New place, lots of potential!

So here we are! We moved into our new house a couple of days ago. As we are unpacking, I find myself looking by the windows, taking walks in the backyard and imagining, dreaming, designing...

I've been wanting to have my own place for about ten years now, so this is a real dream come true. I am hoping to be able to experiment a lot and share my trials and errors with my local community as well as the readers of this blog.

As all good permaculture projects should start with a period of observation, sometimes called assessment, I am going to start sharing some of that with you.

The yard is big, compared to the average lot in our town (62X157 feet). It has a lot of vegetation and also its own wildlife. We observed a rabbit having breakfast this morning as we were having ours. I have also see at least 4 types of birds, a number of squirrels and chipmunks.

In terms of trees, we have some mature black walnut trees in the front of the lot, to the West of the house, and another one at the back, on the southern corner of the lot. Black walnuts are very valuable trees for their crop of nuts, but also for the value of the wood. It is a blessing to have them, even if it will probably require experimenting with what will happily thrive around them as they are allelopathic plants. This means that they secrete a chemical or chemicals (in this case Juglone) into the soil that inhibit the growth of other plants.There are many other trees and shrubs on the property. We will have to observe the sun patterns and probably make some hard decisions to be able to optimize the light. The lot is fairly narrow (62 feet) and our goal is to grow as many useful plants as possible... There is a ten year old maple tree which is probably almost 20 feet tall right now, right in the middle of the lot... There also is a big old birch tree that casts a lot of shade.
There also is a large number of ornemental cedar trees. The type that grows with a conical shape. These may have to be sacrificed as well, as I don't know any other use for them than being good moquito breeding grounds...

At the back of the property is an old small barn. We heard that bpeople used to keep a horse in it a long time ago. It would be a great place to keep rabbits and chickens. There are two entrances to it, so it would be perfect for a dual purpose like that. However, It is fairly small, not insulated and very dark inside.

More later...

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