Definitely observe your land for a year as stated above. The bigger the land, the long or more time you will need to spend observing it. When I moved to my house in the suburb I jump right away at creating gardens and didn't take the time to observe (this was before I discovered Permaculture less than two years later). As a consequence I had a water management issue because I not realise how much water was coming off my roof and from my neighbour (30-40 feet away). I mitigated the issue but I could have avoided the extra work and headache had I took the time to observed even in my suburb backyard. In fact I may have done things differently looking back.
While you spent the time observing your land for at least one full year, read and watch as many video from Geoff Lawton, Martin Crawford, Sepp Holzer, Joel Salatin (farming aspect), Brad Lancaster (water management) and anyone else online doing permaculture or something related to it (organic/biointensive farming, agroforestry, forest garden, aquaponics...)
I recently bought two twin mattress from Obansan (I am not affiliated what so ever with this company) for my kids who were upgrading to big kid bed. We bought the expensive organic (cotton, wool and rubber) mattress because of the chemicals found in regular mattress. I wasn't initially on board because of the high cost (~$1000 each with taxes) and because like most, we do not make huge salaries. But than my wife broke it down the daily cost for each mattress over the likely life spend and had me convinced.
$1000 twin mattress divided by 365 days (1 year) equal $2.74 per day. But the mattress should last 10 years (it has a 10 year warranty plus an additional 10 year pro-rated warranty). The organic mattress is really only costing us $0.27 per day --- $1000 / 3650 days (10 years) = $0.27. Once you get pass the initial purchase price, it's not that much once you brake it down.
My conventional pillow top mattress (Sealy Euro Pillowtop) is only a little over five years old and it has developed two sagging point after only four years and we are not overweigh individuals. I may end up spending as much in the long run if I am replacing my mattress every five years or so.
From all the reading I have done, the only effective way to remove fluoride from your water is through a reverse osmosis system which are expensive to buy/install and waste a lot of water. I believe it's around 2 litter for ever 1 litter of treated water but don't quote me on that.
I only occasionally give some free stuff to my family, friends and neighbour because I have found that most did not appreciate the hard work that when into growing that food.
Over the years I found most individual expect things or services to be free if you don't make a living on it. Because of this I become tired of spending countless hours and not getting anything in returned except people excepting me to continue doing it for free. I often found out that those individual ended up paying a "professional" 2 or 3 times what I had initial asked for.
It is never recommended that you plan trees over or near a septic tank. I would even be hesitant in even planting large shrubs like serviceberries (Amelanchier). Some individual may also caution you on the possible contamination human waste interacting with the fruit tree being a health risk to you but I personally think it's more of an issue if you're referring to the drain field.
You could plant shade loving plants like currants which should cause an issue to the septic tank unless you have to open the hatch for whatever reason.
I got the seeds from Richters Herb and the seeds were inside the dried berry. I am not sure how fresh they were before they were sent to me.
I plan on trying a few more inside and outside (stratification) during the winter to hopefully get a couple of plants.
I bought the Goji berry in the spring but in the last couple of weeks some of the leaves have started to turn brown. The shrub is in a large plastic container at the moment. Could it be deficient in nitrogen?
The tree is about 10-11 feet tall but very little growth from year to year. It's maybe 6 feet wide at most. I'm not sure if that's typically for a Serviceberry or if it's my zone. I have two Haskap amd I've seen huge growth since i bought them last year.
The first thing that came to mind was the lack of establishment at the Lab. If I am going to spend time and money I want to go and see something that is established (food forest, functioning swales and pond, vegetable garden, "green building" and so on) in order to be inspired and see in person how someone else has tackled various issues. I think that's partly why Geoff Lawton and Sepp Holzer attract a lot of people to their farm.
I've just recently purchase some property and will be sending the summer with building a food forest with swales and observe the land for future projects. The only outside source I was planning to bring onto the property was some plain cardboard from my house to put around the young trees and wood chip from a tree company which would otherwise be sent to the dump. Looking around online there are some who suggest you buy a combination of organic product (kelp, phosphate, manure, seaweed, rock dust...) to help kick start our system.
Doesn't this go against some of permaculture ethics since most of those store bought products are pretty energy intensive in the sense of the mining, packaging and transportation?
