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How much money to save before proceeding to forge a new life?

 
pioneer
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Hello all,

I have recently gotten myself out of debt, even though my debts have always been petty and relatively benign, debts they were. For instance, some were musical instruments, I occasionally would put an instrument that brings me great joy on 24 month credit with extremely small payments, sometimes as low as $5, but of course over time it builds up. At the end, I do not want to sell the instruments of course, that is why I bought them, the money was not wasted, but it was a recurring payment. I have been getting rid of whatever minuscule debts I have and removing other benign recurring monthly payments for useless services.

Now, I really have no monthly "debt" besides food.

I have $1,000 saved up as of today (yes, I know it's utterly pathetic) and only plan to increase it. I'd like to start an online business that will make money with just a few hours a day, I do not know what though, be it shirts, or some type of invention I've been considering, I would greatly like to craft tobacco pipes. I have a very Permies related idea I've been trying to develop, but I do not know how well it will go.

With that said, I would like a tiny house, and I want at least an acre of land, and let my imagination go from there... What amount of money should I be looking to save? How do I go about the financial aspects of starting a homestead from scratch? Even if I have all the money, is there any benefit, for instance, in putting it all on credit if I can to get rewards? Or some other financial service I don't know about where I can pay with cash and get some sort of other benefit?

I am interested in building as much as I can myself, timber framing and cabinetry, etc.

Truly, I just don't even know where to begin mentally now that I've started saving my meager money, and I don't know where saving such small amounts will lead. It seems like people that take on projects such as this have spare hundreds of thousands in their pockets.

I have forgone the idea in another thread of mine, of moving to Mississippi for now, it is still on the table but before I save up more money I don't think I can take it seriously, unless someone has another outlook on the situation I've outlined in another thread.

Cheers
 
gardener
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I'm currently reading the well-respected "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin.  There is a lot on the subject, but I think one quote sums it up:
"Land ownership is an excellent way to maintain wealth - a defensive position.  Acquiring wealth, however, is an offensive posture and is generally done best by renting."

So (at the risk of putting words into his mouth), I would say that Salatin's advice would be to not worry so much about buying land, but instead to focus on farming where you are.  This is to prove to yourself that you know how to make it successful and also to save up enough cash to bankroll your next move.

I'm probably doing a disservice by abridging it that far, but that's the crux of it.
 
pollinator
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Bah! I didn't save a damn thing. Food, water, shelter and the rest you can work toward. Since that is the entire idea right? So I guess whatever the house costs as well as needed utilities. If I had the opportunity to get the setup I liked, I would go right back into debt and get it if I was you.

Disclaimer: I am an idiot.

 
pollinator
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Your approach I will start an online business and make money with a few hours a day WILL NOT WORK if you are not the "one of a million entrepreneur" and I think, with what I could read about your history, you are not the one.
Sorry, I am honest and it shall not be rude.

I "struggled" by meaning I was blocking myself using wishful thinking the same way, until I found out that a "few hours ideas" lead into nothing.
You will experience that you feed a barrel without bottom and realize after a few month that all you earned went back into your few "hrs business only to fail.

If you want to make money my right approach was holding on to a phrase:
3 things never return:
A fired arrow
A spoken word
A MISSED CHANCE

Especially the missed chance.
EVERYTHING that promised a coin, I took.
From bone jarring tasks for one day over dirty works over a week, there was no: "I never would do this job"

I did not allow myself to dream a better life I worked it. Up to 18 hrs a day.
Then I had generated some backup within 3 years.

I bought the first piece of land (3600sqm) from somebody who struggled.
I showed him the cash well knowing the price was way too low for this land but that was all I had and he needed to sell.

...and started again with all my backup gone.
But was it really GONE??

I realized that actually my backup looks different now and is was impossible to make it a out of the pocked expense.

As I had a backup again, the same way (18 hrs were not so hard anymore), I bought gold.
I could also spent it not like money in the pocket.
I became very strict to myself not to re-sell my gold under any circumstances.

The time came that my body was adapted to long working hours and I was checking around.

Any travelling job, especially offshore and construction works, pays well and also Newbies are needed.

All my "Handyman's" Jobs of the past 6 years were in detail wrapped into words that reflect my self confidence and capability and could made myself to a good addition in any traveler's job I used, combined with my work history from before I built up my CV.

Off course I made myself looking good but used humble but self confident words with the right mix of a little commercial bs.
"I am sure a valued addition to your team abroad and I applied because I feel that my work now is not satisfying myself and I am not able using my full capacity and value"

10 Years starting from where you are now, I like to show you my result:

The learning curve: (it also costs about 50.000 EUR)
https://permies.com/t/139668/permaculture-projects/long-dream-Thailand

And the forged new life:
https://permies.com/t/205283/permaculture-projects/long-dream-Thailand-Part

Beside the new land re-designed to my dream, I have still the first bought 3600 SQM Land, meanwhile tripled the value by itself.
I am back abroad and will stop working after I built my commercial aquaponics system based on lessons learned described  in my first tread.
(meaning no more leaving my family behind AND live on a land that I made as I dreamed about, which I would have 11 years ago never believed to get this dream become true)

Beside this I am not counting anymore how much cash I have but its still only a backup on the bank because banks don't cover not even the Inflation rate and increasing costs for living anymore...

