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locating Homestead Partners  RSS feed

 
                                        
Posts: 19
Location: Medford Oregon
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Anyone have any advice on how to locate suitable partners for a homesteading project?  My two basic requirements are: Vegetarians, and Non-smokers.  After years of frustration in trying to run this gig alone, I'm starting to panic because of things like the rapidly-deteriorating economy and potential for social collapse.
I set this place up as a sanctuary for critters and the people who care for them.  And while there's plenty of folks who sympathize with the idea, there are very few (or none) that are willing to pitch in and become a part of it.  I have made this offer to literally hundreds of people over the years, and so far no one has seriously responded.  It's weird.
Southern Oregon is really not that bad, relatively speaking.  We have temperature extremes, but we also have a lot of resources available.
I realize that most people do not want to risk losing their "comfort zone."  But when (not if) this economy crashes, most of us are going to find ourselves in dire-straights.  Those who are able to pool their resources and set up food production, alternative energy systems, home defense, and trade networks, will have an advantage for survival way beyond anything the city can offer.
It might be fun too.
Help me out here...
 
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I ran an ad for interns on the WWOOF and NEWOOF sites, had over 40 responses.  One kid was willing to pitch a tent.  If a full partner is not happening, put the puzzle together with whatever pieces you can find.  When I get my farm up and running I intend to bring in as many interns as I can, within reason.  There is a surge of interest in May as the schools and colleges draw to a close.  I've talked with people who have worked with interns.  They do good work, they have an interest in what they are doing, being young and strong is a big help.  You'll be able to sort of the deadbeats in a few days, put them on a bus.
 
                                        
Posts: 19
Location: Medford Oregon
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Thanks kpeavey.  Good advice for most "normal" farms, but maybe not something that would work that great here.  I have ads with ATTRA and other internship programs, with very few responses.  This is probably due to the complicated nature of the work I do here (soil testing, custom amending, & consultation).  I think most people just want to do boring routine stuff, like weed-pulling & product harvesting... it takes less creative thinking.
Last month I went to teach a class for a local extension program and had about 124 students show up.  It was standing-room only.  I ran out of handouts, needed someone to help distribute demos & flyers, run the computer, and help answer numerous questions after the class.  Where was my help
Ok, so I probably won't give up.  Maybe someday we'll have that community of agrarian homesteads many of us have always dreamed of.  I guess we just have to ride-out these next few years.
 
Ken Peavey
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I don't fully understand what you are looking for in terms of investment and commitment or what your objectives are, but based on what I grasp, let me throw out some more ideas...

Economic hardship provides all sorts of opportunity.  Entire families are homeless right now, plenty more on the way.  If short term student interns does not fit your plans, consider an internship/apprenticeship arrangement with a young couple.  Some combination of room and board in exchange for labor may be a solution.  With jobs hard to come by, its a means to an end for the young couple, gives them a chance at dignity while they search for jobs, and a skill to offer employers.  They'll be growing their own food, building their own quarters and energy systems. This gives them a vested interest in the place at the very least.  If they do find jobs and leave, they leave behind the infrastructure, and you retain them as part of your social network.

People looking to make ends meet will grow more of their own food.  Not all of them have enough suitable land available.  Renting space from you, growing food for themselves within your guidelines, mind you, can generate farm income, help the people, promote local self sufficiency, and get space developed. 

124 students showing up for an extension service class tells me there are plenty of people out there looking for answers.  Classes are all well and good, but are not necessarily hands on.  A larger project that needs lots of hands on can serve as a field class.  Its a chance to get that greenhouse built, or those 50 fruit trees planted, and they might even pay you for the experience.  Call it a seminar.

Sharecropping has been around for ages.  You put up the land, the seed, the inputs, the water, they put up the labor.  Share the crops, share the money, share the work any way you can come to agree.  With this plan you don't have to house and feed them.  If the investment is an issue, consider beans.

If I had a better idea of your goals, I might be able to come up with more specific solutions and more pertinent ideas.  I'm a carnivorous smoker so all I can offer is brainstorming.
What are you looking to do with your farm?
What are you looking for in a partner?
What do you have to work with?




