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Homesteading in north central Nevada?  RSS feed

 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 713
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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I am always on the lookout for inexpensive land as it relates to homesteading, permaculture and the like. I am constantly browsing real estate sites to see what is available, for how much and where.
I ran across some property in north central nevada for what seems like a decent deal.
its 640 acres for $70k - that is about 1 square mile
it is close to battle mountain, nv, which is 85 miles west of Elko.
here is a bit more info on battle mountain:
Elevation 4,511 ft.
Avg. Ann. Precip. 8.77 in
Average Yearly Temp. High 68 Low 33
as you can see there is not much precip, but we all know that permaculture can help with that. (think of the amount of water that can be dammed up on 1 sq mile!)
here is a link to the property: http://www.landsofnevada.com/land-for-sale/640-acres-in-Lander-County-Nevada/id/1095436

I have never been to the area, so all of my information is derived from online sources....

I was wondering what people think is possible out in an area like this.
could 1 family homestead on 1 sq mile of nevada desert? what about 4-5 families?
the description says household wells are available at 75-150 ft
seems like there would be ample natural resources to build homes, dams, gardens and the like.
power would be solar and wind, paired with an energy efficient house.

some of the issues i see:
it is 90 mins to a major city - likely a plus once a homestead is setup, but unless you plan to source everything from onsite, trips to town will have to happen and itll take a while.
dry - not sure how much can be overcome by permaculture

feedback appreciated
thanks,

 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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If you farm only the two creek beds you should have enough water for your plants too bad the land is not in the foothill. then you would have been able to use more water before it evaps/sink. You are going to have to use short season (30-90) annuals and plant for the rainy season. You might have to use stones to slow the flow of water in the creek for the flash flood season. Build your house closer to the foothill and farm there. As to which nut/fruit/herbs you should plant I would just go with the usual mediterranean plants, look for cold hardy ones. Personally I would look for somewhere that hs at least 12inches or rain or at the base of a mt/hill where a creek enters the valley. Its doable though.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Kelly, this is actually pretty interesting. Looks a lot like what I am used to seeing in Wyoming. Lots of sage and rabbit brush with grasses underneath. In Wyoming I have gardened in that soil and it is pretty good as long as it is not to salty.

After looking at the county assessors mapping site here.

http://landercountynv.org/gis-interactive-map

You can find the 1 mile square of the property and see that it has lots of drainages and part of a mountain. There seem to be several places where small dams have been built and that show water ,depending on the satelite view you look at. It is surrounded by several BLM parcels, which is always a plus in my books as these can be leased and theoretically purchased using the desert land act. If water is actually only a few hundred feet down this might be a real gem. Would have to contact the state water board for info on water use and rights.

http://water.nv.gov/index.cfm

( I did a quick search and there are three wells registered in that township and range of land , 36 miles/sq. Two are 300 ft deep and one is only 90 ft deep. That one shows water at 19 ft and is a 6 inch casing .) There does seem to be several center pivot farms in the area which means there is water in the area. I would think that if you built lots of dams in all of the drainages with swales you could get some trees going fairly easily.


The town of Battle mountain is not to far away and seems to be a fairly big town with a hospital and all.

http://battlemountainchamber.com/directory.htm

So are you looking at this pretty seriously ? looking for others to buy in or what?
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Kelly Smith
Posts: 713
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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wow, thanks for the replies.

@ S Bengi - i would like to incorporate some techniques of keyline design to capture and move water around. I have seen some very cool things done in some pretty dry areas, so long as you have watershed area upstream of you. I think that the growing season could be extended with hoop houses or something similar.
thanks for the input.

@ Wyomiles Hogan - wow, great info thanks for adding it!
I am at work and cant even see the pictures in the link i posted, so i will have to look at your links when i get home.

partly what appealed to me about this property is that is does look similar to parts of WY and even parts of southern Colorado. i havent done much research on it, but i suspect water issue are a little easier to deal with in BFE nevada than in CO (not sure about WY). in case people didnt know, most of the water that falls in Colorado belongs to someone else down the river, so you must let it flow downstream (ie no ponds/dams unless you own the water rights)

after reading that there is water ~150 ft down, and seeing the center pivots, i assumed that basic water needs could be met with a well, therefore solving the major desert issue (even if it is used as a backup to rainwater and pumped up with a generator it is nice to have in the desert)
i have no doubt that permaculture could make that land abundant, although i personally dont have the skills to transform it. to those ends, i suspect 2 permie minds are better than 1. I dont see why each person couldnt have a section to themselves and also help each other out. my original idea was to have a few families live on it, as it would make certain parts of homesteading much easier, but its all just seeing what is possible/teasing out ideas right now. it would be 6-12 months before i could do anything.

the main thing that drew my to this piece was the price for the amount of land. $70k isnt really all that much money, especially if you split it up between a few families.
as for how serious i am, i am serious about getting off gird and doing some version of homesteading or farmsteading. it will happen, but i want to make sure i have a legit plan, because once i leave my current job, im not going back.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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I stumbled apon a link to a community forming south of Battle Mountain that looks interesting.

http://www.earthloving.com/id6.html

I have e-mailed the founder and asked him to comment at this thread. I hope he will. The dates are from 2007 so I am not sure how far along they are now. They have 40 acre parcels and another couple of larger parcels for sale. There is a stream that runs on the property too. They say that a couple of wells have been drilled , under 200 ft and 80 GPM flow . They are going to build earth sheltered homes.

If nothing else there is a lot of information posted at the website about the county and Nevada law.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Well the e-mail came back undeliverable so I called the number and talked to Bill. He said most of the property is sold but may be a few left. Nobody is actually living there yet. His new e-mail is billrecord@gmail.com phone is the same, if you want to chat with him. He did say that the next county east, Eureka county http://www.co.eureka.nv.us/ , is more open to alternative housing so might be better to look in that county. However he said that they had gotten some work done with the building code guys as they had never heard of an earthship!

Still not deliverable !! does gmail have a dash in it ? Maybe that is why ?
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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ive spent a bit of time in nevada, vegas area mostly, and that area looks a lot nicer than vegas area, i would second that it is possible particularly if you have some drainage creekbeds and a hillside from a mountain
I think that if you first planted the rain and then trees for helping to provide some shade then you should be in business mostly, but the spots that dont have good tree cover are likely going to get very dry in the summer, i'd recommend a lot of stacks of stone to help condense water from the dry air in such areas and go for some drought tolerant perennials, buffalo gourds have an extremely huge root from what ive seen on google images, would add huge plugs of organic matter if left to grow and die, plus edible and utilitarian
 
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