Organized by: Susan Haas
Small Model Permaculture and Aquaculture Farm
September 25, 2016
Sustainable permaculture farming on 11.37acres of environmentally-sensitive land that will serve as a model for sustainable homesteading and an outdoor classroom. Funds are used to pay off property, inventory diverse ecological features in order to create a permaculture farm utilizing natural springs for aquaculture among many environmental and education projects.
The site is 11.37 acres of wet field and forest that is transitioning into an edible landscape of ponds, fruit and nut trees, forest and pasture, stone and timber structures and outdoor living spaces. Part of the farm is located on a slope, with a creek and series of terraced ponds, historically located on the edge of a working farm, which was clearcut and graded to farm fields. This periphery was used to contain the cattle in shade and allowed them to drink from the creek. One edge was clearcut and replanted in pines and the old farm is now 4 15- acre homesites.
Susan will develop the site into a model permaculture farm. Her expenses are expected to be low because she will build and reside in a well-designed and energy-efficient studio. 80% of her calories come from the homestead, and she can also gather fuel, building materials and other resources from the site. This said, her projected income will come from her real estate business, consulting, teaching and speaking. On top of this, she plans to have a nursery business.
Projected Farm Income:
• Half of the income comes from Services – consulting, design and construction services – (50%)
• Education – presentations and workshops, PDC courses, Book – 30%
• Lowered expenses – can be classified as income – 10%
– high degree of food, fuel, fibre, forage self-sufficiency and self-reliance
– 80% of calories comes from the homestead
– low housing costs
• Small nursery business – 8%
• Tours – Informational Walking Tour – 2%
Summary and Susan’s remarks:
• Susan believes that the ideal size for most people is 5-10 acres – that’s enough land to sustain yourself and provide for your needs, though you can go bigger if you want commercial grazing or forestry
• Establishing a keynote portfolio site is very important in demonstrating to people what works – it also helps with gaining employment as a consultant and in encouraging people come to workshops, PDC-s and tours on the site.
• The main source of income is from the farm – she is not producing for the market, just catering for her needs – thus lowering her expenses
• The nursery business is an important part of the farm’s income, especially when developing genetic lines
• Heavy focus on resilience – a high degree of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, small business
• The exact figures of farm income varies from year to year