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Newcomer to Homesteading Getting Started in Stone Ridge, NY and Looking for Friends  RSS feed

 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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Hello hello!

I am a lurker turned contributor as of this post- and it feels wonderful! You all seem super-duper-rad and the main intent of this post is to announce myself and look for people to connect with in the interest of further developing my knowledge base and beginning to network myself a community of like-minded people.

I am what some would call a 'hipster asshole' leaving Brooklyn because being a 'hipster asshole' in Brooklyn makes me sad, and the *sterile* suburbs I grew up in in New Jersey make me sadder. I first learned about the Permaculture Concept while attending school in Heron, Montana (and I'm really mad I didn't know Paul was just a few hours away!) and have felt connected to the philosophy ever since, with varying degrees practical application (mostly in abstract, mostly in systems of cafes/student organizations). I want to start on a fresh new path, and I think Permaculture is my *compass* to do it with.

I am going to be living on my family's land in Stone Ridge, NY, and am looking for help and advice on getting started. There is a traditional home and guest house/garage (that my parents live in part-time), but most of the development on the property is contained to a couple acres, and the rest (~25-30 acres) is poorly maintained forest- save a couple acres of unused, open field. My goal is to spend pretty much the entire summer outside, clearing the dead trees/thinning weak/diseased ones, and living in a temporary shelter until I have properly designed and accumulated the resources for my dream wofati/hobbit hole. My eyes may be bigger than my capacity for manual labor, but I would like to give it a shot.

My lofty goal of stealing all of Paul's ideas (and getting the one-up by learning from his meticulously documented trials/errors) and building a *Permaculture Lab* of my own in the Hudson Valley (because Montana is really, really, far away) may be a misguided dream, but I'm gonna start trying to live sustainably and tinkering and see where I end up!

I'd love y'alls help if and when you can provide it, and look forward to browsing and contributing in my own right on these forums over the next rest of my lifetime.

Thanks and I look forward to meeting any and all who come across this post!

-Andrew
 
Mariamne Ingalls
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Hi Andrew!

Thanks for your post, and letting us know your plans!

I am located aways away, in Cleveland, OH (suburbs).
But always happy to see those NY posts, as I grew up in NY, kinda close to Canada.

Your plans sound awesome.

One thing I am curious about, for no particular reason: The main house is occupied, no? Thus the reason for your plan of hobbit hole / wofati?

Yours in permie-dom,
Mariamne
 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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Its a good question- why not just start on the already developed/occupied land?!

My parents are part-time residents of the main house, and have spent pretty much my entire lifetime constructing (read: contracting workers to build/maintain) their own gardens (primarily ornamental) and other features that in all honesty, do NOTHING most of the time. I'd like to be mostly outside instead of in an oil-heated house with air conditioners, excessive electrical use, and, well, you get the picture.

While I would love to change that and focus on adapting their/our space to a more Permaculture mindset, they're quite happy at the moment with how things are organized, and do not feel the same fervor as I when it comes to alternative living, while they do respect my interest/passion for the topic/practice. (Both are entrepreneurs living primarily in NYC)

Part of the vision is to demonstrate some of the concepts and designs that I would eventually love to implement across the entire property, but for the immediate future my "experiments" will need to be relegated further from the main house. (And hopefully they will slowly "pollinate" their way over to my parents' immediate living space as I am hopefully incredibly successful!) In order to have a proper polyculture garden, some fowl, and other integral and relatively *standardized* permaculture systems, I need to mostly start fresh. There is also a moderate amount of visual/sound pollution from the road that runs right past the house, and I would like a little more seclusion. Starting from a blank canvas instead of trying to undo a lot of established (if unsustainable) systems seems like the course of action that will allow me the freedom I seek while still having a place to come back to for creature comforts.

Also, I know it sounds kind of crazy, but the house is too small! And I don't mean square footage (the wofati will be significantly "smaller")- there is plenty of space, but the counters are too low, doorways too short (I'm 6'4") and too much *stuff* for me to create my own dedicated personal space without the interruption of their festivities/guests/remodeling, etc... I've dreamed of my own wofati since I read Lord of The Rings as a young child, although I don't think the term was coined yet!

tldr; its my journey and my family is still skeptical so in the interest of not pissing them off I'm gonna go live with the trees near the creek!
 
Mariamne Ingalls
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Hi Andrew -

That all makes permie sense to me!
Thank you for sharing more of your situation.

