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Help me start my paper/computer plan  RSS feed

 
Posts: 14
Location: Aroostook County, Maine
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Hey all,

My land is almost paid off, and almost a year ahead of what I expected!

I've been researching all this time; and when I bought the land, I didn't even know what permaculture was! I realize now that there are some difficulties with my land; but I'm sure there are for all properties.

I'm in Northern Maine, on a North-facing slope. Yeah, I know.

It DOES get a fairly decent amount of sunlight; but I know that I'll have to be very smart in utilizing that sun if I am to succeed in our food forest/silvo/aqua/pasturing dream to get self-sustaining.

It's 15 acres, in USDA zone 4. I currently live in Philadelphia, PA; about 600 miles South; supporting a family while running the rat race. My big plans must be made on paper, or computer, because it's costly to commute up before the transition.

All I have is the realtor's(?) survey of the land, and I've tried to trace out an approximation of it on Google Earth. I just know it's not accurate, and I really need to start planning the earthworks/function stacking with some accuracy.

My question:

How can I use the plot layout from the realtor to ACCURATELY start my plan of the land? (Or, what SHOULD I be using to start my plan?)


Thanks a lot for your help. This is where things should start really moving! Thank you!
IMG_20141201_104819442_TOP.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20141201_104819442_TOP.jpg]
Lot 1 is ours
January-Morning-Sun-and-contours.jpg
[Thumbnail for January-Morning-Sun-and-contours.jpg]
This is my best try at what the realtor posted
 
pollinator
Posts: 1151
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
148
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Are you going to be in Lot 1? I think the realtor's elevation map is probably the best to go off of for now, though it may be useful to see if other sources match up. The ideal would be to actually map the contours yourself. A nice way to balance it would be to first make a plan with the info you find online and with the realtor, then when you are actually on the land, you can fine tune and correct the plan.

Here are some resources you can check out:

Weather:
Weather Underground is useful for just about everything weather related. Lots of data.
RSS Weather is good for getting nice climate graphs to look at.
If you enjoy visuals, Weather Spark has the temperature, wind directions, daylight/nighttime hours, and more information organized in pretty graphs. When you do a search, be sure to check the "Averages" selection to get the graphs. You can get the graphs from dashboard view, just have to get used to their interface.

Soil:
The WEb Soil Survey contains a lot of information about soil types in the USA.

Contour/Elevation:
National Map Viewer is a good resource for people in the USA to check the contours of their land.

Sun:
The Sun Position Calculator is a good place to start to see where the sun will come from and how it will travel across the sky. It also provides solar declination information, too. Sun Calc is another nice website that does the same thing. The Solar Electricity Handbook has good info for designing the angle of solar panels. If you want to visit the site to get the info, a clinometer may be useful.

Plants:
The Plants For a Future Database is a great resource to find what could possibly grow in your area.

People:
It might be useful to check a local library, county office, or city office to check some of the records on the land. Seeing what nearby transition network folks and permaculture people are doing may also be helpful.

Other Useful Stuff:
To get yourself in the mindset and see what information you will need, filling out one or two permaculture design client questionnaires might also be useful.
The Open Permaculture School has a full online lecture series about permaculture design, and if you want to, at the end of it, you can get certified. The certification costs money, but not the course. Paul Wheaton's keynote on permaculture provides a nice overview of 72 bricks of permaculture. Geoff Lawton and Permaculture News are also great resources. There is also a cool lecture series by Bill Mollison online.
 
Pokletu Staktu
Posts: 14
Location: Aroostook County, Maine
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Thanks, Dave.

Lotsa good stuff in there! Thank you!

I realize that my question wasn't as clear as I had thought, though.

The crux of my problem is that I don't understand where the individual corners of my land are located on a map.

On the survey map, all of the coordinates printed near the corner points are on some coordinate system that I don't understand. For instance, the top border says, "S 89 00 38 E 801'" --Now I understand the 801' part; but I don't know what to do with those coordinates. GPS reads from North, not South, and I tried figuring what that would be by North-reckoning, but failed.

There's the North-Easternmost corner that looks like the datum point for reference for all the others, since it's all zeros, but I don't know how I can locate just that one point on a map.

Thanks again.

 
Dave Burton
pollinator
Posts: 1151
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
148
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Have you asked the realtor how to interpret the map? I checked a Find My Latitude and Longitude Map and Philadelphia, PA is at about 39.879971 degrees North and -75.113525 degrees East. I do not understand what South 89 00 or the East 801 part mean. Can you explain what the E 801 part means? Maybe that will help with the other part. is there a point of reference?
 
Pokletu Staktu
Posts: 14
Location: Aroostook County, Maine
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I think the 801 is the measure of feet on that line, corner to corner.

Yeah, I'll have to call the realtor and find out what the reference is. It sure isn't global coordinates...

 
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