• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Steve Thorn

What can/should I do with my new land?

 
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been reading and researching everything I can in this forum and others concerning developing and farming some vacant land. I have recently acquired 20 acres of RC land, and almost 10 acres of RL land in San Bernardino county in the Barstow CA area and am hoping I can turn this raw land into something deemed appropriate for my personal interests.

My plan is to develop the land to grow suitable trees and crops and use is recreationally with a trailer at times. With long term goals of Agritourism enterprises aimed at education and sustainability with possibly a produce stand of some sort or variety.

As it looks the RC land is not large enough to do anything with because the
Agricultural and Resource Management Land Use Zoning District Minimum Lot Size states the minimum for RC land is 40 acres.

But the Allowed Land Uses and Permit Requirements for Agricultural and Resource Management Land Use Zoning District states that Crop production, horticulture, orchard, vineyard is an Allowed use without a permit.

I have tried to contact the county for help and advice but have not been able to reach them by phone and eventually my calls, assuming hold time, were disconnected.

Does anyone have similar experiences with the RC designation? If so what are your experiences and/or recommendations? I also looked into the CAL earth bags and it doesn't seem to be county approved anymore.  


 
gardener
Posts: 3616
Location: Southern Illinois
679
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Marie,

Congratulations on the new land!  I would love to offer some thoughts, but could you please explain what RC and RL land is?  Also, could you describe the land?  Is it dry? Wooded?  Clear?  Flat or rolling?  You get the idea.  

I look forward to your response.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3616
Location: Southern Illinois
679
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, so I just looked up Barstow on Google Earth and found the general area to familiarize myself a bit.  I guess the first concern I would have is the water situation.  The area looks pretty dry and has little vegetation.  Is there any access to water?  What plants will grow in your climate zone?  I know the drought makes water a thorny issue at the moment, but maybe you can find some water efficient cover crops to start building soil.

I like the idea of grapes and maybe even some trees for food and shade, but personally I would have to weigh this against the availability of water.

At any rate, I am still interested in your more detailed description of your land.

Eric
 
Marie Durante
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:Ok, so I just looked up Barstow on Google Earth and found the general area to familiarize myself a bit.  I guess the first concern I would have is the water situation.  The area looks pretty dry and has little vegetation.  Is there any access to water?  What plants will grow in your climate zone?  I know the drought makes water a thorny issue at the moment, but maybe you can find some water efficient cover crops to start building soil.

I like the idea of grapes and maybe even some trees for food and shade, but personally I would have to weigh this against the availability of water.

At any rate, I am still interested in your more detailed description of your land.

Eric



The zones are respectively 8.  I plan on starting off with growing food and crops I enjoy.  I do like grapes and that was on my list.  Out of the 3 parcels I am confident 2 will be able to have a well. I would like to grow plants and trees for shade and that limit erosion of soil.  I was thinking about grapes, mesquite, figs, pomegranates, jujube, and possibly persimmons to start.  I like your idea of cover crops.  I was also reading up on a method to plant trees that involves an above ground large planter to keep the critters away.  But might think about the digging a ring around and using the desert containers to utilize the water in the air.   The biggest issue is the zoning.  It seems like unless there is a residential structure on the land- nothing can be used.  The code pertains to accessory uses- but only as an accessory to an existing residential structure.   Just didn't know if anyone had any advice or short cuts around the zoning because it seems like I can't do anything at this point.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3616
Location: Southern Illinois
679
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wish I could help you on codes—I barely understand the codes by me.  I still don’t know what RL and RC land is, nor how that affects what you plant.  I wish I could help there.

Are the land parcels contiguous or are they completely separate?

Good that you can get a well on the land.  I have used drip irrigation with good success before I discovered wood chips.  In your environment, drip irrigation might be advisable, at least at first.  Maybe wood chips can be made to work for you but getting them is likely more difficult than mine—mine simply grow along a fence line.  If you do use a drip line, my suggestion would be to bury it.

I can probably think of a few other ideas, but I would need your feedback first.

Eric
 
Marie Durante
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:I wish I could help you on codes—I barely understand the codes by me.  I still don’t know what RL and RC land is, nor how that affects what you plant.  I wish I could help there.

Are the land parcels contiguous or are they completely separate?

