Hi all, Any advice for a novice?

9 years 4 months ago #38991 by lando

I have been referring to this site for a few years while we waited for the chance to buy our piece of paradise in the country. It is very informative and there is a lot of good advice and ideas.

My Wife and I are in the process of buying an acre of sloping land an hour away from our home.

I am not a complete newbie as I have worked on a farm (6 months only, dairy was not for me) and been gardening and building things all my life (Thanks Dad!)

I am not sure if this is the right place to post some questions but I am sure you will point me to the right topic if need be!

We will have no water, power or sewer. It is a bare block with no services which we plan to use for a few weekends a month and a few weeks in summer etc. We will gradually spend more and more time there as we establish it.

We will not have any stock but we would like to plant out some natives if we can get everything established.

1- The first thing we need to do is extend the fence height up to 1500mm - 1800mm to keep the dogs in. There is a post, waratah and wire fence around the perimeter now. Has anyone got any suggestions on how to extend these? I was thinking of bolting and wiring 100 x 100 posts to the side of the rounds after running the chainsaw down them to give me a bit of a flat surface. Then running 2 wires on the extension and netting the lot. I am reasonably happy this would take the strain but if anyone would care to correct me feel free.
**** Huntaway X has got a good leap on him and has proved resistant to .11 joules****

2- I need to get water! I will get a 1000ltr transportable tank ($100 via trademe) and if anyone has any suggestions on how to offload this easily off the trailer that would be great! After this we will look at harvesting some rainwater. Could anyone point me in the right direction for laying perforated drainage in the soil or alternative means to harvest from the surface? We will put up some posts with clearlite roof and spouting to shelter the tent for the first year as soon as possible and collect rainwater off this but I am interested in surface collection as well.
**** As suggested we will get 2 x 1000ltr tanks and drain from trailer to one on site****

3- Any advice on hardy drought resistant ground cover, shrub and tress would be welcome.

4- Toilets! We will probably get a cheap chemical toilet for the first wee while, but we are interested in the waterless composting toilets, could anyone recommend one? We are looking at this one wctnz.co.nz/product/afrisan-waterless-toilet/ Does anyone know if they are any good?

5- Shower. We have no experience of solar or portable gas water heater, again if anyone has any advice, it would be welcomed.

6- Last Thing! I will get a bobcat hired soon and plan to cut into the slope for a carport, potential cabin site (tent in the mean time) and for the water tanks. Any advice to divert and collect the rain water around these?

Thats all for now, thanks in advance for your help and please tell me if i need to break up my questions and post in separate topics.


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9 years 4 months ago #500682 by Hawkspur
Hi and Welcome!
Are your long term plans to move to the land eventually? This may affect how you do the water tanks.
Regarding the water tank, Don't try to unload it when full. Buy another that stays put and that you can drain the one on the trailer into. If it is bigger, you can build up a bit of reserve water, and it might be worth considering what you want long term for this if you do plan to live there at some point. (Check the rating on your tow vehicle and trailer too.)
You could try a pegged out tarp to collect water, but this makes that area unusable for anything else, so if you do try this, perhaps have a tarp over the track/drive area that you remove when you get there. Ground collected water will have a lot more dust etc too, so you might need a settling tank or separate garden/human water tanks.

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9 years 4 months ago #500690 by muri
I would suggest you look at some of the Permaculture Sites for water harvesting, they have some interesting ideas. Also ideas on composting toilets and showers, both of which are very easy to make
1000 litre tank, those square caged ones, are not heavy I can shuffle one around on my own and I am not particularly strong. you just pull it off the trailer
You will find 1000 litres is nothing and a mere drop in the ocean in terms of water needs, especially if you are wanting to water a garden.
It is helpful if you put a location as what you plant will be dependent on what area you are in

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9 years 4 months ago #500703 by tony@ecocycle
Hello Lando

I work with on site wastewater systems as mentioned above 1000ltrs is nothing when it comes to water, we work on 180L/day per person for a normal house on rain water. if you can get more of the containers and your section has enough slope use gravity to collect your shower and wastewater and use that to water plants (remember to use only biodegradable product to keep the land clean)
Enjoy your project

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9 years 4 months ago #500737 by kindajojo
Depending on where you are, don't plant more trees than you can irrigate. If putting in shelter...you need to plan and get the line ripped to get good roots.
You NEED a water so what about putting up a three bay barn .....always handy and connecting a 10k water tank to that then topping up when you visit. You can always camp in the barn so to speak. If necessary get it filled by tanker. If you are not there through the week, it should cover water needs from collection.
If you need power get a generator for short term use..you don't need a lot ....gas BBQ covers cooking, chemical toilet or long drop.....
Good luck and enjoy....
I have found it generally better to invest in quality items, less frustrating when cheap ones break, leak, don't work ..especially when you are a distance from town.
Do it once do it properly.

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9 years 4 months ago #500838 by LongRidge
To turn a 900 mm netting fence into a 1.8 m high one, buy 2.1 m quarter round posts, enough to attach to each of the posts in the current fence. Dig them in beside the current posts 200 mm, then wrap soft (ie not "high tensile") No 8 wire around both posts, and tighten by twisting the No 8 (which is impossible to do tightly with high tensile).
Then get as many rolls as you need of 900 mm netting, with the gaps as close as you need . There are quite a few choices of gap size, so ask what is available from your local Farmlands store.
But unless you plan to keep deer or ostriches, a much cheaper option is to get 2.4 m deer height (1.8 m height when in the ground) waratahs and a waratah rammer, and use an electric fence. Get half as many as the current fence has posts, and ram them beside every second post, with the holes out from the post. I would then make 3 wires hot, and 2 earths out of 1.8 mm high tensile.

I might be able to post more details when you have considered both options.
Note to self .... read all the details in the post before answering.

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9 years 4 months ago #500853 by kai
Unless you have a real problem with your dogs escaping, I would have thought a solar powered hot wire run along the top would suffice. Having seen the effect on a friends dog who decided to run into a paddock to say hi to the goats, he only touched the fence once and remembered every time he visited and would go no where near it ever again.

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9 years 4 months ago #500889 by lando
Cheers, I will get 2 of the 1000ltr tanks and drain it from the trailer to the on on site.
We will have a hard time getting consent so we can't build and plan to get a few "Temporary" structures up.

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