To follow me on FaceBook, visit Karla Upton Photography to view my photos, or visit The Little Biddy Hen House to see what's happening on the farm.

Please note that the intended audience is local to Tennessee, USA, and the greater United States of America. If you are viewing from outside of those areas, especially if you are from the EU, please be advised that this site may not comply with EU laws.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Food Forest Dreaming

Plans and more plans.  I'm sure this isn't the final plan, either.  But, still, good entertainment while I am still house bound with this dastardly cold.

Year One, of course, we have a lot to do, and probably not enough time or money to do things with, so going to start with a few fruit trees and a small, sunny garden (orange areas).  Also, going to need to observe the shady (blue) area cast by mature trees directly to the west of that area.  Not sure what to do with it yet; however, hoping a year of observation will help.  Everything will need to be planted on raised beds due to the 50-60 inches of rain that we get a year, so in addition to the raised beds for the garden and the first fruit trees, will also build the raised berms for additional trees and beds and cover crop them with a variety of clovers and bush beans.

For the trees, I am envisioning
  • Remove top soil where the trees will be
  • Dig shallow trench - 1-2 feet deep
  • Fill trench with thin branches, wood chips, and trench soil
  • Build mound up about 2 ft tall and 5-6 feet wide
  • Replace topsoil
  • Plant to cover crop
  • When planting trees, put card board around them and mulch
  • Put tree protectors
  • Stake for the first year

Year 1 - Shape Beds & Plant 9 fruit trees
First Year Trees to include all of our favorites, as it will take 2-4 years for them to begin producing. 
Apple - Fuji September Wonder - Semi-Dwarf - Ripens Sept
Nectarine - Hardired - Standard - August
Apricot - Goldcot - Dwarf - Early July
Apple - Royal Gala - Semi-Dwarf - Late August
Peach - Carolina Belle - Standard - Mid August
Pear - Moonglow - Standard - Mid August
Apple - Golden Delicious - Semi-Dwarf - Late Sept
Pear - Red Sensation - Standard - Ripens Late August
Apricot - Wilson Delicious - Standard - Ripens Early July

Still need to research what guilds well with these trees.  If possible, year one, build all the beds that need to be built using tractor so don't need to bring the tractor in again.  The sunny (orange) areas will continue to be the yearly vegetable garden.



Year Two, continue adding trees, but also add berry bushes to the various trees to begin rounding out their guilds.  Continue to chop and drop cover crops and to add mulch.

Still not sure what to do with the shady area.  After year 4 or so, it will get shade from both the East and the West.  Not sure what to do with it.  Could that become a plant propagation area?  Also, perhaps there will be enough sunlight for greens - lettuces, spinach, cabbage, kale, bok choi and the like.  Do I see snails and slugs in my future?  Hopefully an army of Robins will move in and keep the place slug free.

The sunny beds (orange) to the North are 15 feet long - almost 200 feet.  And then the fence line - that will be mostly sun for the first several years, with the lower Eastern side eventually getting more shade.  Should be enough for a home garden.  Not so sure about enough for a market garden.  The shade beds in between where future trees will go will be sunny places to plant on while waiting for trees.  Even the tree berms can be planted to row crops during this time.

Year 2 - Add 8 More Trees



Year Three still adding lots of trees.  But the plan gets more fuzzy as we look out over time...

Year 3 - 8 More Trees

Year 4 - First trees should be producing; Add 8 more trees
A decision in years 4 - 5 will need to be made concerning adding the last two rows of trees.  If I don't add them, will there be enough sunlight to continue growing row crops there?

Year 5 - First 2 sets of trees should be producing - Add 6 more trees.

Year 6 - Many trees should be producing; Add the last of the main trees

Year 7 - Most trees producing; add additional trees to fill in gaps

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your post! I hope you enjoy my blog!