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Just starting in SW Wyoming

 
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Hi folks! I live in very extreme SW Wyoming, right by the Utah border. I'm working on turning our quarter acre lot into a micro homestead but could really use some help. I'm just not sure where to start. I have two raised beds in place and five apple trees planted but I'd really like to take a permaculture approach. Any thoughts?? Also any recommendations on specific food plant varieties? Thanks much!
 
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Jessica Warner wrote:Hi folks! I live in very extreme SW Wyoming, right by the Utah border. I'm working on turning our quarter acre lot into a micro homestead but could really use some help.!



Welcome Jessica! I know an aerial photo would help, a topography one would be even better.   If you went on Google maps and took a screen shot of the specific area you want to design that could be a way to share but still maintain your privacy.

I'm sure some other permies will help with plant suggestions 😎
 
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Jessica, welcome to permies!
I spent 27 years in Green River and Rock Springs and gardened the whole time when folks were telling me that nothing grows there! I think you have lots of options.
As Steve said we could use a bit more information. Are you out on the flats, in a canyon, sagebrush or river bottom, soil types, first frost etc.
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Welcome to permies!  I am looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.  What USDA zone are you in?  This will help with plant suggestions.  
 
Jessica Warner
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Here is the Google earth photo of the property. The yellow that goes all the way around is the approximate boundary and the yellow boxes indicated where something already is. The large box on the concrete is our green house. Our last frost date is July 1- July 10. Also, if anyone has ideas, tips, or tricks  for keeping the greenhouse warm without electricity it would be crazy appreciated! It's plastic not glass. Thanks much!
20161219_113608.png
[Thumbnail for 20161219_113608.png]
Property layout
 
Jessica Warner
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And thank you everyone for the warm welcomes!  We are about 200 yards from the river and lot's of old growth trees around the property. The land is pretty fertile compared to 90% of the area and I've even found a few earth worms. We are in zone 5b 😊
 
Miles Flansburg
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Jessica, so what kinds of trees and shrubs do you already have there?  It looks like there are a couple of pretty good sized trees in the center of the yard. What are they? Looks like the cast a lot of shade?

Where is the greenhouse? on the left or right? Did you want to try a different kind of greenhouse, maybe with glass?

Being next to the river like that is really nice I'll bet. Should be some nice soil there?

What kinds of things have you already planted or tried to grow before? What would you like to plant?

In Green River and Rock Springs I liked Nanking cherries and hardy apples. Grew lots of raspberries and strawberries. All sorts of root crops, beets, carrots, radish, turnips etc. spinach, lettuce, peas and beans.

My greenhouse was dug in to a hill and lined with rocks and covered with corrugated plastic. It extended my season by two months and I never tried to heat it year around.
 
Jessica Warner
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The big treeis a cottonwood and there is a large pine right next to it. The green house is on the left. Eventually I would like a permanent glass of but the one I have was a gift so I want to get the use out of it first lol.

The soil is ok but still lacking in organic matter. I've tried potatoes (Did well), strawberries, cabbage, onions, broccoli, Roma tomatoes (early frost got them), lettuce, and radishes. Most everything did ok but I feel like the plants are needing something (Probably organic matter).
 
Anne Miller
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Do you compost?  If not, you might find an unused corner to use for composting, just leaves, grass clipping, veggies scraps and maybe paper...  Compost is a great soil builder.
 
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Jessica Warner wrote: The big treeis a cottonwood and there is a large pine right next to it. The green house is on the left. Eventually I would like a permanent glass of but the one I have was a gift so I want to get the use out of it first lol.

The soil is ok but still lacking in organic matter. I've tried potatoes (Did well), strawberries, cabbage, onions, broccoli, Roma tomatoes (early frost got them), lettuce, and radishes. Most everything did ok but I feel like the plants are needing something (Probably organic matter).



Mulch makes a big difference. Find some alfalfa hay and go to town. You might also want to look into hot boxes for tomatoes and peppers. It's worked for us.

5 apple trees might be excessive depending on your personal needs. You don't have that much property so 5 apples limits anything else you might want to plant. Plum, Cherry and peach will grow here. Wouldn't bother trying pear. You could get some nut trees growing as well. This all depends on what you would find useful to your family, of course. If you want a full list of what I've managed to grow by the NE border of WY you can look at my blog.
http://peacockorchard.com/2016/05/20/varieties-in-the-orchard/
 
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