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Starting from Scratch

Posts: 3
Location: East Central Missouri, a few miles from the Mississippi River. Perryville Karst
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Greetings fellow Permies.

Been reading, studying and following this site for a few years now. Great fan and finally have a reason to join and post.

My fiancee is finally talking about retiring in the next year or so. We have found a nice patch of land (~7.2 ac., see attachment) we hope to close on soon.

There is about 2 acres across the road that is heavily wooded and very steep. Suitable for a wood lot and goats. Haven't inventoried the timber yet but plan to harvest some with an eye toward stand improvement and sustainability.

The rest has been pastured and or hayed for who knows how long. It appears nearly dead flat to the naked eye, but I guess the 100 year flood plain boundary would suggest otherwise. Regarding the floodplain issue, talked to some of the neighbors and even though this summer has seen repeated horrendous torrential downpours with lots of local flash flooding the creek never left its banks (guess that's why they call it Dry Fork). In any event the house and outbuildings will all be built above the floodplain. There is a small strip of woods on the other side of the creek we plan to keep in a natural state with improvements for wildlife habitat and food plots.

Here are my initial thoughts.

Plant shelter belts down both sides for windbreaks, wildlife, and privacy. The state department of conservation has a very good nursery program providing planting stock at extremely reasonable prices. Every winter they publish the order form in the MISSOURI CONSERVATIONIST (a free monthly magazine that is one of the best uses of tax dollars I can think of, end of plug). Can't wait to place my order. Thinking black locust, Osage orange, black berries... Suggestions welcome.

Along the borders of the creek, willows, bull rushes (native bamboo)... Suggestions?

Of course, plan to over seed the remaining open ground with the usual suspects, field radish, clover, alfalfa, native wild flowers... Again suggestion welcome.

I figure this will give me time to come up with a plan for placement of earthworks, fencing, nut and fruit orchard, improvements...

If you are still with me (sorry for the long introductory post), anything I missed?



PS Of course chickens figure into the mix as well.

[Thumbnail for 7-Acres.jpg]
Posts: 2007
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Welcome to Permies, Mike. It's an exciting time, starting on new property. I hope you'll get lots of ideas of specific plants from the people in the Ozarks forum and region.

A good thing to do this first fall is soil improvement. Elaine Ingham recommends fall as the best time to jump start the Soil Food Web. Per her recommendations, a sprinkling of a vibrantly alive compost covered with mulch in the fall will give them all winter to get growing. (you might also want to add some humates to feed the fungi you hope will take up residence in your soil) If you can't imagine getting the whole pasture area done, why not at least do a test plot?

A great resource just posted today here on permies is on this thread.


The guide lists plants that share the same requirements for fungi to bacteria ratio in the soil. It is a brand new resource based on the development of soil from bacterial dominated to fungal dominated. When we plant things based on their need for a specific fungal to bacterial ratio plants thrive.

Enjoy your adventure!

Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Hey mike sounds like a great project. Missouri has a great list of seedlings offered. A few that jumped out to me are paw paw, persimmon, Serviceberry, wild plum, Mulberry, hazelnut, currant, Chokecherry, pecan, black walnut and a bunch more really. I wish Oklahoma had such a diverse state tree catalog.

My own personal favorite book for woodlot management is called Woodlands for Profit and Pleasure found here at amazon for under 4 dollars. It has a ton of details about taking inventory and starting off with a new piece of land.

Goodluck and keep us posted.
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