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Building soil - a weekend at a time?

Posts: 4
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Hey everyone,

I did my PDC early this year and by the looks of it I will be able to get my first property by years end. At the moment I am working full time and was planning on getting out to my poperty on weekends and holidays to get earthworks done, constantly improve the soil and do other low maintenance things that wont mind me not being there for two weeks+ at times if I can't make it.

The rough plan is to firstly survey the place, get my contours right before putting a mainframe design in place. I mean access, structures, a dam and a couple swales etc.

Would a food forest be a good idea on the swales or would it require too much supervision in the early stages of getting it established?
How about soil building? I am thinking along the lines of staking out a spacey kitchen garden with beds on contour, tilling it once and simply chucking some green manure on it to do its magic while I am slaving away in the big city...

Any suggestions welcome

I do not have a property just yet, so all of this is hypothetical at this stage. My wife and I are living in Melbourne, Australia and want to get a ~20 acre place 3-5 hours drive away.

Thanks in advance,

Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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you can do it easily on weekends if you work hard enough at first.

start in the summer if possible scoping out the place. clearing dead debree if needed.

late summer do all the earthworks for one area. don't take on too big an area at once.

do your planting in the fall around the earthworks

let the plants settle all winter and do there thing. you can be growing winter understory plants to keep the ground covered.

in the spring chop most of the groundcover and leave as a thick mulch to conserve water while your not there.

some things will die, its ok. most will live and continue on.

learn to do home propagation, youll need a lot of plants real cheap.
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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Some food forest plants may be too delicate, but there are certainly a great many that are hardy. I would definitely advise planting nut trees as soon as possible, given how long they take to grow.
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i would establish my trees esp fruit and nut trees and berries first as well as vines..yes get as much of your food forest in immediately
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association
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