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Traveling from Texas to Maine for Permacuture Experience and Land in Maine

 
Posts: 2
Location: Central Texas
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I am looking to head up to Maine in a few days to try to find land that I can build on before winter and I'm interested in having the most meaningful trip possible on my way up there. I am aware that this is a difficult task, but I am willing to suffer through the winter with a minimal shelter built around a rocket mass heater. I prefer Maine because the land is cheap, I qualify to teach and I am up for a winter challenge. I can afford to spend upwards of 10K on land, but would prefer to spend closer to 5K. Without a job at the moment, I'm not really open to financing, but if I can get a teaching job or work on computer programming to work remotely then my price range could change if the land was better or in a community of like minded individuals. So, my first question...

Question 1: What is the best place to buy cheap land in Maine with limited building restrictions... hopefully close to a population center with work?


Additionally,  I have worked a little with the Internet of Things to look into automation of tasks for farming and with rocket mass heaters. I use a RaspberryPi, but also have an Arduino and an Espruino (Javascrip and the Internet of Things. I would like to help people with similar interest on my way to Maine, but I have to improve my situation along the way because all these unknown make for an incredible difficult task. While I don't think I can work on it much on the way up there, my teaching has left off with the use of RaspberryPi's and MITs Scratch program to create simple robotics race courses. Having worked in Texas, where test scores are the center of teaching focus I only managed to work on this in my Robotic Club for students. If I can get back to this, I would like to like to build out robotics race courses that relate to disaster relief and build stories around them that can be used as educational content. That could lead me back into teaching or into a computer programming job and I would be interested in passing my experiences on to others. I would like to meet members of the permaculture community that have more knowledge then I do about coding, the extent of my knowledge is being an avionics tech in the Marine Corps, Austin Community College, meetups and what I have the opportunity to apply in teaching... I will be traveling with the equipment I listed above as well as temperature sensors (up to 500 Celsius for RMHs), solenoid valves (irrigation, etc.), assorted sensors and soldering equipment to put it together. Also, my welder had a bunch of scrap lexan (airplane window quality plastic), so I'll be bring that with me. I can give a little away if working on IoT projects, but I need to keep some for windows. So,...

Question 2: What are the best places to stop and learn about permaculture on my way from Texas to Maine? I would be willing to participate in hackathons or simply exchange knowledge with folks along the way.

Thank y'all for your consideration and I look forward to working this out with any questions or suggestions that folks might have.



 
Posts: 14
Location: Fort Kent, Maine - Zone 3b
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If you want cheap land and are up for serious winters, consider coming all the way north. I live in Northern Maine (on the Canadian border). I love it here, but I would not recommend coming up and planning to spend the winter with minimal shelter. It is not a feasible option in this climate.

What kind of winters are you familiar with and what is the harshest weather you have experienced? I've lived everywhere from Houston all the way north to the Canadian border. If you've never lived in the north, I'd be a little concerned you might not appreciate what you are getting into.

My area averages 8 feet of snow in winter (we got 12 last winter). Temperatures of -20F are common in winter. Lows in the 40's are common even in the middle of summer. And our growing season is just over 100 days. That said, it is beautiful, land is cheap, the people are friendly, and the skiing is amazing (and right out my back door. And if the weather here is too harsh for you, there are certainly areas further south that don't get as cold.
 
pollinator
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Ryan, what programming languages are you proficient in? Moosage me a cv if you like and i'll see if I have any connections that could be win/win.
 
garden master
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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Hi Ryan.  Just a bit more continuance of Tricia's comments.  It's important to know that ice storms are not uncommon and Nor'Easters are quite common.  Wanted to mention those winter events in case you haven't experienced them.  Also, we typically get snow in December that stays on the ground until spring.  Most everything is frozen with the ground freezing to as much as about 4' deep.  But, yeah, if you haven't been through one, try to get a feel for what a Nor'Easter is like.  (a tropical storm, but where all the precipitation is snow).  My biggest concern is that you're looking to start so late in the year.  If you could pick any time to start I'd probably pick May to have enough time to prep.  July is the height of summer here and August is nice, but within a few weeks things will start moving towards colder temps.  Another thing to be prepped for are our biting insects....ticks that carry Lyme disease, black flies, mosquitos, and horse flies are thick here.  I will say this though, the climate has warmed a lot during my lifetime up here, but rough storms seem to be getting more common too.  Very best wishes, just want to make sure you take very good care of yourself.

 
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Yeah it is definitely a late start for this adventure, at least without having a solid place to live when you get here.

Weather is not like other areas of the country, because here it changes very fast, and after the third week of August (in three weeks as I type this) there will be a different feel to the air. Temps will be in the 40's after that at night, with the first frost in September. Last Thanksgiving it was -4 below zero at my house...and I live close to the coast.

