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Looking for possible friends on our slice of paradise

 
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: NW Montana, USA
63
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We are off-gid on large-ish acreage (depends on your perspective I suppose) in Montana, USA.  We have a small farm and are learning, growing, and endeavoring to create a system and setup that will support us.  Very original, eh?  Nurturing the ecosystem and implementing a wide variety of practical permaculture concepts are all in the works and on the horizon.  We live in a cold climate and winter lasts a good 6 months.   Summers don't usually get above 80ยบ.  It's generally more mild than the lower elevations around us, except we get way more precipitation.  Greenhouses help us extend the growing season.  We have a plethora of livestock and are still working out which species and breeds are best suited for us.

Where do other people come into this?  Well, there's so much to do here and only two sets of hands to go 'round.  We feel that there could be great opportunity to share this with someone/others and really see the farm flourish and inch towards sustainability.  We don't need anyone to "buy in" or be able to contribute financially.  There is more than enough work trade could be done to contribute your share.  Working livestock, building structures and greenhouses, tending and establishing orchards, crops, and gardens, forestry/lumber/fire prevention work, digging and machinery work, firewood gathering and chopping, and even less physical help like domestic contribution helping keep the cabins clean, community meal prep, helping with laundry loads, running community errands, and other regular stuff.  There's so much to do!    Producing what we need is a HUGE task and there's so much room for help on that front as well; brewing and fermenting, canning and dehydrating, putting up foods, milking, butchering,  growing, watering, weeding, harvesting...! The point is that every contribution has its place and value!

We have no presuppositions about what an ideal candidate for this may look like.  It may end up being one or two people, some friends or or a family.  They may be local, or out of state, or from another country.  They may be rich or homeless.  College kids, refugees, retirees.   Temporary or long term... We have no idea who may come into the picture here...!

It is possible to park an RV, dry camp, or even build temporary or more permanent living structures; however comfortable living looks for you.  We have  non-luxury accommodations available as it is right now.  Like... an old camper with a stove, a bucket, and a bed :)    We  intend to build another cabin this year though, which will help the housing prospects.  Otherwise we'd just have to talk and see what we can all put together!
Seasonal living here is also a flexible option.  Hey, maybe you're just passing through and want to try it out for the summer!  We're pretty open to a variety of situations and setups!

We aren't an established, full-production self-sustained operation here.  ...Yet!  There's much to be done and the farm is young.  You will probably need a little bit of cash living up here as such; keep yourself clothed, fed, and what not!

So... yeah.  We're looking for friends, adventure, community, sharing, and  new experiences.  And we're in no rush.  Just puttin' some feelers out there to see what comes along :)  Feel free to message me if you feel excited or inspired- or if you know of someone who may be!   And tell us a bit about yourself!  I might take a few days to respond, heads up.
 
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Jen Fan, If I were not in the process of building my own homestead I might have taken you up on that. I just want to say be careful. I live here in mid Missouri and bought 60 acres of raw land in Southern Missouri 3 hours away. The problem I have now is I was too kind and let a friend move a shipping container to live in here in mid Mo., after a devorse. He is an older man, 81 yrs old and has kids with a younger Phillipino wife, so he wants to stay in the area. I let him add on a structure to the shipping container and let him plant an orchard too, so if I sell the place which I really need to do, how do I handle the situation. He also is far behind in rent that started out only $120 a month and I dropped it to $80 a month and hasn't been able to pay in months mainly because of mismanaged money. Still I can't throw out an old man and good luck finding a buyer who will let him stay.
  So I guess what I am trying to say is, be very careful of people and don't let things get too binding, as cool as it would be to share your place with good people, don't get into a bind where you can't say get on down the road. Not to say don't keep a good and caring heart, but think about later on if thing don't work out.

 Also, and only if you are interested I have a youtube channel if you would like to check it out. I'm not going to post a link but just copy and paste

      Little beaver Creek Homestead william e       Just the way its spelled, hope you enjoy and God bless. I wish you the best of luck.
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: NW Montana, USA
63
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William Egan wrote:Jen Fan, If I were not in the process of building my own homestead I might have taken you up on that. I just want to say be careful. I live here in mid Missouri and bought 60 acres of raw land in Southern Missouri 3 hours away. The problem I have now is I was too kind and let a friend move a shipping container to live in here in mid Mo., after a devorse. He is an older man, 81 yrs old and has kids with a younger Phillipino wife, so he wants to stay in the area. I let him add on a structure to the shipping container and let him plant an orchard too, so if I sell the place which I really need to do, how do I handle the situation. He also is far behind in rent that started out only $120 a month and I dropped it to $80 a month and hasn't been able to pay in months mainly because of mismanaged money. Still I can't throw out an old man and good luck finding a buyer who will let him stay.
  So I guess what I am trying to say is, be very careful of people and don't let things get too binding, as cool as it would be to share your place with good people, don't get into a bind where you can't say get on down the road. Not to say don't keep a good and caring heart, but think about later on if thing don't work out.

