Crowd source funding experiment.

In my last post, I described what I want to do with the 81 Acres I just acquired. “Notalottawata Farm” is hopefully to become a small research facility to find viable farming and basic living techniques to use in harsh environments.

In order to get started on a more solid financial footing, I’ve decided to attempt “Crowd Source Funding” with IndieGoGo.

The campaign is launched and can be seen here: Harsh Environment Agriculture Research. The funding goal is $20,000 to help build the basic shop facility and other basic start-up expenses.

 

I hope this works out but, if it doesn’t, I can still get it done! things will simply take longer.

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Announcing “Notalottawata farm”!

I bought the 81 acres I showed in my last post and have come up with the name for the property.

NOTALOTTAWATA Farm

A view of the landscape to the north of the property.

A view from the hill on Notalottawata Farm.

This is high desert that gets less than ten inches of precipitation, snow and rain combined, per year. The terrain is sage and cheat grass covered. No road into the property has been put in as yet.

I have the beginnings of a plan.

  • First order of business is to make sure I know exactly where the property lines are.
  • Next, start the establishment of a “road like” trail in the 30 foot easement (15 feet into each property along property lines) and onto the property.
  • Water will be needed so, I plan to drill a well myself using a temporary “cable rig”. This is the method developed by the Chinese about 4 thousand years ago and is still used today by many commercial well drillers. It can go through the toughest of soil and rock. The Chinese have “drilled” as deep as 3,000 feet with this method!
  • I’ll need to have a place to live on the property and I plan on purchasing a used travel trailer for temporary housing until I get a more “normal” house built.
  • Electricity will be provided using solar panels and small wind turbines to charge a bank of batteries that will feed 12VDC directly to some lights and appliances and also to an inverter for my 120VAC needs. For power hungry things like tools, I’ll have a generator.

With water and electricity taken care of, all I’ll need to look into is propane for heating during the winter.

After the basics of living are under control, the real work of the farm can start!

Notalottawata Farm is not going to be a place where I simply plop down and vegetate until my dying day!

There is to be a purpose to this plot of land and my use of it! I am going to experiment constantly in farming for subsistence on arid, poor, ground! There are many, many things already in the public domain on this but, perhaps those things could be made better or used more effectively.

Small water source development is an area of interest too. On this property are two places I have found that indicate water fairly near to surface. I’ll be making a video, along with copious notes, about what I see and how I go about determining if water is there and how to develop that into a viable source.

Another aspect of providing water on arid land is to make use of the natural precipitation when getting ground water is not an option. I think there are many ways to do that with limited resources. I’ll be looking into that as well and will document EVERYTHING!

This hill has a fairly steep side to the south and a more gentle slope on the northern side. The rock it is made of is volcanic. I’m determined to make use of that hill!

SW_corner_looking_N

Looking at the hill from the south property line

The expenses should be minimal. Cost of sinking the well will be tools, minor machinery such as a concrete mixer, water pump, generator, pulleys, wire or fiber rope, pipe,most of which will be used again for other things as I develop the farm, should not run more than about $1,000. To hire a commercial well driller would cost $4,000 minimum and could go as high as $10,000 with no guarantee of a good well!

The largest single expense, believe it or not, is going to be the septic system! It’s county code and I can’t avoid putting in a septic tank with good drain field. Because of the depth of excavation needed, I will probably hire this part to be done.

Every thing I do to get established on the farm, successful or failure, will be well documented! This will all be made available to the public.

What all do I plan to do?

  • Establish small (5 acre or less) plots for experimentation as simulated subsistence farms.
  • Find methods to amend soil for improved growing conditions. This should incorporate amendments that can be gathered from the local environment or that are produced by livestock.
  • Experiment with vegetable crops to determine the varieties that perform best under harsh environments.
  • Experiment with methods to preserve vegetables during winter to include canning in glass jars and drying / dehydrating.
  • Experiment with limited livestock. This could include chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows.
  • Experiment with the use of livestock for both food and clothing.
  • Attempt to raise crops to feed livestock on available land.
  • Save seed from the best of the vegetable crops for planting the next year. When I am convinced of the viability of each variety of vegetable, I’ll save more seed in order to be able to offer those seeds to other people.
  • Any excess crop, vegetable or animal, will be offered to charitable organizations for their own use. I only need to feed myself so, there may be quite a bit of excess!
  • Experiment with growing sources of fuel for heating and cooking as well as building and construction. I’m thinking of bamboo here and there are a couple of varieties that do well in harsh environments.
  • Experiment with various methods of irrigation and water storage! Though I will be using quite a bit of modern gear such as subsurface irrigation and plastic water storage tanks, I feel there should be other methods that someone with limited resources can use.

Well, that’s about it for now. All of the lists above will surely be expanded upon as time goes by! I’m considering trying some crowd source funding to get things underway more quickly.

