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Hello Permies! My name is Nichole. I have been gardening for the past 10 years. Everything from traditional backyard garden to balcony container gardens. I have also experimented with passive hydroponics. 2 years ago I bought a 4.60 acre mostly wooded parcel of land in the sandhills area of NC where there are many pine forests and turf farms. My land has many mature tree species of Oak, Cedar, Pine, Hickory, Silver Maple, and Holly. My goal is to utilize the 1/4 acre that is partially clear to build a 12x12 garden workshed and establish my zones from there. The land slopes downward from the road and has a small stream that is seasonal. I have included some photos so everyone can see what I have described. I am starting from scratch here. Any information of advice you can offer I appreciate.
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Clearing in the woodland
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master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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From one Nicole to another Nichole: Welcome to Permies! I don't have any experience growing in your climate, but hopefully someone with more experience can chime in!
 
pollinator
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Nichole, welcome to permies! I am looking forward to seeing your progress .
 
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Nichole Longway wrote:

Hello Permies! My name is Nichole. I have been gardening for the past 10 years. Everything from traditional backyard garden to balcony container gardens. I have also experimented with passive hydroponics. 2 years ago I bought a 4.60 acre mostly wooded parcel of land in the sandhills area of NC where there are many pine forests and turf farms. My land has many mature tree species of Oak, Cedar, Pine, Hickory, Silver Maple, and Holly. My goal is to utilize the 1/4 acre that is partially clear to build a 12x12 garden workshed and establish my zones from there. The land slopes downward from the road and has a small stream that is seasonal. I have included some photos so everyone can see what I have described. I am starting from scratch here. Any information of advice you can offer I appreciate.



Hello and welcome! Sounds like you have some good ideas and have been observing your land which is a great first step. I made a post on another thread welcoming someone to the forums that you might find helpful: welcome post I hope it helps you and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have that I can but I'm not familiar with the area your land is on.
 
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Location: Back and forth between Florida and Alabama
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Welcome!  Welcome!  Glad to have you aboard!
 
Posts: 92
Location: Wealden AONB
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Hi, I was thinking about your post as I was working in my (very) small woodland shaw this week. I'm in a similar position, as really just starting from scratch.
I'll post a couple of pics.
I've made 3 small hugel beds (need some earth on top yet). I had so much fallen wood that it seemed like the obvious thing to do. The trees are mainly willow as the area is by s pring fed bog pond with a stream that runs down the eastern side / middle of the shaw. The ground it nicely damp atm, though it may dry in the summer and become a swap in the winter depending on rainfall. We have had very little this winter so I'm glad there is still plenty of water about.

I'm guessing that if you have a lot of fallen timber, you could do the same, or similar. Mine are raised as the top soil is only about 3 or 4 inches deep before I hit clay. It's Wealden clay which is impermeable. (I would not advocate using cedar or pine in a hugel, I have some pine trees running along by the stream, they are old and dying, I don't think this is a great area for conifers but lots of woods were planted with them in 60's and 70's in England).

Are Hickories like other nuts and need a lot of space and light? They are not native to England so I've never seen them or know what they are. We have hazel nuts and sweet chestnuts. In order to get sizeable nuts (along with choosing the right variety) they also need to be given space. I've had to cut a ton of hawthorn down to the ground to let some light in elsewhere on my plot. Hopefully now my hazel will grow straighter branches and produce better nuts and the yield from the hawthorn will be at harvestable height rather than 30m up. Hawthorn is not very friendly, it forms a thick canopy creating dense shade, underwhich nothing will grow. The lower branches of the trees die and just sit there blocking out all the light.

If you are looking to fell any of your trees or log already fallen trees, I'd get a good saw, or chainsaw, though a good saw is a starting point. Silky or Stihl saws are good for green wood, a good quality bow saw for dead wood. (Don't buy cheap saws as you'll just need to keep buying new saws). I love my silky saw - well all three as I had to buy a pole saw for higher branches and a larger saw for some of the oak. You learn so much about tools.

This is just my experience, or some of it. I'm very much a beginner.
Other things I'm looking into are damning my stream to make more of a bog to utilise the water rather than letting it all flow away. I'm sure this will be a good thing come summer.
 
Abbey Battle
Posts: 92
Location: Wealden AONB
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These three photo's show what the area looked like before I started work. A lot of fallen willows and the ground is covered in nettles.
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Shaw02.jpg
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Abbey Battle
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Location: Wealden AONB
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This at the start of day three, with some of the wood cleared, a lot of nettles pulled, one hugel constructed minus top soil and one hugel almost constructed.
Shaw04.jpg
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Shaw06.jpg
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Greetings,
Been a while since you made the post, I would like to say rabbit rabbit rabbit and suggest locating a nearby farm and get as much manure as you can.
Other sources would be the cooperative extension office for your county and check through their online resources for topics of interest.
Also, you can look for the agronomic service center online and get links to ncda resources.
Your woods will provide hugelkultur materials and checking zones will get your palette of plants to work from.
You will need summer/fall water source so a well or swales and time on the ground to learn the land.
The sand hills seems to be horse farms, golf courses, tree farms and military bases.
Permaculture seems to be able to 'make' poor land productive just not overnight.
Pittsboro has a Piedmont Biofuels and they seem to aggregate many permie 'links' to/around there.
I want to mention bees please .
I have collected many links for NC and other permie topics get back and follow up with your progress and I will post as required/requested.
Bol
 
Doody calls. I would really rather that it didn't. Comfort me wise and sterile tiny ad:
the permaculture bootcamp in winter
https://permies.com/t/149839/permaculture-projects/permaculture-bootcamp-winter
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