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Trying to start an intentional community MI  RSS feed

 
Crystal Smith
Posts: 12
Location: Muskegon, MI
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My husband and I are currently looking to purchase 10-15 acres of wooded/open land in Michigan.
We have about a year and a half at the most before we can move.
Currently we're seeking (a) like minded individual(s) to help us, and to stay on our land.
Our ultimate goal is to help build each others own cob houses within the land, and to get our permaculture on.

We're a healthy young married couple (22, and 23), with 4 dogs (2 border collies, a pug/terrier mix, and a min-pin).

Age is not a factor, nor is experience. We just want like minded people with us. A small family is suitable too, with whatever pets you have.

If anyone is interested or if you know of any land in MI that's for sale (in the cheap price range, 5-15k) please let us know. We're serious about this and look forward to getting to know you.

Love.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Crystal, Good luck with your dream. Here are a few land listings for you to check out. I use this web site a lot to look for land.

http://www.landwatch.com/default.aspx?ct=r&type=5,51;268,6843&r.PSIZ=2%2c&px=15000
 
Crystal Smith
Posts: 12
Location: Muskegon, MI
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Thank you so much! We've been hitting that website up a lot lately.
 
Kim Hill
Posts: 78
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If you happen to make that dream happen, I would be interested in talking to you. I also have a desire to get my own land and have been looking at a tiny, off grid home or something like it. I have been "practicing" for the past 20+ years at ways to be more self sufficient. I have an extensive gardening history, care for my own chickens, make maple syrup, cheese, yogurt, butter and much more. My 5 year plan is to retire to a small farmlet here in Michigan but if I could make a go of it sooner, I would. Unfortunately, I am a 50ish person with rheumatoid arthritis who would need to go at a much slower pace than a 20 to 30ish person would but hopefully my knowledge would be of some benefit.
 
Crystal Smith
Posts: 12
Location: Muskegon, MI
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Kim, I would love to let you know when we finally make the move. I think your knowledge and experience would be extremely beneficial for anyone! We're still actively looking for land. I found this today (linked above), but we're trying to decide if the landfill part would even be worth it. We're in NY so it's hard to go see property on a whim. Anyway, I'll be sure to keep you up to date!

If the link doesn't work here is the URL http://up.craigslist.org/reo/3528844264.html


 
Kim Hill
Posts: 78
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I am not too sure about a landfill. Guess it would really depend on what is in it. I would think it would take quite a bit of money but I would want the land tested to see if there is anything toxic. Also, what about the ground water? Wonder if it would be any good coming from a landfill. Also living in the UP is a whole different ballgame for me. The zone is quite a bit different than here in metro Detroit. Personally I am hoping to get some land in the central or southern part of Michigan. I am just in the process of looking for some and have found quite a few 10-20 acre parcels in that price range. The thing I need to look at next is zoning. One area I was interest in requires at least a 1000 sq ft house. For me this is a waste of space. I would like to build something no larger than 400 sq ft and probably less. I don't need or want something of that size when with proper planning a house could be just as efficient and take a lot less resources to build, heat, light and clean.

The other problem, for me anyway, is the amount of snow there would be in the UP. With my health, I cannot be trudging in waist deep snow to care for the animals. Of course there may be the benefit though of less zoning regulations to take into account. Just be careful when looking in the UP, there is so much landfill up there. I think the mentality many years ago was to put all the toxic stuff up there since there was no population to talk of compared to the lower. On top of the landfills you have paper plants and mines all adding to the toxicity of many parts of this most amazing state
 
Conner Seggebruch
Posts: 2
Location: Michigan
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Crystal,
It is so refreshing and inspiring to read your post here! This is seriously awesome and it's gotten the gears turning in my head. I currently live just outside of Lansing, MI, and have gotten so fed up with things as of late. I work a full time job that doesn't do much more than pay the bills and I just don't know where to go. It's not the worst job in the world, and it's actually a very useful skill (I'm a baker) it just feels so dead-end. I spent 6 months WWOOFing on an organic farm in Maui almost two years ago, and it opened my eyes to the world and myself in a major way. I had so much free time to explore myself, read, learn, try new things, and just enjoy life. Since returning to Michigan things have been depressing to say the least, and I just don't know how to apply what I've learned here. I want to jump right back into permaculture and farming but I feel so burdened by money; I'm always worried and feeling held back by it.
Anyway, I'd love to talk with you more about this and see if it might lead anywhere.
Also, my girlfriend is very like-minded, and is a certified massage therapist who is also working full time. She would most certainly love to be involved with this as well.
Please go ahead and shoot me a PM here or e-mail me, or just continue the conversation here on the thread. Whatever works!
 
