Chris on Self-Sufficient Life podcast

farmdog
By farmdog on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 - 9:07am

Great NPR-style story of Chris on Self-Sufficient Life this week, and how he traded the corporate world for homesteading.

6 Comments

Patou's picture
Patou
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2016
Posts: 8
Water rights

I bought my 4 acres 20 years ago.
I've been working very hard to build a perennial permaculture garden this whole time, including about 39 fruit trees.
Now the government has decided they own ALL the water in the San Pedro River and are trying to pass a law to have all our wells shut down. It's actually in the court system as we speak.
If that happens I'm done. We are too far out for piped in water, so we'll have truck water in.
As a 69 year old single woman I am too old to start over.
I'm really scared now.

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 919
water rights

The West has its water laws. If you're low man on the totem pole, you may have problems. The question, then, is what to do about it.

Do you want to move to an area with more water? Do you want to use hugelkulture and compost to massively increase your yield per water applied? Do you want to switch to aquaculture, or something that doesn't use water?

It's fine to be scared, but you also need to be thinking how you will respond to this.

Patou's picture
Patou
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2016
Posts: 8
Water rights

If they shut down my well it will be over. My land will lose its value ,I won't have money to move anywhere else and I'm too old to start over.
I'm already very water conservative, have a solar powered drip system and have started hugelkultures against the lower fence.
Much of what I've planted is drought tolerant, but with no well I won't even have drinking water unless I buy it.
I've contacted some of the people involved in this, waiting for answers.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2259
Keep us posted

Hi Patou-  

   That's a rotten turn of events!!  I'd be scared too. Yet another way good people who planned and prepared responsibly are being thrown under the bus.

   As much as that stinks, Michael Rudmin makes a good point; you still need to think about how you are going to respond to this if it happens.  Don't give up; you are obviously smart and resourceful to have accomplished all that you have.  Do you have any extended family that you can reach out to if need be?

   Please keep us posted. 

   -pinecarr

robshepler's picture
robshepler
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 16 2010
Posts: 112
Get involved

Get involved, go to the hearings. You have a voice in the matter, grab your neighbors and go.

 

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 919
Something else, too: margins.

Something that Patou is having to face, we all will face: we prepare as well as we can against the juggernaut, and then it takes too long; then it wipes us out.

In this case, you can't really fight the feds too easily (though they have done fairly well so far at standing rock).

So the key here is margins: you won't survive unscathed, but you want to have better margins than the next guy over. So she may have to do something different. It sounds like she indeed is trying some things; there may be other things she can try, too.

Maybe she can set up a B&B that covers its own costs plus her water; or maybe she can sell out for ten times the price at the right moment, and move to West Virginia -- or Tennessee. There are ten acre farmettes out there for tiny amounts of money, if you're willing to move. Or maybe she'll head down to Costa Rica with that intentional community that'rsbeen mentioned here.

Point being, it's the margins that matter. She doesn't need to do great, just good enough for long enough.

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