Thursday, April 10, 2008

Descriptive summary of Teralba

Ok, as I've promised, here's it is... (remember I'm only a newbie!)

Permaculture Design Needs Analysis

Aims & Lifestyle: We aim to improve this property into a more sustainable one that allows us to educate our kids about living more 'natural'. We also aim to educate ourselves and others about how to live as a 'young' family on an acreage without any previous experience of living on any property larger than old standard 1/4 acre block. We intend to grow as much as we can eat and share the surplus with neighbours to foster the 'sense of community' around here. We are exploring several income-generate ideas to enable there would be something to bring money in to pay necessities (education for kids, rates, etc.). We hope this lifestyle would encourage our kids and their friends to consider how they would live when they 'move out' and continue for future generations to come.

Site Details

Somewhere in the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.
Size: 3.7 acres, with backing to a creek.
Municipality: Wyong Shire Council
Zoning Requirements: Scenic Protection (Small Holdings - 7(c)).
Land Use in Local District: hobby farms, residential homes/acreages, commercial sites, factories, and re vegetation of native species.
Services Available: Power connected, local area schools (both primary and high), daily buses and trains, walking distance to shops, schools, and transports (5 to 25 minutes), phone, mailbox and adsl access connected, and council rubbish pickups - weekly.
Ease of Access/Roads: All weather gravel road; at end of no through road and over a wooden bridge.
Site Resources Available: Surrounding by 3 neighbouring acreages with a native re vegetation slope on East side of property (just under 1 acre in size), large man-made dam with pump (right to access of a creek fed by a spring), deciduous trees lining concrete 170m long driveway from South to North, lawn grasses (couch, buffalo and kikuyu), citrus trees (oranges, lemon, lime, mandarin), kiwifruit trees over trellis, nectarine tree, 2 fig trees (both black and white), several flowerbeds dotted over the property, boundary fences, house, large shed with a small shed and a carport, a cubby house (converting into a chook palace soon), 1 x 200K litres concrete rainwater tank with pump (water collected from house and shed only), envirocycle with designated affluent area (chosen by council for its location).
Climate: Rainfall - 1335mm pa, mostly in summer and autumn (data from Bureau of Meteorology). The summers' average temperatures approximately 28' maximum and 15' minimum with high humidity, with winter's maximum being around 17' and the minimum approximately 4'. Frost presented on the property starting from mid-February (observing for the end of frost this year).
Topography: This needs to be done, but am not so confident in knowing how to do it, smiles. I can only describe what's on property with my naked inexperienced eye: Slope from east to west is around 1:3 - this takes up about 1/3 of the property in the east side. The slope from north to south is gentle and ends lowest at the dam in the south-most of the property. The property has a south facing aspect with east side's being sheltered by bush with the south and west being open and exposed to elements.
Soil: (this has not been done by me, but by a permaculture consultant) Acid soil - ph. tests shows 5.5 so means need to work to bring it up to 6.5, neutral level for many fruits trees and vegetables. Own observations: plenty of earthworms, several ant species, a colony of termites detected (this will being taken care of soon), east side being taken over by a group of worms called "Common Army Worms" (they're quite destructive and moves fast! First time ever seen them - need to investigate further on this specie).
Existing Fauna and insects: Kookaburras, a tawny frogmouth, magpies, small birds (wrens, finches), cockatoos, crane, native ducks (Wood and Pacific Black), masked lapwing, purple swamphens, a Little Pied Cormorant, a large flock of Straw-necked Ibises, eastern water slinks, several lizards, grasshoppers, Monarch butterfly caterpillars, several ant species, dragonflies, several groups of frogs, and feral foxes.

I hope all the info above gives you some idea of my property at the moment.

Cheers till later!

No comments: