Short background on me- I grew up in NH psyched on art and educating myself, moved to Maine for college and stayed. My dude and I purchased 25 acres in February, in the area around Belfast - our intent is to create a homestead for our families that feeds our souls and stomachs while playing nice with planet earth. We are food people, really excited to get going on a small farm and MAYBE a catering business/food truck.
I have been staking out the land for about 8 months, and I am currently taking a PDC. It seems like I have read nearly every book out there on permaculture and natural building (applicable to Maine) but I feel so overwhelmed with the options! My question to the good people of Permies - where should we start?
Home w/ graywater system, solar/wind power + low energy use, passive solar Garage w/ wood working shop
Animals - poultry is a huge desire, hoping some bovine and porcine friends could join the party eventually (in Salatin style orchestration, but with permaculture 'lazy' twist)
Food abundance forest spaces (on berms?)
Dunk pond, ideally other bodies of water too (huge believer in water's healing powers! Running water would be amazing)
Kitchen garden w/ outdoor processing kitchen
Temporary shelter AND building practice - we live about 30min away from the site and have already found that being able to stay makes work SO MUCH better and ore efficient, we do have an RV (the tow kind?) to tow in and set up 'Offgrid' aka as simple and cheap as possible (do we need a pad for this? Or just cleared space?) We also need building practice as we are skilled but not experienced in building large structures, and I am really committed to building our home, so we were considering a sauna or cabin etc to get some experience in first
Lots and lots of privacy (neighbors rite up to property line on west and north sides, neighbor ATV track up to line in south side : )
MONEY. We have a lot of saving before big purchases can happen. Have a couple thousand to work with right off (Working on paying down land loan and existing other loans)
Lots of trees. Plenty of wonderful material, but clearing will be required for EVERYTHING (the center column is largely young trees, which is much easier!)
Growth potential - we know enough to know that we don't know everything. Not sure how things will entirely play out in terms of family joining us, our family growing, the economy collapsing, you know...
TIMELINE - are there things we should be getting a jump on now? Any really pertinent design issues I am not considering? What order and priority should elements be in?
Attached is land view - it has a nice elevation change, highest near the middle of the property, east side. Road is on north line of property. Southern exposure is really great on back side, winter wind is typically gnarly from the north and occasionally the east.
posted 4 years ago
I have created some thoughts about design, I would love some feedback based on my design or otherwise :
One thing you could likely do now is a small tree nursery.
Some trees can be grown from seeds ( I have a number started from seeds)
Some you can buy as seedlings.
Some you can buy a few and buy grafting stock to do your own grafting on to root stock. There is a two acre paw paw patch in my area where they graft named paw paw on to suckers.
It is very likely that some of the seed you can collect or trade for at a seed swap.
Trees and shrubs can take time to grow.
I have had very good like growing a number of trees in a nursery a few year in tree bags or root pruning others before putting into my landscape.
posted 4 years ago
Yes, excellent suggestion thank you! I do have a smallish nursery slated in there, closer to the road. I am (recently) aware that if I want to create hugels, I'll need to plant them!! So I have started clearing that area of non-useful species (kept some maples and bramble berries) and broadcast a cover crop. Hoping to get some seed and stock this season. I do have some plant propagation skill I am excited to flex Missed the FedCo spring sale by ONE week ugh