Hello all first post at permies. Long time lurker though. I have the opportunity to purchase a good bit of land 15-30ish acres in the Ozarks an hour east/southeast of Fayettville Arkansas. I had grand ideas of a southern facing slope with tons of pasture land. Well the thing is there is only a moderate amount of southern facing slope and even less pasture land. There is a variety of lots within the main area of choice and there is access to pasture land via agreement if put into production kind of like produce for use kind of deal. I am a budding permaculturist and would be applying those principals on the property. I am planning on taking my PDC this year and fit in an earthworksclass too. The land purchased would only be slow improved over the next year or so then a home build starting at the end of that time frame.
I had the notion that a northern facing slope is bad but from my recent research not so bad in frost areas as it slows dormancy to miss a frost. I would most definitely put the home on the most southern slope, but am I worrying too much about it? The area is listed as 6b/7a Ill list my concerns if you can help me kind of work this out best in my favor:
-A lot of northern slope
-Some of the lots would require some road work on a slope to build home site
-It is heavily wooded
What climate zone map have you been looking at? If you check here, you'll see that zone 6 has retreated into Missouri and you are probably in zone 8. Given that this reference is 7 seven years old, you could even be smack in the middle of zone 8.
I would say heavily wooded is a plus. The soil is probably in a healthier state than an acreage that has had row crops and conventional agriculture going on. You can selectively cut trees that you don't want and replace them with species that you do want.
posted 7 years ago
John, Yes I saw that on another we site. Are you suggesting that targeted felling would work on acreage? From the outset? I am looking at projects that are long term and infrastructure building. I am not looking at occupiying the property or building the home for at least 2ish years. I will be able to make at least semi-annual trips for atleast a week , but have help on site that can do NON-permaculture capitol improvement projects. I thought that I would visit and tag trees for felling then have them start. After the big machines leave I can come behind with a cover crop for soil protection. I am trying to figure out what things I can do from a distance that are self running with little to no supervision. Earth works are alwaysa good bet but I will be getting my earth works class done asap so I can save the cost of an operator.
posted 7 years ago
Matthew Talicuran wrote: Are you suggesting that targeted felling would work on acreage? From the outset?
Sure. Is there marketable timber on there? Maybe you can have a sawmill come in and cut the big white oaks and get some $$$ for it. Loggers do tend to leave a mess when they are done, but think of all the material that you will have to build hugelkultur mounds with!
My land is flat. And, some years I lose my tree fruit to a late frost when not everybody in my area does: perhaps one year in 5?
If I was wanting fruit to sell I would prefer a north facing slope: as it is I shrug my shoulders and I buy more apples from the grocery store if I lose my blossoms.
posted 7 years ago
So I was able to speak with the land owner and get a better idea of the areas that he is willing to let go. The prime spot(32 acres south slope pasture) he is holding onto for the family, but is totally open for me to help develop it into a productive system that benifits both of us. I wont own it, but will get access and authority to manage it. Not the best circumstance but not bad either another problem that will turn into a solution. The second site is 9.5 acres, but as i can see from google earth has some water flowing through it. I asked the owner and he said that it started flowing this last year or so during the driest year they had on record. He says there is nearly 50k Gal a day. If it is "cap"able then we can come in with an earth mover and clean it up and divert to the stream that borders that property. We are planning on making a trip there within the next month or so and walk the property. I realy like the idea of using that spring for micro hydro. There are other plots that are possibilities, but the possible home sites are on a slope and I cannot tell how steep they are from google maps/earth so I will have to wait to walk the grounds to see if it is possible for us on other sites. The biggest issue is cutting a new road through thick forrest. Maybe I am just being a pessimist, but it seems like it might be cost prohibitive.
posted 7 years ago
Ok upon further inspection and deliberation with my wife I have decided that the attached land is what we will focus on. The rough outline is in green and where I think the spring head could be in red. The structure I believe to be a shed and I am not sure if it is included in the property. The tax assessors office believes so but not sure. We plan to build the home next to the structure with mostly if not full southern exposure. The picture orientated so that north is the top of the picture. The plan would be to put in a pond in the SW corner the western edge of it being close to the lowest red dot. As you can see from the water flow on the property the grade looks to drop that water flow towards the northern border then heads east before it stops. We would divert the overflow of the pond directly north to the creek via burried pipe. After all that is done. The only other major question would be what to do with the marshy land to the east. My thoughts would be to build up the far eastern edge to create a wetland/Rice paddy type situaton I know that it is 6-7 feet lower than the home site. What would you do? I know that I will put in a considerably sized kitchen garden near the home and a septic system will have to be put in for code reasons (Not Sure where though). Not asking for a design just some ideas that I may have not thought of.
North facing slope and heavily wooded looking for something that doesn't take much care... I would suggest looking into growing a patch of ginseng. It would take a bit of work to get the ground plowed ,shaped and planted but after that the maintenance is pretty minimal provided plant spacing is far apart. Mind you if you do plant that crop,don't tell anyone. Ginseng would take about 5-7 years to fully mature, after that you would have a pretty good income.