OSEC Land Selection Criteria

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Choosing land for an OSE Community requires an understanding of what the land will be used for. The following use assumptions are made:

  • Farming - Crops, animals, food forest, etc.
  • Shelter - Housing for the people living and working in this community.
  • Light Industry - Fabrication, workshops, small lot production, etc.

Selection Criteria

  • Lay of the Land
    • South facing in the northern hemisphere (north if in southern)
    • Gentle slope with some flat places
  • Conformance
    • A simple plot outline is easier to deal with
    • Good access from a county/state/federal highway
  • Water
    • Year-round, running water from stream or springs
    • Bodies of water: pond/lake especially if spring-fed
    • Good quality - potable - test before buying
    • Test for bacteria, etc.
  • Soil
    • Fertile top soil to good depth
    • Get the soil analyzed for pH, minerals, etc.
    • Existing prepared fields are a plus - are they organic?
    • Good drainage - consider a perc test
  • Organic Resources
    • Mature trees, especially hardwood, are a plus
    • Existing food sources such as fruit and nut trees
    • Wild food sources such has herbs, berries, roots, etc.
  • Mineral Resources
    • Stone
    • Clay
    • Gravel
    • Sand

Rejection Criteria

  • Conformance
    • Avoid "keyhole" plots with a long driveway to access the land
  • Water
    • Check up-slope and up-stream for sources of pollution
  • Legal
    • Liens or other legal attachments
    • Questionable ownership