Conner Seggebruch
Posts: 2
Location: Michigan
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By the way, I'm 22 and my girlfriend is 20.
 
Crystal Smith
Posts: 12
Location: Muskegon, MI
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Wow, no you're totally not bugging! I haven't gotten any notices until you PM'd me, and honestly haven't been on permies in a while.
That's awesome though! It must be horrible to live feeling that way. We're still in NY currently but hopefully we'll get out of here sooner than expected, within the next few months or so and we'll be heading to MI. Originally I'm from FL so I don't know much about MI just that we drove through Lansing once before. We're looking to settle in the Muskegon area. I would love to keep in touch with you and your girlfriend and see how things go. If you see any land for sale in the area, just let us know. Even houses with a bit of acreage. We were talking about that the other day. I love baking but haven't been to any formal schooling for it. Only what I do at home. Maui though? That must have been such an amazing experience! Right now we're living on 2 acres in Northern New York and plan on doing what I can to gain more knowledge and experience until the big move. Anyway, stay in touch! Thank you for replying! Feel free to email me anytime (I check my email on a daily basis) at ilucrystal@live.com I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about you and your gf
 
Christopher Henderson
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Koodos to one and all for wanting to start a homesteading community. I believe it is the way The Creator would us to be in a world/society that seems to have forgotten what this country was originally built on.

I am very seriously wanting to get as many homeless and hungry involved in such a venture. Building our own homes; growing our food; making our own clothes, toiletries and cleaning supplies and whatever else we need; using a trade and barter system. No money involved. It is a wonderful thought. Is it feasible?
 
Dawn Stevens
Posts: 17
Location: Martell, Nebraska
chicken food preservation goat
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Greetings from Norton Shores, MI - We have traveled cross country throughout the United States learning viable skills to start our own intentional community and found it very interesting to see that you want to settle in Muskegon. We recently came back from Alpha Farm in OR and came back home to be closer to family and friends. We were ready to head out again in search of a permanent home and decided to stay in MI because of the abundant water supply, beautiful scenery, humidity, diversity, gorgeous storms and an abundance of farms to network with and so many more reasons. When you both get here in MI - Hit us up with an email @ comtngl@gmail.com - Would love to get together and talk. We have no means to purchase land at the moment (would be years before we could). We are a small family with a 4 year old little girl and would love to help you get started.
 
Chris Sklarski
Posts: 10
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Hey Crystal!

My girlfriend and I are currently trying to save enough money for a down payment on a piece of land. We are young (19 and 21) and have different skills. I am the permaculturalist and she is studying child development. I am curious how you two saved up enough money on two acres in rural NY. That sounds like an accomplishment!

Good Luck!
 
Joe Woo
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Hello Crystal


Have you guy made any headway on finding the right property? Im currently looking for land 2-10 acres in Michigan (southeast), and i would love to start or join a Eco-village. Im having a hard time find land that I can do this on because of codes and ordinances. Any luck on your side?

Joe
 
Anthony Frost
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Hi Crystal et al,

My name is Anthony Frost, and I live in Muskegon County, Michigan. I was looking for info on getting involved with an intentional community nearby, and was delighted to see your thread! Curious how you're coming along.

Was also very inspired to see everyone else’s input, energy and vision, not to mention seeing so many young people choosing this lifestyle right from the outset.

Dawn Stevens, we're practically neighbors already! Would love to get to know you & your family. I'm here in West Michigan for the same reasons you mentioned.

I live between Twin Lake & Whitehall near Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. There are a bunch of vegetarians, like myself, nearby up in Montague, as well as a permaculture group I'm involved with. In fact, Peter Bane & Keith Johnson (http://www.permaculturehandbook.com) are holding a permaculture class here on May 3 & 4. I understand that they're planning to relocate to this area.

There are many exciting things going on already, and more happening all the time. There are a number of people interested in starting or joining some type of Intentional Community situation.

