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Questions for the Michigan permies  RSS feed

 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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The past couple of weeks have seen some pretty disturbing news out of Michigan government. The ruling on the interpretation of the Right to Farm Law being one, the legislation to permit use of coal ash as a road base, some women's health/rights actions that are offensive (rape insurance?!).

I understand that these issues are political, but they are of great importance in their impact on trying to do permaculture homesteading in the state.

My wife and I would very much like to move back to her home town, or close vicinity, but the legal environment is getting frightening.

Any thoughts from people on the ground?
 
Mike Hamilton
Posts: 82
Location: north end of the Keweenaw Mi.
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Peter Ellis wrote:The past couple of weeks have seen some pretty disturbing news out of Michigan government. The ruling on the interpretation of the Right to Farm Law being one, the legislation to permit use of coal ash as a road base, some women's health/rights actions that are offensive (rape insurance?!).

I understand that these issues are political, but they are of great importance in their impact on trying to do permaculture homesteading in the state.

My wife and I would very much like to move back to her home town, or close vicinity, but the legal environment is getting frightening.

Any thoughts from people on the ground?


we are not too overly concerned with the issues
a lot depends were you land at[looking to land at]
here in the Keweenaw its kinda layed back compared to down state
the fly ash has been used for many years in construction mixed with cement and used as fill under concrete [100% compaction]
the farm law is directed to city folk in subdivisions with farm stock and is suppose to be enforced by local's
as for the other issue I take care of my wife of 35 years very well as far as ''others''getting stupid with her

Mike
 
Audrey Barton
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
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There's a fair bit of fear-mongering in the local and national press about Right to Farm, and it will undoubtedly affect some growers and livestock owners in densely populated areas, or those like the Buchler family in Gwynn, Mi (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdja89FRMT0)

Here in rural mid-Michigan I'm not too worried.
Like Mike said, it really depends on where you are.
Be choosy, and familiarize yourself with the community before you jump in with both legs (and your wallet).

We certainly have some political and governmental shenanigans happening, but we'll weather the storm.
Again, the media and those who inform themselves only by watching the nightly news can make it seem much worse than it is.
For example: "Rape Insurance"
It seems like whenever Michigan is in the news, it's bad news.
I promise you, there are a lot of good things happening here, too.
There are so many lovely, safe communities in which you and your family could settle.
Looking for a city? Check out Grand Rapids and Mt. Pleasant, or Traverse City if you can handle some serious snow.

Bad things happen everywhere, but not all the time.
I'm a young woman, and I've lived and worked in a drunken college town for many years. I have never felt threatened.
I spent much of my youth in Metro-Detroit, and again, never felt as though I were in danger.
My seemingly countless relatives are spread throughout the Detroit-area and the state, and have lived happily with no reported break-ins, rapes, etc.
Of course, it's good to be cautious.
More importantly, you should be aware of your surroundings and yourself.

Michigan has flaws, but it also has a lot going for it.
It's incredibly safe, when compared to the likelihood of natural disasters across the US.
The Great Lakes protect us, weather wise, and also supply us with fresh water and plenty of entertainment and tourism revenue to keep us afloat (pardon the pun).
Michigan is absolutely GORGEOUS, especially once you're outside of SE Michigan.
It's a great place for land lovers and those who respect nature.
Fertile grounds abound, with cheap rural areas outside of the cities.
Overall, the people are good folks and they love their state and lakes.
Friendly, courteous and relatively well-informed, if they've learned the importance of paying attention.

Any questions? Let me know!
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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I think there is a measure of misinterpretation on the "rape insurance" subject. It is not a matter of safety or fear of crime - it is a matter of a law passing that is so profoundly contrary to women's rights.

The Right to Farm ruling concerns me because I read it as empowering a developer to buy the farm next to mine, put up a house next to my farm and then use this interpretation of the law to shut me down - which, I believe, is 180 degrees to what the law was created for in the first place. We may not know until the cases start being decided in court, and that could be years from now. For people located in rural areas where there is virtually no expansion pressure from the suburbs, it's probably a non-issue. For someone looking at SE Michigan (Washtenaw County, most fo the wife's family is in or near Saline), the development pressure is a very real concern. Some percentage of properties we look at make a point of noting how far the property can be subdivided.

But thank you both for input. You are right that it is hard to get a good picture when you are looking through "The News" as your primary lens.
 
Audrey Barton
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
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You're right, Peter. I did misinterpret your concern about women's rights, transposing it into a fear of, well, fear.
There's a very outspoken and well-organized community of women's rights activists across the state.
Though they've lost ground in this situation, all hope is not lost.


In regards to moving to SE Michigan ... I wish you luck!
The Right to Farm debacle will certainly affect rural-minded people in a more densely populated area, or areas prone to new developments. As I said before, be very choosy when buying land, and look at the community and surrounding area. We bought a few acres just beyond the urban sprawl of Lansing, but in a relatively secluded area hemmed in by a large nature reserve. One of our Musts was to live at least 10 miles/minutes AWAY from any freeway or highway. It may lead to a slightly longer commute, but this lack of "convenience" will frighten off many developers.

To get back to your original question, my thoughts as one "one the ground" are to avoid the Metro-Detroit area, but that's based on my preferences. Being close to family is great, but would an hour-long drive be too far? There are good spots in Ingham and Livingston counties that might give you more rural room, and thus more peace of mind. There are pros and cons, of course.

So, take your time choosing your acreage, as it sounds like you're looking for a good chunk of homesteading land. And again, good luck!

If you haven't found it yet, the Smitten in the Mitten forum may be of some use/interest.
http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/13349
 
Mike Hamilton
Posts: 82
Location: north end of the Keweenaw Mi.
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go for south and west of Saline if possible

Lambertville and Dundee are too built up sense Cabellas built there

the closer you get to Ann Arbor the worse it gets

even Brighton and Howell area has been over run and everything east

Mike
 
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