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Permie farm partnership?  RSS feed

 
Gary Stuart
Posts: 27
Location: Wakefield, Quebec, zone 3b/4a CAN
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I doubt that this will actually work but I figure it can't hurt to try...

For the past couple of years my wife, two kids and I have been setting up a homestead in the Outaouais region of Quebec. We were living and working on a farm owned by a family member and were led to believe that this was a long-term project, that the farm would never be sold and would be kept in the family. However, when the land owner passed away almost two months ago, the succession decided to sell, meaning we have to move on.

So now we're looking to set up again somewhere else, again hoping for a place to call home for the long-haul. We have a small amount of savings but nowhere near enough. We're being told that once the land is officially sold we will be given some cash but it all depends on how much they can get for this land. Our deal here was to work directly for the landowner in return for house rental and use of the land/buildings, which means we haven't had official jobs for over two years, meaning we have no chance of being approved for a mortgage. For the past two months I have scoured kijiji, craigslist, google, farmlink, etc. on the lookout for anything from rentals, farmshares, or lease-to-owns. There are a couple of farm rentals we're going to view in the next couple of weeks but they're not looking too promising right now. They don't seem like long-term options and seem to be more focused on conventional farming rather then permie-farming. We've even debated buying a patch of empty land and building our own home, and if I didn't have kids then I would probably go for it, but we just can't take that route and all the risks associated with it on our own.

So, I'm turning to permies to see if there is anyone out there interested in partnering up. Whether you have an extra house we could rent while working on your land, a patch of land you'd be willing to let us build on, or we pool resources and try to set up together, I'm open to discuss almost anything right now. On-grid, off-grid, working together or staying out of each other's way. We still have our livestock, equipment and tools that we could move if it's not too far, but we're open to options from Manitoba to PEI

Despite being a rabid lurker for the past couple of years I don't have many posts here, so if this interests you in any way and you want to know more about us, please feel free to take a look at our blog, ask questions right here, or PM me.

Thanks
Gary
http://a-self-sufficient-life.blogspot.ca/
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Posts: 3430
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
208
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Tried to access your blog through the link in your post but the the link seems not to work. Here is a working link to it.
 
Gary Stuart
Posts: 27
Location: Wakefield, Quebec, zone 3b/4a CAN
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Thanks for that Adrien
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5957
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We are not in an area where you are looking, but I thought I could mention what we are thinking from a land owners perspective to possibly suggest it to others who could part with a few acres.
We have self surveyed a six acre corner of our forty that we have always thought looked like a good place to have a small homestead. Our hope is to find a young couple with kids (or not) who were looking to dig in and build a home and organic/permaculture gardens, etc. We are still dragging our feet about whether to lease to own or to owner finance...we have settled on $200 a month (with nothing down) for five years and the possibility of some part being for trade for work. We would prefer the five years instead of cash up front because some of our concerns are that when the land is owned by the new owner they could mortgage it and the bank could end up owning it or they could sell to a nightmare neighbor, but at some point we are just going to have to take a leap of faith. Actually your story (from the wandering "aging on the homestead" thread) got us thinking about how to make the deal more fair and secure for both parties. We still haven't worked out all of the implications. It seems like it should be so simple. We are trying to keep in view what would have made our path easier in our twenties and thirties....
 
Gary Stuart
Posts: 27
Location: Wakefield, Quebec, zone 3b/4a CAN
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Thank you for the response Judith, and if I could move down to the US I would be bombarding you with emails right about now! Sadly we can't (damn immigration laws) but what you suggest may be the only way to go about it. And even then, on a long enough timeline, you have to wonder who they will leave their land to eventually. At some point I think the leap of faith is unavoidable.

Before the land owner passed, he actually placed a request to have a portion of his land separated and was going to sell it to us for $1. It was always highly unlikely to get past the ag. land commission, one of the only reasons it got as far as it did was because he was quadriplegic and my wife provided the majority of his care and needed to be close. Now that he has passed we obviously lose that angle, but the commission still has the file and should be giving an answer any time within the next three weeks. If it's a no then we're back to square one. In the highly unlikely event of a 'yes' we will own 35 acres (6 rolling pasture, 29 hilly forest) but without the capital to build on it. So even then we would need to find someone to partner with.

