Meg Knox wrote:All excellent advice thank you all! And sorry for my delay in replying.
So for context, the lot is a small one that we will be living on in an RV, with the intention to maybe build something. (Starting with chicken coop, greenhouses, lil smokehouse, and an outdoor kitchen! Then maybe some sort of eco house.)
It is almost entirely birch trees atm. Very tall ones, too. Lots of blueberries nearby and on the property already.
So far, without having lived off it, I'm considering a couple hugelculture beds by the side entrance to the property, and a greenhouse or two at the front by the road. (South side)
I wouldn't be prepared to put much of anything in this year, just kind of planning ahead for next. (I like to plan ahead a few year if i can lol!) I want some idea of what to research and consider, and this has all given me great ideas!
Once we're out there, I'll have to check out what neighbours have managed, collect a few wild plants, and see what I can experiment with.
I'd actually be really interested in fucking with some strange apple types. I read an excerpt from Michael Pollan's book The Botany of Desire, and learned a bit about apple diversity. There are so many bizarre apple types we've never seen, and every seed is unique! And apparently there's a guy who will send you random seeds for free, so why not! I figure some might be inedible (as very very many are considered), but might serve well as apple cider vinegar for cosmetic use or something. That's kind of my attitude with the whole place honestly: Fuck around and find out. I'm just looking to try out anything, and see what I can make of it.
Very excited to get started on my lil experiment, and very much appreciate the advice.
Peter Ellis wrote:
In terms of a plan of action - once you have a sense of the varieties you want to grow, I suggest getting nursery stock from local sources, so that you know the genetics fit your region. Get a few of each variety, plant these pioneers someplace where you can give them lots of tender loving care and use them as your nursery, propagating hundreds, even thousands more for planting out into wider areas of your landscape.
When you start having a good supply of your own home grown plants to distribute into your woods, it gets much easier to just stick a little tree seedling in the ground and walk away, leaving it to make it on its own - just like Nature does.
Step one: Observe and identify
Step two: Choose your plant varieties
Step three: Establish your own nursery stock so you can propagate the numbers you will need
Step four: Manage your existing woodland to favor varieties you desire. Use that process to introduce varieties you desire. (create a clearing and plant the edge communities, thin younger trees in an area and introduce desired canopy trees)
Step five: Watch and enjoy for decades, because we're creating multi-generational systems
D Tucholske wrote:That's mostly what I'm doing too.
If you live in the US:
--Use wildflower.org as a jumping off point to find native plants that you want in your area & do further research on the ones you like.
--I attempted to put together a list of all types of native edible in North America in its own thread, if it happens to help. Just keep in mind, it may not be perfect, but I think I got a mention of at least species of most native edibles in there.
--If you live far enough north to naturally experience a winter, there are some plants that require special soil conditions that your forest may or may not have anymore. If no, there's no real way to fix it & you'll have to artificially recreate those conditions.
--If you're going with seeds, collect the seeds you want throughout the year, keep them in your fridge & put them out roughly between late November- early February. Only sow root stocks or bigger seeds into the dirt, for the rest just incrementally throw them around.
If you live south of the snow line, then different measures may be in order. All in all, you don't have to do too much work to clear things out to encourage what you do want to grow, but some people work a lot harder to up their land's productivity with a few tricks here & there & turn it into a full on jungle. Just depends on how far you really want to take it.
Thomas Elpel wrote:Lee,
I'm glad you enjoyed the book!
Have you played the card game too?
I'll have a sequel book and game out shortly, covering eight more plant families:
Shanleya's Quest 2: Botany Adventure at the Fallen Tree
I will also be teaching at Paul's PDC this June, so come join the fun!
Thomas J. Elpel