 Also, and only if you are interested I have a youtube channel if you would like to check it out. I'm not going to post a link but just copy and paste

      Little beaver Creek Homestead william e       Just the way its spelled, hope you enjoy and God bless. I wish you the best of luck.



Thanks for the reply!  I appreciate you sharing your experience  That is a tough situation!  We definitely are not chomping at the bit to add folks up here.  We've both learned good lessons in life about setting boundaries and trying not to get into sticky situations.  Not to say there's not more to learn in the future

Honestly we'd prefer to leave money out of it.  We're not in need and frankly, it's tough to produce income living in this area, so it's tough to expect someone to be able to pay a rent.  We're fortunate that there's so much that needs to be done on the micro and macro scale that there's ample opportunity for contribution!

I'll check out your youtube tonight, after work is wrapped up for the day ^_^
 
pollinator
Posts: 1877
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I would also love to share my place and would also have shared the place of others...

Planning what can go wrong is a need, with limits, but too much of a distance can also prevent deepening the link in the necessary way! If you take the other person's point of view, helping and beeing told good bye is not a good prospect either... When we are not from a tribe since birth, this is definitely a challenge... When selling, the owner gets money back, and the helper does not. Ideally, both persons should hope for a long term commitment, because motivation comes from this, at least commitment to be the tender of this piece of land!

I have made some intents too, and the main defect newcomers have is to want to bring their own stuff too quick. This is not about having competence or not, but first about asking the person to sink into the place and suck the energy, in order to become part of it. Initiatives must always be said before they are acted, until the person knows the place enough. So this is not even about being the owner, but how long people have been living in the place.

Good luck!
 
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Hi Jen, I'd be very interested in talking with you about what you're doing up there and possibly in visiting later this summer. I'm beginning to explore making a similar long term plan. Which part of the state are you in?
 
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Hello Jen, I am a gardener from Alabama and within the next year to two years I am looking into moving into a community setting where I could grow food and plants for the community. I am still learning many things at this current time but I am having some good results experimenting on my sisters property, I do not have any money to give for rent, but I am very willing to live in the least comfortable conditions since I am already used to that being homeless for a period of time. I really want to get away from this Conservative Christian society here in the Southeast and live in the Northwest, I hope that where you are is in the more beautiful parts of Montana. I hope I can hear back from you.  
 
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Your post sounds interesting. I am a 39/M recently divorced looking to get off grid and do real work. I have experience operating and repairing any farm-type machinery, a formal plant science education. Some of my other skills : irrigation, light carpentry, plumbing, arboriculture, plant propagation, gardening, food preservation, mycology, soil building, all the outdoorsy stuff. Contact me at tndarkstar1980@gmail.com
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: NW Montana, USA
63
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Thanks for the replies and messages!  We had a death in the family and have been MIA for a little while here as a result.  Trying to get back in the swing of things...

For those of you who posted above, please send me a PM :)  I'm better about checking those than the forum post here!

I wanted to add a few things to my post; it's hard to know what to say, to pick what info is relevant.  .I wanted to open the door to conversation, foremost.  Community means friendship, and friendship means compatibility.  Folks have been sending messages akin to resumes, and while it's wonderful to hear what others have to offer, the most important thing is who they are as a person!

I mean, to be honest, it's a bit like dating, right?  We could have everything to offer one another, but we need to be on the same frequency to blend functionally.  What we hope for in the long-term is community.  Not like community around a common ideology, or community themed on a certain philosophy.  Community built on our commonalities, our solidarity, our friendship.  A mutual need and appreciation for one another.  Such things take time to grow and nurture, of course, and I'm sure we'll see a few people come and go as this funny adventure in human relations progresses!

Lots of questions about location; We aren't too far out of Missoula, but still pretty far off the beaten path.  Every year is different, but winters can see 7-10'+ of snow.  Last year the snow came lazily until January, then we started accumulating feet.  At our elevation the temperatures are actually milder than in the valleys, we get loads of sunshine, and we actually get fewer storm systems; but the ones that do come through bring a LOT of precipitation.  We have the ability to plow out through the winter but it costs $50-$75 in fuel per plow job on 2 miles of winding dirt road.  So we intend to forget plowing this upcoming winter and just snowmobile out.  Our very kind neighbors down the mountain let us park a rig or two at their place and snowmobile down to the cars if we need to go anywhere.  It's a quiet, magical winter wonderland up here!  And spring, summer, and fall are equally fantastic!

As far as the farm goes, we're raising pigs and intend to breed our own specialty mountain variety pig over the coming years.  We just set up our first bee hives here and so far they're doing FABULOUS.  We've got a mix of poultry and I keep pack goats.  I've got a couple milk goats too, but I don't ever get around to milking them after they kid e_e  we're a little to busy for that.  And possibly undisciplined when it comes to the punctual needs of milking does.  Haha.

We also have 3 large dogs (and we expect calm, amiable, and well-adjusted behavior from them) and 3 outdoor cats that patrol the area for pests. 4-legged friends are welcome only if they're compatible with the entire farm.  It's too difficult trying to live with destructive critters!  No livestock killers, no wildlife harassers, no noisy trouble makers.  

