To the person in the Florida Permaculture Community FB group who was asking about clearing 2.5 acres. (I can’t seem to find the post to reply to it.) They said they got a quote from a land-clearing company that sounded extremely high.
My take: Please, PLEASE do not mulch and clear 2.5 entire acres. The good news is, you don’t need to go to that expense.
One of the design principles of permaculture is to start small. Not only is it the right thing to do for ecosystems, it is sensible for our wallets and our own personal energy.
You will also be able to get necessary feedback by observing and interacting with your new place. There are many plants on such a large area that will surely be helpful, medicinal, and even be nurse plants that will help your fruit trees grow. That’s like money in the bank!
I would leave the land as is for now, until you are ready to actually live there. Plant some trees at the house where you live now, so you can keep a better eye on them.
Even after you do move to your land, start very very small. Maybe just clear enough for a tiny house and five or 10 trees. And you’ll be able to do that yourself, by hand (maybe with the help of some friends, sort of a fun workday), and you’ll be able to get to know the land much better in the process.
Tagging people who have extensive experience setting up food forests, while building/protecting the soil-food web and local ecology. Koreen Brennan Jungle Jay Hardman Andy Firk Transforming Florida Yards
PS. A lot of people are not willing to invest the money in taking a Permaculture design certificate course. However, the thousand dollars for tuition will more than pay for itself, usually rather quickly. (And actually, a lot of reputable PDCs are now being offered for free or nearly free, so even money is not an excuse anymore. The offerings include many excellent online options, so geography is not the barrier it used to be either.) As evidenced by this example here, Where somebody was totally ready to spend probably $10,000 or $20,000 to totally denude a piece of land. (Stripping it of its soil biology, Or at least highly disrupting the soil biology, in the process. That’s another thing we study in Permaculture courses.)
Jumping into a Permaculture group on Facebook and asking questions might seem cheap and easy, but it is often a false economy. Interacting in community is great but it’s not a substitute for actually getting to learn the tools, principles, and ethics.
(***Image for visial attention; includes my screenshot of a piece of a land-clearing company ad; accompanied by my emoji reaction. Not that clearing and tree removal, and mechanized equipment, are not useful sometimes, but we as permies need to be extremely discerning.)