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HOW SMALL AN AREA CAN BE "RE-SCULPTED", HUGELKULTURED, ETC?  RSS feed

 
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We are planning on moving from our present location in SE Nebraska. Due to family and other concerns, we are still trying to decide between southeastern/central Iowa, or SE Oklahoma/NE Texas.....two very different areas, and rainfall may be a deciding factor. We probably will end up with 1-2 acres, due to prices. BUT, we are attracted to a couple of small towns that have half an acre or less. These are TINY towns, and I don't think there would be many restrictions. We're even thinking about drilling our own water well, and not be reliant on county water - and thinking about the possibility of combining a water well 'drill' with a geothermal system, which would be placed in the same hole. I just saw videos about how several acres were transformed to having several ponds and water system, swaled, and so on. Fascinating, and I want to learn how to all of this on a smaller scale. Is it possible? Thanks.
 
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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This is an excellent video of what can be done with little land. I think this is what you're asking.

The video requires giving up an email address, but it's worth it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1361
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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We have that little land. The location is simply more important. You must have an income stream. I think it is difficult living from the land in financial terms. I recently talked to a very small farmer. They work off site. Selling any produce, meat or milk boils down to government regulation and transport costs. He told me that his neighbours if they do not work outside make money with luxury, like breeding special dogs, race horses etc. This has nothing to do with a permaculture lifestyle working for the upper 5% of the society, but this is recession proof.
If you have little land look what surrounds that land. Is it subdivisions with suburban houses? Then I would not take it. If there is open best wild land around I would go for it. If your neighbour sprays on a small block of land your whole block will be sprayed too.
Our land is soil wise very very bad. We are still developing it. At the moment we have all our veggies and the trees are still small but we will have all our fruit. I am developing the site bit by bit and that means we will have a part of our staples too. We have all our eggs too.
You can keep even sheep and goats there, but there is very much work involved as the food has to be brought from outside. And as the area is too small you will have to take them for a walk.
 
Posts: 42
Location: Washington State
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You dont need much income if you dont need to buy lots of things.

Earthworks on a half acre can be done by hand. Consider capturing runoff water, especially from the road.

Aquaponics, raising rabits and quails, and building a greenhouse are all great ways suited to providing food, income, and fertilizer/organic matter for increasing production on your small property.
 
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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If you moved to south east Oklahoma you would have a warmer climate and less need for costly things like a green house. There are some mountain-like land features down there, so it is significantly different than the rest of ok.

On my city lot I have adapted hugelculture and a small swale system to manage the run off. To do so my only expense was a shovel and labor, and If I kept going developing small and slow solutions I could build a full blown permaculture site without much monetary input at all. So I believe can be done. Check out my thread in the project area to see more details on my project. Keep in mind I don't wake up and start working my system like a homesteader, I am a full time student with a regular part time job that pays for city living so all my perm activities are limited in time input.

Unfortunately for most people this model of slow and small solutions does not work because they want to jump in and immediately start making money off the land, which for me is a mistake. If the land I have needs healing then I would feel silly counting on it to pay the mortgage at first.
 
Dustin Powers
Posts: 42
Location: Washington State
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Greenhouse, hoophouse, cold frame, primarily just something to extend seasons, although lots more can be done with this piece of infrastructure when budget allows.

I built a hoophouse with scrap lumber, some pvc, and clear 6mm painters drop plastic. Cost me less than 100 bucks, paid for itself in 6 months by providing a slightly warmer climate for propagating plants(in my case I cut budding limbs off native choke cherry for free, rooted them, then grafted tastier apple branches on to them which my neighbor let me cut for free).

They are also a great way to accumulate more biomass for mulch than would otherwise be possible. Here in the PNW my comfrey dies back every fall and comes back in the spring. In my hoophouse it thrives year round. This gives me free mulch year round.
 
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