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Newb in Central Valley California

 
Daniel Vargas
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I am a complete newb to permaculture. I have been doing research but having a hard time understanding the lingo.

1. I live in Laton CA. About 25 miles south of Fresno. We have amazing soil, but only about 11 inches of rain a year. A well is out of the question thanks to farmers draining the groundwater. Summer highs a little over 110. Winter lows in 30s and sometimes 20s. I inherited about 4 acres with nothing on it that has been sitting for many years. I would like to make money with this land as well as introduce permaculture to my area.

2. I am doing research while I can. Going to order the rainwater harvesting books by Brad Lancaster. Figure thats a good place to start. What are other good books or websites I could look into that would apply to my circumstances?

3. If in my position, where would you guys start? Sunken hugulkultur, sheet mulching, what to plant, etc. My immediate problem to solve would be irrigation for a garden.

Thank you guys for all the work you have done for the rest of us to learn!
 
Jeremey Weeks
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
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Water is key.

Look for ways to get the land to hold what little you get. Is your land flat or does hit have contours? Swales and/or terraces work well with contours. If flat, consider impressing the soil to create lows and highs. Here's a link that talks about this... impressing

What's growing on the land right now?

If there isn't much, I'd recommend seeding a cover crop like clover. This will help shade the soil, keeping water there longer.

Plant some trees strategically to block the wind. The wind desiccates the land, wicking water out of the soil.

There isn't much more I can say without looking at the land.
 
Daniel Vargas
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Thank you for the info so far.

Immedite plans are to be able to grow a large garden without well irrigation this year on some of it. Big enough to sell some of it. Future plans would be to pasture animals as well.

To describe the land is easy. Completely flat, aboslutely nothing on it but some old walnut wood. That's it. Just picture a dead dry flat field with great soil. I have a blank canvas to work with.
 
Jeremey Weeks
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
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I mentioned impression earlier. There's a way to rough up the ground that may work for you. I use pigs.



sepp holzer recommends them for clearing ground and roughing it up prior to planting trees. (page 108-111, "Desert or Paradise", sepp holzer)

Water, dust and seeds(you can cast the seeds or nature will provide some eventually) will collect in the depressions the pigs (or whatever) have made. The seed will sprout. The grasses and other plants will collect rainwater and dew. The depressions are more sheltered from wind and sun as well.

Do you have access to electricity? You'd want an electric fence if you go this route.
 
Daniel Vargas
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Your pigs look great! I will definitely look into the impressions. Sadly, my zoning does not allow pigs. Only ruminants, chickens and rabbits, so everything would be by hand.

Would you recommend me the sepp holzer book? I have not looked into it yet.

Any other books you could think of? I'm going to get Allan savorys book as well. Thank you very much!
 
Jeremey Weeks
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
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Daniel, I'm going to send you a purple moosage.
 
Daniel Vargas
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I always love gifts. Haha what is a purple moosage?
 
Jeremey Weeks
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
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it's the permies equivalent of a private message.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Daniel, how are your endeavors going?
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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