Alex Ojeda wrote:I have access to a load of lemon peel for when I make my organic lemon juices and cleanses. Is there anything that can be done with these that could fit under the heading of Permaculture? Realize that these have been put through a 2 ton press and are not pretty anymore. I made candied peels one time, but that's just silly amounts of sugar. Currently I have a 55 gallon barrel that is composting. If they can compost just sitting in a barrel (it's an experiment). I sometimes dig a hole and bury a bucket full. Any other ideas or experiences you could share with me?
Marinate the peels in vodka for at least four days. Discard peels and sweeten resulting infusion with simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, boiled) to taste. Voila, limoncello!
If you are a teatotaller you can forgo the vodka, and marinate the lemon peels in vinegar for a month before discarding the peels. The vinegar, infused with the lemon peel oil, is a good general purpose household cleaner.
It may be urban legend but I have heard that citrus peels don't compost well.
I am in the process of organizing a simple workshop on how to build a tin-can rocket stove and a 16 brick rocket stove. I would like to organize, down the road, a rocket stove mass heater workshop, but I have no idea how to make that happen. Can anyone who has successfully organized a rocket stove mass heater workshop advise me? What were the costs, and how did you attract an expert to give the workshop?
Suzy Bean wrote: There is an article in the recent Backhome Magazine (Sept/Oct 2011) on Curing Meat at Home, with a subtitle: “A warmer climate doesn’t matter if you try our curing technique.” They use an old freezer chest with a temperature regulator, set to 32 degrees F. They make a brine with noniodized salt, and sometimes brown sugar. They cover the meat in the brine in sealed buckets or ziplocks, and leave it for a week or two, depending on how thick the meat is. You can then smoke the cured meat. They say: “Properly cured and smoked bacon will keep without refrigeration, but because it is salty enough to do so, it needs to be soaked in plain water overnight before cooking.” You can use this method for any kind of meat, such as in making corned beef.
I brine my bacon and corned beef in ziplock bags in the fridge. Tasso ham gets cured so quickly it doesn't even need refrigeration the way I do it.After smoking, it will also be fine without refrigeration.
kazron wrote: slightly related and may not help... when I was at a permaculture project a couple of years ago the dishwashing detergent was made from a combination of wood ashes and water that had orange and lemon peels soaked in it for a few days at a time. this soaking water was a continuous cycling of peels, as after a week or two a peel would begin to mold in the hot climate. i do not know the science behind it. perhaps water is adequate to draw out whatever qualities you seek.
Being an oil, it's likely not water soluble. BUT wood ashes in water release KOH, potassium hydroxide, AKA lye. The lye will bind with the oils to make soap. This is how they made soap in the old days, with lye derived from wood ashes, reacted with a fat such as lard.
John Polk wrote: The Chinese chef's knife is a monument to frugality. Back "in the day", knives were made by sword makers. The warlords could afford many swords, but the typical family could only afford one knife. Instead of putting a knife at each place setting, the cook did all of the cutting with the one knife. Most Asian cuisines prepare meals where each piece is bite sized (chop sticks are cheaper than knives).
Besides cutting with the edge, the straight back was used as a tenderizer, the blunt end of the handle, and the flat of the blade are used for crushing garlic, ginger, herbs,or whatever. I have watched a Chinese cook use the square tip to remove phillip head screws so he could repair his rice cooker. It was a one-size-fits-all, multipurpose kitchen tool.
Haven't used mine as a screwdriver. But the rectangular blade makes it an excellent combination chopper and spatula - dice the ingredient, sweep it up onto the side of the flat blade, and use it to transfer the ingredients to the pot.
Siberian elm and Ailanthus are epidemic where I live. I am working on a property where I cut down a siberian elm two years ago and it still is coming back, despite being cut down on a regular basis and being doused with diesel fuel.
I don't want to use glyphosate and will never, ever use a dioxin based herbicide. Anyone got a good way to kill these things?
M. Edwards wrote: It took me better than a month to find a good no. 4 pony shovel.. I couldn't find one worth a toss, and I probably examined better than a half a dozen before I finally settled. I refuse to spend my money on garbage that's gonna snap in my hands during its first rigorous work-out, or is "one use" type-stuff (crazy how many things are made in "disposable" varieties these days).
When it comes to tools, as the Polish say, the stingy man pays twice.