From my limited experience on my small suburban lot, yes, I can relate to this: working around existing structures is a different problem than having a fresh start on a piece of landscape!

I have a couple aunts who set up a shed "down near the creek" on my grandparents' farm (now sold), at certain times in their lives.
As I recall, later, they set up deer blinds!

Wishing you good luck in your endeavors.
I'm hoping a few peeps homesteading closer to you will chime in here for you!!!
Very glad to meet you!

Mariamne





 
D Stark
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Hey Andrew

I'm also living in nyc with land in the catskills (Harpersfield). I volunteer on a really small food forest at the queens county farm museum. What are your goals for your project? I can offer advice on agroforestry/silvopasture. Mostly based on reading with some field experience.

- Dennis
 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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Hi Dennis!

What are your goals for your project?


My initial goals for this summer are to focus primarily on forestry work, clearing dead trees and getting a better feel for the land- I don't want to start planning structures and larger-scale food producing systems until I get a sense of what the forest will actually look like. The wofati and such will probably be a longer-term project, so I'm going to camp outside quite a bit to familiarize myself more directly with the desired build-site. Don't want to build something only to have to tear it down due to poor planning.

So I guess I'm going to need some help figuring out what needs to be cut down and what I should leave as is- there are also a lot of 'infected' trees with fungus and such (from what I'm told- I'm really a total amateur here), so I need to get a better idea of what the local issues and concerns are in that department. The ultimate goal is to have chickens/pigs/goats or other smaller animals to graze/rotate and help build some soil fertility- it's called Stone Ridge for a reason!

I'm going to be doing more research on forestry and woodland management in general, but anything you can point me towards that would be directly relevant to my region would be very useful/appreciated.

Additionally, I'm looking for some community- here (on the interwebs) but also in person- a lot of my social circles aren't really a healthy place for me to be anymore, so I'm trying to make a conscious decision to find more supportive/ like-minded people. I'm leaving the country for a month or so to go to Melbourne- I have always wanted to go, really need a goddamn vacation after an exhausting amount of personal-life drama, it's the world-capital of specialty coffee/espresso, and adjacent to many Permaculture sites (I will be taking a PDC with David Holmgren for part of the trip!)

Upon my return (March), I'd love to meet you for coffee or something and learn more about your experience(s)!

Stay warm and I'm glad to meet you,

-Andrew
 
D Stark
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Hey Andrew

That sounds like a solid plan. Since you are starting out with a mostly forested area, the focus on observation is key. That PDC sounds great as well. Learning with a true master there.

I'll make some general resource recommendations for our area:

Books:

Ben Falk- The Resilient Farm and Homestead (essential reading for Northeast Permaculturists)
Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel- Farming the Woods
Ben Hewitt- The Nourishing Homsestead
Will Bonsall- Essential Guide to Radical, Self-reliant gardening
Carol Deppe- The Resilient Gardener
Sam Thayer- both of his foraging books
Miles Olson- Unlearn, Rewild

And in case you haven't read them already, my two faves: Tree Crops and Restoration Agriculture


NY Permies:

Sean Dembrosky- edible acres
Steve Gabriel- wellspring farm
Justin Hood- the vital farm
Mellisa Madden and Garret Miller- good life farm
Akiva Silver- twisted tree farm
Sean Zigmund- root and roost farm

Probably more around the Ithaca area.

Other inspiring Permies from the Midwest: Grant Schultz. Peter and Maureen Allen

Even though you are still in the observation stage, you might want to get a small perennial nursery going. That way if you grow from seed soon, they will be a decent size when you are ready to plant. I like Schumacher seeds and sheffields seeds. You'll save money and time while gaining experience. If that's not feasible, no problem either. You can get affordable bare root tree and shrub seedlings from Musser Forest nursery in PA. They are great.

For more specific plants from truly permaculture nurseries, check out Edible Acres and Twisted Tree Farm. Those guys are awesome and I've learned a lot from them. I highly suggest visiting their sites and buying top quality plants and seeds from them.

Your local DEC forester might be a good resource too.

Have an awesome trip and talk to you in March !

- Dennis
 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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Hey Dennis,

I've just settled back into the NYC area, visiting family and such after a long trip to Australia.

I have my PDC now! Very excited to begin this next stage of intentional living.

