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how did you check out of the default world into the permies world?  RSS feed

 
john giroux
Posts: 147
Location: Cumming, GA
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Plain and simple...you used to be a 9 to 5 ish person, now you are a wheatonite living off your land. How did you do it? Little by little or in one fell swoop? How did you start...what shoved you over the edge,so to speak?
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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john giroux wrote:you used to be a 9 to 5 ish person, now you are a wheatonite living off your land

I've never been any of that
My background is, shall we say, 'unconventional', so if I'd gone off the rails, maybe I'd be in banking...
As it is, I've been filling my houses up with handy jars, fiddling with plants and lusting after free mulch for a looong time!
 
Emma Fredsdotter
Posts: 32
Location: France (zone 8b-9)
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I can't say that I'm living off my land, since I am not yet on the land (although the contract is signed), but I did leave the 9-5 world in order to live more sustainably and pursue the "simpler" life I had always wanted.

Our plan was pretty simple. When I finished university, and the husband had worked long enough in his position that it would be a good experience and not a big question mark on his CV, we would move to the UK, where there was a bigger chance of me getting a job in my field. After 5-10 years, we'd have the experience, and money, that we felt that we needed to buy a farm or small manoir in France and live the smallholder dream. I finished university, I went back and forth to the UK for phone interviews, while doing a bit of seasonal work in my field in Sweden, but my field has always been crap to break into and this was just when the financial crisis hit. One day, I saw an link for a Mediterranean real estate agency online, clicked it, clicked around for a bit and noticed that houses of the type we wanted, 5-10 years down the line, were really not more expensive than the house we were sitting on in Sweden. I let this percolate in my mind a few days, sending pretty houses to my husband's work e-mail in between sending out job applications.

One day when he came home from work, I sat him down and I said, more or less, "I've been thinking. Moving to the UK (where I had lived before so I knew the system, and we both spoke the language) is not going to prepare us for what we ultimately want to do. We'll be just as scared and unprepared, only we'll be 35 and even more set in our ways." And that was that. We started researching, found where we wanted to live, learned about how things work in France, and set up a budget for how much we would have to be making, from a location-independent income, in order to afford the move, and how much we would need to have in the bank (less than we had at that point, but that money was necessary to survive the start-up phase of our businesses). Then we each started a business and got going. It took a year and a half longer than we'd expected (I didn't make more than $10 in the first 8 months and my income increased in a very slow trickle), but when we had several months of steady income at the right rate we sold the house and moved (into a rental - it's tough getting a decent rate on a mortgage in France when you're a new foreign startup, but when we move to our smallholding we'll have been here less than a year).

The plan now is to keep earning this income (it allows me to work the land at least half-time), while making ourselves less and less dependent on the money we do make.
 
Chris Lumpkin
Posts: 49
Location: Richmond, VA (zone 7a)
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We are still 9-to-5ers, working our way toward the permie life we want and struggling with time and balancing many different demands. We are weirdos wherever we go, too crunchy and weird for our worker bee friends, too hard-working and straight-laced to go to our "liberal" friends' parties, and never enough time to socialize with anyone, really, as we continue trying to support ourselves sustainably. I heard someone say on the permaculture listserv that "permaculturists are edge dwellers". True that!

To answer your question, I would have to say "little by little", sometimes excruciatingly so. We are working to design our property for the long haul, planning for water and food, raising chickens, building things and then tearing them down, starting projects that sometimes don't get finished, trying and failing and learning, planting trees. As a friend told me - "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is now". We are reading everything we can get our hands on here in these forums and elsewhere, listening to Paul's podcasts, and refining the fine points of our plans.
 