That is why we say in Maine, we only have two seasons: Winter, and getting ready for winter. And in Maine, in order to get through winter, you either have to have a lot of money, or be preparing for it early. You just do not have the time to prepare for what is in store. Heck the leaves are already begining to turn orange on the red maples...

I will also add another note about the cold. It has to be felt to be appreciated. Due to the position of the Gulf of Maine, the jet stream pumps an incredible amount of ocean moisture into the air. This is salty air so it ends up cutting right through your clothing. When I was out in Minnesota, it was colder in air temperature, but the lakes had froze, the ponds had froze, and it was dry. The winters there were a breeze. NOT in Maine. Here it is a wet-cold.








 
Greg Martin
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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You just reminded me about Thanksgiving.  We had trees snap from the thick concrete-like snow that fell.  Was kind of early for that down in southern Maine.
 
Travis Johnson
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The earliest decent snowfall I ever remember getting here in mid-coast Maine was on a Halloween a few years  back, and even then it was a foot of snow. It was enough so we fired up the snowmobiles and took them out.

The Amish have finally arrived here, but even they admitted, because of the short growing season, they were forced here, and did not want to come.

A lot of people admired the Belgrade Hermit, but there was nothing to be impressed with that guy. He might have camped outside for 22 consecutive years, but he could not make a go of it on his own. The only way he could survive was to steal off hard working Maine people. I am all for survivalists and such, but stealing to get is nothing to be impressed with.

But jeesh Greg...I am trying to sell my homestead here in Maine, and all this talk (though truthful) is NOT helping! :-)
 
steward
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Must be nice living in toasty warm Maine  
 
Ryan Adams
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Thanks for the responses. I am trying to get out the door right now, so I will be brief and try to respond more a little late as needed.
I am aware it's a difficult task, and I might just be going to vacation and move into a city and have a piece of land in the country for a year or two down the road.

As for my weather experience, I don't have a lot, but I went to Quebec last winter and went hiking in the snow in zero degrees F. I had to leave around the New Year because I couldn't work in Canada. However, I enjoyed the weather and still wanted some more time in the cold. Beyond that the worst weather I have been in was Hurricane Michael in Panama City. I know that's not a cold test, but the challenge in both situations interests me.

Also, I tried to contact the people from previous posts about homestead open to others in Maine, but I didn't get a response and the threads and users for the threads seem inactive. Are there active homesteads in Maine looking for people. It might not works for me, but I like to learn the area and at least help out for a while. I will go through workaway.info for some experience, but would interested in possibly helping out folk if that is the best I can do up there for now.


Thanks, Ryan
 
Travis Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:Must be nice living in toasty warm Maine  



I tried to find a picture I had of the temperature on a January day that showed -42.2 below zero (f), but I could not find it. Granted that is the coldest day I ever remember, but it was not exactly warm either.

Ryan: I have a homestead for sale, but I do not know of any homestead's where people are taking people in. The growing season is beginning to wind down now unfortunately. You might be able to catch some people needing blueberry pickers or apple pickers, but I am not sure where they would be that take people in. Wyman has temp housing for the blueberry season, but I am not sure where you would go after that.
 
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Hey Travis, do you have your homestead for sale listed somewhere on here? I remember reading about it a little while back..... I'm pretty sure we cant afford it but I wanted to look again. Thanks!  
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Here you go: https://permies.com/t/115706/Selling-Maine-Homestead
 
Travis Johnson
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Melissa Erin wrote:Hey Travis, do you have your homestead for sale listed somewhere on here? I remember reading about it a little while back..... I'm pretty sure we cant afford it but I wanted to look again. Thanks!  



It should be on the Maine Multiple Listing Service, or under Maine Country and Coast Realty. It should also be on the Zillow site; under 945 East Thorndike Road, Thorndike Maine

It is still for sale. $$174,000

2200 sq ft house (timber framed)
3 big bedrooms/1 and 1-1/2 baths
1800 sq ft barn (thru barn design)
1 car garage
3.75 - 11 acres (your choice)
Page Wired fenced (48 inch)
Garden
Apple and peach trees
Homestead comes with or without sheep (your choice)
Winter Hay


6.5 Miles from Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener Association headquarters/fairgrounds (Also known as the Common Ground Fair)
9 miles from Unity College

It really is a great deal. My brother just got a double wide in this same town, and it cost him $130,000, and it did not have the big house, barn, garage, fields, acreage, sheep, or hay. It is a turn-key homestead, all the hardwork has really been done.
 
Melissa Erin
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Thanks guys! Sounds amazing!
 
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
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