Just purchased 10 ha in tropics and want to know what is the best machine to buy. Looking at Kabota L420 so we can go permaculture and self sufficent. Also looking for energy efficent house design. Possibly 2 storey to get away from the bugs and snakes
You are a lucky duck robert. 10 tropical ha is a nice thing to have. I have no experience with a kabota420 but I see what it is and what it can do. What do you plan to do with it specifically?
What are your goals the the area aside from living there?
I do not live in the tropics mind you but I have researched every climate somewhat. In tropics here are some of the features Mollison and others have written about.
1. Floor Above the reach of a tidal wave or flowing mud or volcanic ash. ( fits also your concern about snakes And critters)
2. Sheltered from hurricane possibly with large groves of bamboo that can bend and absorb the wind power.
3. Located on ridge points to be out of the path of rock and mudslides caused by earthquake or torrential rain.
4. Inland from sandy erosion prone areas.
In a lot of the designs the roof has vents to allow hot air exit, and a shade house or vine covered area where cool air can be siphoned into the living area. ( done right I assume a constant slight air movement occurs and creates more comfortable temps inside.)
Another use of vines would be covering the entire roof to prevent the sun from striking the house.
Grass rather than concrete can prevent light from reflecting back up onto the house.
Vegetation can be used to shade the house, but if too much is used then it can prevent cooling breezes from getting through, and raise the humidity in the house.
Anyway, I'll let someone from the tropics give you some first hand experience. Good luck on your new place.
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
posted 3 years ago
First, congratulations on your new adventure. The "tropics" covers a very large territory. There are a lot of variables that would influence what would be best to recommend as far as a house design. Could you give more details about your property?
1- machine to buy.....that depends upon what you want to do, plus what your terrain is like, especially the soil. I really can't offer a recommendation since I don't use any big machinery regularly on my own 20 acres. I have custom hired an excavator in the past to remove trees and create a service road. And i will be hiring the services of a small bulldozer for a half day soon. I can't justify the expense of purchasing & maintaining a large piece of equipment for my own farm since I don't have enough work to use it regularly.
2- terrain and soil. That would have a bearing upon the machine you may consider, plus the implements. My own farm has rough lava strewn land which is not suitable for a standard tractor. The soil is between the lava rock, thus scoops, buckets, and normal dozen blades don't work here. Forget plows, disks, chisels, cultivators. A backhoe & hammer works out for my farm, but I can't justify the cost. Thus I simply hire the operator and machine if I need it.
3- house. On my own island in the tropics, there is a vast range in climates. So one type house isn't suitable throughout the island. (Of course the Universal Building Code tends to believe that there is, but that's another discussion.) I have two farm locations 5 miles apart. A house suitable for one farm would not be suitable for the other. So some thoughts.......
... To avoid stinging centipedes, people here built houses up on pier foundations. Until the universal building code interfered, one could easily block centipedes via a pier foundation. Piers typically kept the house 2 to 4 feet elevated above the ground, though some people used much higher piers so that they could use under the house for storage, a workshop, or to park equipment & cars.
... Windows and doors are judiciously placed to control the amount of air ventilation.
... In hot regions, ceilings are high and peaked. Covered porches around the house help cool the air before it enters the home.
...many homes have an outdoor cooking area in order to keep the heat out of the house.
Energy efficient in what manner? Do you mean that you plan to install solar electric? Then house orientation to the path of the sun is important. Solar panels don't need to be on the roof, but if that's what you plan to do, then the slope of the roof is something to consider. Planning solar hot water? Then the same considerations as for solar panels applies. Lowering your dependency on lighting? Then translucent roof panels, skylights, or ceiling tubes could be a consideration as long as they won't act as heat generators. Having numerous large windows lets more light into the house. Or if you have no mosquito problems in your area, forgo the glass.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
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