Interesting times...
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5957
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
377
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(I deleted my sentance because I realized I misunderstood something you said)

I hope you end up with the thirty five acres...then you would be one of the landowners wanting to share land! I think having land and no money is way better than no land. For us the not much money part is frustrating sometimes but it means we have to put a lot of thought into each project and find that with time some weren't as necessary as we originally felt.
 
Adrian Ciubotariu
Posts: 1
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Hi Gary,

I live in Montreal and I'm as interested as you, probably, in partnering on the topic.
My financial resources are also quite limited (but not zero ).
But maybe we can set something together, so let's talk. I am at 514-531-8403 and my name is Adrian.
I am not very young but I believe I still have lots of personal capacities (physical and mental)
and I am most hyped about permaculture, homesteading, sustainability and the like.

I would be very glad to talk to you and if there's a way, the sooner we start the better!

Cheers!

Adrian

PS In my researches I found that in eastern ON one can buy say 10 acres of land for under $40k. And there are ways to build a minimal but decent livable cabin for under $10k.
Even for a family with kids! Of course, some (not small) amount of work is involved. But maybe you already know this better than I do.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5957
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
377
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Hi, Gary I just wondered if you had an update by now?
 
Gary Stuart
Posts: 27
Location: Wakefield, Quebec, zone 3b/4a CAN
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Thanks for thinking about us Judith!

We eventually heard back from the commission and our project was rejected. We had a good day of moping around, and starting the next day I was spending 4-5 hours a day mindlessly searching every website possible for anywhere to rent or buy in our budget. Two very promising looking rentals fell through when the two respective landlords tried to change terms on signing day and we had to pull out because, well... their terms were completely ridiculous and I doubt either of them will ever find a tenant. Every prospect fell through and it was starting to look very bleak.

So, we kept looking and finally find a local ranch/retreat who were looking for a live-in caretaker and who seemed to really like us. I resisted for a long time to keep looking for the perfect place of our own, but on our budget it was never going to happen, and these guys just kept offering more and more help to us, so... on October 15th we'll be moving to the Pine & Birch Ranch & Retreat in nearby Wakefield. It's close enough that we can bring everything (except our loved-but-too-big Pioneer Maid wood cookstove). We'll work on-site to pay for our rent, and they're giving us a large gardening space, goat/chicken housing and pastures, etc. as well as the opportunity to earn money on-site by bringing reservations/selling produce/selling my greenwood carvings to the guests.

It's certainly not permie-oriented, but maybe over time we can start steering them that way. They already love our suggestion to add a s/s composting bin in each house explaining that it helps to grow our food. It's a start. And an exciting one too!
 
Charlei Scott
Posts: 36
Location: Charlestown, IN
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I wish so much my husband and I were in a position to take you up on this. One day, that is exactly what we would like to do.
I do hope that you find someone to turn that area into a little homestead! Also, it's encouraging to see that there are people out that that want to do that since it makes our dream seem much more possible.

Judith Browning wrote:We are not in an area where you are looking, but I thought I could mention what we are thinking from a land owners perspective to possibly suggest it to others who could part with a few acres.
We have self surveyed a six acre corner of our forty that we have always thought looked like a good place to have a small homestead. Our hope is to find a young couple with kids (or not) who were looking to dig in and build a home and organic/permaculture gardens, etc. We are still dragging our feet about whether to lease to own or to owner finance...we have settled on $200 a month (with nothing down) for five years and the possibility of some part being for trade for work. We would prefer the five years instead of cash up front because some of our concerns are that when the land is owned by the new owner they could mortgage it and the bank could end up owning it or they could sell to a nightmare neighbor, but at some point we are just going to have to take a leap of faith. Actually your story (from the wandering "aging on the homestead" thread) got us thinking about how to make the deal more fair and secure for both parties. We still haven't worked out all of the implications. It seems like it should be so simple. We are trying to keep in view what would have made our path easier in our twenties and thirties....
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3430
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
208
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Really glad you found something. I hope it goes well. Good luck with the move.
 
Lacy VanCam
Posts: 42
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Are you interested in starting from the ground up? My family (hubby and 2 kids) are planning a move to Pelee Island in the next few years to start our farm. We are in the process of obtaining land (a fallow forest, we intend to plant out a food forest). If you want more details let me know, we are actively looking for other permies who are interested in the prospect of such a project. We will need help, the more hand the better!
 
We don't have time for this. We've gotta save the moon! Or check this out:
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23442/digital-market/digital-market/Underground-House-Book-Mike-Oehler
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