• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Our homestead in Cyprus  RSS feed

 
Yen Yus
Posts: 19
4
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello

I'm new here. Just wanted to share my ideas and thoughts with you.

So it all started of with an urge to do something about the poor situation of our planet. But what could I do, just a simple person. I thought of the idea of giving more than I took from mother earth. Then I came across permaculture and though that by making my way of life more harmonious with nature I could do better.

After years of reading and learning and a little practice I was ready to buy my own land. The thing is land costs slot of money, so this was going to be a difficult. I'm just starting out in life, new family and all.

So we bought a piece of land, about 4 acres. Over grazed, over cultivated the works. And because it is flash floodland they let it go for under normal value. A blessing for us.

So we dug swales and planted over 100 fruit trees. I know I should have probably planted a load of support trees first but if the trees can make it we will have an early source of income. Income is one of our issues right now. So, now we have a long Mediterranean summer ahead of us. I hope we can get through this summer and I think next year we will be fine. The plan is to dig a pond to save some of the flash flood waters for irrigation.
IMG_20161129_145042_HDR.jpg
digging swales across a slope
 
Marla Kacey
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to permies!  (I can't beleive I actually get to write this.)

Where (approximatey) is your property located. Looks like you've already done quite a bit of work.  Are you living on your property?

Lots more questions, but I don't want to seem too nosey.

Any way, welcome!  And I hope you will share more of your adventure in helping our planet.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4059
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
186
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Yen, welcome here!

Great looking swales, are they capturing the water? How are the trees doing? Are you planting a cover crop of some sort?
 
Yen Yus
Posts: 19
4
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello again

That photo was around 4 months ago. I've added a recent photo. So far we have planted apricot trees and they have all bloomed. Haven't watered them at all yet. Also pomegranate trees have started to grow shoots. There was no rain at all in February so I'm quite happy that they are doing okay. The fig trees haven't shown any sign of life yet. But hopefully any day now. Fig trees are quite ressilient usually. We built a stone wall around some of the trees in hopes in would provide shelter from the sun and possibly capture dew since our djurnal temperatures are significant. So far I have noticed that the trees with the stone wall around them have moist topsoil on a constant basis. Whether this is a good thing, we shall see. The lizards like the stone walls so that's a plus.

We planted blackberry and rasberry on the inside of the swale mounds. Hopefully that will give it a bit of shading from our scorching sun here in Cyprus. Also planted a load of Cyprus vetch. Just literally threw it on the swales and it's coming up everywhere. Also rocket is coming up like crazy on the swales. That's about it, other than that it's weeds. But we like weeds and so do the chickens.

I will update with further progress in the near future. We are not currently living there unfortunately but we are getting a caravan soon so we can stay there more often hopefully.
swales-across-slope.jpg
swales traversing a slope
IMG_20161204_165240.jpg
small fruit tree trnasplanted on a swale
 
Yen Yus
Posts: 19
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The 2nd photo above is of when we first planted our apricot trees. The swales do work well, but we need alot of rain to fill them. Otherwise I think they turned out good.

Here's a photo of them when they had water in them. You can also see the river running in the background. So far it has only ran once for around 4 hours. But does it run. We hope to build an earth dam to hold some of that water.
IMG_20161225_104242.jpg
swales catching rainwater on a slope
IMG_20161225_105501.jpg
swales holding water on a slope
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
9
bee books dog forest garden toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read Cyprus has been struck hard economically. Usually when that happens young people are hit twice as hard with unemployment etc. as the average. Whatever people do to support and dig themselves out of the hole is something to be applauded.

Raspberries could be tricky here since they are less resilient during drought than blackberries (all berries have shallow root systems but blacks are somewhat less vulnerable). Maybe you could provide some mulch for them. Rasps love sawdust / wood chips.
 
Marla Kacey
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That first picture is beautiful!  Looks considerably better than the surrounding area.  I'd say your swales are doing great!

Good work!  And good luck with your future plans.
 
Yen Yus
Posts: 19
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes we have noticed the grass (which we did not plant) is growing much more vigorously in our land than the surrounding wheat crop which is fertilized chemically. This must be due to the swales slowing and soaking the water into the land. It will be interesting to see ( what I believe is oats ) if the grass will reseed itself and grow next year.

I'm trying to decide what to do with all this grass crop. We have a flail mower, so I'm thinking of mowing the grass down as mulch or maybe just leaving it. Maybe get a couple of pygmy goats and use it to feed them.

I've added a picture of the grass which I think is oats. Also a picture of the blackberry we planted on the swale. We put a wood pallet over it for support, wind protection and a bit of shade.
IMG_20170311_123748.jpg
grass and oats on a swale
IMG_20170228_173541.jpg
small blackberry plant protected from wind
IMG_20170228_173554.jpg
wind protection for small plant using pallet
 
Marla Kacey
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know what kind of grass that might be, but is sure is lush.  I should think it would make great mulch.  Or it could be used in compost.  Or left to grow out to see what it might become.  Goats would be great, but you might need to protect all your young trees and bushes.

It's amazing what a little slowed-down water can do!  I love seeing your (and other's) progress.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 310
30
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looks Great Yen, good luck in creating a green heaven on earth,

You should plant alfalfa ASAP....it drops roots 2 to 3 meters or more and is a nitrogen fixing perennial...if possible cover the whole area.

Kostas
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1274
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
128
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Those are beautiful photos of your swales! Thank you.

Are you sure that's an apricot tree? The leaves look different from our apricot trees.

I look forward to seeing more photos of the other things you are doing to prepare your land.
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: Western Kenya
31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looks great!  Can't wait to see how things progress!
 
Ever since I found this suit I've felt strange new needs. And a tiny ad:
Jacqueline Freeman - Honeybee Techniques - streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/65175/videos/digital-market/Jacqueline-Freeman-Honeybee-Techniques-streaming
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!