We are a young couple (25 and 28 ) currently residing in Orange county, who are looking for opportunities to learn and practice permaculture in a hands on environment. I, Jesse, am a newly certified permaculture designer, and my partner Carol-Anne is a whole food vegan chef with homestead experience.
We are primarily looking at the west coast of the US, ideally California, though we are open to all opportunities. Our ideal living situation is one where every day we have a purpose building a future for ourselves, the land, and the community through food security, land development and education. We are looking for a home, where we can put into practice our passion for permaculture and self sufficiency, as well as have a safe and secure place to grow in character and nourish our souls. We are looking for a longer term stay, so that we can really integrate into the land and lifestyle, and witness the fruits of our labour. In exchange for our labour and love, we are asking for room and board. We are comfortable living in rustic environments, tent camping, ect., and we are open minded about other's lifestyles and food choices. We would also be interested in being a part of a farm business to bring in income.
Please ask us any questions you may have!
To give a better idea of our experiences, and what we may offer you:
For 4 months I lived and worked at a developing permaculture inspired food-forest and off grid retreat in Belize. It was my first experience living in intentional community, and I was exposed to the blessings and perils of sharing my living and working environment with the same (4) people every day. I was required to manage the household, which meant creating and preparing three unique whole food, in season, organic, high-raw vegan meals a day, planning for the once/week market shopping trip while making sure that everything was used before expiration, keeping order and thinking of ways to function more efficiently in the kitchen, and keeping the living spaces clean and pest-free. Beyond kitchen and household duties, I was taught how to observe the land and spring, to love the plants and seeds that I was to nurture, build garden beds, and came to understand the amount of time and work involved in order to become fully self-sufficient.
I have since lived and visited at a few other developing homesteads in Northern California, where the prime focuses were on observing the land, thinking creatively to organize space so that operations ran more efficiently, preparing healthy food on a budget, and the typical grunt work of digging, trail-clearing, mulching, gathering firewood, composting, and pruning. I have some experience with humanure and composting toilet system, round pole construction, hugelkultur, and wild foraging.
I have worked as a raw-food chef for the past 3 years, in a year going from having no experience to managing the cafe, creating new dishes to put on the menu, and producing mass quantities of food to feed hundreds of mouths for large events.
I am a skilled organizer, and enjoy creating order in environments that have been neglected. I am a skilled apprentice in that I am able to focus on the task, take instruction, and complete the job within my experience level with little to no supervision. I am a skilled manual labourer, and enjoy physically demanding tasks (food and sleep are so much better after a hard day!) that produce results.
I am a natural caregiver, and love to be with children, animals, and those who require extra attention
I have bicycled across Canada and down the west coast of the United States, living very frugally and rustically, in all sorts of climates and environments.
Since learning about Permaculture in 2011, I have been eagerly absorbing any and all knowledge I can find on the subject via books, videos and online content from the likes of Geoff Lawton and Paul Wheaton. In the summer of 2013 I was finally able to attend a 2 week permaculture design certification course with the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute. I have always had a designer’s mind, inventing, building, and fixing things since my childhood. Permaculture fit right into my nature, and I am currently working on designing the lifestyle and future in which I will be truly fulfilled. Not only fulfilled in the sense of a lifelong project of helping nature build an abundant world for myself and others, but the whole of community, culture, family, art, music, and spirituality that are encompassed by the art and science of permaculture design.
A large part of my passion for permaculture is a strong drive to teach and share these concepts with the world, however, the more I learn about permaculture the more I realize that I have so much more to learn. I am looking for a mentor who can share their knowledge and experience with me, and help me to more fully understand the ways of nature and the art of working with her. At the very least I am looking for some partners in learning and some land on which to practice this art. I am looking for the right opportunities to learn and grow, be they temporary or long term. In the very long term, I am looking for the right land and community in which to dedicate my energy and passion, so that I may have a healthy and supportive environment to raise my future family.
I know that I will never be able to learn and develop this lifestyle without contributing a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears of my own. I can’t, and don’t expect to receive the gifts I am seeking without bringing something to the table myself. The exchange of energy must be equal on both sides of a relationship for the cycle to continue, in nature, work, community and friendship. So with that in mind, here is what I have to offer:
I have a lifetime of mechanical knowledge and experience, a tremendous gift handed down from my Grandfather, to my Father and to myself. I knew the difference between a crescent wrench and a pipe wrench before I could read. I learned the proper use of tools very early on, and over the years have been taught or taught myself how to build or fix just about anything. I can’t claim to be an expert in everything, but I have remodeled my own house, fixed my own cars, and can consider myself proficient in many crafts including: woodworking, framing, plumbing, masonry, roofing, welding/fabrication, electrical, fiberglass (surfboard shaping and repair), drywall, and more recently cob and natural building. Anything I don’t know how to do I can confidently learn, and I am well aware that learning a craft starts with handing the master his tools.
