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Transcript of Base mapping
Base Mapping5/29/2015Patricia Blanchette
I began my mapping process by visiting the town hall. I spoke with both the building inspector and the assessors office. The building inspectors assistant provided me with a printout of my property from Google Earth which included the property lines highlighted. After speaking with her about my plans for the property she went on to tell me that it was a family horse farm which was handed down through the generations until a disreputable nephew inherited and then subsequently lost it. The family offered riding clinics and lessons to the local community. It was wonderful to gather this bit of information and I hope to meet other locals who may remember the family and the farm.
Next I visited the assessors office and requested copies of the assessors map and the current deed to the property. These were extremely useful tools as they listed the actual measurements of the property and the locations of the boundary markers. With this information I started to sketch out the perimeter of my map.
My property has 13+ acres and it took 4 sheets of poster board paper cut up and taped together to fit the entire space. I dont initially plan to utilize all of my available space, but thought it would be beneficial to have it all mapped out so that I can break down different sections when planning for future uses. The hardest part was figuring out the angles and getting them to line up over such a large area. I tried to sketch it all out with no success. I decided to cut pieces of string to the appropriate lengths taped down the straight edges then moved around the angles to meet up. After tracing and checking my measurements I believe that I have a fairly accurate rendering.
I then worked on learning the language of design by just spending some time observing the area and watching where the sun comes up and down. It was nice trying to visualize different zones and sectors for all of the different plants and animals. This will also help me to determine the exact placement of the house in connection to the barns and coops already on the property. I also walked the land paying attention to the different microenvironments. The grass and wildflowers are about waste high right now and I was a bit startled to see a coyote scurry thankfully away from me. The grass made walking around and measuring a bit cumbersome, but it also brought a peacefulness to me as the wind blew in different directions. While walking around I found the location of the old septic which was literally just a dug out hole in the ground with no leach field. It looked to be all dried up but that tells me I will need to do some soil testing to determine the quality or contamination of the soil. The existing farmhouse on the property is not included in my base map as it will be torn down shortly. With it omitted from the map it lets me visualize how I want to set up my homestead as a productive yet visually beautiful space.
In general I feel that my land can be set up to follow all permaculture principles. I am extremely fortunate that I have a clean pallet to work with and have a passion to understand the patterns of nature. I am motivated to learn and share that knowledge and farming space with others!