My husband and I along with our 3 young children are currently in escrow on a small piece of land (40 acres) with a home that the previous owner built from scratch out of reclaimed lumber and other supplies. It is off grid and we are interested in permaculture for our new home.
We will be just under a mile from our nearest neighbor, 5 miles from the nearest paved road, more than 19 miles to the nearest "general store", and 77 miles to the nearest WalMart.... all this in Northern California!
While the home is off grid it has running water (from a well not a creek) the house is wired for electricity and relies on a gas generator (something we will be trying to eliminate over the next few years) However it also has gas lights, a propane fridge, and other alternative sources of traditional utilities. There is a traditional septic tank and leech line. Satellite gifts us with internet.
We would like to be fully self supporting (power, water, and food) in the next 5 years or so. I am hoping to glean information that will be benefit our family in this new endeavor and perhaps share things we discover works for us.
The current owner has several greenhouses that we will utilize this coming year as we map out how we can create the best synergy between us and the land. Trees, if Juniper count, we have a plenty There are also the odd Aspen dispersed through the property. Of course the main yield from the land is Sage Brush. Lots and lots of sage with several varieties represented.
I will be using the long winter months to research the different trees that will grow and benefit our land. We have an amazing little area that is a runoffpond for a couple of months out of the year. We are looking at setting up a rainwater retrieval system in that area. I am told (and will keep reading to learn more) that going just a bit south of there we would be able to plant more trees that would aid in the water gathering. Eventually it is our goal that this be the primary source of all our water needs.
This is all brand new to me (although my husband has lived off grid off and on for over 30 years)
I grew up with a 60's flower child Mom who took a 1 acre parcel and had chickens, goats, rabbits and a garden. Her own little corner of Mother Earth. She had dreamed of living off the land and had all the awesome magazines (like Mother Earth News). We were not at all isolated and although our little public school only had 300 kids in k-8 just 10 miles away was "town" where there were 4 public schools serving over a 1000 students. So I do have some background in rural living and animal husbandry.