Alec Buchanan

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since Jun 28, 2019
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Recent posts by Alec Buchanan

Here are a few pictures of what is going on in the garden...


Message me with any questions!

I just raised a flock of ten broilers in an 8x4 PVC and chicken wire tractor. It worked well. I moved the tractor once a day (usually first thing in the morning), and harvested a bird or two at a time as they got large (or started to crow loudly) in order to allow for more space per bird. The tractor was moved through our main sheep paddock (the sheep come in at night to it), the thought being that they'd "pick up" after the sheep. The grass is taking it well, and the chicken manure is making the grass noticeably greener.

5 months ago
We will be taking down our primary dwelling at the end of the season (a big yurt), which will leave a garden shed, chicken coop, and hoop house. There is also a vintage, partially renovated "canned ham" travel trailer perched on top of the forested hillside that will stay on-site. It could be used as a temporary housing setup, or you could throw it up on Hipcamp or Airbnb. We've had caretakers and renters in it for about a year now. There is also a big red barn that (ideally) would be used communally between the existing neighbors and the new buyer (that arrangement would need to be negotiated).

This land has been our focus for the last few years. The main "homestead site" started as cow pasture, and is now well on its way to becoming a productive food forest. We have done our best to plant a large variety of edible perennials, as well as your typical vegetables and insect-attracting flowers. We also raised chickens and have installed some fencing our recently-acquired sheep. The property is about 1/2 forest, 1/2 pasture - a great mix. Plenty of space to set up a home, graze sheep, garden like crazy...

I'll get some pictures up soon.

Thanks. Aloha!
We are putting our homestead on the market soon, and I thought it'd be a good idea to post about it here first.

We have a beautiful 5 acre lot outside of Langley, Freeland, and Bayview. We've spent three years developing a permaculture homestead. It's looking and feeling wonderful, and we'd love to pass it on to someone that can keep the spirit of the land alive. This is a special place, and I'm sure you'd love it!

We are asking $200k, and would finance to the right person(s) with half down.

Let me know if you are interested in more info, including pictures!

It's been a productive season on the homestead. We found a sweet couple to stay with us, acquired a few sheep, added a couple of water storage units, got some meat birds, and gather about 14 chicken eggs a day. Spring was mild and wet, so the vegetable garden is green and lush.
That said, we aren't exactly in "search mode" right now. Still, anyone interested in being a part of our project can send me a PM. Who knows what the future holds..
6 months ago
I can vouch for what Libbie Hawker mentioned a couple of years ago about crows being a defensive asset against eagles and other birds of prey. We have a duck area with 10 indian runners. It's covered with  bird netting. One morning I was sitting outside (about 100ft from the duck area) and a golden eagle swooped down, right into the bird netting. Not even two seconds later, a huge raven appeared, swooped in right behind the eagle and totally chased it off. It was an exciting moment, and I am grateful that we had a raven around to defend our flock.  
11 months ago
We've had some luck with perennial brassicas, too. Intentional or not, our sprouting broccoli has made it into its third season, sending out thousands of tiny broccoli florets. We put them into salads and stir fries, and our rabbit loves them. We've also had some success with growing dinosaur/nero di toscana/lacinato kale as a perennial. When it tries to bolt we just pinch off the tops and it branches out with more tasty leaves. It gets through our mild winters pretty well and starts to regrow as soon as spring hits. Haven't tried any true perennial brassicas, but I'm sure they're worth it.
I use a hori hori for lots of things in our garden, but my favorite tool has to be the pick maddock. Regular old pruners are fun to carry around, too, when I'm just putzing around.
1 year ago
We listed our off-grid yurt on AirBnB and Hipcamp. The AirBnB side worked pretty well - booked up on most weekends, as well as scattered week days for the entire 5 months we had it up. No business at all from Hipcamp, but I'd say it was because our price was set higher than what a typical camper would pay. We had a pamphlet that described our water and electricity conservation tactics, as well as how to use the compost toilet and what to do if they couldn't figure something out. We usually had some homegrown veggies and/or eggs and/or flowers waiting for the guests when they arrived. The reviews were good and a lot of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the off-grid homestead experience.
We have a thousand gallon water tank, plus the pond which helps with irrigation (probably another 1,200-1,500 gallons).

The intention would be to store as much as we can with another storage tank(maybe 5,000 gallon), as well as building ponds (2 or 3 at a couple thousand gallons each). Ideally, we'd like to have at least 10,000 gallons on hand at the beginning of the dry season.
The topography of the property would be great for some kind of keyline design, but we aren't quite there yet. (We could be ready for that with the right helper!)