The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehesa

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The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehesa

Postby George Collins » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:27 am

The first Permsteading project of 2013 is proceeding steadily. This year's project is a two-tiered system designed to work together and will, hopefully, ultimately achieve a whole, continuous system. The two tiers are:

1. A dehesa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehesa_(pastoral_management)
2. A streuobstwiese http://www.permsteading.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=120

These two agrosylvopastoral systems are being planted in a ten acre pasture that already contains a few mature, mast producing trees with the intent of raising hogs with as little off-farm inputs as possible. While there are areas of the pasture where the two systems are dintinct, there are also areas where the lines blur.

For the Streuobstwiese, which is located on the Southern and western aspects of a hillside, so far we have planted:
A row of ~15 apple trees spaced 45-50' apart with about 10-15 left to go.
A row of ~ 15 pear trees spaced 40' apart
Two rows of peaches, plums, mulberries and fuyu persimmons spaced 40' apart.
About 15 figs scattered about the pasture

The distance between rows is 40'.

In other parts of the pasture, we're planting something I'm calling an "Apple Square." It consists of four apple trees planted in a square, the sides of which are 50'. In the exact center of the square, we are planting a crabapple. A few of these will butt up to the northwestern corner of the pasture and extend Southward down a hill.

For the dehesa, we are relying on only two types of oaks: live oaks and sawtooth oaks. These are all being grown from seeds that came from our top producing specimens of each type of tree. The live oaks were planted on 50' centers. Each 50' span has been bisected by a sawtooth oak. The love oaks will one day, many, many years from now, achieve canopy closure. Since that time is so many years away, the sawtooths, which are very precocious, will accelerate productivity in the relative near-term but are ultimately destined to be firewood. I haven't counted them but my off-the-cuff guess is that we have about 20 lives oaks and double that of sawtooth oaks.

This is in the same pasture where we have ~1/2 acre of black walnuts, 12 Dunstan Chestnuts, ~20 producing live oaks, a few mature white oaks and beeches, and some hickories and swamp chestnut oaks planted.

Also, in some of the more in-assessable areas, we've planted pawpaws.

The grand design is to have a few of those types of trees that drop in April and May (mulberries), a few more that drop in May and June (peaches and plums), a few more that drop in July (primarily figs), etc. I'm attempting to approximate the nutritional needs of a group of hogs that are farrowed in April, weaned in May or June and then fattened over the course of the year. Ultimately, they will be finishing on acorns, pecans and hickories for a slaughter date sometime in December/January. That is the reason for the heavy reliance on live oaks - they are very productive, never miss and have a late and protracted drop time.

Outside the pasture, we've also planted several pears and will likely plant several apples that can be used to supplement the fruits and mast dropped inside the pasture if needs be.
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:28 am

Are you protecting the young trees George? Trying to fence off the young trees until they get established? Or are you not allowing the hogs into this new pasture area until the trees get established?
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby George Collins » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:36 am

Yes Guy, unfortunately every single tree I've mentioned has to have its own individual cage made and placed about it. That so far has been the limiting factor in terms of time, money and energy. Right now the cages are serving to keep cows out. I've not yet tested their effectiveness at keeping hogs out. I pray they serve the purpose for if not, I see no alternative but to learn to like girls that wear nose rings.
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:17 pm

That is a lot of work, and a lot of expense for fences. I am planting some nut and fruit trees this spring and I think I will have over $100 in fencing to protect $200 worth of trees. I can re-use the fence though after these trees mature a bit.
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby matt walker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:23 am

Thanks for posting this George. It is very helpful to me as I'm trying to finalize a planting plan for my spring tree order. Your focus and clear planning are inspiring. Particularly, to me, your sharp focus on staggering production. It's a great reminder.

That wiki on the Dehesa was fairly compelling. I think a trip to the Iberian Peninsula may go on the bucket list. My climate favors the Streuobstwiese, which looks like a nice place to hang out as well.

I know you have been planting trees all over, so this suggestion may not work for you, but rather than cages for every tree what about installing a MIG rotational system which could give multiple benefits? It's on my mind lately, and is my solution to protecting my new trees. I'm using electronet, and at just over $100 per 165' I'm finding it fairly economical. Just a thought.
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby George Collins » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:15 pm

There is much in the way of creative solutions I'd like to play around with. There is a common barrier to them all: Youngblood. It's his pasture and as such my use of the land will always be subservient to his. That situation has a built-in end point as he is now 75 years old. That leaves two options: wait or plant tree crops in such a way that accommodates him. I chose the latter. Caging each tree individually seemed the best way to facilitate his uninterupted use the and for me to initiate the process of bringing Russell Smith's vision to our farm.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:20 pm

Compromise can be a good thing George. Especially if it keeps everybody happy. ALLOWING Youngblood the use of HIS land does seem to be the RIGHT thing to do, :lol: especially since I am sure that you do not have any choice in the matter, ;) Starting to plant trees today, instead of many years from now when Youngblood is gone, also makes a lot of sense. As the trees mature maybe Youngblood will start to see the results and appreciate what you are doing to improve the Family Farm. He may actually be Proud of you and what you are accomplishing for the future.
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby George Collins » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:59 am

The end of the planting season for bare root specimens is now over. The last of the mulberries and figs went in today. I only have one more potted tree left to plant so I can now give a final report.

This year, we set out the following fruit trees as part of the streuobstwiese:


2 Enterprise apples
2 Arkansas Black apples
3 Cauley apples
1 June red apple
2 Anna apples
3 Dolgo crabapples
5 Granny Smith apples
2 Freedom apples
1 Dorsett Golden apple
3 Golden Hornet crabapples
3 Transcrndent crabapples
1 Mutsu apple
1 Hardy Cumberland apple
3 20th Century Asian pears
3 Warren pears
1 Seckel pear
4 Ayers pears
2 Bartlett pears
2 Kieffer pears
1 Red June plum
1 Florida queen peach
1 Elberta peach
5 Sam Houston peaches
2 Burbank plums
1 Ruby Queen plum
1 Santa Rosa plum
1 Methley plum
1 Bruce plum
3 LSU Gold figs
2 mulberries
2 Fuyu persimmons
2 black mission figs
1 Texas everbearing fig
1 Brown turkey fig

We also planted, just outside the pasture:
1 Bartlett pear
1 Warren pear
1 Ayers pear
3 black mission figs
3 mulberries

That's 74 fruit trees as best as I can cipher that are intended to be used primarily for hog feed.
Last edited by George Collins on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby Lollykoko » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:49 am

I suggest that there will be flavorful pork in your future, George. In future years, the pruning from all those apple trees will contribute to the fire for the smoker, won't it?
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Re: The 2013 Permaculture Endeavor: a Streuobstwise and Dehe

Postby George Collins » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:16 am

Yes Lolly, I have heard that apple wood imparts the best flavor. Time will tell.

And speaking of apple trees, I learned a painful lesson about them as well as pears: cows love em.

MANY of my apples and pears were heavily predated on by cows. One day - everything going fine. Seemingly the next, a whole bunch of my trees that had only recently leaved out had been radically pruned. That necessitated some emergency reengineering. I wrapped each cage with ~25' of barbed wire starting at or near the top and encircling the cage as far down as possible. Fortunately, around old farmsteads, used barbed wire abounds and people will gladly give it away to be shed of it. So the augmented armor now protecting each tree didn't cost me a cent of anything other than sweat equity. In that respect, 'twas quite pricey.

I wrapped the last fruit tree just today. There will be more wrapping required but I don't want to do it until the seeds planted in the remaining cages sprout.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

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