brand new video:
       
get all 177 hours of
presentations here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Mob grazed, pasture cropping poly orchard extreme...  RSS feed

 
Sean Kettle
Posts: 75
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have just signed a lease for 5 acres to play with in South Wales, UK. My wife gave birth to a healthy little boy a couple of weeks ago and he's been awake late at night helping me conjure up a design... he seems happy with it, I'd love to know what you folks think.

The site is 200m above sea level and south/south west facing. Gets a bit of battering from south westerly winds. Here are some stats from the closest weather station. The plan is to mob graze the land whilst establishing windbreaks and a mixed orchard.

Here's a top down view of the site (highlighted in red):



A view from the south east - I've set aside a space for building a home and garden:



A view from the north. The block on the left has a 10% slope to the west and gently slopes to the north. The strips of trees are planted north to south - they are off contour which should help prevent frost pockets:



The layout of the trees. I'm envisioning what are essentially strips of forest garden. The apple trees represent standard fruit/nut trees. Under planted by soft fruits/shrubs with edible uses. The pollards are alders which provide fuel, fodder, fix nitrogen, and host pest-predator insects. I'm considering using them in place of posts for electric fencing when they are large enough:



(something like this):



Here's the fencing set up. The grazing strips are 7-8m wide. A few Dexters and some sheep (breed yet decided)... grazing together or sheep following. Chickens would be valuable following the ruminants, I'm trying to think up a way of fencing them in so they can range under the wooded strips too. There's a water source uphill we can supply the critters with.



Works like this:



Once topsoil has been built and fertility has returned to the land I would like to take strips out of rotation to plant up with crops. It would be great to experiment with small scale pasture cropping and Bonfils/Fukuoka methods.

I'm going to select trees and planting up according to this article. Where possible I'd like to plant on own root stocks for vitality and as insurance against being browsed off when they're establishing. I'm considering alder under planted with Eleagnus for the windbreaks. Either native Alnus glutinosa, which can be planted in a couple of rows and coppiced, or Alnus cordata (Italian alder) which is much faster growing (but coppices poorly). The windbreaks will extend further down the field and I'll plant up opposite the gap where the track is...



Would love to hear any thoughts! Can it be done...?

Sean
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 507
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
28
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like a pretty good plan! It should definitely work for you. The only thing I would change would to plant the trees out on contour with a swale based system and make provisions to release the frost down slope, but that's just me. Awesome work on the drawings, are they sketch-up/google earth based? Anyhow they came out great!
 
Sean Kettle
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dave Dahlsrud wrote:Sounds like a pretty good plan! It should definitely work for you. The only thing I would change would to plant the trees out on contour with a swale based system and make provisions to release the frost down slope, but that's just me. Awesome work on the drawings, are they sketch-up/google earth based? Anyhow they came out great!


Thanks for the words of encouragement Dave!

I don't think swales would be necessary given our location and climate, we'll rely on the soil organic matter and the trees to hold onto water. Here's a good article regarding the use of swales in the UK.

I used sketch-up, managed to map our base map onto google's terrain which is really handy. Spent a few painstaking hours matching individual trees the profile of the land... I'm glad you like it
 
Ludwig Appeltans
Posts: 5
Location: Scotland
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think the orchard higher up the hill won't benefit from the windbreak. I wonder if a second one, maybe a lower one halfway the slope would help?
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing to consider is that windbreaks work better when they're not straight lines. A wavy or zigzag line will do a better job. Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster has a pretty good section on windbreaks if you can get your hands on a copy.
 
Sean Kettle
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ludwig Appeltans wrote:I think the orchard higher up the hill won't benefit from the windbreak. I wonder if a second one, maybe a lower one halfway the slope would help?


Hi Ludwig! I think you're right. I was reluctant to put another one in as I wanted to maximise the light getting to the ground, but the more I think about it the more a second one would pay off.

Michael Newby wrote:One thing to consider is that windbreaks work better when they're not straight lines. A wavy or zigzag line will do a better job. Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster has a pretty good section on windbreaks if you can get your hands on a copy.


Thanks Michael, I managed to get hold of Volumes 1 + 2 of Drylands and Beyond - there's a few mentions of windbreaks but I couldn't find a comprehensive section on them. Maybe I've got the wrong books?
 
Alex Tourehote
Posts: 14
Location: Mayenne, France
1
chicken rabbit woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi Sean,

congratulation to you and your wife, and well done on your design skill !
I need to have a look at that sketch-up thing.

Where in Wales are you ? Are you planning on setting up a One Planet Initiative scheme ? We sometimes dream about moving back to Wales, and that scheme tick a lot of our boxes......
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
1
forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know if it will affect you down in Wales but here, although the winds are predominantly westerly it is the easterlies that bring the really cold weather and snow. If you get the same you might want to think about curved windbreaks open on the southerly side
 
Sean Kettle
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alex Tourehote wrote:hi Sean,

congratulation to you and your wife, and well done on your design skill !
I need to have a look at that sketch-up thing.

Where in Wales are you ? Are you planning on setting up a One Planet Initiative scheme ? We sometimes dream about moving back to Wales, and that scheme tick a lot of our boxes......


Thanks Alex!

The plot is part of Lammas ecovillage, in North Pembrokeshire. We first visited to attend a course on One Planet Development and subsequently found our land. We're hoping to go down that route, it's a great scheme. Shame it doesn't extend to the rest of the UK. Or the world...

You're very welcome to come visit us once we're up and running. I reckon we'd be up for a house swap with you if the rain gets too much

Katy Whitby-last wrote:I don't know if it will affect you down in Wales but here, although the winds are predominantly westerly it is the easterlies that bring the really cold weather and snow. If you get the same you might want to think about curved windbreaks open on the southerly side


Hi Katy - you're right, we've spoken to some of our neighbours and we get some nasty weather from the east. The plan now is to plant windbreaks up around the entire perimeter of our plot. Whereabouts in Scotland are you? My missus is from Aberdeenshire.
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
1
forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in Aberdeenshire
 
Alex Tourehote
Posts: 14
Location: Mayenne, France
1
chicken rabbit woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sean Kettle wrote:
The plot is part of Lammas ecovillage, in North Pembrokeshire. We first visited to attend a course on One Planet Development and subsequently found our land. We're hoping to go down that route, it's a great scheme. Shame it doesn't extend to the rest of the UK. Or the world...

You're very welcome to come visit us once we're up and running. I reckon we'd be up for a house swap with you if the rain gets too much



great, we might come and visit them in late July (we're going to the homeschooling festival down the coast) as we are planning on visiting a few people doing the One Planet Development thingy... I will let you know, you might be around there then !
 
Sean Kettle
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alex Tourehote wrote:

great, we might come and visit them in late July (we're going to the homeschooling festival down the coast) as we are planning on visiting a few people doing the One Planet Development thingy... I will let you know, you might be around there then !


Keep me posted! One thing to be aware of - I think children are required to attend state schools as part of the One Planet Development plan.
 
It is an experimental device that will make my mind that most powerful force on earth! More powerful than this tiny ad!
Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!