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0-20 year flooded area. Stay far or grab at good price?

 
Louis Langlois
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Hello all
I have found this 3.5 acre piece of land, all flat, only small trees here and there, easy access (city transit). And cheap.
It's cheap because nobody wants it. It's floodable... No digging, no mounting, no hugelkultur, not even truck loads of black earth are permitted , bylaw.
But, they allow me to bring in RCW. ( Rameal Chipped Wood) So the plan is to cover the land with RCW, and we have RCW in abundance and for free here.
I see permanent vegees, annuals, and semi, bushes, and mid size trees, all in the perm. vision. : )
All seems perfect,,, my questionning is; the occasionnal flood. That occasionnal flooding will be slow and easy, no tidewave there. The water rises, it lasts a few days, the water goes.
To what point will my fruit trees suffur from being flodded (not every year) ( in a good living soil built from RCW). I know a fair bit about RCW.

Well thank you folks! I'll be happy to read what you gotta say about this.
Dish

Sent from Québec Canada, the origin of RCW.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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My mother tells a story of a Great Aunt and Uncle that lived and farmed in a situation such as you describe.

The occasional flooding provided nutrients to the area. They provided all of their food from this farm. They did move out once a year or every other during the flood and then came back when it was over. She said they lived in a log cabin with a dirt floor and it would flood in the cabin as well. They were apparently happy there and didn’t mind cleaning up the mess after it was over.

I suppose it depends on how long the flood waters stand before they recede. If it is just a day or two it seems like it would be helpful.

What plants are thriving in that area? By listing and analyzing what plants are thriving in those condition you should be able to determine what crops you could be successful with.
 
David Livingston
master steward
Posts: 2994
Location: Anjou ,France
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Water medows have been farmed for Thousands of years
is the flooding predicterable? Like the Nile ?
David
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1592
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Periodic flooding could be a big plus if you can use it to build fertility. You would need to look at making sit traps for the debris flowing with the flood water (I assume there is some flow?).

Narrow stands of dense clumping bamboo can do this fairly effectively as the water slows right down as it percolates through and larger floating organic matter collects.

You say no earthworks are allowed (I presume this is to preserve the area as a floodplain and which protects down stream settlements ) but do you think you could get away with a bit of minor texturing? Even a height difference of a foot in a few places might let you plant some trees in a less flood susceptible place.
 
Louis Langlois
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... traps for the debris flowing with the flood water (I assume there is some flow?).
Louis-No there is very little or no flow.

You say no earthworks are allowed
Louis-I say, indeed

(I presume this is to preserve the area as a floodplain and which protects down stream settlements )
Louis-Well, the way I see it; the city « and or the cities» are getting very stiff on the topic of letting any one do any thing in those areas because when the flood arrives, the cost fo helping people is prohibitive. Say, I have value full hugelkultur in place, I would ask for help to protect them, sand bags, backhoes etc...

but do you think you could get away with a bit of minor texturing?
Louis-Na, the only thing I could make them accept is that RCW thing. It's not really a 'filling'.

Louis-So what do you think about the fruit trees. Would they be affected.

 
Louis Langlois
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David
The flood is predicted to happen at the minimum once every 20 years.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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This sounds like a place where wild rice (not really rice) or cranberries would thrive. Plum trees can do well in saturated soil. Many other fruit trees won't like it. Cedar and poplar do well on wet ground.

You should probably only pay whatever this land is worth as farmland. Often, very marginal properties are marketed as building lots. Don't pay those prices.Try to buy a higher parcel nearby to build on.

If you do build on wet ground, put the house on pilings well above the 100 year flood mark.

Every year in Quebec, a few unlucky ones are carried off by mosquitos. You'll need a good natural repellent.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 198
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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You may want to think about what is in the water that floods over this land. Some of the farms around here were not allowed to sell certain crops after some recent floods here. It was felt that the raw sewage that ended up in the flood waters made those crops unsafe to consume. While floods are great for fertility, there are substances in runoff that you may not want to grow your food in.
 
Heather Staas
Posts: 23
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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but do you have to lay down the RCW evenly? what if you laid it in berms?
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1424
Location: Central New Jersey
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My sense is that I would not want to make the commitment of capital, time and energy for a piece of land where my activities were so severely restricted. One concern would be that they expect to keep controlling the situation and might decide they did not like my successful food forest.

Another is with the flooding scenario. Are you talking about land along a river? Or is this a lake that occasionally rises? If a river, than the water is flowing and with a flood, it is a large volume of moving water. It might give your soil nutrients, but it might carry your orchard away. Long time ago my family lost more than one orchard to flood waters. They should never be underestimated.

And two more questions, when was the last flood over this land? Have you ever witnessed this land being flooded?
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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