Most of my professional experience has been as a mechanic. One of my first jobs was at a bicycle shop, and I can fix anything on a bike. I have at times supported myself as a handyman, doing household repairs and small construction jobs. My greatest experience comes from my 5 years as a maintenance mechanic for the Santa Margarita Water District in Orange County, CA. Here I worked on the street crew, maintaining a water and sewer system for 155,000 residents. I had the opportunity to become familiar with a wide variety of tools, equipment and processes, while working on everything from a ¾ inch pvc house line to a 40” butterfly valve in a pumping station. I worked around and operated all kinds of heavy equipment including forklifts, front end loaders, cranes, dump trucks, water pumps and high power vacuum trucks. I obtained a class A commercial drivers licence and am comfortable driving any size vehicle, although I no longer maintain the class A licence.
My years at the water district were a tremendous opportunity to gain from a number of master mechanics a proficient understanding of their crafts. I also learned that in many situations, like when a water main is broken, you keep working until the job is done, even if that means digging in a muddy hole for hours. However, from permaculture I have learned the value of prolonged and protracted observation, and how that can prevent the need for hours of labor to correct a previous mistake. I began to see the inefficiency and fragility of the large scale water/sewer system, while at the same time discovering that the money and security provided by the full time blue collar lifestyle was not worth as much to me as the time and freedom to pursue my growing passion for permaculture, and the lifestyle that it supports. I left the water district in 2012, radically simplified my life, and have been travelling and learning about permaculture ever since.
I started gardening over 10 years ago in containers on a small balcony, and since then have always had a garden in whatever space was available to me. I have done a lot of my own research and experimentation in biointensive raised beds and companion plantings, trying to get the most out of the small urban gardens I have tended. I am no expert, but I am proud to say I have developed a green thumb. I did a youtube garden journal of last year’s garden up until about the solstice, and you can see the last entry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUXoAFmr-iE
I am very interested in natural building and have been doing my own research on this as well. I have fully absorbed the Hand-Sculpted House book, as well as the Rocket Mass Heater book, and would love to be able to put this information to use. Cob wall building was part of my PDC, and I also did two days of volunteer work at the Quail Springs permaculture farm helping to install an earthen floor. I attended a 3 day lecture series by Michael Reynolds of Earthship Biotechture, where I learned the concepts and systems behind earthships and other self sustained housing. I have also done online research into the work of Mike Oehler and the “Wofatis” of Paul Wheaton. I feel I have a good informational understanding of the concepts and techniques of self-sustained natural building, and would love the opportunity to put in the labor necessary to gain a working knowledge of this field.
Over the past few years I have been developing my skills as a teacher and community organizer, primarily through my passion for flow arts and fire spinning. I discovered flow arts as an exercise, meditation and creative expression about 10 years ago, but spent the first 5 years spinning by myself. I co-founded a group called OC Fire Spinners in 2010 with the intention of bringing together people in my area who were interested in fire spinning. I hosted meetings and events, taught workshops, and spread the word about the group wherever I could. Today we have over 250 members and growing, and the community members have taken it upon themselves to organize events and bring more people together. We formed a fire performance troupe called Burning Sensation, which has performed in the Great Circle at the Burning Man festival in front of 50,000 people, three years running. Here is our audition video from last year, I helped lead the Water tribe in the 3rd act. http://youtu.be/u5d-x8mFmDU My goal is to be able to do the same thing with permaculture, in whatever area I happen to be living. I have recently been hosting permaculture workshops and classes in the Orange County area, trying to teach people about permaculture principles and get them excited to start their own projects and gardens. Here is one of my facebook event pages: https://www.facebook.com/events/285826441564782 I am working on starting a nonprofit organization called One Heart Fire with the mission of spreading awareness of permaculture. I would love to further my experiences and skills as an organizer and teacher, and learn from someone who is experienced in nonprofit management.
I am also a musician and singer/songwriter, with experience in recording and releasing my own music. I play guitar, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, didgeridoo, trumpet, and a little bit of whatever else I can get my hands on. You can find my music at www.oneheartfire.org
It's early in the season. Why don't you move to the area that you are most interested in. Find jobs, get established, rent or trade for some ground to apply your training and get started. It seems to me that the best way to succeed is to prove that you are serious about your quest and get busy and work hard. You're young you have some experience, if you are motivated and believe in yourselves, just get your thing going. There are huge opportunities for aggies with skills, ideas, and a strong work ethic. Mentor - shmentor just do it.
