We prepared the ground and planted a few hundred bare-root trees and seeds this past weekend. Some photos below and more to come!
Like these bare-root Pecan, Manchurian Walnut, Apple, Quince, Aronia, and Pawpaw trees patiently soaking in Nature’s Nog waiting to be planted, the Nutty Buddies have been dreaming and scheming all winter long in anticipation of this day. Most all of these are inexpensive seedling stock sold through state soil conservation agencies. They vary from .30 -1.00 a piece and will produce inferior fruit and nuts. We have collected the very best native food genetics and are growing them out as seed and these will be grafted onto the rootstocks as they mature. This reduces our initial costs and any damage incurred by natural forces like deer and rabbit will be easily replaced. A grafted (var.) Grainger hickory on pecan rootstock sold by a specialty nursery if you can find it, will cost upwards of 50.00/plant. We planted 100 pecans for $30.00 and will graft numerous varieties of hickories on each one for trialing local adaptability saving us ($5000.00 versus $30.00) a total of $4970.00
“Making molehills out of mountains”- We dont believe soil should be flipped like conventional agriculture. (see the classic book “Plowman’s Folly”). This is not in accordance with nature’s laws. Specific beneficial soil biota are particular to their strata of the soil. If you flip these strata the life within dies. This has a short term benefit of mass die off and release of the nutrients they contained that is desired in annual agriculture. This is the foundation of unsustainable agriculture. We subsoil with a chisel plow which breaks up hard pan to give easier access for the tree roots to grow and minimally disturbs the bacteria and fungi essential to healthy no-input tree growth. Chisel plowing the upper field- Trees do best in a fungal based soil and fungi is obligate to undisturbed soil. Fungi in a healthy forest soil is said to extend the effectiveness of tree roots 700-1000 fold. With Nature’s symbiotic mechanisms regenerated and kept in tact we hope to emulate her genius and reduce any dependence on external inputs like chemical fertilizers which lead to a dependency on fungicides, pesticides, and besides….
…. the food we produce will taste better and be more nutritious as “you are what you eat”.
Tom counting off planting holes
“236, 237 238…….. uhhh… 271?… ^$*@! 1,2,3….”
The tractor is a little old and in need of some hands on healing.
Greg taking down the poison ivy monster
South side of the lower field overlooking nursery beds. For a majority of the plantings the rows are only rotovated at the planting sites set on 10′ centers laid out on 20′ rows. Here is an aerial shot of 2 beds that were completely rotovated. They will serve as nursery beds for growing out seedling stock for future trialing and planting when we are able to find other farms to expand into.
Anna and Greg raking the sod away from the planting holes