• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

concerning succession

 
Alex Riddles
Posts: 24
Location: Columbia Missouri
2
bike forest garden urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was a child I planted an orchard in the yard at my parents house. Eventually we moved away the house was sold and the orchard was cut down. As a young man I had a house of my own and planted fruit trees in the yard. But I moved away sold the house and the fruit trees were cut down. Now in "extreme middle age" I am planting my best orchard yet. Permaculture techniques are making it easier to care for than either of the previous ones and I would like to believe it will be here after I am gone. Past experience tells me that is unlikely.

I have read on these forums a lot of good information about succession in plant communities. But how can we manage human succession to assure that all the years of work that go into building a food forest are not lost?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8869
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some of us are trying to figure this out!

Here's another thread about it: http://www.permies.com/t/55698/permaculture/Continuity-Operations-Permaculture
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 195
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
5
food preservation hunting woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My plan is to make my homestead so self-sufficient and permacultury that it's a selling point and that the only people willing to pay what it's worth are those who will keep it going.

Property A:
3 br, 2 ba, 2 car garage, near lake, barn and gardens. $200,000

Property B:
3 br, 2 ba, 2 car garage, near lake, barn, 14 tree orchard, huge garden, berry patches, solar hot water, solar heat in barn, irrigation windmill, greenhouse, organic practices, permaculture paradise. $250,000

B should attract people who at least won't cut down the trees.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8869
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My plan is to give our property away to some folks who love it.

 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 708
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
38
forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my old age I hope that I will have a 'mother in law suite' set up that will allow one of my nieces (or nephews if my brother's family runs that way) live with me, understanding that they will inherit the property. In that circumstance I visualize a natural hand off of the skills necessary to maintain and utilize the existing gardens as I become to old to do so alone. When they are left in full control they will already be in the habit of using nontoxic, regenerative techniques.

I'm citing no studies to support this, but I expect that by the time I am ready for this, it will be much harder for a beginning family to set up a household. A single family home, with extensive gardens, near the employment, education, and entertainment opportunities of a urban center will probably be worth the hassle of dealing with me in my cantankerous old age.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8869
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Casie Becker wrote:

I'm citing no studies to support this, but I expect that by the time I am ready for this, it will be much harder for a beginning family to set up a household.


I don't know how people will do it, I think we'll need to return to the extended family and my personal belief is this family might need to be made up of people who are not related by blood.

I grew up in an extended family - my grandmother lived with us - but these days in some socio-economic circles, extended family living is seen as failure.

 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 708
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
38
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am in an extended family home. Not just economically, but socially it makes raising my nieces a lot better than I could manage by myself. Without my mother's help, I'd either be the worlds worst helicopter parent or so overwhelmed that I would hardly know what was happening with the children. She successfully raised seven kids well enough that I feel like people think I'm making it up when I describe how comfortable our household actually is. We all treat each other well, work hard, and I think respect each other for our diverse virtues not just our common values.

Having multiple adults of various ages and interests in the household actually makes even the daily chores of life easier to tackle. Tasks tend to divide naturally along our aptitudes. That's how I ended up with most of the heavy garden labor and very little of the housework.
 
Andrew Parker
pollinator
Posts: 514
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Having recently been informed that the new owners of my parent's home removed nearly every tree from a mostly forested lot, I can empathize a little. They had assured us that the trees were one of the main reasons they wanted to purchase the property. People lie. Go figure. I guess the rule is, once you sell it, never go back.

Many realtors encourage homeowners to clearcut their property to make it more appealing to more people. Home flippers are notorious for it.

Fruit trees are often considered a nuisance, a weed, as most people cannot be bothered to pick the fruit before it falls to the ground and rots.

There are a lot of flat-grassers out there. They have never seen a bush, tree or shrub they have ever liked. To them, the ideal yard is fresh green, manicured lawn from curb to back fence.

That said, go ahead and plant those fruit trees. It's a decent gamble.
 
Alex Riddles
Posts: 24
Location: Columbia Missouri
2
bike forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The 'mother in law suite' idea seems like a viable one. That's one reason my house is a duplex

geoff lawton has a youtube video of a 300 year old Vietnamesse food forest that has been in the same family for 28 generations. I suspect a belief in reincarnation plays a role in this. But I have a hard time seeing how such a thing could survive in America. Our culture is so wrapped up in the idea of starting over somewhere else. So now the question on my mind is how to foster a human culture that would support a long term forest garden. It seems to me this should also be a part of permaculture and yet we seldom speak of it.

EDIT: After viewing the video again I see the land has been handed down for 28 generations. The food forest is (only) 300 years old.
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 195
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
5
food preservation hunting woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alex Riddles wrote:Geoff Lawton has a youtube video of a 300 year old Vietnamesse food forest that has been in the same family for 28 generations.


