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PandaSurvivor

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The only thoughts that really come to mind, is to make sure at least 2 or 3 acres of land are on flat ground. Makes it much easier to farm. Otherwise, I guess it would all depend on what time of land you wanted. E.g, do you want prairies, woodland, mountainous etc etc...

 

Personally I would at least want woodland nearby, so I have wood to make structures as needed... But then you have more space you have to clear in order to farm too... tradeoffs...

 

Sorry if this is not really the type of answer you are looking for.

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Well...I'm sitting on 10 acres, ran into two problems. 1.) Water, used to have it fairly close to the surface, but with the drought that we are having that's no longer true. 2.) After our heavy spring seasonal rains 9 acres turn into marsh until the rains stop and things dry out.

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I was thinking about 3 acres of land for farming and the rest for housing and other needs. I would like to have in near a wooded area and a natural water source like a river or lake. SO I will need to figure out water source and water protection for the land.

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I was thinking about 3 acres of land for farming and the rest for housing and other needs. I would like to have in near a wooded area and a natural water source like a river or lake. SO I will need to figure out water source and water protection for the land.

 

Hi PandaSurvivor! Right after shelter comes water. I would strongly suggest a well down at least 75 feet. For everyday use an electric well pump is ideal. Add a manual well pump (I use "The Simple Pump") down the same well pipe. This guarantees a clean, fresh water source. The Simple Pump will also work with a battery and/or solar power. I have been using mine for thirteen years.

 

I think you are on the right course and wish you the best of luck!

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May I suggest reading the Thread: Finalizing a deal on 8.9 acres of land of upstate New York. Suggestions? It offers some good advice. I would not stop there but would read and take notes of the rest of the threads in this part of the forum. There are lots of good ideas that you may want to include in your preps. Finding the perfect piece of land will be a challenge...but decide what you need and then contact as many farm realtors in the area you have decided on so that you will have a better chance of discovering that best perfect spot.

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I think this is a great idea, if you can get everyone on board and working together. You may want to look into some of the work that's been done with ecovillages and intentional communities; even though a lot of them have a fairly far-left, hippie vibe, they also have folks with literally DECADES of experience with cooperative living situations.

 

There are great discussions on the Permies.com forum, including stuff about ownership/co-ownership, setting up expectations/rules, etc.:

http://www.permies.com/forums/f-6/community

 

Intentional Communities Organization

http://www.ic.org/

 

Intro to Intentional Communities on PlanetFriendly.net

http://www.planetfriendly.net/community.html

 

Kind of cool but not-updated blog about building a solar-powered compound

http://solarcompound.blogspot.com/

 

Fairly active online community all loosely talking about country living and homesteading

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CountryLifeandHomesteading/

 

And this book has been widely referenced in many of the homesteading/intentional community articles I've read, as a practical guide for people who are thinking about starting or joining a group

http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Life-Together-Ecovillages-Intentional/dp/0865714711

 

Best of luck!

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Thank you for all the great advice and I will continue to do research. Btw just to let you guys know I don't plan on doing this in the US.

 

By your name I am guessing it is somewhere with lots of bamboo! :P

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Panda, Look in the farming forum and look at any livestock thread. When keeping livestock, you're better to be able to keep it at least 300 ft from your well (I recommend alot more). You can also look at small animals like rabbits for a meat source and as long as you have other food stocks, you won't "starve" eating rabbit, and goats and/or sheep would be better on the small acreage.

Depending on how many People you have in the community and whether you plan small cottages or a community building (barracks/apartments) you can separate the agriculture ground into 2 fields/pasture and rotate the livestock between them. This will help with fertilizing the fields and allow the "off" field to rest while the livestock grazes. Just make sure you plan on being able to plant alfalfa and other grasses to rebuild the pasture every year. Even having 3 fields would allow a better pasture to take hold and allow some hay cutting. The more fields you have, the better your rotation can be and the more you get to rebuild the soil before growing crops.

I would also want to be able to build a pond to allow fish farming and use to irrigate the fields when necessary. There are several solar pumps available and remember to only irrigate at night when the water will soak in to the soil and not evaporate. Also even keep the pond away from the livestock if at all possible, you never know when you have to use the pond as a source for house water. Also plan on the layout of your leech bed to always water towards your fields and you need a minimum of 100 feet per person for a leech bed and if planning long term event, go triple for the minimum of your soil type and double the septic tank minimum. You should also look at "gray water" reclamation techniques and think of using dish, laundry and bath water through a separate drain system for this system.

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Solar pumps - such a good point, Regulator!