That being said, I DID have some issues with the course- It was advertised as an intensive, theory-based course with David Holmgren + others, and it ended up being mostly remedial info, with a minimal (<10% of the course) with David. I'm still glad I went, and I met some really great Permies, both from Australia and various parts of the world (including Irene Kightley who seems to be quite prolific on these forums...), but I'd be lying if I said I got everything I wanted. I sort of knew that this was a possibility going into it, so I'm not too beat up about it, but wanted to share anyway. It's all about continuous education anyway, right? This is/was just a first step!

Thanks for all of your book recommendations, I have quite the list between yours and the list I took from the PDC.

If you're in the NYC area I'd love to meet over coffee or something, I need all of the Permie friends I can get!

Cheers,

-Andrew
 
jesse markowitz
Posts: 151
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
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Howdy!

I'm in the bottom of Orange County, so I guess I'm an hour south of you.

Have you heard of Andrew Faust? He's a fairly big permaculture name out there. I like his stuff a lot. I think he lives in Ellenville, which means you're probably pretty close to his place.
 
Claire Arrowsmith
Posts: 25
Location: Liberty, NY
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Hey Andrew!

In just a couple weeks I'll be not far from you - interning this spring on The Vital Farm (mentioned in Dennis' comment) near Liberty, NY.

Check it out online or on facebook and stay connected as we may host some workshops/classes, possibly including instruction from Mark Shepard!

Best of luck this season, I look forward to hearing more about your projects' progression as I am looking for a place to settle in the northeast.
Maybe our paths will cross in the Valley!
 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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I have been in *brief* touch with Andrew Faust- looking to take one of his advanced courses this Spring/Summer and get a chance to visit his place- it is eerily close! (And I used to live right by his spot in Brooklyn as well!) Definitely someone I would like to emulate in some capacity going forward.

Claire- that's rad! I have now followed them on Facebook and look forward to seeing what you get into- sounds like a good time! Gonna have to stop by there soon.
 
D Stark
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Hey Andrew

I sent you a purple moosage with contact info.
Did you get it?
 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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Hey everyone! Thanks for your support- there's a lot of land area to take in and think about, it can get quite overwhelming!

I've been going for walks around the property several times a day for the past week or so, and a few things have come to my attention:


-The field, while open and prime for some really cool earthworks (and lots and lots of planting!), is *relatively* inaccessible at this point, except by foot. I'm beginning a dialogue with the neighbors about road access, as they have a roadway that comes pretty close to the edge of the field. I think the more ambitious elements of the homestead will have to be later this year or even next spring.

-Said neighbors have a clear line of sight to where I originally wanted to put my campsite. I'm going to camp closer to the high point in the photos later in the post, starting this weekend.

-There is SO. MUCH. DEBRIS. in the forest. There have to be at least a hundred or two dead Cedar trees that have been shaded out by the much taller deciduous trees that dominate the forest.

-I need more precise topographical surveying done, to really get the details of the ridge(s). There may be some surveys that were done when my family purchased the land, although I've contacted the firm that did the work and they are skeptical of having records from ~25yrs ago.


My current plan of action:


-Cut down dead trees and cut up miscellaneous debris into sizes I can move by hand.
-Orient said debris into huglekultur in the forest. (There will be plenty of debris from the southern side of the field to do hugelkultur in the field eventually for the *food forest*)
-Additionally, thin out some trees for use in building, as well as to clear out the understory a little bit more for other kinds of plant life.

In tandem with the forest project(s):

-Put in a series of raised-bed/hugelkultur along the pool area-fence line that borders the road- this will be my more intensive food production focused area. (open sloping lawn along north edge of property, lots of sun)
-Clear out and then plant along the northern edge of the field. I want to create a boundary high enough to screen out the neighbors looking into my field, but low enough to preserve their view of the surrounding ridges (this is part of my *negotiation* to get them to OK a roadway into the field).
-Use any good cedar and other wood post-sized wood to begin to fence in the field, so I can introduce chickens and protect future hugel and swale plantings.

My main questions or areas for seeking advice are...

-What do I plant for a visual screen with the neighbors that I can manage to suit both of our needs? I like the idea of bamboo, but i know that it can be considered invasive/a nuisance (although I would love to use it for building things!)

-I've seen Hugels in and amongst trees- is my skepticism about lack of sunlight unfounded? Additionally, what kind of under-story plants do people normally plant on these?

