I am getting ready to sell my house. That book would be a great help in selecting a new location. I want start permaculture as soon as I purchase a new propriety. I have been collecting ideas using permies.com and youtube.com. Any resources would be a great help to my family.
Even if I don't win a copy of the book. What should I be looking for when purchasing a propriety? I was thinking of taking some earth core samples to make sure there is a good clay content on the prospective land. I want to get a well or running water. I am not sure where we will end up. I am looking on the web for prospective land sites.
Yes, folks often go out and buy somewhere & then ask for a design, which is really the wrong way around, so good to start designing now.
So much depends on what you want to do on the land - what degree of food security you want - how much time you have to garden etc. Too much land & you'll just be doing heaps of work maintaining it. So you need to decide that first. Clay is useful though, both for water harvesting and as the basis for a good fertile soil.
I'd also be looking at the area and the availability of local food as my current teaching lifestyle means I'm away from home a lot and don't always find it easy to grow the more usual annuals we all like so much. It really shows the value of perennials though! My main criteria when finding this place was a local water source (we have good springs in the village) and being in a steep enough sided valley to be out of cellphone tower range - perhaps the opposite of what most look for I know. Also having a south / south west facing slope (slope is always useful for moving water) and trees nearby (both for biodiversity and as an emergency fuel supply) were all on my list and we have them here. With being on a small crowded island (Britain) these things aren't always so easy to find - especially without a whole heap of money to pay for them with.
Having good people around you is going to be one of the most important things I think and to invest in your own knowledge, which you are clearly doing. I feel so much more secure knowing that I could forage for food if I needed to, than having a fully stocked garden that I could lose at any moment.
And wherever you end up there will be great things and those you would change, and you'll learn the most from the things that challenge you.