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Soliciting Advice for Organic Orchard Restoration

Posts: 3
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Santiam Valley, OR, ~1000ft
~15 acres of fruit trees mostly apples, asian pears, and plums, that were completely neglected for ~10 years.
Most of the trees are still alive, but there are also dead spots here and there in the rows.
Trees are in ~200 yard rows with ~10 feet in between rows

Also ~15 acres of pasture, with lots of old patties and 17 head of cattle. Fish bearing stream though the pasture that we are looking to help maintain with plantings/earth works

The situation is relaxed, Experimentation is encouraged.

I don't live there yet, but by periodically stop by to help and I am looking for actions that are time efficient.

Current plans include to round up old cow patties to make compost and eventually fertilize fruit trees with.
I was told to add the manure/compost around bud break in the early spring.

I want to plant seeds in the orchards. Soliciting ideas for this time of year (sept, october) and/or the spring. I was thinking fava, comfrey, vetch, winter rye, red clover.
The goals are to improve the soil, attract pollinators, get lots of green manure, grow something edible under the fruit trees.

I will have access to a tractor.
Eventually will do hugelkultur. I have done hugel at many properties with hand tools, interested in using tractors/trucks.
Interested in tilling once and planting cover crop to begin transition to no till.

Also might till some of the pasture and plant forage crop. (Daikon, winter rye, clover,?)
Thinking about transitions to intensive grazing, rotation.

I want to grow quinoa next spring looking for a cover crop to set up for that.

Anyone know good places to buy bulk seed in Eugene or Salem area?

Property also has tons of blackberry and black locusts of all sizes.

Any advice appreciated. I can give you some great seed if your interested in appreciation of advice.
I have some worthy seeds from my travels. Most notably collard seed that changed the way I think about salads.
Leaves grow over two feet and stay super tender. Great raw for salad.
Nothing like commercial collard, I think it needs a new name.

Most interested in super simple activities, what seed to throw streambanks and in the pasture.

Posts: 3399
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
hugelkultur urban chicken food preservation bike bee
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What a great opportunity! Congratulations!

How many hours a week can you get out to the land? I think a good thing to start with is information gathering. Take LOTS of pictures, and try to be organized, so you know what/where each picture represents. It even occurred to me that you might want to start labeling the trees. In the interest of confusing pests, decreasing the density of the fruit tree plantings, moving from a monoculture outlook to a polyculture outlook, would help. So you want to figure out which trees to take out. You can't just go by the fruit (which at this time of year is mostly lying on the ground) because many apple trees (at least, I'm not sure about other species) fruit well every other year. So you want to commence observing, and start organizing your data. Maybe you could give the trees a name that also gives their location, like A12 or G32 (assuming the trees are in some sort of grid).

Locust volunteers sound like a resource, blackberry, not so much! Well, of course there's the berries, but they are mostly gone by now, I think. It's highly variable whether feral blackberries are worth picking. I picked gallons of delicious berries on the south shore of the Columbia River, but when I was up by the Sandy River, the blackberries there were terrible. Anyway, as you probably know, blackberry is a thug and needs to be controlled.

With regards to the cattle, I love Greg Judy. You've got a stream going through your cattle pasture and you want to repair it. He knows how. If you've got some time, watch:

Posts: 754
Location: Porter, Indiana
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I'm a believer of starting with the end in mind. What do you plan on doing with all that fruit?
Posts: 49
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I would love to assist you in this project. I am extremely familiar with your bioregion and have worked as a permaculture designer and installer for years in the PNW.

Be Well
Steve Baker
Posts: 3057
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
cattle chicken bee sheep
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Great video Julia.
It's a tiny ad only because the water is so cold.
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