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Hello! Young family trying to find our way in the world.

 
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Hello all,

Truly grateful to have found this wonderful forum in what is an increasingly seemingly dead internet. I came of age in the midst of the digital revolution and to see the changes over time can be stupifying (and frightening, maybe).

My wife and I met in Europe years ago while I served in the military. Today we're on our own, with three little kids in tow. After a few false starts post-service, we're committed to taking the homestead plunge. We're currently looking far and wide (though primarily in Michigan) for our next (and hopefully final) home. Not an easy thing to do in 2022!

We have little hands on experience, though we're both 'educated.' I'm a geological engineer by training, with a few years of real world construction under my belt. We've been researching the lifestyle, and the many, many facets of it, for about five years. Still so much to learn and do! But every story must start somewhere.

Currently, we're moving out of our already sold home and becoming 'homeless,' as my dear wife prefers to call it. We are financially independent thanks to an injury that ended my military career early. We are looking for land, farms, homes with acreage, and work exchange. I'd try to communicate everything about us here, but if anyone is interested in hosting our tribe for a time, I believe a phone or video call would give a much more authentic impression of who we are.

Desperately hoping to find some semblance of community. It truly takes a village. And in the world of constant connection that we find ourselves in, it certainly feels like 'community' is harder to find than ever. I trust some will understand my sentiment.

Open to friends, advice, proposals, requests, etc. I must disclose that I know absolutely nothing, though I strive to learn everyday. In a different life, you may have found me living in barrel. As for my family, they are just wonderful in every way that I can imagine (this opinion may be a little biased, as I chose my wife (if we really have any choice in this world at all) and the kids are all half-me.

Cheers to all and best of luck with your weekends!

-AJ
 
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Posts: 363
Location: Tennessee
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Hello! Best wishes as you keep scouting for a wonderful homeplace!

As you look, maybe think "south" a little more. The farther south you go, the better of a growing season you will have: a longer opportunity in time and more options of species to produce food for you on your homestead year-round. (Originally from northern Indiana, I live in a much MUCH warmer place now, and I love it!)

 
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hi AJ, welcome to permies!  Which part of MI are you aiming towards?  If it's the UP, here's a ecocamp project that is a bit across the border in WI.  It might not be your cup of tea but figured I'd pass it along: https://permies.com/t/158030/Ecocamp-Project-Upper-Midwest-USP

Land is much cheaper in the UP but work and summer days are less frequent.
 
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Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland
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Hello Aj and welcome to Permies!
I hope you and your family find what you are looking for. In my experience on the site so far there seem to be more people with land looking for help, than the other way round, so hopefully you will find something that suits. You could try looking in the regional forum too: https://permies.com/f/31/midwest-usa to see if there is anyone close to you just now needing help. Good luck in your adventures.
 
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Hello, my husband and I just moved to Arkansas to live off grid. No electric, solar only, rain water and currently an out house. We are over the road truck drivers and are gone 3 weeks out of the month. We have 20 acres on the top of a mountain and it's very steep, but some areas are flat. We are looking for a family to stay and manage our garden and animals we want to get. None of our children want to because it is very rural and they don't want to work very hard. If it sounds like something you are looking for let me know and we can exchange numbers.
 
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AJ, Did you get my response to your recent PM to me? PM me again and I'll send my email address. Gary
 
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Location: Southern Oregon
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Aj, congratulations on making the commitment to a Homesteadimg lifestyle. It will take a dedication to that commitment. I wish you luck on your journey. There are many resources out there. You’ve found one here. You may also look through ic.org for some intentional communities. If you feel like relocating out to the west coast, I have some property in southern Oregon with space available. You can check out some of my older posts to learn a bit about what I’ve got going on.
Good luck.
 
Posts: 38
Location: Bought the farm and moved from Maine to western tip of Virginia.
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Hi, Aj, welcome to Permies from one vet to another.

If you are set on Michigan, I can't help you.  But, if you are open to other options, I have 30 acres near the western tip of Virginia in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.  I completed my PDC in 2000 and used this property for my final design assignment, so I've got it pretty well mapped out.

