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Forest Garden Layering

 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I've had somewhat of a struggle on what to do on my north slope. So what do you think of this??

Keep in mind I'm just starting. I've got 40 acres, perfectly square. The "pond" will not have standing water in it often. I've only really done anything with 5 of my 40 so far.
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Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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I like it, but that is not really the point. You and whoever, if anyone, else lives with you and the surrounding community matter in the design.

Your home is near the north slope. So, what do you like to eat? Does anyone live with you, how many eat with you, those might also be considerations on "what to do" with the north slope. Guiding the water away from the home would certainly be a nice objective so you don't get flooded by any rains or have the house's foundation sink. I think planting what you and any other would like to eat near the home and organize from there.

Maybe looking at other designs. like Toby Hemenway's from gaia's garden, will give you some inspiration.



Or maybe, reviewing zone and sector analysis techniques will help inspire you:



Also, going through one or two permaculture designer's client questionnaires might help you assess what your goals and needs are along with what you have to work with.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Dave Burton


The house is actually 5 acres in on the west side of the property. Nothing can be done on the west side because of driveway and wind block tree line. In front of the house we have over 4 acres. Behind the house we have 5. I'm estimating here.

As far as peeps with me, I'm married with 2 kids. My husband does not care what I do so long as he doesn't have to help. HA! The kids will eat whatever I give them or starve.

I'm looking at Korean Pine because of the pine nut factor. Plus it would be a nice northern wind and cold block. then I'm looking at the persimmon because I believe they'll be taller and will wood out a bit better. Plus it will aid as a visual block from the road there. I do want to operate as a U-Pick. So while I know lines of 1 tree in a row aren't ideal I would be doing that right at the property line.

There is a chance that markers we've seen going up are marking where an oil rig is going to be going in front of our property. The horror!!! So blocking the northern view (which used to be lovely flat wheat fields for miles) may be top priority for us. Lord I hope it's not marking a well.
 
Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Well, it sounds like it is all up to whatever you like to eat then!

Have you looked around at the Plants For a Future Database to see what you could grow in your area?
 
elle sagenev
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Dave Burton wrote:Well, it sounds like it is all up to whatever you like to eat then!

Have you looked around at the Plants For a Future Database to see what you could grow in your area?


I'll have to check that out!
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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You are pretty much doing this by yourself, so I recommend making a overall design for all 40 acres, expanding 1-2 acres at a time per year. Unless you have major machinery and on-going help.

Start as close as possible to the house as possible, while also respecting your husband play area ( BBQ, yoga area, knife throwing, junk cars, etc) and also your kids.
I would start with just a veggie and herb garden, then some quick bearing shrubs like juneberry, blueberry, strawberry, hazelnut, etc. Once you are done with that the next year. I would focus on another connected area, 1 acre at a time, nobody wants to wait 10 years to start harvesting.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Are we looking at a sketch of all forty acres? A frontage across that northern boundary of about 1200 feet?
North facing slope, but no indication of the grade, or where it starts. What runs along the northern boundary? Is there a road, or is it just the property line? With the driveway there, I would expect a road.

You have sketched in planned swales, but no indication of what you plan on planting there.

Where do your prevailing winds run? How do you plan to water the trees along that north boundary? If there is a road along there, then you may have a swale of sorts and road runoff can provide some of the water for your trees.

You say you don't want to run a u-pic, so you will place the persimmons behind the Korean pines. What is your reasoning for putting the persimmons along that line?
Is that the best place for them and are they the best choice for that space? Straight lines make mechanical harvesting possible, but for hand picking situations clumps are really more efficient.

Off the top of my head I do not think persimmons are particularly fast growing, a trait desirable in a wind/vision screen. I don't know Korean pines so cannot speak to their suitability.

Right now you are sharing a couple of elements of something that needs to be considered as a system rather than discrete elements. How the elements will interact with one another is critical to permaculture design.

Have you thought about your land in terms of the permaculture zones? Which zone(s) would these trees be in?
What kinds of predator pressures do you have? Will the young trees need deer protection? Sleeves to keep rabbits, mice and the like from girdling them ?
Have you thought about understory plantings as the trees grow, and nurse/cover/yield producing crops while the trees are developing?

Is the soil along the length where you plan to plant the trees suited to these trees, or does it vary and perhaps some other choices might be better suited for portions?