 
                                        
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Location: Medford Oregon
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A lot to consider here...
Obviously we need to be careful about who we bring onto our properties.  Desperation can create some ruthless behavior in people.  I've had some theft issues here at my place.
That's one reason why I've had to get more selective about my requirements.  The main thing I look for with partners is their sense of purpose.  If they are too self-absorbed, they can't function in a team-effort without constant prodding.  When you lose that teamwork, you lose efficiency.
The purpose element is crucial.  It's harder to work with someone who has totally different goals than yourself.  Disagreements are inevitable.  And this may be my biggest obstacle in finding a partner because making money is NOT my #1 priority, as it seems to be with practically everyone else.
As "money" becomes less valuable in our deteriorating economy, I think more folks will understand this project and why I'm here.  Basically, I'm trying to set this up as a stepping stone toward a future agrarian community because that's what I see as the future for survival on this planet.
Thanks again there, kpeavey, you do have some worthwhile suggestions & ideas.  Sorry to hear that you're into carnivorous/smoking because it has negative impacts on health & performance (personal experience), but who am I to judge?
What we have accomplished here is progress in regards to advancing the topic and maybe I should start a new thread on this  Might be interesting to see what others have to say.
 
Ken Peavey
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"Opportunity" wrote:It's harder to work with someone who has totally different goals than yourself.



I would go as far as to say it is impossible.  Common ground is the foundation for a partnership.  Without it, you are just wasting your time. 

The Money
The recession we are in will continue to worsen.  Without money, barter becomes a means of getting by.  Put a hot meal and a bag of cash in front of a starving man, whats he going to choose?  If he has no possessions, he can always trade his labor.  Money is not the end all be all of human existence, nor the definitive measure of success.  Its a tool is all, and this tool is breaking down.  I work because they pay me, handsomely.  When I'm not working it is my chosen lifestyle and learning that drives me. 

Here is a link to ecoreality.org.  I've been keeping an eye on the place, making some email correspondence.  It's an ecocommunity having some results, albeit slow.  Might be worth your time to check it out, could give you some ideas.  It's up in your corner of the world.

I don't think another thread is needed, just give this one a bump now and then.

We are on similar paths you and me.  It is good to see.
 
                              
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Location: Central Florida
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My husband and I have talked about living off grid and self suff. And looked into groups who have the same ideas. We are looking at a 5-10 year plan to get out of the city because we want to. But we do what we can for now. It would be nice to find a family to co-op with or partner with when we can get from under this house and city. I admire you for trying to find a perfect as possible fit. I think it is very important for success in your goals. I'd be there in a minute if I could. Seems like a nice investment into the future. Keep looking and it will fall into place. Love the idea of field studies! Can I have someone come to me for field studies for solar? Haha I wish! I guess if I could get the supplies I could find the help from friends. That is what community is about. We need that more these days. Always have just more people realizing it now.
 
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Great advise kpeavey - create a win win thereby expanding your options, excellent!

Opportunity - you may want to be more specific on what your looking to create, it's harder to get bites with general info - IMO

Seems to me finding a TA for your extension classes wouldn't be a problem - contact one of your previous (gifted) students *grin* and design a win win for the two of you.
 
                                        
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Location: Medford Oregon
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To answer your suggestion Jami, it's really not so much about skills & resources as it is about philosophy & goals.  Like I mentioned to kpeavey, making money is no longer a priority because, at the rate we're going, money is becoming worth less and we really need to wean ourselves off of the mainstream economy for our own future survival.
So, the idea is to create our own economy based on tangible goods & services, from resources available in abundance in our environment.  People who are tuned into that sort of occupation could make great partners here.
But we also need to have a "vision" in regards to what we think the future would/could look like in a few years.  I have little doubt that the current "babylonian" economy is headed for disaster.  Still, someone needs to be there to pick up the pieces and re-build something better (based on lessons learned) after the dust settles.
There.  I hope that helps paint the picture a little better.  I could write a book, but not here.  Please forgive me, sometimes I just assume that everyone is aware of the same stuff that I am.  I know that there are still a few out there who entertain the fantasies that say "the economy is getting better... our politicians are on our side."  But nothing good is going to happen unless we MAKE it happen, ourselves.
It's just that simple.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Jami McBride wrote:
Opportunity - you may want to be more specific on what your looking to create, it's harder to get bites with general info - IMO



I agree here.  You keep talking about ideals and vision but the only concrete thing you have said about what this "partner" needs to be is Vegetarians, and Non-smokers.  Other than the ideals and vision of re-building a community after the crash, people don't know if you are looking for some one to do labor for your or be your bed mate.  What does "partner" mean?  Is some one contacted you today and said yes, when do I show up, what would you expect them to do when they got there?  Do they need to invest money in the project?  Do they get room and board?  What would the division of labor be?  What skills do they need to have to assist you?  What sorts of things will they need to learn to assist you?
Being able to list the expectations and the benefits will help people know you are serious and not just spouting ideas without a solid plan of action.

