Cordell duToit

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since Jun 12, 2014
Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Cordell duToit

Hi All,

I have 2 requirements to kill off some pasture - but need to be able to grow things once its been killed.

The first is I have pasture near my forest that I want to kill off to plant food plots for deer to help them through the winter. Ontario has a tiny deer herd and was wanting to put in some food for them.

The second is I want to plant switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) to create cover and bedding areas.

I put this in lawn as I dont want to use things like salt, as I need things to regrow in these areas.
I cannot use the cardboard / newspaper covered with soil method due to the size..

Anyone else who has done this (killed off vegetation and planted something) who can assist - I would appreciate some input
11 months ago
Can someone please help me ID this tree?
Very grey bark, wood is rich brown color (ie not light like ash) and there are cones and buds.
2 years ago
Look up see more bucks, whitetail ambush secrets on youtube. These guys know their stuff and a lot of hunting when it comes to deer is (apparently) in creating habitat that deer want to be in and hang around in, during daylight hours.
Ive registered on their website to get access to additional videos and it taught me loads. And No, I dont get any kickbacks from them. Just good sound advice that I stumbled across.
You can also go to - another website from the same group of guys, I bought Dr Jims book on setting up habitat and plan on implementing a lot of his suggestions in my 30 acres of forest. Good luck.
3 years ago
I have a lot clay in my subsoil. Re planting, I would like to plant the berms however, in the actual swale, i would probably seed with a cover like clover in a broad v shaped swale. If the swale was more narrow / steeper 'U' shaped, I dont know.
Havent figured that out yet, hence the post looking for advise
3 years ago
Hi All,

Was wondering if any of you have experience in which swale is better over all? A "U" shaped swale with steep walls, that would be filled with organic matter? (Think dug out with excavator) Or a broader "V" shaped swale that would not necessarily be filled, but rather could / would be planted? (Think ditch carved out with bulldozer)
I have seen both but have not implemented swales on my property as yet and now that Im in the planning stage, would love to hear feedback from personal experience on pros and cons of one verse the other.
My Thinking is that the broader "V" shape would capture more water, however, the steeper walled "U" shape with organic matter would help feed the plants on the berm and retain moisture longer.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

3 years ago
Here are a few pictures of the land area taken from the north west corner where the star is as well as a pic taken from the house front door.
3 years ago
Hi All,
I was hoping for some feedback on a site where I would like to put in a permaculture orchard. I have attached a topographical pic of the area where we want to do it. It is fairly flat, full of clay and the lower right corner where the 'W' is has a lot of standing water in the spring / fall.
I am located in Southern Ontario / Canada.
In the pic below - the arrows show direction of slope. The box around the existing paddock is where we want to plant the small orchard. The star in the top left of the paddock is the highest point and the hashed area in lower right with the W gets the most surface water standing after rains, and in spring and fall due to snow melt, rains etc.
Yes swales are great but I do not struggle for water to much (see 2nd picture). It rains in spring somewhat in summer and in fall and snows in winter and I have a lot of clay and my ground is fairly flat so there is not loads of surface fun off as there are in areas that are hilly or mountainous. Also - in the bottom right where the solid blue circle is, is approximately where I am standing where the 2nd pic was taken - facing back toward the road. This was mid march this year and the water sat for about 2 to 3 weeks (not the best for fruit trees).
Granted - even with the gradual slope, having lots of clay did cause some surface run toward the lower section where the hashed area in the picture is, but not like in some steeper areas of my farm. Come summer, we do get some hot days for fairly extended periods and if the ground is exposed - the clay bakes and cracks and goes hard.. until the rain.
Another consideration, I was thinking of splitting the area in basic quarters with the top left quarter being a vegetables and herbs etc and the rest trees, fruit trees, nitrogen fixes, long flowering trees for pollination (honey locust for example) and some nut trees.
Things I am wanting to incorporate would be lots of wood chips (PTO Chipper for tractor is on the way) water harvesting to restore the hydro logical balance and have water move through the landscape, not run off and sit in the lower area...
the yellow line is the only contour that shows on the county maps. Google earth doesnt even show this one.
Any suggestions / feedback would be great. I don't want to just put trees in rows as this possibly wont be the best (think Sepp Holzers Desert or paradise book where he redesigned an orchard that was losing nutrients due to this) but that said, looking at my contour, there isn't much slope.
So would swales be best, or just use boomerang swales around the trees? I could also possibly use net and pan and then fill it with wood chips and have the water percolate through. I would want it somewhat structured to make harvesting easier as opposed to having circular bed design etc.
The second pic gives an idea of how flat the area is where the water sits.

3 years ago
Hi Guys,
Sure many and / or most of you have heard of Greg Judy from green pasture farms and grazier extraordinaire. He (and Ian Mitchell Innes who gives a grazing school at Gregs farm) are very pro free choice minerals.
Are there any Canadians out there currently giving their cattle free choice minerals? if yes - where do you buy them from?
I am not really interested in "combined mineral suppliments" as this results in excess minerals being ingested and being deposited on the land.

If anyone knows where I can purchase free choice minerals in Canada (specifically Ontario) please get in touch with me?

Thanks everyone.
3 years ago
Hi Grant,
Great video.
Do you know if pigs can / will eat that horrible plant staghorn sumac? Also, where / how do you find out the protein levels / nutritional value in plants such as the mulberry leaves etc?
Is there a website you visit?
4 years ago
Hi All,
Has anyone on the forum dug out a pond with their tractor. Not a tractor with backhoe attachment, I am thinking of they type of project such as the one shown in this video:
I don't have one of those box blades yet, but wanted some input on how well it worked etc. Also want to find out if the purchase would be worth while vs using the bucket of the tractor.
I only have a front loader / bucket on my tractor, so that is what I am going to have to use for the time being.
Anyway thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
5 years ago