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Old 01-12-2002, 11:30 PM
David Hare-Scott
 
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Default Advice on land plot (long)

I am considering buying land to live on and support the family on using
permaculture principles. Although I am a keen gardener and have
tertiary qualifications in science (biology, biochemistry, genetics,
chemistry etc) and I can build or fix most things this will be my first
such development. I am seeking advice on the level of suitability of a
proposed site and the specific pitfalls to look out for in this case.

The district is about 31 degrees south on the east coast of Australia.
The climate is warm temperate, the district is some 30 kilometers (20
miles) from the coast at an altitude of 50 metres (150 ft) and has an
annual average rainfall of about 2100mm (80 inches). In this district
it never snows, heavy rainfall and drought are common in their turn.
Frost occurs in the district during winter but heavy or frequent frost
is unlikely, although this has happened this year due to the drought.
The soil in the district varies from orange/red clay to red/brown clay
loam. Most agriculture is beef cattle but the better blocks run dairy
cattle. Some crops are grown on river flats etc. The natural vegetation
of the area is eucalyptus forest (it has been logged in some parts in
the past) or temperate rainforest in the wetter parts. Much of the
district has been cleared for grazing.

The block is some 80 hectares (200 acres) which makes up most of a
valley which runs almost East - West, the East end is a little North of
the West end. The valley is approximately 1 km long and 250-300 m wide.
The East end is blind and you enter from the West (duh!). The North
side is a very steep hill about 70 m high mainly covered with rainforest
most of which is on the next property. The South side is a less steep
hill (cattle can graze it) about 90 m high, the boundary is on top of
that hill and includes some stands of trees and re-growth forest.

The valley floor is about one third of the block and it is mostly gently
sloping, a little is flat and it gets steeper on the sides leading to
the hills on the East and South. A creek runs down from the blind end
and out the entrance close under the edge of the North hill. We are in
severe drought at the moment and the creek is just a string of ponds but
there is a dam about half way along that still has good water in it.
The valley floor and lower slopes of the South hill have been cleared
for cattle grazing but some shade trees have been left. The soil down
near the creek is quite good but use of it will be limited as when it
gets heavy rain, having the whole valley as its catchment, the creek
will swell to a gushing torrent. The rest of the soil is clayey which
(due to drought) is rock hard now but can be improved. There are no
cattle there at present and despite the drought there is still good low
ground cover of native and exotic grasses and a little bit of greeness.

My present tentative evaluation is that the site is quite suitable for
small scale mixed farming, the water supply is good and can be improved
with more dams, it is very protected from wind and I think it will be
quite beautiful when it gets some rain. My concerns a
1 - The valley will have short days specially in the winter
2 - The protected nature seems appealing but it may act as a cold air
trap in winter
3 - The wind that it will get will be SW to W in winter (cold and dry)
and W in summer (hot to very hot and dry)

Problem 3 can be ameliorated in time with windbreaks at the West end but
these in turn could contribute to the cold air trap. Problems 2 and 3
are not so easy because generally you would be able to (and want to)
grow selected crops right through the year but frosts that take until
late morning to melt could destroy whole crops. The labour resources
required to cover/uncover the gardens to alleviate this will probably
not be available.

Any insights into these and other potential problems would be must
appreciated.

David





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Old 02-12-2002, 09:24 AM
MDHJWH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message . au...
I am considering buying land to live on and support the family on using
permaculture principles. . .huge snip


Not being permaculturaly 'certified' I can't answer your central
questions, however, I'm intrigued as to why you are attracted to this
paticular block?

Ayn Marx
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Old 02-12-2002, 09:24 AM
MDHJWH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message . au...
I am considering buying land to live on and support the family on using
permaculture principles. . .huge snip


Not being permaculturaly 'certified' I can't answer your central
questions, however, I'm intrigued as to why you are attracted to this
paticular block?