But I still follow the Rule of the tree things that never return:
A fired arrow
A spoken word
A MISSED CHANCE

...Be aware that working aboard you have to leave everything and for long periods (upto 20 month I did) behind and that is even worse that 18hrs taking every chance. But you will meet buddies that live the same life......
 
pollinator
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Jeff, I agree with See, an online business with a few hours work is a dream, BUT try it.
Over time I have had a lot of success, coupled with a lot of failure, but overall I am in front.
I worked out a few things that worked for myself;
- make something nobody else does.
- offer a service nobody else does.
- borrow affordable money for specialist tools.
- dont listen to anybody who has not had experience in the same field of endeavour.
- Store excess cash in a bank, its better than under the mattress.
- Money in the bank is like water in a tank in the desert, you are not paid to store it,
 but its handy in a drought.
- Associate with good people.
Currently I have the following lines of income;
- rent from land
- a small online shop selling one item that takes 30 minutes a month to manage.
- Civil Engineering design service
- window sash stripping
- fly screen repair business.
Each of which dribbles a bit in, ensuring I get enough overall across the year.
 
master steward
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I'd add 1 to the 3 things that can never be returned, making it 4 - time. The longer one waits to get started, doing naught but dream, the longer it takes for the dream to come true, AND the lower the chances that it ever will.
 
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How much money to save? Too much is never enough.. so don’t let that be your deciding factor. With that being said, the secret to making a small fortune with Permaculture? Start with a big fortune! Haha..

 
gardener
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K Eilander wrote:I'm currently reading the well-respected "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin.  There is a lot on the subject, but I think one quote sums it up:
"Land ownership is an excellent way to maintain wealth - a defensive position.  Acquiring wealth, however, is an offensive posture and is generally done best by renting."

So (at the risk of putting words into his mouth), I would say that Salatin's advice would be to not worry so much about buying land, but instead to focus on farming where you are.  This is to prove to yourself that you know how to make it successful and also to save up enough cash to bankroll your next move.

I'm probably doing a disservice by abridging it that far, but that's the crux of it.




I love "You Can Farm!"  It is a breath of calm and ok.  you can do it
 
See Hes
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Ted Abbey wrote:How much money to save? Too much is never enough.. so don’t let that be your deciding factor. With that being said, the secret to making a small fortune with Permaculture? Start with a big fortune! Haha..



Yes Clara: TIME the 4th of the magic - I used it by losing my 9 to 5 mentality, worked 18 hrs and it doubled the earned money automatically.

Time:
Every week people pray:
Oh Lord, let me win the Lottery.

One day the Lord will answer:
First buy a Lottery ticket you Muppet!!

so don't wait if you have a dream, get it.  
John C Daley shows the same example: Work Work Work.. But start now..

My wife is Thai, 20 Dollars a day she made with selling cookies with her cookie stall and it was a fortune before we met.
I pushed her right into the household, gave her the Power of Attorney and as the first income came on her account she was scared sh*tless.
There were more than 10k $ landing on her account. (every month)

She told me her dream of a Jungle full of food and I responded Ice cold. Lets get it.

But not 3000 square meter, I want a lake that is 5000 square meter, a river that is 400 meters long, a mountain, an island on my lake..
Lets talk 30000 square meter, and she freaked even more out..

Then I told her:  

Think Big!

Now she is a boss of 5 farm workers and still has to care of the money I make......


 
John C Daley
pollinator
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being the boss is not always important.
\I am aware of people who have installed managers to run the business while they keep working 'on' the business.
I have also heard of some being defrauded.
 
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The standard answer is about 3-6 months of your expenses is what you want to save up with $1000 as emergency money.
 
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There are so many ways to do this!
And you have the opportunity to choose the path that fits you.

I walked (hitched) away from a 'life' in '72, with very little cash, a backpack and a dog and found my people among the many back to the land folks in the Ozarks...my good guy joined me soon after and we've had a wonderful adventure together for fifty years now.
Kids included and always gardens and livestock...community interaction... Early on lot's of bucking hay, picking rock...odd jobs...gradually we each developed a home based craft business that fit with how we wanted to live....but we always did better at living without than earning money...and we've been comfortable with that.

I think the most important thing to living your dream is to be flexible and open to opportunities....reassess the situation periodically and don't let life become a constant beating your head against a wall...don't fear a change of direction...and most importantly build some community connections...there are a lot of wonderful folks out there!
 
pollinator
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The way I see it, most projects require some combination of money and time, and the amounts needed usually fall somewhere on the following curve. If you throw a lot a money at a project, you can get it done with little time, or if you have no money you can often throw a ton of time at the project and get it done. The most efficient use of money and time is usually somewhere in the middle.

How much you need to save depends largely on you.
Money_vs_Time.jpg
Money vs. Time
Money vs. Time
 
gardener
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I want to work for a couple hours of a day too and accumulate wealth. I haven't figured out how to do it yet. I do sell products online. I put in my 8hrs and then a few days a week my wife and I have second shift, where we make our sideline products. I teach a class a the local Recreation district once a month and pull in a couple hundred from that. As See has said it takes a commitment and an effort. In our little town a young man Lost his car and and susequently job since he couldn't get to work. He had a bicycle and I watched the transformation. He started by bicycling to odd jobs in the area. He would do anything. Lawn work, chopping firewood construction clean up. Through his work he was able to trade labor for a beater pickup. Now he could haul junk to the landfill along with cleaning up yards and construction sites. His reputation as a hard worker and being thorough paid off and he was able to get a newer truck. Over the last four years his through hardwork and labor he has flourished.  Has a newer Dodge diesel pickup doesn't have to pray for a new client. You have mentioned making bows as a venue for gainig capital. Jeff that's a side job till  your product has proven itself as a commodity that narrow audience desires. You're going to need to apply yourself/commit to a goal. Focus on your goal. I want this for you, I want you to get that 1 acre homestead. You can't move forward, none of us can with just thinking outloud. One has to start climbing the hill. Make bows, work on the internet for a couple hours, Create a job for yourself or work for someone else to get coin. Learn all you can as you work towards a goal, but work you must. Jeff you ask how to get there in most of your posts, It's not easy but so many people here have done it. This isn't something that you can't do. But It is going to take more than a few hours on the internet. Even if you were to develop some You Tube following and monetize that, it takes more than a few hours of screen time.
 
Jeff Steez
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Thanks for all the feedback.

