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Looking for a wanna be Homesteader  RSS feed

 
                                    
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Do you work from home and live in the city, or do you have a job that you can easily relocate with? Do you dream of living on a farm and raising your family surrounded by the beauty of the mountains but it is beyond your reach right now?
Are you responsible, and dependable and do you enjoy animals?
I have such a farm. It needs a family committed to keeping it as a farm, raising whatever livestock they enjoy, and gardening to provide for their needs.
If small scale farming is your dream, let's talk. I can maybe make that dream happen for you.
 
                                    
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The farm: 25 acres, Farmhouse updated and restored, Cabin on mountaintop in process of finishing, five barns, fenced 90%, good spring, small pond, river across street, small town, summer folk, near larger towns, great outdoor activities, great neighbors, fishing, hunting close by.

The land is in a private conservation easement and will always have someone on site, hence the two houses. It is a barter arrangement and not a paid position.

Over the years buildings have been broken into, trees cut, rare plants dug up, etc.. It is in the best interest of the conservation for someone to live on site.

I'm single and have no kids. After my death the conservation protects my rights and wishes forever. So for the right person this could be a life time thing if they so desire. My trustees will have use of the cabin for family vacations. The farmhouse will remain as a residence for who ever is watching the farm.
 
                                    
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I'm looking for someone who wants to live off the grid as much as possible, practice organic methods, learn new things and experiment with ways to help mother earth. This was once the beginning of a small community made up of friends with big ideas.

I want someone who thirsts for knowledge and wants to experiment and maybe buck the established rules a bit. I'm talking about growing tomatoes in January, rotational grazing, etc. I will share my knowledge gleaned, as will those around me through e-mail or phone calls with the asking.

Pets and livestock are welcome as long as you take care of them and keep them fenced in. I want to maintain good relations with my neighbors and they do not want someone living next door who is disrespectful. I also do not like getting calls that my caretakers pets are attacking their little dog. All animals must be kept up to date with shots and rabies, dogs and cats must have a county license.

I raised and showed Silkies for a few years, there are two coops ready to be put to use. A tobacco barn sits up the mountain and my horses have called it home for 12 years. Cows, pigs, horses and lots of goats have all called the farm home at one time or another.

I hand dug a pond, but silt has all but filled it in. I'd like to get some equipment in one day and put in a proper stream bed and pond system that could be use to raise fish and propagate plants.

 
                                    
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They would have use of the remodeled farmhouse.
Built in 1912, it was gutted and restored in 2005.
It has two bedrooms upstairs, one bath, a small kitchen with electric stove and refrigerator, living room, den with door downstairs, and attic could be finished off in an afternoon-attic is partially wired and insulated. At one point someone was going to make two bedrooms in attic.

House has septic tank, city water(had spring water hooked up for 50 years and it could be run back in), electricity, front porch overlooking river and a very large Beech Tree for a swinging chair. DSL high speed Internet is available.
Caretakers agree to:

Maintain the entire 22 +/- acres in a well kept state:
Without obvious trash build up either on the land or in any buildings.
Grass is to be kept mowed from the road to behind the farmhouse so as to give a clear view of the lower half of the property and the buildings. (+/- 2 acres)
Keep brush cleared from woods and trails.
Plant mixed forest from US Forestry seedlings provided on a yearly basis in areas that were logged.
Maintain 5 cords of firewood at cabin, its there now, just if you take some, replace it .
Pick up supplies as requested.
Voluntarily help out with ongoing projects
Keep people off the property that have not been given permission to enter.
Act as a steward and a representative of Natural Beauty Farm with everyone they encounter.
Keep up with their personal expenses and appearance.
Keep an open line of communication and farm updates through e-mail or phone calls on a regular basis
Maintain fences if livestock is kept.
Take responsibility for their own actions and any livestock that gets out

 
                                    
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Answers to Questions:
I was very frugal with my electric and it ran $19 a month for the entire farm, I think its running a lot higher now, the remodel did add a heat pump which the caretakers used exclusively, I had propane and a wood stove. City water is $20 a month right now. I used the spring water, had to go city water to get loan. Electric and water are the caretakers expense.

Living room is fixed up for a wood stove for heat, but there is not one right now. It was one of the surprising things I did get to keep in the remodel. If you cut wood off the property then your electric bills should stay low. Dead trees may be cut for firewood, but 2 trees have to be planted in their place. ( I cover that cost, you supply the labor) Land is 50/50 forest and pasture right now. 5 acres was logged of big trees and scrub left by the previous owners family and needs to be cleaned up and replanted. Brush and undergrowth can be cleared without a problem. Basically the caretaker and I just have to have a very open line of communication and plan things out a week or month or year if its possible in advance. Its pretty easy since I'm the executor of the easement.

House comes unfurnished.

Neighbors are great I miss them.

