Becca Berg

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since Mar 02, 2019
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Recent posts by Becca Berg

We have about 2 acres of overgrown Norway spruce trees. Although they were originally planted as Christmas trees, they haven’t been shaped properly and are worthless from that regard. We’d like to “reclaim” the land and are actually required to be using it as it’s preserved farmland. Any interesting ideas?

The trees are planted close together - about 5-6 feet. If we cut them down, could we re-plant trees in between the stumps? Ideally, we’d like to leave the stumps to rot out, rather than use heavy machinery. The soil is very acidic, compact and nutrient-depleted. Anywhere that sunlight peeks in is overgrown with brush - mostly mugwort going rampant.

Other sections of our property we had the stumps ripped out, the holes filled, the land tilled and planted with pasture mix for sheep. It’s been labor-intensive and not very successful, as the depleted soil has given way to many weeds. For this section, we’d like to do some more regenerative practices and avoid much heavy machinery.

While our neighbors have suggested cutting down the trees, drying them and burning them, we’re at least thinking we could use the wood to make a rough log shelter/run-in for some animals. Maybe pigs to help root up the soil and fertilize? Open to any and all ideas!
11 months ago
We are moving to a large new property about a week before our last frost date, and will want to set up our new veggie garden first thing. It’s got acres of sod and we don’t know much about the soil yet except that it must be relatively decent as the grass, trees, etc are very healthy. Looking to put in a 700-1,000 sq ft garden this year. Since we’re moving, we didn’t start seeds so will be buying a fair amount of transplants and direct sowing everything we can. How would you go about building this garden?

Since we’ll have a ton of cardboard at our disposal from moving, I’m thinking of experimenting with lasagna-style beds. We’ve got lots of chicken and donkey manure as well. Thinking of mowing grass, covering with cardboard, then manure, then straw, then a top layer of compost for planting. My concern about these type of unframed/ mounded beds is erosion, especially with direct sowing seeds.

I’d like to avoid digging up the sod if possible, although we are considering a double dig method where we’d flip the sod onto itself. Also considering some hugel beds, but will we be able to plant in those right away? I admit I love the look of good old-fashioned wood-sided raised beds, but the cost of lumber for a garden this size is prohibitive.
We are about to close on our dream property, a 10 acre homestead. One of us is keeping our day job, but for tax and zoning purposes we need to gross at least $1k/year from the property, actively using 5 acres for agriculture.

Currently, 7.5 acres are being used for Christmas trees but the owners cut them all down right before putting the property on the market. So that acreage is now cleared land. There is a barn and stable, and about 2 acres of fenced pasture.

We already keep bees and chickens, so scaling those up is our first idea, since $1k in eggs, honey, baby chicks, seems possible. We don’t have much experience growing vegetables or other plants on a large scale.

We could also continue growing the Christmas trees - currently the land is rented to a farmer and we could continue to do that. We likely will do this to start.

Curious as to your brainstorms and ideas!
1 year ago