Ayn Marx
  #4   Report Post  
Old 02-12-2002, 05:04 PM
len brauer
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

g'day david,

perma-c aside what sort of aspects do you have available? for me
aspect plays an important part in the production of food plants, and
how you situate your house so as to incorporate some environmental
friendliness into the design.

so my experieces to date are you need and aspect that will allow for
the house to be on a true north facing attitude, and you need from
north to east aspect for growing your food plants. we have recently
moved to rural in qld, and the aspect for those factors was the thing
that decided which block we bought. the degree of winter sun you get
determines how soon you can plant your summer crops and what if
anything you can grow through winter.

we then designed and had constructed our eco' friendly house built
along the 'warm-house, cool-house' principal. to me taking all this
into consideration is also part of following pc principals. we need to
make as small a foot print as possible. not any good at working out
where you might be using degrees are you able to say? at a guess could
it be northern nsw?

but again buy land that offers the right aspects.

my thoughts

len

snipped
--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the environment
http://hub.dataline.net.au/~gardnlen/
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Old 02-12-2002, 05:04 PM
len brauer
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

g'day david,

perma-c aside what sort of aspects do you have available? for me
aspect plays an important part in the production of food plants, and
how you situate your house so as to incorporate some environmental
friendliness into the design.

so my experieces to date are you need and aspect that will allow for
the house to be on a true north facing attitude, and you need from
north to east aspect for growing your food plants. we have recently
moved to rural in qld, and the aspect for those factors was the thing
that decided which block we bought. the degree of winter sun you get
determines how soon you can plant your summer crops and what if
anything you can grow through winter.

we then designed and had constructed our eco' friendly house built
along the 'warm-house, cool-house' principal. to me taking all this
into consideration is also part of following pc principals. we need to
make as small a foot print as possible. not any good at working out
where you might be using degrees are you able to say? at a guess could
it be northern nsw?

but again buy land that offers the right aspects.

my thoughts

len

snipped
--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the environment
http://hub.dataline.net.au/~gardnlen/


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Old 02-12-2002, 09:14 PM
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)


"MDHJWH" wrote in message
om...
"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message

. au...
I am considering buying land to live on and support the family on

using
permaculture principles. . .huge snip


Not being permaculturaly 'certified' I can't answer your central
questions, however, I'm intrigued as to why you are attracted to this
paticular block?

Ayn Marx


- right size
- good district and climate
- good water
- we want some hills, not just flat
- good access
- a 'clean slate' to start from
- quiet and privacy but not a long way to town

Would you not want those things? Is there something important that I am
missing in your view? If you have ideas say on.

David


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Old 02-12-2002, 09:14 PM
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)


"MDHJWH" wrote in message
om...
"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message

. au...
I am considering buying land to live on and support the family on

using
permaculture principles. . .huge snip


Not being permaculturaly 'certified' I can't answer your central
questions, however, I'm intrigued as to why you are attracted to this
paticular block?

Ayn Marx


- right size
- good district and climate
- good water
- we want some hills, not just flat
- good access
- a 'clean slate' to start from
- quiet and privacy but not a long way to town

Would you not want those things? Is there something important that I am
missing in your view? If you have ideas say on.

David


  #8   Report Post  
Old 02-12-2002, 09:24 PM
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)


"len brauer" wrote in message
...
g'day david,

perma-c aside what sort of aspects do you have available? for me
aspect plays an important part in the production of food plants, and
how you situate your house so as to incorporate some environmental
friendliness into the design.


The house and main gardens would go on the gentler slopes at the bottom
of the South hill, ie basically facing North, there are enough wiggles
in the hills to align the house anything from about 30 degrees W of N to
10 degrees E of N.

so my experieces to date are you need and aspect that will allow for
the house to be on a true north facing attitude, and you need from
north to east aspect for growing your food plants. we have recently
moved to rural in qld, and the aspect for those factors was the thing
that decided which block we bought. the degree of winter sun you get
determines how soon you can plant your summer crops and what if
anything you can grow through winter.


