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Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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We bought a house near Seattle with the plan that we would move to eastern wa later. wanting more acreage and a drier climate. well we found 40 acres out side of Oroville, we have been camping there for 4 years now. my daughter has spent time every summer there of her life. we are getting ready to start heavy planning now so i figured we would use permies as a place to record and discuss what we do. so far i have a great many plans in my head but the one i cant get down is the home site. just cant figure the best place, i will be posting some pics as i get them done. so a little background as i am not just some crazy city-o-phile. i grew up with a grandfather farmer 35 acre orchard of apples and ran his own trucking and packing operation. spent every summer there out side of wenatchee. looking over the orchard now, he was a genius there is not a single solid block of one type and he planted over 10 varieties of crab apples. what looks like weeds under feet is 20 different types of plants setup as a support system for the trees. the prunings were dropped in the isles and we ran the brush hog over them till they were just chips. i was a nurseryman and ran a nursery and a production green house when i was younger. now i am embarking on my own homestead with my now wife and kids. the adventure continues.
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Here's some pics
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in the pond
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cut out for the spring into the pond
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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More
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start of a cabin, and old faithful 76 ford
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looking over the pond
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below the pong berm
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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OVER HEAD
Screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-8.40.58-PM.png
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ABOUT THE WHOLE PROPERTY APPROX EDGES
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close up of pond and meadow
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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here is a close up of the best area for a home site. i have 4 potential sites there is some old logging roads left over from when the area was logged. it was then used by cattle ranchers for grazing after. was told the pond was built by ranchers about 40 years ago.
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house sites
 
steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Looks like a nice place brian, I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it !
 
brian hanford
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Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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here is a more in depth plan with our preferred house site. wife liked the lowest one but i think that would put the house in line with the pond if it ever over flowed, or failed. pond is approximately 280,000 gallons when full. we currently have home stead hogs and two mini horses, wanting to expand to include sheep and no more than 4 highland cows. thin blue lines denote old logging roads. any comments and advise wanted.
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pollinator
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Location: Longbranch, WA
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Pure Living for Life found that having a hill behind there house site enabled having a cistern that supplies gravity water pressure to the site. Something to think about when you are off grid and water is seasonal.
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Where I plan on the house there is a steep hill side with a old road cut in above about 75 feet up figured to run the pipe along the road and have a small cistern above the house. figured soon having the main well and cistern above the orchard. Gravity water systems are a must just makes everything easier. Only problem I see is that the pipe will have to be trenched 3+ feet deep. And it is a long ways to do it.

Thank you for your input it us a part I hadn't put down.
 
gardener
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Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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i have a great many plans in my head but the one i cant get down is the home site.



wife liked the lowest one but i think that would put the house in line with the pond if it ever over flowed, or failed. pond is approximately 280,000 gallons when full.

 

probably a good idea to stay out of the path of that capacity.

Four considerations when I have been figuring out my house site are light, noise, potential for trees to fall on the house, and water overflow from the creek blowing out (which is a pretty minor event, but still...).  I like the sound of my little creek, and don't like the sound of the highway.  I like to have the greatest access to sunlight (for passive solar design), and know that a house can be built to create shade when needed so I don't need landscape or living things to shade it, but the amount of direct light is limited by the Northern Latitude, tall trees (by the creek that I don't want to cut), and the solar aspect in relation to the ridges on the mountain behind me, or tall mountains directly across the valley from me, or a very tall tree that is just off my property on neighbor's land.  One sight is limited by nearby trees that are not big yet, but at twenty feet and growing like weeds are either going to need to be pruned to hedges, or eliminated if I choose to build near them, as they will grow to a hundred or more feet, and so a house should be at least that far from them or the trees need cutting.  These trees might provide a barrier to the creek blowing out, but also a barrier to the creek sounds.  So to maximize light, and be close enough to the small creek to hear it (at least when it's in full spring/summer flow)-and yet be far enough from it's overflow course, and to be as far up on the property (away from the highway) as possible and not so far that a tree might fall on it, I ended up with limited options.

