I just found this group and joined so I’m sorry this reply is a little old, but the gravel under the citrus trees is to reflex the sun underneath to warm the tree so it is quite good for it, and the best thing for your lemon tree, dare I say it? Is human Pee, I send my husband or son out to deal with my tree when ever they it is looking a little off color and the trees love it! a family of five we use lemons in almost everything and we cant even make a whole in the lemons we have and when the plumber climbed on the water tank he was shocked the there were so many lemons it was completely yellow and he couldn’t see the leaves. So pop out just before bed when there no-one around, and after a couple of weeks you will never feel bad about this unusual task.
OK, so 18 months has gone by and the dreaming is taking shape. Its interesting reading my post above and seeing where we have come to. At the moment we are looking at less land and doing things a little differently. The key is we have decided not to have stock other than chickens. The cost of getting the land for a couple of beefies and sheep is enormous compared to the price of meet, and we are confident we can source local meat off friends with larger lifestyle blocks nearby. We are also aware that there is a lot to know to have organic stock, and while I would be up for learning this, why not tap into someone else's skill set by buying off them?
My estimate of woodlts is also huge above. A tree a year on a 10-15 year felling cycle seams ample to me now, which does not take up much space at all. We looked at a 3/4 acre block a while back, and nearly bought it, but even that I was thinking would need sheep to graze the extra space. And yet smaller blocks are hard to find compared to 5-10 acres. What would I do with 10 acres!?
So. with these thoughts in mind we are now looking at a 1 acre block that is 1/2 regen bush. On that we can have 10 chooks, 10 vege beds, bees, a large orchid and a bit or lawn for the kids. 10 vege beds you say? Well, Im thinking of fallow beds and growing enough for winder - so a bed of black beans, a bed of potatoes, half a bed of corn and beetroot etc., a bed or herbs to make and freeze pestos for the year...focusing on what stores well or is easily preserved or frozen.
Another key thing that has come up for us is transport. Peak oil coming - for sure. So we are looking at spending an extra 10-14k to get something close to New Plymouth. When you work out the transport, even at current rates, you easily recoup that over 20 years. And that is the length vision we are looking at. The lands we are hoping to buy is 6.5km from town, about the distance from Pt Chev to New market. It is also on a lifestyle road, so i am hoping to set up a car pool scheme for those interested.
So, ideas move forward. Where is everyone else at?
I look forward to your next update Laine. I appear to be in the same position as you. I am looking for land. I also have a partner whom to say is reluctant is an understatement. I have many years as a gardener and have worked on farms as a youth. I have kept in touch with the information about farming animals dreaming of a time when I would be able to get my own again. Some of my calculations are that I would need around 2-3 acres of good land to feed 4 people year round. I need around 1/4 of an acre to grow vegetables and other produce for sale and animals. Don't forget that easily grown pumpkins can take up a lot of room. I will do this in a mix of bed gardens and row gardens. I have feed my partner and I off a small vegetable garden of 100sqm for three years all our vegetables. I will need around 1/2 an acre for orchard.This would not be your traditional orchard but the trees would be spread around the farm. Like walnuts would be used as shelter trees. Almonds planted up the drive etc. Some will be traditional espalier and row trees. I have calculated that I will need around 400 sq metres of firewood trees. These will be spread around the farm doing useful jobs like shelter and breaking up the wind. I will plant coppicing trees as after the first cut at seven years they can be harvested every 3-5 years from then on. I have calculated that I will need to grow around 50 olive trees. I would grow a variety that is high in oil. If my information is correct I should be able to get 50 litres of oil off each tree when in full production. Plus the crush would be used as animal feed. This should give me around 2500 litres of oil. Some for my own use, some for sale, and most which I would turn into Bio diesel. I will use this to run machinery like a shredder and a small tractor. The rest will be used to run a light vehicle. I will also have solar panels and water heater. Wind and if possible micro hydro. I will also run a full electric vehicle for short passanger only trips in the 140km range. I will have animals, around 20 chickens,some ducks and geese. Some eggs would be sold and goose at christmas. I would have a couple of pigs (sows). This is the reason for the larger garden as I would grow crops to feed them, as well as using them to help me garden by digging it up for me. I would also keep on rotation goats two with alternate lactation. So that we have milk and milk products. I might also have a couple of sheep for meat. I am seriously considering eating the kids of the goats and even using surplus milk to feed up extras. I will use small padocks and electric break fenceing to control feed.
I know how much work this would be but I think that if I get systems set up and use my brain that I can do this with relative ease. Anyway that is the dream.
Just have read this, haven't actually been on ooooby for ages! Wow you guys are really fortunate to have your own land. At the moment we rent on a very small section and kind of have to be carefeul what we do (not that it stops me that much lol)! We have been on it now for three 1/2 years...and slowly more and more of the back yard is getting made into vege gardens! We currently have seven beds for veges (including the lawns that have just been dug up) for veges. Have planted beans, peas, potatoes, corn, lettuces, courgette, cauli, cabbage, tomatoes etc and my partner built me a hot house out of pellets so have egg plant, chillis and peppers growing in that! I have planted a number of fruit trees/vines including apple, lemon, feijoa, peach, passionfruit, raspberry and loquat...with manderin and limes in pots. I really want a plum tree but just unsure where to put it at the moment!
My partner and I can only but dream at the moment! We dream of a 3/4 acre section in town or 3 acres in the country. We are just saving as much as possible so that we can buy a house with a big deposit saving us a lot of money in the long run and so I can be a stay at home mum!
All I say is keep dreaming cause one day they will keep you up so much at night that you will just have to do something about it! ha ha
Love the updates too :)
Update 2. Well these dreams are certainly ones that teach you the value of time and patience (or at times a lack of it). Its 2.5 years since the first mullings were written here. Slowly, very slowly, things take shape. Before Xmas our purchase of 1.25 acres of land close to New Plymouth finally went through. We bought a house off Trade Me 7 months back. Due to land contract issues, we did this before the land sale was signed up. Yep, it was pretty mad - we got a house and potentially no land (we were pretty confident though). Time to go with gut instincts... I drove 3 hours to Hamiltron, had 10 minutes in the house looking for any structural issues and taking a LOT of photos. My wife and daughter could not come, so Kelly agreed to buy the house from photos and house plans, bless. She only saw it in the flesh 5 days back, and only 1 half of it! Today she sees the 2 halves joined for the first time, as the relocation company does their thing.
Love your plan! hope it is working out for you! Pretty house too, will come up really well!
How did you make this plan it works so well seeing it there in front of you?