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Seeking online mentorship for small permaculture community in TN  RSS feed

 
Dustin Nemos
Posts: 95
Location: Central TN
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Looking for advice on how to best utilize permaculture design methods for our 30 acres in Tn,  3 households splitting this property and will be building our own homes and structures and earthworks. Doing the research but hoping to have advice to keep us from making any major costly mistakes.

Dustin
 
Michelle Latham
Posts: 18
Location: South Appalachia zone 7a
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Hey Dustin. A feature a design method in your region may be swales - swales are essential for rolling hills, hot summers (i am in south east TN and saw a significant difference when incorporating swales),
Another method, building guilds with native perennials is a good way to begin, because you will familiarize yourself with useful plants on your land. Then you may provide more space for useful species to grow or remove an invasive species.
My property had ocoees/maypop, muscadines, blackberries, various blueberries and wild berries, sassafras, mulberries, black walnut, sumac, goldenrod etc. before we begun applying permaculture to the land.
Our goal was to work off of these plants already established, and build diversity.
Have a great time, and no mistakes will be done.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I encourage you to make a design for your place, and develop in this order 1. Water (rain harvesting earthworks) 2. Access (roads, paths) 3. Structures (houses, sheds, barns, etc)

I've found it very helpful to look at other people's designs.  There are links to designs and design information in this threadhttps://permies.com/t/55751/Permaculture-design-basics
 
Dustin Nemos
Posts: 95
Location: Central TN
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Hey brother, thanks for the reply. I am buying near Henderson in Midwest TN, Still learning about swales and guilds.
 
Elizabeth Rose
Posts: 72
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Hey Dustin. Sounds like you're looking for some big picture feedback, and someone to ask questions to see where your blind spots are. I'm interested in this kind of consulting - holistic context building, livelihood/income stream development, basic land base layout.

Would you be interested in doing an initial Skype meeting? Who knows, maybe all you need is an hour chat before you feel confident enough to implement, or maybe you'll need ongoing support. You can get an idea of what I have to offer, and after that we can see if we're a good fit to work together and what kind of value exchange would be appropriate.
 
Christine Buckingham
Posts: 6
Location: Nashville, TN
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Since you do have more then just one family involved in this project one of the most important part of your design will be finding out exactly what each person involved expects from the project. Do they expect to live communally or does one family want their own home space away from the rest, who likes the idea of taking care of the chickens more then doing work in the kitchen garden. Be sure to write down all the skills each person can bring to the project and the things they are interested in doing/learning.
Good luck, we are also starting our permaculture farm in Mid-TN and are about 50 miles west of Henderson on Hwy 100, just outside of Linden. Would love to keep up with how things are going for you and offer help when we can.
 
Caleb Rae
Posts: 6
Location: Tennessee, Zone 6b
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Our farm is in Southeast TN, I'm just starting to put in swales this Spring. Figuring out what your goals are for the property and time commitments needed to accomplish that, especially with multiple families involved is important. This is my first attempt at design and implementation, but would be happy to share my methods and ideas with you.
 
Dustin Nemos
Posts: 95
Location: Central TN
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My plan (with another family, ultimately 3 households will homestead on the property (Currently have a 13 acres piece in Oakdale, Camden TN, without building restrictions. Pending purchase and radon testing - what else should I test for? its in a residential neighborhood, but behind most of the homes. slope is gentle for TN, has a pond. mostly wooded. I know I will need to clear pasture area as well for solar and gardening and livestock.)

We are planning to build CEB or underground homes with a few of the nifty passive energy-saving features.
We are planning to stick to organic permaculture designing of the property.

We want to incorporate chickens, goats, possibly pigs. I already have rabbits.

I'm new to farming in general, I've plenty of experience with chickens, some with ducks guineas turkeys dogs cats pigs and moderate with rabbits - but I am 100% self taught. Which is a source of uncertainty as to knowing what I don't know, I like to research everything a lot, and combine that with real-world experience in others by asking questions of you fine people!

My goal is to build this home and raise a family with my lady, asap. Looking for all the advice for this stage of creating a permaculture home on 10-13 acres (most of the land will be mine I guess, the other 2 dont plan on farming much)
 
Christine Buckingham
Posts: 6
Location: Nashville, TN
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Being where you are building check out any regulations associated with your county/city. There are some pretty weird regulations out there by some of the counties. Since you are close to a subdivision make sure that subdivision doesn't have some rules against anything you are doing also.
Make friends with the people in the houses that are close to your property.
I reiterate, make sure you know exactly what the other people that will be with you on the property are willing to do and even what they are willing to put up with, if you have chickens do they mind the rooster in the mornings? How much are they willing to help with, do they expect "their" part of the property to be used by you for farming activities or not, do they understand the need for earth works/plantings to capture water, change wind patterns, combat fire hazards?
It sounds like you are just starting your permaculture journey, the first step to understanding what is needed on a property is observation. It can be hard to rein ourselves in and just observe the land for a time, but it can also be very rewarding. If you don't yet have the Permaculture Manual by Bill Mollison I highly recommend it, and if you have the time and funds attending a permaculture course would help you. Cliff Davis at Spiral Ridge Permaculture in Summertown, TN has one scheduled for this spring. Info at http://www.spiralridgepermaculture.com/permaculture-design-course/ check it out.
 
Dustin Nemos
Posts: 95
Location: Central TN
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I am just starting, yes. There is apparently no zoning and there is no restrictions in this county outside of city limits. It's a small town and we are a bit nervous about making a living but we have the attitude of we will find a way.
 
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