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Just starting off and looking for some advice

 
Ben Bauer
Posts: 2
Location: Pine City, Minnesota
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Hello Everyone new to the forum

I just bought some land (53 acres) and was wondering how to get a permaculture forest and food forest started, I do not live on the land but I am looking for items I can do to help grow some food for me and the forest animals. Thanks for your time
 
Adrien Lapointe
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What climate, what type of soil?

Is it bare fields?

Are you planning on living there?

Are you looking at starting a farm, or just having a homestead?

Do you want to have animals?

Sorry for replying with questions, but before I suggest anything, I need to figure out what your specifics are.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Watch all the videos here: http://geofflawton.com/
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau, Ben, welcome to permies. If you would, please add some information about your location, USDA ZONE, climate particulars to your profile so we all will know how to give you our best answers, tailored to your location. Thanks.

53 acres is a nice sized plot of land. Besides growing food on it for now, what are your long term desires for this land? I can point you to some great stuff if you let me know what your wanting to do with that land.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 294
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I'm looking to buy 10-30 acres. What I'd do first is ID the trees already there and do anything possible to encourage the more useful trees. Here I'd look for pecan, walnut, pawpaw, plum, persimmon and mulberry trees. I'd do some thinning near the best trees to reduce competition. Maybe clear some of the brush under them to make harvest easier. Then I'd decide what to plant and where.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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I will suggest that the first priority is to observe and become familiar with the land.
How does water move on the land? Are there wet, or dry, spots? Does it run onto yours from a neighbor and what is the neighbor doing on their land?
Managing your water is a critical key to overall design.
geoff lawton, Darren Doherty and Mark Shepard all have great info on youtube. P.A. Yeoman wrote a book decades ago, Water for every farm, that remains a great work today.
Learn about your area's native plants and which are useful for your needs. Building with a native foundation helps assure your plants match your location.
The first key to all your decisions needs to be observation of your land.
People here are happy to help, but without more info on b your property we can only make general recommendations.
 
Kris Minto
Posts: 137
Location: Ottawa, Canada -- Zone 4b/5a
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Definitely observe your land for a year as stated above. The bigger the land, the long or more time you will need to spend observing it. When I moved to my house in the suburb I jump right away at creating gardens and didn't take the time to observe (this was before I discovered Permaculture less than two years later). As a consequence I had a water management issue because I not realise how much water was coming off my roof and from my neighbour (30-40 feet away). I mitigated the issue but I could have avoided the extra work and headache had I took the time to observed even in my suburb backyard. In fact I may have done things differently looking back.

While you spent the time observing your land for at least one full year, read and watch as many video from Geoff Lawton, Martin Crawford, sepp holzer, Joel Salatin (farming aspect), Brad Lancaster (water management) and anyone else online doing permaculture or something related to it (organic/biointensive farming, agroforestry, forest garden, aquaponics...)


Karnold
 
Ben Bauer
Posts: 2
Location: Pine City, Minnesota
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Adrien Lapointe wrote:What climate, what type of soil? very wet, clay soil. Some oak trees, few pines, birch, poplar trees

Is it bare fields? Mix of forest, grass areas, and marsh land

Are you planning on living there? not anytime soon, temporarily

Are you looking at starting a farm, or just having a homestead? start a food forest

Do you want to have animals? I am open to it

Sorry for replying with questions, but before I suggest anything, I need to figure out what your specifics are.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1266
Location: Central New Jersey
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Ben, it would help if there were some context for your food forest. They are normally done as part of an overall design, an element in something more, as part of a homestead or a farm, rather than as independent entities.
Considering that some trees in a food forest could have lifespans of over a thousand years, it is wise to plan them with the long term in mind.
 
Paul Bourdon
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You might want to start off with a topographic map and study the contours of the land. It will help in assessing where the water will flow. As already stated, water is key. You should get a handle on that and what kind of earthworks will be required before planting anything.
Good Luck!
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Ben Bauer wrote:What climate, what type of soil? very wet, clay soil. Some oak trees, few pines, birch, poplar trees

Is it bare fields? Mix of forest, grass areas, and marsh land

Are you planning on living there? not anytime soon, temporarily

Are you looking at starting a farm, or just having a homestead? start a food forest

Do you want to have animals? I am open to it

Sorry for replying with questions, but before I suggest anything, I need to figure out what your specifics are.


Depending on how much time you can invest on the property, you might want to start small. One of the biggest problem I have seen with a larger scale food forest is grass control. Those small trees will be slowed down if they have to compete with grass. Planting 50ish acres is a big undertaking. You could start with a general plan and establish it in phases, based on how much time you have. I think the most important is to get the earthworks done (if necessary) and then planting can happen over multiple years as time and money permits.

Once the trees are established, the grass competition will not bother them as much. Off course, you could just let the trees sort themselves out and not provide them any assistance, but you have to be prepared to loose more of them.

If oaks grow there already, I would say it is a good one to plant. Acorns are edible and quite tasty. Chestnuts might do well too. Look into Badgersett, they have Neo-hybrid Chestnut that would be well suited for your climate.
 
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