[permaculture] BBC How Plants Communicate & Think - Amazing Nature Documentary - YouTube

judy vidaljudy at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 20 22:55:53 EST 2015


















Hello Lawrence,
Below is an attempt to address the issues you raise. Thank-you so much for offering to help. This seems like a lot of information!
30 acres....

 

what kind of soil

I have a NRCS Soil Mapping which indicates: lewbeach channery
loam, onteora channery silt loam, Vly channery silt loam, willowemoc channery
silt loam all with 8 to 15 percent slopes.  This document can be accessed
online, I think. Details “unlimed, it is strongly to very
strongly acid”. Soil test in garden confirmed need to lime. Elevation in
uplands is 1,750 feet

 

what are the landforms like, i.e.
grades, slopes, lay of the land, where

the water goes when it rains

When the water flows it goes either into a ditch by the road or
onto the neighbors’ properties downhill, one of which is a larger stream
feeding into the East Delaware I believe.

 

Property is situated at the end of a valley: translates into
high winds. Used to be part of a much larger farm which was subdivided in the
70’s. Shape of the 30 acres is bizarre to say the least: Beautiful old
farmhouse sits at bottom of a slope by the road across from which there is a 7
acre very gently sloped haying field. Property around the house is pretty
narrow (maybe 2 acres) and goes up the mountain in a bottleneck and then widens. Up the hill, behind
the house, there is a level open field that was planted with blackberries which
have taken over and don’t seem to produce (I can’t figure out why. Old timers
remember picking berries as children) When I pull up the brambles the soil is a
deep black: the roots have done a wonderful humus building job. I suspect all
the pastures were overgrazed (this is traditional cow country) 

 

are there any streams or ponds

 

 To the east of the berry
field, not too far, there is a pond which is spring fed. This is the NYC
watershed. Up by the pond there are several streams running amuck and creating
some boggy spots. Made the mistake of having the tractor go up there to clear a
path and learned the hard way how the ruts worsened the water dispersal. Below
the pond is a wonderful pasture (maybe 4 acres)


are there any woodlands, original
growth, harvested or harvestable timber

About 10 acres above the pond is forest/coyote land: a few old trees, lots
of new growth. It is clear to me that parts were pasture many years ago. The
old stumps are still there, though almost totally decayed. Succession seems to
have set in. Would make wonderful sylvopasture. Don’t think there is enough
wood to harvest for anything other than firewood. Further east of the pond are
perhaps 5 acres of old pastures that is being taken over by succession but
could still be brush hogged if tractor could just get up there without rutting
out a lot of the land.

So basically, more than half the acreage is not readily
accessible when there is snow, unless one had a snowmobile. Last year I had
snow up to my knees when I went up the hill.

wells

Well by the house has not been in use for decades

springs

The hill above the pond is full of springs

buildings, barns, greenhouses, spring
houses, grain or hay storage

Spring house is located up the mountain on somebody else’s
property and gravity feeds the house plumbing.

Across from the farm house there is a huge 75 year old 2 story
garage/barn. I don’t know if hay could be stored in there.  (venting? There are windows) There is
electricity but no water. Somebody kept chickens in the upstairs (very old
dried poop) There is a falling down barn north of the garage, but it is not
part of our parcel so we just get to watch it tumble.(part of the original farm)

buildings, shops, livestock barns

open fields

So, as I described there are 2 open fields totaling about 12
acres

when was last time any of the acreage
was plowed, harrowed, tilled

Oh, probably 50 years

is there any permanent pasturage

I don’t think so

any fencing

To my despair it (barbed wire and wooden posts) is all
collapsed. The entire property seems to have been perimeter fenced at one time.
Beautiful old stone walls run along the perimeter and delineate old pasturage,
but never reaches more than 2 or 3 feet tall and in spots has been trampled
over.

what is the quality of the soil on
the acreage and are soil supplements

needed, i.e. nitrogen, potash and
phosphorous from rock powders

and are these supplements available
to you nearby, i.e. manures, biomass,

rock phosphate, greensand, azomite,
aragonite, high calcium limestone,

rock dusts from local rock quarries

Local farmers could give me manure which I am afraid might be saturated
with fertilizer and GMO refuse.

I did a soil test for the garden last spring and lime is what is
needed most. I have the paperwork and poured over it with a friend who is into
soil amendments and never followed thru with his recommendations because they
didn’t seem super urgent to me and I am quite overwhelmed with everything else and
besides I wasn’t sure where to put the stuff anyhow!

