While out fishing at a lake nearby I saw someone putting up a for sale by owner sign. I got to talking with him and he was selling just over 5 acres. It's mostly flat sage brush covered land, picture is below. The entire piece of land is surrounded by BLM land, over 1K acres, he has one of the last few lots still privately owned. It has a road easement to the property but there is No water on it and its pretty useless land as he called it...
I told him about permaculture and explained how it could be used on his land, he sounded interested but didn't want to do it, said I had lots of energy for it. I said I would love to buy the land but I didn't have much these days... he said shoot me an offer, I offered half of what he was asking...and he said if it's all cash we can do it today... I couldn't believe it...
I went to the bank and withdrew the money and he went and got the deed and we met at a notary and got everything going...Now I got 2 pieces of land but this one needs some serious help...but I think it would be a good test area to try out some things.
Just wanted to share the good news and I will upload video & pictures of my adventures. Getting a list going right now of plants & tree's I should plant and get my plan of action going.
Being in the middle of BLM land before you do anything else I would be sure to post the borders with clear "private property/no tresspassing" signs.
How close is the land to your current home? If you are any distance, I would probably look into some sort of "wild defenses" to keep people out, a good bramble border around the edges with good thorns might be in order.
For the land it's self... a dozer to make some swales and or ponds might be another good first step! While it's there a small [perhaps semi-concealed to deter squatters or vandals] earth berm construction cabin could be nice for you to spend overnights there.
It looks like a really great open canvas you picked up, congrats again!
I'm also going to take pictures of the local plants, take descriptions and try to figure out what all i have there already. Also going to put up some no trespassing, shooting range area signs...just for some fun
Other than that maybe a fire pit, even with no wood around I'll probably bring some in and eventually will plant some trees; looking at doing Jujube, black locust & some different pine trees...
I got these for testing, I want to compare how they do growing the same trees in the Groasis Vs. Swales and Permaculture practices. I will be doing more video when I start planting, I have a variety of seeds in the refrigerator right now Stratifying...
If your not familiar with these;
"The Groasis waterboxx is an 'intelligent water incubator' that produces and captures water from the air through condensation and rain. The condensation is caused by artificial stimulation and the water is captured because of the design of the device, without using energy.
The Groasis waterboxx makes it possible to plant trees or bushes on rocks, on mountains, in gardens, in ashes of recently burned woods, eroded areas or deserts or any other place, without the help of irrigation with a 100% planting result. In moderate climates the Groasis waterboxx causes 15 to 30% faster growth and thus more biomass. The Groasis waterboxx offers the possibility to make more money with trees or bushes through food, fruit, nuts, wood, extracts, medicines, oils and many other economically interesting products."
Can also read more here; http://www.groasis.com/page/uk/index.php
One shining exception is some American plum trees that were sold by my state forestry service for stream stabilization purposes. This is a native plum with very small fruit, but the Indians ate them and I expect to also.
I planted some by the creek and some on the dry, sandy hillside and EVERY tree has taken! This year we got about a month of above 100 degree weather, as well as several days that were 109, and I was SURE that the trees were dead but they were not. The trees look just fine!
If your state forestry department recommends any conservation grade trees, TRY THEM!
I got 25 trees, and with shipping and handling and some crystals to help them get established and plastic flags to mark them, it cost me only $50.
There seems to be allot of holes around this area too, not sure if they are rabbits, gophers or what. It's the hottest time of year up there right now averaging high 90's during the day. So I'm excited to see what the water level will be like in them when I return in Sept/Oct.
The one thing I'm worried about and I can't find any info on is freezing temps, during the winter this area gets allot of snow and drops in the single digits for weeks on end, I'm worried that the box's will split...
Also plan on building a dew pond and see if that will work out there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dew_pond
Yes I have used the Groasis box's, I planted a variety of trees and even tried some seeds, so I will see what happens. I did make some video but figured I would wait until I went back for the update and then edit them together to get a sense of whats working.
I sure wish you had already been there to inspect! I'm inches from buying but I'm very worried about gophers. The lack of mentioning them completely leaves me with so many questions. We're not supposed to disturb the capillary column but that's what you'd have to do to install a gopher cage.
mxitman wrote:The one thing I'm worried about and I can't find any info on is freezing temps, during the winter this area gets allot of snow and drops in the single digits for weeks on end, I'm worried that the box's will split...
Don't worry. I read on the site in the FAQ it has been designed to freeze and thaw. No problems.
mxitman wrote:Also plan on building a dew pond and see if that will work out there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dew_pond
Cool! I have two of these on my site made by nature! They fill up with the first rainfall and evaporate in Spring when the humidity diminishes and the heat begins. Too bad mine are alkaline/brackish
Will the Groasis waterboxx be damaged while freezing at temperatures below 0 °C (+32 °F) and being full with ice?
No, it will not be damaged. The Groasis waterboxx is designed in such a way that the expanding ice is able to find room to expand. This is done by designing all the vertical sides in 8°. So when the water expands to ice between +4 °C to -1 °C (+39,2 °F to +30.2 °F) , the ice can just go a bit higher and find room for the expansion. It is also important to understand that it doesn't matter whether it is -1 °C (+30,2 °F) of -30 °C (-22 °F) . Once changed from water into ice – which happens between +4 °C and -1 °C (+39,2 °F to +30.2 °F) - the ice doesn't exapand any further.
Here you can see trials with Groasis waterboxx under freezing circumstances and here.
note that 0.2% of plants grown lost to gophers!
I am ready to give this a try, on the basis of that kind of information. But also I will do as Pieter suggested and try to eliminate as many gophers as possible first.
I finally got around to uploading some pics of the Groasis water box's that I used for planting a variety of tree's, seedlings and plain old seeds. Looks to be working as advertized, all had plenty of water in them...so far doesn't look like anyone has messed with them...that includes animals and critters on 2 legs. will update next spring as that will probably be the next time I get out there...will be interested to see how they survive the winter. I did get a pretty decent camp area setup, spent a few hours building a good firepit, and clearing for the tent. Also got to hike all around and take notes on the features and plant life. I also tossed over a 1,000 seed balls that I made, will see how they do next spring... It's not much to look at yet...time will tell...
Here are some notes;
Things I would recommend to others;