where to start?

Where do you start, when there’s everything to do? I’ll start with some pictures…

the homestead site

This is the homestead site – about half an acre of relatively clear space. From the little I’ve read about permaculture so far, what I should do first is nothing: just watch and wait to see what happens naturally. But I also know that I’d like to start growing my own veg, and eating it this year. The seeds are already starting to arrive… Lovely corn and beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes: the three sisters survival pack from seed living. So one task I’d set myself for Sunday was to prepare some raised beds. Not that I’ll grow everything in raised beds, but…

discarded old tires

… I have a number of old tyres lurking around the site. Here are two tractor tyres as I found them – one of them is somehow leaning against a sapling; and there’s a third not visible in this shot. They’re all about 4.5′ in external diameter, and while that’s not huge, it’s good enough for raised bed frames, I reckon.

tyres in a new place

These guys are fairly heavy, so I rolled them only as far as I needed to get them into a sunny, open spot. Here they are, in a triskell arrangement, just in front of the only old building still sporting some kind of roof. (Where it overhangs on the outside, I’ve started a wood pile!) Two of the tyres still have a metal inner ring, which bothered me a bit, until I found a site with great advice on using tyres in your garden. (I *love* the internet!) Next week I’ll cut the sidewalls out of these tyres, and finish clearing the ground inside them. For now, it’s partially cleared with some old grain sacks (again found on site) covering the earth to help prohibit new growth.

I also did a bit more clearing up because I kept noticing more and more old bottles and cans, and – weird! – groups of socks knotted together. What’s that about? I’m also a little worried about one of the oldest trees on the site. It’s a beautiful old tree – I’m attached to it already – but it’s dripping water. I can’t tell what kind of tree it is yet without leaves to help identify it, but it may have insect damage… small holes in the area where it’s dripping. And yes, they look D-shaped, so I’m really worried that it might have some borer beetle infestation.

close up of the dripping tree

There are three or four holes visible here if you look carefully (Click on the picture to see full size, and then you can probably zoom in further). I couldn’t capture the dripping in photos, or even that this section of the tree is damp all the way to the ground. But it is. I’ll keep an eye on this. If anyone has any idea what might be happening, please leave a comment.

lovely old tree

And here’s a pic of the whole tree. The ladder is part of an old hunter’s stand, but makes me think of tree houses!

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2 Responses to where to start?

  1. admin says:

    Treecare (Stewart)
    2011/02/16 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Clare. I am working on a number of ideas, these come from my past, home life, work and make up part of the plans for a sustainable future. I am putting together a blog under the name rootssustainlife and it will be on the WordPress very soon. Please give me some more facts about your aims, ideas and location. In the mean time take care and good luck. Stew

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Stew… I moved your comment from the About page – just doing some housekeeping of the site. Many thanks for all your helpful tweets as well. I look forward to reading your blog when it is up!

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