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    Got tomato plants out!

    I am thrilled, my garden is coming along nicely now. I got the tomato plants out. I still have a few more beds to go. I found out, I need to clear half my land for gardening and grain alone to be sustainable. How am I gonna do that!

    #2
    How much land do you want to clear? What shape is it in now? What growing now? How deep, rocky, clayey, or sandy is the soil? Will you fence in a tight area and send in the goats as a starter?

    If you don't have trees and shrubs to clear, there is a 1970's popular method of quickly smothering the existing vegetation-- a plastic film spread flat and anchored over everything for the whole season. You plant right through it, cutting X's in the plastic to insert plants or seeds. It probably is not possible with grains, except possibly corn.

    You can use clear plastic film or black plastic. Clear can be gotten from small furniture dealers for free. Pieces sofas were wrapped in are big enough to be worthwhile. A kind commercial greenhouse owner might also give you really sturdy clear plastic when replacing Visqueen hoop house covers. Those can be nice, large pieces. I don't know of a source for black plastic.

    If you live in an area with bermuda grass, this might not work, as bermuda survives dormant a long, long time under the worst conditions.

    After a season of growing through plastic, you take off the plastic and your clear soil is ready for more ecological means of gardening.
    "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

    "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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      #3
      How much land do you want to clear? What shape is it in now? What growing now? How deep, rocky, clayey, or sandy is the soil? Will you fence in a tight area and send in the goats as a starter?
      I need 5.5 acres cleared additional acres cleared. This is wooded land on a hill side that has a steep incline, with sand as the dirt on a granite base. I was thinking, because of the incline, I should allow stands of trees in between the plots I clear. This would prevent soil erosion, I think. .

      Anyway, the goal is to have the goats go in first and clear the brush. I need some sort of temporary goat fencing that I can put up and take down at will. Then clear out a plot and plant the sides with permaculture type foods...like those berry bushes you spoke about. This way the whole of the land is productive in some way, but I still have fields and pasture.

      I can't clear cut it though. Too steep an incline I think, besides there are some awesome natural food sources in the mess. I would like to preserve those.

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        #4
        Five and a half acres, yeah, that's a bit much for plastic film! I agree it's probably not a good idea to clear the hill, unless you have eons to terrace it. But you probably know about digging swales to slow and catch the flow of water (and soil, too, really) on a hill.

        Do you live in an agricultural area? Maybe you could price out getting the area plowed by tractor? When I was a kid (speaking of eons) my Mom had that done a couple of times and she was in no position to spend frivolously. All she had done was the roughest of deep plowing, it wasn't exactly seed ready.

        Are you hoping to plant much of that 5.5 acres this year?
        For planting next year, I'd get out there and mow down everything when it is pretty tall, like waist high. Select one-third of it for planting next year, and use the other two-thirds to cut hay-- or whatever vegetation there is. Carry the "hay" over to the selected one-third and mulch it up. Continue to cut the two-thirds and continue to mulch. Try to obtain any organic matter from other sources, too. Spoiled hay, rotted straw, etc. (Here in the city I go remove the huge piles of leaves off of the fenced in tennis courts at the nearby city park!) Hopefully, by June 1 of next year, most of the vegetation would be dead under the mulch and contributing to the health of the soil. Clear out the narrowest channels for planting your grain, leaving intact the mulch as much as possible. Prioritize another mowing or two of the remaining two-thirds for mulching the crop. But also select another one-third of the remaining two-thirds, and start mulching it to clear for the 1016 June planting.

        EDIT: Oh, wait! The whole area is WOODED? If so, are there harvestable trees that could be sold to pay for the whole project? Any good walnut, pecan, ash, or oak wood, for example?
        Last edited by Joan.of.the.Arch; 05-19-2014, 07:08 AM.
        "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

        "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

        Comment


          #5
          O
          h, wait! The whole area is WOODED? If so, are there harvestable trees that could be sold to pay for the whole project? Any good walnut, pecan, ash, or oak wood, for example?
          The lowest third is pine, birch, cedar, and a few scrub trees. We also have a ton of persimmon and wild plums. The rest is tangles, thickets, and blackberries...the wild evil kind.

          But you probably know about digging swales to slow and catch the flow of water (and soil, too, really) on a hill.
          No idea what this is, but I would be happy to know since we have TONS of problems with water here...trying to divert "River Aukxsona" from the front of my house has been a nightmare every time it rains.

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