I guess my advice is to list the things that you most want in a house location, and make another list about the hazards or detriments in the landscape/property.  Map these out and then look at your options.  
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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So completely forgot to include elevation, property starts at about 4000' and the top is just shy of 4800' zone 3-4. we want to include at least two small houses 600-800 sqft. for wooffers or renters as we need, figure to use one as we build the main house. one of the main things we will start next year is the orchard area. the livestock areas will be a food forest, but i want an area to grow intensive tree crops figuring nut, fruit, and bush crops, 30+ types. this is the orchard marked out area.
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Getting ready to plan a late may trip for timber stand improvement, and start working on the orchard area. Figured to use downed timber to make huglekulture terraces. Then plant the trees next to these in on contour lines. Got a laser transit to mark them out. This area has a nature spring runs under to the pond. Want to do at least two ponds uphill from the main one. With seasonal ponds higher up. 
 
brian hanford
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Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Trying to figure how to make the log terraces. Want them buried alittle but need them to be a sponge to help water the trees lots of snow and spring rain with two + months dry. Want to capture the water and terraces the same time.
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Scouted uphill of the pond this year. Starting to map out the design of the tree fruit forest. Found 3-6 good places to put small ponds. These would be uphill of the current one with flow in to channels to feed it or in to swales for the orchard. Found a site for one of the rental homes. Walked the northern boundary, only one Corner I cant find now. The plan is coming to a begining, focus on getting the cabin done this summer. 5+ feet of water in the pond too.

Thank you
3HR
 
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Hey Brian,

Love watching the progress.
Been paying attention to that area for my family as well, just a little afraid of that winter, haha.
Curious about the zoning and building issues, and the local govt.
Has it been relatively easy, or any hassles for going off grid and homesteading?

Since you are up in elevation, well depth deep?

jim

 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Dear Jim,
It is like most places power, septic, and a constant heat source. Install and just don't use it. As for other buildings, they have some very good rules about barns and agricultural buildings. Not much in the way of permits need just as long as you don't live in it or occupy it for extended periods. Each area is different some of the rules are very good and some I hate. Like power and constant heat source required, but slum Lords brought that to us. Overall I love the area snow and cold so you can play in it hot dry in the summer. And you get all the seasons which I like. Winters not bad I used to live in Wyoming so it is shorter and not quite so cold good all around. We are a good 10+ degrees cooler than Oroville is in the summer.

Thank you
Brian
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
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My wife bought a video drone, so I have to figure it out. But I will also find out how the post them. So we can get some drone video of the property and get in to some places easier. Should be cool and in formative.

 
pollinator
Posts: 533
Location: Pac Northwest
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Looking good Brian, nice to see more permie folks in the area.
 
brian hanford
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Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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After looking at several ways of doing terraces, swales and the like. Think we're going to do check logs as there are a bunch of old timber left downed. Ater watching jack spirko's video on swales and terraces helped alot. We don't have the money right now to use an excavator. And this area we are looking at for the orchard. Has a spring under it and the worry is by cutting into the hill side, would create instabilities. I call this area an orchard casue the vision is of a less diverse food forest. With running pigs through a few times ayear to clear and self forage tree crops. The real food forest will be next door and be about 5 acres. The smaller orchard will be 2-3 max.
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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In the exploration of this area we found 3 spots. Just perfect for pig ponds, these areas already filling with Rich silt. It's amazing to see how the sepp principals come straight from nature if only you slow down and look. The hope in the end is for 3 large ponds, and 10-18 smaller ponds all interconnected. I really like Paul's idea for solar pumps to move the water up and help cycle the system. Just think of a aqaponics system with 10-20 ponds all natural. With the rich nutrients moved back to the top. Which could be used for a more intensive grow pond for fish at the bottom and a series or Reed/cattail filter ponds above it.

Thank you
Brian
3HR
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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Well work continues, started a new job. Giving me more time for projects and family. We are still deciding on a house site but we are moving forward with setting check logs and planting. We are about 4 years from moving. The kids are getting excited, my son wants to make sure we bring his pigs. We have started spreading seeds and I have got a pretty good idea of the main 3 ponds. Hoping to be able to move the road. But now is crunch time for our seattle area house. We have work to do on it before we sell. And what options we have with that site. Hope to get to our property soon. But I have already gotten a ton of work done at the house this year. We bought a walk behind brush hog and it has been the best buy we have made to date in equipment.
 
brian hanford
Posts: 80
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Well we got up to the property last weekend. Got to take my grandmother with us. Talked with the neighbors, there was 10 feet of snow this winter. Worked great for the pond, not so good for the neighbor. His plow was broke down, causeing them to be snowed in for 2 months. We really have a good group evolving here. Grandma loved being out there, really understands why were moving there. But she lived on a orchard raising animals and my father with only what they could grow. She was quite content to sit and just enjoy the view.

