View Full Version : agroforestry
08-26-2008, 10:11 PM
What is Agroforestry?
Agroforestry is new market opportunities. Sustainable agriculture. Land stewardship. Habitat for wildlife. Improved water quality. Diversified farm income.
In simple terms, agroforestry is intensive land-use management combining trees and/or shrubs with crops and/or livestock.
Agroforestry practices are designed to fit specific niches within the farm to meet specific landowner objectives.
Agroforestry practices help landowners to diversify products, markets, and farm income; improve soil and water quality; and reduce erosion, non-point source pollution and damage due to flooding. The integrated practices of agroforestry enhance land and aquatic habitats for fish and wildlife and improve biodiversity while sustaining land resources for generations to come.
The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA), established in 1998, is one of the world's leading centers contributing to the science underlying agroforestry. Interdisciplinary collaboration is one of the outstanding hallmarks of the Center. Research on the benefits of agroforestry is supported from a broad spectrum of disciplines: forestry, fisheries and wildlife, entomology, plant pathology, agronomy, animal science, horticulture, soils, atmospheric science, agricultural economics and rural sociology. Linked with the Center's solid science and research programs are several key collaborations and partnerships with landowners, natural resource professionals, federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations. Through these critical relationships, UMCA and its partners are producing an expanding list of positive outcomes for landowners, the natural environment and society as a whole.
after watching robert haart's "forest garden" video and aquiring 45 acres of selectively cut (10 yrs ago) land, i am very interested.
08-28-2008, 05:58 AM
i guess agroforestry is more of a commercial point of view, yet i am looking at more of self sustenance forest gardening. the focus at first will be clearing enough land for a dwelling or two and putting some annuals with a bias toward legumes at first to get some nitrogen going. fruit and nut trees will be planted in place of harvested firewood and in clearings. the fruit trees are longer term deal but the time will pass anyway. there are already blackberries and raspberries growing wild but they are a bit sparse so probably just need some help and mulching to fllourish. any help getting started would be appreciated
08-28-2008, 03:19 PM
have you determined what usda plant hardiness zone you are in?
08-28-2008, 11:22 PM
10-24-2008, 02:05 AM
just picked up a 14 x 50 steel frame greenhouse with oil heated furnace and a wood stove. we have a short season so this will come in handy.
10-24-2008, 07:38 AM
You and I think alike on these issues. That's what were doing here. Greenhouse and all. Plants are different, but not soo much. Were working towards using a smelter for refining metals from the creek and to provide initial heat for greenhouse, house, and cabins that will make use of hot distilled water from the steam the smelter produces from "waste" heat that drives the turbine and generators that charge the batteries and produce H2 & O2.
We are about ready to double envelope the 50' greenhouse frame and insulate with soap bubbles. I plan to spray the envelope with fibered cement and papercrete for a stress skin shell for burial on the North side.
Just a brief synopsis for sure, but this will give you an idea.
10-24-2008, 07:42 AM
Oh Yeah, How do you find out what USDA plant hardiness zone I'm in and what does it mean?
10-24-2008, 03:28 PM
papercrete is generally only recommended in dry climates
hardiness zones -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardiness_zone
10-24-2008, 08:10 PM
You are absolutely right.
Papercrete is a variable. The amount of sand and cement and other variables and constituents effect the characteristics. I plan on containing the paper and cement insulation core material with ferrocement shells inside and out. I understand moisture problems, but expect to have them worked out in a satisfactory way verrified by experiments this winter and have several other possibilities tested this winter as well including sawdust or woodchip and cement, vermiculite and cement, and EPS/crete.
Thank you for the hardiness zone link. Anchorage is zone 4 and I am further south with about 15 degree warmer temps in winter and about the same temps in summer.
