Tommy Kilpatrick

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since Sep 23, 2013
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Recent posts by Tommy Kilpatrick

Ok, got part 1 at 3:08pm yesterday (reported above), and finally got part 2 at 5:50am this morning. Yahoo on Chrome.

Tommy
I also only got part 1, also Yahoo.

Tommy
R Scott - I'm planning hugel-type-thingies, but there is virtually no soil there. As much as we don't want to import everything, I'm thinking it would be in our best interest to truck in some soil/dirt/compost/whatever to get hugels started that can then build a much larger growing space than the soil itself would make. Thanks for the ideas!

Tommy
4 years ago
William Hendershot - That explanation was perfect, and the link worked fine. Detailed information is never too long winded. Thanks for taking the time, I understand much better now.

S Bengi - I definitely plan to start fruit trees from seed and figured not many, if any, would live so I'll plant a ton of them and keep my fingers crossed. I like the idea of letting them survive on their own before putting effort into grafting and then watching them die. Thanks for the doc link, I'll check it out.
4 years ago
Wow, great information, thanks folks!

Tate Smith - Thanks for the wood and brush pile on contour idea. That sounds like a great plan for catching stuff that normally just washes away and creating some soil. Lots of detail, too. Just what I need!

William Hendershot - I was hoping to hear from folks in the area! Yeah, the aspen seems to have the best growth under it, which leads me to believe that the soil there is a little better and that it retains more moisture. Good thoughts on the dappled light. The sun can definitely get harsh up there.

I've thought about using some of my cut trees (we've taken down about a dozen so far to have a place to park), a trailer load or two of wood chips, and whatever other organic matter we can come up with and making a big composty thing. I'd like to not have to import everything, but a few loads of stuff to get things kickstarted shouldn't be a big deal, I think. I'm driving up there anyway, might as well put the truck to work, right?

Thank you SO MUCH for the list of plants that are working for you. That is definitely one of the things I was hoping to get out of this thread.

I'm still confused about grafting cultivars. I just really don't know what that means. I understand grafting, but am lost at cultivar. Lots to learn still...


Thanks again for the information, we can't wait to get started on some of these great ideas!
Tommy
4 years ago
Thanks for the thoughts!

Cj Verde - I've read and watched a lot about Sepp Holzer's work and I think trying to terrace may not be successful because it's just a big chunk of rock mountainside. The trees are primarily douglas fir with a couple of other kinds of evergreens and aspen. According to the permaculture standards you listed, I have an area, maybe an acre or two, that is flat enough to garden/farm if I build more soil. Probably a couple more acres where I could plant trees, and the rest would be too steep to do anything with. That's what I'm mainly looking to figure something out for.

Joseph Lofthouse - Thanks, that's very helpful. Once these areas collect matter for a while, are you able to plant in them or do they just help with erosion?

Matu Collins - We would definitely like to have animals, and I think goats would be perfect if we could grow a decent bit of food for them. The water thing is also problematic, but not insurmountable.

We don't have any particular expectations for what to grow. I'll be looking here for more advice on that, as well as doing research locally. I think our primary goal would be to grow as much of our food as possible, and as much variety as we can get. I can't imagine that this will be our permanent location for a homestead, but if we can make stuff grow here we should be able to make a more usable piece of land really sing for us!

I really appreciate everyone's time giving some advice!
4 years ago
I have some fairly steep (+/- 30% grade) Colorado property that is pretty much solid rock with a token amount of organic material on it and a bunch of trees. In my dream world, I would build terraces and everything would be amazing. In reality, I don't know how much the neighbors would appreciate me blasting 1/3 of my mountainside away, and I don't have any soil to put there anyway. I can just walk down the hill and drop seeds, but there's got to be a better way of improving the land here. There's more description and pictures of the land here http://www.permies.com/t/45591/introductions/Denver and I've started a thread about building soil here http://www.permies.com/t/45665/soil/Rock-Mountainside-top so hopefully I can start to get some ideas to form a plan of action. The land is off-grid and completely unimproved, so clean slate, but the county thinks we're in the middle of Denver as far as zoning goes so either stuff that can fly under the radar or that will be completely agreeable to the powers that be.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on my situation, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!
Tommy
4 years ago
Ok, I've searched here and online in general and haven't found anything that looks similar to my situation. I have 10+ acres of raw land about 30 minutes west of Denver, CO that is mostly steep (rises 280' in less than 900') with some area on top of a ridge that is more level. It's mostly covered with trees, but there really doesn't seem to be much soil to speak of. Everywhere I've looked, there is an inch or two of decomposing organic matter with solid rock underneath. I'd like to get started building soil up there ASAP and preventing erosion from washing it all away every chance it gets. There is more description and pictures in this thread http://www.permies.com/t/45591/introductions/Denver so feel free to check that out if it helps. The picture with the tent is close to the proposed home site and where we will focus these efforts to start with.

Any ideas? I can't really dig at all. Looks like they blasted for the holes that are there and the trees grow directly into the rock from what I can tell. Am I going to be stuck waiting years to build up anything usable to grow substantial crops, or forced to import multiple dumptruck loads of material to get started anytime soon? Any ideas are welcome, and I'd love to see examples of others dealing successfully with this situation. Everything I can find that is called "permaculture" that seems applicable is in a greenhouse with lots of compost and mulch brought in. Not my ideal situation, and I would even have to truck water in for that since a well permit is for indoor household use only here.

The way I see it, getting soil happening is job one unless I want to wait years and years after building the house. We have to wait for planning and permitting before getting construction going, and I'd like to use that time to get a jump start on the land itself. The upsides are the view and location. We really love it up there! Thanks in advance for any thoughts and suggestions!
Tommy
4 years ago