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Colorado Permaculture/Free Living!!  RSS feed

 
Nathaniel David
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Hey everyone!! I recently created an account and this is my first post! I found out about permies about two months ago and have spent countless hours (very productive ones) going through the wealth of information here on this site, so thanks a million for all your posts and knowledge. I hope I may contribute in the future as well. Anyway I have a situation and am looking for a little help.

I am in search of Colorado land that would be good for a large permaculture farm. It is better if it is in a county with no building codes (Saguache, Conejos, Custer, Delta...). The purpose of this farm is to provide an abundance of organic edibles and medicine. We are looking to start with roughly 20 acres of hemp on the property (a beautiful forest of an amazing crop). 5-10 acres of vegetable gardening, fruit and herb gardening, and also several acres of edible forest and beneficial trees. This is a big project but we have so many passionate earth lovers that the hardest part is just waiting to get started. I have been looking for land for around six months and have found some very good potential places, however I have not gone to the experts (ALL OF YOU). SO, if you know of land that would be good for this please point me in the right direction. We want to save the world an acre at a time and your help is greatly appreciated, who knows maybe you'll end up living and growing with us! Love you all and thank you for being you.

Peace
Nathaniel
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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curious if you have considered the cost of water into your plans?
2 of those counties i am pretty familiar with (custer/saguache). both are high alpine desert climates - prepare for rough winters and short growing seasons.

also remember you must be close enough to get your products to some sort of market.

what is your budget for land, if you dont mind me asking?

 
Nathaniel David
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Yes, water is included. We are planning on getting the property setup in a way where little water is needed (hugelkultur and swales to retain water), however we will be able to get an agricultural well as we are looking for land over 35 acres ( and i do realize these are 20-30000$) The budget we are trying to go for is $150,000. The short growing season is definitely a challenge but by re-energizing the soil and also using greenhouses to start crops in the spring, we will be fine. Also the group I am with have locations in Denver/Boulder areas so although we may have to drive a few hours to sell our crops, the markets for organic produce here are spectacular and we will have no problem getting people access to healthy foods. A big reason for doing this as well is to show people that we can turn a high altitude desert into a thriving food farm through permaculture practices.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4027
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Nathaniel, have you been looking on the landwatch website?

Will this be a community start up sort of thing?

Is that your total budget or just for the land?

Would you want to be near other Colorado permies who are trying to do some of the same things?

I have heard that some of the folks in Conejos are running into some push back from the county.
 
Nathaniel David
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Hey miles.
The landwatch site is the main one I have been using and I feel that it does a great job, just kind of wanted to see if any locals or current southern colorado landowners might have something for sale. And yes I would love to be around neighbors trying to do the same thing, shared knowledge and help is something that can make this project amazing. In the future I see everyone switching, once everyone can see how to do this and how well it works, southern colorado will become a nearly self sustaining food forest as well as a high altitude oasis where people will come. Its our job to start it and it will grow from there.
I have read articles on pushback that people are getting,the only thing I can say is that we will do our due diligence before making a final choice and then fight from there to make this way of life a norm that is easily accessible. I know there are hurdles but I can't live any other way.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Nathaniel David wrote:Yes, water is included. We are planning on getting the property setup in a way where little water is needed (hugelkultur and swales to retain water), however we will be able to get an agricultural well as we are looking for land over 35 acres ( and i do realize these are 20-30000$) The budget we are trying to go for is $150,000. The short growing season is definitely a challenge but by re-energizing the soil and also using greenhouses to start crops in the spring, we will be fine. Also the group I am with have locations in Denver/Boulder areas so although we may have to drive a few hours to sell our crops, the markets for organic produce here are spectacular and we will have no problem getting people access to healthy foods. A big reason for doing this as well is to show people that we can turn a high altitude desert into a thriving food farm through permaculture practices.


without sounding like an asshole - i think you have some pretty ambitious goals.

i will clear a few tings up tho - 35 acres does NOT entitle you to a ag well. you will be permitted to drill a "household well" that allows up to 1 area of irrigation.

depends on what products you plan to sell, but i can tell you that its not currently profitable for me to drive to Boulder to sell the products i produce (milk, eggs, chickens, turkeys, lamb and pork)
also the drive to denver/boulder from any of the counties you listed will be 3+ hours (its 2.5 hrs from my house to boulder, and i further north than custer county)

there aer come amazing greenhouses, and i would recommend you get in touch with penn and cord to see what they are doing with their greenhouse (hint: year around family food production at 9000ft). tho the cost of their greenhouses are $30k+ check out more here: http://www.pennandcordsgarden.com/greenhouses.html

again, im not trying to be a downer -but i have experience in farming at a much lower altitude and much more water than you are proposing - and its TOUGH.

with a budget of $150k - you may look into land with irrigation water in fremont or pueblo county. in my area - you can get a trailer, land (less than 5acres) and water rights for around $150k.
check out this thread where i invite anyone interested in producing to move to my general area and we can team up http://www.permies.com/t/52960/intentional-community/moving-Southern-Colorado-farm-open

 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Nathaniel, have you been looking on the landwatch website?

Will this be a community start up sort of thing?

Is that your total budget or just for the land?

Would you want to be near other Colorado permies who are trying to do some of the same things?

I have heard that some of the folks in Conejos are running into some push back from the county.


GREAT POINT MILES!

this is partly because of the recent legalization - partly because its inexpensive land with no building codes and partly because it sparely populated.

we looked into moving down in the southern san luis valley (with its ABUNDANCE of irrigation water) but the recent flock of people moving there made it undesirable for us as its creating a huge divide between the old timers and newcomers.
 
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