How will these plantings integrate with the rest of the design for your property?
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Peter Ellis wrote:Are we looking at a sketch of all forty acres? A frontage across that northern boundary of about 1200 feet?

Yes, that is a sketch of all 40. I've done nothing with most of it.

North facing slope, but no indication of the grade, or where it starts. What runs along the northern boundary? Is there a road, or is it just the property line? With the driveway there, I would expect a road.

It is a road, an unmaintained, unclaimed road. The particular area where I show the pond is the lowest spot on our otherwise flat property. So the grade will vary on the north slope a bit. Most of it is going to be fairly flat though.

You have sketched in planned swales, but no indication of what you plan on planting there.

The swales I sketched are already planted. I planted them this year. I've got various fruit trees on the west side and the east side is my "nut forest" as I have black walnut planted on those. I'm getting some mulberry to add in with the walnut.

Where do your prevailing winds run? How do you plan to water the trees along that north boundary? If there is a road along there, then you may have a swale of sorts and road runoff can provide some of the water for your trees.

Winds are easterly most of the time but can come from the north during the winter. I can't rely on any road water runoff as the road is lower than all of the surrounding land. It was very poorly built to say the least. Quite the bane of our existence. As far as watering I would swale them and I could provide water from a hose for the first year or so.

You say you don't want to run a u-pic, so you will place the persimmons behind the Korean pines. What is your reasoning for putting the persimmons along that line?
Is that the best place for them and are they the best choice for that space? Straight lines make mechanical harvesting possible, but for hand picking situations clumps are really more efficient.

I do want to run a U-pick. It's my whole point. I have the Korean Pines first because they would provide the most wind protection imo. The persimmons would be next as I believe they'll get a bit taller and fill the area in a bit better. I have no plans to create a planting swale for the U-pick any farther north than the one I have now. That northern swale is where the beginning of the decline to the road begins. I also have to be wary of electrical and internet lines running close to the road as the poles and markers are just on the other side of my fence.

I'm not really sure if these are the most ideal choices for planting there. I've been trying to come up with something and that's the best I have so far. I foresee this line of trees being mostly neglected as I'll pretty much be harvesting pine nuts for my own personal use, though if someone who comes to the U-pick wants to give it a go they are welcome. I also see the pines as a good idea there because I have had to give thought to theft, both by people and animals. Having a screen of pine would both inhibit view and access. Plus I have plans to leave the dogs loose and I'm sure the farmers would appreciate having a pine screen to keep my dogs from going crazy every time they drive the tractors past. My great pyr is quite enthusiastic in his responsibilities. He might be mental.


Off the top of my head I do not think persimmons are particularly fast growing, a trait desirable in a wind/vision screen. I don't know Korean pines so cannot speak to their suitability.

Right now you are sharing a couple of elements of something that needs to be considered as a system rather than discrete elements. How the elements will interact with one another is critical to permaculture design.

Have you thought about your land in terms of the permaculture zones? Which zone(s) would these trees be in?

I'm not sure how relevant zones would be to my over all concept as a U-pick. The entire 40 will have to be managed fairly well to be successful I think. I have lived on the land for the past 6 years, though, it is only now that I've begun planting fruit trees. I already have an established kitchen garden and the like, close to the house. We have a "yard" (we used to call it the dog run but now we have kids...) set up and a barn where the poultry is kept. I do plan on getting additional livestock and the 5 acres behind the house is what I'm going to use for them. We are planning on buying the 40 next to us, as the owner plans to sell in about 3 years. No house on it. So if that happens we will have additional livestock space. A green house is my big infrastructure piece for 2015 and I believe it's going to go close to the yard and barn for various reasons

What kinds of predator pressures do you have? Will the young trees need deer protection? Sleeves to keep rabbits, mice and the like from girdling them ?

Rabbits and ground animals are a very real problem for me. I got a bit lazy about fencing in my walnuts and when I was out this weekend I noticed one was consumed. I fenced the rest. Fencing is just going to happen to all my trees for awhile. However, I have adopted a ridiculous number of orphaned kittens this year and I do hope it pays off in decreased rodent populations. It had better at least, they're costing me a fortune, those kittens. Mom was hit by a car and the neighbor had no idea what to do with them. Deer are not so much an issue because the dogs repel them. The dogs simply suck at hunting everything else.

