Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Land Efficiency

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin

You have probably heard of energy efficiency, but what about land efficiency.  Are you really using what you have in the most efficient way.  Or do you ever dream of selling up and moving to the country to settle down on a few acres?  Do you really need a house cow or goat to live a sustainable lifestyle?  

I never have.  Sure I may have dreamed about it for an odd minute or two, but never seriously and I just don't have the room for livestock.  At an early stage of my greening, my family and I decided that we would do the best we could with the space we had available.  Our space is a 779 sqm or 8385 square feet or 0.19 of an acre.  More than most around my area where the houses are getting bigger and the land getting smaller.  McMansions abound because property developers have gotten greedy!  To some this may sound like a lot of land.  It is all relative I suppose.

Anyway, I have managed to squeeze a lot of things into my normal sized suburban block of land.  Click to enlarge. 

Here is an aerial shot of the house which I sourced from www.nearmap.com.  Near map have detailed aerial photos of most Australian urban centres.  North is at the top of the picture and I have marked our boundary in red, with some of the stand-out features labelled and circled.  Hopefully it has put all the other outdoor photos of my garden that I have taken for my blog into context for those who are regular readers.

There is not one bit of land that is unused except for the most of the pool space where I store extra water when the tank overflows and the new citrus trees are against the back fence.  However, before I had to fork out a small fortune for dental work a few months back, I was going to put another 5000 litre water tank in this area, but I will have to wait until I save up a bit more cash before I reconsider my options. 

There is room for improvement in the front yard, as I am planning on planting in some fruiting shrubs and putting some drip irrigation in for the existing fruit trees.  I have 11 fruit trees in the front yard with the tallest being 2 metres (7 ft) and the shortest only 30 cm (1 ft).  Only a lack of potable water is holding me back at this stage, which seems like a funny statement considering the size of the pool.  Unfortunately, it is a salt water pool, so not much good on plants!  If worst came to worst, I would convert it back to fresh and just use it as aquaponics and water storage. 

We also have no lawn.  That's right, not a blade of grass to be seen except for the nature strips which I just mow and don't water.  I ripped up the rest years ago.  Such a waste of space and water. 

However, all in all, I wouldn't have it any bigger and certainly not much smaller and I find that I can manage it in the spare time that I have available.  I am happy with what we have and couldn't want for any more land.