hi seth! got quite a few of madores up here. your family from the valley? sounds like you're doing the same as me with the same goals. where as you have pretty flat land i think you could set it up yourself. i took a little over a half acre of lawn and planted autumn olive, goumi berry, elderberry, blueberries, a raspberry patch, aronia berry, honey berry, black currant, seaberry and serviceberry. i also have large evergreens that ring the property. i put king stropharia mushroom beds under my norway spruces. they have produced well for me and i dried and stored what i didn't eat fresh. this spring I'm adding a few apple trees, hazel nut trees and building 3 4 by 10' raised beds for vegetables. going to add branches and old wood to the bottom of the raised beds covered with horse manure then 6in. of topsoil to make them like a hugel bed. with your sandy soil i would get as much manure as you can and try to cover your planting area in about 3-4in. then get a mill, preferably hardwood to bring you some chips and sawdust to cover the manure with 3-4in. of chips. this will breakdown and improve your soil. you can plant the same year you do this. just remove the chips manure to expose the soil. shovel out a hole big enough for your tree/ shrub. put the soil in a wheelbarrow and mix in a few handfuls of worm castings. plant your tree and fill in the hole . rake back your manure chips to within 4-6in. of the tree and water. did all mine like this and they're growing like crazy! many will produce this year. could make hugel mounds too which is aslo good at retaining water. just covering the entire growing area with a manure/ chips layer will help build soil and keep water. both things you need for your sandy soil. just make sure they don't get mixed in the soil until they decompose or you will have a nitrogen deficiency for your plants. also pay attention to the sun and try to maximize its effect on your plants. you will get more satisfaction if you did it yourself! good luck!
Seth Madore wrote:Sorry for the delay in replies. Been working some long days lately (I'm a machinist at a VERY busy aerospace shop).
The intent of my layout is 99% for self reliance. There is always that 1% that thinks it would be cool to have an income in selling fresh, natural, veggies and fruit, but it's not the motivation for wanting to do what I am. Long and short? Hobby, cool factor to eat fruits and veggies grown on my own land, can/freeze/dehydrate whatever will accept that treatment, etc.
Sorry, I don't have a map with contour lines