This show if coming from the angle of the new homestead owner. I think though it will be helpful to everyone. I get emails all the time, they go something like….
You’re a jerk because of you I now have X acres outside of town. We are excited to move in. I am in zone ___ and we get ___ rain, the soil is ____ and I want animals including ______, ______, ____ and may be _____. What should I grow, what do you use for a cover crop, can I put a lake in and raise ducks or will they ruin it, etc. etc. etc.
I am not picking on anyone here, getting a new place is exciting and you just want to finally get on it. This often though results in “type one errors” as we try to do the biggest things first. I always say start with zone one design, do the stuff closest in that needs the most attention first. But there is more to it then that. Instead of what to do today I want to talk about what to ask yourself, and that will lead you to your design.
This is the process any good design consultant follows to develop a design for a client. To make this clear, if you give me a piece of land and say to me, “what would you do with this plot of land”? My response is going to be first, who is going to live here. The first design element to consider is the person who will live on and or manage the land and what works best for them. So I can’t tell you what to do with the land until I understand that first.
If I were to simply design the property based on permaculture principles it would be a design for me, not for you. When we ask ourselves what we really want, how much time and money we really have and what are best resources are, design often reveals itself in very obvious ways.
Join Me Today to Discuss…
- The Basics of zone based design
- Most teach design zones 1-5
- But most property is small enough to not have a zone 5
- Many won’t have a zone 4, some will have a 4 but not classically what we call a 3
- What we really need to do is start with “zone 0” (the family)
- How things go wrong
- We see a technique and latch onto it
- We attempt to implement the technique without a strategy
- Because we have no strategy our tactics are aimless
- The primary questions you should ask yourself
- How much weekly time do we really/honestly have
- How much time are we actually going to devote to this
- What is our budget for the work
- What do we already know we are good at (what have you done before)
- What do we eat right now
- What natural pathways exist on our property
- What are the most valuable natural resources already on the property
- What is the most valuable existing infrastructure on the property
- Which areas do we require what access to, how can we create access or insure we don’t obstruct it
- How does water flow on this property, what hard catchment do you have, any natural water systems
- What are the structures like, what work do they need or what should be done with them
- How does the sun move across the property at different times, what micro climates does it create
- How much rain do you get, when do you get it
- What grows native in your area, what is grown commercially
- What will require irrigation, how will you provide that
- Do you want animals, if so which and why
- What infrastructure is required for said animals
- What is your waste stream like, how does it connect to your design
- Do you have dogs/cats/pets and how do they fit into this
- Do you have/want an on site business, how will it function
- What local waste streams exist, restaurant waste, mulch materials, etc.
- How old are you, how are you going to design things knowing how you are aging
- What will be your ongoing budget for upkeep and maintenance
- Are there any good local examples around you to emulate
- What are you most excited about doing first vs. what should you do first
- Final Thoughts – Think about techniques, tactics and strategy as you develop your plan
Resources for today’s show…
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- Jack on MeWe
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- All My Recommend Bitcoin Tools and Resources
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Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon.
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