It is the shadow of the N hill that concerns me in that respect. As it
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight will
be like nearer the shortest day.

we then designed and had constructed our eco' friendly house built
along the 'warm-house, cool-house' principal. to me taking all this
into consideration is also part of following pc principals. we need to
make as small a foot print as possible. not any good at working out
where you might be using degrees are you able to say? at a guess could
it be northern nsw?


Correct guess.

but again buy land that offers the right aspects.

my thoughts

len

snipped


Thanks for your thoughts

David


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Old 02-12-2002, 09:24 PM
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)


"len brauer" wrote in message
...
g'day david,

perma-c aside what sort of aspects do you have available? for me
aspect plays an important part in the production of food plants, and
how you situate your house so as to incorporate some environmental
friendliness into the design.


The house and main gardens would go on the gentler slopes at the bottom
of the South hill, ie basically facing North, there are enough wiggles
in the hills to align the house anything from about 30 degrees W of N to
10 degrees E of N.

so my experieces to date are you need and aspect that will allow for
the house to be on a true north facing attitude, and you need from
north to east aspect for growing your food plants. we have recently
moved to rural in qld, and the aspect for those factors was the thing
that decided which block we bought. the degree of winter sun you get
determines how soon you can plant your summer crops and what if
anything you can grow through winter.


It is the shadow of the N hill that concerns me in that respect. As it
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight will
be like nearer the shortest day.

we then designed and had constructed our eco' friendly house built
along the 'warm-house, cool-house' principal. to me taking all this
into consideration is also part of following pc principals. we need to
make as small a foot print as possible. not any good at working out
where you might be using degrees are you able to say? at a guess could
it be northern nsw?


Correct guess.

but again buy land that offers the right aspects.

my thoughts

len

snipped


Thanks for your thoughts

David


  #10   Report Post  
Old 03-12-2002, 01:01 AM
len brauer
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

On Tue, 3 Dec 2002 08:24:05 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"
wrote:


"snipped
in the hills to align the house anything from about 30 degrees W of N to
10 degrees E of N.


if you are considering a 'warm-house, cool-house' 11 degrees west of
magnetic north si about true north keeps the summer solstice off the
rear wall in the arfternoon that being the hottest sun.

snipped
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight will
be like nearer the shortest day.

the sun will be less for good winter vege growing a good 6 hours of
sun at least 8 is better, maybe an opportunity to set up 2 differnet
vege' garden areas to suit the seasons and the sun available.

snipped
it be northern nsw?

we are at 26 degrees, you get a lot of rain but using raised beds will
negate any negatives fromthat, our average is around 30"s, so far this
year we are averaging 47mm we need some big rain to catch up.

snipped


if you are building consider a composting toilet this is our first and
we are very impressed.


Thanks for your thoughts

David

enjoy we are

len

--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the environment
http://hub.dataline.net.au/~gardnlen/


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Old 03-12-2002, 01:01 AM
len brauer
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

On Tue, 3 Dec 2002 08:24:05 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"
wrote:


"snipped
in the hills to align the house anything from about 30 degrees W of N to
10 degrees E of N.


if you are considering a 'warm-house, cool-house' 11 degrees west of
magnetic north si about true north keeps the summer solstice off the
rear wall in the arfternoon that being the hottest sun.

snipped
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight will
be like nearer the shortest day.

the sun will be less for good winter vege growing a good 6 hours of
sun at least 8 is better, maybe an opportunity to set up 2 differnet
vege' garden areas to suit the seasons and the sun available.

snipped
it be northern nsw?

we are at 26 degrees, you get a lot of rain but using raised beds will
negate any negatives fromthat, our average is around 30"s, so far this
year we are averaging 47mm we need some big rain to catch up.

snipped


if you are building consider a composting toilet this is our first and
we are very impressed.


Thanks for your thoughts

David

enjoy we are

len

--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the environment
http://hub.dataline.net.au/~gardnlen/
  #12   Report Post  
Old 03-12-2002, 02:18 AM
Judanne
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
u...
It is the shadow of the N hill that concerns me in that respect. As it
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight will
be like nearer the shortest day.