List what you expect from an applicant
and
List what they would get in return.
 
                                        
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Quote from TCLynx:
"I agree here. You keep talking about ideals and vision but the only concrete thing you have said about what this "partner" needs to be is Vegetarians, and Non-smokers. Other than the ideals and vision of re-building a community after the crash, people don't know if you are looking for some one to do labor for your or be your bed mate."
I guess what I'm trying to do here is step out of the "employment opportunity" mindset and attract people who have moved beyond that trap.  This is not a "job offer;" haven't I made that pretty obvious?
Again, it's not about specific skills, resources, money, and labor arrangements.  All that is negotiable based on each individual's capabilities.  It's sort of a "my sheep hear my voice" type of thing, I mean, those who comprehend the basic purpose & goal usually already have a pretty good idea as to what it's going to take to achieve it.
Maybe human nature makes us lazy-minded.  We want someone else (like Big Brother government) to tell us what we want and how to get it.  People want everything spelled out in detail instead of using their own imaginations and sharing their own visions.  And they want guarantees that eliminate any and all possible risks.  Guess what?... anything worth doing carries some risks.
But just to make sure I don't leave anyone out here, I will list a few "requirements" that any homesteader should already know:
Can you operate a chainsaw?  How about using a small utility tractorGardeningMilk a goat.  Remodeling a shelter to make it more live-able.  Answer the phone when a client calls.  Drive a 4X4 pickup truck.  Run slash through a shredder.  Make compost.  Collect eggs.  Wipe your own... well, I think you get the point.  I'm looking for people with creative imagination and personal initiative.  Laborers and "bed partners' are a dime-a-dozen.
So, it's really up to the individual, but the basic ideology has to be there first, then we can talk.  Those that have a bit more motivation would be offered more advanced assignments, like working in the soil lab, formulating custom fertilizers, creating PowerPoint presentations, etc.  The sky is the limit.
Wow, this sure went further than I ever expected it would !!!  But I really want to thank all of you who made it happen.
What a great blog-site this is !!!
 
                              
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They do say the devil is in the details

It is true that you would hope people could just "know" these things but without communicating a bit of the details, it will be hard to even get a bite on your hook so to speak let alone draw them in enough to see if they are a keeper.

It is hard to negotiate until something has been placed on the table as a starting point to work from.
 
Ken Peavey
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I was going through my notes when I came across some ideas about bringing in retirees to help out on a farm.

Retirees have a lifetime of experience which can be drawn upon in establishing and maintaining a homestead.  Many are eager to share their wealth of knowledge.  Useful, practical insight has its place and is an invaluable tool.  With their own income source, pensions/SSI/annuities/savings, the money is not so much of a concern.  Lifestyle, personal relationships and family most likely to top of their list of desires.  Oftentimes their income if fixed.  A farm of their own may be out of reach, the cost of starting up their own homestead or farm operation is prohibitive.  Health concerns may dictate they not strain themselves or get out of the polluted cities and into the fresh air of the countryside.  Lots of reasons for retirees to want to be part of a homestead or farm.  Just as many reasons why they can't. 

In my notes I have repeatedly come across housing as the greatest impediment for a number of projects.  If all you could do is offer housing, it would open the door to finding people.  Even if is was just a camper, it would be a place to hang one's hat for a season.  Its an opportunity for someone with limited means.

While you are not likely to get the grunt work you would from a strong, healthy adult at the peak of fitness, there are plenty of things that can be done around the place.  Tending crops, feeding livestock, cooking and baking, gathering, maybe working a farmer's market.  It's a fine way for a retiree to remain active and productive.  Being retired, I would not expect a 40 hour work week or even 8 hour days.  I would project they can make a contribution, help organize projects, work diligently and attentively and find pet projects into which they may throw themselves.

While interns may stay for a season, retirees may enjoy coming back each year.  My father comes to Florida every winter, spends his summers in Maine.  There are plenty of retirees who would jump at the chance to spend a summer in Oregon.  If they are coming back next year, there is a vested interest in seeing a long term project come to fruition.  Orchards and perennials come to mind as needing the patience and vision of a retiree. 

Old and poor does not mean useless and stupid.  Indeed, they can prove to be a great asset.  Staffing a farm entirely with retirees is not the direction I would go for my own operation, but this would be a fine way to round out the group and provide extra labor during high demand periods.
 
                    
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I'd recommend reading Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian.  It's more geared for eco villages, but the very first chapters lay down the law, so to speak. 

The big question is: Who owns the land?  If you're the sole owner, are you willing to share?  The person on the deed has utimate veto power, and you cannot have a partnership in the true sense of the word if one person has that much more power in decision making.  You'll instead get people who need a leader that wants to tell them what to do.  If you want to hold onto that ability to tell people to show themselves to the front gate if you don't like their behavior, fine.  But don't say that you're looking for partners.  No person willing and able to fulfill the requirements of living out the in the woods with you is going to want a half-assed deal.  Christian warns that people who inherit or own land and then decide they want to have a community are in the hardest position to begin the process.  It's easier for a group of people to come together with the intention of community, and then together they buy land.  THen it's shared from the beginning. 

If you are willing to share ownership of the land, then you really need to read that book because she tells you how to nail down your underlying ethics and beliefs.  That's essential to finding people who really do think like you do.  I know plenty of non-smoking vegetarians who would definitely NOT be good candidates for homesteading.  Something very deep has to hold the group together, and the decision making process has to be laid out from the beginning. 
 
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marinajade wrote:
I'd recommend reading Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian.  It's more geared for eco villages, but the very first chapters lay down the law, so to speak. 

The big question is: Who owns the land?  If you're the sole owner, are you willing to share?  The person on the deed has utimate veto power, and you cannot have a partnership in the true sense of the word if one person has that much more power in decision making.  You'll instead get people who need a leader that wants to tell them what to do.  If you want to hold onto that ability to tell people to show themselves to the front gate if you don't like their behavior, fine.  But don't say that you're looking for partners.  No person willing and able to fulfill the requirements of living out the in the woods with you is going to want a half-assed deal.  Christianson warns that people who inherit or own land and then decide they want to have a community are in the hardest position to begin the process.  It's easier for a group of people to come together with the intention of community, and then together they buy land.  THen it's shared from the beginning. 

If you are willing to share ownership of the land, then you really need to read that book because she tells you how to nail down your underlying ethics and beliefs.  That's essential to finding people who really do think like you do.  I know plenty of non-smoking vegetarians who would definitely NOT be good candidates for homesteading.  Something very deep has to hold the group together, and the decision making process has to be laid out from the beginning. 



I think that this is why many of the most successful intentional communities have been religious in nature -- the people are brought together by that common bond, and usually also already have their organizational/social structure in place.  If you start with the land rather than the people, you are having to create the bond and the structure from scratch, which is really difficult. 

I have that book, too, Marina, and think it is very helpful, even if only to help a person figure out if they really want to go that route or not!  I've thought about joining a Christian community, but at this point have decided that my local church is community enough.

Kathleen
 
                    
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The first few chapters of that book talked me right out of ecovillage or community planning for this land.  I'm in that position of not wanting to share ownership....and so I'll have interns until I have kids. 

And she does point out that religion offers clear and convenient beliefs that are consistent within a community.  "we want to live in the woods!" is not a deep enough goal.  I'm watching that happen over at a neighbor's property currently.  It's not too fun, even from a politely removed distance.   
 
                              
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I've always had that worry about "planned communities/developments."
At some point, some one is going to want to control/modify what some one else is doing.  Heck, to a large extent that is a problem with government and laws.  Sometimes old laws are need to be gone.  Other times laws have a good reason.  Then there is privacy and property rights.  Everything can get really messed up.  One person's idea about what is good for the land and people might be far different from another person and how to deal with those differences needs to be set out strongly and clearly from before the beginning.
 
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What a great blog-site this is !!!



Forums.

A blog is where a person says "I'm so damn awesome that I will tell the little people what I think and they will bask in the glow of my greatness.  Maybe I will permit the little people to comment on my greatness."

A forum is where anybody can start a thread of thought, or comment on an existing thread of thought.  An exchange among a community of people. 

 
paul wheaton
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My experience with interns and the like is that they are hungry for the more advanced knowledge.  All sorts of arrangements can be made.

I know a really sharp couple that have both been to a PDC and have heaps of experience building with cob.  They're looking for a spot with acreage where they can built a tiny cob home and do a bit of permaculture.  They would pay about $5000 for materials for this home.  Their understanding is that when this is done, they would get to live there for two years rent free.  I would think that this is an excellent starting point for all sorts of ideas. 

 
paul wheaton
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marinajade wrote:
I'd recommend reading Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian. 



Diana participates in these forums once in a while. 

I'll drop her an email and see if she would like to peek in on this thread.

