Trying to turn land into food...

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9 years 2 months ago #34773 by nonsupermarket
Hi, my partner and I have been building our home and turning a bare block into something functional over the past three years. Its a small (2 hectare) block in the Nelson area with all the stuff you get when you can't afford to buy on the "good side" of the valley - ie wind, severe frosts, low winter sunshine hours, a river that erodes your land, no flat land to build on, and soil consisting of rocks and clay.

We currently run a couple of beefys, sheep and chickens as well as having dogs and rabbits. We live mainly off our home kill, wild game and the vege garden. I am always looking out for advise on how to improve the land's productivity and keep the animals happy and healthy.

My winter project is to get more plants in the ground for wind shelter and plant a couple of orchards - and find a weed suppressing mulch that doesn't blow away! Any ideas welcome.

I hope I can help others out as I am sure I will find great advise here.

Cheers
Shelley

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9 years 2 months ago #457595 by wandering free
We started with bare land 30 odd years ago with a wind problem but trees will fixed that.

We have very stoney soil so have concentrated on crops that are permanent, most fruit trees are very tolerant of frost, and as long as you have a good water supply you could do very well with permaculture, things that will thrive are Hazels, Chestnuts, Apples, not sure how you would go with Walnuts if the soil moisture is high, they don't like wet feet, and Macadamias would be out if you get sever frosts. but most other trees would be fine.

I have never been a fan of mixing stock with horticulture, it only needs one browsing animal to get into a young orchard and they can knock you back by years, you can grow a cow on sheep far faster than you can get most trees cropping at a reasonable level.

I'm looking at using bee friendly plants instead of mulches, things like Crimson clover and Phacelia right upto the trees and maybe trim them back if they get to tall, not sure how it will go but have always found it difficult to keep mulches in place and stop the weeds from growing and sprays are useless, they encourage weeds,

We are only at Hope on the main road, you are welcome to come and see what will grow here.

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 2 months ago #457608 by Akzle
Replied by Akzle on topic Trying to turn land into food...
hi and welcome and good on ya!

hothouse would be the ideal. there's a few clips on youtube "a million pounds of food off one acre" - guy has a rooftop hothouse, fish act as filters and fertilisers for hyrdoponic reticulation, 3 storey hydro (was an example in the latest NZgrower with strawbs)

neat, neat idea and i'd love to give it a go.

other than that, given your climes, CHERRIES!

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9 years 2 months ago #457635 by wandering free

Akzle;458919 wrote: hi and welcome and good on ya!

hothouse would be the ideal. there's a few clips on youtube "a million pounds of food off one acre" - guy has a rooftop hothouse, fish act as filters and fertilisers for hyrdoponic reticulation, 3 storey hydro (was an example in the latest NZgrower with strawbs)

neat, neat idea and i'd love to give it a go.

other than that, given your climes, CHERRIES!

Me to, but was it in NZ, you know how protective they can be over water use, you can't mention fish and farming in the same breath, we seem to squander resources just for the sake of a sport, and the lure of the tourist dollar.

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 2 months ago #457645 by Akzle
Replied by Akzle on topic Trying to turn land into food...
no, it was new york, iirc.
He was breeding the fish (=food) and using them.
Few 200 lt barrels at the end of the gullys, saves on chemical fert costs.
As far as nz goes, dilligaf. Do yr own thing if i aint harming anyone else.
Its a closed system with minimal evaporative loss.
From my own delve into hydro, even growing leafy greens in hot summer, loss was

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9 years 2 months ago #457652 by wandering free
A book I have on backyard fish farming shows this method and takes up 7 sq meters of floor space and claims to be enough to feed a family, don't think it would be practical in the hotter parts of NZ even in a shed.

It works for trout, catfish, carp and tilapia, can't you hear the howls of outrage at such a suggestion. :(

Attached files [IMG]http://app.lifestyleblock.co.nz/images/converted_files/458970=12147-fish farming recycling system (Custom).JPG[/img]

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 2 months ago #457657 by wandering free
A book I have on backyard fish farming shows this method and takes up 7 sq meters of floor space and claims to be enough to feed a family, don't think it would be practical in the hotter parts of NZ, but maybe in a shed it might work.

It works for trout, catfish, carp and tilapia, can't you hear the howls of outrage at such a suggestion.

Attached files [IMG]http://app.lifestyleblock.co.nz/images/converted_files/458976=12148-fish farming recycling system (Custom).JPG[/img]

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 2 months ago #457681 by Akzle
Replied by Akzle on topic Trying to turn land into food...

wandering free;458976 wrote: A book I have on backyard fish farming shows this method and takes up 7 sq meters of floor space and claims to be enough to feed a family, don't think it would be practical in the hotter parts of NZ, but maybe in a shed it might work.

It works for trout, catfish, carp and tilapia, can't you hear the howls of outrage at such a suggestion.

taliapa. that was what he was using.
(seriously, look up the vids)
i don't see why it isn't practical.?

also don't see the need for 3 tanks. and that picture is somewhat unclear. but i get the idea.

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9 years 2 months ago #457705 by LongRidge
You are wasting your time and money planting fruit trees. We are in Garden Valley, and the late frosts chill the apricot and peach flowers. I have got 2 hazel nuts this year .... off 3 trees that were planted 20 years ago. They are very prone to late frosts. The walnuts are producing well. The grapes are producing fairly well - those that are on phytophera resistant rootstock. The apples have all got bad blackspot, even with lots of spraying. The pear is reasonable, the nashi is reasonable, the quince was good.
Definitely keep stock out of the orchard. The pasture will be less nutritious because of the minerals and sun removed by the trees. If you need it for stock food then get a scubcutter with the 3-pronged cutter, and a pitchfork, and cut and remove the grass from the orchard.

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9 years 2 months ago #457758 by wandering free

LongRidge;459029 wrote: I have got 2 hazel nuts this year .... off 3 trees that were planted 20 years ago.

Our best hazel is Oregon Barcelona probably pollinate with Merville De Bolwiller, but not sure, at the time we got them no one new what pollinated what, so we have about a dozen varieties, we are just trying Alexander and Whitehart, with luck Alexander will help pollinate some of our others that don't seem to do well.

As for black spot I got rid of most of the varieties that get it. I still put up with it on granny smiths and spartan, fugi and brayburn all got the chop long ago, fugi was so bad it made it worse on the other slightly prone varieties, you could always top work some of your apples with black-spot resistant types, I can find you some wood this winter, if you want to give it a go.

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 2 months ago #457780 by wandering free

Akzle;459003 wrote: taliapa. that was what he was using.
(seriously, look up the vids)
i don't see why it isn't practical.?

also don't see the need for 3 tanks. and that picture is somewhat unclear. but i get the idea.

Akzle, I saw this on tilapia feeding, the levels of omega 3 are very low when fed pellets, and well below what would be considered healthy, I didn't realize that pellet fed fish could have so out of balance, omega 3 to omega 6, they didn't say what the pellets were though, mostly grain I suspect.

http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ajava.2011.1001.1009&org=10

We don't need to worry tilapia it's on the banned list, I think trout are the best option, now were can I get some fingerlings from,[}:)]

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 2 months ago #457781 by Aquila
Unless you are an acclimatization society its illegal too farm trout

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