OR and bought one from the maker of the tool. Bob from Red Pig Tools. That was a fortunate bit of inspiration! He taught me to make a trench first equal to the width and depth that I want to dig and how to use the weight of the tool to do the work and how to work with the tool instead of against it.

He also makes his broadforks with a curved edge on the bottom and not squared off like many others I've checked out. He said it increases the strength of the tool many times over. He said the tool is guaranteed for life! His or mine which ever comes first

All I gotta say is "WOW!!" I am so impressed! If anyone is letting needing a tractor stand in the way of swale making - you can be done now!

Yesterday without the broadfork we (myself, and 7 children mine and cousins of mine) made a -passable for the situation- swale roughly 20" wide by 12" deep and 12 feet wide and it took us most of the afternoon.

Today with the broadfork my husband (!!) and I in 20 minutes did a much nicer 2' wide 1' deep - crisp edged, even bottomed swale that was about the same as long. I am SO tickled! I have been held back for SOOOO long because of the idea of needing a machine or tons of time that I couldn't round up. Now I can see the area I'm swale ing done in the next week easily, by myself!

Let the planting begin!

Anyone have trouble with birds eating all the seeds before they can become the lush plantings I envision? Can I plant seeds under woodchips with any thoughts of success?
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1132
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
127
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Carma Nykanen wrote:One thing I have not found on here is anyone using broad forks for making swales?! After selling a dexter yearling I went out and splurged on one. I drove an hour down to Boring, OR and bought one from the maker of the tool. Bob from Red Pig Tools. That was a fortunate bit of inspiration! He taught me to make a trench first equal to the width and depth that I want to dig and how to use the weight of the tool to do the work and how to work with the tool instead of against it.

He also makes his broadforks with a curved edge on the bottom and not squared off like many others I've checked out. He said it increases the strength of the tool many times over. He said the tool is guaranteed for life! His or mine which ever comes first

All I gotta say is "WOW!!" I am so impressed! If anyone is letting needing a tractor stand in the way of swale making - you can be done now!

Yesterday without the broadfork we (myself, and 7 children mine and cousins of mine) made a -passable for the situation- swale roughly 20" wide by 12" deep and 12 feet wide and it took us most of the afternoon.

Today with the broadfork my husband (!!) and I in 20 minutes did a much nicer 2' wide 1' deep - crisp edged, even bottomed swale that was about the same as long. I am SO tickled! I have been held back for SOOOO long because of the idea of needing a machine or tons of time that I couldn't round up. Now I can see the area I'm swale ing done in the next week easily, by myself!

Let the planting begin!

Anyone have trouble with birds eating all the seeds before they can become the lush plantings I envision? Can I plant seeds under woodchips with any thoughts of success?


This the critter you're talking about Carma? I've always wanted one. ETA: I forgot to ask which one you bought.


Red Pig's Site
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bill,
It is! He offered to make me one that was a bit broader after hearing what I was going to use it for, but I was realllly wanting one yesterday so I took the one he had.
It is slick to work with! Our clay is damp right now and it bit off piece after piece of dirt wonderfully! We flipped it dirt side up on the bottom side of the swale so the grass was sandwiched between.

Now I am in the process of planting trees and their friends on the lower side of the swale. I need to get seeds up there and spread them all about on the dirt before the bark dusting commences.
 
Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
Learn, Design, Teach, & Inspire with Permaculture games.
FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!