[permaculture] Greetings

Tripp Tibbetts slowfoodguy at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 18 21:17:36 EST 2009


Ditto what Mitch said.  Even on a smallish urban/suburban site like we have, it's always frustrating to have to table plans for a season or two.  In hind-site, it will seem like the best thing that could've happened.
 
I noticed that you're a fan of Fukuoka.  (And who isn't!?)  The One Straw Revolution was the first permie type book I read, and once digested I was ready to roll!  But not really.  Every book I've read since then, every conversation I've had on this forum, and more than anything, every hour spent in the garden, both physical and spiritual, reminds me that I am just beginning my journey.  The more I learn, the more there is to learn.  My book wishlist only changes in one direction.  More books!  Permaculture sometimes seems like a Windows program that never ends.  Happily.  It's amazing.  Every bit of it.  So enjoy it all.  The first Zone 1 sheet mulch application through wildlife corridor management, and into the wider culture.
 
A hundred acres of alfalfa, timothy, and forest, with ample water?  At 28??  You dog!  I doubt I'm the only jealous thread surfer out there.  (Although I manage a quarter section of family timber in Washington state...)  Question for you though: do you like people?  You seem like a fairly gregarious fellow.  Just be honest about that aspect of the future.
 
Slow and sane.  Listen to the experienced folks on this listserv.  You can produce a whole bunch of food in a well-tended zone 1, and the outer zones will appreciate your patience.  That's my advice, for what it's worth.  Take it as slow as you can manage, and enjoy the ride.
 
Tripp out.



The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.
-Chinese proverb
 

--- On Fri, 12/18/09, Mitch Triplett <mtriplett at bctonline.com> wrote:


From: Mitch Triplett <mtriplett at bctonline.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Greetings
To: "'permaculture'" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Friday, December 18, 2009, 11:58 PM


Hey Travis.

You're farm sounds incredible - diversity & edges ahoy!

If you can stand to do it, hold off on making any large-scale
investments/commitments in the outer zones and watch your farm for a year or
two while working in zone 1.  

We were ready to hit the ground running when we moved on to our place 4
years ago.  However, life intervened and 'forced' us to scale back plans.
So, the first year was all about getting zone 1 fixed up & cleaned up.
Years 2-3 we spent getting to know zones 2-5 (inventory, analysis, etc.)
while continuing to work in zone 1.  Year 4 we started work in zone 2 and
started developing a forest garden plan.  Next year, we'll start
implementing our forest garden plan which was what we thought we'd be doing
4 years ago.  Looking back, we wouldn't have it any other way.  We're still
going to make mistakes, but I'd wager they won't be as numerous or as
significant as if we'd made them 4 years ago.

It sounds like you've got an excellent grasp of your site's vegetation,
topography, hydrology, etc. so you probably don't need the amount of time we
needed to get to a working 'baseline'.  That said, if you can stand to do
it, spend some time working in 1, observing in 2-5 and working out a
timeline & budget for all the great things you're going to do.

Best of luck.

Mitch Triplett
Tri-Pearl Family Forest
Member - CCFFA/OSWA & OTFS
Associate Member - FSC

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Armed With A
Mind Armed With A Mind
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 9:24 PM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Greetings


Thanks for the replies,



Let me expand a bit on my situation; I'm fairly confident in my abilities to
amend the soil properly and have been working with sheet mulching techniques
for a few years now (using mostly woodchips, wood ashes, leaves, soil from
the paths, compost teas, and grass clippings in various combinations). I'm
heavily influenced by the 'one straw revolution', veganic farming, and
natural farming in general, though I am no purist and do use animal manures
sparingly as we keep horses here for recreation and eventually logging.
(little does our young draft cross Amelie realize) I have also read the
Mollison series, some of 'Edible Forest Gardens' by David Jacke, and Gaia's
Garden by Toby Hemenway.  I am somewhat mystified about swales in terms of
how to best place them in my situation. My farm is located in a flood plain
and except for the high-points at the southwest corner and the northeast
side of the property, the water table is extremely high, with standing water
on many areas of t
he property this fall and I see this as our biggest limiting factor. Look
at me, complaining about having too much water. Some of you must want to
slap me right now. So since swales are mostly used to trap water in dry
areas, how can I best use them in a wet area? The soil is mostly a sandy
loam a small percentage of clay, and ranges from that to more of a sandbox
type soil as it slopes very gently down east towards a lake which is about 2
kilometres from the edge of the property. On the eastern half of the
property I can easily dig down about 4 feet into nothing but tan coloured
loamy sand, and then hit limestone type gravel. 



The vegetation is split up into about 30 acres of young forest, and 70 acres
of hay (alfalfa and, timothy mostly) The dominant tree species are (in
general order of most to least prominent) eastern white cedar, white (paper)
birch, balsam poplar, white ash, american beech, basswood, large tooth
aspen, the ever-opportunistic european buckthorn, a pure stand of scots pine
that is being decimated by disease , and a few windbreak rows of mature
sugar maple. Other notable tree populations are willow, staghorn sumac, ,
manitoba maple, wild apple. 



