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Severely under rated! North (And East) Facing properties.

 
Posts: 28
Location: Southern Oregon, 6a/6b
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So here's my opinion, north and east facing properties are extremely under rated primarily because of one key factor that in turns effects EVERYTHING else.

I do not work well under direct sun exposure!

Boom.

May not seem like a big deal, but if you're like me, and most are, you cannot work at or near your highest efficiency when exposed to direct sun light.

North facing properties result in less worker exposure for a couple of main reasons;

1) Angle of the sun etc. etc. you receive less direct sunlight in the winter time especially. (Northern Hemisphere)

2) Consequently vegetation is denser on north facing slopes. More trees, more shade, higher productivity. (Not to mention the soils)

Personally I'll put on the extra layer in the winter in exchange for being able to work all day on my property in partial shade.

Not to mention the whole water situation on north vs south slopes.

Similar argument for east vs west, the softer morning sun is just preferable in so many ways.

I know some would argue the energy benefits of more direct sunlight for solar, but I'm not convinced solar energy is anywhere near sustainable or truly compatible with permaculture until it is. I think we need to get back to man and animal power, conservation, and restoration.

Reforestation or reverse desertification could do a lot for southerly exposed areas, and they do have some great potential to be hyper productive for the experienced permaculturist, but especially for novice permaculturists I think my advise would be to actually look for north and east facing lots. I think it's a considerably easier (more familiar) set of resources to handle, i.e already forested, more water, shade for those not conditioned to working in a pasture all day when it 98 and humid.

How do the rest of you feel? Do you prefer north, east, west or south? Maybe extremely level? Is it because you've decided for yourself and unique needs or because there's certain aspects of rural life that seem to be widely promoted without much fore thought or analysis (i.e Barb wire, tilling, falling all the trees in a garden area, annual dependance etc.)
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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As long as you are not in the full shadow of the slope for part of the year, it has advantages to permaculture IF you know what you are doing.
 
Zachary Morris
Posts: 28
Location: Southern Oregon, 6a/6b
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R Scott wrote:As long as you are not in the full shadow of the slope for part of the year, it has advantages to permaculture IF you know what you are doing.



I would think to be in full shadow you would need to be at a pretty severe slope pretty far north though right? I don't have anywhere near that issue personally, but it's definitely a concern if you're in the most severely cold areas. I don't mind partial shade in the winter time as I still have to work, but I can't grow even with lots of sun exposure.
 
steward
Posts: 4618
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Zachary, My place in Wyoming faces slightly north and rolls to the west. Large mountains to the south and east. Seems like the natives do fine there. I am slowly experimenting with crops of all kinds. I to have a hard time in full sun.
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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Zachary, one thing you wrote jumps out at me - you said "I'm not convinced solar energy is anywhere near sustainable or truly compatible with permaculture".

I hope what you mean is that you question the sustainability of solar generated electricity.

Because the entire ecosystem of planet Earth runs on solar power and it is the ultimate source of all our energy here on Earth. I guess there's some room for arguing that geothermal might not come from the sun, but it contributes a very small amount of energy to the system, and I could make an argument that the entire formation of the planet in the first place depended upon the Sun, so

I think that whatever direction a property slopes, you just need to adapt to what it offers and work with it, not against it.
 
Zachary Morris
Posts: 28
Location: Southern Oregon, 6a/6b
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Peter Ellis wrote:Zachary, one thing you wrote jumps out at me - you said "I'm not convinced solar energy is anywhere near sustainable or truly compatible with permaculture".

I hope what you mean is that you question the sustainability of solar generated electricity.

Because the entire ecosystem of planet Earth runs on solar power and it is the ultimate source of all our energy here on Earth. I guess there's some room for arguing that geothermal might not come from the sun, but it contributes a very small amount of energy to the system, and I could make an argument that the entire formation of the planet in the first place depended upon the Sun, so

I think that whatever direction a property slopes, you just need to adapt to what it offers and work with it, not against it.



Correct, what I meant is our methods of harvested solar energy are far from sustainable.
 
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