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Hi All! I'm new to the community, and I'm glad to be here.  I'm currently in the process of trying to escape urban life, and I desire to transition to a homesteading lifestyle, in community, in the future.  My partner unfortunately prefers to run the rat race, and chooses to be more concerned about money and this world's idea of "success" than he is about Mother Earth and living a lifestyle that is kind to her and others.  I'm (medically) retired and thus I'm home full-time. We're currently under contract for a gorgeous 10-acre tract of mountainside near Asheville, NC! So excited, as there are numerous clearings that will be good for building sites in the future.  My dream? Build community.  Plant a food forest.  Connect with like-minded people who are more interested in helping green things grow than they are in watching those green-backs grow in a bank account.  He may choose to live here and continue the rat race.  I plan to move to the Asheville area and live a life less traveled. If consciously uncoupling occurs in the future, I'm more than ok with that to be honest. It's exhausting to be partnered up with someone who does not share the same ideas/wants! I get excited about organic gardening, heirloom vegetables, wrapping crystal jewelry, making amazing, healthy food from what I've grown, raising my chickens, and hiking in the woods while looking for a stream.  It's the simple things.  

For those who have transitioned from urban to homestead lifestyles, especially in community, how did you make that transition? What was your best resource? Did you do this with or without a partner? Did you find it difficult to do with a partner who does not share the same ideals/ideas? Pointers, anyone?  I value everyone's opinion here, and I thank you for taking the time to read this.  
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End the relationship. You have different paths to take.  
 
Laura VanAntwerp
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That is the simple take on the matter.  There are kiddos involved, which complicates things.  You are, however, correct Rick.  I believe we have different paths to take! I need to muster the bravery to do the thing.  
 
gardener
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Hi Laura.  Just wanted to say welcome to Permies and best wishes on your path ahead. You'll find the folks here to be a supportive group.
 
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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It totally depends on the relationship. My partner isn't into this lifestyle at all. At. All. But he is supportive and we make it work.

In the US we sometimes put too much emphasis on romantic love in my opinion. You can share parts of your journey with close friends for now.  Maybe you'll break up eventually, but maybe now isn't the best time.

Make friends with local gardeners and permies people. That helped me tremendously. My friendships and involvement grew from there. Once your farm is stable and prosperous (an ambiguous goal) you can start giving back and volunteering more if it suits you
 
James Landreth
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Sorry if that sounds short. I'm writing on my phone while in my field watering
 
Laura VanAntwerp
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Thanks Greg! It's nice to be here.

James, you don't sound short at all.  I appreciate your perspective, quite a lot!
 
pollinator
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The people I know who are in relationships where their partner does not want the same things as they do in life, are people who struggle with joy and happiness and heavily self medicate and cling to dreams that they know will never become.  But there is no easy answer.  You can end up miserable in a huge variety of ways  I'm a personal fan of standing my ground and refusing to settle.  After almost a decade I finally found a partner who is, well, just the male version of me.  Only a lot taller.  lol.  I think the main thing we disagree on is my appreciation for kale and his refusal to eat it!

So you are actually closing on some land?  That's exciting  From my narrow perspective, the biggest thing I never saw was the shear extent of costs involved with basic infrastructure.  And I'm cheap; used, salvaged, hand made.  Non-luxurious.  Bare-minimum.  And the expenses are still huge; until you're set up with a fluid permaculture system you have to buy your food, your livestocks' food, you need a place to live and they need a place to live.  Gardens are a fine theory when it comes to wildlife.  You think you're feeding yourself, they think you're feeding them.  So greenhouses, pest control, fencing, etc. comes into play to get the basics in the ground.  Tools, saws, fuel, etc. add up.   And the amount of labor involved in setting up shop might replace a part time job.  I love it, personally, but it is a bit of dedication when it's in the early stages.  
Some folks I know like to take it slow; get just a handful of hens and see how it is keeping them.  Get just 2 breeding rabbits and let them have just a couple litters and see how keeping rabbits is.  Wait just another year or three before trying the next thing.  I'm more like "Hey, if it doesn't work out I'll just sell or eat em!  Let's try EMUS NEXT!".

