The location for Art-Earnative Life Farm is a small family property in north Texas. One of the key things to remember in all the following discussions is the fact that this rural county has very few building and zoning restrictions. Keep in mind that many of the solutions that fit in this specific locale may not be possible or legal elsewhere!
The property is approximately three-quarters of an acre in size, triangularly shaped with rural roads around it. The ground is composed of limestone gravel and sand with very little topsoil. There are a few oak and red cedar trees scattered on the property, with a couple that are standing dead that will need to be cut down.
Local information states that there is a very good quality aquifer accessible only about twenty feet down. This will figure in future plans.
State regulations require a problematic permitting process for septic systems on small properties. It turns out that composting systems are not only permitted, but encouraged!
There are two different county water companies, but getting a water meter put in is ridiculously expensive. Over $2,500 for the meter, and approximately $1,000 for installation. Add to this a monthly bill, and this becomes even more unattractive.
There is a county co-op for electric supply, with rates that are reasonable. We are hooked up to supplied electric, but are also planning on developing solar and wind generation back ups.
The electric co-op does not have provision for buy-backs of home generated electricity, so our system will be stand-alone to pick up some of our electric needs. This will be developed in stages as funds allow, with the aim of eventually deleting the grid tie.