Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)

The overall plan is to restore native forest in the western parts and to grow an edible forest in the eastern parts.  The areas identified in the map on the right are arbitrary and overlap here and there, but for the most part enable observation, design and planning to be conducted in reasonable sized chunks.

The permaculture approach asks us to consider not only plants and fertilizer, but also the insects and animals as well as the humans who share the local ecosphere. 

When practical, I will set up the map with links, but in the meantime, the list below serves as an index to the areas.

Place names

Area Names

Area Names

The property divided into areas defined by topographical, plant community and usage factors. Areas are not precise,


North East Wood: this is a peculiar little chunk of the place that is closest to the road. It's currently a few older trees and a bunch that I planted nearly 15 years ago: tulip poplar, redbud, dogwood, etc

It's also home to a very healthy patch of poison ivy in all three varieties: low plant, bush up to 10 feet tall, and climbing vine.  I wonder what role poison ivy plays in the ecosphere?

Redbud just starting

Poison ivy is a handsome plant in the spring.


North East Field has the shallowest soil on the place, a slope with rocks only a few inches down, while the rest of the place is almost uniformly 10 feet thick loess type soil. This field is being invaded by cedar and persimmon with a few locust. It slopes to the north west and drains along drive to culvert and then into the north neighbour's yard.



North Field

The North Field is a gently sloping expanse that slopes to the north, draining into the north neighbour's yard. It gets full sun all day long. It has a fence along the boundary and the neighbour mows a path along my side of the fence to keep the weeds off the fence. I've planted wild plum and hazel nuts along the eastern part near the north border and they've been doing ok except that native vine honeysuckle is invading from the neighbour's property. Upslope from the border is large area that was used for the geothermal pipe system, and the subsidence and rain have created gullies and a mud flood . The erosion is bad but not serious. While doing an initial planting of red clover I found nails and bottles and other things the digging machine brought up. In the late spring I planted pines near the south end and native bushes after a gap downslope to the north, and at the north end of the disturbed area I put in a bunch of elder berry bushes.



The upper pond area is a man made pond that receives water only from drainage on this place, the top of the drainage basin for the pond being the barn. It used to dry out completely at least once a year, but the past few years it's never gotten below a few inches deep.




upper pond


The Lagoon

The lagoon

The lagoon is the sewage treatment facility for the house. It's bermed all around so there is no drainage from around it, just direct rain and the pipe from the house. It doesn't completely dry out, but the wet part shrinks to a small area in the heat of the summer. It needs to be kept clear of brush and cattails according to county code.



The forest and lower pond is the western half and consists of a basin surrounded by forest. The basin was dammed a long time ago, and I've heard that 30 or 40 years ago it was 10 feet deep, clear, and full of fish. Today it is basically a swamp, having filled in from runoff from the subdivision to the south, a small chunk of which drains into it.

This photo was taken around 2005 or so, when the pond still had a couple feet of water above the mud and forest debris.

winter pond

Central Missouri


The little grove

This area was initially planted with some river birch, a japanese maple, witch hazel and myrtle, and some Echinechia. Oaks, persimmons and blacklocust quickly volunteered themselves and are also happy. Working on grafting some of the oaks inside.

This triangular group of trees, shrubs and undergrowth which I call The Little Grove, was started with some bare root seedlings from the State Nursery at Licking, Missouri.  Over 15 years or so, not much has been done to it other than keeping the middle a bit clear of persimmon, poison ivy and honey or black locusts.

I had also put in some Echinacea, but they got shaded out.  I think to make this a productive guild, may need to expand the edge parts, especially to the east, and perhaps to the north under the shelter of the big oak.  The west side is by the driveway.


A call it the little grove because there are a few oak volunteers in there, but not anywhere near as many are as in the bigger grove, which I call the oak house.