Good that you can get a well on the land.  I have used drip irrigation with good success before I discovered wood chips.  In your environment, drip irrigation might be advisable, at least at first.  Maybe wood chips can be made to work for you but getting them is likely more difficult than mine—mine simply grow along a fence line.  If you do use a drip line, my suggestion would be to bury it.

I can probably think of a few other ideas, but I would need your feedback first.

Eric



3 separate parcels. 20 AC, 10, and 6.  Resource Conservation has open uses for recreation, single residence on large lots, and some agriculture.  Rural Land is similar. First in order is to see about a well and a fence. I already have a local witcher friend who wants tell me the best place for a well.  I didn't see too many deals on materials and I hear the cost of materials is high.  
I am thinking about utilizing the 6 acre parcel first because although the other two are not that far off the dirt road- they are miles from anyone else.  The 6 acre Helendale CA property has a few families stretched out (about 6-20 acres apart and very dispersed) that use the place for recreation.  Another young couple seem to be trying to homestead would be my neighbors.  They seem to be concerned and knowledgable about what is going on and want to keep shooting and trouble with the grow farms away. I would like to initially use the property for "recreation" so I can have a camper there and plant desert plants and grow a variety of fruit trees that I enjoy. Possibly raise a few chickens or a turkey. I saw the turkey chicks at the feed store and I resisted.

As far as the well- in a fairly squarish lot is there any section that is better fitted for a well and pump if given the choice?

For shade I was thinking of cementing some 8-12 foot poles in the ground and using pipe or 4 inch treated wood with some type of sail shade in some areas.  But the wind out here can be something fierce.

I also want to get some type of all-around versatile tractor/bobcat/crawler that could aid in the moving of dirt, rocks, lifting and moving of various things that can have attachments such as a an auger. This is all new to me- but I want to know what I should be looking for in case I come across it.  

Yes I was thinking of the drip irrigation and initially doing this by filling up very large barrels for water and having a very slow drip system working. From my experience in gardening in the past- wood chips seemed to not help plants grow but offered some protection when plants and trees became a little mature.  Maybe I was using treated mulch- I don't know.  The is composed of loose sand.  I am going to need to start reading how to get soil to take.  

 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3616
Location: Southern Illinois
679
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So it sounds like the 6 acre parcel is your starting point.  This is actually a good thing as you get to start small and work up in size.  

Regarding the well, assuming that any place on the property is equally suitable for drilling, I would want to situate the well near the house/home/dwelling/etc. and the gardens or plantings you want to start with.  I eventually ran thousands of feet of tubing to get to various garden beds, berry bushes and trees in a mini orchard I planted.  Drip systems can be expanded easily.  My experience is that they work best buried and your sandy soil should make burial relatively easy.

Regarding the sandy soil, it sounds like you might need to amend the soil a bit to augment that sand.  Good shredded up wood chips can make a great soil amendment but I live in a much wetter climate than you and wood chips in your area might take much longer to break down.  If you can get your hands on it, compost is great.  So are leaf clippings, but again, these would have to be already available.  Worm castings can make a big difference but you probably need to pay for them unless you make your own.  Don’t rule out coffee grounds.

I completely agree with you about the tractor.  Even a small subcompact tractor will serve you well, doing oversized tasks that would be either difficult or impossible to do without.  If you want to start small, consider just about any brand in the 23-25ish hp range.  I had a 24hp JD2305 for 13 years before I sold it to my neighbor who loves it.  I traded up to a 37 hp JD 2038r which will be my final tractor.

Maybe the wind is your biggest challenge.  Can you plant a windbreak?  BTW, I am thinking that your idea of planting some native drought resistant perineal plants is great.

These are just some rambling thoughts, take them for what you will.

Eric
 
Posts: 131
10
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't underestimate the value of wood chips.  They will protect your soil from the sun, keeping temperatures down.  They also help the soil hold onto water like nothing else.  They also provide a habitat for all the little microorganisms that will eventually build your soil.  If you have access to them, use them as a ground cover.  You cannot plant directly in wood chips.  You only need to assure that the plant root can enter the soil.
 
Beauty is in the eye of the tiny ad.
The Wheaton Eco Scale
https://permies.com/t/scale
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic