My partner Cat Dancing and I recently attended a Meetup in Austin for a new intentional community. The group, Vajra Azaya, is seeking to obtain land in Williamson County to build a community that will serve as a teaching center for Permaculture, alternative building, alternative lifestyle, health, and so on. It seems to be a really exciting group. I signed up for several of their committees, Permaculture, Sustainable Agriculture, and Alternative Building (I think.)
We also made a new friend at the meetup who has recently acquired six acres of land near Bastrop and would like to achieve a permaculture design for it. It's very promising. We're meeting with her this weekend to talk over what she wants to accomplish.
In preparation for that, I visited the place last Monday and looked it over. It's an interesting L shaped piece of property near Lake Bastrop. It has a medium sized house and outbuildings, along with quite a few well established trees of many types. The long portion of the property is running north and south and borders on a wet-weather creek. Some research on the Bastrop Tax Office website netted me the "official" outline of the property as well as the legal description. With Google Earth and an add-on that shows contours, I got the topography of the property and the satellite picture of it.
Inserting these different resources into my drafting program and accurately scaling them to useful overlays took part of an afternoon, but it gave me a really good overview of the property involved.
This has generated several maps I can use when I talk to the owner this weekend.
I suppose we can call this Stage One of the design process. Next will be the interview with the owner, and more detailed inspection of the property to accurately lay out all the existing features. I'll take you along for the ride.
Also, if you haven't checked out Meetups, you should. It's a great way to find like minds in your area. There are groups for literally every possible interest. Check it out!