I have continued reading my book and reviewed some material posted on Permies such as Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker... I am trying to find a job I don't hate, typical 9-5, that matches a 401K. If I can put away $30,000 each year for a few years, based on my calculations, I will be well on my way to living off of interest when I am older, which would allow me the freedom to travel a little bit to experience the Earth, which I think is important as someone who has interest in permaculture. I am sure everything humans have ever done to/for nature is well-documented online by now, but I believe it will be different experiencing the smell of the air and seeing it with my own two eyes, seeing how culture plays into the principles various geographical regions utilize in their pursuits. If what I see isn't well documented, well there's an opportunity for a blog.

The second aspect to retirement besides occasional travel, is affording land and a tiny house... I think this is where some ingenuity will have to come in. I do not plan on starting some million dollar one in a million online business. My expectations were more similar to what was mentioned, just doing anything I can and selling it online, not dissimilar to a downtrodden lad mowing the varied lawn and walking the neighbors dog... I want to carve a bow here and there, make a knife, maybe learn to make leather shoes, bake local organic sourdough for my neighborhood via a subscription service (which I have already built a website for and am getting a yard sign made to plop at the front of the neighborhood where every person in the neighborhood is forced to pass). These are my side hustles, however it'd be nice to have the aforementioned 9-5, because I could live off side hustle money, leaving me to invest $30,000+/year... That would be unbelievable.

If I am freed from the shackles of money I can pursue my hobbies and interests with ease instead of from a place of extreme stress wondering if I am good enough, or if it will succeed.

If I can invest enough to take care of myself, I don't care if my bow-making succeeds! At that point, it's for me. If someone wants to by it, good for them! And me! This has been the very key that my entire life has been missing. I cannot explain how necessary this section of the website is. I was so focused on trying to learn natural building with no real place to do it that I completely ignored my financial situation and near "slavery" as the very problem. I figured that "Monies" was just sort of tacked on here bit HOLY COW. This is an absolutely foundational aspect of proper permaculture.

I now have the inner boil. As I've heard many times, momentum is the hardest thing to achieve, but once you get it, it's very difficult to stop. I've already removed the TV from my room. I might not utilize every waking moment I would normally spend on TV productively, but I do know there are a lot of history books I've wanted to read, which I can now do. I can mull over various ideas.

I have a simple product idea related to sourdough bread, I wish to carve single-piece wooden primitive bows and sell them locally, I REALLY want to get into tobacco pipe making, I have over 500 pepper plants currently growing quite well, most of which I intend to sell, these are all apparently side hustles.

It'll be a lot easier to pursue these side hustles vigorously if I invest faster and earlier from a standard 9-5, unless anyone else has any suggestions. I've only just stumbled upon this revelation of how freeing capitalism can be, I've always been a proponent of what I thought capitalism was, but this is now Neo-Capitalism to the financial novice. This has become a much more interesting game rather than some sort of every present "problem" that needs to be solved.

I've been trying to make bows for a number of months but haven't found a local source of staves. Some of the things I want are a bit hindered by the inaccessible "untouched" nature that is now entirely privately owned. If I want this, I will have to bite the bullet and probably ruin a couple $50-$100 bow staves... That is just an example. As I said, I have 500+ rare peppers potted up growing steadily. Each one is at minimum $10 for these unheard of varieties. I guarantee the local Asian markets that attract new immigrants would be delighted to have access to heirloom peppers from their homeland. Again, all examples.

Many of my passions might have to be left in the dust UNTIL I have money. No problem.
 
pollinator
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I think the best thing is to focus on a steady source of income. You are all over the place with side ideas that probably will never materialize as a true income. Stuff on the side is ok but a bunch of side things don’t add up to a steady paycheck.

As far as what you need to take the leap? Once steady income is there I’d say 20% down for your land and a bit of a cushion past that. I’m not sure how hardcore you want to be. I’d certainly never live in a tent but lots of people do while they build up. Wood has come down considerably from 2 years ago so small cabin or even a prefab that you could finish out are pretty reasonably priced. Definitely cheaper to build yourself though.

Randomly starting some job where you can save 30k after tax is not going to be a 9-5. It will be some sort of construction job where overtime is required.

Bottom line for me is just get steady income then start moving forward. Any progress however small starts pushing in the right direction. Small wins really help when you’re struggling. Hope the best

 
pollinator
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Jeff Steez wrote:Hello all,



I have $1,000 saved up as of today (yes, I know it's utterly pathetic) and only plan to increase it. I'd like to start an online business that will make money with just a few hours a day, I do not know what though, be it shirts, or some type of invention I've been considering, I would greatly like to craft tobacco pipes. I have a very Permies related idea I've been trying to develop, but I do not know how well it will go.



Cheers



I have a silk screen press and a vinyl cutter and heat press.  Both can be very profitable if you have connections to groups that would regularly order products from you but I have been trying to start over from scratch and I divorced my connection with the local schools so my novelty ideas are slow going and you need to buy the shirts and supplies and hope your creative shirt ideas sell.  Some ideas are well liked but that doesn't mean people will buy your creative shirt idea.
I would suggest focusing on the craft, or novelty, tobacco pipes to start with.  People in the head game world are more likely to buy a creative pipe than the average person wanting to buy a T-shirt.  Do you have a creative hand to make various pipes?  Can you shape them like something of interest?  A cat lover would love a pipe that resembled a cat, as would a dog lover with a dog shaped pipe.  Can you shape one like a spark plug for the car enthusiast?  Or how about one that looks like a fish, or a deer antler, or whatever else would catch someone's attention.  
 
Robert Ray
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Jeff, this not something I would ever put on my resume but in high school to make side money I carved exotic herb pipes. My older brother was working as a cabinet maker and he would bring hardwood scraps for me to carve. One of his friends asked me to carve one in a female form and I couldn't keep up with the demand. It was not something I smoked back then and still don't but there was a demand and still is. That could be a portable sideline and something that could be carried in a pocket with a carving knife and could be worked almost anywhere. Tobacco pipes in the mix would increase the market demographic.
 
pollinator
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When my husband and I bought our property, we scrounged up every penny we could for the downpayment, including cash advances on low interest credit cards. Then we got a line of credit for the rest. We spent another year at our rented place while my husband finished  his degree, then we moved into a tent on the land. I don't remember how much money we had at that point, but it was less than $5,000.