 
Ken Peavey
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paul wheaton wrote:
A blog is where a person says "I'm so damn awesome that I will tell the little people what I think and they will bask in the glow of my greatness. 



That blog about the cast iron skillets is pretty danm good.

 
                    
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A blog is where a person says "I'm so damn awesome that I will tell the little people what I think and they will bask in the glow of my greatness.  Maybe I will permit the little people to comment on my greatness."




HA! Maybe that's why I prefer forums.  My blog was boring me.
 
                              
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Blogging,
For those who think their diary is so interesting it should be public.
 
                          
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I learn a lot from the right blogs. I have really enjoyed reading Sharon Astyk's blog for the last year or so.

And to make this tangent relevant--if I were considering going in with someone as a land partner, I'd be really interested in what their blog had to say about what they've been doing, what they plan and worry about, and most importantly how they want to appear to other people. I suspect one vegan farmer I applied to intern with eliminated me because I mentioned chasing a citified squirrel out of my vegetable planters with a broom. So don't knock the blogs too much--you can use them as a tool to help make sure your prospective interns [s]conform to your narrow ideology[/s] are compatible with your values.
 
Jami McBride
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  that's toooo funny.

I guess if your going to partner with someone it would be best to have access to their diary (blog) in order to get the low down on what your getting into.  Good point Kerrick!

I like the idea of a partnership with a time line like Paul suggested, or some other barter relationship that would be mutually beneficial with out equal standing.

One of the problems I have with 'communities' is that they want to sell a lot of shares with small parcels of land - it feels like a crowd to me.  So small, synergistic agreements seem more reasonable/manageable.

 
Kathleen Sanderson
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What I had hoped to do a while back (and I think Paul may have read some of the threads on HomesteadingToday) was to find some people who could go in with me on the purchase of a large parcel of land, and then we'd split it, getting a lower per-acre price for it, but each family would own their own place.  I was hoping for people with similar beliefs simply because I thought they'd make more comfortable neighbors.  I think something like that could work, if you can find enough people who want to live in the same general area!  Nobody would have any control over anyone else; it would all be private property.  At this point the whole idea is on hold because of the economy, but it's still something I might work on in the future.  I was hoping to get some families with disabled children together so we could help each other as our children get older, and take care of the adult children as their parents get older. 

Kathleen
 
paul wheaton
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My horribly obnoxious opinion:

1)  I'm horrible and obnoxious, so I don't think anyone would want me as a partner.  Oh sure, lots of people say they want to be, but during implementation, they change their mind.  "you were serious about this hoogle-whatzit?"

2)  My ideas are apparently "crazy" until they are implemented and then they are "obvious".  So in partership-ish things, my "partner" tends to shut me down long before I can get to the "obvious" state.

3)  In farming, you have to be efficient.  You have to gets lots of stuff done in a short time.  Often 30 tasks in a day.  Any task can be made to take 100 times longer by adding a partner.

4)  I'm sick to death of having ninnies that know 100 times less about what I am doing stopping me from doing what I want to do because of their own ignorance.  ("you can't dig there!  I mean .... you can rototill ... or you can double dig a garden ... but you can't make 'piles' ..." - "it's called 'a raised bed' and it is very common" - "well I've never heard of it and I forbid it.  just put it out of your mind."

And I got plenty more bitching where that came from.

Now for the other side:

A)  To do what I want to do, a full farm eco system, there needs to be lots of people.  And while there needs to be a lot of seasonal interns, I need some year round people that have some intelligence and give a damn about what is going on.  These folks are not gonna want to be my minions - but they will be comfortable being on equal terms with me.  So we will need a mutually beneficial business arrangement. 

B)  I just like being part of community. 

C)  A lot of my evil plots require many people sharing meals.  And you have a lower eco footprint if everyone is under one roof.

D)  If you have 80 acres and six to eight full time residents, you save a lot on tools if you share them. 

I have huge tracts of time put into the study of consensus, intentional community and communication.  And while most people who travel this path come to the conclusion that consensus is best, my conclusions are different.  My mission is seems simple to me, and sounds awesome to others on first blush - but when it is time to implement, damn near everybody tries to shut me down.  Consensus gives them the tools to shut me down ("dig?  into mother earth?"

So - rather than a partner, I would like to suggest that facilitate a business arrangement. 

If you're advertising plenty and not getting any of takers, then the rules of supply and demand say that your deal is not sweet enough. 

Are you familiar with "the homestead"?