I'm still repairing and renovating the barn, shed, and trailer that were here when I bought it 2-1/2 years ago.  Still needs lots of work to become sustainable, but I tackle one or two large projects a year and a bunch of little projects, so I'm gradually making progress.  Things would move a lot faster if I had more hands and backs and energy, but I do what I can do by myself. Have a few free range chickens for eggs and raised two litters of pigs which I sold for income.  I want to get dairy goats and other small livestock as soon as I have fencing for them and someone to care for them when I'm away for a few days (rarely ever).  I've dug one swale so far and planted the beginnings of a food forest in the downhill berm.  Have 5 raised beds for berries and veggies so far with 4 more planned for this year.  Also plan new insulated winter chicken coop and greenhouse this year.

I had a family here with two very destructive kids for about 18 months who I'd met online before I bought the property, but they didn't work out.  Fat, lazy, slovenly and loud--all things I'm not and couldn't tolerate.  They finally found an off-grid community in western TN.  I bought them out, and they moved on.   Kind of soured me on the community idea for awhile.  But I'm getting on in years and need more muscle and energy to complete the infrastructure for a successful farm/homestead, so I'm putting feelers out there for permaculture oriented folks.  I figure the land can support around six families with individual 1 acre plots around the central core (10 acres of gardens, pasture, food forest, barn, shops, etc.)  Plenty of woods on all sides for lumber, firewood, and woodcrafts.  I have tractor and six implements, power tools, hand tools, and a lot of recycled materials on hand.

The farm is currently watered by spring water gravity fed to a concrete cistern and then pumped uphill from the "holler" to the pump house at the trailer which has a septic system and on-grid electric.  I'd like to sink a well near the top of the ridge.  My nearest neighbor, who is higher up on the ridge put in a 250-ft well and hit 50+ft of water.  My former partner was into solar and had quite an elaborate system set up that would probably power the entire village, but he didn't know how to hook it up to house power, so it only ran the water pump and a charging station with extension cords plugged into the inverter.  He took that with him of course, but I'd like to do a couple of smaller systems to power the barn and the underground house I intend to build.  A geological engineer might come in handy when I get to that stage.

Anyhoo, if this interests you (OR ANYONE ELSE reading this post) please contact me at permies@corylayne.com and I can send pictures and more info.   If not this place, then I wish you all good luck in finding your dream situation.
 
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Hi! Would love to talk to you about the opportunities here on our small certified organic farm in southwest mi! If you are still looking for a good place for you and your family please send me an email at lakebreezeorganics@gmail.com

We are a young homeschooling family. We have a successful farm business over 15 yrs now. We have 2 live on farm workers at the moment but are looking for more. We love to teach what we know to others with a passion for homestead/farm life!

We offer paid learning positions and private living quarters and have lots of options for additional income and long term relationships.

During our farming career we have started 3 homesteads. We know what it is to have little and slowly build to something great.
 
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Hi Aj! I'm Sara, recently purchased 120 acres of property with my partner in Cheboygan, Michigan.  It's gorgeous, secluded, but also 15 minutes from Walmart and Mackinaw Island. We have trails and 3 ponds on the property. We have a camper that was recently renovated and an insulated shipping container that serves as a bunkhouse (no bathroom in the shipping container yet).

We have electric hook up, septic, and a well. The camper has a flushing toilet and shower, AC, full kitchen as well as a new floor and roof we just did last year. We are back & forth from Allen Park, and really want a family or some nice individuals who would be interested in renting these units with potential for long term arrangements / building / selling. We are very open to all sorts of options that include leveraging the property. We have thought of homesteading, tiny house community, and campgrounds.  If this interests you and you want more details feel free to reach out at sara_riser@yahoo.com

Anyone else in Michigan who may be interested, is a genuinely awesome person, and has a love for nature who will take care of the land and love it as much as we do - please reach out! :)
 
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Sounds like your family's adventure is just starting.  My wife and I are starting our own adventure in Southern Kentucky.  We know we cannot develop things by ourselves so would love another family to come along for the ride.  120 acres with about 20 in pasture, the rest wooded and mountainous.  If you decide you want to head further south give us a shout out.  We don't have extra living quarters on the property though.  There is a small old cabin with grid electricity.
 
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