Many years ago I bought a book from the CSIRO called, I think, "Sunshine and
shadow in Australia" and by using a protractor included in the back of the
book, I was able to work out how much sun I would get through each window
from any particular angle. I don't know if its still available and
unfortunately I can't find it at the moment to make sure these details are
true. Basically it gave directions, based on your latitude, of how much sun
to expect based on the aspect of the window and also showed what sort of
awning to provide in order to let in winter sun and keep out summer. You
may have to take a sight over the top of the hill from where you imagine
your north wall will be and then measure the angle to see how much sun, if
any you will lose.

Just did a "Google" search and I found it here, along with some other
interesting books http://www.publish.csiro.au/books/su...ct.cfm?BCID=18
Its the 4th from the bottom.


Good luck
Judanne


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Old 03-12-2002, 02:18 AM
Judanne
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)

"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
u...
It is the shadow of the N hill that concerns me in that respect. As it
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight will
be like nearer the shortest day.


Many years ago I bought a book from the CSIRO called, I think, "Sunshine and
shadow in Australia" and by using a protractor included in the back of the
book, I was able to work out how much sun I would get through each window
from any particular angle. I don't know if its still available and
unfortunately I can't find it at the moment to make sure these details are
true. Basically it gave directions, based on your latitude, of how much sun
to expect based on the aspect of the window and also showed what sort of
awning to provide in order to let in winter sun and keep out summer. You
may have to take a sight over the top of the hill from where you imagine
your north wall will be and then measure the angle to see how much sun, if
any you will lose.

Just did a "Google" search and I found it here, along with some other
interesting books http://www.publish.csiro.au/books/su...ct.cfm?BCID=18
Its the 4th from the bottom.


Good luck
Judanne


  #14   Report Post  
Old 03-12-2002, 03:43 AM
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)


"Judanne" wrote in message
u...
"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
u...
It is the shadow of the N hill that concerns me in that respect. As

it
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight

will
be like nearer the shortest day.


Many years ago I bought a book from the CSIRO called, I think,

"Sunshine and
shadow in Australia" and by using a protractor included in the back

of the
book, I was able to work out how much sun I would get through each

window
from any particular angle. I don't know if its still available and
unfortunately I can't find it at the moment to make sure these details

are
true. Basically it gave directions, based on your latitude, of how

much sun
to expect based on the aspect of the window and also showed what sort

of
awning to provide in order to let in winter sun and keep out summer.

You
may have to take a sight over the top of the hill from where you

imagine
your north wall will be and then measure the angle to see how much

sun, if
any you will lose.

Just did a "Google" search and I found it here, along with some other
interesting books

http://www.publish.csiro.au/books/su...ct.cfm?BCID=18
Its the 4th from the bottom.


Good luck
Judanne


Great! It is still in print. This will save me doing lots of sums.

David



  #15   Report Post  
Old 03-12-2002, 03:43 AM
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Advice on land plot (long)


"Judanne" wrote in message
u...
"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
u...
It is the shadow of the N hill that concerns me in that respect. As

it
is nearly the longest day now it is hard to judge what the sunlight

will
be like nearer the shortest day.


Many years ago I bought a book from the CSIRO called, I think,

"Sunshine and
shadow in Australia" and by using a protractor included in the back

of the
book, I was able to work out how much sun I would get through each

window
from any particular angle. I don't know if its still available and
unfortunately I can't find it at the moment to make sure these details

are
true. Basically it gave directions, based on your latitude, of how

much sun
to expect based on the aspect of the window and also showed what sort

of
awning to provide in order to let in winter sun and keep out summer.

You
may have to take a sight over the top of the hill from where you

imagine
your north wall will be and then measure the angle to see how much

sun, if
any you will lose.

Just did a "Google" search and I found it here, along with some other
interesting books

http://www.publish.csiro.au/books/su...ct.cfm?BCID=18
Its the 4th from the bottom.


Good luck
Judanne


Great! It is still in print. This will save me doing lots of sums.

David





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