Never Before Seen Footage! Backyard Food Forest Years 1,2 & 3 | How it all Began!

Hey there, how’s it going everybody? Dan here with Today I want to share with everybody some
of the earlier beginnings prior to the start of the You Tube channel. This picture here was shot back in 2010 just
prior to our move to the new location that you are all familiar with. Back then we had a small little cottage, my
wife, my step-son and I. Here’s a picture of me out in the front yard
watering my annual garden. I had some tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, corn. I’ve always loved annual gardening! It wasn’t until 2011 when we relocated to
our current location that we were blessed with this large blank canvas of a backyard,
southern facing. You really couldn’t ask for anything better
to start a project like what I was interested in doing. Which was a food forest! There was an initial clean-up that had to
take place. I stayed busy! I ordered one of those dumpsters and had it
delivered to the driveway. I kept filling it up. There was all sorts of debris in the yard. Even during this part of the process, although
it was laborious it was a labor of love. You can see I had to dig a hole here, I was
digging holes all throughout the yard just pulling trash out of it. I knew that I was starting the process of
rehabilitating this property and I was already feeling fulfilled by that. So after a lot of digging and a whole lot
of tilling cleaning up this landscape, I immediately started doing a sheet mulching using cardboard
and woodchips. So as I was laying down this cardboard and
starting to rehabilitate the property I was also planting fruit trees all along the boarder
of the fence-line. So that was the very beginnings of the food
forest! I was keeping busy plugging away doing row
by row; overlapping that cardboard making sure not to leave any areas where weeds could
pop up through, and then putting those woodchips on top. As I was doing that I was also planting out
annuals. And in just a very short time we started to
have the makings of a garden. You can see one of the bare-root fruit trees
I planted over there back by the fence, that was just a stick in the ground a few months
ago and all of that was new growth! I’ve also got a perennial tree collard getting
started there. Those two little trees right in front of the
mammoth sunflowers there, those were the pomegranate trees that I featured in many of my videos. Those are doing very well now! And check out how close together I planted
those guys. they’re like a foot, maybe a foot and a half
apart. That’s that Dave Wilson Nursery dense fruit
tree planting method. So I’ve been experimenting since the beginning. You can see I also had some of these little
chintzy raised beds that I picked up for ten bucks on blowout sale from a local store. The garden was beginning! I had corn goin’, beets, eggplants, swiss
chard, kale, tomatoes, melons… It was also during this first year that I
built a small chicken coop and started raising backyard chickens for the first time. I also did a bit of experimenting, like with
these seed balls you see here. This is where you encase a few different seeds
in some clay and soil, and you can just cast those throughout a landscape. What happens is, the seeds are protected by
that coating and then once it starts to rain and it begins to break down and softens up
the seeds will sprout and have their little bedding right there made just for them. So cool technique, I had fun with that! If you want to learn more about seed balls
or more about natural farming look into a book called “One Straw Revolution” about a
Japanese farmer and philosopher by the name of Masanobu Fukuoka. Definitely an enlightening text, I highly
recommend it! So for year two I came up with something totally
different and that was to make these raised beds out of cardboard, chicken wire and 3
foot t-posts. This actually worked out very well! It was a really cheap way to get these raised
beds built and start growing immediately. It also allowed me to create somewhat of a
template that was adjustable. Nothing here was permanent. So in the end I have to say this really worked
out and I was happy with the results. Here’s another view from the side. To this day my garden maintained this layout. In-between those raised beds, those are my
current pathways and where those raised beds were all became perennial garden beds for
the most part. To save on cost I filled these raised beds
halfway up with free local woodchips. I then filled the second half up with native
soil mixed with some organic imported compost. As a finishing touch, I mulched the top surface
using straw rather than hay. Hay will contain grass and weed seeds in abundance
and I’m not trying to propagate that. So unless the hay is thoroughly rotted down
I would suggest sticking to the straw. Many aspects of the design have changed and
evolved since this time. As you can see in this area, I’ve got this
swing hanging from this enormous tree. This tree was going over both sides of the
fence. You can see by the shadow being cast just
how large the tree actually was. So I knew from the gate that I was probably
going to take this tree out but I didn’t do it up front. So at this point removal was much more challenging
as I already had established plants everywhere below the tree. You can see I set-up a couple ladders as this
limb begins to fall. I was trying to block the fall from landing
on some of the smaller trees. Oh that worked great! Well some how I got really lucky and I only
busted up a couple trees. This all-in-one almond unfortunately. But had I not told you, you would have never
noticed as the tree looked great all season! Also this mandarin tree which had already
been struggling and I had already transferred from a different location so no real big loss. But learn from me. If you start a new project; if you are considering
taking out a tree, get it done in the beginning. Don’t feel bad. You will be planting a whole bunch of new
trees and you’ll be saving yourself a whole lotta headache. But back to year two now. Things were starting to grow in and coming
along quite well. I had set everything up on an automatic drip
watering system. I was also planting things out using the square
foot gardening method. Again, I had another great year! Everything was very productive. It turned out well! As you can see Alice is standing here in front of some Japanese long eggplants and some towering tomato plants! We had an abundance of produce coming out! It was a good feeling! I continued experimenting with other techniques
like this off the grid automatic plant watering system. An idea I picked up from Larry Hall. I may have to revisit a set-up like this in
the future. As year two came to a close I was feeling
happy, satisfied and again just looking forward now to year three to continue this project
forward. So year three arrived. A lot of the perennials were now starting
to get established. The in ground plants such as the purple tree
collards towering above me here. At this point I still had some of the cardboard
built raised beds going but many of them I had dismantled and started plugging in some
trees and such right into the ground. Things were really starting to develop at
this point! Check out the growth on these pomegranates
after just two years in the ground! And I was actually getting fruits on these
plum trees! Most of these I actually picked off to allow
the tree even more time to build structure. During this time I was tractoring my chickens
around the property. Now, they remain free-range most of the time
but I was using them in this instance to help me better cultivate and prepare the land for
garden expansion. So about halfway through our third year here
on the property things really started to take shape! Hey guys hows it goin’? I’m Dan, and this is Plant Abundance on You

Posts created 40981

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top