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Newbie Seeking Hands on experience near-ish the San Francisco Bay Area

 
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Hi!

Not sure this is the best place -- and why not give it a try?

I am a 32 year old male in the SF Bay Area looking to help out however is needed in exchange for the experience/knowledge/skills gained. I could not tolerate working remotely (and just how much we're failing our kiddos) so I left the field of education in June where I spent my whole post-college career. Now I'm starting fresh on a path to become an electrician (started classes in January) and ultimately want to focus on how to integrate and creatively use solar energy (and to have a relevant skill to potentially share with my community). I am also thinking of buying land to steward of my own/or joining a few others by pooling money, but it would be silly to do so with virtually 0 experience. And I will add it's been tricky meeting other folks that are serious about sustainable agriculture, only 1 friend is seriously interested but his wife isn't and the rest of our friends have stayed on the single family home track/whatever that's called.

Early during the pandemic I wanted to gain experience and just work/live on a sustainable farm, but applied to about 15 opportunities and was denied each time because of my lack of relevant experience (probably coupled with my age), high number of candidates, and COVID limiting slots. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for spirituality and religion, however, I describe myself as a secular humanist/agnostic-atheist and the amount of time during some of the interviews/applications spent on anthroposophy and my comfort/experience discussing spirituality with other residents/helpers on the farms surprised me. So that may have been a factor as well, though in general/with friends I love discussing philosophy, morality, politics, etc.
My core values are empathy, gratitude, and objectivity.

In particular I have high interest in earthbag/adobe/structure building (especially those that utilize available resources), ANY farming/livestock experience, and seeing how solar is practically utilized (from what my instructor is saying, it's still pretty meh in most applications). I am taking a photovoltaics course right now and have to do a presentation/final project, I was thinking of doing it on agrivoltaics and it would help me visualize its limitations/opportunities by comparing to real gardens/farms employing sustainable practices.

Ideally, I could find a site to visit repeatedly over several months/years to see the changes and am open to visiting different sites as well. COVID makes it not as ideal though I am 100% comfortable wearing a mask at any/all times (and do so whenever out and about).
Logistically, I have my own car and am willing to travel a few to several hours from the Bay and am comfortable sleeping in a tent/"roughing" it (i.e. my family used to camp in the middle of the Mojave desert for 5-10 days at a time (I so miss the stars at night!)).  At the moment through May I only have classes Monday-Thursday so I can be free Friday-Sundays and also have spring break the week of 3/29, so I could travel/help out any time Fri. 3/26 to Sun. 4/4 (Easter). Then starting in May I have more free time depending on my summer class schedule.

Happy to give references from neighbors/previous supervisors/etc and hop on a video/phone call to talk through any questions/get to know each other. (I do not use social media so it's not a good place to find/verify I'm a real person).

Please feel free to privately message me/let me know if any other information is helpful to share! (Or if there are more ways to seek opportunities/make connections).

Take care y'all!

R
 
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When my husband and I retired, it was really hard for us to adjust to not having any structure so I can understand where you are coming from.

What we did was be a volunteer at our local State Park.  We gained a lot of experience as there are so many things to do.

We already signed up for a paying job though it did not start for several months.

While at the State Park we did carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and whatever was needed.  

After that 1st paying job, we went on to a paying job at a National Park.

If you don't get any better offers, why not consider volunteering at your local State Park and have some fun at the same time.
 
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Hi! I’m in East Bay and basically same here for the same reason. I don’t have land yet, but am interested in purchasing some with a group that is knowledgeable and/or passionate about permaculture and biodynamic gardening.you can reach me at cherami77 [at] protonmail dotcom


An

PS. Good for you for leaving the public school system! I hope to chat with you soon.
 
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Hello, my name is Jay. I have a 21 permaculture ranch 1 hour north of Sacramento.

You could text me at 530 693 5376

Looking to share knowledge for help on my ranch.

Permaculture, solar, lumber milling, goats, chickens, gardening
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