Author Topic: Pine Tree Land  (Read 451 times)

Offline Tyler Durden

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Pine Tree Land
« on: May 09, 2019, 01:54:42 PM »
Not sure if this belongs here or the gardening one but...

What are the chances of growing decent gardens and even apple and pear trees in Highly acidic soil?

We are in western Montana and are looking for a house right now. We just looked at one in our price range on ten acres but it's all forested property. Pine tree forested. I have been waiting for this opportunity for almost ten years and I want to start producing alot of my own food. There is another property on nicer land- more open land right next to a creek, but it's a smaller house and costs about $80,000 more and is toward the upper end of our price range.  If growing food is an important part of my future should I pass on heavily pine-forested land and hold out for something better or can good crops (fruit trees included) be grown in pine forests?

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2019, 05:53:36 PM »
get the better soil by the water, if the soil is truley better.  GO check it out, bring a shovel.  If they are both the same soil/pine forest but one the just already cleared it, not worth the money more -- But, if that open area is actually already good, darker colored, deeper soil that is worth it.  It takes a long time to improve soil, and those pines will grow on thinner worse soil than your garden. 


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2019, 10:15:31 PM »
I'm thinking it depends on just how much land you need for your garden... We have had most success in using raised beds, which you can pretty much fix the soil for those beds immediately and then continue by composting, etc. Just sayin'

Now having access to the creek is valuable in itself, but you'd have to make the decision about how much more it is worth... and what else is around the two properties... etc.

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2019, 09:14:10 AM »
The house on the creek already got an offer and I think might be in a bidding war. It looks like a house on good soil might be a long shot. I assumed that raised beds would be my best hope for gardens. Any thoughts on the ability to grow fruit trees on the aforementioned soil? Have any of you successfully done it? Thanks for the help!

Offline bigbear

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 10:19:47 AM »
No personal experience, but your thread got me curious (partially because I just dropped a pine tree that left a circle of death...).

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-10-16/hornshurst-forest-garden-growing-food-forest-clearing/

Here's a story of transitioning from a pine forest to a food forest.  You'll be interested in how they addressed acidity in two ways:  soil improvement and grafting to more acidic tolerant rootstock (clever). 

https://www.facebook.com/Hornshurst/

Sounds like it's a slow process, but doable.


Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 10:33:42 AM »
It would likely be most similar to what they have to work with at Wheaton Labs, a permaculture site in western Montana in the hills (largest closer city missoula) with light colored soil and alot of pine trees.....  They like to apply ideas from Sepp Holzer on how to grow and shape the land for water.  Things like Hugelculture .   There is a web forum permies.com.   

Wheaton from what I heard now says maybe initial irrigation would be good to spread things up.    I would agree that if you brounght in a few things from off site to supplement, maybe a few minerals ( I do not know which) for sure some straw, add water, it will speed things up.  Like build that hugelculture bed if you want, but add some mineral to help right the Ph and add ALOT of straw on top and water, and any other organic matter with neutral Ph. Basically sheet compost to cmpost in place where you want stuff to grow will improve it faster than buying in compost or having a compost pile.  Start a thred in the right place after you buy it.  Anyway, since they took the slow road on gardening maybe look to them most on the great ideas for living in that environment,  trying to build with pine forest clearings ( thin trees cleared for fire supression) and heating with rocket mass heaters, and that last they have experimented alot
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 10:45:00 AM by mountainmoma »

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2019, 10:44:44 AM »
No personal experience, but your thread got me curious (partially because I just dropped a pine tree that left a circle of death...).

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-10-16/hornshurst-forest-garden-growing-food-forest-clearing/

Here's a story of transitioning from a pine forest to a food forest.  You'll be interested in how they addressed acidity in two ways:  soil improvement and grafting to more acidic tolerant rootstock (clever). 

https://www.facebook.com/Hornshurst/

Sounds like it's a slow process, but doable.

just skimmed as I dont have much time now,  but this looks like a fantastic site for gardening ideas for your site !

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2019, 11:44:26 AM »
a place to file away to buy trees from a couple years  https://www.forestag.com/   

from their about page

Quote
Does this actually work in reality? Will it really produce enough, food, fuel, timber and human necessities to economically viable? We firmly believe the answer is yes, and are working on providing demonstration sites, and economic farming models to answer that question with more certainty. New Forest Farm is perhaps the most complete of such demonstrations sites. It is a farm in SW wisconsin that was founded in 1994 by Mark and Jen Shepard. New Forest Farm has in many ways proven the concept successful. It is a living, breathing, productive 110 acre restored savanna farm that produces abundant food, fiber, and fuels.

https://newforestfarm.us/  they are very inspiring, and i have seen video tours and interviews somewhere, probably that traveling family did one here ?  anyway, 106 acres transitioned to a agroforestry farm. 

Now, they are in Wisconsin,  so not Montana, but he could be good to get trees from or to have a short consult on how to select and breed for chestnuts for your place, and they may even already have such experience on what to recommend

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2019, 12:07:12 PM »
If you buy the land in the near future, if you get in escrow and are interested in the following, let me know.  I will have a coupon good for the "gapper fee" for Wheaton Labs permacuture site.  They have various casual events and happenings that this will let you into, otherwise they charge a one tme $100fee.  So, as part of their kickstarter for his book, I am getting a coupon for this.  I am not going up there, I know a few young people who might, but that is speculative.  SO, if you for sure want to go to the site and work on projects to see the site, I can give it to you

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2019, 01:15:13 PM »

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2019, 11:04:49 AM »
Thanks for the feedback! We are considering all options but might have to get involved in some remediation experiments. I don't think we'll be able to afford anything on good soil.  I just really want apple trees. I guess I might be finding out what it takes to do it.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Pine Tree Land
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 12:47:46 PM »
Check with the DNR.  I came across a thread with a similar situation (on FB).  The guy said his property was not fire safe and the DNR gave him a cost share grant.  In the end, he only had to pay half the cost to macerate his pine trees.  Plus he ended up with a ton of chips for mulch.