10-24-2008, 11:46 PM
yea we do think alike although it seems you have a large lead on me as far as experience goes. hopefully i can learn a thing or two.
cray had a thread awhile back with pics of a bubble insulated greenhouse. the one i bought has double layers of plastic and a fan blows air in between the layers. the lady i got it from has been running it like that year round and had tomatoes that reached the roof!
here's the bubble insulated greenhouse house link https://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/showthread.php?t=3103
10-24-2008, 11:50 PM
if you are near the coast your zone could be warmer for sure
do you have any orchard space up there?
saskatoon berries, choke cherries, sea buckthorn, hazelnuts, apples, strawberries and plums could do well there and there even some specially bred stuff like grapes
saskatoon berries in particular are a great cash crop
are you familiar with pozzolan style cement?
10-25-2008, 04:21 AM
I'm one ridge behind Homer and about 900' higher but south slope. Homer is on Kachemak Bay at the south end of Cook Inlet. they have quite a few varieties of apples and cherries down on the Homer Bench. I have a very healthy Crab Apple I started about 18 years ago. it's warmer up here in the summer and colder in the winter than Homer because we're further from the water, but still warmer than Anchorage. Tomatoes and mellons need a greenhouse. Blue berries, cranberries, watermellon berries, some saskatoon berries, are native. Rasberries and straw berries do well.
Native trees are mostly Willow and Alder with Spruce forrests. The first frost hits about the time we get down to 12/12 light so some of our favorite herbs need a greenhouse to finish. I have lots of room for fruit trees and plan to start a bunch this spring. I can send you a google earth link to my place if your interested
Yes, I have an extensive data base on pozzelons. I have been on the Ferrocement discussion forum for many years, and studied FC and all construction techniques for over 40 years. I have built Log, Post and Beam, and conventional stick frame for most of my life.
I'd be happy to assist in any way I can.
10-25-2008, 05:16 AM
:smile2: sounds awesome.
ok so here's the deal. full time job. land. greenhouse. ambition. no house, well, or septic. as i am presently renting closer to work and have a lease til may. what would be the best way to get a livable area (temporary if necessary) so that i can be decently comfortable through a cold eastern canadian winter? keep in mind this is ,of course, on a minimalist budget. i would like to do a 16 sided stackwall eventually but need to get out of rental situation asap.
10-25-2008, 05:38 AM
Cut that thar har into a Kentucky waterfall and get a mo-bile home. Or possibly a yurt, which is a Mongolian style tent made from heavy felt.
10-25-2008, 05:50 AM
i have considered a yurt but would rather not go with a mobile home. never heard of a kentucky waterfall.
10-25-2008, 06:02 AM
10-25-2008, 07:14 AM
Well the greenhouse is a good start. Do you have the polyfilm to cover the greenhouse? I think you said so. that stuff lasts 12-15 years around here. If you have the blower you can put a screen in front of it and dribble soapy water on it to make bubbles. Those guys on the soapbubble site claim the bubbles add 10 times the insulation value over the straight double envelope. You probably don't have enough money to insulate the ground if your on a limited budget but either way it will help to ditch and Daylight the perimeter so that the ground will dryout and not suck out your heat. You will lose about 30% of your heat through the ground in winter if the ground is as cold as it is here Untill you can insulate the ground and build insulated water storage to hold your heat under the beds you will need a small insulated space within to get comfortable at night when resting. EPS high density closed cell white or blueboard a couple inches thick is ideal for making an insulated box to sleep and cook in for a reasonable price and fast construction. If you want to get started before raising the greenhouse you can dig 4 Holes for 4 poles and connect top, middle, and bottoms of poles with girts. Make one side taller than the other. A few rafters to hold up the roof EPS panels and you are ready to add insulation to top and sides then put siding board, be it roughcut, free slabs from the local roughcut mill, stucco lath and cement mortar or TYVEK.
Now if you want to get real cheap dig out a hill side on the south side and bend branches over the top, cover with conifer bows and a tarp, more bows and clay then moss and top soil and plant a garden on top in the spring. Build up a thick layer of boughs on the florr for insulation as well. Put grass over the boughs and clay on the grass. An old propane tank with a couple holes cut in it and a 4" stack going outside will make a nice little heater. Put some hinges on the piece you cut out for a heater door.