I'm going to send a copy of this message to everyone who posted their email in this thread. Feel free to hit me up! I can be reached at: fungible@earthlink.net

Spring is here, brothers & sisters! Let's get going!!!
 
Craig Barrett
Posts: 12
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Hi everyone! What you are all dreaming of sounds great! In fact, I am doing the exact same thing in Maine. I already have the land, and you can read more about it on my post

http://www.permies.com/t/34181/community/Dream-starting-permie-homestead-ecovillage

Maine is a lot like the UP, except not as remote, no landfills, and not many code issues. Not sure if anyone is willing to relocate, but I am looking for like minded dreamers. Could kick this off as soon as this spring.
 
Samuel Porter
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Hi I am looking for a community to join. I'm 25, male, 150 lbs. I am self employed as a sprout vendor, and I live with my parents. I sprout nuts, seeds, legumes, and sell them at farmers markets. I do garden work all the time. I have had 3 different internships over the past 2 years. My aunt is a master gardener and I work for her in exchange for knowledge and experience. I harvested 20 lbs of long leaf pine pollen last year and this year. I sell the pollen and its tincture. I am highly motivated. I have been practicing yoga for 6 years, can do a perfect head stand, continue to study, and have healed my slipped disk and sciatica. I love to buy and grow the best herbs and make herbal tinctures. I have radiant health. I love life. I love to forage for wild edibles, process, and store food for the winter. I can work long hours. I love very easily. I just want to help and be appreciated while working on myself.
Would I be a good addition? Could I earn my keep? Can I sprout there and sell somewhere close for income or trade? Can I live in a tent?
 
rowan james
Posts: 36
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greetings ~

we are three, of varying ages from mid-30's upwards, looking for land, with or without buildings, in Southern Michigan, from Allegan County eastwards towards Jackson, roughly.

ideally we'd like to be near like-minded folks, for community-minded support and networking in the future. very open to alternative ideas and land contracts, ect. experienced organic growing, community living/cooking, and many other diverse talents to add to the mix.

any pointers or advice would be welcomed - the snow is finally melted, and we're thawing out too - can't wait to get MOVING! feel free to reply here or PM me any time.

thanks permie-folks.
 
Noah Borders
Posts: 3
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Hello Everybody!

Its great to see so many great things people are saying.

I'm also looking for people to live in an intentional community with!
I would love to talk about it and try to help connect you to people if I can.

The settlement I want to establish would be 100 dwellings on 100+ acres, but I have no idea where to live in the mean time, and maybe living in a smaller village would be great for me.

Let me know if you're still looking for people!
 
Judith Thompson
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Hello, everyone!

You all sound like just the kind of people I was hoping to locate. I own a gorgeous piece of wilderness land (39 acres) with pond(s), springs, a beautiful stand of maple and 4 or 5 dozen bearing apple trees -badly in need of pruning, I must say. I bought this property about 30 years ago and, after a fire, I designed and built a place on it. Off the grid, hand pump outside, modern plumbing inside, wood stove, (and gas furnace on one floor). The house also has a solar system, though it is really small. It is located behind Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior. 40,000 acres of Federal wilderness and another 40,000 of mostly State and corporate timber lands. I am working on a Weebly site because I have been thinking that I'd try putting it on the market as an eco-educational vacation rental. One idea....

I am approaching retirement and (loooong story short) have been thinking that an intentional community might be the way to go. I have been a Catholic Worker and they have CW Farms around the country and the world, too, I guess. A couple of you might like to check that out, based on what you've written. I could relocate, too. I'd sort of like to be in roughly the eastern/central part of Michigan because my family is here.

I'll be leaving central Michigan in about three weeks to spend the summer up there. I wonder if any of you would like to continue the conversation and possibly come and visit? Camp or throw a mattress on the floor.... Summers are usually beautiful and Munising (Alger Co.) has a really neat bunch of people who are interested in all of the things we are. They are on the web, too, but I'd have to look up the address.