-I'm having trouble finding info on rules and regulations for waterways in my specific area- I would love to put some dams/ponds along the creek that runs through the property (the thinner blue line). I'm not in a rush, as I don't have the resources to do much about it yet, but want to make sure I don't set myself up for a lawsuit or a government inquiry. If done well, I think I could supply the field with all of the irrigation it could ever need (swales both retaining water but also helping feed the waterway).

-What information about the site can I provide to make it easier for y'all to give me advice?

Here are a few pics... (More to come- I'm making a set of Flickr albums and also will upload pictures as they are relevant and I have time!
Overview-of-Site.PNG
[Thumbnail for Overview-of-Site.PNG]
Site Overview, USGS Topo Lines, and main inhabited areas...
Misc-Woods-DEBRIS.jpg
[Thumbnail for Misc-Woods-DEBRIS.jpg]
So. Much. Debris. There have been wind storms lately too so it seems like there is more every time I walk around...
Field-Low-Point-looking-North-East.jpg
[Thumbnail for Field-Low-Point-looking-North-East.jpg]
If my neighbors shed was just a little further east.... (or if I plant a bunch of cool stuff!)
 
D Stark
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Densely planted sunchokes make a good screen during the warmer months. For a more year round screen, try poplar, black locust, willow, or any other fast growing species. The dec can help you there with affordable seedlings.

In a temperate climate, soft fruits such as berries can do ok in the understory. Otherwise, most tree crops need full sun for max production. I was thinking of doing groundnut or air potato in the understory as a vine crop.

Not sure of the laws in regards to pond building, however you have an ideal pond site to the left of the field. Notice the shape of the contour line in relation to the creek. Though you probably won't have to irrigate much.
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2180
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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I'm in eastern Broome County, so not really close to you, but my land has some similar features.

First, I would like to know what interval the big contour lines on your map represent. It doesn't seem very slopey... 10'?
How big is the creek next to the field, does it run year round, and how rocky and deep is its bed? Can you tell how big the worst floods in it have been?
Is the red line a path or trail from the house to the field, or a proposed road?
Do the neighbors, at least one of whom look to be landlocked, have a legal right of way along their common edge with your upper tongue of woods, or is it all informal?
Is the road near the big creek at the bottom of your land good for access? Is that creek too big to easily bridge, or too regulated to do it without hassle?
Do your far future plans include using the existing house for something, or might you want to separate it and concentrate on fresh development?
 
Glenn Herbert
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Until I get some more info, I have a few thoughts to throw out...

Unless you can get an ironclad legal right of way from your neighbors, I would be reluctant to make plans that depend on that. When I built on a subdivided section of the family land, the only reasonable access was a long-abandoned road which was a shared ROW with the longtime farm family neighbors. Then they sold the land, and the new people were total jerks. They couldn't and didn't want to prevent me from using my driveway (centered on the property line, and not readily shiftable due to trees and slope), but they could build a crackerbox plastic modular house next to the line that looks down into my driveway and front door.

You have a nice looking field, and it would be somewhat of a waste to use it for house building when you have a lot of scrub woodland next to it. My first impression would be to locate on the western side of the creek so there would never be an impediment to getting in and out, yet still visually and spatially isolated from your parents' house. It looks like you could develop a driveway from the road west of that house on almost a level contour. From experience, a flattish driveway in winter will give you benefits for the rest of your life. The convex contour lines mean you would have little issue with drainage across the driveway, just maybe a few 4-6" pipes if that.

If the contours are correct, it seems to me that you could develop a pond next to the creek, near the end of the red line, which would be fairly close to the house site I have in mind. I would not try to dam the creek unless it is very small, gently sloped, and you have a *lot* of big rocks to armor the spillway or are willing to use concrete. We have had two 500 year floods in the last decade here, and I would plan for more as the climate shifts. Locating a pond at a high point on your land may also be feasible if a lot more work. I doubt irrigation is a likely need for you - it certainly isn't here.

Do you have any springs or seeps on your land?
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
Posts: 386
Location: South West France
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Hi Andrew,

I've found your thread, brilliant !

I'm home at Sourrou and catching up all over the place at the moment. After the PDC, I went to South Gippsland to meet some old permie pals, then to geoff lawton's place and a few other stop offs on the way plus of course a last road trip in the VW dreambus !

As I said before, take a lot of photos. They might not look interesting now but as your experience grows you'll see thing in them that you didn't notice before.