Wow, that's amazing. Both for the longevity of the food forest and for the rapid turnover of their generations. 300/28=10.7 years per generation
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8869
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe they meant 8 generations...
 
David Goodman
gardener
Posts: 496
Location: Zone 9a/8b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"Many realtors encourage homeowners to clearcut their property to make it more appealing to more people. Home flippers are notorious for it.

Fruit trees are often considered a nuisance, a weed, as most people cannot be bothered to pick the fruit before it falls to the ground and rots.

There are a lot of flat-grassers out there. They have never seen a bush, tree or shrub they have ever liked. To them, the ideal yard is fresh green, manicured lawn from curb to back fence. "

Yeah, this mindset is a big problem in the US.

I just sold my North Florida home and food forest at a good price to a woman who was looking for just that. Having a platform as a writer was helpful, though, as in a way it let me pick my successor on that land.

I planted a tamarind, bananas, lychee and other fruit trees at a previous property, only to come back a couple years later and find them all cut down with the exception of the bananas (which were the least valuable "trees").

This is an unprecendented era when it comes to the migration of people. Not at all a good time for those of us who wish for long-term roots. Fortunately not all places have the lack of regard for fruit trees that the US does. We need to keep educating and fighting, no matter how the idiot real estate agents and petty suburbanites act.
 
Todd Parr
Pie
Posts: 554
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David Goodman wrote:

I planted a tamarind, bananas, lychee and other fruit trees at a previous property, only to come back a couple years later and find them all cut down with the exception of the bananas (which were the least valuable "trees").



It's hard for me to envision anything else happening. Even my family thinks my place is just a mess and they can't understand why I don't just mow like everyone else. Certainly maintaining a simple mowed yard is vastly easier here. I could spend two hours a week mowing and everyone except me would think my place was wonderful. I spend more than two hours a week loading and hauling pickup loads of mulch. Add in the time and expense of planting trees, bushes, herbs, and veggies, in addition to maintaining the areas and raising chickens, honeybees, setting aside and creating areas and homes for frogs, toads, snakes, and native pollinators, building insect hotels, planting and forming living fences, etc., etc., and still having very little to show for it, and I can understand their thinking. Then I walk out into the one little area I have that sort of qualifies as a very early food forest, and I remember why I do it.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8869
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
114
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing that might help some of us here in Texas with acreage is the Wildlife Management tax appraisal, which gives the same tax break for managing for wildlife as for practicing agriculture, and it is a huge break, especially if you have a cheap house and expensive land, like we do. This tax status can transfer with the land if the new owners keep up with the practices. It might help keep people from just mowing the place down. We do almost no maintenance, and no mowing, whereas our neighbors mow like mad. Even one of our wildlife managing neighbors mows, though, so wildlife management isn't surefire going to keep people from mowing. They do keep large areas unmowed and with native vegetation, though. They just can't quite give up the suburban ideal of a yard around their house. Our place looks like a jungle compared to theirs.

I'm really hoping that land sharing amongst permaculturists becomes an established thing, and when we're ready we can just advertise for a family on permies, and some folks will want to come give the place a try. We're several years out from being ready for another family, though. I want it set up so someone can just move or build their tiny house here and immediately be able to put in a garden, etc.
 
Alex Riddles
Posts: 24
Location: Columbia Missouri
2
bike forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David Goodman wrote:

"Fruit trees are often considered a nuisance a weed as most people cannot be bothered to pick the fruit before it falls to the ground and rots."

Maybe organized gleaning could be a solution. It might provide a small income or at least a tax deduction. Here in Columbia MO the master gardeners have a demonstration garden and the local food pantry is always very thankful for the produce we contribute. We also have about 34000 college students many of them do volunteer projects locally. If home owners could avoid the downside maybe they would be more willing to use fruit trees for landscaping. Has anybody tried to organize such a thing in their community?

Just thinking out loud. er... thinking online
 
Andrew Parker
pollinator
Posts: 514
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have thought about just that, since I was a boy. The city I grew up in used to have fruit orchards, so many new developments integrated them in. There was also cultural pressure to plant fruit trees, as agriculture was still seen as a major aspect of Mormon culture back then. Not so much now, and there are few in my generation and younger that even know how to can, let alone want to.

I suppose it could be organized through the municipality. Many have an urban agriculture specialist. It might be fun to make a census of fruit trees and berry bushes. I am sure many owners would be happy to see someone utilize their bounty rather than feed vermin, especially if they are neighbors they know and hopefully like. I don't see it working everywhere, but I am sure things can click in more than a few towns and neighborhoods.

My wife and I used to ask people if we could pick their ornamental plums. They are tart, but my wife likes tart, and they make great juice. Anyway, we never had anyone turn us down. Most of them considered the fruit to be a nuisance and wished they had planted a sterile variety. People now spray their plums to keep fruit from developing, or just rip them out.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic