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Moving to Idaho IC, looking for permie partners (*edited* to reflect op's changed circumstances)  RSS feed

 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Hi, I am a geezer in a county with no stoplights. I am 6+ miles from a highway on nine shady acres. I hope to establish a cooperative organic and sustainable gourmet/medicinal mushroom and permaculture farm. Sadly, I am surrounded by timber companies who do whatever they want without much, if any, accountability (in legal terms). I, and a couple of neighbors (on 36 acres), stand against this temporary and failing reality.

My Faustian bargain is to use some diesel and grid power to build a farm, while this ongoing unsustainable paradigm still flails about. My goal is to be ready for a small group of people (members yet to be determined) to have some jump on the inevitable (if it's not too late for that already). I'm 66 and want to leave something of substance behind in the material plane that might be an ongoing benefit to those who come after.

At the moment, I am pretty much alone in my endeavor. It would be good to have some help. It's pretty much a scratch build and a pioneering process, but having a few advantages over the 19th century types who came before with more primitive means and obviously, far less foresight. Forgive them Mother, for they didn't have a clue.

I am at about 300 feet elevation and around 35 miles inland from the Pacific, four or five miles north of the Columbia River (all distances, crow-fly). I have a couple tractors, a sawmill, and a little pile of logs. It is sort of a permaculture and mushroom farm kit. Some assembly required. It will be roughing it, which is perhaps why I am still at this alone. Most people expect more these days. They have had it pretty easy, yes? I started here 40 years ago in 19th century fashion, doing the first years without electricity or money. Now I have a little of each. First up is getting up a large shop so my many tools can get to rusting less and producing more.

Well, that's the tip of my personal iceberg. It's never that simple, of course.
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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I just thought to add that I don't want to be around cigarette smoke or dogs. I have the beginnings of COPD and my cat and the local wildlife are allergic to dogs, even your perfect ones.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6030
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
399
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Hi, bob and welcome to permies! Sounds like you have the beginnings of a great adventure...best of luck!
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
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Welcome to permies Bob.

I'm in the same age bracket, and I believe that that has a lot to do with our attitudes.
We're too young to have lived through the Great Depression, but lived under parents/grandparents that did.
(Why do they call it that? Nobody I know thought it was so 'great'.)
We like fixing things instead of just buying a new one.
"Waste" was a word driven into our vocabulary as a sin that no good man would ever consider.

Perhaps, creating our own food forest is nothing more than 'reverting to a simpler lifestyle'...
...returning to our childhood, where every gain was won by ingenuity and a little sweat on our brow.
Didn't need a cell phone glued to our ears, a 400HP car with A/C and heated seats, or even a key to the front door!

Or, perhaps it's our way of repenting for all of the traps we fell into along the way...
...wasting a gallon of gas to go to the store to buy a Qt of milk/6-pack.
As 'things' got easier, it was simple to follow the 'easy path'.
Those ahead of us told us that "This is the good life.", and we believed them (to a certain point).

As important as it is for younger people to get involved in permacultural practices (they are the future leaders), I believe that it is just as important for us 'geezers' to 'dig in' as well. We owe it to the planet for our past 'abuse', but more importantly, we owe it to future generations, who will be paying taxes the rest of their lives to pay government debts that were incurred in our lifetime.

My children might believe that I am crazy, but I want my grand kids growing up thinking "The bacon & eggs at grampa's house always tasted better. There were always good things to eat at his house. It was fun being around all those chickens & pigs." Nowadays, most kids are so far apart from the food chain that they wonder how that big cow got put into all of those styrofoam containers. Or why they can't have strawberries in January.

Follow your dream. It's one of the biggest ways we can make a difference.



 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3386
Location: woodland, washington
82
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sounds like I'm not too far from you, Bob, at least in today's global terms. I'm in Woodland, Wash., the best place on earth.
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 376
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
11
duck food preservation solar trees
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Welcome Bob -- sounds like a great endeavor that many of us have in mind around these pages...

I'm over in Rainier, OR with some wet Columbia river bottomland. I'm starting to expand more in apple and pear trees on my place, with the challenges of growing them with high water table.

