hi everybody! so my husband and i finally moved to our dream location, ( near seattle, north bend washington) and was wondering if you lovely people know of any resources here in this location or near, to start getting our hands dirty actually doing things to prepare us for when we finally get enough for a down payment and get a piece of land around here!
we have been huge on watching all the videos we can and dream of our own strawbale/cob house one day soon! we cant wait to make our home, rocketmass stove, get a garden in and plant those fruittrees! start hugelculture and heck everything else......we have dreamed of our own land for so long, and now here we are in our 40's.....we simply were too poor to do anythign sooner ( i got a degree to get a decent job, because without that we were stuck in really low paying jobs) anyway......its so hard these days....one day we will have 0 bills..be completely off grid...live how humans are supposed to and maybe have a place to have a community, build little off grid houses for like minded people..have a place to work hard and get off the wheel that lead to nothing but hating a job and suburbia!
anything you can do to help is appreciated..we cant really pay much to go to all the workshops or tours of peoples places...but we are intensely interested in finding workshops or something we can do to learn how to do it actually..instead of just intense research and discussion.......we do have a lot of carpentry, design and gardening as well as raising animal experience....we just want to connect with local people who are doing this stuff now and really get ready to make connections and learn before we get our credit in order and buy that first piece of land!
i guess we are looking for people doing this stuff now near us, who can teach us stuff. let us come see what you are doing ( if you are near), and let us join any discussion or resource groups near us.
Hi Afira, Here are some suggestions and resources for that area.
1) As you may know, many river bottom lands flood periodically around there. So beware buying flood plain land unless you're specifically looking for a challenge. Take a look at the NRCS soil survey when looking at properties. http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm
The county geodata information will also prove useful for designated wetlands (although they are not always accurate).
2) When buying land, consider the growth plan for different cities in the area. I grew up in unincorporated King County (Juanita), near Bothell and Woodinville in the 80s. That area has completely changed since I was a kid with subdevelopments everywhere. Where there were rural horse farms are now big box stores and apartment buildings. Juanita got eaten by the city of Kirkland and is now "north kirkland". I believe the city of Duvall has a limited growth plan, so you may want to look around there.
3) Are you familiar with the growing season there? If not, check out the Maritime Northwest Garden Guide and Growing West of the Cascades.
5) Are you new to the area? Learn about wild and native plants by checking out books like Discovering Wild Plants (Scofield), Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Pojar/MacKinnon), and Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Moore).
6) Learn about the watershed of your area. Is it fed by snowfall? Is that threatened in the next 50-100 years? The summers are super dry, so consider the long term water situation of any land you may buy. Ponds are difficult with the silty soils (I think the bullocks use pond liners) west of the Cascades. So consider that water is a huge design issue with any land in Cascadia.
7) Learn about the Native People of your area. Did you know the territorial governor of Washington, Issac Stevens, was going to give small reservations to native tribes and then (in his final solution) round them up on to the Tulalip reservation? Where did the natives on Whidbey Island go? Why do Native folks today get half the salmon, half the wild hunt, and 33 of the shellfish? You can read about all of this in such books at People of Cascadia (Bohan), The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek(Kluger) , Land Use, Environment, and Change (White), Keeping It Living (Duer and Turner), and Message From Franks Landing . All of these books are likely available at the amazing King County Library system.
excellent thanks! seattle is very close for us. what i am really needing is affordable..hands on training on how to make a straw bale house for us...
and the main questions we have are how to make a foundation.....and how to do the floors and roof..we would like a living roof as it looks pretty awesome..and looks like it would be more insulative than a ..say metal roof....
but anyway.....i see people posting tons of ideas on how to do their houses and just come up against so many problems or bad designs......i dont want that to happen to us...i figure if i start learning now.....when we finally get a piece of land and start building.....we will at least have a good design ready to go
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June 27–28 Natural Building “Living Roofs”
Have you ever wanted to know the best reasons, use and way to create a living roof? Now’s your chance. As a part of OUR’s ongoing natural building program you will learn how best to create a living roof.