I learned this the hard way, and have amassed a few good tools that will likely outlive me -
A grub hoe, only a little more expensive than the cheap garden hoes sold in big boxes and nurseries, $30 for a hoe that comes with its own sharpener and lasts forever.
A monster maul, a 15 pound splitting maul with a 1" steel pipe for a handle. I got tired of breakiing handles on splitting mauls. This never will.
A broadfork handmade by a blacksmith. Beautiful turned wood handles. It will last for generations.
An assortment of carbon steel knives that stain easily but sharpen to a razor edge. Carbon steel knives are hard to find nowadays, but you can get a dynamite carbon steel chinese vegetable knife for under $20.
pubwvj wrote: It is worse. The computer makers, take Apple for example, are dropping support for "old" software that is only five years old. Dropping as it will no longer run on new hardware. They make all these big claims about how powerful the new hardware is so crimminy, it should be able to easily emulate the old stuff and continue to run old software. There is a lot of software that has never been rewritten for the new hardware. Both business and especially kids software titles. Shame on them for purposefully creating obsolescence.
Right. One of the more obnoxious incidents of planned obsolescence was when Micro$oft kindly gave a boost to the PC industry by releasing Vista, which would not run properly on 90+ percent of the computers out there, and required those who wanted Vista to buy new computers. This was consistent with other Micro$oft practices such as releasing new versions of Office which were not backwardly compatible with older versions.
So scratch Micro$oft and Apple if you want to avoid companies that engage in planned obsolescence. Likewise, if anyone knows of an auto company that does not plan a limited lifespan for the vehicles they manufacture, I would like to hear about that.
The practice is ubiquitous.
I recently was out of hot water for a week, as my water heater died. Turns out that the manufacturer had incorporated a "safety feature" which would, if the temp got past a certain point or the air flow was impeded or a variety of other things happened, destroy itself and render the water heater inoperable. I only found out about it by googling. And was fortunate that the thing had killed itself two weeks before the warranty expired. Turns out that while the manufacturer (which produces MOST gas water heaters in this country) now will sell you the replacement part, they do so now only because they came under fire for their previous practice, which was telling the consumer that the water heater was beyond help and to go buy a new one.
The replacement part is a gas-filled glass ampule in a clip, and likely costs the manufacturer less than $2 each. Installation takes less than 15 minutes.
Their manuals do not mention this part or provide instructions on its replacement. You have to call their tech support line (have fun with that) get somebody on the line, and they will require that you dismantle the thing while they are on the line, describe to them what you see and then if it meets their criteria they will tell you about their "safety feature" and offer to sell you a replacement, complete with instructions.
The key to this was given out early on, paraphrasing, "They have to sell us new stuff in order for the economy to grow."
This is the perverse nature of our economy. Having enough should be a wonderful thing. But in the context of our economy, it is catastrophic.
I have a 123 series Mercedes Benz diesel. MB screwed up their planned obsolescence when they built it. These vehicles can easily put on a half-million miles or more with only routine maintenance and repair. Mine was built in 1980 and has fewer than 150,000 miles on it. I can reasonably expect to drive it for the rest of my life.
Can you imagine if all cars and trucks were built like this? It would be a catastrophy for the auto industry. After an initial feeding frenzy, new car sales would plummet. So instead they put a lot of thought and work into building vehicles that will just outlast the warranty. My ex-wife's jetta was a good example. 100,000 mile warranty. It didn't make it to 110,000 miles.
oracle wrote: What does the comfrey do? Just curious because I don't know
Comfrey can really accelerate wound healing, but that makes it dangerous to put on a fresh puncture wound, because it can heal the puncture at the surface and seal an infection inside, creating an abscess. So I wanted to make absolutely sure that the wound was not infected before switching to the comfrey.
Yarrow is an antibacterial, amongst other things. And a moist bread poultice is a potent drawing agent, sucking out any nastiness from a puncture wound.
jacque g wrote: The people of USP have developed a nearly religious attitude toward soil. Something like mother earth, only less woo and more research. It is a social taboo to abuse the soil, about as unthinkable and horrifying as child abuse to "normal" people.
What do the people of USP do with their bad actors? Re-education? Banishment?
There are multiple trade routes, but no superhighways - fast transport is by rail, boat, and dirigible. How are the railroads powered? What level of "industrial" manufacturing occurs, and how is it powered? (homes are powered by solar shingles, where are they made, and where do the inputs come from?)