john giroux
Posts: 147
Location: Cumming, GA
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That is where I am at. I live on an acer that I thought would be great 5 years ago..HOA says no chickens...who wants chickens I thought then...little did I know. Now I am feeling a bit trapped in a small neighborhood with very traditional neigbors and lots of lawn trucks. I get into more arguments with my wife about "weeds" in the yard...even though she is onboard with most of this. Started a small garden and now have 2 big gardens with food interspersed in the landscape. I started beekeeping this spring with no objections from the HOA. I get a bit worked up seeing the ineffective sysem we have for everything, or overwhelmed, and how little good all this work seems to be doing when the Jones's next door just pored more chemicals into their yard than I care to think about. The more I learn the harder it gets to just keep on with the status quo. A big part of me wants to quit my day job, cash out my 401k and buy a big plot of land, build some big thorny berms and life off the land. So little by little will get me there too ...maybe eggs for the HOA will be even better than honey.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1125
Location: northern northern california
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Leila Rich wrote:
john giroux wrote:you used to be a 9 to 5 ish person, now you are a wheatonite living off your land

I've never been any of that
My background is, shall we say, 'unconventional', so if I'd gone off the rails, maybe I'd be in banking...
As it is, I've been filling my houses up with handy jars, fiddling with plants and lusting after free mulch for a looong time!


yep, ditto, i've always been a freak =)
pretty much, just always been like this, and into this stuff.
spending a lot of time in the woods, and not having a norm job....making art.

my family...well they are pretty loose, and into farming and growing things. kinda old school in many ways....
but not really that tied into the whole 9-5 world, and really liberal. but even among them i am freak =)
 
john giroux
Posts: 147
Location: Cumming, GA
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Freak is good...the world would be boring without them.
 
Penny Francis
Posts: 15
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john giroux wrote:That is where I am at. I live on an acer that I thought would be great 5 years ago..HOA says no chickens...who wants chickens I thought then...little did I know. Now I am feeling a bit trapped in a small neighborhood with very traditional neigbors and lots of lawn trucks. I get into more arguments with my wife about "weeds" in the yard...even though she is onboard with most of this. Started a small garden and now have 2 big gardens with food interspersed in the landscape. I started beekeeping this spring with no objections from the HOA. I get a bit worked up seeing the ineffective sysem we have for everything, or overwhelmed, and how little good all this work seems to be doing when the Jones's next door just pored more chemicals into their yard than I care to think about. The more I learn the harder it gets to just keep on with the status quo. A big part of me wants to quit my day job, cash out my 401k and buy a big plot of land, build some big thorny berms and life off the land. So little by little will get me there too ...maybe eggs for the HOA will be even better than honey.


Why not just do it? We are in the process of cashing in all our investments. Our new mantra is to never invest in anything we do not control to a great degree. We also got sick of being told when we can take our money back. We have no faith in the system we were defaulted into so we are now in the process of consciously stepping out. We are voting with our money so to speak.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5858
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Leila Hamaya, It did this heart good to hear the word "freak" used like you did...I had that nice old feeling from "Days That Used to Be" to quote Neil. I never joined the default world , I am not sure what that means so I'm pretty sure I did not. Just hitched to Arkansas with nothing in the early seventies to live on some land...didn't know where yet, but it all worked out.

What shoved me over the edge as asked originally was a war, Richard Nixon, living in the midwest, Chicago dem.convention, too many leaders being killed........
 
john giroux
Posts: 147
Location: Cumming, GA
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Investing in a farm would give you the most control and benefit. The killer at this point would be handing a huge portion to the GOVT for penalties. Lots thinking, pondering, learning to be done for this to happen. I have no real experience farming besides my back yard and that is not going too well this summer. But it looks like it will be one of those shit or get off the pot moments. You could think about it into old age.
 
Rion Mather
Posts: 644
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I am still a 9 to 5 er but my attitude has changed drastically. I went to a dive pizza shop in a small town with a friend and it felt like the big city. I was so uncomfortable and I didn't want to go again. My friend laughed at me. I told him that once you start the process of changing your lifestyle, it is hard to go back to the status quo. I see everything so differently now.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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in the 70's I belonged to a gardening book club and ordered Introduction to Permaculture..that did it..

Of course it has taken me all these years to get to where I am now, and I have so far to go
 
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