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Klamath Falls permies?  RSS feed

 
Derrick Gunther
Posts: 33
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I'm dual posting this in the Rockies and Cascadia forums, as I'm not sure where Klamath Falls falls, ha. I can see the Cascades from town, but the climate is more Rockies. Anyway, I've been living here a few months now and am trying to meet some permies, build community, share ideas and learn more about this environment. I've taken a PDC, read lots, and am hoping to get many projects going soon. If anyone would like chat or meet, let me know!
Derrick
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Welcome to permies Derrick.

Feel free to browse around, and ask questions.
Yeah. Sometimes the regional categories don't always fit.
If you are east of the Cascades, then 'Rockies' might be closer to a good fit.
The rain shadow makes a good dividing line.
I usually consider the wet side 'Cascadia', and the dry side 'Rockies'.

 
Derrick Gunther
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Thanks John,
I've been a lurker for a while now, but I figured it was time to get into the community. I agree my climate is much more "Rockies", so I'll start here. We just finished the driest calendar year on record (5.64 inches) which is a far cry from Cascadia kind of rainfall!
Derrick
 
Daniel Crockett
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Hey, Derrick -

Welcome to permies from me, too (though I hardly qualify as much more than a lurker, myself).

I'm also looking to start something up in the KF region (I have 4.7 acres in Sprague River, about 50 miles east of KF, and plan on getting more land there). Maybe we can help each other out.

-Daniel
 
Derrick Gunther
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Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the welcome and glad to hear from a local permie! Nice on the 4.7 acres. I looked at some land up in the Sprague River area, it's relatively cheap, and the area seems nice. Are you on Tableland Mesa? I think that area would provide many challenges. I mean, it's a challenging climate anyway, but up there I'd imagine you'd have to contend with serious wind as well. Do you live out there full time? How long have you been in the region? I'm sure we could help each other out, at least bounce some ideas around.
-Derrick
P.S. Good we are finally getting some precipitation, eh?
 
Daniel Crockett
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The land is on the Mesa, yes. I am not - I'm still in Portland, for the time being. Currently, my biggest obstacle is the septic system. The Mesa typically has around 18 inches of top-soil before you hit bedrock (basalt, though I don't know yet for certain if this is the case with my parcel, but I suspect it is). The area, if you know where to look, I'm told, is fairly rich in opals (from a geologist, not a local, so ...not sure). As for the challenges, it would seem to be more based on Klamath County code than the terrain (since I was hoping to use composting or incinerating toilets). I'm trying to figure out a way around what is sure to be a highly expensive item that appears to be required, which I neither need nor want. :/ The web has various websites that seem to indicate that wind is not an issue - though, to be honest, I'd rather it be an issue than not RE: turbine possibilities.

I do find the owner exemption stuff interesting in the Cob to Code thread. I'm hoping/wondering if that would be something that could apply to septic systems (though I doubt it, given it being a regulation concerning public health). Once I figure out a solution to that dilemma I should be able to head that way to begin really working on the project. I'm hoping to start up an organic orchard, and maybe have some ducks and/or rabbits. There will be enclosed spaces there, as well, where I'm hoping to find a means of growing some more exotic fruits for the local market. And... I hope to do some leather-working.

So you're already down there, huh? What sort of progress have you made toward your goal so far (other than location, location, location!)?

P.S. Yep! ^_^
 
Derrick Gunther
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Hi Daniel, I guess I just made the assumption that wind would be an issue up there, as there are almost no trees on the mesa and yet there are trees all around it, but it looks like you're right http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/wind_resource_maps.asp?stateab=or fairly low wind energy potential in the area. Perhaps it has more to do with the shallow soil on top of the bedrock. Hmm, interesting. I'm new to the area, just got here in August, so I'm still getting to know the particulars of the locale. I (we, my wife and I) are working on goals. She has a job in town, so we made the decision that a long commute wouldn't be worth it in our case for the short/medium term, so we are looking to buy something in or close to town. There are people who live in Sprague River, Beatty, even Bly and commute into Klamath Falls, but yeah, we just can't see doing that from an environmental/cost/safety/time management perspective. Eventually we'd like to get some larger acreage out in the boonies, but that will probably have to wait for a few years at least. So right now I'm more looking at suburban scale permaculture, learning as much as I can, making mistakes, then eventually scaling up. I'm also very interested in helping others. I've done some design/work for a couple people in town and am hoping to find more people interested in permaculture, and spread the word to others. The region is ripe for alternative energy development (290 days of sunshine a year and great geothermal resources), and the population density is low enough that food security is a real possibility.
I have had some discussions with county planning. It is my understanding that what is currently on the books states that you must have an approved type of septic system installed on any new residential (assuming you aren't close to public sewer, of course). However, I was talking to Planning for another reason, so I didn't follow up on this particular line of questioning, but the lady in the septic department did say something about composting toilets, which leads me to believe that they may be a possibility. They are willing to approve alternative building techniques so long as you get an engineers approval on your plans, so maybe they would be open to a waste management system that has been approved by an appropriate official. I don't know, but it may be the case. I do know that Oregon has now approved 3 categories of grey water treatment, so if you were to install one of those, that would take care of your grey water, then with a composting toilet all your "water" wastes would be taken care of, without a septic system. I have to talk with planning within a couple weeks for another reason, so while I'm in there I'll see what I can find out for you (and for me, down the road).
 
Chris Badgett
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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Hey Derrick,

Just wanted to make sure you knew about Inland Northwest permaculture: http://www.inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com/

Michale Pilarski put together this website.

The directory may have some good contacts for you: http://www.inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com/content/inland-pacific-northwest-organizations-networks-teachers-and-consultants

Cheers,

Chris
 
Amanda Blankenship
Posts: 3
Location: Oregon
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Hello fellow permies in the Klamath/Sprague River area. Yes, there are quite a few of us out here in the Sprague River area starting up permaculture projects. In the last few months we've been discovering more and more of us. We have an organic farm out here and are planning to transform the whole place over to permaculture bit by bit. Plans include swales, hugelkultur, cob building, rocket mass stoves, and more. We are happy to get more people involved and look forward to forming a more cohesive group. Feel free to check out Picklesnoot Farms on facebook if you'd like to see what we're up to.

There is actually a good deal of wind out here--good news I hope.
 
Derrick Gunther
Posts: 33
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Hi Amanda,
Great to hear from a local permie! I checked out your farm's facebook page and gave it a "like". Looks like you are doing some good things already and it's exciting to hear about how you're working toward getting even better. I'd love to come out and see what you've got going on at some point, assuming you welcome visitors to your farm. I love seeing examples of productive systems at work. If not I'd still like to converse and get involved in the local food producing community.
 
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