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It started with a tomato  RSS feed

 
Posts: 11
Location: West Point , CA . 3000 ft southwestern slope
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  It started 15 years ago as , lets plant some tomatoes. Next year we had a few rows of tomatoes, some pea , cucumbers a little basil and whatnot. For the next few years our garden grew and so did the way we wanted to eat and live. Then a friend introduced us to permaculture , and down the slippery slope we went.....

   Now here we are . We sold our house in the mountains and moved down the hill a little. Landing on 6 and 1/2 acres on a SW facing slope on the west side of the Sierra Nevada at 3000 ft .  The property is fenced off corner to corner and separated into several different pastures. The pastures have tall trees offering partial shade throughout day and most of the underbrush has been cleared . I believe the previous owners may have had goats. There's about 1 and 1/2 to 2 arces of sunny hillside for a garden. Most days there's a canyon draft that helps keep it cool and a well that should provide enough water and water storage for our growing needs.

  We both work from home, so this end of the road property works really well for us. Someday , along with growing and raising the majority of what we eat, we'd like to create income off of what we enjoy doing , being outside, getting dirty and growing stuff.

  After several years of reading and following what people have been doing here , were excited to finally be on this path .

  To every person who posted a question , to those offer solutions and to the moderators that have kept this forum clean . We'd like to say THANK YOU
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pollinator
Posts: 984
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
54
kids trees urban
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Yay!  congratulations!  Show us a design!  Let's do some group brainstorming?  Lots of possibilities. 
 
Jeff Berning
Posts: 11
Location: West Point , CA . 3000 ft southwestern slope
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Yay!  congratulations!  Show us a design!  Let's do some group brainstorming?  Lots of possibilities. 



Thanks ,  we don't have real any plans yet . We've been here less than week. We don't have any questions , but are open to all suggestions.

I drew up a quick map to show the current layout.

Black lines = fence lines
Pink = House and shop   , the "shop" is 2, 40 foot shipping containers
Dark purple = 2 , 20 x40 carports that are enclosed
Green = tall trees,  most of the understory has been cleaned up . Lots of mountain misery .
Yellow= lots of sun. This area already has water lines run to it and 5000 gallons of water storage.
Blue Arrows = steady breeze that seems to come up out if the canyon every day when it warms up.
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Jeff Berning
Posts: 11
Location: West Point , CA . 3000 ft southwestern slope
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  Next year we'd like to get chickens and goats and get a nice size garden going again.  This year were going to focus on getting settled in, cleaning up and bringing back what's already here. Maybe grow a few tomatoes Here's a list of what's we already have growing in the yellow area on the map by the house.

3 apple trees
2 pear trees
1 almond
1 fig
5 peaches? Not totally sure if that they are
3 blueberries
Several dozen thornless rasperries
Chives
Walking onions
Sunchokes
Horseradish
goose berries
Lots of oregano , rosemary,  sage ,mint , lemon balm , valerian , rhubarb , echanacia  and who knows what else might pop up.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 984
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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kids trees urban
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Cool!

Are you married to the goats (no pun intended)? Paul talks about them as a rookie mistake, vs. sheep or something better-behaved.  What functions do you want from your goats?

If you do want to do goats, check out Laughing Dog Farm's article on a discovery of a way of taming goats.  His goats are relatively chill, I'd say, and he sells the males before the summer heat kicks in so they have zero stink to my nose (i'm not a super-smeller by any means, but goats are usually not subtle).

What are your top three desires in having this place?  Fresh food? food independence? the company of animals? care of the earth? reducing carbon or petroleum footprints? community? prosperity?
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 984
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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kids trees urban
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Also, what can you tell us about the previous inhabitants and their relationship to the land?

Jeff Berning wrote:  Next year we'd like to get chickens and goats and get a nice size garden going again.  This year were going to focus on getting settled in, cleaning up and bringing back what's already here. Maybe grow a few tomatoes Here's a list of what's we already have growing in the yellow area on the map by the house.

3 apple trees
2 pear trees
1 almond
1 fig
5 peaches? Not totally sure if that they are
3 blueberries
Several dozen thornless rasperries
Chives
Walking onions
Sunchokes
Horseradish
goose berries
Lots of oregano , rosemary,  sage ,mint , lemon balm , valerian , rhubarb , echanacia  and who knows what else might pop up.

 
Jeff Berning
Posts: 11
Location: West Point , CA . 3000 ft southwestern slope
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  Ah yes .... the goats. From My limited research , I've realized goats can be difficult , but my wife wants them. She has a friend that has a some goats and she's wanted to get a few for the past severel years. At our previous place that wasn't an option. As far as the function of the goats , I see them as an extension of the 3 big crazy dogs we have. While I wouldn't mind a source for goat milk , we like making cheese , the goats would be kept as pets .

  The reason for the move out here is , we want to create an oasis , at the end of the road , where we can spend the rest of our lives. We'd like to not only grow and raise the majority of the food we eat , but to grow an excess of some of those crops , either to share or sell . But we aren't looking for food independence. Knowing my wife , there will be  animals.

  As far as prevous owners . Original owner built the house in 1985 , planted most everyrhing that's here , sold it in 2005 . Last owner owned it for 2 years and it was a permitted cannabis grow.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 984
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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kids trees urban
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Cool.  The oasis sounds beautiful and peaceful! 

Do you have pictures you can post of what you like to dream of having it look like?

What are your near neighbors like? 
 
Jeff Berning
Posts: 11
Location: West Point , CA . 3000 ft southwestern slope
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

What are your top three desires in having this place?  Fresh food? food independence? the company of animals? care of the earth? reducing carbon or petroleum footprints? community? prosperity?



These are good questions that we never asked ourselves. This move was just a other step in how we want to live our lives and a continuation of what we've been doing . Much like switching to reusable water bottles , to help cut down in the amount of stuff i have to take to the dump . Or starting to can food because we grew too much to eat fresh. Or saving seeds so I dont have to buy them.

  So what were we doing? We used to live on a third of an acre at 4500 ft surrounded by huge cedars, firs and pines . Its a very dryenvironment. For the first few years we spent a lot of time and energy watering ,weeding and amending . And no matter how much we watered , it was still very dry.  Then about 5 years I started building hugel beds throughout the yard , turned a few small drainage ditches into swales . Virtually stoped "weeding"and started to chop and drop most everthing ....

... on June 1st of this year we moved out . Despite not watering anything this year . The yard was lush and green.  All of our neighbors still have dry dusty hillsides.

  We just want to expand on that here . We're not attempting to be self sufficient , but we're slowly headed in that direction. We want a huge garden for both enjoyment of it , and to know where our food comes from. Aside from always having a pack of dogs , neither if us have any animal experience. But we now have space for them so I'm sure at some point we will.

  So answer the question , all of the above . Clean air , room breath and make some noise , space to work , fresh food and freedom.

 
Posts: 571
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Do you capture rainwater from the roof?
Either for domestic , garden or livestock use.
 
Jeff Berning
Posts: 11
Location: West Point , CA . 3000 ft southwestern slope
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John C Daley wrote:Do you capture rainwater from the roof?
Either for domestic , garden or livestock use.



  Not yet , but we have talked about it for garden and livestock use . Between the house, shop and several small outbuildings we have approximately 3000 square feet of roof.

  There aren't any gutters on any of the buildings and we believe that has led to flooding issues around the house on the past . There were makeshift boardwalks and paths made with old sections of carpet around house. For now I'm going to install gutters and dig some drainage ditches to divert the water from the house. We'd like to capture the rain water in the future
 
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