Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Permaculture Project Final Design: Part 3 Integral 28 Acre Map

2          2 x Animal complexes

To safely house the sheep, goats, chickens, miniature cows, and donkeys/horses while providing enough space for them to roam and graze when not taken out to pasture.

Design Features:
Four 12.5’x16’ barns with 50 feet of chain link fence run from each to the next, forming a large courtyard area for the animals to safely roam in. While 10 acres (20 x ½ acre sections) are available for rotational grazing, this courtyard area provides a safe, lockable place for the animals to be housed at night and if the family should travel. Each barn can house up to 10 sheep or goats, 48 chickens, two miniature cows, or two horses or donkeys. The chickens can feed from the livestock manure, keeping a healthy environment.
We plan to keep 3 ewes (Dorset), 2 goats (Nubian), 2 miniature cows (Jersey), 2 donkeys (Mammoth Jack), and 4 different types of chickens, 48 of each type. Four chicken coops will house them, each type being kept separate. One type will be in each animal complex. The other two will be in areas where they are needed. The types of chickens are Jersey Giant for eating and large eggs, Sussex for eggs and meat, Easter Eggers for their unusually colored eggs, and Marans for their chocolate brown colored eggs. The “gourmet” egg collection will be sold in the farm shop, at farmer’s markets, and any other viable outlets.
There is room for expansion, as more barns can be added within the perimeter fence, still allowing for a good-sized central area. Rain catchment from the barn rooftops will be channeled into a 3,000 gallon water storage tank to provide drinking water for the animals, irrigate the grass, and for cleaning out the barns. Drinking and feed troughs, as well as grass will be in the complex.

3          20 x Gazebos

  •  To provide shade for the livestock while grazing on a rotation system
  •  To harvest rain-water for the animals to drink
Design Features:
Made of wood, these inexpensive 8’ x 8’ structures used for livestock shade will have metal roofs to harvest the rain-water and moveable galvanized steel troughs will be in place for the days they are grazing in that section.

4          2 x Wallapinis

Underground greenhouses with stable, sustainable temperatures year-long to facilitate the growth of plants requiring a different climate, delicate plants, and germination of seeds

Design Features:
Wallapinis will have a modified Plexiglas roof to maximize aerodynamics in the high winds, to use fewer materials, for aesthetics, and to provide more surface area for rain catchment to feed water barrels inside, thereby creating moisture within a microclimate.

5          Farm Shop

To sell produce, eggs, herbs, baked goods, dairy products, refreshments, and any other by-products or goods produced by the farm. This in turn is hoped to provide some income for the general expenses. It is situated near the state road, Route 39, with nothing around it for about 19 miles towards the east and 5 miles towards the west. There is little to be found along the route, so it will serve as a stop for refreshments and organic food supplies. It will also be used as a check-in and check-out station for the pick your own organic orchards.
Design features:
Wooden 10’x12’ shed used so the shop can be up and functional as quickly as possible. Eventually, it is planned to cob around it, to provide insulation, strength, and aesthetics in line with Healing Earth’s farm and architecture.

6          Pick Your Own Organic Orchard & Picnic Grove

To be a source of income for Healing Earth, create a micro climate, wind break, and encourage rain.

Design features:
A selection of trees including: various types of apple, pear, peach, nectarine, plum, cherry, fig, and pomegranate. Companion planting will be employed to encourage beneficial insects, to add nitrogen to the soil, impede grass growth, create a microclimate, and additional food source. A chicken coop in the area will be used to fertilize, eat pests and fallen fruit.
Picnic grove will have gazebos with wooden trellis roofs for shade and grapevines planted at the base of the posts, to provide shade and food. Insect repelling plants will be planted around the perimeter and natural seating by way of rocks or wooden benches will be in place. Fire rings or barbecue pits will be built beside them for picnicking.

7          Family Orchard

To provide family food supply, this orchard’s fruits and nuts will be eaten fresh and also dehydrated, canned, or frozen for long term storage.

Design features:
Trees are all circled with mulch 6 inches from the trunk and the mulch ring is circled by rocks. The mulch provides cover which retains the moisture in the earth and the rocks provide a natural watering system by gathering condensation overnight or in wet/damp conditions and it rolling down into the ground. The mulch also eventually composts down to nourish the earth and rich compost can still be added around the trunk and under the mulch. The trees and berry bushes are saddling the naturally occurring swale the runs down from the house to the vegetable garden, benefitting from household grey water run-off. The bushes are planted in a zigzag formation to maximize space and assist gravity with the irrigation system.
A chicken coop will be built in this area so the chickens can free-range, fertilize, and eat any pests & fallen fruit.

8          Vegetable Garden

  •  To provide food for the family
  •  Excess and scraps for the animals
Design features:
A well mulched area, organized into rows for easy access, this falls at the end of a natural swale running from the northwest corner perimeter wall of the housing compound. It will be supplied grey water as well as have rainwater channeled to it when it rains. It will be served by a nearby composting unit for fertilizer and is beside a composting toilet and tool shed, for convenience.

9          Flax field

  •  To grow flax for domestic cloth needs
  •  To make rope and twine
  •  Fibers for cob mixture
  •  Organic matter for composting
Design features:
½ acre field, which is enough to provide approximately 44 yards of fabric, will be sown. Specific types of flax will be sown to ensure a good quality, softness, and soil management.

