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Assesing a property for a permaculture demonstration site

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My Goals:

- Create a "demonstration site" of regenerative agriculture, where a small group
can fullfill its needs and even sell surplus from a small market garden (1000m² - 2000m²) and perennials
without depleting the system
- Have a series of ponds on the slope, creating habitat for endangered species (like Astacus astacus),
while also having potential for respectfull harvest. At least one pond should be dediacted
for human recreational usage (swimming). Being able to raise salmonids is a plus.
- Generally enjoying a warm microclimate that is also inviting during the colder seasons
- Grow a small amount of Zone 10 perenials, with only having to shelter them during extreme winters.

Now that goals have been stated, there is one property that seems to me it could be
used to reach my goals, however i need your experience to point me towards red flags etc.

Climatic Data:
Avergae first frost: Nov. 21 - Nov. 30
Average last frost: Apr. 1 - Apr. 10
USDA Hardniess zone 7b
Köppen Climate Classification Cfb (but Dfb is only a few kilometres to the east, and Cfa is few kilmetres to the west)

For more details on the climate see:


The property is mainly on a south facing slope, including the valley-bottom
and a part of the opposing north facing slope.

Two small creeks combine into one small creek on the property.
The creek(s) have a drop of about 1-2 meters during their passage through the property.

One well is installed on the property, i was told its 10 metres deep, with a water level of 5 metres.

Some puddles form along flater portions of the slope, indicating that soil can be used for ponds.

There is a public mud road on the eastern border of the property,
it has deep gullies from the tires of the big forersty machinery that uses it,
and goes almost directly down the slope.

The public road above the property, is also mud, but in better shape,
as it is not soo steep. Also this one has a ditch, that could be tapped for water harvesting.

Contour lines are taken from the wonderful website contourmapgenerator.com .
This picture shows the property with approximated boundaries of the property (slim red line).
The slim black line is just for scale.
Lowest elevation is 231m, highest is 250m.
Height difference betwen lines is 1 metre.

Here you have a wider context of the property, heightlines are 2 metres apart.

Here is a picture that shows the creeks on the property and the location of the well:

Finally a picture of the surrounding water features,
the area seems to be very water rich.
The bigger stream in the middle of the picture is the "Petrinja" which flows into the dunav later.

Most of the houses surrounding the property are abandoned,
so there might be potential for some sort of eco-village in the future.

There is a big house in the northernmost part of the property,
and a smaller house that is a bit lower down the slope.
From my amateur knowledge i would assume that the smaller houseshould be in the thermic shelterbelt.
Could this be correct?

The smaller house is surrounded by an abondoned orchard, that
has grown so dense, that the house is not visible anymore (only on sattelite).

The wieder area is known for is chestnut forests.

Currently the property is used by a neighour for grazing cattle.
Also some hunters like to shot wild boars there.

My Plan:
(ok, can't call it a plan, more like an idea)

I REALLY anticipate to make Holzer-Style ponds, however i lack the knowledge and skills to do so (yet).
If feasable i would like to do beaver-dams on the existing creek, to saturate
the soil.

I would terrace some parts of the property, of which 1000-2000m² would be for the market garden.

The northern house seems ok-ish, so i would make minimal repairs to it,
but concetrate long-term efforts on the lower house, as it has more potential
for using gravity fed water and it seems to be in the thermal belt.

Out of the existing orchard i would "carve out" a food forest,
and as chestnuts really do good there, i would make sure to plant a some of those.

Some fruit trees would be planted on the northern slope to be more resilient to late frost.

My concerns:

As aformentioned there is a well, so there is groundwater.
So my biggest conern is that when cutting terraces , also cutting
into the groundwater, effectively draining the property.

My other concern is related to this, namely that i could produce a landslide.

So when going into earthworks i either have to significantly ramp up my skills or hire someone.

But currently i would appreciate any thoughts on whether my acualt goals can be met with this property.
I have been looking at properties for over a year now, and this one has the best gut-feeling.

So if you see ANY red flags here, please don't hestiate to speak up!

Thank you very munch in advance!
[Thumbnail for contour_zoomed_with-property-line.png]
[Thumbnail for surrounding-waterflows.png]
[Thumbnail for wider_area_2m_heigthlines.png]
[Thumbnail for with-creek.png]
R. Han
Posts: 203
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I visited the site in April this year, after some rainfall,
so here are some more pictures.
[Thumbnail for creek-with-erosio-gully-from-nothern-slope.jpg]
[Thumbnail for creek.jpg]
[Thumbnail for Downslope-view-south-east.jpg]
[Thumbnail for erosive-road-east-of-property.jpg]
[Thumbnail for evidence-of-wild-boar-activity.jpg]
[Thumbnail for puddle-indicating-suitability-for-ponds.jpg]
Posts: 638
Location: Chicago
dog forest garden fish foraging urban cooking food preservation bike
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It is a beautiful property.
Posts: 3
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Am tom from Kitgum Uganda. I have a 75 acres of land and plan starting a permaculture community demonstration farm in the land. I am looking for permies to partner with and make this a reality. If you interested please connect with me on email olatomlakere2020@gmail.com and we discuss more
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