We bought a seven acre piece of land near Charlotte, NC to turn into a self sufficient mini farm and to sell anything extra. So far we have 40 chickens and 16- 2'x10' & 4'x10' raised beds based on the Square Foot Garden. We are on waiting list for Nigerian Dwarf Goats and would also like to add a pig or 2 and maybe a cow. Our overall goal is to make farm as self sufficient as possible. Grow everything ourselves to feed livestock and to grow as much as possible for ourselves. The last few months I have been learning about Permaculture, Contour Swales and Hugelkultur and it just makes since to me why you would want to do this. What doesn't make since is why you wouldn't. While I wish now that I didn't do the raised beds, I will keep them for now as I have a lot of money and energy in them and so far working, I do however what to add more beds and will most likely add Contour Hugelkultur Beds for the rest of my annual garden area. My main design problem comes from what we currently call the pasture that is just being mode every 3 or 4 weeks (used for horse pasture by previous owner). I want to add Contour Hugelkultur Swales to provide grain and corn for ourselves and livestock, perennial food forest, 3-4 pasture paddocks for livestock, and an easy way to get them from their shelter to the different pastures. Also a way to keep the from eating off of beds until I want them to. We are self employed so another goal for us is to make this system as efficient as possible as we work a lot of hours. On map, White writing is current & Blue Writing is our plan and need help with. I am open to any ideas as I get all the concepts, but can't get the plan together.
Soil descent except top of hill on pasture, it is solid rock.
For the hilltop in the pasture, have you thought of pecans or black walnuts? They have tap roots that can wage war against the hardest of rocks. If you take enough soil up there so that you can start the trees from seed, in a few years they could establish themselves and begin turning the unproductive knoll into a nice nut orchard.
That is a great idea, but knoll is a slab of rock between 20-30' wide and 40'-50' down the hill towards driveway. Found this out by trying to take rocks out of pasture, so mower wouldn't hit it. Previous owner said he found it when trying to get it perked as this is where he wanted to put house. Only about 2"-6" of topsoil and some areas 0. I was thinking about a pond I watched in some videos that when over flow starts running down swales. Down side is not sure where water would come from, besides pumping it.
I also like idea of adding soil up there as this would help with growing things for pasture or other.
I know it is not a lot of land, but was hoping to figure out a way to do 3 levels of contour swales and in between them pasture paddocks.
William, Sounds like you are making the right moves toward good progress
An idea for you.
I saw a guy who had mostly sand, sell a lot of it for a few years and took clean fill dirt after he had some wholes to fill.
around here East of Dallas TX, rock and crushed rock sells well for roads.
perhaps you could make a deal with a guy with a crusher to sell to his clients and you get a piece of the income.
then perhaps he could get you the fill dirt, or you could advertise for it on your own.
that way you rebuild your soil from the ground up!
posted 5 years ago
That is a very good idea. I would be happy if they gave me enough of the profits to buy fill dirt. Thanks for the reply.