Me....
Me: 40, self taught IT guy, looking at spending a year or so as an intern on a dairy goat farm, before the economy fell I worked beside a service dog in the woods with youth who have “issues” around the country so I was only getting to visit on quick trips during the summer. Some winters I get to spend more time, but not every year. Grew up trapezing through the woods and land in 6 different states, know a lot about animals and taking care of the land and willing to share it all, but still have a lot to learn, spent most of my adult life living and working in communes around the country (think Asheville, wanta be hippy children not Texas cults), logged over 25K miles of backpacking, worked since I was 8, owned too many businesses to keep track of or count, decided at a young age to invest my paychecks in land, built houses for homeless families, remodeled 8 houses so far, built a log cabin, two tree houses, taught classes on building yurts and domes for low cost housing alternatives, lost two of the people I loved to a drunk driver, have no time for selfish individuals or people who take advantage of others, surrounded by an amazing group of friends, love traveling and life.
 
steward
Posts: 25161
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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So you might wanna tell folks where you are.  And maybe post a coupla pics.
 
                                    
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LOL, sorry I was copying things around and forgot that.

Farm is in SW VA, Damascus, VA, near the TN and NC lines.

House


Slideshow Link.....just CLICK on it.
 
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Don't mean to be nosy, but why don't you live on site and care take it?

And how much time/work do you expect - on those 'projects'?

Great post, and opportunity!

 
                                    
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Its kinda shotgun approach on the projects of mine. See post above, but basically I don't get to visit much, but when I do its to work on making the property better. When I get back to my job that I love..... being in the woods teaching kids full time again, I won't be able to watch the property any more.
 
                                    
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I am willing to work with the right people to give them a start. Life has taken me away from a farm that I love and now all I can do is visit a few times during the year. I miss working and puttering around the mountain there, but most of all I hate to see all my work swallowed up by the weeds. One day I hope to return to it and retire.

Some construction experience would be helpful. I started building a tree house that quickly expanded into a three room cabin. Plans include a 32’ greenhouse for winter heating, wood fired sauna, large decks for watching the river below, skylights for ventilation, recycled wood, hardwood floors, solar panels, composting toilet, greywater system, and an on demand water heater. I’ve been building and purchasing things as my time allows so right now there is stacks of materials ready to be put to use, so it would be nice to get a helping hand every now and again.
 
                        
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Location: Conway, MA
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Checked out your pictures...are those Belgians you've got there?  Do you use them for anything?  Who's taking care of the animals right now? 
 
Posts: 116
Location: Southcentral Alaska
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If I wasn't dug in so deep here and 25 years younger I'd be talkin' to you.
 
                              
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He doesn't seem to be answering responses, PM or otherwise. 
 
                                    
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Son of Levin wrote:
Checked out your pictures...are those Belgians you've got there?  Do you use them for anything?  Who's taking care of the animals right now? 



I came back after the last caretakers got a better offer..... they decided to move to a "cattle operation".
Belgians came off the slaughter trucks heading west. Some i rode, some worked, some pulled a homemade cart. Only have one old girl right now, she was a brood mare who got caught in a barbed wire fence. Farm never took wire out of leg so she is pasture candy, took me eight surgeries to save her leg.
 
                                    
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aquastell wrote:
He doesn't seem to be answering responses, PM or otherwise.   



Sorry only turn on the electric when I need to, otherwise I run the solar 12v system and the internet and phone stays off.
 
                              
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Natural Beauty Far wrote:
Sorry only turn on the electric when I need to, otherwise I run the solar 12v system and the internet and phone stays off.



How are people supposed to contact you?
 
                                    
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They are welcome to PM me or post here. I check in every week to 10 days and will reply then. Its Spring and everybody is busy this time of year. I'm afraid my view of time and rush is not in line with some people in the outside world and they will not be happy as caretakers here.

I have been described as one of my trees, guess it depends on your viewpoint as to if it is a nut tree or a sugar maple.
 
                                                
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Location: Delta Junction, AK
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Wow! Damascus is beautiful... passed through on the AT.  Also, the about me is really impressive for someone who's only 40.  It's sounds like you have an amazing life, and I'm sure you have a lot to offer the people/person who gets the job.
 
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Young and able, but not from the States Would LOVE to see who takes this project, and what they do with it - developments and experiments and stuff.
 
                                                
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I sent a message, however not sure if it went through. Very interested party!!!
 
                                    
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Last few weeks have been very busy here. Had some wonderful people come visit and check out the place. One sent her parents for the interview and to check it out since she was not able to make the trip last weekend. I'm really excited by the couples I met, there is a great bunch of people with community minds out here on the net. It looks like two families are going to make the jump and try to do something special here. Who knows maybe the old community model will have some life breathed back into it. I have been asked to leave some brood stock for them to play with which excites me that my lines and homesteading experiments will continue on the east coast. Nice Hampshire pigs, Nubian Goats, New Hampshire laying hens and Muscovy Ducks.
Thank You for all the responses, it has been a wondrous hard decision picking just one family, that is why I gave away my own house also. Wish them luck, now I'm off to make a compost pile in the desert.
 
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