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Summary

Paul sits back down with Eliot for a quick podcast discussing Paul’s visit to Eliot’s farm before knocking off for lunch.

Julia (and Eliot) purchased the 40 acre property just outside Oregon City, Oregon in 2017, half of which is conifer forest with the remainder being pasture, two houses and two acres of mildly abandoned orchard comprising of “red delicious” apples, pears, and some cherries.  The orchard is a decent summary of everything Paul finds distasteful about orchards – it’s an almost monoculture, there’s no underbrush, it’s all laid out in a grid, and much of it was killed in a nasty winter, so that kinda solved a bunch of problems by simply getting rid of a load of surplus weak trees.

Eliot tried making hugelkultur beds with the wood surplus, but found that making large hugels without a proper excavator to be a pain, so instead inverted them into a sort of terrace so that he could reliably build them with his small tractor backhoe.  On top of that, he didn’t have a surplus of soil from anywhere, so getting enough to build a normal hugel would mean digging trenches that he didn’t want.  And for the pasture, he’d really prefer to keep the aesthetic going and allow better tractor access for clipping the grass to keep it productive rather than going to seed, both of which would be severely hampered by the dense hugelkultur that would be needed to get optimal results.

Paul wants to build hugel beds in the orchard where there’s much more soil and to build a berm against the main road for the usual reasons especially for the noise of speeding traffic, although wind is already not much of an issue thanks to the mass of trees and almost no issue down from the top quarter of the land.  

Relevant Threads

podcast 452 - site review Julia's Farm - Part 1

Cascadia regional forum

Wofati and Earth Berm forum
Hugelkultur forum

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This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Dr. Hugh Gill Kultur
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Permaculture isn't that hard to understand. Sometimes a little bump helps: richsoil.com/cards
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