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!