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Michael Hansen
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
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Hello Everyone!  I've been lurking on these forums for awhile now, learning lots of valuable information.  I just wanted to thank you guys for such a wonderful site.  Over the past few years I have frequented several websites pertaining to the different subject matters of homesteading and I have to say that this site is home to not only some of the best information available, but the nicest people around.

My wife and I have 4 wonderful children.  Our oldest is almost 10, the boy is 7 and we have twin girls that are 20 months old.  We are originally from Alaska, but are currently in Florida looking after the In-Law's retirement home for them until they retire and move down next year.  Our plan is to then move up to the NW part of Michigan. (somewhere South of Traverse City)  My wife's brother and his family live in Traverse City and are heavily involved in their local agricultural community.  We will be buying approx. 20 acres together and helping each other build and run a permaculture farm. 

This last Oct we went up to North Carolina and attended a cordwood building workshop.  This is the style of house we want to build.  It appeals to all of our senses, notably our cents-es.  We will start off building a smaller cabin with a sleeping loft.  Then over the next couple years we'll add a larger cabin to it.

Our ultimate goal is to live off the grid and be self sufficient.  Over time we will be getting some solar paneling and a windmill, but it will definitely be Little House on the Prairie to start with.  The whole family is excited about our upcoming adventure.  We have plans on starting a blog when the time comes to document the building process and then the homesteading life thereafter.  We are still a little over a year away from doing this, but there is still so much more to learn that it won't be time wasted.

I look forward to learning even more from you fine folks and hopefully someday in the near future becoming a contributing member of this society.


 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
25
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
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Hello and Welcome Shamrock,

It's nice to hear of your upcoming adventure.  May I suggest you start your blogging/forum-ing early, before the move?  The prep for such a move will be just as valuable as the actual move and settlement.  So consider starting now and tracking how you chose your land, things you are considering, decisions you are making and why..... The pre-move, off the grid onto land, sounds just as exciting to me.

Also, we have an Introductions thread started under (bad title) Meaningless Drivel (should be Personal/Fun Drivel, but this is what is meant anyway).  After others have had a chance to see your introduction I would like to move it to join all the other introductions on that thread.  I hope this is okay with you.

Thank you for speaking up and introducing you and your family to us ♥ Welcome to Permies!

 
Michael Hansen
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
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Thank you Jami, feel free to move the thread at anytime.  I realized after I posted it that I should have put it in the Introduction area. 

I think I will take your advice and start the blog early, but I don't want to start it too early for fear of spending a year and a half chomping at the bit.  We had planned on moving this summer, but the funds just aren't there yet.  So we've delayed the process by a year.  I've decided to spend this time learning even more and try to keep my spirits up.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
1
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Welcome, Shamrock (after I've already conversed with you on another thread!).  I've lived in Florida, too, when my ex was in the Air Force -- he was stationed at Homestead AFB, south of Miami, for a while.  That was quite a shock to this Alaska-raised girl!  But I did enjoy the time we spent there.  Not sure I'd want to live there, though!

Kathleen
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
89
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Welcome Aboard!

 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
25
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
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Shamrock wrote:

I think I will take your advice and start the blog early, but I don't want to start it too early for fear of spending a year and a half chomping at the bit. 



Sounds good.  I hear you about not wanting to spend to much time and emoutions living in the future as it were.  However, you may want to write just a bit, journal style (like talking to yourself) saving the files, and not post for now.  This way you'll be developing the habit of blogging/journaling/posting before you have to do it.  Some of this 'thinking out loud' you may want to post just to get feedback or organize your own thinking on the matter when it gets closer to actually happening.  Just an idea..... 

I have a friend on 5 acres who started this with the whole family (journaling about their experiences) and now the two older girls have their own blogs.  Great teaching tool, personal reflection and writing skills.  So as the time gets nearer you may want to pull the whole family in on it again, just an idea.....


 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
89
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Hey, could this be merged with the Intorductions thread?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
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oh oh oh oh oh I live in the NW part of Michigan South "east" of Traverse City just East of Manton Michigan...so we'll be neighbors !!! Please contact me when you get a chance I'll PM you..

I'd love to keep abreast of your adventure when you move..there is someone from another forum HT that is moving just SE of Traverse City soon too..how exciting ..more land lubbers moving into our area..amen and hallelujah !!
 
Michael Hansen
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
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Thanks for the note Brenda.  My parents bought their house just outside of Kaleva, so we'll be trying to find a job for my wife somewhere in Traverse City, Manistee, Frankfort or Cadillac.  Then we'll find our property somewhere between work and my parent's house.  So far it seems that the best job prospects are in Traverse City.  She currently works for Best Buy in the mobile department, so a transfer in the future may be possible.  I am a disabled vet, so I am the stay at home parent.  It works out very well for us.  I can still get around just fine, but my back limits how long I can stand on my feet and how much weight I can toss around.  By running a permaculture farm, I can work at my own pace, take breaks when I need to and still provide for my family.  It's also one of the reasons we chose to build a cordwood cabin.  16-18" pieces of wood are very manageable, even the kids can help with that.

Over the past few years we've been preparing for our upcoming life a little at a time.  We've learned to make our bread and pasta from scratch.  Making butter, canning etc.  We got rid of the TV a couple years ago and couldn't be happier.  We still have the occasional movie we watch on the laptop, but definitely don't miss it. Our goal of self sufficiency is to provide everything we Need, and barter or trade for the things we Want.

In the future we plan on giving the kids about 1/4 acre each, to create their own mini permaculture farms.  Have them fence it off, build small outbuildings for the animals, compost bins, rainwater collection systems, etc.  All of this will be part of their home education.  They will be encouraged to sell their produce and animals to generate income and teach them money/business management skills.  It'll be a great summer job for them, but they must also save enough money to get started again the following year.  All of this they will document over the course of 5-6 years until they are ready to go off to college.  This will be great material for not only college entrance but scholarships as well.  Our goal is to make sure that when our kids are ready to leave the home, they will know how to build their own house and outbuildings, run a permaculture farm, and be self sufficient.  They can then go off and do what they want, but they will always have these skills to implement in their lives or fall back upon.  A heck of a lot better than being sent off out into the world knowing only TV and video games.

 
Valerie Dawnstar
Posts: 296
Location: North Central New York
12
bee chicken food preservation forest garden tiny house woodworking
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Hi Shamrock and Brenda,
I have a permie friend in Traverse City - Penny - who is involved with-  http://www.littleartshram.org/
It certainly looks like a great place for kids.  I've never been there, at least, not yet.
And, Shamrock.  I love your idea about giving the children their own little 'farm' to tend.
 
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