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Hello From Montana  RSS feed

 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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My name is Glenn, I live in northwest Montana, not far from Missoula.

My wife and I just went through some tough times and we are now living in a camper in my in-laws back yard. We both have decent jobs, but got caught up in the spend-more-than-you-make lifestyle and it ended with a financial catastrophe. I look at it as a learning experience and a way to start a new lifestyle. So we cashed in a 401k (although we are not close to retirement age, I am 46, she is thirty-eight) and bought 20 off-grid acres in the mountains for our new year-round home. Also bought an old backhoe. In the spring we'll start building a slipform-ish house, based on solar passive design, spending money as we save it.

I recently discovered permaculture and realized it was a consolidation of ideas I had in mind that I had always wanted to do, and have been reading tons of material and watching lots of videos. I can't wait to get started.

The land is timbered in fir trees and ponderosa pine, has been logged at some time in the past but as far as I can tell the ground has never been tilled. Flat ground, 3000' elevation, but unfortunately no creeks, springs or ponds. However, the well is in place and I have spec'd out and priced a solar powered pump. We have a dozen chickens and a couple dairy goats. Oh and five dogs.

Our goals are to feed ourselves and live in and with nature. I will start an acre-sized food forest, vegetable and grain plots, and rotating pastures for the animals. Can't decide if I want to get pigs or not.

There seems to be a lot of information here, and I hope to pick the brains of you smart people.

I don't know if I am a typical permie; I am simply a person who wishes to be self-sufficient and start eating healthy, live off the land while taking care of it, get away from Monsanto and gmo food. But I am not anti-capitalist, and I would guess my political views are different from a lot of permies. I watch Fox News. Just thought I'd throw that out there, haha. But the main thing is I just want the government to let me keep my money and leave me alone, and let me do what I want as long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else's freedom. So I don't know, will I be okay here (?) or will I get flamed, lol. But permaculture fits in perfectly with how I want to live, so here I am.

Nice to meet you all.

 
Wayne Newton
Posts: 18
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Welcome Glenn! You sound like a Libertarian. Congratulations on the property purchase. You've come the the right place for information. I'm finding that the folks on Permies are amazing, and have a wealth of information.

I'm west of Missoula in Mineral County, and looking for others who want to discuss starting an ecovillage. The idea is to own the property jointly via a LLC or Land Trust, operate it like a campus to educate others, yet members will be able to sell their membership (and house) getting their value back out, if they want too.

As a last resort, we may need to camp-out on your 20 acres. lol
 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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Well ain't it a small world, my new place is in St Regis.

I can't invest in the eco village as I'm saving every penny so I can get out of my in-law's back yard, but it sounds like a great idea.

And yes, I am pretty much a libertarian, thanks.

Glenn
 
Wayne Newton
Posts: 18
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Glenn, here's a bit of info that might be helpful... Mineral County has a commercial chipper that it rents out for $50 per day. It is a Bandit with diesel power that self-feeds 8 inch limbs. If you have slash and clean-up already stacked, one day of rental will produce a lot of great ground cover.

The reason I mention the chipper, is because you said you lacked a creek or spring. The following link is a video by a guy who started using mulch on his orchard and garden, and has not had to water his fruit trees for over 35 years even during drought.

The video gets a little long, but the first part is inspirational.

http://backtoedenfilm.com/index.html#movie
 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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Thanks Wayne. The video I have already watched (the entire thing), and actually it is what led me research more and finally discover permaculture. Then a google search for permaculture in this area brought me here, I guess becuase Paul Wheaton is from here.

The property does have many downed trees and more live trees that I will have to remove to make room for the house, pastures, food forest, etc. Also plan to use some of the bigger trees to build the house and animal shelters. I was wondering what to do for the animals and then I got sepp holzer's book and now I know haha I will be building those log shelters. But also I have to let some light in for my future solar panels. Also I am concerned about forest fires. I was already looking for wood chippers on craigslist, so its good to know about the rental chipper and I will probably go that route because I will have a need for mulch also, so you have helped me out. Do you just go to the courthouse to ask about the chipper? I was there the other day talking to Tim about my plans for a greywater system and septic system and he seems to be a wealth of information. Really great guy.

Also I discovered hugelkultur via Sepp's book or this site and will be using a lot of the big rotten wood for that.

Its funny, on my last property (seems like years ago but its really not) I used to burn the deadfall and now I can hardly imagine that, seems like such a waste.


 
Damon Kistler
Posts: 3
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hi glenn, we should talk. i am a stonemason and i have an inordinate amount of refractory brick . i can help you out with whatever fireplace ,wood fired ovens/cookers that you might want or need
 
Chris Badgett
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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Hi Glenn,

Nice to meet you! We are also based out of NW Montana in Whitefish. Here's some resources you may be interested in ...

Currently we are down in Costa Rica working on putting together a full permaculture design course that we will make available worldwide via online video.

We filmed a How to Plant a Food Forest video course with Michael Pilarski in Northwest Montana in Hot Springs, MT. Here's the link to the course:

http://organiclifeguru.com/course/how-to-grow-a-medicinal-food-forest/

Michael Pilarski lives in Northwest Montana and is a good resource for Inland Northwest Permaculture:



Here is his website: http://www.friendsofthetrees.net/
 
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, it's a tiny ad:
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23444/digital-market/digital-market/Earth-Sheltered-Solar-Greenhouse-Book
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