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Paul continues his discussion with Kyle and Mark on land buying, along with a solid sidetrack into SKIP

Kyle found three lots of land in Washington state and wants Paul to look them over.  Sizes vary between 5 and 20 acres and the average annual rainfall is around 62 inches, over twice the rainfall of Seattle, which is already rather soggy, and the lowest temperature in the area is 25F.  Gonna be a lot of fungus and mold, to the point that your wardrobe will grow mushrooms after three months.  Paul used to advocate borax for mold control until he found some chemically sensitive people that suggested “ec-3” and, after trying it on some moldy spots, apparently it works for at least a year for Paul.  The long-lasting effect has him cautious, but the endorsement from the sensitive people makes him want to explore it.

The prices are $20k/acre, $10k/acre, and $8.75k/acre, with the price per acre dropping with total area.  Across the road there’s some decently done-up housing.  The two larger ones have a creek in a ravine and the largest has a second creek.  There’s a bridge across the ravine that provides access to the larger property, but it’s not really wide enough for most vehicles, and Mark points out that if there’s a house the other side of the ravine, there needs to be sufficient access for the fire department to access it in emergencies, and thus require a major construction project if the existing bridge isn’t enough.  There’s a meadow about 500ft from the ravine that seems to be prone to about 10 inches of flooding, apparently because the flooding kills the trees as they’re growing there.

Paul is concerned that the local laws regarding the creeks will prevent you from doing anything at all on the property, but that aside, some hugelkultur beds would be great for the meadow area to keep plants out of the water while also watering them.  There’s some nice gentle slope, plenty of biomass, but a bit too warm and wet for Paul, although Kyle is into that.

Relevant Threads

Hugelkultur forum

Real Estate forum

Help to choose between 3 lots - a similar situation to Kyle's

Remove Mold From a Place - PEP BB
clean mold/mildew organically thread

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Location: Massachusetts, 5a, flat 4 acres; 40" year-round fairly even
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I'm thinking that some clarification would help about what "industrious" means, and
a) people who are underconfident but industrious will be scared off from trying
b) people who have learned overconfidence will not be dissuaded from some kind of unwanted response.

For the former, here's the thing: there are a lot of definitions of permaculture as "lazy agriculture" and stuff about getting hammock time and a giant doofus saying "a way that I get to be even more lazy.". There's Fukuoka do-nothing agriculture, there's some quote about when it's hard it's an indicator that you're off track and are resisting nature.  And all of that is really, really true.

And at the same it hard work building a 7' hugelkultur with a shovel?  Yeah, you're going to sweat.  Can it be an exhilarating workout and satisfying to see the thing finally stay together?  Yes.  Is it frustrating sometimes along the way when you keep throwing more shovelfuls on top and trying to re-measure and it seems to keep staying the same height? that might happen too.  But it's not indicating that the hugelkultur is wrong or isn't going to work out well.  That probably depends on whether it gets mulched up well, maybe needs some more wattling, etc.

There's a lot of motivation from the excitement of permaculture.  Having "the click," feeling like you've touched a 10,000 volt line.  Is that industriousness?  

The other factor that's not clear to me, and I'm assuming it will get clear in the book, is the connection between the permacutlure skills and the continuation of a (non-permaculture) farm or homestead.  They are different.  Mollison describes it as the "drudgery of serf agriculture" or something, and that is de-motivating to be sure.  I'm assuming a part of what the book will do is help convince an "Otis" farmer that the new ways are worth trying, and if they save labor that that doesn't mean they're not industrious/are too purple.  Am I understanding this right?

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