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Hi I'm new here and I am hoping to learn and grow here.   I moved back to my parents home after losing our mom last summer.  It is a 70 acres and,  despite my sisters difference of opinion,  I plan to fulfil our parents (and mine)  dream of a self sufficient homestead.  

But,  I plan to take their dream and amp it up a bit.   I want to repair the damage done by certain people married to my siblings and create a permaculture / arts center here.

I would love to meet local people who are on the same page as me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a beautiful day

Patricia
 
master pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
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Hi Patricia. Welcome to Permies.

I applaud your want to repair the land and fulfil the self-sufficiency dream. Tell us a little more about it all, and what you're thinking of doing, and I know there are many helpful and knowledgeable people on this site that would love to help out in whatever way they can. I also know that, while this site has an international membership, the States are rather well represented, as are your neighbours to the north (Hellooo down there!).

Great to have you on the site. Keep us posted, and good luck.

-CK
 
Patricia Holmes
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Thank you for your kind welcome Chris.

First is to start the food growing again,  and expanding that aspect.   I am open to ideas that work up here.

I want to create areas to feed the birds around the house

I have started some arborsculpture in the woods,  I plan to have several buildings from living trees.

Oh and bat house's asap......  That one needs to be worked on like yesterday....

Out to wonder the woods and pick my next location and start bending some trees

Peace love blessings and joy to all
 
Patricia Holmes
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OH and Art music and food lots of art music and food....  Dancing too lots of that.... 😍
 
Chris Kott
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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That sounds great.

What is the land like? What's on it now? Do you know what was grown on it in the past, and how (even when will give you an approximate idea)?

Are you looking to use animals? This is a big one, as it relates directly to the cycling of nutrients to make more soil. I know some people who do farm rescues, not for harvest, just to keep the land grazed, growing, and producing more soil.

When it rains, what does the water do on the land? One of the very first things many permies like to think about is the effect of water on the land. Hydrology is so powerful that it allows us to make at times radical changes with small physical adjustments, making moving water a force of creation; unchecked, it can wash everything away.

I would look at your sloping areas, if any, and just generally look for signs of erosion. Without getting too specific, you want to slow the water, put barriers across its downhill path to catch it and the sediment it carries, and encourage infiltration and sedimentation. These barriers can be hand-dug swales, or as simple as heavier woody debris and rocks laid out on contour.

If you are in the areas that can sometimes get many feet of snow, I would suggest you think about looking at your land in terms of shelter belts, and using productive understory within those shelter belts, like cane berries and maybe mulberry and small stonefruit trees, as snow fences in the winter, and as densely-treed spaces that will hold their snow into the spring, delaying the melt runoff and hydrating your land longer before the spring rains, and potentially holding off budding until killing frosts are through.

What do you want to grow? Are you looking to grow it for yourself and family, or for sale? Do you have any ideas about how you want to grow it?

If you are going to be growing food, I would think about things like pollinator habitat and food, butterfly gardens, that kind of thing. Getting any bare ground covered in, at very least, green manures, probably again with an eye to pollinator habitat and food, is really important for keeping soil in place. Putting these things in the path of water draining overland will trap sediment and encourage water infiltration, leading to more groundwater and less soil lost in the runoff.

What is the nature of the damage caused by the inlaws? Also, what are you thinking about the centre?

Not to drown you in questions or anything, just offering some leading points. I am also kind of really curious.

-CK
 
Patricia Holmes
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Lol I will try to cover all the questions to the best of my ability.

I am 4.3 miles from the Canadian border in western Clinton county in New York.   This property has designated wet lands and is quite flat actually.   Due to extenuating circumstances I was not able to be up here in the past 11 years except for the end of my father's life and then last summer the end of my mothers life.   And, I needed to relocate immediately during that time so here I am.

What used to be old forest was clear cut and for 5 to 8 years unacceptable hunting practices have been used by people not related to me personally,  I don't care what my sister says πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚.

There are more standing water and flooding issues than erosion.   It was unfarmed for at least 2 generations when my parents bought it.   The dream was home steading and self-sufficiency.   My dad and I spent years while he was in the military planning and practicing growing in the garden plots the air force offered.  Mom hasn't grown as much the past 5-6 years as dad declined and she had to finish her journey alone.

