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- May 2009
Forest Gardens and Polytunnels
   May 18th, 2009, 6:05 am
Presentation to the Parish Council Meeting
   May 11th, 2009, 1:24 pm
   May 10th, 2009, 12:22 pm
Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm
   May 8th, 2009, 1:44 pm

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Tonight we're attending the Parish Council meeting. They've given us a ten minute slot. My partner is going to talk about building development on the farm and I'm going to talk about what we're doing with the land.

I've drawn up a few bullet points as a handout. Here it is:


1) Land Consists of 62 acres made up of:
a) Two large meadows of “equine” quality grassland
b) Flattish area of scrubby and marshy grassland leading to steep hillside gorse and bracken - Faces roughly north-west. Hillside land is slipping
2) Intended Usage of Land
a) Grassland – very suitable for hay and grazing. No intention to change in immediate future. Currently to be grazed by cattle and sheep.
b) Scrubby and Marshy Flatland & Hillside
i) Not suitable for much of value in conventional agriculture. Therefore to be developed as forest farm.
ii) This will consists of a variety of species of trees; canopy trees, understorey trees, shrubbery and herbaceous. Eventually some climbers. These can be arranged into small woods aligned so get benefit of sunshine and leaving clearings for some grassland species
iii) Woodland species can include:
(1) Traditional edible produce trees, apple, pear, walnut
(2) Some more unusual productive trees. e.g. birch and sugar maple for sap, elder for blossom and fruit
(3) Timber production trees e.g. oak, beech, ash, hickory, willow
(4) A number of experimental species e.g. olives, siberian pea tree, sweet chestnut
(5) Understorey of hazels, raspberries
(6) Some tree planting simply to increase diversity and habitat e.g. bird cherries
iv) This will have effects of:
(1) Maximizing useful output from the land whilst increasing diversity
(2) Creating a variety of habitats for a wide range of wildlife
(3) Help to prevent further slumping of the land
(4) Mitigate water flow
v) Hedgerows will be replanted/restored
vi) Ditches will be cleared. Not necessarily directly off Vine Tree land. A series of ponds to be constructed on various levels. This will have several effects:
(1) Mitigate water runoff during heavy rain. Ponds will act as “holding tanks”
(2) Hold water within land at times of dry weather-drought… climate change is coming
(3) Create further habitat diversification for local wildlife
(4) Possibly habitat for commercial breeding of e.g. carp (Christmas delicacy in Poland)
3) The Farm Shop
a) To start off in a small way and be developed over time as Vine Tree Farm starts to produce surplus.
b) Anticipated produce may include:
i) Fruit, nuts and vegetables
ii) Small plants, plug plants etc for buyers to grow on themselves
iii) Jams, preserves, pickles, etc
iv) Fruit juices and smoothies
v) Cider, perry and other country wines
vi) Assorted types of mushroom, fresh and dried

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