I usually stretch a huge tarp over a rope 20' or so above the ground over my camp or worksite. I throw a rope or line over a high branch on one tree, and tie it off down low around the trunk. I take the rest of the rope accross the site to another tree and do the same thing without tieing it yet. I stretch the big tarp or plastic over the rope then pull it all up in the air and tie the rope. Now I tie rocks into the corners with the plastic wraped around the rock. This keeps the eyes from ripping out of the tarps when you tie out the corners. I tie ropes to the corners around the rocks and plastic and run them off the site to trees or stakes so the sides are about 3 feet off the ground. This works real well with a 40'x40' tarp or reinforced poly bout you will need more rocks and ropes along the sides. Tie the tarp to the rope ridge befor you raise it to keep the tarp from bunching in the middle. You can pitch your tent, have a fire, and build a cabin without getting wet.
I know a guy that built a two story pallet house by nailing pallets together and covering with visqueen inside and out. He had a potbelly stove and tomatto plants. Oh yeah, some marriuana plants as well, and a dog team out back.
I could go on in infinate directions so it would be better to give me a direction to head in.
10-25-2008, 02:04 PM
this is a bit extreme but I know a guy who built a circular roof of about 18 foot diameter on the ground using available pine trees for the beams and I believe some recycled tin for the roof, he then proceeded to dig the ground out underneath during the winter...I imagine he dug the stairs first, they curved down into the circular room he had carved below
there are questions like what are your available resources and time and do you have any access to machinery like front end loaders or backhoes?
I really like Janosh's living in the greenhouse idea though the only potential issue I see with that is ceilng height...if it is tall enough then I would maybe look for some straw and free pallets to line the floor...if it is not tall enough then a layer of bales, dirt or what have you to raise it up
I lived for a few months in a greenhouse, it was nice..the mornings were bright and warm
it is also helpful to add some extra soil, sawdust, straw, etc at the base of the greenhouse
and hang some dividers so there is a central room that will be better insulated
*ps I want to thank you Janosh for reminding me about papercrete, it has been a decade since I last looked at it and as I can see from looking at some of the websites there have been some improvements, http://www.livinginpaper.com in particular is quite interesting
10-25-2008, 03:44 PM
Remember when digging down that drainage is a primary concern. any hole should be daylighted out to drain. you may not want a swimming pool to live in.
10-25-2008, 11:55 PM
ok first if all i want to thank you both for taking the time and effort. i feel truly blessed to have such knowledgeable input.
a few details. as i mentioned it is 45 acre piece almost completely forested. mix of mostly spruce, pine and some hardwood left after the selective cut. the time frame i am looking at is having a livable area by may 30th 2009 and an isulated winter hovel by sept 30 or so . i have done minor plumbing including installing a shower stall and drain, repaired my own submersible well, done electrical, mechanical (diesel and marine) and rudimentary carpentry, i worked for a couple years doing brickwork, landscaping and heavy equipment operating and yes i do have access to some equipment, most likely a small excavator. by far an expert but can usually get by in the trades just fine.
the land is inland about 50 miles from the atlantic coast. low altitude and relatively flat but a little sloping here and there. water should be decently easy to find. i haven't tried yet but the lady i got the greenhouse from said she would show me how to find water and tap into it with some sort of multiple 2 or 3 foot length pipe section well that can be done by hand.
I didn't think of living in the greenhouse but had imagined building a smaller post and beam room that would adjoin it and share some heat with the greenhouse. I had imagined using the room as a chicken coop or other outbuilding later on once a more proper cord wood home could be built. i don't want to live underground or have a basement. cold cellar for sure but no basement. i can pour a slab but need some direction as far as details and best mix of economy/utility for materials and method.
any other relevant details?
10-26-2008, 12:46 AM
this helps a lot but I need a little more info to give better advice. Like altitude, soil and rock conditions and depths, winter lows, frost depth, budget, etc.
I have run excavators and dozers for years. If you can use that mini excavator it would be good to dig test holes around your site to check for water, soil and clay layers and drainage ditches for structures. I'll go into more detail as I get more info. If you have Google earth you can send me a link and I can check out elevations and cross reference with local conditions.
