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A Different Perspective

March 11, 2015
photo credit R. Dennis Wiancko

photo credit R. Dennis Wiancko

Getting a bird’s-eye view of your operation is often helpful to give you an idea of the bigger picture, so to speak.  A friend sent me this photo that he took last fall on a flight over our place and the surrounding areas.  Pretty cool.  I’ve added some crude lines dividing our farm into permaculture zones so you can get an idea of how we move about our property.

This helps me too.  When you spend all your time on close work, seeding, weeding, milking, mob stocking, etc., it’s easy to develop farm or sense of place blindness.  I feel the same way when I quilt, I have this gigantic blanket but I concentrate on one spot.  It’s all zone one until you move zone one to zone two… .

I think I do a real good job showing zone one photos on the blog.

And rightly so, home is where the heart is.

greenhouse 1

greenhouse 1

My life is pretty hands-on.

Turga parsnip

Turga parsnip


Cascade Ruby-Gold


photo credit R. Dennis Wiancko

photo credit R. Dennis Wiancko

But seeing this view gives me a perspective I need to see.  I feel it, I just can’t always picture it.  Do you know what I mean?  Right now I spend all my time in zone one, the cows are in the barn, we are working in the greenhouse, the pastures are at rest.  When spring comes we abandon the barn in favor of moving the cows and we branch out into zone three and move through zone four occasionally to get to far off pasture corners.  Zone five never sees us unless it’s water system maintenance or mushroom foraging time.  Zone one always is very active with gardens, greenhouses and the house cow, but the other zones have a seasonal ebb and flow that is hard to describe.  I can see I’ll be referring to this photo often in the future for blog purposes.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Larsson permalink
    March 11, 2015 7:48 pm

    You might also download Google Earth. You can use it to get quite high resolution of your property, even seeing barn, house and other objects quite clearly. There are other government agencies that also give you a direct view of your farm. They all use the Tiger files, I believe. With the satellites they can take pictures quite often. The pictures of my farm are from July 2014, I believe. (I also live in the Pacific NW, specifically outside Chehalis, WA. I especially enjoy your observations on gardening and on your livestock. I must say I look forward to your blog postings).

    • March 11, 2015 7:53 pm

      Laura, I prefer to just use this photo for the blog, rather than posting an actual high resolution satellite view here. The photos in my area haven’t been updated on Google since ’10 and I’m fine with that. Your weather is quite similar to ours I’m guessing 🙂

  2. Elva permalink
    March 11, 2015 7:56 pm

    Great picture of your farm! Here is a dumb question….coming from Upstate NY, in the land of maple, ash, cherry, beech, and oak trees, I was wondering what kind of wood you burn in your wood stove. Am I right in thinking you have predominately conifers?

  3. March 11, 2015 8:25 pm

    Your marked-up aerial and subsequent commentary is FASCINATING, especially to a city kid like me. And, boy, does that maize look YUMMMY!

  4. Emily Summer permalink
    March 11, 2015 11:12 pm

    You live north of us and have much better growing conditions, Very nice place you have there.

  5. Beth in Ky permalink
    March 12, 2015 4:31 am

    Refresh my memory, did you say you have limited or no harvest of the fir trees on your property? I know you take standing dead for firewood. Is the old orchard you mentioned on this property?

    • March 12, 2015 4:45 am

      Beth, there is plenty of storm damaged or dying trees to supply our firewood needs, and there are two orchards both old that supply some firewood too in addition to fruit.

  6. Fid permalink
    March 12, 2015 5:33 am

    Beautiful photo and farm. I too look forward to your posts. Any and all zones! 🙂

  7. Bee permalink
    March 12, 2015 7:14 am

    I know what you mean about living “in the zone.” My round is kitchen garden, house orchard (where I have one group of chickens and the pigs), the pastures (another set of chickens, sheep, cows and horses) and the milking shed. We make a run to the big spring (about a mile) once a week or so for drinking water. I periodically check the north orchard below the milking shed. I almost never go down to the rock quarry or the big creek, or up on top of the bluff in the course of daily activities. We have to make a specific effort to do the larger rounds every so often, just to make sure we don’t have a problem festering somewhere.

  8. March 12, 2015 8:14 am

    What’s the history of the little 3 spot, in the middle of the forest area? Looks like a little island of pasture…

  9. bunkie permalink
    March 12, 2015 11:04 am

    Great photo…and much better than a google pic, imo! I really enjoy seeing how you use the zones. Neat planning! (((I wanted to ask you a question off this topic. Could you give a little more specifics on your turnip growing…starting the seeds and transplanting sometime? Thanks!)))

  10. HEather permalink
    March 14, 2015 9:38 am

    I would love a bit of a blog commentary on how you raise your tomatoes, peppers, what stage you repot, what you fertilize with, what size they are before they go in the ground, what you use for containers etc – you grow them so well!

    • March 14, 2015 5:02 pm

      Ha ha, nothing special. I seed them in 200 cell flats then transplant to 3.5″ pots at the true leaf stage, from there I try to not pot on and just be ready to plant when the toms outgrow that size. The peppers are treated the same but they grow so much slower so I might plant them out a week or so after the tomatoes. This is mostly by design to fit the most flats on my heat mats since I am limited in space there. I just use potting soil with some added fertilizer so the plants get a boost when they are ready. Then I can just water, and not have to deal with compost tea etc.

  11. Steve permalink
    March 15, 2015 7:11 am

    Great view. I’m curious about the bare ground to your east. Someone’s rock project?

    • March 15, 2015 10:13 am

      Logging site…it used to be a farm, then the land was sold to a timber company in the mid-60’s and planted for timber production. Now it has been logged and replanted. I personally love seeing that flat land liberated from the dark of the forest…because I have fond memories of the old farm that was there, however that sentiment is not shared by any of my tree hugging friends. My memories of gardens, pastures, barns and houses differs from memories of folks who have only driven by there when it was a dense reprod forest. Trees grow like weeds here, and if you move next to a timber company’s land I expect you should not be surprised when the land is logged. My husband ran into a neighbor at Home Depot this past fall, the neighbor and his son were carrying out 2″ x 6″ pressure treated boards for repairs on their massive wood deck…and the first words out of the neighbors mouth were complaints about that site being logged. People who live in wood houses should not complain about timber sales whilst carrying a big board me thinks. I would have called him on his hypocritical views, my husband was polite and changed the subject.

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