Plans


Proverbs 24:27

‘Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.’

This has been on our mind a bit. We have a dilemma,  nothing in place for food production and nowhere to stay. There is still plenty of snow on the ground here and the temperature is still below freezing, however, we are sure spring is around the corner. We are getting ready to hit the ground running as soon as the weather improves. There are a few projects which are going to be tricky to schedule, these we are planning at the moment. Getting lots of prices, measuring, working out a budget, what we really need and what we can do without for a bit.

Our main task is to get our food production under way and to make sure we have fuel (seasoned logs) ready to burn next winter.  Below is a list of the things we are getting prices for, finding suppliers, and planning. I’ll give more details on each when I have something presentable:

  • Fruit trees: where to put them, where to get them, who pollinates who (wasn’t aware of the need of pollinators).
  • Forest trees:  to restock the ones we cut over the next few years
  • Polytunnel: I want to make this myself. If anyone has experience with this I would appreciate some guidance.
  • Plan allotment plot: price seeds and tools, and work out long-term crop rotation etc.
  • Work out soft fruit: where to put them (they will be there for a while), how many, where from.
  • Fencing: find supplier for allotment fence, 200m odd.
  • Hedging: find bushes to eventually replace the wire fence around the allotment and to provide more wind protection.
  • Accommodation: Planning materials for making a room comfortable to live in. Until we’re there a bit more regularly, people will keep ‘borrowing’ our things.
  • Tree cutting; working out how to work and service my new chainsaw, and where to get safety clothing.

I thought it might be nice to give you a bit of a look around the land. The map below shows my route. The video is a bit shaky but at least the music is good!

Video Route

Video Route

I thought it would be interesting to do a bit of a stock take of the lay of the land and the natural resources on offer. I’ve given a couple of google satellite images and broken them into sections giving names to help discuss them. I might put this up as a page on its own so you can refer back later. I do hope we’ll all come up with some more inventive names, although they may well be in Polish, so these unimaginative ones may be more practical for a bit.

    sitebreakdown

Large field:

This year we are letting another farmer plant and harvest corn in this area. It is too much for us this year so in exchange for a few quid, literally, the land will be ploughed, sowed, harvested and hopefully manured again.

largefield

Small Field:

This is about 6000m2, and will be the site of our vegetable and soft fruit patches. We are planning to use 1000m2 for this, dividing it into 8 or 9 rows 5*35m. We will use one row for perennial crops, which will stay the same over the years, and then rotate the other rows giving one row a rest every 7 years. Initially we will be fencing this 1000m2 odd to protect from dear and wild boar, not so many rabbits hear as in England. There are a few ideas about the rest of this section, maybe a vineyard, maybe a section of woodland. It is relatively dry and sandy soil. The allotment is the priority this year, so we’ll se what happens with the rest. We would love a vineyard but will have to do a bit of research on varieties that will survive the harsh winter.

Smallfield

Woodland:

I haven’t worked out the size of this yet, but it is crucial to our self-sufficiency plans. Eventually all our cooking, heating and hot water will come from wood. In Poland the forestry people technically own any forest land on your property. You have to ask them for permission to cut down trees. We had our guy come out this weekend and he showed us what we can cut. Most of our trees are no good for anything but the fire (I’m not sure what they are in English yet). We have about 7 decent sized trees to cut, as well as a load of smaller ones. Unfortunately our forest guy found the evidence of people cutting down loads of our trees sometime in the last year whilst we weren’t staying here. This is a shame, but I think we have enough wood for a few years. Our plans are to plant another woodland area with Birch. These trees are cheap here, about 1000 trees for £200, and they are fast growing. Not sure how many we will plant the first year but we want to build up our woodlands to enable us to be self-sufficient in fuel in 5 years odd. Lots more of my wood management education to come. I have a chainsaw now, courtesy of my wife’s parents (excellent birthday present!!), and we need to cut the trees by the end of March. Can’t do it before we are staying there a bit as the wood will just get stolen.

woodland

I’ll carry on with this in another post, I’m sure that’s enough to read for now. Any ideas or comments welcome! I’m off to price up and try to design a poly-tunnel.