If we imagine the USP as an extension of indigenous culture, then we should probably consider the fact that the indigenous saw themselves as belonging to the land, not the land as belonging to them- notions of private land ownership were alien to them.
So, scratch private land ownership.
They had no electoral politics, no representatives. No jails or prison. No police.
It was in many respects a better way, so much so that the European settlers had to make it a capital offense to defect from their society and live with the Indians.
And the indigenous in this country had been living in this way for a long, long time. It was arguably a stable and sustainable society, or collection of societies. We have not historically respected their technology, as we have not until relatively recently recognized their active role in maintaining the forests and the prairies, but they did have a technology, one based on harmony with living processes rather than on metallurgy and combustion of fossil fuels.
So here's a really audacious question - what if the USP, 400+ years later, maybe picked up some elements of previously unknown technology but otherwise remained relatively unchanged because there was not a burning need for change? What if they took a look at European technology and civilization and, much as the Japanese did for a century or so, made a conscious decision to reject it?
We can assume that if the indigenous routed the Europeans they would, 400 years later, be more like us except with more horticultury permacultury food production, but isn't that assumption at least a little bit reflective of the ethnocentric European view that other cultures are just failed attempts to become like us?
Maybe USP would be a place where many groups were still nomadic. Maybe there would be no cities larger than a thousand or so people. Maybe there would be no electricity, no gas stations, no cars, no power tools - and no need for them.
Maybe what was going on here was sustainable enough that what it would look like 400 years later was not a great deal different than what it looked like in 1491.
Leila Rich wrote: Lee, is this technique suitable for developing sourdough, or only standard yeast? I've just acquired a starter; I've made lots of bread with 'normal' yeast (but not using your method) and now I'm on to sourdough... I know nothing about artisan bread. Do you bake it on clay? How about water/steam in the oven?
I bake mine in the oven, shpritz it with water every five minutes for the first 15 minutes for steam.
Had a baking tile until it cracked from thermal shock, it was nice but not necessary.
And yes, this works well with sourdough, sourdough is the only bread I bake.
chowan wrote: lasvegaslee I got a little chuckle out of your original post because it kinda described me lol
not so much because I want to be an isolationist just that no one else has moved into the area yet. community is the best and safest way to go but self sufficiency as an individual is totally possible when you consider food,water and shelter our most basic needs.
I believe the first rule of self sufficiency is to not rely on any tech you can not build or repair I cannot build solar panels or inverters so i should not be relying on them for my most basic needs but i still enjoy them as a modern luxury.
Am i not self sufficient simply because I choose to own some items that are a result of modern manufacturing and a larger community?
or what about other simpler needed tools like shovels, axes etc probably purchased through the larger community but if i can replace handles and reforge is that not being self sufficient or do i need to go mine and smelt the iron first?
does being individually self sufficient mean that i can never trade for something i want or just that i am capable to provide for my most basic needs?
I think the litmus test for individual self-sufficiency is this - If the rest of the population vanished, tomorrow, would all of your human needs continue to be met? That sounds extreme, but if self-sufficiency is the boast, there's no such thing as "a little bit pregnant," you are either 100 percent sufficient unto yourself or you are not.
I haven't met with anyone who meets that test. Most I have met who made the claim tend to own their own home, grow some of their own food, maybe most of it, but still rely on interaction with the greater community to meet some of their needs. I respect that, but I say lets not mislabel it.
You might want to consider defining zones, and keeping the labor intensive stuff to zones one and two. For the rest of the property, there are strategies less intensive which can get the land trending back to more mature and robust ecosystem.
Identify and mitigate runoff, beginning at the top of the property, to slow water down, spread it out, soak it in. Try to intercept it upstream of where it is cutting arroyos, if it is doing so.
You can also work within the arroyos, if they appear to be active and growing.
If the terrain is rocky, you can arrange rocks to form permeable dams of sorts. If you don't have rocks, you can lay downed tree limbs perpendicular to slope in order to slow the run-off. Where you do this, you will not just be slowing down and infiltrating rainwater, the topsoil and native seeds will tend to catch in the same places and will grow. They will in time become bigger water-harvesting structures, and can act in a positive feedback loop (they trap more water and topsoil causing more plants to colonize and grow trapping more water and topsoil and so on.)
If you have a pattern of late frosts there, the north slope will be the place to plant fruit trees and bushes. They will stay colder and bloom later in the spring, and not be quite as vulnerable to getting their buds killed by frost.
