Hi from northland

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6 years 3 months ago #520329 by FrozenThunderbolt
Hi folks,

In the process of buying a house and block at the moment 4.7Ha of volcanic land, some pretty steep but most flat to about 22degrees.
My lady and I are planning on clearing the ginger on the slope to plant a deciduous north-American/English style forest that will provide us with firewood, organic matter to build the soil and possibly some timber.
Already have about 30 fruit trees in pots waiting to go into an orchard with chooks underneath, other misc stuff to go into the beginnings of a small section of permaculture forest.
Flat bottom land will be going to strip grazing stock - have one dexter lined up and will need at least one more (ideally alternating calving years between two mothers). Hoping that within a few years we'll be sorted for milk, yogurt, butter, soft (and maybe hard) cheese, and meat.
Once the orchard gets going and veggie garden is in we'll be after a few piggies.
If I can find a local apiarist I'm keen to get bees on the property so I can scale up my Mead making (I'm a keen home brewer).
I'm a primary school teacher, and my lady works at mitre 10, no kids at the moment. Should get a good year to get major work done with any luck . . . ;)
Feel free to jump in with advice or questions :P

4.79HA of volcanic soil (1/3 hill to be planted in deciduous forest someday), brewing, orcharding, gardening, blacksmithing, 2 Dexters, chooks and ducks to come + a bit of everything else.

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6 years 3 months ago #520341 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Hi from northland
Sounds like you are very keen and your plants much in need of some land to put their roots down
Where are you thinking of buying, what area.
Volcanic soil is very productive but can also drain very quickly so summer moisture can be a problem. Is that something high on your list for having or will you capture your own and mulch heavily to reduce moisture evaporation?

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6 years 3 months ago #520348 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Hi from northland
Hi FrozenThunderbolt and welcome to the wonderful north! I'm based at Helena Bay (well, the hill before Helena Bay) and it's a great life out here.You're lucky to find volcanic soil, it seems to be mostly clay out here.

We have hives that belong to a local apiarist, he's coming to check them some time today, I can get his details if you're interested?

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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6 years 3 months ago #520373 by FrozenThunderbolt
Replied by FrozenThunderbolt on topic Hi from northland
@ Muri: Maungakaramea :P Planting chop and drop nitrogenous things for mulch and soil building + deciduous trees for their leaf shed. We would have two large tanks already on the property (if we get it), and will be hauling 2x 1000L water cubes up the slope to fill for irrigation. longer term I would be trying to create small lined, or natural (gley) ponds up the slope. Obviously the more organic matter we can incorporate into the soil the better as far as water retention goes.

@Kate: Nice to know that there are some more like minded folk near by! Yes please - I'd love a contact for a local apiarist! Thank you.

4.79HA of volcanic soil (1/3 hill to be planted in deciduous forest someday), brewing, orcharding, gardening, blacksmithing, 2 Dexters, chooks and ducks to come + a bit of everything else.

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6 years 3 months ago #520392 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hi from northland
One of the first things that i did when we moved here 25 years ago was to plant an orchard. Unless I use lots of sprays, most of the fruit is only fit for animal feed, and I have had a cow choke on an apple :( . When the trees produce well there is far too much fruit for us, and except for the nashis and the feijoas is not really good enough to give away. I also planted on a slope, so using a step ladder to pick and prune is almost impossible and very unsafe, and harvesting when the ground is wet is hazardous. Also, my water catchment is limited, and orchards and vege gardens need a huge amount of water to produce well.
We had a piglet given to us that we raised, but hand raised pigs get very, very tame. But Miss Piggy got grumpy at that time of the month, and one day she decided that she wanted to kill my exceptionally good eye dog. So a friend shot her for me and I cut her up. A rather distressful job :( . Also, normal fencing will not keep them in, and they eat a huge amount of food, so you need a good supply of free food to feed them ..... and anything with meat in it must be re-cooked. Pigs are on my " done that, not again" list.
We have dogs which chase poultry, and did have a pig that would have every time that she escaped :( so poultry are not on our want-to-do list. If you have ruminants and vegetarian animals and feed them pellets, the poultry food has to be very carefully stored and distributed (so not by unsupervised children) because many poultry food concoctions have meat products in them.

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6 years 3 months ago #520410 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Hi from northland

LongRidge wrote: If you have ruminants and vegetarian animals and feed them pellets, the poultry food has to be very carefully stored and distributed (so not by unsupervised children) because many poultry food concoctions have meat products in them.


Most chook food is vegetarian now, you have to look hard to find any with animal protein. Ours has 'suitable to be fed to ruminants' written on it, despite having oyster shell grit?!

Even when we did feed chooks with feed that had animal protein, we just stored in the shed in a bin, told the kids it was only for the chooks....not too tricky.

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6 years 3 months ago #520436 by FrozenThunderbolt
Replied by FrozenThunderbolt on topic Hi from northland
Sorry to hear that longridge, I've done chooks and pigs ok before (though I know pigs are escapologists).
The key for orchards (IMHO) is to keep the trees lower, thinner and smaller I think - less fruit to manage, bigger root system to support the tree, easier to pick and better air flow to manage the fungal diseases that i know are a bit more of an issue up here.

4.79HA of volcanic soil (1/3 hill to be planted in deciduous forest someday), brewing, orcharding, gardening, blacksmithing, 2 Dexters, chooks and ducks to come + a bit of everything else.

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6 years 2 months ago #520998 by FrozenThunderbolt
Replied by FrozenThunderbolt on topic Hi from northland
We just went unconditional!
Super excited :-D

4.79HA of volcanic soil (1/3 hill to be planted in deciduous forest someday), brewing, orcharding, gardening, blacksmithing, 2 Dexters, chooks and ducks to come + a bit of everything else.

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6 years 2 months ago #521000 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Hi from northland

tonic wrote: . Ours has 'suitable to be fed to ruminants' written on it, despite having oyster shell grit?!

I'm very careful not to feed layer food if it has oyster shell grit added. You can end up over doing the calcium and causing health problems. Much better to feed a layer food with 185 protein be-it animal or vegetable and put the oyster shell ad lib for the hens to take when they need it.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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6 years 2 months ago #521002 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hi from northland
Congratulations on your new land! :cheer:

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