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New member - introduction and project list (including vague 5 year plan)  RSS feed

 
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Hello all!

Spotted this video on the hugelkultur thread i was reading and made my way here. Most active forums i've seen yet on the lifestyle i've picked out for myself so i figure i might as well join and contribute and learn both

We're sitting on 6 acres, 200 feet wide about 1400 feet deep, near capital city Michigan. We have our home in which 5 adults live, and my pole barn in which my blacksmith shop and car works resides. The first acre and a half is lawns and mowed greens, as per to how the land was set out when we got here. I'm slowly adding raised garden beds and trellising for both grapes and berries to this area, as space permits, though we do host quite a number of parties and the open lawn does provide a bit of parking and space for such shenanigans.

Behind the lawns is a natural barrier of pines, and the 'fields'. 30+ years ago this used to be monoag for corn and soy, but no tool has touched it since (exceptions mine own!)

We've been here for a month shy of 2 years now, and I have a garden opened up thats 50x100ft, a chicken coop installed and birds in it, spaces opened (of large trees not brush) for my pig pens and lean too barns.

This season is coming to an end, but before it does i'm planning on installing trellising for 30 conchord grape plants (which came with the property on the most untended grape trellis ever). Incidentally we also have the most massive apple tree i've ever seen, the truck at the ground being easily 2 feet thick, and even this year with the drought issues i am ballparking 2-4 45 gallon trash cans full of apples off the one tree.

We also have a lot of wild grape, mulberry, cherry, and autumn olive, all of which we're planning on cultivating.

Year 1 - reclaim trails, land, open garden, get moved in etc
Year 2 - Garden, chickens
Year 3 - pigs, expand chickens, cut new garden field and rotate
Year 4 - goats, cut new garden field and rotate
year 5 - south wall greenhouse, root cellar, orchard

Surprisingly, we're on track and moving forward out here

Moving forward i find myself in need of someone who knows how to prune grapes and fruit trees. i've never had to, and despite a colorful past and work history, i'm at a loss as to how to proceed.

I'm also a bit of a technical person. I work in Computer IT, and plan on bringing some modern tech into my antique method - i'm in the process of forging out my own scythe blade while waiting for my aquaponics equipment to show up

http://tipsyraven.com/homestead/

This is where i'm posting a lot of the information regarding the permiculture of my homestead, usually with pictures. I don't update it as much as i could, but frankly, i'm usually holding a hammer, not a camera.

http://tipsyravenforge.deviantart.com/

And this you can find some of my tinkering on blacksmith stuff, and the shenanigans associated to that.

If any of you have any questions or whatnot for me, let me know!

Immediate upcoming projects:

Grape trellising, leaf shredder, snow plow.

~~Dan Eakin
Lansing, MI USA
 
pollinator
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Welcome to Permies, Dan!

My only advice would be to not wait until year 5 for the orchard, but to start thinking about it now. And if there are places you want fruit trees, get them started next spring. Fruit trees are long term projects, so the sooner you get on them, the sooner you can be enjoying the fruits of your labors. I find that once you have fruit trees in, you really can plan the rest of the garden around them.
 
Dan Eakin
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John Elliott wrote:Welcome to Permies, Dan!

My only advice would be to not wait until year 5 for the orchard, but to start thinking about it now. And if there are places you want fruit trees, get them started next spring. Fruit trees are long term projects, so the sooner you get on them, the sooner you can be enjoying the fruits of your labors. I find that once you have fruit trees in, you really can plan the rest of the garden around them.



The biggest problem with that is getting the overgrowth cleared back. I'm doing it all with hand tools

And trust me, i know how much of a pain it is to wait for a tree to come to fruit, but i have a behemoth of an apple tree to tide me over

I imagine next year the majority of that clearing will be done, if the chain/truck combination keeps working for pulling junk out of my way for clearing. I will be posting some pictures soon too so you all can see the glorious amount of mess i'm fihgting down first so that i can build the vision

 
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Howdy Dan, welcome to permies!

And in your spare time... .. Maybe you could start a thread like this one... http://www.permies.com/t/30487/gear/Wood-Charcoal-Blacksmithing-Tips-Tricks
And show us some of your shenanigans.
 
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