The junipers, much maligned, are self-mulchers and water harvesters. For this reason, they tend to be nurse plants to piñon. But you could likely take advantage of their behaviors by identifying the plants that like to hang out with them and planting the same or similar species (with human benefits) around their driplines. There's no good substitute for careful observation of what is already growing, but plants found in guilds around juniper include piñon, wolfberry, artemisia, ribes aureum, scrub oak. New Mexico permaculturist Ben Haggard wrote a paper on the Juniper-piñon guild associations which might be a useful guide. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_rm/rm_gtr236/rm_gtr236_143_145.pdf&embedded=true&chrome=true
Katee wrote: If permaculture is to truly reflect a 'permanent culture' then wouldn't it be wise to marry the facets of it.... the art and science sides... to produce the best we can obtain? With an allowance and acceptance of both.
And in reviewing the definition ..." A design system for creating sustainable human environments'( Mollison,(Introduction to Permaculture) , we must not forget the human psychological factor because isn't that the largest component of having/sustaining a 'permanent culture?' And since each of us brings his or her strong and weak points ( wounds, egos, ect) to this 'culture',then a move toward inclusion and non duality would be as equally important for the reaching of the goal as say forest gardening, humanure composting ,et all. Perhaps it is not just what we do, why we do and how we do it but also who we are when we are doing it. Thus taking us to the areas of self awareness, self acceptance, increased consciousness and the unconditional love & acceptance of others with the full understanding that these play as equal a role in permaculture. Everyone is equal, everyone belongs, everyone is valued. And there is no right or wrong, there just is. Hmmm...those are my thoughts this afternoon.
To the degree that we are products of the culture in which we were raised, we likely have a world-view and attitudes conscious or otherwise which leave us to some degree alienated from the natural world and our fellow creatures (including humans) or in dysfunctional relationships with them.
Many of the tools and strategies of permaculture derive from the practices of indigenous peoples. But they are decontextualized from the world view and understanding which gave birth to them. So we may be wielding tools in a cavalier fashion without necessarily having the mindset required to use them insightfully. I think it can help the practice of permaculture greatly to realize that the way we have been taught to see is not the only way of seeing, that our description of the world is not the only valid description.
Terri wrote: One sticking point of permaculture is what works out in practice in one country may not in another: Japan comes to mind. My land will *NOT* grow rice using the same practices that the permaculure Japanese do, plain and simple. I expect that others have often found that a permaculture that works in one area might not in another.
A couple of basic principles of permaculture design-
1) All good design is site-specific 2) All good design begins with long and thoughtful observation
Knowing that your land does not necessarily share the same climate, soil, rain patterns, native plants and insects with Japan, there is no reason to believe that simply using the same practices that work in Japan will be of optimal benefit on your land.
This does not repudiate permaculture. This IS permaculture.
It is, perhaps, a repudiation of a "toolkit" approach without a foundation. And I think that for many, the toolkit approach is what permaculture has become.
Tools, for better or worse, are value-neutral. The final result is a measure of the vision and understanding of the tool-wielder, and the level of skill with which the tool-wielder employs the tools.
John Polk wrote: Perhaps I am cynical. Do we need a high tech device to create "art", or is that best left to artists? If I need a glass bowl, I can get one at K-Mart for $1.29
There is a story in the Zen tradition about a monk who, after prolonged meditation, and in an elevated state of consciousness, walked on water, all the way across the lake, back to the monastery. He rushed in to tell the master of his achievement.
The Master replied "You idiot! For ten yen you could have taken the ferry!"
South Carolina wrote: this is why I come to this forum. We all need to go live in Pauls' community and pool o And WORKING for food? Now there's a concept!
Ultimately we all work for food. Most of us do it through a weird token system involving green pieces of paper stamped with pictures of dead presidents. Some have become confused and mistaken the funny green paper for an end in itself.
OK, just listened to a talk in which one of the participants was saying that sustainable food production wasn't competitive with conventional agriculture.
And I came to a realization; Those who speak of sustainability as one of multiple viable options don't likely understand on a visceral level what sustainability actually means.
"UNsustainable" means that you cannot continue doing it in the long term, by definition. It doesn't mean you shouldn't, it doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice, it means you can't continue doing it in the long term.
And so an argument that an unsustainable practice produces a greater yield now should elicit a resounding "so what!" from those who are listening critically.