 
Jami McBride
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
What I had hoped to do was to find some people who could go in with me on the purchase of a large parcel of land, and then we'd split it, getting a lower per-acre price for it, but each family would own their own place.  I was hoping for people with similar beliefs simply because I thought they'd make more comfortable neighbors.  I think something like that could work, if you can find enough people who want to live in the same general area!  Nobody would have any control over anyone else; it would all be private property.  At this point the whole idea is on hold because of the economy, but it's still something I might work on in the future.  I was hoping to get some families with disabled children together so we could help each other as our children get older, and take care of the adult children as their parents get older. 



I like the idea, I'd be interested in finding out more..... 

The only draw back I see is the spiting, usually large chunks of land are not easily split and that is why the owner is not 'developing' it himself.  So he sells it to (1) a person who wants the whole thing or (2) a company with the money and lawyers to change the zoning, have it surveyed, etc.

If you can find 'easily splittable land' at a sweet price you are on to something - don't loose that dream!

paul wheaton wrote:

1)  I'm horrible and obnoxious.



Well, there you have it.... The other downside 

 
                                      
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Opportunity wrote:
Anyone have any advice on how to locate suitable partners for a homesteading project?  My two basic requirements are: Vegetarians, and Non-smokers.  After years of frustration in trying to run this gig alone, I'm starting to panic because of things like the rapidly-deteriorating economy and potential for social collapse.
[...]



Opportunity-

I'm surprised nobody mentioned checking out the Intentional Community website - www.ic.org. They are the place I go to when I'm looking for intentional community. You can troll through their online Directory of communities, look at their "Community Classifieds" and their "REACHbook" -  "a public forum for people looking for community, communities forming, and communities looking for people, as well as a place to post about resources directly relevant to intentional community. Posting is free."

I often find amusement with some of the REACHbook postings, as well as the descriptions of the "forming communities."

The community directory allows searching by name, region, etc., so you could at least get a feel for what already exists and ones that are in the forming stage, like you are. If you've already got land and an idea, why not list your community on ic.org? A fair number of people intentionally oriented do look at that resource.

Good luck!

 
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Opportunity wrote:
Anyone have any advice on how to locate suitable partners for a homesteading project?  My two basic requirements are: Vegetarians, and Non-smokers.  After years of frustration in trying to run this gig alone, I'm starting to panic because of things like the rapidly-deteriorating economy and potential for social collapse.
I set this place up as a sanctuary for critters and the people who care for them.  And while there's plenty of folks who sympathize with the idea, there are very few (or none) that are willing to pitch in and become a part of it.  I have made this offer to literally hundreds of people over the years, and so far no one has seriously responded.  It's weird.
Southern Oregon is really not that bad, relatively speaking.  We have temperature extremes, but we also have a lot of resources available.
I realize that most people do not want to risk losing their "comfort zone."  But when (not if) this economy crashes, most of us are going to find ourselves in dire-straights.  Those who are able to pool their resources and set up food production, alternative energy systems, home defense, and trade networks, will have an advantage for survival way beyond anything the city can offer.
It might be fun too.
Help me out here...


Curious what general part of Southern Oregon you are in.  We're working on getting set up in an area within an hour or so from the Medford airport.  It sounds like we have some overlap in our goals and I'd be interested to learn more as there are many benefits to a local network.

I'll have more details after my scouting trip next week.

The thread about my family is here:
http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/2318_0/cascadia/setting-up-a-community-in-sw-oregon
 
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paul wheaton wrote:


Forums.

A blog is where a person says "I'm so damn awesome that I will tell the little people what I think and they will bask in the glow of my greatness.  Maybe I will permit the little people to comment on my greatness."

A forum is where anybody can start a thread of thought, or comment on an existing thread of thought.  An exchange among a community of people. 




Now Paul, I have a Blog, and it says basically I have lost my mind in what I am doing, but still having fun anyway... 
 
                          
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Paul said:

"I have huge tracts of time put into the study of consensus, intentional community and communication.  And while most people who travel this path come to the conclusion that consensus is best, my conclusions are different.  My mission is seems simple to me, and sounds awesome to others on first blush - but when it is time to implement, damn near everybody tries to shut me down.  Consensus gives them the tools to shut me down ("dig?  into mother earth?". "



I have a similar history. Both my dh and I have too many ideas. At first people love us, then it begins to drive them up the wall.  One former friend said, "You are just trying to make me feel stupid". 

I have concluded that some cultures encourage extremely contentious and competitive behavior. Others allow almost no contention and tightly control competition.  Still others have developed weird combinations of the two extremes. All are attempts to control and direction "human nature" because it just doesn't work, naturally. Imho, the species is going to have to evolve quickly or die.
 