I had a waterwell drilling business as well, and was licenced DEC water and septic systems. I have studied alternative systems as well and have created many over the years that all worked.
It sounds like the system the lady is talking about is a sandpoint with pipe screwed to it and together in short sections and driven with a weighted slide driver in which case the water table is shallow, and propably in sand which is real good.
I have some sun and the day is short so I have to get to work on my greenhouse and will get back later. It's 4 hours earlier here.
10-26-2008, 03:41 AM
i'll get to work on providing some more info and send you a link tomorrow of the area. yes a sandpoint that is what she called it.
10-26-2008, 04:39 AM
Is that you in the picture on your profile page? I never woulda thought you were in the NAVY
Post and Beam is a good candidate. If your going to possibly move it, build on some good skids braced apart that stick out far enough to put a porch entry on if you want. You can fasten a chain around the skids and drag it around with your hoe.
Do you plan to use traditional joinery or lap joints? Depending on the size you can get away with 4 corner posts alone and smaller posts as well. Do you want a loft? Draw up a sketch with dimensions, scan it, and send me a copy if you want and I'll critique it and give you some ideas hoaw to cover it economicly and make it warm enough you won't have to heat it.
Do you have a decent chainsaw and an alaska mill, beam machine, or some string?
A sand point is about 2-3 feet long has a hard point on the bottom and screened holes up the sides. 2" pipe screws into it. You can put a pitcher pump on top or hook up a jet type pump to it. If you want to use a submersible pump you will need a larger well which you can do with the backhoe and some culvert if the water is within reach of your hoe.
10-26-2008, 06:12 AM
Is that you in the picture on your profile page? I never woulda thought you were in the NAVY
funny you should say that, pb and i were wondering if that was you in your avatar...
for any/all of your waterwell info...im always available
10-26-2008, 07:13 AM
Dats me isdat you?
You'll have to be more specific for waterwell info, I have more to tell than time and space will allow.
The bottom of a formation is usually running on clay in sand or gravel or on bed rock. Sand makes the best filter but has a tendency to follow the water without a screen of some sort. Springs are usually the sweetest and can be found in the lowest creases in the land. look for vegitation that likes water as a telltale sign that water is near. Brass brazing rods with 90 degree bends in the ends can be held in in each hand with the long ends pointing forward and will cross when walking accross underground streams and water lines. Flat land usualy has a water table that is fairly consistant and mountainous areas are usually underground streams.
Wells can be a deep or shallow subject.
pollititians Suck big time. i wouldn't vote for anyone I liked because of the shit they have to deal with if ellected, and I sure wouldn't vote for anyone I didn't like. Duhhh oops did I get off topic??
10-26-2008, 07:55 AM
great, though i think you drew a different interpretation from my comment then i intended..
being over a 15 year certified journeyman waterwell driller, pump installer, and dowser,
maybe i should have said something more like 'if i can offer advice, please ask.'
neat thread..one well worth following:tup:
:dig:peace :dig: :dig:
10-26-2008, 07:59 AM
10-26-2008, 08:14 AM
It's a good life or a bad life depending how you look at it.
It's all good
you recognize and take responsibility for the fuckups
learn the lessons
That's why were here
It's all good
I might have to ...... .. well you know
sometimes the best you can do for someone is put them out of your missery
10-26-2008, 08:41 AM
Thank you for the toxisity notes. i'm printing as I type. I like your doughnut. I'm into doughnuts. I even figured out how to spin concave curvilinear cacoons out of reinforcing wire any size controled by a cad drawing system using two servos one controlling twist and one for feed to drive a spool of the wire.
No I havent done it yet, but I love building everything from engines to agroforrests.
Compound shapes are 40% stronger than flat planes.
Medicinals to multidimentional balancing.
It's really nice to be here this site is very easy to use and appreciate.
My experience growing is long but nowhere as scientific. Most is trial and error and fellows in the experience.
This adds another dimension indeed.