So maybe some casual advice would be to outline your basic introductory priorities and start from the ground up.  Don't look into the distance and see a big shiny awesome end result.   Start with the loam and the dirt, putting the seeds in the ground, raising structures, putting in fences, etc.  Small steps turn into huge changes  Otherwise it just gets overwhelming!
 
James Landreth
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You’ll probably get this advice from other places (if you haven’t read it already while dreaming of homesteading!) but here is my advice, similar to Jen’s in some ways:

Start with building soil and infrastructure, and planting trees/perennials. You’ll be so glad you did. Bring in as much organic matter as possible in the beginning (woodchips, free coffee grounds, untreated grass clippings, wood for hugelbeds, whatever!). And plant some trees and shrubs. Even if you end up feeling later like they could have been placed better, it’s ok. You *could* move them or even cut them down, but most likely you’ll just build around them, and that’s ok.

I’m glad to see no plans as of now for bigger livestock. I think soil is a better investment. Chickens are definitely a great start.

Definitely get connected somehow. That’s something I didn’t do when I first moved out here (limited transportation at the time, and so much that needed doing then) And, we’re always here for support and more advice as you go on this journey!
 
Posts: 44
Location: Texas Zone 9
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My husband is decidedly a city boy.  I didn't realize what a country girl I am until long after we were married (like, 15 years in).  I think that we want a lot of the same things, but we have different ideas of how to get there.  For me, the best approach has been the gradual one, introducing him little by little to a slower-paced, more healthful lifestyle.  At the very least, he humors me and helps me out a little bit here and there.  I think his biggest concern is getting stuck with all of the work, but as I've become healthier, I'm able to do more, and his concern is diminishing.  I'm also working on convincing him that a food forest will be a lot less work to maintain after it's established, and that we won't be mowing acres and acres of grass.

Can you bring your partner along gradually?  Will he at least buy into the idea of more homegrown, healthy food?  Maybe he's willing to finance your efforts if you (perhaps with some hired help) do the actual projects?

Also, how far is this property from your current location?  Can you work your dream part-time for now?  Can/will he commute, or split his time between work during the week and the new property on the weekends?  If the answer to both of those is "no", then you're going to have to choose between him and the lifestyle you are proposing.  Choose wisely, if for no other reason than your children's sake.
 
Laura VanAntwerp
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Jen Fan wrote:The people I know who are in relationships where their partner does not want the same things as they do in life, are people who struggle with joy and happiness and heavily self medicate and cling to dreams that they know will never become.  But there is no easy answer.  You can end up miserable in a huge variety of ways  I'm a personal fan of standing my ground and refusing to settle.  After almost a decade I finally found a partner who is, well, just the male version of me.  Only a lot taller.  lol.  I think the main thing we disagree on is my appreciation for kale and his refusal to eat it!

So you are actually closing on some land?  That's exciting  From my narrow perspective, the biggest thing I never saw was the shear extent of costs involved with basic infrastructure.  And I'm cheap; used, salvaged, hand made.  Non-luxurious.  Bare-minimum.  And the expenses are still huge; until you're set up with a fluid permaculture system you have to buy your food, your livestocks' food, you need a place to live and they need a place to live.  Gardens are a fine theory when it comes to wildlife.  You think you're feeding yourself, they think you're feeding them.  So greenhouses, pest control, fencing, etc. comes into play to get the basics in the ground.  Tools, saws, fuel, etc. add up.   And the amount of labor involved in setting up shop might replace a part time job.  I love it, personally, but it is a bit of dedication when it's in the early stages.  
Some folks I know like to take it slow; get just a handful of hens and see how it is keeping them.  Get just 2 breeding rabbits and let them have just a couple litters and see how keeping rabbits is.  Wait just another year or three before trying the next thing.  I'm more like "Hey, if it doesn't work out I'll just sell or eat em!  Let's try EMUS NEXT!".

So maybe some casual advice would be to outline your basic introductory priorities and start from the ground up.  Don't look into the distance and see a big shiny awesome end result.   Start with the loam and the dirt, putting the seeds in the ground, raising structures, putting in fences, etc.  Small steps turn into huge changes  Otherwise it just gets overwhelming!



