Unfortunately, recently my family realized that our land is really too damaged to support our herd of cattle for the moment and we've had issues with our farm manager, so we've decided to sell off the cattle and I'd like to initiate a forestry project. I have one year of college forestry, but most of it was calculating timber yields and other non-applicable stuff. I'd like to re-forest most of the property, but shape it in a way that it provides us food (berries, nuts, mushrooms, fruits etc.) with agroforestry and permaculture methods. My goal would be a kind of "paleoforest" which would not be too dense, but provide some openness for activities like hunting and grazing when the land is rebuilt.
I'd like to start researching and reading some books, so what books would you recommend?
My fave is Gaia's Garden, but I don't know if it is on the scale you need.
I also know several permaculture consultants in the Pac NW & Scotland/UK, but if you are in the midwest now, you might be better off googling for consultants who are based there.
A great book for insight into aboriginal methods of sustainable land management is Changes in the Land, by William Cronon. Cronon compares the land management practices of the Native Americans along the eastern seaboard with those of the newly-arriving European colonists, and delves into the effects of this clash of cultures and practices on the environment. It's not exactly permaculture, but it's a very interesting book on its own, and maybe it will give you a few ideas.
Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set) Volume I: Ecological Vision and Theory for Temperate Climate Permaculture, Volume II Ecological Design and Practice for Temperate Climate Permaculture by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
Kind of expensive ($90 US) but a fantastic resource.
Hi, I'd be interested to hear how this is going? I've just ordered http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creating-Forest-Garden-Working-nature/dp/1900322625/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_3 and http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Grow-Perennial-Vegetables-Low-maintenance/dp/1900322846/ref=pd_sim_b_1
They are UK-based, which orks for me!
The website http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/ also has plant lists.
In terms of soils, have you heard about biochar and/or mycelia? http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html