10-26-2008, 10:42 PM
no that's not me but if it was i'd cut thar har into a splendid kentucky waterfall. no, no navy for me. i went to college to do marine mechanics and had considered being an oiler but realized very quickly that seasickness is not a job perk.
here are a couple vids i found that may be posted in an other thread but will make a nice addition to this thread anyway.
dude is a genius and i love how he gets angry at the government bureacrats and their bs. how he creates warm areas at high altitude and grows mediteranean plants is amazing. very inspirational as well.
revolution with love
10-27-2008, 01:36 AM
I got a glimpse of it but once again I have to get busy on the greenhouse. I'll watch the rest later.
The big problem eith northern climate is soil temp. That's why we use black pots with insulation under them. It's usefull to know that the loamy soil under spruce trees works real well for cannabis. South slopes and windbrakes.
Permaculture is certainly superior.
10-27-2008, 07:26 AM
Here's an idea you might be able to use in part.
To build a windmill, all you basicly need is four poles some beams and some scaffold planks.
Dig a ditch in a circle say 5 or 6 meters (16-18') in diameter, off the end of your greenhouse site might be a good place. Dig as deep as you like. Set your 4 poles in the bottom and connect them with 3x12" roughcut planks lashed and or spiked to the poles all the way around and about every 4' up the poles on the inside of the poles to hold planks. Make the poles closer together at the top.
This will be your scafold and hold everything together till the job is done or be incorporated for floors.
Next wrap 6" welded wire mesh 10 guage (6 6 10 10 WWM) around the poles down in the ditch. It is fairly cheap and comes in 5" or 7" rolls a hundred feet long. This is commonly used in concrete slabs.
You basicly have a round fence angled slightly inward at the top. Keep adding wraps every 5 or 7feet overlapping at least 6" or one square each row till you have the slightly coned shell for your wind mill.
To this you add layers of stucco lath and mortar till it's about 1/2 to 1" thick and about 4 to six layers of expanded metal lath. This ferocement shell with a, 2 sand and 2 cement, mortar mix and less than 40% water to cement ratio by weight is the basis of Ferro cement and is extremely strong. You can do this in many different ways.
Next you need insulation inside or out. I like paper, sawdust, or EPS, crete for it's structural, thermal mass, and fire resistant qualities.
Next add a fibered or lath reinforced second shell for A super strong strees skin insulated structure. Mounting your windmill axis and hub is built the same basic way shaping your wwm and lath to suit.
Windows and doors can be cut out with a masonry saw. make the cuts taper so that it is smaller inside for openable shutters that give maximum protection from the elements when closed.
Latex or acrilic additives and a water reducing agent make for greater tensile strength and workability.
I plan build a deep basement/tank on mine for greater earthquale stability.
I live right on the edge of the ring of fire. Earthquakes are a part of life. They keep things stirred up.
10-27-2008, 08:32 AM
Those are great videos Parabola thank you very much. His land is not so different than mine. I have been slowly working in that direction and now my kids and grandkids are getting into it. They will enjoy these as well.
10-29-2008, 07:24 PM
Sepp Holzer , the rebel farmer <--- my new hero
copy and pasted. i'll have some questions when i am ready to begin. thanks! right now just working out the basics and getting the planning right is a priority. one thing i do know is that proper planning can save mountains of ill directed work.
glad to know the skills are being passed on in your family... hopefully more families around the world will take the time to learn how to live correctly. peace
02-25-2009, 02:17 PM
I have a very healthy Crab Apple I started about 18 years ago.
something I was just thinking is you could possibly use that crab apple as rootstock and graft other less hardy apples onto (ie take cuttings from the crab, root, top and graft)
the crab will help the grafted scions with the weather
check here for more ideas about hardy plants -> http://dnagardens.com
02-26-2009, 05:50 AM
Thank you C-ray for the link and the thought. You are right grafting to crab apples is a good way to establish less hardy species. This has been done by others around here, but has been neglected by me. Hopefully I'll spend more time with such things in the future. I want cherries!
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