Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I think my mind might work a little differently.  I'm not sure, but it seems that way.  Perhaps it is a bit obsessive.  Not compulsive.  If I were both obsessive and compulsive then my house would be cleaner and I would get more stuff done.  But I am fighting with ideas for the farm.  Either I can't let go of them or they can't let go of me.  Coming back to them, over and over.  Turning thoughts over.  Examining.  Questioning.  I think... maybe.... possibly I have found the direction I want to go.

After doing a bit of research, not a great deal but I have the concept down, on forest gardening, I believe I can make it work well for the little farm.  It falls in with my need to work with no big equipment.  It isn't labor intensive.  It can be diversified.  It can work with my ideas for enriching the soil and carbon sequestering.  After a great deal of walking around and staring at the ground, and thinking , and thinking, and a little more thinking..... I think it can work.

I need to start with the big trees.  They will form the backbone of the garden.  On the southern slope of the big hill I will start with  the tender trees. Nectarines and peaches.  They will be in an area where they will get more sun and less wind.  Above those but still forming the spine, will be the cherries.  Above the cherries and at the top of the hill where it is exposed will be the tough trees, the nuts.  As I go on over the hill onto the north side, again less wind, but the cold side of the hill, will be the apples.  Outside of the tree backbone, will be the shrubs or lower story trees.  I am leaning towards blueberries and currants.  Outside of those, possibly raspberries.  Maybe some gooseberries.  Outside of that, you go even lower, but I haven't made up my mind about all of the plants.  I will spend the winter studying the seed catalogs.  It is stressed that somewhere in all of those layers, you have to plant some nitrogen fixing plants.  It doesn't matter if everything is food producing.  Some plants will be there just to be good companion plants.  They will help the food producers do a better job.

I still want my wine vineyard.  I still want my black walnut syrup.  I still want my bees.  I still want the hazelnuts.  I even still want a few sheep.  But I think that all of these things tie in better now.  I see it all as becoming this lovely, gentle way of farming.  It all just flows together.

I have been gathering seeds.  I got a bag of seeds off of a couple of trees that are growing behind the bank parking lot.  I will be starting those in the greenhouse soon.  I found a really good oak that I like.  I want to stop by there and pick up acorns.  These will get divided into two groups.  I will start some in the greenhouse and some out in a swale that I fear might start wanting to erode.  I have some apple seeds to start.  I know they will not breed true, but I have been wanting to toy with starting them for  a graft.  They will make a good rootstock and when I come upon some apples that I like, I can get some scion cuttings.  I have been saving a wild grape vine.  I want to get it well rooted and graft good wine producing slips onto the hardier wild grape root.  I can't afford the vineyard any other way, so it is important that we begin soon.

I did get some bluegrass seed.  It was only a three pound bag.  It was all I could afford.  But it is a start and I shall be glad for that.  It was scattered in three different horse areas.  I fear that in the front horse lots, all I did was feed the birds.  Hopefully some will take root and begin the process.  I want to buy more bluegrass seed and start it in flats.  Then next spring, I will be tucking plugs  in to all of the pasture.  I would like to do the same for the buffalo grass.  I might even keep a section of buffalo grass so I can harvest my own seed off of it.  It is expensive.  I found some but it was eighteen dollars for a quarter of a pound.  Too precious to go anywhere other then a flat.

I have to start all of this soon because the thinking is beginning to hurt.  And I really can't stop thinking.  I've tried.  I must be meant to do this.


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