Irene x
 
Joan Fassler
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Hi Andrew.
Just north of you in Hartford NY, near the Vermont border.
I have a lot of the same problems you do. Just bought five acres of what use to be farmland, 50 years ago. It was hillside pasture and I am not exaggerating, it is 45 degree slope. Some small lumbering harvesting were had been done over the years. I have piles of oak branches all over the place. These are old piles do not seems to be decomposing anytime soon. There are trees blown down from Hurricane Irene, some trees just standing dead, bug and/or fungus infested. A pile not far behind my house looked like someone was trying to construct a baracade. The previous owner said they used it for a deer blind. I decided to make it into one huge compost pile/ huegle culture/ mushroom /salamander habitat. My daughter calls it my bridge to nowhere. I have dumped piles of leaves on it, kitchen scrapes, goat manure, lime, and gypsum. I threw some mushroom spawn in it last year, going to do it again this year. The red newts and salamanders love it. If I can clear out some of the trees surrounding it, I am going to plant on it, squash, I think. I have nothing but stones on my property, so I am making several large fire ring to make burning pits. Help get rid of some of the tick infestation , the bugs attacking the trees, as well as the fungus I do not wantMy soil is very acidic by the the way the oaks grow on it, so scattered pits of ash leaching slowly will be good for the soil. I do not intend to burn massive amounts all at once. If I was able to get a wood chipper, I would throw the chips on the branch heaps, to help hold moisture to help the decompose, add more mushroom spawn.
 
Andrew McCarthy
Posts: 7
Location: Stone Ridge, New York
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Lots of questions! I tried to keep it organized so I could get to them all. I'm going to post another reply or two by the end of the day with some more pictures to make some of this clearer...

Glenn Herbert wrote:
First, I would like to know what interval the big contour lines on your map represent. It doesn't seem very slopey... 10'?

20ft intervals, from USGS Topo Maps. (The northeast and thickest line is 700', and the stream bed around 620' at the southern tip of the plot. I'm in the process of having a surveyor come soon to get a more precise picture. It also turns out that we have a subdivided plot of land up the western edge of the runoff stream, which could be a good pond site, and could also offer access from the north road.

How big is the creek next to the field, does it run year round, and how rocky and deep is its bed? Can you tell how big the worst floods in it have been?

The creek almost totally dries up in the peak of summer, at least from what I remember as a kid and from what my father tells me. It is somewhat boggy most of the year, as there isnt a super-dominant stream path when it isn't in full force like it was a month or more ago. The entire strip is bounded on both sides by rock walls. (I'm going to make another post with some pics highlighting some more features)

Is the red line a path or trail from the house to the field, or a proposed road?

It's currently a footpath through the woods, almost big enough to drive through, but it isn't connected to the main driveway- there's a rock wall in the way (that could be changed). I think for road access to a site near the field, coming from the northern edge road and coming down from the higher point of the property may be a more readily available way to get to the field. I like the idea of a road in about the same position as the footpath, but that may have to be a longer term project after I clear a lot of the dead wood and thin out some of the infected trees.


Do the neighbors, at least one of whom look to be landlocked, have a legal right of way along their common edge with your upper tongue of woods, or is it all informal?

As of yet I don't exactly know. Until now noone has spent much time in the field and adjacent area to their property- the land is boggy as I said above and when the forest isn't totally barren you kind of forget they're there.



Is the road near the big creek at the bottom of your land good for access? Is that creek too big to easily bridge, or too regulated to do it without hassle?

There is a small bridge at the southern boundary of our plot, and small stretch where building a bridge to gain access to the field from the south could work- but I think that's a longer-term project (at least a couple years from now).
As for regulations, I'm looking in to it a little more. There is some bad erosion along the road, and I want to explore some more of the grants that seem to be available for stream bed restoration and maintenance. Anyone who has experience with this, let me know! There is a sizable pond a few hundred yards north of the plot on the other side of the road, which feeds the western creek (Peters Kill) year-round.



Do your far future plans include using the existing house for something, or might you want to separate it and concentrate on fresh development?

Yes, although how and for what is still pretty up in the air. The family's use of the property going forward is an ongoing conversation we're having. I want to try to turn the garage into an office/workshop of sorts, as we may be able to put a greenhouse adjacent to it in the future.

I want to focus on an independent site so that I can have my own space to settle in to, but also want to inoculate the original site with as much permaculture as I can as to take advantage of the fencing, access, and height of the developed area. I will be starting on hugel beds this next week by the pool, east and uphill from the main house. I just picked up some seeds to try and get a few vegetables and herbs going for when i finish the beds.


