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Steve-NE Alabama Converting Established Woodland to Food Forest

 
Ashley Handy
Posts: 107
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When I saw the email about your book, I became so excited! I thought "This just might be what I need!" My husband and I have just purchased 1.5 acres here in North East Alabama, and over half of it is established woodland.

Most of the information and advice that I find on starting a food forest are geared toward starting from scratch. There doesn't seem to be a lot out there for converting an already well established woodland.

My husband and I figure we'll go at it a little bit at a time. The first priority is, of course, to identify what's out there. Then, to clear what we don't want (or what is not beneficial to us) recycling it into compost -or forest flooring as it were.

Things I have identified thus far are as follows: Mimosa Tree, Willow Tree, Pine Tree, some form of Wild Blackberry (Dewberry?), Honeysuckle. Staghorn Sumac Tree, Sweet Gum Tree, and Pecan Tree. That's just what I can see from the back yard.

We are probably going to wait until the cool weather sets in before trompsing out through there as we have no clue what we might find (so far wasps and yellow jackets seem to prevail on the property).

Some things I've thought of adding are Maple Trees, Ginkgo Trees, black locust Trees, Paw Paw Trees, Autumn Olive, Kousa Dogwood, and of course an assortment of fruiting and nut trees and shrubs that do well around here. I'm sure my plan will flesh out more as I go and as I learn.

That being said, congratulations on your book! It looks AWESOME and extremely helpful!!!
 
Steve Gabriel
Posts: 27
Location: New York
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Thanks Ashley, we are always pleased to here folks feel like the content will be relevant to them.

Sounds like you have a great strategy - observe what is there, then integrate other elements slowly, observing to see how the changes you make affect the rest of the system...

1.5 acres may seems small, but its really nice. In fact, of our ten acres, only about 3.5 is actually woodland (we are tree planting on the rest!). In just one acre we have our sugar maple grove for syrup, produce shiitake mushrooms, and raise our ducks. You can do a lot on very little land.

cheers
Steve
 
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