Jen, you raise a lot of important points! Thankfully, I've never been one to place my joy in a partner.  While it's been tough as of late, I'm grateful to still find the same pleasure in spending time with amazing friends, gardening, dirt under my bare feet, etc.  As for self-medicating, if getting in my garden is the medicine I'm all for it!  I'm with you though, the older I get, the less I'm willing to settle.  

As for land, yes, 10 acres!  I'm lucky to be retired (medically), which means I'm paid for the rest of my life due to the injuries I sustained.  As you suggest, putting in the infrastructure is number one in the process.  Thankfully, my spouse already has all of the tools, and used to be a carpenter before he worked for fed gov, where he is now.  He's willing to participate in building/etc.  Good advice, starting with the loam and the dirt.  As an instructor of mine used to say, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast!"
 
Laura VanAntwerp
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James Landreth wrote:You’ll probably get this advice from other places (if you haven’t read it already while dreaming of homesteading!) but here is my advice, similar to Jen’s in some ways:

Start with building soil and infrastructure, and planting trees/perennials. You’ll be so glad you did. Bring in as much organic matter as possible in the beginning (woodchips, free coffee grounds, untreated grass clippings, wood for hugelbeds, whatever!). And plant some trees and shrubs. Even if you end up feeling later like they could have been placed better, it’s ok. You *could* move them or even cut them down, but most likely you’ll just build around them, and that’s ok.

I’m glad to see no plans as of now for bigger livestock. I think soil is a better investment. Chickens are definitely a great start.

Definitely get connected somehow. That’s something I didn’t do when I first moved out here (limited transportation at the time, and so much that needed doing then) And, we’re always here for support and more advice as you go on this journey!



Thank you for these suggestions, James! I'm with you on all the organic matter! As for chickens, I'm in! I've got 20 chickens in my backyard (here in the middle of suburbia), and I cannot wait to turn them loose on my mountainside.  As for getting connected, do you have any suggestions for doing so? Thanks!
 
Laura VanAntwerp
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Rosie Carducci wrote:My husband is decidedly a city boy.  I didn't realize what a country girl I am until long after we were married (like, 15 years in).  I think that we want a lot of the same things, but we have different ideas of how to get there.  For me, the best approach has been the gradual one, introducing him little by little to a slower-paced, more healthful lifestyle.  At the very least, he humors me and helps me out a little bit here and there.  I think his biggest concern is getting stuck with all of the work, but as I've become healthier, I'm able to do more, and his concern is diminishing.  I'm also working on convincing him that a food forest will be a lot less work to maintain after it's established, and that we won't be mowing acres and acres of grass.

Can you bring your partner along gradually?  Will he at least buy into the idea of more homegrown, healthy food?  Maybe he's willing to finance your efforts if you (perhaps with some hired help) do the actual projects?

Also, how far is this property from your current location?  Can you work your dream part-time for now?  Can/will he commute, or split his time between work during the week and the new property on the weekends?  If the answer to both of those is "no", then you're going to have to choose between him and the lifestyle you are proposing.  Choose wisely, if for no other reason than your children's sake.



Rosie, we are in your boat.  Married for 16 years, a few kids, and now I'm begging to leave it all behind and live on our mountainside.  Like your spouse, my husband has different ideas...he wants to let his federal job play out, etc.  Me? I can't get out of dodge and away from the DC area fast enough.  It's a cut-throat rat race here.  As for my husband, he is onboard with homegrown, healthy living.  Heck, he exercises regularly and stays super fit for the job.  As for the property, it's near Asheville NC...and we're in the DC area.  His job is all-consuming...as in 80 hours a week sometimes.  Especially during campaign season...
As for kids, they are the reason I'm still here.  He and I have been through tough times, but 16 years and a few kids complicates the decision-making process!
 
