The Homestead Layout: An Overview

In order to provide context (and so that you can follow along at home) we thought it might be a good idea to do a permanent page on what the homestead layout is. On this page you’ll find diagrams and pictures of the homestead.

The Lay Of The Land:

The homestead layout is fairly simple, just 9 elements that explain what the land looks like.
A (poorly) sketched map of the house and its immediate environs. See the table below to decipher the layout.

The map above shows our house (marked as 01) and a small hut (02) that we currently use for storage, but where our landlord might stay if he comes up to visit. Items 03 and 04 are the areas we’ve identified as immediately cultivable, for a vegetable garden. The area in pink is a potential spot for a chicken coop and run. Together with the house, they form Zones 0 and 1, in the permaculture system. We expect to spend most of our time in those Zones.

Of equal interest are items 05, 06 and 07, which are water features: a 15,000-litre water tank, an annual stream that starts up in the monsoon (allegedly; this year’s monsoon is yet to start, so we haven’t seen this stream come to life with our own eyes.) 07 is a smaller, 1,000-litre tank. The 15,000-litre tank has a small pump attached, which pushes water up to the 1,000-litre tank, which then gravity feeds the water down to the house. (For a more detailed description of the water system and an example of how it failed in the early days, check out the post on The Water Saga.

Item 08 on the map is our driveway, along which we intend to plant vegetables that we will monitor less frequently and leave to their own devices. At the moment the hill palms and wild lemongrass is making a comeback, after the forest fire that swept our land the day we signed the lease. We hope that the pumpkins, bottle gourds, and other veggies will grow quickly enough to shade out the other plants and dominate the landscape.

Finally, 09 is the road that leads from Pethuparai Village on the right of the map, towards Ganeshpuram Village on the left of the map. The fork in the road that leads to the left and down is a private road leading to the Caroselle Cheese factory, our local landmark, without which most courier delivery boys would never find our house.

A Bird’s Eye View:

An easier way to grasp the homestead layout, especially with respect to understanding the elevation and the general landscape around it, would be to see what it looks like in 3D mode on Google Maps. Here’s a quick screenshot:

An alternative view, showing the homestead layout.

Finally, here are some pictures of the property and the surroundings:

A view of rainclouds rolling in, the first of the summer showers that gave us some much-needed water!

The sloping piece of ground here is Item 04 on the map above. It’s been marked out with stakes showing the contour lines. This picture is already out of date, since we’ve already started terracing the slope to plant our garden and lay out paths!

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