The metaphor I think of is this; If you and I are on the roof of the Empire State Building, and have a race to the bottom, you will win the race if you jump while I take the stairs. But only the first time. For the second and subsequent races, you will be a no-show. Because your approach was not sustainable.
That's what sustainability means. I don't think a lot of people get that. I think in the popular mind, "sustainable" is the new green, and green is the new black, so it's hip to be "sustainable," it's fashionable. Be sure to get it on your tee shirts and bumper stickers.
But the truth is, issues of sustainability are issues of life and death. And I personally am resolving not to be seduced into debates framed to consider sustainability as an option rather than a life-and-death necessity.
John Polk wrote: Rather than saying "...less reliant on others." I would say "...less reliant on strangers."
If/when the SHTF, if we are not part of a strong community, it could be a really tough go. One community working together can use a barter system (goods or labor/services) so that everybody's basic needs are provided for. Surplus could be traded to a neighboring community for commodities they held in surplus. If we do not have community, we are taking a step backwards to pre Cave Man days.
Yep. We know that ecosystems with limited resources favor mutualistic survival strategies. So we should expect that as the SHTF, mutualistic strategies will be key to our survival.
msellenk wrote: That what bothers me about (what I perceive anyway) the "survivalist" movement. You can't just have a lot of cool, shiny gear out in the woods and make it for any length of time. Going back thousands of years, people have banded together because there is strength, ability and efficiency in numbers.
But maybe the way I'm perceiving them is wrong
I know fer damn sure that I need - and want - community.
The idea that a survivalist in the sticks with his off-grid bastion fortified with solar cells, batteries and wind turbines, maybe with freeze-dried food laid up, is "self-sufficient" is almost funny. Because the survivalist didn't make any of that stuff, and is reliant on the oil culture to provide it for him. On close inspection, this brand of individualist self-sufficiency is perhaps the least self-sufficient.
Most people get, at least on a subconscious level, that we can't keep going on as we have been. But going on as we have been is actually all we know, and the idea that the rules will change on a fundamental level is terrifying.
I wonder to what degree this image of self-sufficiency isn't just another defense mechanism by which some of us live in denial of the hard realities to come. How different is "I'll just build myself a little off-grid fortress with a bunch of cool alternative energy gizmos and live happily ever after" from "free energy will make oil obsolete" or "I hear the Earth is making more oil and we have enough to last forever?"
So with 12 people there are 66 relationships. And with 20 people there are 190 relationships.
Consider relationships with just two people. Some have said that living in community is a lot like living in a marriage with many people. So let's add in to this mix that the current US divorce rate is over 50%. And, further, let's work in that before getting married, most people have several intimate relationships with the potential to be "the one" before moving to the next relationship. So maybe we can count those as relationships that didn't work out. And then there are relationships that were never to be intimate, but always platonic. And some of those last and most of those don't.
A consensus based system depends on all relationships being healthy. In other words, it is fragile. I think that when pulling community together it is wise to come up with systems that are durable.
Just a line of thought ....
It is more complicated and more simple than that.
Because not all relationships are one-to-one. Some are one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many, having to do with family groups, cliques, ideologies, competing bases, etc.
That's the complicated part.
Here's the simple part. Some people get it, some people don't, but effective community organizers almost always get it. It's simply this; We don't have to personally like other people in order to work with them towards a common goal.
One of the things I like about basic permaculture ethics as a litmus test of who I can work with is that it casts a net which is both broad and strong, and the end result is that I sometimes find myself working with people who are totally unexpected.
So the math that mitigates the fragility is this; Our willingness to work with people whom we personally don't like is proportional to our commitment to shared goals.
I attended one of Diana Leaf Christian's workshops several years ago, and one of the things I took away from it is that an intentional community often will sink or swim to the degree that the purpose of the community and the rules of the community have been clearly formulated, agreed upon, reduced to writing.
This is one of the prerequisites for a smoother consensus process, because you no longer have to debate each idea as if it were in a vacuum; If the proposal is outside the declared purpose of the community or in violation of its rules, it's a non-starter, no further debate needed. Doesn't mean your idea is a bad one, just that it is outside the community's principles of unity and not something the community needs to come together around.
There are a couple of other rules that simplify consensus.
1). The proposal should get only the attention which it merits. If your talking about the color of the placemats in the dining area, and it's an hour long discussion,it's time to get priorities right.