James Landreth
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Laura VanAntwerp wrote:

James Landreth wrote:You’ll probably get this advice from other places (if you haven’t read it already while dreaming of homesteading!) but here is my advice, similar to Jen’s in some ways:

Start with building soil and infrastructure, and planting trees/perennials. You’ll be so glad you did. Bring in as much organic matter as possible in the beginning (woodchips, free coffee grounds, untreated grass clippings, wood for hugelbeds, whatever!). And plant some trees and shrubs. Even if you end up feeling later like they could have been placed better, it’s ok. You *could* move them or even cut them down, but most likely you’ll just build around them, and that’s ok.

I’m glad to see no plans as of now for bigger livestock. I think soil is a better investment. Chickens are definitely a great start.

Definitely get connected somehow. That’s something I didn’t do when I first moved out here (limited transportation at the time, and so much that needed doing then) And, we’re always here for support and more advice as you go on this journey!



Thank you for these suggestions, James! I'm with you on all the organic matter! As for chickens, I'm in! I've got 20 chickens in my backyard (here in the middle of suburbia), and I cannot wait to turn them loose on my mountainside.  As for getting connected, do you have any suggestions for doing so? Thanks!



I've got a friend from Ashville, so I'll ask her at some point. Joining clubs for things like natural beekeeping and organic gardening is a good start if you have time. And hopefully someone on permies who lives in the area will stumble across this thread and introduce themselves! You might try making a thread once you've moved. I've made tons of friends by using this site, and it's been really great to have them

Good luck :)
 
pollinator
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Thank you Rosie. I see it like this. You both want to get rich. Yours is just another kind of richness. The richness of living sustainable and of your own fresh produce. Working the land and growing the soils is demanding and you'll have to grow into doing it, physically. Maybe you can't do it at the pace you'd like to, being not in great health. It might be handy to contract a known perma culture guy/ lady for a decent amount setting up your zones.. Greenbacks come in handy then, not only for you, also for the permaculture community. And you'll learn a great deal of this person as well.
As long as your hobby doesn't get much more expensive than the shopping habbits of his colleages wives he should be ok with it, and might even understand what wealth you're creating at some point. Yours being much more sustainable than the dollar in the long run. You're setting up for retirement. If there is love he'll cough up.
If the kids get involved great, they'll get it a lot sooner, because they're more open minded, when the kids "get it", the majority of the family will get it, if he won't turn around then, they'll understand a split up better, which will help them and you a great deal..
At least your husband is focused on providing for his family and not lazy. He might get sick of the money game at some point, people do, mostly not as long as they're winning. Some trauma might happen to him and self reflection can happen, it does. If then you have set up a lovely quiet beautiful biodiverse farm with a natural swimming pond and lovely veggie pedge he might finally understand what a fool he was not seeing through it all. I understand it's not easy when you seem to not share the same, i wouldn't start something with someone who doesn't share my passion for nature, but whose lives are easy? You've changed, he might later.
Play the long game.
Nice necklace, did you make it yourselves? You look beautiful !
 
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"End the relationship. You have different paths to take."

~~~Advice also maybe for anyone else: Just because you think you and your spouse "have different paths" doesn't mean your children have different paths. Raising children in a broken home will have enormous effects on those children. Some possibly good, many not so much. I would tend to go slower to make sure you are doing the right thing. Especially when you are considering moving to another almost completely foreign environment. Maybe before diving in too deep, and making too many permanent changes, you might try visiting a few farms and see how they do things. It will also help you to decide if you really do like the quiet of country. It sounds like a wonderful dream. But I have known many people who find out too late that it's just not for them. Maybe also try some marriage counseling, maybe try to get your spouse to wake up to the fact that the marriage is not just about his needs, and maybe requires compromise to keep the family together. Maybe get some land closer to the town where he thinks he needs to be. Then he could at least be there on weekends. Go the extra mile, then maybe another mile, to try to keep the family together. If only for the kids. It'll end up happier for all of you, if you can work it out.
 
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Jim Fry wrote:"End the relationship. You have different paths to take."

