Will property prices kill Permaculture in Australia?

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Vagabond, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. bluesapphire

    bluesapphire Junior Member

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    there is plenty of land in Australia some resonable some cheap some even free from small councils in western NSW in particular BUT it is ALL outside the major cities. There is plenty of life in rural and regional australia come and join us.
    We have tried the group title idea several times over the years never had any sucess but good luck to anyone tough enough to continue that way.
    Still have 200acs arable flat land at Canowindra NSW for sale Has big shed and caravan but no permanent house entitlement price negotialbe or happy to look at generous share farm arrangement. Currently only growing thistles.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    That's precisely the problem for most of us isn't it?
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    It goes for me as well Eco.

    I'm starting to think seriously about how we could move to/develop/get involved in a communal village type thing.
     
  4. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I think I said in another thread somewhere, that another idea would be for someone that has the land, maybe 10, 20 or 5o acres could hive off some, say 5 acres a piece and rent that land out to others. Agree who grows what, and have a sort of charter for the land. It is illegal at the moment, but could be done surruptiously. That way if it doesn't work out the renter can leave and has not invested a great deal of money in it. The landholder doesn't loose anything but gets others to work the land for mutual benefit. Any infrastructure would be owned by whoever put it in. I'd be up for that sort of arrangement but would not buy into a mulitple occupancy or such in case it didn't work out or I didn't have enough privacy.
     
  5. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    It isn't legal to rent land in Australia?
     
  6. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    :-O
     
  7. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    What I find strange is that most of those things are direct symptoms of our current civilization, and in simple terms our civilization is insane. It's not all that easy to move outside of civilization either, but it is possible. Once you take that first big step of getting away from consumerism, the rest is easy in my own experience. It's just not a fast process and it's always an ongoing project.

    Prices of land have ups and downs, it's just usually over a longer period of time. If I had that issue in the US(I have to move out of state for reasonable land prices, but that's not a bad thing), I'd just wait for the economic bubble to break in 5+ years like it normally does these days. On a side note, I keep trying to do searches for degraded land, overused agricultural land, etc. to see if I can find a property that I can rehabilitate instead of coming in after the previous owner cut down all the trees and replanted crappy pine. No luck with that so far(guess it would be bad advertising to tell the truth). There isn't a lot of instant gratification in Permaculture, which is yet another thing people need to get over(even though it's a relatively new thing).

    I think what we may see more of on a Permacultural front would be small intentional communities. If, say, 10+ families went in on buying a large enough piece of property that can support them all plus provide some income, you can have shared costs on quite a few things(lumber mill, animal flocks/herds, nursery/greenhouse, etc.). You can also have that zone 5 old growth forest in the center for everyone to enjoy watching nature do her thing. You'd also only need 1 or 2 people have spent the money on a PDC and do the designing, plus you'd rely less on outside tradesmen as you can make each family responsible for a specific aspect(woodsman/carpenter, shepherd, greenhouse, water supply, making textiles, etc.). You just have to stop thinking of 1 family per area of land is all(though that is my ideal).
     
  8. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    You can rent out land but you can't have more than one dwelling on the whole property except for a granny flat. It's stupid.
     
  9. bluesapphire

    bluesapphire Junior Member

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    Yes renting land isn't an issue but living on it is often the problem. Our block is nearly 200acs but is about 50 acs short of the housing requirement for Cowra shire. Weekender type living in the shed is OK but not permanent. Tried agistment of sheep but no care of the land from the sheep owner hence the many thistles and not much interest in any financial return to us. If he had looked after the place we wouldn't have been concerned about payment. Maybe next year we will have the money to contract plant wheat or canola (Non GM of course) it wont be organic as the sheep man was very liberal with the round up.
    Cathy
     
  10. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Cathy - those thistles will be doing great repairative work on you pasture. Some slashing will help get to OM to the soil. The deep roots will open the soil and add carbon.

    I love the article on Heenan Doherty about Joel Salatin an the guy that had chickens in busses and took them to dairy farms (or something like that) and so needed no land of his owm and the farmer won and he won. That type of thinking may save us. Bill spoke of schemes that involved farmers allowing a herb grower and a bee keeper to share the land and you could add an orchardist so the bees polinated the fruit trees which added to the farm through mulch and windbreaks and the bees fed on the herbs and perhaps other plants that the bee keeper planted so you get benifits for all.
    These things are possible through landshare.
     
  11. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    It's amazing to me that such a huge amount of land is required in order to be able to live on it!
     
  12. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day All

    Regarding land (parcel, plot, allotment, etc.) size and the 'legal' right to 'live' (construct one or multiple dwellings) upon it here in Australia (and in many other parts of the world):

    There are reasons why government authorities limit (and in some cases, prohibit) the construction of dwellings on certain plots of land in relation to this issue. This mostly occurs through 'zoning', and usually distill down to the following two factors:

    1) The protection (from 'fragmentation', etc.) of 'high quality' agricultural land
    2) The desire to not encourage unviable (i.e. dispersed, 'sprawling', unsustainable) patterns of settlement

    Of course, each 'case' (plot of land) is different, and each case should therefore be judged according to its own merits. For example, in some cases the above zoning 'laws' make good (permacultural) sense, in others they don't.

