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

Too sloped?

Walking down a steep hillside

I'm always astonished by my ability to think strongly sloping land is flat.  I just don't notice a slope unless it looks like the photo above.

Homestead planning

Luckily, Mark is better at geometry than I am.  Taking a look at the hillside above the pig pasture, he pronounced it too steep for easy pasturing or orcharding.  Sure, the top of the hill is (semi) flat, but there's no way a wheeled vehicle could get up there without a lot of work, so how did I plan to haul the apples home?  Honestly, I'm not sure I'd envisioned the trees getting all the way to bearing age....

So I've taken that hillside off the table as a potential orchard, at least for the near future.  We might still use the slope later if we suddenly have a lot of manpower to terrace it, or if we want to make a hillside pasture.  But for now, I'll have to keep looking for a flat, dry, and not-too-shady spot for more fruit-tree experimentation. 

Cutting up trees

The good news is, ditching the orchard dream up above will expedite the current pasture project since we won't have to take down any more trees.  We got sidetracked by the garden, chicken incursions, and mushrooms this week, but hopefully we'll be back on track with pasture building next week.

The Avian Aqua Miser is the POOP-free alternative to traditional, filthy chicken waterers.

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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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I think that you, although not immediately, should consider adding swales to the hillside to harvest water. I actually posted on them on my blog, although, I have converted the theory of swale design and hugalkulture beds into my own hybrid hugal bed. Forgive the amount of links, but it is the easiest way to get you to the site to see what I am talking about. With swales, even mini-swales, you can make the hillside lush and even force the hillside to soak up water and transfer it downhill to the pasture below(with correct setup) instead of flooding the pasture. I think it brings alot of animal interaction which brings poop.

"Check out my Survivalist Blog at the Clever Survivalist and read daily Survival Guide content."

Comment by Clever Survivalist Blog Sat Apr 6 10:09:25 2013
Funny, i do the same thing! I realized my hillside was waaayy steeper than i really thought, when I had to haul rocks in by hand to build terraces.... I had to build up the lower edges alot more than i first figured. It was alot of rock hauling.
Comment by deb Sun Apr 7 02:30:38 2013

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