10       Grains Field

  •  To provide the yearly grain needs for the family
  •  Straw bedding for animals
  •  Straw for cob building
Design features:
Plant 2-3 acres of diversified crops covering many grains and grasses that are very expensive to purchase. The varieties will include: hard and soft white wheat, einkorn and emmer wheat, kamut, spelt, amaranth, millet, oats, quinoa, sorghum, and the grass buckwheat. This gives the best chance of having sufficient grains, so if one doesn’t do well, there are others to compensate.

11       Zone 5 Forest/Tree Nursery/ Pick your own nut orchard

  •  To have a 3 acre forested area as windbreak, source of wood for fuel and lumber, and seed clouding
  •  This will serve as a place to grow seedlings in a nursed environment, especially for the more unusual or exotic trees we would like to try growing and trees for sale
  •  Provide a different environment for a bee hive
  •  This area will also house a pick your own nut orchard, approximately 1 acre in size, open to the public
 Design Features:
A special feature of this forested area is the planting of Pinon Pine Trees. There are no cultivated pine nuts in the USA, largely due to the length of time for the trees to produce. It takes 25 years to have an initial harvest and they reach their prime for harvesting in 75 years. This is a planned source of income for our children, and the generations after them.  Considering that pine nuts are very expensive, with only macadamia nuts being higher in cost, it is planned to be a long-term, high income cash crop.

12       Existing Access Road

The state road, Route 39, borders the southern side of the property. It is elevated from the land, with a sharp grassy drop. It is always exceptionally green from the rain runoff, and we can use this area to plant trees that require more water. This road is the main highway that connects Texas to Taos, a major ski resort and natural building haven. Cars traveling this route are potential customers for the farm shop, especially as there is no pick your own or organic store within 1.5 hours drive.

13       Existing County Road

The existing county road, Homestead Road, turns off the state road. The farm entrance and farm shop are accessed from it. There is a wide enough section of land between the road and the perimeter fence to allow parking for people who stop for the farm shop or the pick your own.

14       External Kitchen

An external kitchen is established in a 10’ x 12’ building northernmost on the property, housing the solar array to run a solar freezer. It will include a cast iron wood stove, all food supplies, and the outdoor cooking apparatus, such as the rocket stove and sun oven. This will be used by the family until the houses are built, and later on by guests, course and workshop attendees, and volunteers such as WOOFERS, POOSHERS, and apprentices.

15       28’ Travel Trailer

This serves as temporary housing while building the houses and other structures. It can sleep 8, so can be used in the future for a guest house or accommodation for volunteers coming to work on various projects with us.

16       Bee Hives
  • Pollination
  •  Honey
  •  Nurture and restore bee population
Design Features:
Strategically placed in different growing areas to pollinate the various plants and trees

17       Perimeter Windbreak/Privacy Screen

  •  Windbreak
  •  Firebreak
  •  Privacy
  •  Attraction for potential customers passing by
  •  Food for wildlife and humans
  •  Nature trail surround
Design Features:
Sunflowers will be planted first on the inner side of the perimeter fence, both perennial and annual, to establish a border and some nursing for tree seedlings. They grow up to 10 feet tall. Wildflowers will be planted on the outer side of the perimeter fence, for a lower cover, to attract bees and other insects for pollination and propagation. Along the inside perimeter fence we will plant lilac, lavender, and New Mexico privet hedge for long-term, lower, and fast growing cover. Then three layers of varying drought resistant trees will be planted, which will make a dense privacy border, a windbreak, firebreak, cloud seeding, as well as a pleasant moisture/temperature controlled micro-climate.
Capitalizing on the dense and aromatic privacy border, a pathway will be woven amongst them to provide a beautiful and secluded nature trail for reflection, relaxation, personal enjoyment, and access to the border trees and bushes for harvesting, maintenance, and watering if necessary.

18       Internal roads

  •  The internal roads connect plants, trees, and barn areas to control where vehicles are driven on the farm
  •  They will also provide cycling paths for recreation
19       Cemetery 

  •  To keep Islamic burial traditions
  •  To keep burial expenses to a minimum
  •  To provide plots for other Muslims in the surrounding areas
Design Features:
On the easternmost section of the farm, midway between the northern and southernmost sections will be a ½ acre Islamic cemetery. This section is the highest elevation on the farm and located in a non-flood plain (a requirement for zoning), and the area least accessible to pick your own customers. The cemetery will be surrounded by flowers and hedges to provide privacy and help restore bio-diversity.

20       Bat houses
  •  To control the ever increasing and annoying mosquito population
  •  Reintroduce bats into the area
  •  Help restore bio-diversity
  •  To make nights more enjoyable
 Design Features:
On the eastern and western corners of the farm, running parallel to route 39, two wooden bat houses will be erected. A 6x6x16 beam will be used as a post for the houses. By burying the beams 3 feet into the ground, the post will be secure and out of predators reach.   

Note on the positioning of various zones and fields

To ensure that family members get a good amount of exercise moving from place to place in their daily lives. Health and wellbeing of the family is paramount, and healthy organic food is effective in conjunction with physical exercise. Exercise should be an integral part of daily life, not something that has to be made time for or done in an artificial way. In this way, all areas of the farm are surveyed on a daily basis and everyone gets plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.

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