Neither of us had jobs and since we didn't want to live in a tent over winter, we spent the summer and fall just building our house. That meant living on credit cards. We probably had $20,000 of so of credit card debt from building the house and living expenses for six or seven months.

Neither of us works in high paying jobs, so $20,000-$30,000 combined income was normal for the first few years. We paid off the credit cards and line of credit for the property in less than five years because our living expenses could be so low. Not having to pay rent was the big one.

Getting land is the hard part, but after that I don't think you need much, if any, money saved. If you have some, it's way nicer and easier, though. Not having any money meant we had to do things like wait until midway through a very cold winter before we could buy insulation for the floor of the house, which was pretty shitty.

So I guess how much money you need to save depends on how much comfort you need.
 
Jeff Steez
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Joe Hallmark wrote:
Randomly starting some job where you can save 30k after tax is not going to be a 9-5. It will be some sort of construction job where overtime is required.



I live off of $10,000 a year, have no debts and can now save most of that. Thus, I more likely live off of around $6,000.

I found a local heat press shirt company that offers  ~ $38,000/year with a matched 401k. I am waiting on a response. If this were the case, due to not having any expenses besides food, it would indeed be more than $30,000/year in possible savings, after before taxes of course.

The issue with this job is that it's a bit far away and would require me to get that electric bike, increasing the risk I get T-boned by an elderly driver (which constitutes the majority of population around me). So it goes.
 
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Starting a business is sort of like starting a family, if you wait till the right time you're never going to take you have enough time or money 🤷🏻‍♀️
I've had an online business since 2004, and I've been self employed a lot longer than that. And my experience, getting a really good, robust Google AdWords account up and running is your best bet. Get yourself a decent website, if you're going to sell online goods, Shopify is really good.  If you're providing a service, I'm partial to wordpress, but I've used and liked both.  
If you're selling something, get yourself an Etsy shop that directs people back to your website, you can set up an Amazon business account, and do lots of social media.
The other thing is, wealth and abundance are more than just money in the bank. There's a conscious and an unconscious economy, and bartering is alive and well in the conscious economy. One way to save money is by having a garden, and you can do that in a little rental space. You can also go to farmers markets and buy their seconds and put that food up, and I've met a lot of farmers who will trade you their seconds at the end of the day if you'll help them in their booth.
There are a LOT of ways to make money on this planet, if 12-year-olds can become millionaires I'm sure you can figure it out too! The one thing I've learned in being self-employed for over 20 years, is that people who are afraid to follow their dreams will always try to discourage yours. And, if you don't follow your dreams you'll always be working for someone else who did.
Go for it.  Worst case scenario, doesn't work out you go do something else 🤷🏻‍♀️
Best case, and most likely scenario, is it you'll do fine , and the thing is, it's not really work if you love what you're doing.
Good luck to you!
 
master pollinator
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Jeff, until you put a shovel in the ground, your eloquent words are leaves blowing randomly in the wind. My 2c.
 
gardener
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Congratulations on getting out of debt!

Why wait for some future moment or perfect conditions to start your new life?

You have monthly expenses like housing and food, can you not rent a place to live that has some ground?  At that point you can start farming!  You’ll begin growing your own food, maybe sell some.  If there’s room for chickens, you have your own eggs, and some to sell.

Every thing you produce instead of buy is a double gain, because you have higher quality food, and you didn’t spend money for it, except that isn’t really the point.  There’s a great thread about chickens and whether they really save you money….  it’s worth reading.

As you begin each new undertaking, you are setting out on an adventure.  You’ll have to decide what you are going to do, then see how it works, then decide if you need to make some adjustments…. get meat goats to raise for slaughter, decide goats are good, but hate the slaughter part, switch to dairy goats, milk them, make cheese…. maybe change your mind about having goats.

You will naturally end up improving the soil if you grow pasture or crops or garden, but that’s one of the only things you can’t take with you if/when you get your own place… if you invest in moveable infrastructure portable fencing, chicken tractors, portable sheds etc.

Greg Judy made a decent living by custom grazing other people’s land.  His methods were superlative for soil restoration and regeneration.  He grazed other peoples cattle on land belonging to  third parties.  Land owner paid him, cattle owner paid him.  Land owner’s property increased in value, cattle owners grass fed and fattened cattle brought good money at the sale yard!  One of his books is called “Come Back Farm”.  If that’s not the right title or I got his name wrong, someone will help me out and post more accurate name and title.  He’s almost as well known as Joel Salatin.

Your life is now, start now, with what ever small step moves you into what you currently believe you want, and take it from there.

Good luck, open your heart, be honest and kind, practice generosity and gratitude, don’t exploit others to make money.

You’ll do fine.
 
Robert Ray
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Jeff, bloom where you grow, the saying goes. Thelka's reference to using someone else's property is an option. Create a show piece raised bed at your current location to show your ability. Then reach out to others that will let you garden their yard. There are many current business profiles that do this as well as books on the process. It's not new. It's not something that couldn't be tended by foot or bicycle. Jim Kovaleski is doing this in his front yard and by bicycle in Florida now. He has some great You Tube material. He actually supplies food to a local market and all by bicycle. JSA Jeff Supported Agriculture you would share what you grow on their property and take your tithe to sell or consume. Manage worm bins at each location for them to dispose of scrap, onsite fertilizer, and again harvest the worm casings and worms splitting the yeild for another cash crop.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Robert’s post reminds me, there are others in that business, delivering produce to restaurants.

There is a method called “small plot intensive” or SPIN.  Which helps get your head around successive plantings. It’s been financially successful for many energetic motivated entrepreneurs.

Check it out!
 