~~~Advice also maybe for anyone else: Just because you think you and your spouse "have different paths" doesn't mean your children have different paths. Raising children in a broken home will have enormous effects on those children. Some possibly good, many not so much. I would tend to go slower to make sure you are doing the right thing. Especially when you are considering moving to another almost completely foreign environment. Maybe before diving in too deep, and making too many permanent changes, you might try visiting a few farms and see how they do things. It will also help you to decide if you really do like the quiet of country. It sounds like a wonderful dream. But I have known many people who find out too late that it's just not for them. Maybe also try some marriage counseling, maybe try to get your spouse to wake up to the fact that the marriage is not just about his needs, and maybe requires compromise to keep the family together. Maybe get some land closer to the town where he thinks he needs to be. Then he could at least be there on weekends. Go the extra mile, then maybe another mile, to try to keep the family together. If only for the kids. It'll end up happier for all of you, if you can work it out.



My parents divorce when I was 12 was the best thing that could have happened for all parties involved.  
 
Rosie Carducci
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Laura VanAntwerp wrote:Rosie, we are in your boat.  Married for 16 years, a few kids, and now I'm begging to leave it all behind and live on our mountainside.  Like your spouse, my husband has different ideas...he wants to let his federal job play out, etc.  Me? I can't get out of dodge and away from the DC area fast enough.  It's a cut-throat rat race here.  As for my husband, he is onboard with homegrown, healthy living.  Heck, he exercises regularly and stays super fit for the job.  As for the property, it's near Asheville NC...and we're in the DC area.  His job is all-consuming...as in 80 hours a week sometimes.  Especially during campaign season...
As for kids, they are the reason I'm still here.  He and I have been through tough times, but 16 years and a few kids complicates the decision-making process!


Wow, we and our situations are a lot more alike than I realized!  We're just 20 years farther down the road than y'all are.  Sometimes I have felt as though I was going it alone, and that no one else in the family shared my dreams and vision.  Now I find they are more on board than I thought.

I totally get you on leaving DC (I refused to let my husband bid outside of Texas in the past ten years or so.)  Is your husband willing/able to bid out sometime in the near future? How many more years before he retires?  What sort of property are you in now (rental/owned, house/apartment, amount of yard/property, etc.)?  Can you take baby steps to get to where you want to end up?

Here's a recommendation for your consideration (what I would do in your shoes):  If Asheville is where y'all plan to retire, and he's on board with that, then start by spending a weekend each month down there on your property, doing a little bit at a time.  Your kids are probably old enough to help with some of it.  If your husband can get away to go with you, great, otherwise, take the kids and go.  In the mean time, start planting what you can where you are.  Maybe start plants in containers that you'll take with you to your property as soon as they can be transplanted.  Think long term.  Step by step, get your infrastructure built.  Maybe you hire some of it done.  If I were in the DC area, I would totally visit Joel Salatin's place to get more insipiration (take hubby and the kids if at all possible, and let them catch the vision).  Play the long game and stick this thing out.  I think it will be worth it in the end, when he retires and y'all can move there full-time.
 
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Hi, I live in Prices Creek, about 30 minutes north of Asheville. I've lived in the area for 14 years. I am planting trees, setting up systems. You are welcome to give me a shout if you want to network! Eric 828-595-6236
 
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where near asheville is your mountainside? i'm in marshall, 30 min NW of asheville. one source that may help you find community is the southeastern permaculture gathering in celo every year (~45min NE of asheville)...i guess it's in early august this year. lots of permie type folks who go to the firefly gathering too (earthskills/permaculture type stuff), that one's in june. there are also a few groups working around town - with the edible plantings in the public parks in asheville, etc. LOTS of people in the area who are into the permaculture thing, and there are a number of ways to plug into the community.

i don't have much advice regarding the move itself or having a partner who doesn't share your views - lots of ways to make both things work, depending on the proclivities of everyone involved. do you see yourself (or both you and your partner) coming down for several brief preparatory visits, or would you try for a longer more immersive planning/building 'vacation'? lots to think about.
 
Laura VanAntwerp
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Eric Kemp wrote:Hi, I live in Prices Creek, about 30 minutes north of Asheville. I've lived in the area for 14 years. I am planting trees, setting up systems. You are welcome to give me a shout if you want to network! Eric 828-595-6236

Thank you Eric! It sounds like you are living the dream. I’d love to see what you’re doing next time I make it down to the area!
 
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