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Hagarville Permaculture Food Forest Project

Published on Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hagarville Permaculture Food Forest Project

Permaculture Food Forest Project - Year 1

The Hagarville Food Forest Project is being conceptualized and built by us, Mike and Cara Hagar.  We moved onto our 2.4 acre property in Mead in February of 2012, 1 acre of alfalfa and 1.4 acres of manicured lawn. It is our intention to augment our food supply as much as we can by using Permaculture Principles. We are using Landscape Design software to plan and visualize our multi-year project. After 1 year we have made better progress than we thought we would, due to the help of many in our community.

We started by modeling our entire lot with Realtime Landscaping Pro-2011 (available for $99 at http://www.ideaspectrum.com/rls_pro_overview.php)  This program shows top down or 3D views and has been a great help in visualizing the project before doing anything.

Our property as seen by Google maps

 

Then in the base layer of the software model...

 

By the time the spring snows had melted we had developed a great set of detailed plans

 

We met several people at the 2011 Permaculture Conference in Spokane and connected with some workers who helped us get started with the heavy lifting. Our first step was to build an 8' deer fence around about 1 acre in the back yard.  We surrounded the front yard with Black Locust, Hawthorne, Red Osier Dogwoods, Oaks (acorns), Walnuts, Chestnuts, Hazel Nuts, Paper Birch and Willows.  This is our designated wood and nut food forest.

You can follow visually in our picures below how we started by planting 200 Trees, Berries and supporting plants,  then started the annual garden, and built a large 12'x24' garden shed with plans to attach a '8x24' green house.  

As house energy retrofits we replaced four windows that had no way of opening and therefore no breeze.  The prior owners no doubt used a lot of air conditioning $$$.   We also removed a pretty gas fireplace in our living room and replaced it with a high efficiency wood stove.

We had a very short growing season in our first garden year here, as we had killing frosts until June 15 (lost 3 batches of tomatoes and peppers)  and then lost a large portion of our green beans, squash and melons with a freak 17 degree freeze in early September.  Observe (cry, whine and moan) and Interact.  We then began to research and build low tunnels for season extension. 

We also decided that our mobile chicken coop would not be enough for the winter so we built a 10'x20' MOBILE hoop house.  We are planning to winter the chickens somewhere different each year and when spring arrives we will move them to a mobile electric fence pasture and start the tomatos in the hoop house until the final freeze.  Then we will move the hoop house, reinsert the chickens and start all over.  Of course this is all an experiment that will change as required.

It is winter again now and we are contemplating next year, ordering trees and seeds, and dreaming the next dream.  We will be looking for people to help next year in paid positions and accepting occasional help from people wanting to learn from our mistakes... :)   Get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more.

More coming later...

Namaste,

Mike and Cara

 

 

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