Gen and I purchased our own 1/4 section (160 acres) of land in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada late last summer. Since that time we have made many observations from the land. After a long winter of watching the suns path we decided on a site for the cabin/shop. We also decided to move camp closer to the work site, make a couple small gardens, and plant some trees.... for biodiversity and privacy sake.
Last winter was spent researching and coming up with a rough plan of our first goals.. those being: starting the cabin, planting some annual gardens, planting some evergreens and other varieties of trees, hand digging a well (hand auger style), starting a small mushroom farm and getting a basic idea of how our zone 1 will play out. After reading through most of Rob Roy's books I decided on a post and beam style, cordwood masonry cabin, and with his plans and some modifications we came up with our design. Early this spring we broke ground!
I also took to heart a lot of what Ben Falk had to say in his Book The Resilient Farm and Homestead, wow did that book help me get an idea of how to plan and design such a big project!
With my own knowledge of construction and landscaping combined with permies, books and family/friends, I believe we are off to a good start to the summer ahead! Here are some photos and such of our spring projects this year.
Looking good Cass and Genevieve. Seems to be lots of shelter from those prairie winds, our previous place near Calgary was so dependent on windbreaks but I used to love watching the storms roll in (I think that's a British thing). So a simple question; what will you do with the full quarter? 160 acres will take a while using the sod cutter!
Thanks Andrew! Yes we have a good half kilometre of trees to our north to keep the winter winds off of us luckily. We have a 20 acre pasture in front of the cabin site that faces SW with a SW slope (perfect for keeping warmer than the surroundings), warm winds come from that direction for us. The property is well wooded with about 30 acres of pasture and open areas, which is rare for the prairies and is what attracted us to the site. Concerning the massive size (160 acres) I think we will do the homesteading thing closer to our zones 1-4 ,with the forest areas being used for forest farming, wildlife habitat, gathering, hunting, hiking and fuel wood. We are super close to a biosphere reserve called the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, which attracts wildlife from pelicans to blacks bears to moose and deer so we are always watching and enjoying the diversity that travels and lives through our plot.
What did you guys do: no one wants to talk after such a great post, come on permies!.....
So intrigued, is the cordwood for the cabin?
Any chance of a google earth image please, as I am trying to understand the breakdown of the land. I ask as we are looking at a large piece, and my greatest concern is management of the 65 acres of pasture for a few years until we are up, running and know what we are doing (ish). I don't want it to be destroyed through neglect, rather to enhance the soils. Forest would be much easier (in some ways).
Only an hour from Saskatoon, a very nice city! But flat, nope far from it.
a wee bit from the empire
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while