The dominant bushes/shrubs/brambles are choke cherry, dogwood (oh if only I
could market dogwood I'd be free of money troubles), wild raspberry,
gooseberry, blackberry, wild grape, black currant, and I've found one
highbush cranberry next to one black locust that is technically on my
neighbors property. I've also found what I think to be one witch hazel bush
but maybe its that one that looks like witch hazel, which I can never
remember the name of.  If anyone wants clarification with scientific names I
can dig them up. I can't give much info about understory plants because I
haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the farm prior to early fall but
what I've seen so far is; wild strawberry, aster, bracken fern, poison ivy,
lots of different types of mosses and of course grasses, some small
scatterings of thistle, jewel weed (aka spotted touch me not), tiny amount
of asparagus, cattails, black eyed susan, and probably several more I'm
forgetting.



I plan to plant according to the zone template, and sectioning off the two
houses to plant them into prime examples of what one could to convert a
suburban sized yard  into a fairly self sufficient kitchen garden. We'd like
to bring in the public and other farmers as much as possible to educate and
illuminate them to the ways of permaculture, which is barely a whisper
around these parts.



Our plans for the land in the outer zones are still in the forming stages
but we are nothing if not open and ambitious. The one thing we have started
is a small planting of  four strawberry beds at 4' X 25' in a zig zag
pattern. Over the next two years I forsee us focusing on starting between
2-5 acres of mixed mostly perennial and self seeding vegetables,
establishing more strawberry beds, planting out some of the indigenous
gooseberry, blackberry and raspberry into sunnier spots with trellis and
better soil, going big on asparagus, and maybe doing U-picks of the
aforementioned. Also planting several cedar dominant windbreaks due to the
high amount of young cedar cramming our woods, and the apparent need for
several more windbreaks on the property. Ideally all of the above would be
planted in suntrap fashion, and filling in the suntraps once we somehow
scrape money together for fruit and nut trees which probably won't happen
for two to four years unfortunately. A hardy kiwi 
or grape maze is another dream of mine. We have a friend nearby who has a
soap making business so we plan to cater her herbal needs and maybe expand
to supplying nearby herbalists or tea companies depending on demand.



I would like to establish the orchards in a forest garden type pattern
instead of strict rows, incorporating as many and as wide a variety of
marketable crops in all the forest levels from root zone to upper canopy.
The plan for the fruit trees is to focus on a few types of pears, apples,
and trial other types to see what works, as I understand most don't like wet
feet all the time. Maybe swales and/or individual mounds could mediate this
factor? We have two vietnamese pot-bellied pigs as pets and would like to
get some ducks and/or chickens for pets and are planning to run them in an
electric fenced tractor system to establish new gardens and clean up the
orchard leftovers and weeds.



As soon as possible I would like to plant an alley crop system in the hay
fields we wish to keep with something like walnut mixed with a nurse crop
(does anyone know if alders are juglone tolerant?) or some other suitable
hardwood either for nuts or high quality timber. That will be determined
once I talk to local mills and explore the marketablility of nuts. I'd also
like to plant a mixed red and sugar maple stand for eventual syrup
production (I'm only 28 so it should be possible in my lifetime). Canada has
loans specifically tailored to finance sugar bush stands so hopefully I can
take advantage of that. I'm also starting to look into growing goldenseal on
our forest floor but my government has some restrictions regarding it that I
have to look into. Why they want to restrict the growing of an endangered
native species I cannot understand...



We have one small pond near the south central edge of the property that is
maybe 60-80 feet in diameter which has a willow on the south edge, and a
sparse population of cattails, with an island in the middle. It'd be neat to
get some watercress, and duck potato (arrowhead?) planted in there.



As I said, we are early in the planning stages and I realize that these are
ambitious plans which may not all see the light of day but is it not better
to think big and start small?  



Travis



PS- in an earlier post someone mentioned about mistakes within the mollison
permaculture book or books. Could someone elabourate on that please, or am I
opening a can of worms that I should leave shut?






> From: mtriplett at bctonline.com
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 19:23:25 -0800
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Greetings
> 
> That depends. What are your goals/objectives? And where do you & your
> ground stand in relation to those goals/objectives?
> 
> Mitch Triplett
> Tri-Pearl Family Forest
> Member - CCFFA/OSWA & OTFS
> Associate Member - FSC
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Armed With A
> Mind Armed With A Mind
> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 6:20 PM
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [permaculture] Greetings
> 
> 
> I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself as I'm new to this place.
My
> name is Travis Philp, I'm from Ontario Canada, and I just purchased a farm
> in November so I'm itching to get planting in the spring. I hope I'm in
line
> with putting it out there that I'd love to hear any advice in the vein of
'
> If I could do one thing over again...'
> 
> 
> 
> Travis
> 
> 
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