From what I can see from the pictures you posted there is lots of open space already to start designing your food forest and start planting. You may need to trim or cut a few trees depending how big you want your food forest but I personally would wait until it's more matures (a few years) since it will add protect from wind and sun.
Thanks for all the great replies. The reason why I don't want to build a two story house is I plan on retiring there and stairs are not a great when you 65+ year old. Maybe a loft as a guest bedroom could be an option depending on the pitch of the roof line since I will be doing a green roof. The other reason is for not wanting to build up or too wide to obtain the same square footage is I want the house to blend in the environment. One option I may explore is only having to dig down part way and use the excavated dirt to backfill against the remaining foundation protruding (as see by my lovely drawing below).
I do admit the appeal of not having a basement come building time since I will be doing the majority of the work myself. I will continue to look at various concrete options and also explore basementless design.
I have thought of not having a basement but with a young family I need the space. I don't want to build a second story or expend out too wide to gain the same square footage. I may need to compromise and find the greenest concrete product out there. I was just hoping for an alternative.
I am planning on building a small bungalow house in the future and I've started to look at natural alternative to concrete to building the basement foundation. So far all I have found doing some research online are greener concrete products by using recycled or byproducts to make concrete. The issue is they all still have concrete in them with a relatively high energy intensive process. The only thing I could come up with is using stones to make the foundation but that would still require some concrete assuming using stones would meet building code given the 7+ foot high foundation walls which will be a living space.
Does anyone know of any alternative or I am simply looking at a greener concrete product?
Kris Minto wrote:I was interested in buying one or two decks of cards until I saw the $20 shipping. It would cost me a minimum of $40 which is a little much when you could put that towards a permaculture book.
All of the international shipping stuff that I've seen has become freaky expensive. And it seems to be on the rise.
I agree with you that it is expensive nowadays but shipping to Canada is far cheaper than oversea. What is the weight and dimension (W-H-L) and I am assuming it will be shipped from Montana?
I live in the suburbs so I don't drink my water, I simply use it for my garden. I think the issue I have is all the books, video and articles I've read need to explain when you should install a first flush and not just advise everyone to follow a template. As I stated above, most individuals wouldn't need one which would save on cost and waste.
The only reason I came up with having a first flush for those who are only planning to water their garden would be to remove any contaminants and divert it to a spot on their land which isn't being used for some type of food production. This isn't mentioned in any of the material I have read. In my case that's not possible because I live in the suburbs and utilize my whole 1/12th of an acre for growing food.
I have mixed feeling about this one. On one hand it would be nice to eliminate petroleum base fertilizers which cause environmental issue on various levels but on the other hand I get a feeling this will simply be used in addition to synthetic fertilizer in hope to get an even bigger yield. It will only be a matter of time before DuPond/Monsanto creates a new GMO which will insure fast growth from the extra nitrogen but not at the expense of the fruit.
I don't understand why have a need to fix something that isn't broken.
Leila Rich wrote:I'd divert it into a garden barrel.
I am assuming you then use that water onto your garden. If so I don't see how using a first flush if of any use. The only reason I could come up with why I personally would use a first flush is if I was using the water for an outdoor shower/sink.
I think the point I am getting at is 90% of individual who use the rainwater catchment system is to water their garden then I don't the real benefit since the first flush still ends up in your garden one way or another.
Thanks for your response Allen. What you wrote make sense but that likely doesn't apply to 99% of individuals now days. I get the impression people are simply following a template seen in book or online and not asking themselves the question "what purpose will this serve me?". Using more material to create a first flush when there is no added benefit isn't very environmentally friendly and adds more complexity to a system which can result in more points of failure.
I have a small rain catchment system but did not install a first flush because the water would simply be dumped in my garden where the rest of the water in the tanks will be used for.
I did not put a first flush system because the water would end up in my soil unless I dumped into the city water treatment system which isn't very permaculture. The amount of energy and chemical used to clean our water is pretty enormous.
I keep seeing people setting up a first flush diverter on their rain water catchment system. I understand the concept as to why it is done but all the video and article I have seen simply release the first flush into their garden or swale between rain. If that is the case, why bother putting a first flush to begin with?