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Hm...most of the vegetarians I know are smokers, although a lot of them wouldn't touch tobacco.

Maybe that's a function of being an urban Californian, though.
 
paul wheaton
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I wish to prop up a fictitious person to subject to my evil thoughts.

I will all this person .....  Steve. 

Steve wants to be a farmer.  On land.  Part of a community.  Steve wants long term safety and security. 

One option is that Steve can buy 10 acres and be a farmer all buy himself.  Maybe $50,000 for the land and $30,000 to build a home, $30,000 more to get the farm rolling.  Plus $2000 per year in taxes.  A lot of work and kinda lonely.

Option 2:  Ecovillage.  Common land, and everybody has their own house.  A lot of the farm stuff is shared, and there is some connecting with others.  $20,000 for the land, $30,000 to build a home, $5,000 for farm stuff.  Plust $1000 per year in taxes.

Option 3:  One idea that I just now thought of.  Steve leases land from Bob and lives in Bob's freaky big house.  Several farmer types do this.  House-of-farmers.  Each farmer pays a wee bit of rent for the place to stay and pays a bit to lease the land.  $500 per year for the land, $3000 per year for the joint living space, $5,000 for farm stuff.  And Steve needs to keep things smooth with Bob.  $0 for taxes, plus big cuts in the costs of food, power, heat, etc.



 
                            
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Opportunity wrote:
Quote from TCLynx:
"I agree here. You keep talking about ideals and vision but the only concrete thing you have said about what this "partner" needs to be is Vegetarians, and Non-smokers. Other than the ideals and vision of re-building a community after the crash, people don't know if you are looking for some one to do labor for your or be your bed mate."
I guess what I'm trying to do here is step out of the "employment opportunity" mindset and attract people who have moved beyond that trap.  This is not a "job offer;" haven't I made that pretty obvious?
Again, it's not about specific skills, resources, money, and labor arrangements.  All that is negotiable based on each individual's capabilities.  It's sort of a "my sheep hear my voice" type of thing, I mean, those who comprehend the basic purpose & goal usually already have a pretty good idea as to what it's going to take to achieve it.


Maybe human nature makes us lazy-minded.  We want someone else (like Big Brother government) to tell us what we want and how to get it.  People want everything spelled out in detail instead of using their own imaginations and sharing their own visions.  And they want guarantees that eliminate any and all possible risks.  Guess what?... anything worth doing carries some risks.
But just to make sure I don't leave anyone out here, I will list a few "requirements" that any homesteader should already know:
Can you operate a chainsaw?  How about using a small utility tractor?  Gardening.  Milk a goat.  Remodeling a shelter to make it more live-able.  Answer the phone when a client calls.  Drive a 4X4 pickup truck.  Run slash through a shredder.  Make compost.  Collect eggs.  Wipe your own... well, I think you get the point.  I'm looking for people with creative imagination and personal initiative.  Laborers and "bed partners' are a dime-a-dozen.
So, it's really up to the individual, but the basic ideology has to be there first, then we can talk.  Those that have a bit more motivation would be offered more advanced assignments, like working in the soil lab, formulating custom fertilizers, creating PowerPoint presentations, etc.  The sky is the limit.
Wow, this sure went further than I ever expected it would !!!  But I really want to thank all of you who made it happen.
What a great blog-site this is !!!



It is still quite hard to determine what exactly you are looking for other than the three very specific requirements: Veggy, no-smoke and share your convictions.
Let's try this:
I am a 33 year old male, Dutch but speaks English near native but with a UK accent. I have been a corporate trainer providing management development courses globally for 9 nine years so excel in facilitating (international) groups, instructing, coaching, communicating and the like. I spent 9 months on a BD farm in Wales, UK in 2008 while growing 123 types of vegetables (not including varieties), 3x poultry, pork, wool and beef. The only machinery we had were 2 40-year old tractors . The rest was done by hand but we sold to the most exclusive London restaurants and big name chefs and food writers/critics and also learned the market part of it. Learned most of my farming knowledge there and loved it. I attended the 12 day sepp holzer course in 2009 (together with Paul. Go to Wofati eco building page on richsoil.com, find picture of group of people posing for picture. I am the blondie, right behind Sepp and to Paul's left). Learned an incredible amount and still have all the notes and the books and really think Sepp's method is the way to go. Am currently working for a German energy giant doing training in customer services in The Netherlands

My dream is that of a homestead, alone or shared, as diverse as humanly possible but currently lack the funds to set it all up. Have been trying to set things up with a partner last year but that fell through. I am full of initiative, a hard worker and am told that i have a  well functioning brain, am social, kind and generous. Creative, persistant, a bridge builder, organised, good planner and recently learned to cook properly. I am very interested in permaculture,self-sufficiency, crashing economies, alternative economies, global current affairs and have been called a walking encyclopedia. I am even blessed with a good sense of humour but fail at maths. Would prefer working on/owning a piece of land in Western washington or the like.
I smoke (but will be quitting next month) and am a meat eater (chicken mostly).