Huck Finn
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Just another thought... What I really hear you saying is you want a conscious relationship with money and with your life. So do your art, your craft!
Ben Hewitt wrote a great book about this very thing, called Saved.  He's also got a couple nice homestead and unschooling books but more philosophical than how to.
Follow your dreams and listen to your heart above all other voices. Get your stuff on Etsy and Shopify and your local places.  
Do some gig work to support it in the meantime and just go for it.
You can always do something else later but this sounds like a cool idea.  Get in touch with the local dispensary to sell your pipes if your state is legal and just go for it.
Good luck to you!
 
Jeff Steez
pioneer
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Since posting this thread I have invested about $2,000... I am also offloading some rather liquid assets that I don't necessarily need and don't bring me happiness (such as gaming consoles from days gone by).

Next up is to make passive income... While also working on things that I enjoy now that I am not trying to worry about how those things will bring more money in.

Huck Finn wrote:Get in touch with the local dispensary to sell your pipes if your state is legal and just go for it.



I know it's 2023 and yes, I am a poorly managed millennial, however I do mean tobacco pipes! I have an affinity for cigars and am perpetually growing tobacco.
 
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You mentioned you grow pepper plants. I don’t know if this will be a permanent state, but nursery prices for plants have skyrocketed this year. A six pack of vegetable seedlings has jumped from 2$ and change, to $7 here. Tiny 2”-3” pots of herbs are now $7 to $10. Ornamental and native plants in 10” pots have more than doubled as well to $38 and up. It seems to me that someone could make a lot of bank this year just offering garden variety vegetable seedlings on Craigslist at a significant discount off the nurseries. Same with herbs, though that will take a bit longer to get them to marketable size. Ornamentals would be a multi-year project, but worth it if these prices are the new norm.
 
Jeff Steez
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Sandra Graham wrote:You mentioned you grow pepper plants. I don’t know if this will be a permanent state, but nursery prices for plants have skyrocketed this year. A six pack of vegetable seedlings has jumped from 2$ and change, to $7 here. Tiny 2”-3” pots of herbs are now $7 to $10. Ornamental and native plants in 10” pots have more than doubled as well to $38 and up. It seems to me that someone could make a lot of bank this year just offering garden variety vegetable seedlings on Craigslist at a significant discount off the nurseries. Same with herbs, though that will take a bit longer to get them to marketable size. Ornamentals would be a multi-year project, but worth it if these prices are the new norm.



I will do my best, I just sowed another 300 rare pepper plants. Nobody around has ever grown or offered what I have going. It's a learning curve though, right now it's a bit of a drought in Florida, so the soil preference for growing them outdoors is yet to be determined. Some might be getting overwatered, some might be in need of water, and I think I had too much peat moss since I didn't have access to sterilized sand and perlite is expensive. It's so hot and dry right now it's hard to tell.

I potted up half of each pepper into 1/2 gallon and 3 inch pots, and the 1/2 gallon pots, even though they were all sown at the same time, are doing far superior. I thought that maybe a more structured root ball from the 3 inch pots would make them inevitably outpace the spacious 1/2 gallon but not as of right now.

I also have my tobacco plants going, at least 140 of them. Pepper and tobacco, I can definitely get around peddling those goods.
 
pollinator
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How much money to save before proceeding to forge a new life?
None.
Do it today.
I feel like I don't know enough about you to give you detailed suggests, but start your new life right now. Don't waste a minute. If you want a fresh start, then start first thing tomorrow morning.
I'm American, so I get it, I know how deeply that "pioneer spirit" can be baked into us--the desire to buy a big enough piece of land to meet all our needs, be self-sufficient, check out of society, stock your cellar. I read the Little House on the Prairie series a dozen times between the ages of 8 and 14, The entire series.  
But it's my opinion the back to the land mentality is wrong--it really should be back to the village. Back the interdependent web of support that is an extended family, tribe, etc.
As I said at the beginning, I don't know enough about you, I don't know if you are in a long-term committed relationship--if you have children or elderly relatives you are responsible for. But if not, quit your job, sell your unneeded possessions and get a farmhand job, become a boot, intern at an ecovillage or something similar. Get working on that Skip program and find someone who is looking for an heir.  Don't waste another day in the rat race--in that really useless world we've created.
 
John C Daley
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Melissa

Don't waste another day in the rat race--in that really useless world we've created


I dont think I agree with your comment, city life seems to suit a lot of people who like;
- Tv
- fast fashion
- cinemas
- close neighbours
- town noise.
I dont, but they think its a great and useful place to live and have all their needs met.
On the other hand, you and I and others get joy from;
- birds in the trees
- frogs burping all night
- wondering why a plant is struggling
- being aware of the weather
My view is ' each to their own'
J eff its a smart move to grow things nobody else does.
Are you keeping notes of how its going so you can keep ahead with the good and bad bits?
 
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I don't know you so don't take any of this personal.  The biggest predictor of the future is the past.  What have you been successful at in the past?  What has held you back in the past? Are you a doer or a dreamer?  Do you spend more time thinking or doing?  Just as the story about the guy that started on a bike, you've got to start today and build the momentum of success.  Pick something, anything, and then write out your plan on paper and figure out how to get from point A to point B and then get busy working toward it every day.  I've known people who don't say much but let their success speak for itself.  And then I've known folks who are always "going" to do something yet it never seems to get off the ground.  You need money, we all need money, so get busy making it and then spend it wisely.  