    I'm in the process of writing a paper about the major reforms currently occurring in state-based planning legislation across Australia, and how these proposed changes to the law may effect permie people and their respective projects (properties). I'll post it here when it is finished. In the meantime, if anyone has any specific questions about the issue, I'll try to answer them here as time permits.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  13. pierre

    pierre Junior Member

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    Of leaps of faith and renting vs. buying

    Folks,

    I guess it boils down to how much your are willing to risk or give up in chasing that dream of becoming a farmer.

    Maybe I can relate my story (the shorthand version, but it is still longish) to highlight what can be done. Maybe there's some lessons in there for others to learn from too.

    After we had made up our minds that we wanted to move to the NW of Tasmania, I posted an ad on Gumtree that I wanted land to lease, explaining what we wanted to do. Within days I had a positive response, which eventuated in us moving to Tassie mid last year to take up residence on a 8 ac farm in the heart of Tasmania's dairy industry. The farm was up for sale at the time, and we reckoned best case scenario we could buy the place and "Bob's your uncle" as they say. Well, not so! We couldn't/don't want to buy it (more later). We're still renting it, and it is still up for sale. The insecurity has been driving us nuts. But a lot of good has come from this incredibly foolhardy move ("Fools rush in where angels fear to tread"?):

    1. Prior to relocating I set myself up with facilities to allow me to continue working for my previous employer, albeit from remote. Shortly after relocating, it became clear that they had run out of work for me and it left us, shall we say, panicking. But through perseverance we hope to secure a job in the next week, fingers crossed! (Read: I'm aiming at buying land, eventually. But first renting for a bargain to allow us to save up a ton of money.)

    2. We are in our preferred long term context where we would like to settle and farm. I believe Tasmania has got a very good long term outlook climate wise, and I believe it is one of the best spots to be farming in the whole of Australia (if not the globe). Now it is just a matter of getting a better place to lease (it is easier to do that whilst living in the area than trying to do that from some remote location) and saving up some dough (and waiting for the economic house of cards to collapse) so I can buy a huge farm at a bargain price ;))

    3. Jobs are few and far between, we are new in the area and slowly building our social and other networks. Our income has basically limited as to how much we can do and how quick we can do things. But it has also required a large amount of innovation since I currently have more patience than money and can only "afford" to try and do things on the cheap. Everything I build (e.g. animal shelters etc.) are portable and made from recycled materials, even down to the last water pipe - which are laid aboveground and not buried in order for me to take them with the day I will to relocate to my dream farm.

    4. The insecurity of leasing a place with two for sale signs at the front gate is a bummer. One is less inclined to fix fencing (currently in a terribly neglected state) and start up things that require huge amounts of energy, e.g. tree plantings.

    5. Whilst everything hasn't worked out as planned, I've been learning a lot as a newbie farmer. E.g. rotational grazing, keeping animals e.g. pigs, goats and sheep. Plus milking a Jersey cow (yum, fresh raw milk anyone?). It has been tough, esp. as I'm being hampered by the lack of proper infrastructure and the reluctance to spend time & money on anything that I can't take with me. But it is good fun. The experienced farmers around me probably shake their heads and chuckle every time they drive past (often because they'll be seeing me trying to round up some bloomin' rogue sheep or goat that has managed to escape through a hole in the shoddy fencing :rofl:)

    6. The two things that have saved us the most money so far are a small (but growing) flock of heritage breed chickens and a house cow. Amazing how many unnecessary trips to the local supermarket have been eliminated - thus screening us from the marketing genius of the supermarket chains and unnecessary expenses.

    It can be done (farming). And it can be done on leased property, IF you have a very secure lease agreement in place. Cheap property in my context means "way too tough to start to farm at age 40". Others might be braver or tougher than I.

    I therefore disagree with the basic premise that the property prices (and land ownership) will kill permaculture. In my opinion RED TAPE and paperwork will be do that WAY before property prices will. (The loopholes through which Joel Salatin has been able to process his chickens on-site for instance do not exist here, the local bureaucrats have got their thinking caps on it seems.)

    The basic message is: if you want to farm, then for Pete's sake go for it. Make a plan man! (Read Joel's "You Can Farm" and Gene Logsdon's "The Contrary Farmer" for some inspiration.)

    Cheers
    Pierre
     
  14. bluesapphire

    bluesapphire Junior Member

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    just got back to read this thread....Purple Farm what was the OM you referred to. I know the thistles can be useful ... if we ever go back to Cowra but the sheep people hate them as they cause problems in the wool when shearing. When our 5 years are up here in Mt Isa a community title development is high on our plans of next move although at our age next moves are becoming a luxury we may not get to enjoy.
    Cathy
     

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