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west texas homsteading  RSS feed

 
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hello my name is michael norris and i was curious if anyone was doing any homsteading in west texas? im real curious aboput it and how to obtain the land and what i need to do to start out thank you all !!!
 
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West Tex sound good BUt is any Colorado areas for campground makeing? How much land can one homestead?
 
michael norris
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i guess you can homstead as much as you can handle,,, you get to big you wont be able to do it unless you just turn your self into a comp[lete farm which mean s you would be making a very lucrative income
 
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Hi Michael,

As of November 2012 I will be taking up again where I left off, to develop a Permaculture-type homestead in the Trans-pecos region of West Texas, somewhat South of El Paso. I very much look forward to the challenge. I think the country is beautiful out there...beautiful and challenging....

--my name is Michael as well, and I have presently three properties which I fortuitously grabbed during the recent "West Texas Land buyup.." there are still some properties out there still and they come up often because people buy with romatic notions but when they encounter 110 degree temperatures in the Summertime and start cracking through the caliche beneath their feet, some people become a little less romantic.... but I am offering some interesting options which I will describe. First I should say that I began a Permaculture approach to one small property I own just SW of Midland Texas in 2003 and learned alot but also learned that some of my preconceptions were dead wrong...and the great wisdom from that was that just because a particular technique works in one place, does not guarantee success in another....but the universal concepts of swales, water catchment, appropriate species selection, mimmicking the habits of desert plants and animals, all are foundation concepts.

First I am offering a sort of competition which will allow someone a couple of acres of their own if they undertake to build a subterranian version of the Earthship with emphasis on maximum comfort and sustainability in all areas. Please write for details on that. I can be reached at mikeeeebx@yahoo.com if you are interested.

Secondly, I have really looked at a number of issues relating to bioremediation of a larger 23 acre property a couple of hours South of Midland. It has been a complicated journey to decide what to do out there, and though it is not a traditional Permaculture idea, I have decided that I would like to re-green it with a variety of desert plants from deserts around the globe, because the native flora I have projected can not come back..the causes are multiple, and in part politically-oriented to the region, but partly that the climate in that part of the world has changed radically over the last 200 years, the region is drying and heating and the trend is not abating, it seems to be increasing. Additionally, feral burros which are federally protected and other introduced large game species from North Africa prevent the start unattended greenery in that part of the world. Commerical boundaries and residential obstructions which promise only to increase and not diminish have disturbed the fragile grazing patterns of such native species as Western Antelope. However all is not lost, here are opportunities and eco-responsible ones as well, if the goals can be reimagined with some creativity.

I am presently interested in creating a double living fence of desert trees around the property and greening the interior chiefly with shade, mulch and fodder producing desert trees including African and Australian Acacias, Honey Locusts, Mimosas, Carobs, Jujube, Figs, Tagasate and a variety of hardy high-in-protein halophytes. This greenery will be used as a protected habitat to house breeding programs for threatened or delicate large vertebrate species. I have a belief that with the complicated environmental, water and economic issues facing the Trans-pecos region, that eco-tourism is the sustainable way of the future and landowners who would like to join together to emphasize this economic and environmental approach will be doing themselves and their neighbors a very good turn.

I could use an intern or 5 who would like to help me with stage 1 which is the greening of this property and the start of this liviing fence of desert trees. I am open to all sorts of compensation ideas, particularly those who are seeking their own land, but who are cash-poor. I could really use some assistance with this. I am able to show the properties I have discussed in Mid November and any weekend in December 2012 and would be willing to discuss a number of different arrangements. Permaculture, I do believe, is best as a team event......

Thanks for reading...Mike L.
 
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I grew up in Las Cruces...and one thing is for damn sure...your underground earthship is not going to flood from groundwater...lol.
 
Michael Littlejohn
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Righto, the up side to a constant drought is a dry basement....ML
 
michael norris
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wow michael you have certanly got it together!!! i was actually thinking about using shipping containers for a type of under-ground home like 3-4 of them welded together maybe theres 25 acres on ebay i was looking at but the only main to this i have a concern about is 911 emergency services and drilling a well for water i have seen many videos of earthship construction on youtube . anyway michael you are a very smart man and you have helped me quite a bit thank you!!!
 
Michael Littlejohn
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Hi Michael,

If you are after land I suggest LandCentral.com where I bought a property, they treated me fairly well and were good communicators. You know emergency services are something to content with..the region is huge and the roads sometimes very rough or non existant.....perhaps you need a couse in wilderness medicine, a defib. kit , some snakebite remedies and some butterfly ties, a copy of Where there is No Doctor, essentially a wilderness medicine kit. You did not say if you are alone or part of some community, perhaps you should get two or more people along with yourself to take a wilderness medicine course and form a sort of mutual aid society, to hold you over until a chopper or whatnot comes...PS there are lots of rattlers out there I am sure you know but there are inexpensive tradional remedies available for pennies that could save your leg from the predominantly hemotoxic effect of a rattler bite in an emergency...

I have seen shipping containers in urban areas as restaurants and boutique shops though never as a habitation but it sounds interesting.. you know about West Texas I am sure, I dont know if its the water or soil, is highly corrosive to iron...just a thought you may wish to seal the surface with some thing to prevent corrosion....I myself am very afraid of iron, West Texas weather is pretty predictable--except the lighting which can be fierce and fatal...I always worry about anything being a lighting rod....additionally, if you end up using an electric fence for any reason, a shipping container home may be problematic...electric fences need to be grounded 5 or 6 feet into the ground and the electricity travels in all directions...I dont want to be a nay-sayer...but if I can save you a major "oops" in your construction plans I am happy to do it.....we should stay in touch, Id love to know what you are going to cultivate out there...

All the best..Mike L.
 
Michael Littlejohn
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Afterthought--regarding water...I was planning on catching my rainwater as opposed to drilling. The water is chiefly brackish out there...it can be solar distilled, and it is also good for culitvating tilapia, channel catfish and shrimp with no treatment. But all three of my properties are less than 1/2 mile from a river in case of emergencies...if you havent bought property yet, make sure you see a satellite pic and look for a property that is su greener than the surroudning properties preferably with a cliffside adjacient...that is a natural water slide that will flush rainwater down into your property..it may only be feeding creosote bushes and mesquites for the moment (I am a fan of Mesquites) but its a sure indication that you are getting extra rainwater....you can sometimes even see individual bushes and trees if the satellite image is good.... Mike L
 
Michael Littlejohn
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Hi to all---

82 days to go until I return to my little/big homestead in SW Texas!!! I have recently decided to consolidate all my activities in Presidio County. As such I think I will be selling those properties in Reeves County quickly as I am able: (near the town of Pecos and the river by the same name.) I have two 5 acre properties, offering for a flat fee of $2500 each. You may like having the river nearby for your recreational use. Easy terms if you want to do $100 a month NO INTEREST. I would also add a standing offer to get you started with w seedlings and starts of whatever life forms grow on my property. (My place is about 2.5 hours South). My somewhat large and sprawling project will feature alot of dry-land fodders for what I hope will eventually be a livestock operation. Tagaste, African Acacias, Mesquites, New World Acacias, Honey Locusts, Kochia and Atriplex to just name a few.....You are also welcome to visit to check out my projects as they develop as models for what to do (and not to do) in this very challenging but fascinating part of the world. PS I can show properties in mid November if you are interested and there are hotel accomodations just 35 minutes away in Pecos. Thanks..Mike
 
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I may be interested in this also. Will be back after work.
 
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