I'll tell you what we did.  We got educated, got good jobs, bought a home, saved in retirement account, borrowed from retirement account to buy first homestead (180 acres), worked on weekends building this homestead (two barns, fenced the whole thing, sold timber and then rented a dozer and cleared the land for pastures, got grants from government to put down well and run water lines to water livestock, etc.) and then sold said homestead at a huge profit because we did all the work ourselves while still holding down a full time job and paying off that loan to ourselves (retirement account).  Next, we moved for personal/health/family reasons and bought a ranch.  There we improved the property greatly and renovated the house and then sold it, again, at a huge profit.  By now we were ready to retire and came home where we began.  Paid cash for material to build the house ourselves (and very nice if I say so myself) , 60 acres of land, and are in the process of improving this one with very little living expenses.  Along the way, we raised and sold animals, lots of animals, and simply had a blast living the life we loved.  We now live the good life, have lots of knowledge and still have the health and passion to continue trying new things on our land.  Success is a snowball that rolls downhill.  Just get at it, whatever it happens to be for you, and it will come more natural to you each year.  Become a doer, a do it yourself doer, and have fun along the way.      
 
See Hes
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Your words: "I will do my best, I just sowed another 300 rare pepper plants. Nobody around has ever grown or offered what I have going."

...you might find out that if nobody else hasn't grown them, they are prone to fail or there is a non existing market for them.
The result is ending in no pepper harvest or no buyer.

You Tube and Books sometimes are a good guideline to write a biography with the title: "So not"
1000's are YouTubers, because they need a side income to stay afloat. Selling a dream because it failed but they cannot give up anymore.

As a worldwide traveler and seaman, I had one Idol since my childhood and that was Aristotle Onassis.

https://www.biography.com/celebrities/aristotle-onassis

This biography might be a bit short and doesn't show at all the troubles he went trough.
But he was an entrepreneur throughout, never left a chance passing by, if it promised a coin and sure he sometimes made no friends by stealing an idea and make his own coin out of it..
AND he always was thinking big.

This idol made me:
Starting as a car mechanic, served in the Navy, did sell some funny stuff (from the "herbal" sector), planted Christmas trees, did flea market sales by emptying houses for free (that made a real good coin), became seaman and ended up as a senior manager in the wind power industry.
ALL without any great school education.

I only received a below average secondary school diploma.
School was not my interest and my motivation to go there, was based only on the interest, that I bought munchies in bulk at the wholesale store, which I sold at school doubled the profit in the lesson breaks..

I followed my interests, didn't accept "to be paid a salary", but decided how much "I want to make" or in other words "how much people have to pay me to serve" but also steady focusing on the target, how to make this income I wanted possible...
....and so grew the ranks like every entrepreneur does.

All the above was not what I really wanted, it was only to reach the coin needed for making my dream come true.

I always had an interest (hobby) learning all I could find about flora and fauna, only to reach my dream, living in a food forest.

I even developed a small backyard Aquaponics system where I produced (giving supervision while I was abroad) 200 Tilapia, 500 - 1000 Red Claw Crayfish and an abundance of greeneries on a small approximately 80 square meter backyard PER MONTH.

Today, exactly 30 years later I have my jungle, a safe pension and start to build a 10000 sm Aquaponics system for the family and as retirement project.

Pictures:
The Backyard Aquaponics was the first I could see via Satellite.
The Land we bought and created a lake for small money is meanwhile valued for 4.500.000 Baht = 135.000 USD
We bought it 6 years ago for 300.000 baht = 10.000 USD.
Annotation-2019-08-21-001754.jpg
Aquaponics System in our Backyard via Sattelite
Aquaponics System in our Backyard via Sattelite
Capture.PNG
Land with created lake via Sattelite
Land with created lake via Sattelite
 
Jeff Steez
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As I continue on this path of personal development I have further soul searched. I have come to the conclusion, that though it affords me the ability to save, currently, I will inevitably need to move from Florida at some point. I know I will forever be unhappy living here. I cannot lie to myself, I simply know it, I've always hated it, ever since I was a bit of a chubby child and was embarrassed going to the beach, I've hated this place. I've done my best to fall in love with it, made a true effort, but I have no attachment to this land.

It's ludicrously expensive to get started on my own piece of property, it's constantly hot and muggy, two of my most hated feelings since I sweat and overheat relatively easily (by overheat I mean just become quickly uncomfortable, I still run 3 miles in 90-100F), and though it's supposedly one of the freest states in America politically, it feels unbearably stifling for the "pioneer spirit". There isn't really a spec of coastline that isn't developed, I have nowhere to chop down a tree for green woodworking, land for hunting is sparse (which is why I'm vegan).

My considerations include Maine and Tennessee, though this move would not be for years.

The issue now is: how will I balance saving for retirement so that I can have stability in old age, and spend what I need when I need it?

I am considering restarting University for cybersecurity and programming, which can be done online for good money. It will eat up a lot of my time the next 4 years though with no income in return... I am still on the fence. In the meantime, I will just keep digging and saving. Selling everything I deem unnecessary, and trying to move forward on some of my interests. I have wanted to do hand tool woodworking for some time now but I simply tell you, there is no space where I am. It is not an excuse, this is Florida, where humidity is through the roof. Having wood bending and contorting for high end projects after torrential downpours cannot happen, and I cannot keep my leveled workbench outside, nor all of my rust-prone hand forged tools. I do not believe desiring a 10x10 foot humidity stable space for my pursuits is particularly unreasonable, yet it cannot be provided here. If I had even an acre of land I would hope to build a tiny house and a dedicated separate shop.

So, while I've made progress, I'm still at a bit of a standstill in how to proceed. I cannot say that I find programming particularly interesting. If I recall Paul Wheaton has a "programming website", no? I am learning German, and I suppose programming is a bit like learning a language.

I still feel a bit trapped without a small plot of land open to possibility. I just visited an acquaintance that stays here in a "shed" down from Maine, and is a bit of a pioneer, anti-government type. The entire tiny house was furnished for about $700 and by goods found on the side of the road.  Although an aspiring craftsman at heart, this frugal endeavor is appealing as well. This gives me hope that aside from utilities such as a well for water, moving onto land and living might not be as expensive as I imagine it to be.... if I am willing to convert excess cost to burden for the time being.

