A planting plan

Having spent over an year in developing water security, fences against grazing cattle, road access to the site, a room to stowaway tools and a basic shelter for overnight stops, the time has come at last to begin planting. Ahead of answering ‘what’ to plant, I cooked up a strategy in answer to ‘how’ to plant. Some basic rules emerged.

The first factor to consider was the project’s mission: to enable 40 people living on the land to be self-sufficient in water, food, energy and cash. For these there would be spaces respectively, for water catchment and storage, for agriculture and for mixed planting of trees for biofuels and marketable produce.

It’s best here onwards to discuss details with reference to a sketch of the land. Anyone attempting similar projects would be well advised to begin with an accurate sketch of the land. A great drawing tool which I used for this purpose is Google’s SketchUp. It’s free and it’s easy to learn. I have used it a lot and most of the sketch in the next page was made using it.

I used government land survey sketches which give precise dimensions. An editable scale drawing is very useful to accurately plan and locate various intended features. A good sketch gives us pause; it’s amazing how many mistakes, that are later regretted, are made when one works without a well contemplated plan.

A fair knowledge of the slopes, features like ditches, existing trees, differing soil types within the land etc will make armchair planning a meaningful and rewarding exercise.

2 thoughts on “A planting plan

  1. A suggestion: Are flowering plants possible for the climate of the location? If so, would that be the shorter plants and bushes mentioned in the article.

    Why a need for flowering plants: For pollination by bees and butterflies

  2. oh dear, it was a much awaited article!!! it is an amazing feeling to be told the story of your dream by some one else and instantly it generates immense respect and connectedness.

    i was most impressed by the idea of trenches perpendicular to the slope of the land?? can’t we patent it!!

    a point of consideration could be to plant trees according to their need for water, so the one who needs more should be in the plot lower on slope and vis versa

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