Have you thought about understory plantings as the trees grow, and nurse/cover/yield producing crops while the trees are developing?

I've purchased a variety of berry bushes and have mingled them in with my trees. I also have grapes planted at the base of all of my larger, standard sized trees. I was very late this year in both my swales and my tree planting. Did not get them done until July. So I broadcast some seed and had a decent germination rate. Had quite a variety of plants pop up. I will do better this spring on the cover/nurse/yield crops. I've been collecting seeds and roots from many people so I'm excited to plant them all in my swales

Is the soil along the length where you plan to plant the trees suited to these trees, or does it vary and perhaps some other choices might be better suited for portions?

My soil is clay. I can't grow blueberries but I haven't had a huge failure with much else. I guess I'll just get a few and see what happens.

How will these plantings integrate with the rest of the design for your property?
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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S Bengi wrote:You are pretty much doing this by yourself, so I recommend making a overall design for all 40 acres, expanding 1-2 acres at a time per year. Unless you have major machinery and on-going help.

Start as close as possible to the house as possible, while also respecting your husband play area ( BBQ, yoga area, knife throwing, junk cars, etc) and also your kids.
I would start with just a veggie and herb garden, then some quick bearing shrubs like juneberry, blueberry, strawberry, hazelnut, etc. Once you are done with that the next year. I would focus on another connected area, 1 acre at a time, nobody wants to wait 10 years to start harvesting.


I've told all my siblings if their children misbehave they can send them to work it off!!! But yes, I'm by myself. I also work full time and I do have 2 toddlers. So it is very much doing what little I can, when I can.

Our property was fenced for horses so along the house there is a fence cutting into the acreage. I'll have to remove that before I can really move on to any other parts of the acreage. I'd like to extend the existing swales. They stop where they do now because of the fence.

I do have a variety planted already though. Sorry, I should have said that. I planted 32 trees this year, 6 bushes and 10 grape vines.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Well crap I waited to long to edit and now can't. The wind comes from the west, blows east. Oy! I suck!

Danielle Venegas wrote:
Peter Ellis wrote:Are we looking at a sketch of all forty acres? A frontage across that northern boundary of about 1200 feet?

Yes, that is a sketch of all 40. I've done nothing with most of it.

North facing slope, but no indication of the grade, or where it starts. What runs along the northern boundary? Is there a road, or is it just the property line? With the driveway there, I would expect a road.

It is a road, an unmaintained, unclaimed road. The particular area where I show the pond is the lowest spot on our otherwise flat property. So the grade will vary on the north slope a bit. Most of it is going to be fairly flat though.

You have sketched in planned swales, but no indication of what you plan on planting there.

The swales I sketched are already planted. I planted them this year. I've got various fruit trees on the west side and the east side is my "nut forest" as I have black walnut planted on those. I'm getting some mulberry to add in with the walnut.

Where do your prevailing winds run? How do you plan to water the trees along that north boundary? If there is a road along there, then you may have a swale of sorts and road runoff can provide some of the water for your trees.

Winds are easterly most of the time but can come from the north during the winter. I can't rely on any road water runoff as the road is lower than all of the surrounding land. It was very poorly built to say the least. Quite the bane of our existence. As far as watering I would swale them and I could provide water from a hose for the first year or so.

You say you don't want to run a u-pic, so you will place the persimmons behind the Korean pines. What is your reasoning for putting the persimmons along that line?
Is that the best place for them and are they the best choice for that space? Straight lines make mechanical harvesting possible, but for hand picking situations clumps are really more efficient.

I do want to run a U-pick. It's my whole point. I have the Korean Pines first because they would provide the most wind protection imo. The persimmons would be next as I believe they'll get a bit taller and fill the area in a bit better. I have no plans to create a planting swale for the U-pick any farther north than the one I have now. That northern swale is where the beginning of the decline to the road begins. I also have to be wary of electrical and internet lines running close to the road as the poles and markers are just on the other side of my fence.

I'm not really sure if these are the most ideal choices for planting there. I've been trying to come up with something and that's the best I have so far. I foresee this line of trees being mostly neglected as I'll pretty much be harvesting pine nuts for my own personal use, though if someone who comes to the U-pick wants to give it a go they are welcome. I also see the pines as a good idea there because I have had to give thought to theft, both by people and animals. Having a screen of pine would both inhibit view and access. Plus I have plans to leave the dogs loose and I'm sure the farmers would appreciate having a pine screen to keep my dogs from going crazy every time they drive the tractors past. My great pyr is quite enthusiastic in his responsibilities. He might be mental.