I grew up around the timber companies in the Coast Range mountains, so I can imagine the environment. Hard to negotiate or reason with a timer Co..

Hope to see more of you
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Here are some of my shiitake logs. I drilled about 15,000 spawn holes in over 200 logs, filled them with sawdust spawn and waxed them over in the winter of '2011-'12. I decided that I wanted to make a go of mushroom farming and wish to branch out into growing on sawdust. I would love to find a used cannery retort to use as a sterilizer for the sawdust. I will be saw-milling all the materials for the farm and would love to turn the sawdust into shiitakes and reishi mushrooms.

I have learned that it is too wet here, too much of the time, to not have the logs under cover. They need to be watered, but not to be wet for weeks on end, as this invites the trichoderma mold which is symbiotic to trees, protecting them from wood loving fungi (like shiitakes).
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Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Here's a little update on my situation: I am pulling up stakes and bailing out for an intentional community in Northern Idaho in Clearwater County. One of the close neighbors I mentioned above, my best friend, went and died of Camel Filters poisoning. Hancock Timber is decimating most of the land in sight of here, and I'm getting bumped out of the cabin I've been sitting for ten years and must build a new domicile. I don't want to look out at clearcuts on three sides for the remainder of my days. I posted about it yesterday in WWOOFers at: http://www.permies.com/t/28087/WWOOF-organic-farm-volunteers-interns/Situation.

So, it looks like I'm leaving Cascadia for the Rocky Mountains. My goals haven't changed, except that I have a giant move to make for myself and my tools and equipment. I want to trade an opportunity for a young Permie or two join me in my labors to create the world we want on a great land base. Nothing to take lightly. Not easy. If you fit and are interested in living a life of service to a community dedicated to our Mother Earth, I don't think chances like this are all that common. In that, I can understand that the person or persons for this job will not be that common in this world either.

I need to have this moving task completed in the next spring, leaving time to create two living spaces on the Idaho land for the next winter. I live alone with one cat. It's how this old man does it. I need non-smokers who prefer to live without dogs (there are enough dogs on the land there already).

=================================

A shiitake update: My 200+ logs began coming of age this summer. This is my second fruiting on my warm weather strain alder logs.
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Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
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Man, I'm really sorry to hear about your neighbor (and the timber companies who I personally would REFUSE to call neighbor) but I really like you're attitude (even for an old timer) I hope the Rockies treat you well. What are you going to do with all those shitaki logs? I hope not abandon them for the clear-cutters...
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Landon Sunrich wrote:What are you going to do with all those shiitake logs?


They're somewhat portable. I just returned from the courthouse with the new registration for my one ton with a new gross weight total (including towing) of 26000 pounds.

As for the timber company, I was inspired to write this as they were putting in their new roads, working on the July 4th holiday, last:

==========================================

What Freedom Means To Me Today

What freedom means to me today is that a Canadian owned multinational corporation can own a large majority of the county I live in and strip its hills bare and carry off the booty. They are free, free to strip the ground and drag trees over the precious topsoils of steep slopes. They are free to spray poisons over what they have stripped off in order to prevent a diverse vegetative healing of the injury they do. They are free to do whatever they deem the most potentially profitable in the shortest possible time.

This is my reality today as Manulife Financial, owner of John Hancock Insurance and Hancock Timber Resource Group express their freedom. As the world's leading owner of timberlands and number 181 on the International Fortune 500 ranking, they have considerable freedom.

John Hancock is that large signature on the Declaration of Independence. His name is no longer even owned in the United States of America. It is owned by an organ of the international corporate empire. This is no aberration. It is the norm. The corporate empire defines freedom, propagandizes the very idea of freedom. The truth is we are free to believe as we're told. We are told we are free. If I were free, I'd stop my valley from being stripped bare and the creek poisoned. But on this 4th of July, I am far from being free.

Today, July 4th, contractors of Manulife Financial are building new logging roads through the lower portion of the photo from last winter.

==========================================

Now they log around the clock from those new roads. The feller/buncher machines light up the night, out there at two AM taking another tree every few seconds. At seven AM, the chainsaws start up, taking the trees that are too large for the machines.
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Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants. And a tiny ads:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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