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Land I looked at

I tried to post this yesterday but, had problems with the images. These are slightly reduced in size…OK, a LOT reduced… from 6,000X4,000 to 3,000X2,000.

To see the full sized image, just click on it and you’ll go to just the image where you’ll be able to see it full sized. To get back here, just use the “back” button of your browser.

 

Views from the property:

looking_northeast_001looking_south looking_west

Views of the property itself:

 

Small game trails like this are all over the property.

game_trail

Jackrabbits abound!

jackrabbit looking_from_ne_to_southwest southeast_corner

The native rock is mostly volcanic. There is also some sedimentary rock to be found on the surface.

native_rock

The land slopes from the south down northwards. The slope is pretty gentle but there are hills and gullies you won’t find on the USGS topo maps. I saw a couple of spots that would be good for a pond dam if the soil will allow for water containment.

From the appearance of the vegetation, and the surface rock, I don’t think the useable water table would be too deep to reach with an affordable well. That’s ONLY my non-expert opinion though. I could easily be wrong.

Access to the property is not terrible but, for the last mile of travel, I would suggest a high clearance vehicle with 4X4 capability until a good road surface can be managed. Up until the main road turns in to the ranch property to the east, the road is pretty good. After that, it is a seldom traveled “two-track”.

 

Here is the road:

road_in

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Starting over! Almost all was lost! Thank you Yahoo hosting!

Due to the fact that Yahoo hosting could never keep a reliable database connection, I have had to start from scratch here on my blog. I’ll try, over the course of time, to rebuild my posts but, no guarantees!

 

I did manage to rescue some of my posts but not all of the images.

 

Thank you readers!

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A “watergate” of my CB radio use today….

I am using a used Cobra 148GTL that I got off of Ebay…the radio is one of the older units and works GREAT! My antenna is an “inverted V” that I constructed out of an extension cord and have up a mast that’s made out of two painter’s extension poles and mounted on my balcony.

People I talked to were “178″ in Mount Vernon Washington, “887″ in British Columbia, and “Trapper 642″ in Colorado.

Have a listen!

Watergate of my radio traffic on 7-11-12

 

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Monitor Range…first look

Monitor Range of mountains seen from road on west side

Monitor Range

I just got back from a little exploration. This time, I went into the Monitor Range in the Toiyabe National Forest. On this trip, I made a very quick, two-day, look at the northern portion of the mountain range. As with all my posts, you can click the photo to get a larger version… Continue reading

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Before, during, and now…how Dany D. Dog is progressing!

I put this video together to show my fearful dog’s progress from just before I got her until now…it’s a slow process but with patience and a little help of a small dose of Prozac, we are getting there!

I almost gave up on her a couple of times…now, I’m very glad I didn’t!

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Working with a “fearful” dog…helping Dany D. Dog get used to air pistols and rifles

This will be an ongoing kind of subject since I adopted a rescued 2 year old Australian shepherd dog that turned out to be VERY fearful. I found Dany (Dany D. Dog) at the Northern Nevada Humane Society shelter here in Reno. At the time, there was no indication of a problem at all…she seemed perfectly fine and seemed fine for the rest of that day and the next…it was on the third day when the big trouble with her fear got started! I dropped the handle of the retractable leash and the nois scared Dany…she jumped and that caused more noise…that is when she took off like a shot trying to get away from the noisy thing following her. It took me about three minutes to get into a place where I could tackle her and get the situation under control. From that day, I have been dealing with the most fearful dog I have ever seen! Below is a short video I took of her soon after the leash incident… Continue reading

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I needed a camping buddy so….I have adopted Dany D. Dog!

It took some time for me to adjust after losing Lassie the beagle but the last week of July, I spent some time at the Northern Nevada Humane Society…the end result is that I brought Dany D. Dog home.

 

She is reported to be an Australian cattle dog and about 2 years old. What I had no clue of when I met her at the shelter was that she had some serious generalized fear issues. That particular thing manifested the third day I had her and I have been working on helping Dany deal with life in general ever since.

Here is a short video of how she was when I first got her…you’ll notice that she is two different dogs depending on whether she is on a leash or not…

You can find a facebook page dedicated to Dany’s progress at Dany D. Dog

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New user registration is suspended for the time being…

There was someone attempting to either massive spam the blog or maybe gain administrator or “author” access. This person was registering hundreds of bogus “users” every day for a good long time…I won’t just let such tactics go on for long before I take some sort of action. The action I took was the simplest by just disabling new user registrations.

If you are a reader and want to be a user/subscriber so you can get updates or post comments, just send me an email with your name, requested user name, email address you want to use, and a URL to your web site if you have one…I’ll add you in unless I feel you might be a spammer.

Thank you all,

Al

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