So, outside of the issue that will soon be rectified.  I'm starting with a clean slate.   But I am also,  dealing with a trust and 2 extremely conservative sister's and one absent sister.  But,  I'm the only one who wants to live here and I have spent most of my adult life trying to get what I had here when I was a girl πŸ˜‰.

I'm quite introverted,  but if I am comfortable with people I can be a chatterbox about anything I am passionate about.  

Some of the first things I have to address are ways to strengthen the ground between the house and road and create a snow and wind block that  will feed the birds and wild life.   I have a thing about multi purpose.   Everything should have multiple purposesπŸ˜‰  and this should feed pollinators and everything through the year πŸ˜‰.

And some french drains around the house with some proper grading 😬  no one thinks I'm capable of doing or even coming up with this common sense stuff cuz I'm a girl πŸ˜’  the challenge of being a progressive hippie chick in a conservative family.

I want to bring back the sugar Bush and create a food forest that feeds me and for sale,  I hope to make this my "job" between the produce,  food and art.   Have other things on the back burner,  but I need to start the foundation of it all this year.

Reacquainting myself with the cycles of the land and starting our rebirth like the Phoenix this land and I will rise again and be a force to be reckoned with πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‡πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‰
 
Patricia Holmes
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And yes animals 😍

I plan to start with chickens and eventually goat's and milk cows,  I have a passion for Highland's,  yes I know they are usually raised for meat,  but I am a vegetarian and their milk has a mad high butterfat content and that will makes amazing cheeses.

I'm weird quirky and completely passionate about everything sustainable,  permaculture and off grid.
 
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Check out this nursery for cold tolerant stock

https://stlawrencenurseries.com/

Best wishes acheiving your goals
 
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Hi Patricia:

Steuben County checking in.  We are 12 years into a somewhat similar situation.  35 acres of old barns, woods, and pastures that we have been working with.  A couple of things about NY State.  Careful with the wetlands and what you do with them.  Sounds like someone has already messed with them with the clear cutting.  Wetlands come with a really low tax rate, but you need to be careful with what you do in those areas designated.  Start familiarizing yourself with what you are allowed to do with a producing license and an exemption.  All of this is important as you decide what to do going forward.  If there is an Amish or Mennonite community in your area get to know them.  Learn where they shop, who does their contracted work for them.  You will save yourself a ton of money, and you will learn a lot.  Just like us there are a lot of them that farm as clean as they can, and there are those that are basically chemists.  Get to know your neighbor farmers.  You probably don't need to get equipment if there is someone that can help every once in a while just around the corner. Let them hay your fields if you have them, you will be amazed at what you get back in return.  The hunting is a problem everywhere.  We let some people hunt on our land.  We get our driveway plowed along with a lot of other benefits.  We're vegan but we have learned to bend.  St Lawrence is a great nursery we bought from them.  They were a little pricey, and if you want to do turn 80 acres into something you probably should try some of the wholesalers like Cold Stream and Kriegers.  We propagate a lot of our stuff now on our own.  Get stuff like your nut trees in earlier on and WRAP them so the bunnies don't girdle them.  In New York you can get a tax exempt certificate when you sell 5K in a year.  That's a huge help.  Happy to try and answer questions if we can.  We have tried markets, restaurants, crafts etc.  Eventually you will find your spot.  You need to pay the bills until then.

Good Luck

Ed
 
Patricia Holmes
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Hi Ed and thank you for the welcome.

I'm actually working with a gentleman with the New York epa,  who was very helpful in finding a fix for the,  they are not hunters honey that I have no problem with (I raised one)   they kill over bait that's in the middle of an area cleared of trees which are used as a obstacle course with the bait in the center and a extremely well built "deer stand" so the deer have no chance.   This is not hunting and I will put a proper end to it.

Sorry for the soap box 😬

Any how,  so I have already made working with the land a priority.  

Any help and ideas for a wet land food forest please speak up!

Off to enjoy the sunshine and spend some time bonding with my forest before spring work starts in force.

Oh,  and I am currently looking for gainful employment to pay the bills while I get the living off the land stuff in place.   I'm a former nurse,  have a degree in the culinary arts and have worked with animals from alligators to horse's and rehabbing an assortment of wild creatures.  I have taught cooking skills to children and adults,  I have a special place in my heart for developmentally disabled people and love working with them and helping them find their "super power " .  Basically I am hard working and not afraid of much.
 
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