Off the top of my head I do not think persimmons are particularly fast growing, a trait desirable in a wind/vision screen. I don't know Korean pines so cannot speak to their suitability.

Right now you are sharing a couple of elements of something that needs to be considered as a system rather than discrete elements. How the elements will interact with one another is critical to permaculture design.

Have you thought about your land in terms of the permaculture zones? Which zone(s) would these trees be in?

I'm not sure how relevant zones would be to my over all concept as a U-pick. The entire 40 will have to be managed fairly well to be successful I think. I have lived on the land for the past 6 years, though, it is only now that I've begun planting fruit trees. I already have an established kitchen garden and the like, close to the house. We have a "yard" (we used to call it the dog run but now we have kids...) set up and a barn where the poultry is kept. I do plan on getting additional livestock and the 5 acres behind the house is what I'm going to use for them. We are planning on buying the 40 next to us, as the owner plans to sell in about 3 years. No house on it. So if that happens we will have additional livestock space. A green house is my big infrastructure piece for 2015 and I believe it's going to go close to the yard and barn for various reasons

What kinds of predator pressures do you have? Will the young trees need deer protection? Sleeves to keep rabbits, mice and the like from girdling them ?

Rabbits and ground animals are a very real problem for me. I got a bit lazy about fencing in my walnuts and when I was out this weekend I noticed one was consumed. I fenced the rest. Fencing is just going to happen to all my trees for awhile. However, I have adopted a ridiculous number of orphaned kittens this year and I do hope it pays off in decreased rodent populations. It had better at least, they're costing me a fortune, those kittens. Mom was hit by a car and the neighbor had no idea what to do with them. Deer are not so much an issue because the dogs repel them. The dogs simply suck at hunting everything else.

Have you thought about understory plantings as the trees grow, and nurse/cover/yield producing crops while the trees are developing?

I've purchased a variety of berry bushes and have mingled them in with my trees. I also have grapes planted at the base of all of my larger, standard sized trees. I was very late this year in both my swales and my tree planting. Did not get them done until July. So I broadcast some seed and had a decent germination rate. Had quite a variety of plants pop up. I will do better this spring on the cover/nurse/yield crops. I've been collecting seeds and roots from many people so I'm excited to plant them all in my swales

Is the soil along the length where you plan to plant the trees suited to these trees, or does it vary and perhaps some other choices might be better suited for portions?

My soil is clay. I can't grow blueberries but I haven't had a huge failure with much else. I guess I'll just get a few and see what happens.

How will these plantings integrate with the rest of the design for your property?
 
Peter Ellis
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chuckle. Danielle, my apologies for misreading - I don't know how I put a "not" into your sentence about running a u-pick
 
elle sagenev
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Just a few pics.
20140805_194209.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140805_194209.jpg]
Pic of swale shortly after planting.
growing fast.jpg
[Thumbnail for growing fast.jpg]
Many of our trees did very well in a short time.
 
elle sagenev
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Peter Ellis wrote:chuckle. Danielle, my apologies for misreading - I don't know how I put a "not" into your sentence about running a u-pick


It happens! I do it all the time.
 
Michael Cox
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HAve you watched the 'permaculture orchard' video? It would be invaluable for you as they operate a u-pick and have worked out a lot of time and energy saving systems and compromises that would make your venture more achievable.

A couple of obvious ones - rows of trees are planted that all fruit at the same period so you don't need to go all over the place. They use black plastic mulch for their tree rows because it works ( there is a side by side video of a row with and without it, the trees with are doing much better) and they still plant a poly culture through the plastic.
 
elle sagenev
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Michael Cox wrote:HAve you watched the 'permaculture orchard' video? It would be invaluable for you as they operate a u-pick and have worked out a lot of time and energy saving systems and compromises that would make your venture more achievable.

A couple of obvious ones - rows of trees are planted that all fruit at the same period so you don't need to go all over the place. They use black plastic mulch for their tree rows because it works ( there is a side by side video of a row with and without it, the trees with are doing much better) and they still plant a poly culture through the plastic.


I have watched it a couple of times. They are an inspiration!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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