I'm new to the permies forum and very new to the permaculture world. I've been researching for the last year or so and have learned a lot. I'm currently in the process of buying some land and am looking forward to transforming it into more than what is currently is. It's located in Kansas and is approximately 7.5 acres.
As of right now I'm in the planning stages of what I'd like to do with the land and the layout to use. I got a pretty good deal on the place and I am looking forward to what I can turn this property into. I enjoy learning and can't wait to continue my research into the permaculture world.
If anyone wants to contribute ideas into the blank canvass I have to work with, feel free to share!
Hey Tim welcome. Exciting to have some new acres, so much potential and options! Based on what I have seen driving through Kansas it is as flat as can be. Wind is more of an issue than erosion.
I would probably first study wind patterns and plan where to install fast growing trees for windbreaks. Mulberry is a fast multipurpose tree, in Kansas I have also seen rows of poplar, thuja occidentalis, and some other evergreens to block wind and views. The more diverse the better.
Pretty much out of the gate I would install rain catchment and storing around the house and any other structure already on site.
After these two things were begun I would then setup a kitchen garden close to the house and put in herbs and veggies.
Once you get to that point you can plan for longer term goals like fences, pastures, animal systems, contouring the land etc. the sky is the limit.
Take it easy and chew one bite before biting the next one, else you will get choked up and overwhelmed. Good luck.
You have a pretty much blank slate, which is good but hard sometimes--too many choices!
Wind is a problem, as is potential neighbor activities-burning pasture, spraying fields, etc.
If you have clay soil, digging swales or pocket ponds will hold water for livestock or wildlife really easy. If you are in the flint, maybe not so much.
I pretty much agree with Zach, windbreak first but I quickly add legume trees and prep for food trees of some kind.
Share more about your plans, tools available, and soil types and we will try to help.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Kansas is a pretty big canvass. Where about in the Great Land of Oz are you. You should check out the Kansas Permaculture Collaborative. We are helping lots of folks get started in the permaculture adventures.
In the meantime, what I found most helpful on my farm was understanding the flow of water on the ground. When it rains where does the water naturally want to go and where was most of it at. My 3 swales (1,600 liner feet) were based pretty much on that water flow. You should have some idea of what you want to grow and how much. I only putting about 1/3 of our 9 acres into a food forest design. Once it starts producing there should be plenty to go around. Make lots of drawings before you begin. There is more than one way to design your place. I must have over 20 versions I considered before I settled down on the one I used, and even now it still changes. One of your ideas you will find you continue to go back to. That will most likely be your best design. There are lots of good folks in the area to work with, plenty of books, websites and YouTube videos out there. You are not alone
Hope to run into you somewhere in KS. We are not far from Lawrence.
A blank slate is pretty correct. The property is about 30 miles east of Wichita. I'm purchasing it from my father, who has let it sit vacant for the last three or four years. It's actually where I grew up, which is nice as I do know a little about the land itself.
From what I can remember, it has clay soil. Towards the middle of the property it slopes down on both sides and that area will flood during a heavy rain. Bedrock is approximately four feet down. The land has been used as pasture for the last three years, the neighbor to the north raises goats and has been using it for that. The lagoon currently on the property will have to be filled in and dug elsewhere as it no longer meets county code. It does have a rural water meter on the east side towards the road. The single wide trailer and little wooden shed are dilapidated and will be torn down.
County says if I want to put another mobile/modular on the property it has to be a double-wide on a perm foundation. The plan is to start working with the land and then build a house in a couple of years. I've been doing the debt free thing for a couple of years now and plan on staying that way. I have already started drawing basic ideas on paper, and will probably continue to do so until I figure something out. Thankfully my full-time job only has me working 14 days a month, so I will have time on my side.
The only plans I had prior to purchasing was wanting a small orchard and a few bee hives. The more I research, the more I realize is possible.
We are a professional builders and re-modelers in Wichita and the surrounding area. You can look at my current blog of a build we are doing in Enid, OK. Clydesdale did the post and beam part, they are out of Hutchinson, KS. We also have B&B lumber in Wichita that can order Timbers (round or sawn) from Timber Products a wholesaler in Wichita they get Timbers shipped in from NM, CD from Idaho I hear. I've searched for some local mills and buyers with little luck for another closer source. I guess we just don't have a lot of options here in KS without the shipping cost. We're getting ready to make an offer on some commercial land in downtown Wichita to put our business on the lower floor, single family loft above 5000 SF. I'm getting quotes from both companies as soon as I nail down the design here soon. Probably insulation wrap with lots of Magnesium mixes and products. I have also been in touch with all the CO farmers approved to grow hemp. I need to hit them up again see where they are at these days. About a year ago many were just getting started. We can get bales for around $3-5/bale in these parts, but they have to be "construction grade" and they bailer needs to know moisture content, density, etc ahead of time. Not sure what county you are in or if you are in a code enforcement area. Sedgewick county is getting ready to change from 2006 to 2012 IRC/IBC code and add some energy codes later. Bale code is in 2015. I live in Augusta (Butler County) until I sell this house. Find any other Timber sources let me know.
I raised my son in Douglass, KS on 3 acres, we had cedar trees all the way around for wind blocking.....most use them around here. Next time your in Wichita swing by the Scotch and Sirloin we just remodeled that. Pics are on our site we are working on it just too busy these days.