Another day! I’ll try to post daily, even if only a few sentences.
More about my property – now known as Greasewood Homestead. (Where are the emoticons? I need the big grin.)
This land was part of a massive cattle ranch. It has been overgrazed and is now eroding into the seasonal creek at the south end of the property. The north end is about 50 feet higher than the south and there are fairly large gulleys all across the central portion.
High = 6,950 feet of elevation at the highest point.
Dry = average of 11-13 inches of precipitation per year, the majority of which is snow in the winter and rain in the spring.
Cold = zone 4. Can get down to -30 F, with wind chills into the -80s. Though just last year, or was it the year before, temperatures in the area dropped to -45. And windchills in the area this year dropped to -90.
Windy = 60 mph winds are not uncommon. All of my hats (even the ball caps) have chin straps.
Remote = even county roads can be impassable in the area for months in the winter. Further into the ‘development’, the roads are all clay, so tend to be impassable from the first snow until the last of the spring rains. A friend who lives up there year round says he has been stuck up there from early November until late May at least once. He is now moving to Utah.
Soil = haven’t had it tested yet, but it appears to be very silty clay with little organic matter and lots of fist-size or smaller rocks.
1. Re-establish some prairie type grasses to keep the soil in place.
2. Earthworks: the top 20 acres +/- already has a seasonal pond. I’d like to expand it and line it if necessary to hold water for longer periods. Another 20 acres +/- in the southern section could use some swales and ponds to divert and hold more water on the property. At present, spring runoff swooshes across the property and disappears along with a whole lot of soil both from my property and from the hundreds of acres upstream. If I can slow that water down and collect it and the soil it carries, I may actually be able to farm (or at least garden) in that area.
3. Establish windbreaks! Plant trees and shrubs along the western and northern edges to start with. Preferably all edible to some extent.
Uh oh, its past my bedtime again. More tomorrow!