Posted by Cori Warner almost 3 years ago
We are finally making progress in building our home, and also is preparing the land to begin our permaculture homestead. This last year has been a learning experience for me in several ways. Primarily, I am learning patience, as sub-contracting a non-conventional home has proven to be quite challenging, time-consuming, and at times, frustrating. But we are getting closer to the finish line, and hope to be moving to the new place in May. While the build looks large, the home is 900 sf, the rest of the structure is a 25x40 garage/shop/barn/processing area.
I have done quite a lot of work in terms of site preparation. Initially, we had to hire a contractor to remove four enormous Eastern Red Cedar trees - they occupied about a quarter of an acre right in the center of the property. These trees yielded wood for furniture, logs for Hugelkultur beds, and nearly a ton of wood chips.
Since then, I have been clearing storm-damaged and dead trees, brush, and hundreds of feet of Greenbriar vine. The majority of this has been done with loppers and a saw, but last weekend we rented chainsaws and a wood chipper and got so much work done!
Most of the lot is silt-to-sandy clay that isn't yet suitable for planting, and is currently a construction zone. However, the north half of the lot has much better soil, due to the tree and brush cover. I have cleared an area approximately 75x200 feet to begin our food forest in this Spring. This area has a few Redbud trees (possible n-fixers) and a few Black Locust (known n-fixers) that can serve as nurse trees. Although the soil is loamy, it is nitrogen-poor so will need amending before any real planting happens.
I won't be able to start planting until April, so I will continue to work on clearing invasive plants and dead wood from the damaged trees. I also plan to relocate some of the Sumac and Dogwood that is growing on the property, so it will be growing in multiple locations, instead of just one.
So that's where we are at!
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