You have a nice looking field, and it would be somewhat of a waste to use it for house building when you have a lot of scrub woodland next to it.

Thanks! I'm not really planning on anything too permanent for now- I don't see myself building anything all that big for at least a year or two, once I've planted some more and and gotten a better feel for everything. I think where you're thinking (just west of the southwest corner of the field, across the creek, is where I'll end up putting my semi-permanent 'campsite'. It's pretty secluded (being on the other side of the ridgeline from the house) and is pretty centrally located to the rest of the site. I may have to apply some drainage fixes to make the path across the creek to keep it field-accessible though.
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2180
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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That all sounds sensible. It sounds like the little creek is more something to develop a ford across than a bridge. Getting a few truckloads of big gravel/crushed rock might be the best long-term solution. If you can dig drainage channels upstream of the crossing point and raise the roadway section, you might be able to dry out a stretch enough to only need to armor a short section. It sounds like a pond with the spoil becoming the dam and forming the roadway may be practical.
 
Greg Canicio
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Hi Andrew,

What a great thread, thank you everyone for participating.  I am soon to be in the same situation you were in 10 months ago!  My wife and I found a piece of land (raw) in Saugerties, NY and will also be moving towards a permaculture way of life out of Brooklyn.  We do however want this to be a multi-family off grid (mostly) homestead.  Yesterday we signed a contract on 18 acres, so the journey will start soon. Our observation period I guess will begin in the winter season...ouch!  Probably will have to build an igloo or something.  

We should eventually have all sorts of structures to be example of different natural building techniques found throughout the globe.  I just started looking into your wotafi/hobbit hole idea, and it's been festering in my head...we will for sure build one at some point too! I have done one cob building workshop, next will be strawbale.  My wife and I spent some time in Thailand and learn to build with bamboo and that's awesome, but you are right they are invasive.   I do have to study up on permaculture even though we've been around it a while we need to start practicing. 

As for your legal questions for regulations in town all the info can be found here:http://ecode360.com/6184585 I think Stone Ridge is under Marbletown township, is that right?  What we did to find things out mostly is call the building department telling them we were looking for land and asking if specific things could be done in the specific zoning of land we had found without giving out the address.  

ok thanks again for everyone's answers and questions it's going to help us get started as well....

Andrew can we get an update to your work please soon.

 
Michelle Boyce
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Location: Catskill, NY
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Hi Andrew!

I've just registered on Permies and happened upon your post while searching in the forums. I realize you've been in Stone Ridge for almost a year now, but if you're still looking for Permie friends, I wanted to make sure you've heard of the Permaculture Meetup group that meets at the Marbletown community center. Have you heard of it? It meets the first Monday of every month. I can't say I remember meeting an Andrew there this year (besides Andrew Faust). The topics vary from beginner to intermediate/advanced but, no matter how much the lecture/meeting informs you, it's always nice to be in the same room with a bunch of likeminded individuals every month! Great for meeting people and building community and resources/knowledge. Below is a link:

https://www.meetup.com/RondoutValleyPermaculture/
We just had a planning meeting at the beginning of December, so the topic for January should be posted soon enough Good luck with your projects!

~Michelle
 
Ben Hart
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Andrew,

We should definitely connect sometime soon.  We are hosting a workshop with Mark Shepard this April (28-30) that is going to be almost all practice and no theory.  We will be doing a full-scale earthworks install complete with planting thousands of chestnuts, oaks, hazelnuts, and pines.  We had Mark out last September and we were blown away at how helpful he was in helping us to get our picture of a homesteading ecosytem into the ground.  If you'd like more, you can look at our website and Facebook pages here:

http://restorationagricultureworkshopnewyork.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1830174287245867/

As a native of the Hudson Valley, I'm stoked to see others getting into this.  We've already got a bunch of folks from the HV area signed up so I suspect there will be plenty of top-notch networking going on.

Hope that helps!

Best,
Ben
 
J French
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Hi Andrew. I'm new to this too. Looking fir land here in Western MA. Berkshires. Not sure where you are in NY, but I've been seeing some nice property fir permie in Columbia County NY. Not sure how far you are from there, but Upstate has some nice land too. Keep me updated. Like to hear about your progress.

Thanks,
Jess
 
You have to be odd to be #1 - Seuss. An odd little ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
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