2). Proposals have stakeholders. And those stakeholders are those, generally, who will be the ones getting sweaty implementing the proposal, as well as those immediately and meaningfully impacted by the results. If you belong to neither of these groups, dummy up unless you simply have a helpful suggestion as to how the stakeholders can implement their decision.
Emerson White wrote: In the era where you can buy a mile worth of rope for a weeks wages I don't think receiving it would have the same impact.
It's the principle.
Up until a few years ago, it was common here for young men convicted of petty offenses to be sentence to community service - splitting firewood for the elderly in the community. Not strictly restorative justice, since they weren't necessarily splitting wood for the people they wronged, but it was a step in the direction of restorative justice, as it brought them back, arguably, into relationship with the community.
H Ludi Tyler wrote: I'm not so sure. I think if one really wanted to one could wander off into a national forest and live for a good long while without anyone knowing about it. I used to backpack and camp in the Angeles Forest north of Los Angeles and never saw another human besides the rangers at the station. There are vast areas of North America with few inhabitants where one could live as a mountain man and Big Brother could care less.
Rule #1: Don't flounce.
AFAIK, even the mountain men were not generally living lives of pure individualist self-sufficiency. They were mostly trappers who trafficked in furs; they interacted with the world of commerce, and purchased commodities such as flour, beans, bullets and gunpowder.
I wish I knew how to do this with my small herd of sheep. But making small paddocks and providing water seems difficult and expensive....
Dan Flitner at the Hobo Ranch in Maes, NM http://hoboranches.com/ does this with great success. His species diversity has increased dramatically and the area's hydrology has improved. IIRC Dan uses portable electric fence to manage his intensive rotational grazing.
Dan is a cattle rancher, not a sheep rancher, but I know Dan and I feel confident that if you give him a call he would be glad to talk with you about how he manages his herd.
The Quivira coalition http://quiviracoalition.org/ also can likely steer you to a resource for how to manage intensive rotational grazing of sheep.
BarefootJoe wrote: Is there a good amount of plants that will grow there without irrigation? I am just looking for a cheap startup and don't have the funds to spend on a project as that.
Hi, Joe - whereabouts in New Mexico are you looking to settle?
This is an important question.
New Mexico ecosystems and climate vary from low desert, to high desert, prairie, juniper-pinon forest, to ponderosa forest. Some areas are mild in the winter, blistering in the summer. Others have relatively mild summers with winter lows in the -20 range. If you go by climate zone numbers, we likely range from 4 to 11. Geographically, we have mountains as well as prairies and desert basin, and you might be near sea level or at 8,000 feet elevation. Soils range from desert sand to clay.
So our suggestions about how to grow in New Mexico may not be that helpful unless you can point us to a specific area, climate, geography, etc.
BarefootJoe wrote: I was thinking about the mulch situation. I could run an add or something of the sort in a newspaper that says I'll take any mulch, hay, biomass, and lawn clippings for no charge. That may bring in some free materials to work with.
Is there any good books about irrigation with permaculture? Is Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond good for this subject?
Joe, it all depends on where in New Mexico. The land ranges from Sonoran desert basin to Ponderosa forests to the vast expanses of the great plains.
You can get really cheap land if you look. But it won't likely be great land.
What it will likely be, depending on where, is baked desert, badly overgrazed prairie land with erosional issues, land atop a mesa or on a rocky slope, etc., mostly in the middle of nowhere.
I walked a property with a friend of mine several years ago, several miles outside of Watrous, NM. It was representative of the land you can get here for cheap. $70,000 for 140 acres, far from anything, rolling plains that were severely overgrazed ranchland. The topsoil was long gone, very little grew there except mangy scabs of blue grama.
The deal fell through, or I might have gone for it, figuring that for that kind of money I could afford to get an acre or two productive and improve the rest as time allowed. But it would take a helluva lot of work and know-how.
I would strongly recommend that if you decide to buy in NM, you really know the ins and outs of the land you're buying, the community you're getting involved with, the water issues, and what your plan is to make the land productive.
H Ludi Tyler wrote: I also live in an area which used to be at least partially dependent on fire for the prairie ecosystem. Very little prairie remains as juniper brush grew up when the fires were stopped. Now these brush areas are considered extremely vulnerable to fires and as this region dries out due to global warming, we can expect many more large hot fires.
A second missing element in current US prairie ecosystems is the American bison. An ecologist north of here has a herd on his preserve and has been studying them. They tend to uproot yucca and small juniper with their horns and just flatten bigger juniper by using them as rubbing posts.