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SP0111 - Homestead in an oasis, Baja, Mexico.
We have given this property a rating of 3 on our Sustainability Rating. This is based on the following answers to our questions. Please note that the answers are given by the owners and are not validated by us.
1 house cement block (previously there). 11 meter high water tower, built in rammed earth tire and ferrocement techniques. 1 unfinished kitchen built in stone, on rammed tire foudation, palm and tree lumber made from, and on the site. 1 small tool and solar panel shed built in wattle and daub on stone and tire foundation.
The cement house has a cement roof. The kitchen and tool shed have roofs made from lumber made on site, from carrizo (thin bamboo) which grows on site and a 3 layer lime roofing system inspired in ancient Indian technique.
The kitchen is meant to be an open air kitchen as the local weather allows, tool shed has no insulation as it is wattle and daub.
Cement house's roof has been thatched over to provide better thermal insulation in summer.
Gas indoors and outdoor with wood.
House has town provided electricity. The water tower and open kitchen have a small solar system.
We have piped water from town, we have a flood irrigation system provided by town (this is separate from the piped water) which delivers a huge amount of water for watering orchards at a very low price and we have a well on property from which everything can be drip irrigated.
Vegetable gardens which always produce more than enough for people here, we trade the excess. Garden can be scaleable for increased population or for commercial enterprise. We have a very secure chicken coop for both egg-layers and edible chickens. The orchards which are 6 years old and a second phase which is 3 years old include: Mango, jujube, peach, olive, pomegranate, suriname cherry, date palms, orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, mulberry, etc.
Opportunity for developing organic commercial agriculture, selling of building bamboo, palm leaves for thatch roof, carrizo (thin bamboo) for fencing/roofing. Excellent opportunity for organic egg/poultry production. The best option would be a mix of all these activities which are all compatible, but the land could be committed to a one purpose business as well.
Owners opinion on sustainable features?
Own water source which in Baja (being a desert) is a real advantage. Fertile soil, plentiful sunshine year round. Can certainly provide close to 100% food for inhabitants if more animals (sheep, goats, rabbits,etc.) are introduced, or as we do, if combined with fishing which is a big resource In Baja California. It is also conveniently situated between 2 good markets for product outlet, Los Cabos to the south and La Paz to the north.