 

If/when I am ever able to build an off-the-grid BOL of my own, that's one of the things I want to have backups upon backups for: getting water out of a well. If something goes awry with general household power, that would be bad, but you could still cook, stay warm, etc. using simple fire, and hopefully you'll have non-perishable food items in your pantry, stuff to harvest from your garden, or whatever. But if you're without ready access to usable water? You're in a world of hurt and having to spend a fair amount of time gathering/filtering water instead of restoring your power or doing the much more labor intensive work that will be necessary to keep up your place without power.

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OC, I was looking at creating an ecosystem for growing wild rice and the solar pumps and small landscaping ponds were the ideas I'm using. I haven't gotten it done yet, but it's been laid out and plans in place to try. I just need to decide where I want it...lol.

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It would be SO helpful to have the ability to grow your own rice. It adds carbs and makes you feel full, works with any kind of meat or soup... That's a great idea.

 

I've been thinking that quinoa might be a good substitute for rice (for where I live), without having to create bogs to grow anything in: http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/quinoa/ People who live in hotter, drier areas can grow amaranth, which is similar.

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OC, quinoa and amaranth are both crops I have looked at. I was looking at the wild rice (water oats is actually a more correct name) that grows wild in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota still has alot of it growing. The Natives made huge treks and camps to harvest the rice during season. If you want something easy (if that is even a word in growing...lol) and can be kept indoors easily, look at chia as well. They have organic chia to grow from and you use untreated clay pots. It's a desert plant, so water isn't as big of an issue which can be good if trying to get potable water after an event. Chia has a serving size of 1 tablespoon a day and supposed to have all the nutrients needed for a day. It also helps you stay hydrated by holding water when you drink. The Apaches used it for travelling, as they would take chia and then drink as much as they could hold and then head out thru the desert.

I have been looking into alot of the "archaic" grains. I'll post a link if I can find it (think it's in my favorites) but I found some info searching ancient grains. It also gave me links to "trees of antiquity". These are supposed to be natural fruit and nut trees that haven't been mutated to have higher sugar content in the fruit.

 

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/tdmay2007pg10.shtml

 

http://www.articlesbase.com/camping-articles/the-cattail-best-of-the-wild-edible-plants-495731.html

 

http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/foraging/cattail.php

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_4531403_grow-wild-rice.html

 

Here are some of the links I've found. My idea was to grow the wild rice and cattails in the same "aqua garden" and hopefully be able to put in a big and deep enough pond(s) to have fish as well. Another thing on amaranth, there are 2 varieties, 1 is a grain, the other classed as a vegetable. I am not sure on the difference other than they are spoken of as being for different uses. I'm still researching those differences. From what I have seen/read, I would like to use the amarnth grain for cattle feed. They can digest it unlike corn, and it has a high protein content to help add meat. I think it would be a good addition to grass fed beef.

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OC, quinoa and amaranth are both crops I have looked at. I was looking at the wild rice (water oats is actually a more correct name) that grows wild in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota still has alot of it growing. The Natives made huge treks and camps to harvest the rice during season. If you want something easy (if that is even a word in growing...lol) and can be kept indoors easily, look at chia as well. They have organic chia to grow from and you use untreated clay pots. It's a desert plant, so water isn't as big of an issue which can be good if trying to get potable water after an event. Chia has a serving size of 1 tablespoon a day and supposed to have all the nutrients needed for a day. It also helps you stay hydrated by holding water when you drink. The Apaches used it for travelling, as they would take chia and then drink as much as they could hold and then head out thru the desert.

I have been looking into alot of the "archaic" grains. I'll post a link if I can find it (think it's in my favorites) but I found some info searching ancient grains. It also gave me links to "trees of antiquity". These are supposed to be natural fruit and nut trees that haven't been mutated to have higher sugar content in the fruit.

 

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/tdmay2007pg10.shtml

 

http://www.articlesbase.com/camping-articles/the-cattail-best-of-the-wild-edible-plants-495731.html

 

http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/foraging/cattail.php

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_4531403_grow-wild-rice.html

 

Here are some of the links I've found. My idea was to grow the wild rice and cattails in the same "aqua garden" and hopefully be able to put in a big and deep enough pond(s) to have fish as well. Another thing on amaranth, there are 2 varieties, 1 is a grain, the other classed as a vegetable. I am not sure on the difference other than they are spoken of as being for different uses. I'm still researching those differences. From what I have seen/read, I would like to use the amarnth grain for cattle feed. They can digest it unlike corn, and it has a high protein content to help add meat. I think it would be a good addition to grass fed beef.

Reg, you have given me some "food for thought" here, good ideas that would definitely work on my farm. And I've always liked those Chia pets, now I know why lol.

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