Next season I will be starting work on a piece of land in Texas and I will be growing food, for me, and plant medicines, to sell. I would like to create a diverse food forest, but I am still gathering ideas on how to get going. There is quite a bit of land which I will have access to, so I would like to start closest to the house with my intensively cultivated land, and move outward from there. Currently there is some good black soil to grow on and there is much bluestem, and other grasses growing in the area. So my question is what is a good technique no begin cultivation of the land? Aeration? Fertility? Earthworks? Water? Grasshoppers? Deer?
What is your vision for the land? What does the site look like?
Starting at your house: what do you regularly eat? What would you like to eat? The answers to these two questions are the types of plants, fungi, animals, and other organisms that should be grown on your land. The food eaten most frequently, I think, should be grown near the home for easier access. Depending on the structure of the site and the requirements of what you like to eat will help determine the methods appropriate for your situation.
It's hot hot in a Texas summer. Water, therefore has to be a priority. Where to get it; how to store it and hold it on site; how to 'slow it, spread it and sink it'. Also how to get it to your plants. Ben Falk and anyone you care to ask on the topic, says GRAVITY is the best, sustainable, long-term way to go. Good luck with your project. R
Ecoboy, hoping to develop a forest garden in Donegal in Ireland's Atlantic North West.
Desing for little openings for veggies that really need sun, other annual openings can be shaded with good long term pioneer species scattered all over.
Place annual sytems as close to house as possible in good spot with water and protected from wind - if they don't exsist desing and implement them.
Also protect most of your fruit with windbreaks.
Start with swales for water catchment/wind protection/biomass production.
Plant mostly pioneers and year after year add fruit trees and shrubs in protected areas.