And a blip about us;  We are 2 souls navigating our journey together.  We do not subscribe to any particular religion.  Everyone's beliefs are their own, and of course friendly conversation about faith and spirituality is awesome! But there is no ruling ideology here.  Our shared political passion is a heated dislike of capitalism, tax-funded war-machines, the prison industrial complex, and... well... basically all things that define our governing/control systems in the USA.  And its perpetuation around the world.  I'll refrain from digressing about fascism...  (I don't mind a good debate but I won't fight about anything with anyone, to each their own)  

Our 'ultimate goal' is to phase money out as much as possible from our own lives.  Some folks say 'vote with your dollars'.  We say 'vote by rejecting the idea of dollars'.  That's where the passion for self sufficiency comes in; to be able to live as fully as possible from the land, and to be able to produce just enough money to meet inescapable financial demands.  To be good to the land and nurture it, nurture the ecosystem and the wildlife.  We spend long hours discussing options and possibilities.  And in no way do we expect community members to share our goal (I mean, a little bit would be nice, but it's not like a requirement!); after all diversity is the backbone of community.  Not conformity.  

On that note, we've had a lot of folks eagerly conveying that they're in excellent physical shape, or have 'no drama', or are 'mentally/emotionally sound', etc. etc.  I'm quite happy for them!  But by no means would we dream of demanding the most perfect people.  We all got our 'drama', our issues, our imbalances.  It's a part of life.  If we can embrace one another for who we are, then perhaps we can walk a path of growth and healing together, rather than hide ourselves and insist we're without dysfunction.  That's what I say, at least!  

Hopefully that lays the ground work for some discussion :)   For folks that want to contact me, tell me a little about yourself!  Ask us some questions!  Let's talk!

And yes, we're super busy right now, so responses may take a few days.  I'm happy to transition to other means of communication as conversation progresses, but for starters let's talk here.
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: NW Montana, USA
63
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Just an update:

We are currently talking with 2 people about possibly coming up, but that doesn't shut the door on others :)

We've been finishing another big pasture for the livestock and babies are hitting the ground from goats and pigs.  All very exciting!  We've got a half-ton butcher job this weekend and will have some friends and family come help with that.  Today we're building a walk-in mega dehydrator so we can mass-dry meats for storage.  We're talking hopefully being able to put several deer or pigs in it at a time (cut up of course).  

We've got a lot happening all the time!  And there's ample opportunities for people to pitch in :)  The barn will be the next big construction project!  We logged the new pasture area before fencing it off and have most of the logs we need for the barn project.  The barn is designed to have roomy living quarters in the loft/at the peak, which will improve our ability to house others when it's finished!  In the mean time the gardens are flourishing and our first veggies will start to be cropping in, there's a new crop of rabbits ready for butcher, and another pasture to log!
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Jen Fan
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: NW Montana, USA
63
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We are just a couple weeks away from our first 'community member' (not sure what term to use there, it's not a membership )  We are all quite excited for the adventure this year!  The door is still open for other folks; there's ample room and much to be done up here!
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: NW Montana, USA
63
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Updates!  Autumn is creeping into the air up here, and it's exhilarating!  We've had an AWESOME strawberry and huckleberry season- though to interject, my afternoon agenda was to pick a couple gallons of hucks, but there's now a sheet of torrential pea-sized hail crashing down on the mountain, so... R.I.P huckleberries.  Alas...  Anyway the wild berries have had an awesome year.  We're starting to pick our first ripe tomatoes and harvesting seeds from the early crops.  Potatoes are ever closer to harvest and my meager early corn experiments are coming along nicely, with the first patch sporting lots of promising ears!  The 19 fruit trees we planted this spring are all looking fabulous and strong as well!

Our piggy herd has grown quite a bit and we're hoping to have butcher hogs ready before winter sets in too deeply.  The chickens are multiplying happily and will provide plenty of meat come winter as well, if all goes well (as in, the cougars don't get to them first).  Life on the farm is good.  

We are behind on our barn building project, but it'll still get done before the snow flies.  We helped our neighbors build their house, so they're gonna help us build our barn.  That should speed things up!  We wanted to add about 1,000sq ft onto our best greenhouse before winter as well, but who knows if we'll have time at this rate, with this weather.  We shall see!

But the biggest update yet; our first new resident has been here for about 2 weeks.  Woohoo!  We helped him frame and tarp in a 16'x20' living structure that he is finishing on his own with lumber from the forest.  We've been able to hook him up with most basic needs so he can get settled in before winter.  Part of that has been fortunate coincidence with coming into a free wood burning stove, misc. furniture, and a few other neat treasures unexpectedly!  He has been helping thin the forest and prep a new pasture for the pigs and goats.  In the next week or two we'll all be gathering firewood together for winter and sharing that duty.  He'll need another week or three to finish setting up "home base", but I expect we'll all be well prepared by the time the snow starts to fall!  
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miniature piglets! <3
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Holes for the barn footings
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Footings poured and curing!
 
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Location: Nomadic
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Hi,
Might you have a update?  Thanks and best wishes
 
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