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Broke permie newbie  RSS feed

 
Patrickf Smith
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it seems to me that everyone i have met in the organic farming and permaculture worlds came to it after discontent with their corporate rat race careers. after high school i had no idea what to do with my life. i worked a few different jobs making anywhere from $9 to $12 an hour and never enjoyed it. at 23 years old i had been working at a chain hardwood flooring store for about 3 years. i am not a money motivated person. i searched for a career that i could fall in love with. i decided that if i could find that job it didnt matter what it paid. after many nights spending hours on the internet i found the maine organic farms and gardeners association (mofga). through this organization i found a farm in maine to apprentice on. it was probably about a week before i knew i found the love i was looking for. mofga puts on weekly workshops for apprentices. the workshops that not only interested but inspired me were on this thing called permaculture that i had never heard of before. ever sense then i have been learning all i can about it. after the season was over i went home to northern michigan to earn money over the winter. i didn't find much work so i moved to detroit and found a job making deliveries for a commercial plumbing company. the best part about this job is that i can listen to paul's podcasts while i dive around. several times i have heard paul use a quote from joel salatin that i really like, create your own unfair advantages. sometimes i catch myself thinking that i am at a disadvantage. it can feel like there is no way to get from where i am to where i want to be. this quote helps. i am young, i am strong, my two best friends saw my passion and now they are apprenticing on that farm in maine, and when i was in maine fell in love with an amazing women from germany who i have now been dating for almost a year. these can be my unfair advantages. i am leaving in a few weeks to wwoof in germany for 6 months. i plan to keep a detailed journal and learn as much as i can. when i get back i need to find a way to turn more of these unfair advantages into money that i can save and eventually buy land with. my two best friends are now on this path with me. our rough plan is to use land we dont own to both make money growing food crops and raising animals. if we can find the land we can start a youtube channel maybe a blog. any thought, comments, or advice would be very welcome. thank you!

Sorry if that was hard to follow
 
Dave Burton
pollinator
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Thank you for sharing with us Patrick. Your openness and honesty is quite refreshing and appreciated. I read a few more of the posts you wrote on permies.com so I could try to understand what is going on. I am pretty scared and worried, too; I have college applications, essays, and visits to complete, and soon enough, after my senior year of high school, I am going to be ever closer to the real world. I kinda think I understand where you are coming from because the state of the job market, global, and local economies is pretty intimidating right now.

The only real advice I can give for you is that, "if there is a will, there is a way." I know it is cliche and overused, but the quote is mostly true because people usually find a way to get to where they want to be in life when they spend time planning it out. I say "mostly true" because despite everyone's best efforts there are sadly things, groups, organizations, governments, contingencies, extreme weather, and accidents that make things go awry and are better left discussed in the ulcer factory or on another forum all together.

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing more from you.
 
Patrickf Smith
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Thanks Dave. I believe the cliche is true and I'm honestly not too worried about it. There is no clear path to the life I want and that is fine. I'll get to where I want to be, I'm just hoping someone or multiple people on here will share things they have done that may help people like us find our paths.
Good luck with the post high school decision making!
 
Topher Belknap
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Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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There are a number of opportunities in Maine for up and coming farmers. There is a local teaching farm which sometimes needs a new teaching farmer to run the farm. There are plots of land zoned for farming only. The farmer's markets and food coops are doing good business. There are even a number of old dairy farms squeaking by, that might be willing to pass on the reins to a young upstart. It can be done. Good Luck.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
Patrickf Smith
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Topher Belknap wrote:
There are a number of opportunities in Maine for up and coming farmers. There is a local teaching farm which sometimes needs a new teaching farmer to run the farm. There are plots of land zoned for farming only. The farmer's markets and food coops are doing good business. There are even a number of old dairy farms squeaking by, that might be willing to pass on the reins to a young upstart. It can be done. Good Luck.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher


Thank you Topher. I apprenticed on a farm in Maine and found that there are a lot of amazing opportunities there. If following my permaculture dream means relocating permitly than so be it but northern michigan is home. I'm not aware of anything big in permaculture happening in that northern michigan and I would like to try to make it work there. On top of I have more support there, friends to help with big projects and maybe connections to get me on land.
 
BettyJo Jones
Posts: 2
Location: Central New York
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Patrick,
I kind of know what you mean! I'm working on getting started in permaculture in central NY right now because I'm attached to the location, even though it might not be the ideal location. I've been working on a local farm learning a lot and that can be a big push to get you started! I think it's right in line with the principles of permaculture that you don't need to have lots of money to get started - you work with what you have! I think it's a really great move for you to do the WWOOFing thing - I know many people who have done that and had amazing experiences where they learned a lot. I know sometimes it seems frustrating when something's a long way off and you want to get started right away, but it sounds like you're doing what you can with the opportunities you have right now! Keep working at it.

BettyJo
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I see Patrick hasn't posted since June. Busy in Germany I presume. For anyone in the rust belt, who needs a really cheap chunk of land, check out vacant lots owned by the city. I have looked at many that can be had for under $100. Sometimes they'll give tax relief if you agree to fence it and keeep the riff raff out. Get an old van to live in and buy a cheap lot and you are an urban farmer who doesn't pay rent. I'm speaking from experience here. A person who lives frugally like this and stays employed, can save a lot of money.
 
Hey, sticks and stones baby. And maybe a wee mention of my stuff:
Learn, Design, Teach, & Inspire with Permaculture games.
FoodForestCardGame.com
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