I’m not an expert on Permaculture. I’ve studied it by reading books, websites, and watching and re-watching videos. I’m setting out to create my own food forest the old fashion way: trial and error.
I’m a victim of lists and deadlines. I’m a few days away from my original deadline, and I’ve only just begun to construct the garden. I’ve heard that people will often study permaculture and get so overwhelmed, they don’t take any action. Hello-me! I’m either too busy, lazy, or scared. I’m finally ready to get the garden started. I’m hoping I’ll hold myself accountable by having deadlines and break up the work into phases.
So far in the garden, I’ve spent time laying things out with sections of tree limbs, 1X’s, or anything long laying around. I used spray paint the first (few) times the beds were outlined, but it has washed away. Using limbs is much more forgiving. I’ve moved and tweaked them to get the shape and size right of the beds.
I started digging the main swale months ago. The clay soil is very frustrating at best, but I’ve already seen the results of it filling up a few times. It has given me confidence to finish. I’ve also collected about 40 bags of leaves and enough cardboard to get me started.
So let me begin with Phase 1, Deadline March 1st. This is going to be hard work for the next 4 years, and I don’t estimate a feeling of completion until about then. The abundance will come soon enough.
Here’s the To-Do List
- Complete the master plan bed layout
- Remove (3) T posts. (easier said than done)
- Relocate existing Apple and Peach Tree
- Relocate tree collards if the ice storm didn’t get them & disassemble the raised bed
- Relocate Cardoons
- Finish the main swale
- Trim existing Trees
- Construct the (2) annual veggie beds.
- Purchase & Plant Trees: Pear, plum, [nitrogen fixer tree], pawpaw, apple,
pecan, [wild card tree]
- Plant cover crops
A few things left to tweak/design:
- The ponds: I’m not happy with the locations yet. Since they aren’t in phase 1, I’m sure they will find a home soon enough.
- The Pecan Tree: I’ve heard (reference Jack Spirko) that it’s hard to grow under pecan trees and they could cause long term soil problems. I’ve decided to forgo this tree as a result.
- Deciding what to grow is the best part and always ongoing. I’m not sure this will ever be complete. The plan is already outdated! I like to think the drawing is just a suggestion and always evolving.
The clock is ticking on Phase 1. With a few days of vacation, I should have a good start… I’ll be back soon to explain a few things with the garden layout. Happy Holidays!