Would this work?

Pascal

 
                        
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I have 80 acres already subdivided into two 40 acre lots with power lines running down one short side, a small dugout  about half  pasture and half bush, mostly poplar . I have horses on it at present but the fences are bad and the land was abused by a neighbor who put 30 cow/calf pairs on it without my permission before I moved to the area. (It was a shock when I drove up with my horses and saw all these cattle and the grass chewed down to sand.)

When I bought the land I was working and intended to work for another 5 years to  get everything set up but then got hit with relatively severe arthritis so ended up  without the resources I had counted on and now looking for alternatives.  I am in Saskatchewan Canada..cold and windy in the winter which this year didnt turn into spring until about June.  What I wanted to do with the land was make it as selfsufficient as possible, with various possibilities to earn some money possibly from a large greenhouse possibly a small stocked lake (have to be man made..I have no swampy ground but there is a low spot) with a small campground ,or possibly a couple of tiny houses as a sort of retreat. There are lots of possibilities.

There are no close neighbors and there are no restrictions on what I can do with the land, but the water table is fairly high so some form of composting toilets would be a given. (My decision, not the county). In spite of the power lines, I was originally planning on getting on with wind wood and possibly methane (but that was of interest mainly for vehicle energy.)

I am very interested in alternative buildings and am thinking about a combination of straw bale or light clay construction but also looking at paper mache..which used to be used for all sorts of things  including boats and observatory roofs at several universities. I am also intrigued by some of the buldings made from pallets. It is VERY frustrating to have ideas and interests which I am now unable to implement by myself.

I was considering some sort of arrangement  about land for labour, either a long lease or perhaps even ownership of  half of it but have not had good luck with unusual arangements in the past. so I am a bit "gunshy"..I had one person housesitting a few years back and I could not get him OUT  when the year arrranged for was up, I had to go to court.

There's lots of work in the area and so I was thinking some sort of balance between  outside work (for money) and work on the place (in lieu of rent or mortgage. ) Has anyone had any experience with such arrangements? I see lots of potential problems so haven't really done anything about this ..but ..time's awasting and damn!  I would love to have people with many of the same sorts of ideals, interests and dreams as I do living around here!
 
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I'm new at using this site--I hope I do it right!

Paul Wheaton said:


I wish to prop up a fictitious person to subject to my evil thoughts.

I will (c)all this person ..... Steve.

Steve wants to be a farmer. On land. Part of a community. Steve wants long term safety and security.

One option is that Steve can buy 10 acres and be a farmer all buy himself. Maybe $50,000 for the land and $30,000 to build a home, $30,000 more to get the farm rolling. Plus $2000 per year in taxes. A lot of work and kinda lonely.

Option 2: Ecovillage. Common land, and everybody has their own house. A lot of the farm stuff is shared, and there is some connecting with others. $20,000 for the land, $30,000 to build a home, $5,000 for farm stuff. Plust $1000 per year in taxes.

Option 3: One idea that I just now thought of. Steve leases land from Bob and lives in Bob's freaky big house. Several farmer types do this. House-of-farmers. Each farmer pays a wee bit of rent for the place to stay and pays a bit to lease the land. $500 per year for the land, $3000 per year for the joint living space, $5,000 for farm stuff. And Steve needs to keep things smooth with Bob. $0 for taxes, plus big cuts in the costs of food, power, heat, etc.



I want to offer something like Paul's Option 3, in which I'm Bob, looking for Steve. Except Bob is female, so Steve needs to be female, too, if they're going to be roomies.

So basically, I have the house and the land, but I'm working full-time and then some and don't have time to grow the growies or critters by myself! If you've always wanted to homestead, but don't have the land, let's talk--we might be able to work out a deal! I'm looking for $300/mo rent plus half the utilities, and help growing the groceries! I'm listed on the WWOOF USA website, and the name of the farm is Sweet Dominion in southern Virginia. If this sounds interesting to you, reply to this post or PM me! =)
 
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