A comprehensive guide to starting a food forest.
Here is a picture of some land at dusk that has been relatively unvisited today by the human who loves it.
And that’s fine. Plenty of other creatures are enjoying it.
I just wasn’t into it today. I had low energy and some puzzles are confounding me to the point of inaction. Where to build my proper compost pile? What to do with all the bare soil around the planted trees? (I know that bare soil attracts weeds and erosion. My current plan is to apply biochar to kill the invasive jumping worms, a thin layer of compost to add life to the soil, and then do a stale seedbed. That means allowing weeds to germinate and grow a tiny bit, then wiping them out and putting in desirable seeds/transplants. It depletes the seed bank and leaves the coast clear for preferred plants to grow. Way too long of a comment for parentheses.)
I just didn’t feel like doing anything out there today, and at times it bugged me, but I have made my peace with it. Not every day will be spent outside, as much as I’d like to.
In other news, I was absolutely delighted to see Chickadees nesting in a birdhouse I put up. It is on the fence to the left of this photo. I put it near a shrub because I’ve noticed that birds like to land somewhere before they enter their house. I will move the bird feeder closer to it. The feeder is full of great sunflower seeds but no one ever eats from it. I don’t understand. It is right in the middle of the lawn, so maybe birds don’t like the exposure? I’m not sure. Maybe the Chickadee family will enjoy it.
I'm about to do some passive bed preparation in the front yard in advance of planting trees. (This is basically composting in place, and I'll write a post on that.)
I'm trying to comply with as many codes and safety precautions as possible, so this morning I created a Call Before you Dig ticket, which alerts you of underground utility pipes and wires. It may be overkill, but I will rest easy knowing I'm not planting trees over utilities. Some utilities have sent emails, others have marked up the lawn with spray paint and flags.
There is a gas line running through the yard right by the steps. Good thing I found that out! It really changed my plans, because I do not want to plant any trees or shrubs near that area now.
I happened to be home when another Call Before You Dig utility worker came by and he chatted with me about it a bit. Gas lines are supposed to be 18 inches below the surface, but he says they heave up sometimes. He said be very careful digging within a foot and a half to either side of the gas flags, even if I am merely using a shovel.
I also called the zoning office in our town a few times. I've gotten somewhat confusing and conflicting responses, but essentially they told me not to block views of turning cars. (We live on a corner lot.)
I called the health department to ask them about the septic tank and field. More info on that in another post.
So I think I am good for bureaucracy. Almost ready for digging!