 

I have 5 huge bales from last year’s haying which surround the garden (had them put there as windshield) and I intend to
use in raised beds this spring 

is there any farm equipment on site
or can it be borrowed or rented or can

tractor work be hired out

I bought an old Massey Ferguson (10X10 I think) and a brush hog
(4 feet wide)which I do not manipulate myself (I hire someone by the hour to
run it) Brushhogged the berry field about 4 times in an effort to get rid of
the brambles. If I had more goats, fencing and water figured out, they would do
the job. Am friends with a farmer 2 miles away who has everything and is super
busy.

 

Start by addressing this list of
issues

 

What I have done in the past 18
months:

-       to the east of the house put up makeshift coop and shelters:
have raised 12 black Spanish turkeys, 9 chickens and 5 goats. Have been doing
the electric fence daily rotations (except in winter) and free ranging for the
birds. In warm weather took goats on wonderful walks into the forest. (The life
of a part-time sheppard is quite wondrous. It is clear the critters preferred
the sylvoland to the open fields.) Frozen water and gates pried open with
hammer deal in winter. This fall I harvested the goats as I couldn’t imagine
going thru a second winter with all those animals and the ice and the make
shift shelters. The goat sausages are delicious.

-       Across the street I put in a garden, all by hand, with hoops to
try to extend the season and realized this summer that it is right next to the
old grandfathered sceptic. Annoying. So in the fall I created tall raised beds
with wood and chicken/turkey pooped bedding further way from the sceptic and another 2
above the house and garage/barn. I’m thinking of putting some hazelnut and
chesnut trees just above those 2 huge raised beds. (forest garden?) Shlepping
wheelbarrows of pooped bedding to the various beds has been quite the affair.

-        

My goal: this spring I would like to
get more turkeys (I kept 6 to see if I could breed them) and get off the
organic grain deal and have some kind of worm cultivation. I’d also like to get
more goats, but cannot continue the labor intensive, inefficient technique of
bringing them out to pasture where I lug the water and the electric fence and
back into the corral with the chickens at nite. I’d like to put them in the
sylvo pasture where there would be water and perimeter fencing. The problem is
I have no idea how to do the fencing and how to get the water from the pond/streams
to them. I have raised a Maremma LGD and she is good and could protect a small flock from predators (hoping to breed her in order to have more LGD's).





 

 


> From: lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 23:26:11 -0500
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] BBC How Plants Communicate & Think - Amazing Nature Documentary - YouTube
> 
> On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 10:20 AM, judy <vidaljudy at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > Good Morning,
> > I have been reading your missives for a year now and thank-you for
> > teaching me so much!I would like to take a PDC and remember a list of
> > certified instructors was put out a while ago. I am located in the
> > Catskills, upstate NY where I moved 18 months ago to care for my 92 year
> > old mother and her 30 acres.Any recommendations?Happy New Year!
> > Sincerely,Judy Stewart Vidal
> >
> 
> We could attempt to offer advice here; this is one of my favorite subjects
> Here are a few questions:
> 
> 30 acres....
> 
> what kind of soil
> what are the landforms like, i.e. grades, slopes, lay of the land, where
> the water goes when it rains
> are there any streams or ponds
> are there any woodlands, original growth, harvested or harvestable timber
> wells
> springs
> buildings, barns, greenhouses, spring houses, grain or hay storage
> buildings, shops, livestock barns
> open fields
> open land that has been or could be cropped
> when was last time any of the acreage was plowed, harrowed, tilled
> is there any permanent pasturage
> any fencing
> what is the quality of the soil on the acreage and are soil supplements
> needed, i.e. nitrogen, potash and phosphorous from rock powders
> and are these supplements available to you nearby, i.e. manures, biomass,
> rock phosphate, greensand, azomite, aragonite, high calcium limestone,
> rock dusts from local rock quarries
> is there any farm equipment on site or can it be borrowed or rented or can
> tractor work be hired out
> 
> Start by addressing this list of issues
> 
> -- 
> Lawrence F. London
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> http://www.avantgeared.com
> https://plus.google.com/+Avantgeared
> Ello: https://ello.co/ecoponderosa <https://ello.co/ecoponderosa>
> Twitter: @ecoponderosa <https://twitter.com/ecoponderosa>
> Reddit: ecoponderosa
> Cellphone: lfljcell at gmail.com
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