Jude
 
james lumley
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60 acre frontier farm, circa 1880 with private lake and two ponds, woods and stream, near Lake Huron in Michigan thumb available for right persons very inexpensively for long term lease.
jdlum46@gmail.com
 
Jonathon Roney
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Hi Crystal,

Isn't it great to see there are so many other people interested in permaculture/sustainable communities living in or around MI? Like many others who have posted here, I am a 23 male who hopes to one day own/share a farm as my primary means of sustenance and income. I recently finished a degree from MSU (BS in Crop and Soil Sciences) and am seeking ways to learn from and cooperate with farmers or homesteaders who share my values regarding local food, environmental stewardship, and perhaps community living. My friends and I have often talked about working together to form a homestead or some sort of cooperative living, but as a recent graduate I'm working to pay off my (relatively) small amount of student debt so the time and monetary involvement I can devote to such a project is limited right now.
I and perhaps some of my friends would be interested in meeting with you and talking about how our long term goals might intersect. Obviously this is all in the early stages for both of us (you mention you are at least a year and a half from moving and have not yet purchased land) and a lot can change over the course of a year. Whenever you do move from NY to beautiful central MI, please drop me a line at roneyjonathon@gmail.com.

hope to hear from you,

Jon
 
Elissa Teal
Posts: 128
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Following this conversation. We are moving to the Detroit area due to a new job. If you're looking in SE Michigan, maybe we should talk
 
Joe Woo
Posts: 2
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I have dreams of starting a intentional community in MI, with an animal sanctuary and lots of permaculture designs incorporated. I have been looking at land from Detroit to highland, although I will admit it has been slightly discouraging. Are there any areas in particular you guys are interested in? I found the more you go northwest the cheaper land gets, although it is also more redneck and has very little amenity ( internet, organic food, interesting people, ect.). I have a few friends who keep tossing around the idea, but no one is spending anytime looking for property or making plants besides myself. I would love to chat to see what kind of progress you all have made.
 
Crystal Smith
Posts: 12
Location: Muskegon, MI
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Holy cow have I been horrible! Reading all of these replies is so awesome! You guys are amazing for keeping this thread going!!

My husband and I actually just got our CDL's and are truck drivers for a small company out of Holland, MI. We plan only on doing this for a year or two in order to save a sufficient amount of money to purchase a house on some land.

Over the time we have strayed from the intentional community aspect of it as far as purchasing a large plot of land (that would take us years of being wage slaves). I am in total love with the idea of working together. I would love to meet some of you folks!

My specific area of passion (definitely not expertise) is in animals. More specifically lately I've been researching Nigerian Dwarf goats. Do any of you have any wisdom you can share on the topic?

I promise all of you I will be way more activeon here with this discussion and others as well. I was in a bit of a rut for a little bit but the flame has reignited and I'm dedicated to staying committed to this, and to you all as well.

Oh also, we're currently living with my in laws in Allendale, MI. So I know I am super close to some of you Do you guys frequent any farm/farmers markets? I haven't been to Muskegons but I have been to the one in Grand Rapids twice and love it.

Lastly if I take more than 3 days to respond email me at crystaljadesmith@gmail.com and just yell at me to get back on! I need to figure out how to change my email address that is affiliated with my permies account.
 
Brian McCune
Posts: 27
Location: Kent County, MI
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According to geoff lawton, the most successful mode of re-settling village type communities is a Community Land Trust. Definitely worth looking into.
 
Brendan Shaffer
Posts: 2
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I am a professed Franciscan with an ecumenical religious community.

I am looking to living with like-minded individuals in an ecumenical intentional religious community.

brbrendan@earthlink.net

Thanks!

Br. Brendan
 
Careta Mae
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Greetings. I am interested to know if you still seek collaboration and support.

IF so my advertisement is:

http://www.ic.org/community-classifieds/show-ad/3170/seeking-land-based-community/native-america-turtle-island/seeking-community/

keep in touch
 
Mary Love
Posts: 26
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We're a homesteading family living in Mi's U.P. We're right by the lake over on the Western side, so not exactly close to most of you, but still, reading all these posts has inspired me. Knowing that there are other people with these passions makes me feel less alone in this very remote state. I know the U.P. is quite a hike for those of you under the bridge, but if anyone is in the area, feel free to get in touch with us. We have a big farm, a lot of cool projects going on and a desire to meet and assist like minded people in any way we can.

Feel free to visit my family's site: webpage and my farm blog: webpage for a better idea of who we are.

 
Corson Nikkel
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Hey, I'm in Michigan too!

Anyone been successful? I'm hoping to get a PDC from either OSU or Geoff within the next year or so, been looking for opportunities to get some on the job and internship experience here in the state, and would love to network with you all in state <3

 
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