Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Adventure Begins....In My Head....

     So now that we have this wonderful property, and we have this wonderful established woodland, I can't stop thinking about all the possibilities.  We plan to transform it somewhat in order to make it work for us food-wise.  However, it is very daunting to think about how to get in there and transform it little by little.  I mean, I've fantasized about this day, but now that there is so much room to work with, and so much to learn-experience to be had- it feels a little overwhelming.
     Where should I start?  What should I lop down?  What should I leave?  Identifying everything will be an adventure unto itself-haha!  And we can't really start that until winter because I think it would be too dangerous to do that while it is still warm.  We've already run into a yellow jacket nest in the middle of the front/side yard; and wasp nests abound around the house and shed.  Someone said they saw part of a snake skin in the shed as well....

(Picture of the ^shed^ between the Pecans.  This image is one they had up when they listed the property.  From this angle you can see the pasture off to the side.  This is facing the southeastern side of the property out back.)
     I don't just have to think about the kind of food I want to grow; I have to think about what would be good long term chop and drop fertilizer.  I have to think about the height and growth rate of different kinds of trees.  I have to sort of think about a changing landscape that I'll have to plant and maintain as I go.
     And jumping back to the yellow jackets, wasps nests, and potential snakes- this property both amazes and terrifies me-haha!  No one has lived in this house for at least a year and a half and there was a plethora of old rat poison and poop in the lower cabinets.  I love nature.  I want to coexist as equals with it.  I want it to teach me all of its secrets.  But right now the property seems so dangerous with all of its hidden hazards. 
     I want to make this a place where I can be surrounded by nature, but not be afraid of it.  I wonder, does anyone reading this have any advice on or experience with the conversion of the woodland into food forest?  Or any suggestions on how I can clean everything out and feel safe with minimal hazard to my person minus poisoning everything just to start fresh.
     What I'm most interested in is if someone has advice or suggestions that lives in or near my area, or an area that is similar.  This is Northeast Alabama-zone 8a or 8b or straddling the line thereabouts.  And also any knowledge of the types of plants I might find therein.  Any input or conversation is welcome.  
     I also posted something very similar to this on the Permies forum right here.  Feel free to hop over and see what kind of conversation we're having there as well.