I have been reading a biography on Abraham Lincoln (now that I've removed my TV, I feel as though the realm of human knowledge, history, and humanity itself has been mildly restored) recently and as previously mentioned, I just cannot shake the early American pioneer spirit. I cannot and I will not. Nobody in our history has necessarily roughed it alone, everyone has usually been part of a community, no matter how self-sufficient one might have been.

I suppose amassing as much money as possible as quickly as possible, while considering the long-run, and relocating as soon as possible with a bit of cash to spare for shelter, is my current goal.

I have since ordered a pond liner to install my first small pond out back. I have sprouted and slightly grown Lotus lily pads and need a place to put them. I will never stop learning. However, I am just not the most ambitious or confident person (mostly due to a lack of money! If I could waste money willy nilly I would try just about anything)

I understand everybody has their opinion on me and my path, but moving from Florida to an acre or more elsewhere is, what I feel, my soul will inevitably need. How I get there, is therefore the topic of debate.


Edit: I am not normal, I believe I have been a subject of controversy and annoyance on this website, which I have hoped through this thread and my personal realizations, as a human being, I have slightly mended. I have been diagnosed with a few mental illnesses, namely legitimate OCD as well as severe social anxiety. Social anxiety in my case is not something to "buck up" to, or "get used" to.

The best way I can describe it, is imagine getting randomly drunk while you are interacting with strangers... Now, this is NOT what it feels like, nor is it that overwhelming and inhibitive, it is just an example people might understand. When I'm interacting in crowds and with strangers, my brain just turns to goop, I have absolutely no control over it. I can barely think sometimes with my thoughts bouncing around. It is not dangerous to myself nor anyone else, but it's akin to becoming spontaneously drunk (an overwhelming senstation). I am fully in control and aware but my productivity comes to a standstill. In highly social situations, I just get overwhelmed. Another bonus for the solitude of online computer programming.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Jeff,
I wonder if you have benefitted in any way from carrying these diagnoses.

The diagnostic statistical manual DSM with a number after the initials, I think we are up to five, represented by V, the Roman numeral 5, it is the source book for the psych-industry.  It’s a comprehensive list of all the so called mental illnesses formally recognized in the USA.  

It has lists of symptoms the professional identifies and documents.  If a person has the right combination of symptoms for one diagnosis or another, the professional can diagnose a person and can bill the insurance company for “treatment”.  In a best case scenario, the diagnosis also guides treatment strategies, and a person gets some relief from what is troubling him or her.

It’s important to note that mental illness changes from one version of the DSM to the next, and mental illness is different from one culture to the next.  What was illness in 1950 may not be illness today.  Will today’s illnesses still be illness in 2075?

Since receiving the diagnosis of OCD, has any professional helped you alleviate the discomfort (extreme discomfort) of that which makes them label you OCD?

The DSM and it’s diagnoses are largely just ways of cataloguing human variation.  It’s origin is in the WWI draft, some way to codify human variation to identify who would NOT make a good soldier.  I’m not sure that’s a fair estimation of wellness.  “If you can’t be a soldier, you’re ill?”  That’s not how I look at it!

This is my opinion from the vantage point of having an advanced degree in psychology and 20 years of professional experience in psychiatric inpatient treatment institutions.

Often times, psych diagnoses are used as an excuse to not apply our innate qualities, and so they become imposed limitations.  I think that’s really sad.

If my perspective isn’t helpful, then forgive the presumption, I just thought I would offer a different perspective on psychiatric diagnoses.  I’m sure there are plenty of talented committed psych professionals alleviating suffering, but not everyone in the field is worthy of your time, your trust or your respect or your co-pay.

You might want to read through the suggestions made on this thread again, maybe more than once, asking of each and every suggestion, “How can I make this work for me?”  

Best luck! & Best wishes!
 
Jeff Steez
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Hi Jeff,
I wonder if you have benefitted in any way from carrying these diagnoses.

The diagnostic statistical manual DSM with a number after the initials, I think we are up to five, represented by V, the Roman numeral 5, it is the source book for the psych-industry.  It’s a comprehensive list of all the so called mental illnesses formally recognized in the USA.  

It has lists of symptoms the professional identifies and documents.  If a person has the right combination of symptoms for one diagnosis or another, the professional can diagnose a person and can bill the insurance company for “treatment”.  In a best case scenario, the diagnosis also guides treatment strategies, and a person gets some relief from what is troubling him or her.

It’s important to note that mental illness changes from one version of the DSM to the next, and mental illness is different from one culture to the next.  What was illness in 1950 may not be illness today.  Will today’s illnesses still be illness in 2075?

Since receiving the diagnosis of OCD, has any professional helped you alleviate the discomfort (extreme discomfort) of that which makes them label you OCD?

The DSM and it’s diagnoses are largely just ways of cataloguing human variation.  It’s origin is in the WWI draft, some way to codify human variation to identify who would NOT make a good soldier.  I’m not sure that’s a fair estimation of wellness.  “If you can’t be a soldier, you’re ill?”  That’s not how I look at it!

This is my opinion from the vantage point of having an advanced degree in psychology and 20 years of professional experience in psychiatric inpatient treatment institutions.

Often times, psych diagnoses are used as an excuse to not apply our innate qualities, and so they become imposed limitations.  I think that’s really sad.

If my perspective isn’t helpful, then forgive the presumption, I just thought I would offer a different perspective on psychiatric diagnoses.  I’m sure there are plenty of talented committed psych professionals alleviating suffering, but not everyone in the field is worthy of your time, your trust or your respect or your co-pay.

You might want to read through the suggestions made on this thread again, maybe more than once, asking of each and every suggestion, “How can I make this work for me?”  

Best luck! & Best wishes!



It would seem there is not much I can do. I assure you, one of the major reasons I am on this path of wellness was because of the medicines I was put on. They would make me sleep almost 20 hours a day and I gained a rather large amount of weight, I was a chubby child and worked my butt off to become fit and this was not something I was going to accept. I can't say the medicines helped my life... Yes, they somewhat alleviated the neurotic symptoms at the expense of... well, basically my entire life. So for now, I deal with it and try to live as well as I can which obviously isn't particularly well compared to most people in this community.