We have a farm with trees barn orchard greenhouse gardening areas horses goat sheep chickens and numerous native "animals" the land has never been sprayed or chemically treated in any way(at least not within the past 120yrs!) We would like to "hand down"
our combined farming, wild crafting, horticulture skills and knowledge. Also how to make a living with the farm. We have "permaculture", "off grid" and "hesteading" experience (one of us 83yrs the other 45yrs) we would like long term apprentices to pass down our combined knowledge and save the farmstead from "developers". There are places to stay, but they may seem "rough" by modern standards. There is power and water but not indoors. Our farm is located in western Washington state.
Please excuse the typos and grammer. Computers are not "my thing"
Have you considered the "Special" challenges" of Cold Climate Permaculture?
* I am in Central Ontario, have 32.55 acres Homestead.
* 9 meter (approx. 30') elevation from East to West.
* 50% natural forest, 25% water and water courses, 25% cleared.
* Plenty of wild life.
* Plenty of Wild edibles, acorns, sumac, nettle, etc.,
* Fruit trees, and veggie garden.
* Guest Cabin, not winterized but can be done.
* Barn, outbuildings and livestock.
Some Permaculture practices already applied, more to do, and more to develop for cold climate.
Projects on my list for this Season; * Outdoor mud oven/rocket stove Kitchen,
* Gleying of 2 rain catchment garden ponds,
* Attached lean to greenhouse,
* Methane production and storage.
Realistically, I may not get all this accomplished, it depends on the help I do or don't get, as "many hands make light work".
I am currently investigating the Jean Pain method of heating water, used in a closed loop system, to heat stock water bowl in winter.
Also trying to apply the design of passive solar air heaters in various applications in and around the greenhouse and outbuildings.
There are a lot more details, too many to mention here, but if remotely interested, I can fill you in.
I will provide direct email contact if interested.
Many hands make light work.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Thank you for the advice, Steve. This is sort of what we have in mind, move to an area and make connections, prove our skill and our worth, and find a permanent place in which to build a permaculture system. In the find jobs and get established vein, what we are looking to do is find "jobs" in permaculture. If I have to devote a certain amount of time and energy into feeding and housing myself, I would ideally want to spend that time and energy growing food and building/maintaining a house, aka working on a permaculture farm, as it seems to be the most direct return on the investment. This is the trouble I had with the blue collar lifestyle I talked about in my resume. I was spending most of my time working to make money so that I could then go Buy food at the grocery store, when what I really wanted to be doing was expanding my garden to grow my own food. It all seemed very round-about and inefficient. I have no qualms about working for my living, I would just like it to be a more direct exchange, less distance between my hands and my plate.
I am interested in talking to you about helping develop an urban microfarm (quarter acre) in west Costa Mesa in Orange County in exchange for room and board.. And certainly looking to generate some income. lots of potential. Best. o
Hi Jesse and Carol-Anne. I own outright a 23 acre homestead. I'm looking for a partner(s) to venture further into the vision for Sunshine Acres. I wrote an article for Countryside Magazine and it gives an overview of my situation. Search for Pam Silvis Countryside and you can read the article. I'm excited to create many things here but not as a solo venture. There's many ways to share ownership and I even have creative ideas for that. I'm in Northeastern WA, 50 miles north of Spokane. The property is beautiful with a 360 degree view. Drop me an e-mail @ PJSilvis@aol.com if you have interest in hearing more thoughts and information.
I have a 8.5 acre natural farm in Southern Louisiana. I'm trying to expand get into production and would like someone to work with me for exchamge for room and board. We can explore other options after we see if things work out. I travel to LA for weeks at a time and am looking for some to share a 5 bedroom house with me and hold down the fort while I'm away. I could use the help planning and implementing a working farm. I am 60 miles from New Orleans. Things are easy and laid back in this area. I am inspired by Fukuoka and forest garden approaches. Currently I have a mature orchard producing satsuma, navel orange, cumquat, red and white mulberry, and still planting many other species. Marketing options to sell to local coop or put together our own CSA. Welcome to eat as much from the land as you can fill and even a personal garden if you wish. I plan to have bees in the near future also. I have a vision that enough food can be grown here to take care of all our needs and many other people. I' m a RN and a Practioner of Reams Biological theory of ionization of human health and would like to apply his principles to the soil to help change the health of people in the area.
The property is on the Bayou and also has a 2.5 acre pond that is great for fishing and swimming after a long day in the dirt. Household is vegetarian but respectful of others choices.as long as it is not cooked in the house. I have 2 big lovable Portuguese Water Dogs that need love and attention when I'm away.
I 've been away from the farm for 8 years and have been living in LA and have returned to do what I dream about ....while I talk about it in LA. I'm ready for company that is hard working, up beat, happy, and kind.
Best of luck finding a perfect match,
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