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Seeking a simpler life  RSS feed

 
Nick Stechschulte
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Hello all! I've been lurking a few months and listened to a quite a few of Paul's podcasts. What a wonderful wealth of information, i figure the least i can do is join the community and offer what meager input I can. I'm currently a farmer wannabe with a j-o-b that consumes my entire life and I'm looking to make some major life changes. My short-term plan is buy a 20 acre plot in Ohio and practice the craft of sustainable ag while keeping my job, with the goal of working for another 3 or so years to purchase outright a larger tract (60-100 acres) in middle Tennessee where i plan to create my permanent homestead and make sustainable ag my soul source of income (soul purposely misspelled). While i don't plan on homesteading in a way that may pass a 100% permaculture purity test (I find such judgements extremely annoying), I do see the value in nearly all the tenets of permiculture that i have heretofore discovered and look forward to continuing my education.
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Hi Nick, welcome

One thought is that 20 acres plus a full time job, equals way more than one man can manage. I would reccomend starting much much smaller. The beauty of permacultural farming is that you can do so much more with so much less. I personally farm 12 acres, sole source of income for both me and the wife, and it is more work than most reasonable American couples would entertain. We arent reasonable, so it works for us. Too much land and too little time means neglected situations, and excess stress. Quality over quantity will win every time.

And if you really want this life, ditch the three year plan. Get on it now. No excuses. I for one wouldnt spend three years working a piece of temporary land. If you have a dream, follow it, today. Tomorrow never happens how we hope.

good luck!
 
Nick Stechschulte
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Adam,
Thanks for the thoughtful response. It is a bit of a coincidence that I just stumbled across and listened to the permaculture voices podcast 06 featuring you yesterday while i was out walking the 20 acre plot i mentioned. Your very advice in that podcast made me start to question that 3 year plan and you've reinforced that here again. Perhaps i need to reevalaute. One thing i missed is that you've been able to do that on 12 acres, perhaps I over-estimate the land needed to create a profitable sustainable venture (both ecologically and economically).
 
Greta Fields
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Do it Nick. If I had it to do over, I would buy the land while working. Instead I worked 18 years to pay off a house near a college campus, then finally used rent and sales money off that house to purchase the farm I really wanted. I wish I had bought the farm to start with, but my family would not hear of it! They would say, don't you dare sell that valuable house near the campus.
I was 42 by the time I got a farm. I still had plenty energy left, but I wish I had started earlier. GO!
And Middle "Tanassee" is a greatplace to go. I am in Ky. We have more mts. but Tenn. is also great....you have the Smokies and the big rivers.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I agree that TN has some great land at affordable prices.
In your size range (60-100 acres),you should find plenty of them with year round creeks & springs.

TN also has very low property taxes once you get out of the city. There are few 'county services', therefore, the counties need little cash. There are also "green" clauses that drop the taxes even further. If you have 15 acres in farmland (or more in 'approved forestry management') you can drop your taxes by more than half.

 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 681
Location: south central VA 7B
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Welcome Nick!!
I actually like your idea of getting short term property close and messing around with it while you keep your j-o-b, although 20 acres is a lot of dirt! It'll be an asset for when you're ready to head south and it'll make your plan for your destination (I'm a TN girl, so good choice!) very clear and the amount of do-overs could be minimal.
Good luck and go for it!!
M
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