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PDX Permaculture Message Board › Seeking advice: boggy permaculture site

Seeking advice: boggy permaculture site

Carol
user 31739382
Portland, OR
Post #: 1
I'll be working on a Vancouver Island, BC site, with a very high water table (lots of standing water in winter), and clay soil. Would love to talk with anyone who's had experience designing and installing a food forest in a bog....Many thanks, Carol
A former member
Post #: 7
I wish I had advise, but I have the same question, Carol. Starting a food forest on a boggy site. Anyone have any experience with this?
A former member
Post #: 33
Hi Carol and Chris,

How you'd want to adapt to or modify the site will be informed by why the site is boggy, and there could be a ton of different reasons (e.g. spring upwelling on-site or up-slope of site; high water table; poor drainage; all of the above; other).

If you can comment on the specifics of the context, it'd be easier for others to comment about specific strategies.

Thanks!
Carol
user 31739382
Portland, OR
Post #: 2
Hi Leonard & Chris,

This boggy site is 12 acres, maritime climate, very gradual slope from NE to SW, heavily wooded where not cleared.

(1) Very high water table. Standing water throughout.

(2) Very poor drainage. Clay soil; may be blue-gray clay. (Not formally tested, but you could make pots from it. There's a 16' deep pond dug for fill, never sealed, stays consistently full,) Very little topsoil; lots of stones; some rocks.

(3) Spring upwelling in many places. Slope is so gradual, the property is almost flat, so very slow runoff NE to SW. Water doesn't seem to penetrate soil.

(4) Undulating terrain: uncleared areas contain bog holes and slightly higher places; cleared areas have been leveled, but still water stands & doesn't drain.

(5) Vegetation includes lots of alder, willow, some cottonwood, NW cedars/pines/hemlocks/cypress, various maples, rushes/sedges/cattails/bog grasses/mosses.

I hope that helps. Thanks so much for wrestling with this.

Carol

PS: Is there perhaps a specific reference that focuses on developing this sort of site for permaculture purposes?
A former member
Post #: 8
Good point Leonard. Lemme look at it closer. Fortunately I studied this in school...

Carol, maybe we'll have the same issues and can work together!
Carol
user 31739382
Portland, OR
Post #: 3
Keep me posted, Chris, about your site. If it's local, I'd enjoy coming to see it.
Shay
GreenMind
Portland, OR
Post #: 1
2 eyedeas-

1 is building huegelkulturs in various places on site if woody material is available, thus making areas with improved drainage to plant. Just be weary of using willow or cottonwood for base material, even if they look dead they may sprout where you want to grow food.

The other is to use wild rootstock adapted to boggy soil. Crab apple, Ash, and Hawthorne may already be present on site and you can graft fruit trees on to them!

Good Luck!
Carol
user 31739382
Portland, OR
Post #: 5
Thanks, Shay! I'm not familiar with huegelkulturs, or at least not that name. Maybe they're mounds? Like Sepp Holtzer uses? Love the wild rootstock idea....know there's lots of ash present...will look for crab apples & hawthorne.
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