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On today’s podcast: how to select land for permacultue, with Kyle, Mark, and Paul.

According to Paul, people in the countryside can be split into three groups of equal size.   Group one: the happy – either genuinely happy, or effectively feigning happiness to Paul, get along with their neighbors and no trouble with the local government.  Group two: the unhappy – probably the victim of psychotic neighbors, or snitches to the department of making you sad (e.g. Mike Oehler’s neighbor that dumped human waste on their fenceline).  Group three: the isolated – ex-members of group two, they seek to insulate themselves from any kind of contact with people within 10+ miles just to try to keep peace in their way.

An easy way to bring the price of a property down is to have group two neighbors, as people fleeing them will want to sell quickly.  So if you suspect the presence of group twos, prepare to be a type three.  A property close to one of Paul’s old places was for sale for one-third of the price upfront with the remainder being mortgaged.  People payed the third, and got part way through the mortgage before deciding to leave.  Apparently the seller had been through this 6 times.  A further drawback of this system is that if you have a mortgage you’ll probably have to get a worky job to keep up payments.  Getting the money from the land will be difficult, as even 86-89% of farmers don’t make enough to cover costs.  Paul’s advice: buy the land outright.  If you can’t, wait and save up.

Kyle wants to have a small herd of cattle, so he’ll want at least 80 acres, including land for growing hay.  A quarter of an acre can support a person after 10 years of work, but a whole acre can sustain a person with very little effort, but both of these don’t allow any room for growing wood or building.  For instance, a four-person family should be able to live off of 7 acres.

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