One of the main reasons I'm so poor is because I just can't socialize no matter how hard I try. I can sit here quietly and think while I type this... But 99% of business or work is interaction, of course the 1% of people that have figured out how to make money in a near isolated way on their own.. I am not smart enough for that yet but I'm doing my best to thrive, another reason I stick with plants. They don't speak in loud noises, and neither do I. Also, why I am considering a return to programming. One on one I do just fine for a little, but when there are conversations bouncing around my brain just can't sit still... I listen to the background, I listen to the foreground, I scan between them... then I can't seem to listen to anything because I can't focus.

OCD, it might just help if I was able to get my woodworking going, because when you cut by hand the joints must be very precise, and then there is the skill of free hand sharpening, these fine margins excite me.

Anyway, I hate having to bring this up as an excuse, but it's a curse I've been plagued with for the past few years.

I must emphasize this over and over... The suburbs are a dead zone to me. I look at the major cities 2-3 hours away, and for $300/month I could have access to entire woodworking shops and blacksmithing shops in the form of "maker spaces"! What am I to do where I am? There is not a woodworker within an hour's radius... I cannot afford $1,800 rent, to install power, to buy the necessary tools and wood after all of that! $300 for everything I could imagine just a few hours away... How could I not be frustrated? This is one example of many. My zone is being developed, for who though? There are new living arrangements constantly under construction, but nothing of actual substance has arisen yet for the populous that already lives here... No new opportunities or jobs. I would have to be rich just to start to practice around here.... And I do not want to practice in makeshift conditions. This might be my "OCD" speaking but it's said "You play like you practice and practice how you play"... Again, I can't say that my desire is particularly unreasonable to have a small space to work and I am not going to feel bad about it. It is not an excuse to give up, it's just that I find it difficult to carve an outlet towards progression.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Jeff, I don’t know what I would do if I were in your situation.  It does sound challenging.  I will be watching this thread in order to track your process and hear of your success!

Best wishes
 
Joe Hallmark
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Nobody ever starts out in a top notch shop. Unless there is wealth involved which it seems you nor I have. You seem paralyzed by too many options. I think you should choose the path you feel best and don’t let yourself regret it. You have to think that you made the best choice at the best time that was possible. Let yourself breathe for a moment without thinking what if I had done..xyz. Focus on what you decide.

However hoping that side jobs will get you a homestead in my opinion is unrealistic. Find a suitable for your condition 8-5 or whatever. There’s lots that don’t have to deal with people much. Typically they won’t pay as well but if it doesn’t stress you who cares.

Take steps in the direction you choose. This will give comfort and ease up some of your mental burdens. Start with a small plan and accomplish that. Then move to a slightly bigger goal. Soon you will find yourself with confidence from your previous successes. Baby steps for the win. I 100% believe this. You need to let yourself succeed however small and then multiply that to future success.
 
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My personal experiences are not going to be the same as yours of course, but I thought I would share this as it feels like it could be related.  Since I was a young kid in middle school I wanted to be a professional studio artist as my career.  I did put in many long hours/days/years working to master the skills of art making.  What I failed to master initially though was my relationship with money.  

Early in my years on my own out of the parents home I worked one or two regular jobs, doing at least full time hours there, plus college part-time (I was trying to avoid going into debt), and also pursued my art career.  The initial pattern was that I'd work hard, living very frugally, saving all I could until I had a bit saved up, say a few hundred or a thousand dollars.  Then I'd be fed up with my regular job and give them my 2 weeks notice, going off to start my art business full-time.  In a month or a few months I'd see my savings had dwindled to almost nothing and I needed to get a "real" job quick or I couldn't make my rent.  So that is what I would do.  Thankfully I did try to always leave my employers on good terms, and being a good worker they would generally hire me back.  What I never really learned during this time was how much money I needed to make the art career sustain me.  It sounds like you may be asking a similar question, though not exactly the same.

What gave me the skills and knowledge I needed ended up being a book someone recommended to me, "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin.  It falls into the genre of books with Early Retirement Extreme that you already mentioned, so I suspect you too might get a lot of value from this.  Many years ago I was writing a monthly column on financial management for an art business magazine.  Initially they centered on things I learned from this book.  A while back I started transferring these old articles into blog posts, with updated comments.  I never did get them all converted to blogs before I sort of petered out on posting.  (I should get back to that!)  Anyway, I suspect you'd get something out of this first blog post of the series at least where I talk more about this.  

To try and sum up the book really briefly, it taught me what I personally need to live a fulfilled life, which is not going to be the same for everyone else.  I was able to learn hard numbers I needed to earn which let me know when I could quit the "regular job" and go full time as an artist.  It helped me get to this point much faster than I ever would have otherwise.  It fairly rapidly got me to a point where I no longer stressed about money, and has helped me progress to where I am semi-retired at a fairly young age.  All this on a relatively modest amount of income.

It sounds like you are already WAY ahead of the game in being debt free AND knowing how to live on very modest amounts of money!  For so many just getting to a net worth of zero is a years long journey struggling to crawl up out of financial holes.  I think you would get a lot from this book.  It's not just about financial management.  Really it's more about learning about yourself and what brings you fulfillment.
 
Joe Hallmark
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I don’t know how to edit but I want to say this if you’re wanting to grow plants. My father owned a nursery my entire life.  The things that made money ( water and soil is expensive) was thing that were pretty and typically tropical such as bougainvilleas etc. Pretty flowers attract lots of people. Pepper plants only people who were looking for them left with that. But if they were looking for peppers and saw a beautiful flower/ vine etc. Well I sold plenty that way.

 
It's feeding time! Give me the food you were going to give to this tiny ad:
Own 37 Acres in AZ - good water wells - 44% discount, only $22k!
https://permies.com/t/96159/Acre-site-Northwestern-AZ-sale
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