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A food forest of hedgerows  RSS feed

 
                    
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I've been given a plot of land (approx an acre) to plant a food forest on.  By given I mean...convinced a relative that their wasting a plot of land by just mowing it all the time when it could be used to grow food.  There are a few challenges involved.  The plot is a few hours away from where I live so I won't be there to manage it all too often.  It is a long and narrow plot and runs along a road that has a big 'right of way'...I called the township and I'm not supposed to plant anything within 25 feet from the center of the road.  There is a power line that runs overhead of a very large portion of the lot.  There is a LOT of limestone in the ground(makes digging a pain and probably creates an alkaline soil).  There's also a stop sign I don't want to block with my plantings.  Aside from that it's mostly a blank canvas to work with and my tree/shrub order should arrive any day.  I am not doing a 100% permaculture type setup to all degrees.  Here's the plan so far...

I'm going to hedge the entire lot along the road with hazelnut.  Then I plan to create paths between hedgerows more or less.  I have pecan, black cherry, peach and apple trees I'll use as the larger anchor type trees.  Then in between the trees I'm planting hedges of blueberry, mulberry and elderberry bushes.  I do plan to use A LOT of mulch until everything is well established.  This will make mowing around the hedges easier and add acidity for the plants that like it.  I know mowing is a terrible thing, but ripping out all the sod and planting some other ground cover just isn't in the cards yet.  There are many other trees/shrubs in the order as well but the basic idea is to make paths between tall edible hedgerows that will all converge into one larger open area with seating and small stone ring for a camp fire.

Any thoughts/insight?  The plot is in south central PA
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i planted the strip along our road, and told the county i would maintain it so they should not mow it.

they don't mind, they just lift their mower when they reach my  plantings and then put it back down past our property.

i keep the roadside plantings low so they don't interfere with site or power or anything..it is mostly perennial flowers right along the road such as daylillies, hollyhocks, iris esp siberian, field type flowers such as daisies, black eyed susaans, sweet pea, queen annes lace, bee balm, liatris, dames rocket, gaillardia, lychnis, daffodills, crocus, a few clematis vines over a wire trellis, etc.

then directly behind (north) of those is a mown path about 4 to 6' wide..

then I planted (this is in front of my house) a privacy screen of white and red pine, honeysuckle, grape, woodbine, cedar, black and white spruce, canadian hemlock, autumn olive, underplanted with similar ones to the list above ..mostly daylillies..there are a few trumpet vines but they haven't bloomed and a similar wisteria..

there is a lattice fence for the vines with a gate in it.

this is mostly for wildlife food rather than human foo as most of my human foo plants are insie of my fence and away from the roads..but it works out well for us..the  county gives me no grief about it.
 
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