Cristo Balete wrote:One other important point about living in an arid climate, and that is there is little or no summer or fall rain. The west coast, particularly the inland deserts, only have marginal rainfall between December and April, that's not enough to live with. Other parts of the country that have rainfall in the summer at least have water to collect on a roof, but out West it's a different story.
I was trying several things to get more water these last three years of serious drought, and they didn't work because there's no rain from May to November. Even the dense redwood forests on the very edge of the coast get 25% of their water needs from fog.
And don't get started on harvesting fog. I tried that, too. There's wet fog and there's dry fog, and dry fog won't give you a drop of water, unless you are a redwood tree or a pine tree with millions of needle surfaces and you're in the right location. One summer had some pretty good wet fog, and I got four 30-gallon garbage cans full of water, not enough to even keep the tomatoes going.
someone with a a level head, a lot of guts, solid design skills, adequate funds, and a real life skill set, i think where there's a will there's a way and these cheap lands are a real if challenging opportunity. Who among us will have the guts and determination to succeed doing what has not yet been done!!!
Cristo Balete wrote:Mark, you bought the land sight unseen? You've got to let us know how it goes! I hope you start a thread on it.
Joseph Johnson wrote:Hi Mark
You will be about 30 miles north of my land. Welcome to the neighborhood lol. I love mine I started with 20 acres and after visiting I added 40 more and after a few weeks jumped it to 104+. On the first page of this thread Kathleen posted some pics. That is EXACTLY what the land looks like. Mountains are all around you in any direction and on a clear night with no moon the stars will take your breath away.
You have found a very valuable resource here. Everyone is ready to jump right in and share a wealth of knowledge. In just over a month since I found this forum I have learned more than I ever thought possible.
Looking forward to hearing about your adventures
Dan alan wrote:I bought 80 acres of Terlingua land and have been visiting my plot for a couple years. Here are a few observations to consider...
7) A 5' tall swale near me has 6" trees growing in and thumb sized grass growing super thickly. Nothing grows in the bottom of the swale. I suspect due to the fine sodium bentinite clay that is in the environment. Grows starts a foot up the swale. I think the tree growth would be MUCH better if the trees were managed and thinned so they did not complete with each other.
In the desert with 2% grade, will trees grow from concentrating rain from single swale into a soakage like pit?
I have in mind concentrating 1 or 2 acres into a pit looking similar to the grass land spill way page 352 of the designers manual. I want to grow a 1/4 acre food forest in the pit bottom with a house built all the way around. Will I be able to gain and concentrate water on this slope? Is there a minimum grade for making this workable?
Our land has a 2% grade and it appears water sheets across the land when it downpours. A large berm up hill stops good water flow from reaching our land. I think Bill Said in the original PDC DVD that you place a swale every 15 feet of elevation drop? So, I am thinking I can only place 1 swale on 40 acres.
The pit will be 3 foot deep soakage pit where the trees will be grown. The entire pit will have a Japanese style house all the way around it.
The normal rainfall is 12 inches, but 8 inches has been the normal rainfall. We have a shallow well and can drip irrigate. Rain collected from the roof will be about 40,000 gallons at 8 inches.
Our location is in the Texas Chihuahua desert here:
Elevation about 3000 feet.
There is some bentonite clay in the soil, a sandy gravel mix. I noticed the berm uphill, not on my property, has large trees and huge grass growing one foot up the berm, but nothing grows in the bottom of the swale; clay?
Is this design viable? Will I collect enough water? Will I drown the trees when the one big rain comes?
Is it okay to plant trees in a flat soakage pit with mulch, or should I plant on mounds to avoid settling clay particles?
charlotte anthony wrote:..weeds you have gathered with water and let ferment for 21 days. you then stir for one minute counterclockwise and `1 minute clockwise several times a day. after 21 days you dilute about 10 times and spread with sprayer or watering can.