The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Nut orchard

Saucer of dirt to hold rainwater around a new treeRegular readers may remember that we're creating a forest garden in a patch of young woods, leaving some useful trees but replacing others with cultivated species that do well in partial shade when young --- mostly nuts.  Since nut trees grow so big, there's really only room for three or four trees on the little table of flat forestland, and last year I thought I'd filled it up with a butternut, a persimmon, and a Chinese chestnut.  Now I know that persimmons hate to be transplanted, so it's no surprise that my Carpathian walnut budtransplanted persimmon kicked the bucket.  I didn't mark the chestnut, and thought it had died too (although, as you'll see later, it didn't.)  Having read that Carpathian walnuts are a more cold hardy version of the English walnut, I decided to buy a pair and fill in the gaps.

The nut orchard is too far from our usual stomping grounds to have running water or golf cart access, so trees planted there suffer from neglect and I decided to see if a better planting job might help our new walnuts survive without supplemental watering.  I planted each tree in a small depression and mounded up dirt on the downhill side to catch rainwater, then I raked up leaves from under nearby trees to mulch each walnut heavily.  Since I'm fall planting, the trees should have time to establish a good root structure before they're faced with any potential summer droughts.

When placing my second walnut, I wandered around the woods until I found the spot with the best canopy gap, then proceeded to dig my hole, ripping Chinese chestnut budup small trees in the surrounding area.  My hands plucked out the Chinese chestnut I'd carefully planted in the exact same spot last year just as my brain was saying "No!  Wait!  That's a good tree!"  I have no clue if the seedling will survive the abuse, but I gave it a new home thirty feet further down the the plateau, and I really do plan to mark it...the next time I'm up that way.

Need to leave your flock alone for the weekend?  Our homemade chicken waterer lets you go out of town without worrying.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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So when your walnut trees begin to bear and you want a gift to give away... ;)

In general I think you might enjoy her blog.

Comment by c. Sat Aug 23 22:57:51 2014

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