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Suburbia to Sustainability - Going the whole 9 yards - Assistance and input pls

Posts: 86
Location: Durham region - Ontario, Canada - Zone 5
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My family and I are just NE of Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5ish). We currently inhabit your typical suburban house, though I do like to garden, so there is permie influence already afoot.

We've seriously caught the permaculture disease and are making plans to buy property and build. We have a bit of theoretical knowledge, but no 'real' experience. Where I'm going with this post is that I'd really like to draw on your collective research, wisdom and experiences to help move this project in the right direction.

Our current timeline for the jump is <2yrs, Spring of 2013 ideally.

What we want to do - build a sustainable lifestyle that feeds our family and helps to regenerate the planet through multiple means. The intention is to end up with a well designed home and property that requires little in the way of inputs.

Ultimately, founding a PRI Ontario could be a goal.

I'm currently fixated on the house and what concepts and technologies to use. Current thoughts are:

  • [li]Compost toilets[/li]
    [li]Rainwater harvesting, 100% household supply is the goal[/li]
    [li]RHM, if required[/li]
    [li]High Thermal Mass home[/li]
    [li]Earth Tubes[/li]
    [li]Natural materials/finishes, etc.[/li]
    [li]Temperate Food Forest[/li]
    [li]Aquaponics & Chinampas - Holzer/low input ponds[/li]

  • We are currently searching for:

  • [li]Land, so if you're in the area and have thoughts where/how to look...[/li]
    [li]Creative ideas for financing the land. [/li]
    [li]Thoughts on using a consolidated earth technology (Rammed, CEB earth block, etc)  to construct our home. Perhaps some hybrid with strawbales. We will have to conform to code.[/li]
    [li]Any good links, resources, indispensable books, people to speak with, cautions, warnings, etc. ALL appreciated.[/li]

  • If you've done this sort of thing or are doing it now, we'd love to hear from you. Please, I suspect most of you are planning the same sort of thing, to one degree or another. Feel free to make this thread a repository.

    Sorry for the length, I've cut a lot of details to try not to scare people away.

    Thank you,

    I will be establishing a blog at www.permacultureontario.org shortly, please check it out.

    Posts: 32
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    Check out Mike Reynolds stuff:





    Here's a pic of the greywater planter in the integrated full length south facing greenhouse
    Posts: 631
    Location: NW MO
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    Sometimes remote land without utilities is cheaper to buy. With all the pains that people go through here, to get new ideas technology past a permit/inspection process, land without zoning or restrictions seems to be ideal.
    Ed Johnson
    Posts: 86
    Location: Durham region - Ontario, Canada - Zone 5
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    Thanks Rover.

    Ronie - definitely true, however both my wife and I have no plans of leaving our jobs and don't want to commute more than 20-40min. This restricts our scope somewhat.  Thanks though.
    Posts: 92
    Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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    There are some permaculture farms out there right now. Lindsay and Peterborough, see info on the boards here.

    Why not go take a tour and perhaps lend a hand, that way you learn and they get some help?
    I can't renounce my name. It's on all my stationery! And hinted in this tiny ad:
    Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
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