The pond is almost full, even the neighbor has never seen it this full. Summer is going to bring the work of putting in a over flow.
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brian hanford
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We are really looking at a home site on the other side of the pond. So we can have a deck out front over looking the pond. This site would give us terrace gardens uphill of the house with a large garden below the pond.
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brian hanford
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Here is from the top of the dam, and my son trying to fly his glider.
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Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Hey Brian, how are the mosquitoes? I use a product called "Mosquito Beater" it is a bunch of plant oils like lemon grass, eucalyptus, etc in vermiculite and corn cob. You sprinkle it around the area and it lasts for about 3-4 weeks. It doesn't complete get rid of them, but it does reduce their numbers by about 3/4%. You can get it at Midway, Lee Franks, or North 40.

It is a good way to reduce the need for wearing bug spray.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Hoo-wee 10 ft of snow! Better be prepared for that huh?

Hope you can get up there enough to see how fast the water goes out of the ponds. The pigs might help seal it up?
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Hoo-wee 10 ft of snow! Better be prepared for that huh?

Hope you can get up there enough to see how fast the water goes out of the ponds. The pigs might help seal it up?



Yeah on my property only got about 6 ft of snow. But it was a heavy snow year, not in amount but that it was a snow then melt then snow then melt kind of year. So the snow got heavy and icy. A lot of folks in the area had roof collapses and other damage from the snow. I had a metal shed collapse from the snow this year.
 
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interesting task
 
brian hanford
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Got another chance to go up to the property. But the crazy flooding in Okanagan county, this is like a 100 year flood event. Very in formative, I will post some pics of it.
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brian hanford
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Well we got to plant some crab apple trees, and a bunch more seeds. Amazing the changes a few weeks of spring can make. Marked a few new seasonal springs, and really got to see some differences not previously known. Checked out a possible home site, better for gardens and animal Care but access is not as good. We have really got it down to just two places. Took a bunch of pics and a few videos. See if I can get them posted up.
 
brian hanford
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Videos

 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Awesome, thanks for posting the vid.

You can embed it with the post reply function and using the youtube button. but it works to follow the link too. Gave me a chance to sub to your channel and watch your other vids.
 
brian hanford
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More videos, don't have a YouTube attachment. But I figured out the HTML to do it. Thanks Devin

3HR






 
brian hanford
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Some pics of the property to.
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this is the low spot that creates a spring, it's a convergence of hill sides. and creates the hollow, here official Hanford hollow.
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our camp for the night
 
brian hanford
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Devin Lavign wrote:Hey Brian, how are the mosquitoes? I use a product called "Mosquito Beater" it is a bunch of plant oils like lemon grass, eucalyptus, etc in vermiculite and corn cob. You sprinkle it around the area and it lasts for about 3-4 weeks. It doesn't complete get rid of them, but it does reduce their numbers by about 3/4%. You can get it at Midway, Lee Franks, or North 40.

It is a good way to reduce the need for wearing bug spray.




Sorry I didn't get your post Devin. Cell reception is not the best up there. Nothing too much in the bug department. The pond and spring water is about glacier temperature. We only have mosquitos for a short time in the late spring. One of the bonuses of 4000+ feet elevation.

Thank you
 
Hans Quistorff
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  don't have a YouTube attachment. But I figured out the HTML to do it.


The HTML is done for you if you use the buttons at the top of the reply window. I know how to insert the quote above but it is easier to click the Quote button and control V..  If you have the URL of your Youtube or Vimeo  on the clip board click the button and control V and the video will be available just as you did.
 
brian hanford
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No buttons at all, but I do almost everything from my phone. May not be on the mobile version of the site. Either way I got it to work. I used to program web pages in HTML. Wasn't hard to get it to work. Thank you for the info, figured there should be an easy way to do it.
 
brian hanford
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Did some more videos and pics on the upper half. Got out to hike some for father's day. We just love getting to see all the wildflowers. And there was white tail and black tail deer. Most of the pond has drained away, but I already knew that was going to be a challenge. We hiked up to the upper side this time.
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brian hanford
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New videos of the upper half of our 40 acres.

3HR








 
brian hanford
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It's hard to see in the videos, but the grass tells the waters story. There are 3 main grass ecosystems here. A tall heavy variety with 6-10 support species, large heavy bunch grass with 20+ wild flowers, small bunch grass with more succulent type support species. Often the taller grass only happens under open tree canopy as you move away from the canopy it changes to bunch grass. There is also a striking difference in the trees, higher up where it is dryier they do better the moister it is moss starts to grow and sickens the trees. There appears to only be two varieties of tree.

My wife asked what can we do to save the trees. My response, plant more variety and remove the trees where they don't thrive. Most people look at the failing trees and want to save them. I saw the thriving trees and took note of the difference of environment. With what is almost a monoculture it is easy to see where the new varieties need to be started. And then I can harvest the failing trees. Using the canopy to nurture the seedlings and then creating a return.
 
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