Here's a (blurry) picture of our new home. It's so sweet and full of character. I can't wait to sit on that verandah with my tea. Even in the rain, it will be a lovely spot to sit and think and survey the gardens :)
My dear parents are overjoyed as they have been temporarily "housesitting" in our new home waiting to begin the process of building their cottage. Since our sale on Friday, they have submitted the papers and application forms for approval to be our own general contractor on the cottage build. Once that's stamped and approved, we can then apply for a building permit. All told, it will be several months until we can break ground on the cottage for my folks but they are happy to reside on site in their bus which has all conveniences ad comforts of a home (including power, water and septic hook up).
Meantime, back here in Alberta, the packed boxes are slowly stacking up and my mind is focussed on design plans for our new gardens and all the customized elements that will help us develop a thriving and diverse permaculture garden. We'll be hitting the ground running as our first tasks are quite big:
- build a wood shelter and get a load delivered to kick start our stockpile
- buck, split and stack wood from cleared trees (in preparation for cottage build) until we have 3 or 4 cords built up
- do a complete design survey and sector analysis of the property and create accurate drawings to work from (which will include 10 months of observations done by my parents)
- start a worm farm and major compost operation
- build a small portable coop and acquire hens
- begin sheet mulching to convert grass into gardens for next year's planting
- create hugelkulture beds (to make use of brush cleared for cottage build)
- create a nursery area for plant starts/cuttings, etc
The list goes on... but I'll stop there before I get overwhelmed. Our aim is to maximize yield from the smallest footprint of development possible because we know that as we age, we won't want to be tending gardens spread far and wide on the whole three acres. Sustainability in terms of labor to maintain our systems is very important so I'll be thinking hard about zones and easy access as I plan our future food supply. Truly productive annual gardens are ones that are close and intimate enough to easily tend. The spaces further out will be planted to species not needing as regular "tending" (berry canes, fruit trees, etc...).
The countdown is on so follow along with me as we continue our preparations to head out West!