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Planning for Future Homestead  RSS feed

 
Posts: 24
Location: Southwest Florida, Zone 10a, Elevation 12ft, 52in precipitation, tropical wet and dry savanna type
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Hello,

My wife and I will soon be purchasing approximately 20 acres in Collier County, FL which is in Zone 10b. We live less than an hour away and will not be moving to the land immediately. I am trying to get some ideas on what to start working on first. I guess a bit of an outline of our goals and the situation is in order.

Situation:
Sandy, nutrient poor, quickly draining soil
Land is very nearly flat with slash pine, saw palmettos, cabbage palms and associated minor flora/fauna
Access to the land is pretty good as there is a cleared spot in the front (NW) corner, a trail that runs diagonal SW to NE, and complete access to the perimeter.
we will eventually build a small cabin or 2 to live in permanently
we will work off-stead (jobs) as usual, I don't have a problem with bringing in outside resources that others are throwing away

Goals:
We want to create a fully self sustaining off-grid permaculture homestead
ponds and a small lake
Hugelculture beds
aquaculture
very diverse farm animals utilizing rotational grazing
have a surplus to sell, trade, gift, teach

We plan to buy soon, but I am trying to figure what I should do first. Should I plan and build the hugelculture beds to get them started, dig the ponds and lake, scatter dynamic accumulators and green manures?
I suppose a PDC would help, but I can't seem to find one in my area.

Any comments, suggestions, and critiques are appreciated!
 
pollinator
Posts: 10114
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
278
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I learned a lot and was inspired by looking at the map and tour of geoff lawton's farm Zaytuna, on which he dug a bunch of swales and ponds. During the tour video he mentions their soil was sandy but they were able to turn it into rich dark loam over the course of several years. I find the map especially helpful in seeing how the earthworks, ponds and other features relate to each other. http://permaculture.org.au/2012/06/01/zaytuna-farm-video-tour-apr-may-2012-ten-years-of-revolutionary-design/#more-7542
 
C Hopper
Posts: 24
Location: Southwest Florida, Zone 10a, Elevation 12ft, 52in precipitation, tropical wet and dry savanna type
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Tyler thanks for the link! I look forward to spending many hours looking at the map and propery details while I should be working, lol.
 
Posts: 28
Location: Utah
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This photo was something that caught my eye long ago and after reading your post I thought it may give you some ideas.

I used to live in that part of Florida many years back and see some definite advantages to your location and this concept.

#1 Straw Bale Homes offer superior insulation to heat (R-58+) and in Florida heat that can make a huge difference in cooling and a modified version of the Swamp Cooler can run off solar power very efficiently and maintain a comfortable inside temperature. Another advantage to this design is circular homes vs. the conventional box offer much better stability in high winds (such as a hurricane) not to mention the durability of the exterior earthen or stucco finish. The one thing to keep in mind in Florida however due to the sanding ground is to make your footing deep to counteract for wind lift and all around stability.

#2 Since the area your in will no doubt be prone to flooding at one time or another due to heavy rain this concept would also be beneficial like many existing stilt homes in Florida to counter that flash flooding possibilities and if captured a barrier to hold in the water (like a huge pond below the structure(s) would give you a awesome Aquaculture pond or Aquaponics base tank with grow beds lining the exterior of the pond.

#3 It is unique and appealing to the eye making tours, teaching seminars and other income avenues readily available.
(Example: Lets say you had 8 modest cabins in a hexagon layout *1 Your Home #2 Workshop #3 Meeting Room / Seminar Hall #4 Small scale DYI Aquaponics, Hydroponics and Various Gardening Exibits #5-6-7-8 Rented Cabins for Retreat or Vacation)

#4 Divide the pond into 3 sections and raise Catfish, Yellow Perch and Tilapia (All Top Choices For Aquaponics Gardening Nutrients) and market the fish or allow cabin renters to eat what they catch (These Varieties Offer A Wide Taste Range)

#5 If you added a umbrella shaped cover (Just the spines not the fabric) over the structure is would also provide a semi shaded area for comfort and mounting rain gutters to the exoskeleton of the cover would allow you to harvest rainwater regularly for animals you raise and a backup supply of untainted water should the ground well water have high volumes of iron or calcium (something all of Florida contends with requiring extravagant filtering and softening systems)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thinking-Outside-The-Box/330603263682894?ref=hl <-- Visit my FB site for some free ideas and photos of systems you could incorporate in your new homestead
one-degree-seperation.jpg
[Thumbnail for one-degree-seperation.jpg]
One degree seperation photo
 
Posts: 2
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This might be too late - have you already bought the land?
My only question would be how long do you intend to live there? Three feet above sea level might start to get problems (sea water in the aquifers) very soon.
 
Mark Phillips
Posts: 28
Location: Utah
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That is where solar desalinization / distilling will become very popular.
 
C Hopper
Posts: 24
Location: Southwest Florida, Zone 10a, Elevation 12ft, 52in precipitation, tropical wet and dry savanna type
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Tiberiu Doman wrote:
My only question would be how long do you intend to live there? Three feet above sea level might start to get problems (sea water in the aquifers) very soon.



I have not purchased the land yet. I believe the actual elevation is between 12 and 13ft in the area I'm looking. By the time sea level rises that high I think my great grandkids will have time to migrate...
 
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