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Homestead layout consultation

 
Posts: 8
Location: Poland - Zone 6
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Hey,

I have developed the proposed layout for my homestead and I'm happy to take comments on it. The PDF is here - I hope it clearly communicates the idea I have in my mind.

Some info about the location. The land is located in South-East Poland (Zone 6) and the area of it  2 acres or 0.8 hectare (40m x 200m or 130ft x 650ft). This part of country is highlands and the altitude of the parcel is ~500m (1640ft) above sea level. The parcel is located on the downhill towards South-West with slopes varying between 10 to 20%. The prevailing wind is from the West but there are also warm, dry and strong winds from South-East and South-West. There are forests on the North, West and South-West as shown on the attachment with aerial imagery - my land is where the yellow tick is.

The homestead is meant for 4 people family and there is also plan for two apartments for rent, sort of agrotourism.

My two concerns at the moment are as follows:
1) Wind protection for house and crops
2) I think about adding a pond but due to the nature of this parcel it will involve extensive earthworks so the question is is the game worth the candle?

Any comments/thoughts/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Krzysztof
aerial-imagery.JPG
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master steward
Posts: 10043
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I'm not well-versed enough to be able to give input on such a large scale, but hopefully someone else is! Here's a BUMP to the top of Recent Topics in hopes that someone else will spot it and be able to help!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1070
Location: Victoria BC
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I may not be well versed enough either but that's never stopped me before!

Will try and dig into this more tomorrow. A few questions off the top of my head..

Do you have a wind rose? (Diagram kind of like a compass showing directions and speeds of prevailing winds)

What is the soil/subsoil like? Ie, will your pond hold water if you dig it? And, are the gardens sited to use the best soil, or is it all about the same and thus they could go elsewhere?

Livestock are assigned an area; what livestock? Will they be grazing in zone 4? What will the fencing situation be?

Access track down the side of property is a right of way? Or is this design a section of a larger property..?

The beehives are a long ways off! You don't want them closer to better assist with pollination? Is there an allergy in play?
 
Krzysztof Kolumb
Posts: 8
Location: Poland - Zone 6
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Dillon Nichols wrote:I may not be well versed enough either but that's never stopped me before!

Will try and dig into this more tomorrow. A few questions off the top of my head..

Do you have a wind rose? (Diagram kind of like a compass showing directions and speeds of prevailing winds)

What is the soil/subsoil like? Ie, will your pond hold water if you dig it? And, are the gardens sited to use the best soil, or is it all about the same and thus they could go elsewhere?

Livestock are assigned an area; what livestock? Will they be grazing in zone 4? What will the fencing situation be?

Access track down the side of property is a right of way? Or is this design a section of a larger property..?

The beehives are a long ways off! You don't want them closer to better assist with pollination? Is there an allergy in play?



Thanks Dillon for looking at this.

Wind rose. I found a website - meteoblue.com where I can get lots of records but they ask for 100 euros for one location... Is it worth?

Soil/subsoil. Well, nothing exciting, heavy clay! The water level is quite high especially in spring. Last year I drill a borehole to ~0.9m (~3ft) and after a while there was water at the bottom. I did some soil tests, pH is of 5,2 (HCl) and the soil is poor in both phosphorus and potassium but rich in magnesium. The zone 3 was tilled last autumn and left for winter for the frost to break up the clay a bit and in spring I plan to plant blue lupin there. I won't be tilling anymore. To answer your question, I'm sure the pond will hold the water.

Livestock. For the moment I think of hens and goats. For the moment I don't have plan what to use zone 4 for but if needed yes, goats can graze there. In terms of fencing, I'm thinking about living fence and have some species already on the list including osage orange. Need more research on what can grow on this poor soil. There is wildlife in the forest so I'm sure I will have visitors...

Access track. It is the right of way and there is an access track already in place which has unbound pavement.

Beehives. Yes, I'm aware it's a long way off but from what I was told bees don't like neither wind nor strong sun so I prefer to keep them in the forest for the beginning. When my orchard will be established, which will take some years, I will move them up

 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 1070
Location: Victoria BC
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Thanks for the added data. I like the overall plan.

I intend to have my summer kitchen on the north of the house for shade, and ease of accessing the inside kitchen. You're in a colder region, the first reason may not apply much. I also might not want it so close to the livestock.

No, I wouldn't spend 100 EU for meteoblue. Odd though, last time I used them the wind rose was included in the free portion.. are you able to quantify the wind strength further? How strong do you think the one year, 10 year, 50 year storms would be?

I have been on many farms where dealing with wind was a concern, a couple where it was very minor, and one where it was THE problem and needed to trump all other concerns due to the major damage it continually caused to crops, tree and (poorly conceived) structures...

I have used structures and trees as windbreaks, and been impressed at the importance of overlap. As in, a small break in the windbreak would serve as a funnel. I wonder if you will have this issue with southeast/southwest winds sneaking past the east and west ends of the orchard? I might curve the orchard around more, making a C shape around the livestock section..

Given that it should work, I would want a pond for sure... but where to put it for best use... would you use the pond water for crops/animals?

I like trees rather a lot, I would be trying to plant more.. some added depth in the orchard would allow the windward trees to shelter the higher priority trees, and increase the overall protection provided..

 
Krzysztof Kolumb
Posts: 8
Location: Poland - Zone 6
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Thanks.

I might consider kitchen on the north side as well because we have quite warm summers - temperature can easily go up to 25-30 C during the day. Global warming plays a role as well - read once an article saying Poland might be a wine producer in 20-30 years time.

As of storms, I can't find proper records on this but once or twice per year it might blow with speed of 160kph (100mph). That's the maximum for Poland rather than this region and usually the most affected are west and north. What meteoblue gives for free is only 2 weeks long history. What I will do I will keep saving the rose wind every 2 weeks. At the end of a year I will have decent data for windbreak planning...  

The blue rectangles on the PDF are water tanks to capture storm water for watering crops when needed. I thought of pond rather in terms of biodiversity.

Another aspect I haven't mentioned so far is wastewater treatment. For the moment there is no sewer system in the village (I was told it's planned in the coming years) so wastewater treatment is something I need to consider as well. For the moment I think of separating black water (cesspit) and gray water (biological treatment) and discharge treated water to a pond. Where to put a pond? If I was to have a pond and knowing it will involve intensive earthworks, I would dig it somewhere in zone 4?
 
Krzysztof Kolumb
Posts: 8
Location: Poland - Zone 6
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Dillon Nichols wrote:I may not be well versed enough either but that's never stopped me before!

Will try and dig into this more tomorrow. A few questions off the top of my head..

Do you have a wind rose? (Diagram kind of like a compass showing directions and speeds of prevailing winds)

What is the soil/subsoil like? Ie, will your pond hold water if you dig it? And, are the gardens sited to use the best soil, or is it all about the same and thus they could go elsewhere?

Livestock are assigned an area; what livestock? Will they be grazing in zone 4? What will the fencing situation be?

Access track down the side of property is a right of way? Or is this design a section of a larger property..?

The beehives are a long ways off! You don't want them closer to better assist with pollination? Is there an allergy in play?

 
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