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Aging in place with permaculture  RSS feed

 
Posts: 24
Location: Daytona Beach FL
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Honestly? The absolute, hands-down most important "design element" I can suggest, for people who want to "age in place" on a remote/rural site is ... PEOPLE. More folks living on your land than just you, the one or two owners. As you get older, this will surely become more and more important. Even just strictly for safety reasons and to share the workload. But just as importantly, for companionship too.
 
Jenny Nazak
Posts: 24
Location: Daytona Beach FL
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(My reply got swallowed up so I'm trying to retype from memory. Please pardon me in advance for being repetitive, if my previous reply ends up also being posted.)

For folks who want to "age in place" on rural/remote sites, the single most important design element I can think of is ... PEOPLE. More than just the one or two of you.
I realize that some folks like to live alone or with just one other person and that is why they move out to the boonies in the first place, but I feel it would optimize your setup, as you get old-old, if you were to have at least one or two more people living out there with you.

This will become more and more important the older you get. Of course, additional residents would be a plus for safety reasons and to share the workload, but just as importantly, for companionship and community. Sounds like you have no children or other family who'd share ... No worries, you could connect with some other young people who'd welcome the opportunity to work/live on a small plot of land and help out their elders.

Who knows, you might even find a young couple with kids, or a baby on the way! That could be a sweet way to age in place, with a small "surrogate family" of helpers.
 
master pollinator
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As it turns out, more people on the land probably isn't going to happen for us.  My husband pretty much quashed the land share idea because there's no way to do it affordably plus he's very aware of the massive peril involved with intentional community.  Plus we already experienced a failed land sharing thing with a business on our land which got abandoned when the business owner became ill.  


 
Posts: 24
Location: Southern Alberta
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Having a daughter that could possibly be looking at the live in caretaker arrangements, I have a major fear.  Say she does 5-10 years working with your property and building it into something better.  Whats to prevent your family from ejecting her from and/or selling the land when you become incapacitated or pass on?  Anyone have stories of successful succession?

Ken
 
Posts: 103
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
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This is where you need a Living Will. See a lawyer. A living will clearly outlines your wishes if you are unable to communicate your wishes. Ie resuscitation or not etc. plus your lawyer can safe guard your land and who can look after you. It's worth the peace of mind. If you go the route of power of autourney then make sure you trust that person/s as they can overturn any decision. I personally would have 3 people, inc the lawyer! . Much safer. And stops family arguments. I am a social worker in this area. And I have seen family disasters because there was no legal plan in place.

Ps I believe we are facing a huge issue of isolated seniors in cities and the bush dying and not being found for weeks/ years. We need to build safe guards. You must belong to clubs, groups, church.. Anything! The Red Cross in Australia has a free phone system that you can join and they will ring you regularly to check you are ok. If no response after a number of calls, they will ring the police.
 
Jenny Nazak
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I would think that sharing would make it MORE affordable, not less.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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I don't see how it could be more affordable.  There's no place for other people to live here, another house would have to be built, and by deed restriction would need to be at least 750 square feet.  Though this could possibly be got around with tiny houses on wheels, yurts, or tipis, most people don't actually want to live in those, they want a house.  
 
pollinator
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Tyler

Thanks for this topic.

>people

Come in all shapes. Seems to me that something sorta like the 4-H scenario I saw posted way back would be one obvious way to get people. Something like that, that necessarily exactly the same. People don't have to get planted as long as they're regular and others follow on when somebody leaves. Kinda the teacher/student thing where the kids never stay, but they're always there and the teacher is part of a bigger community.


Cheers

Rufus
 
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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I've followed this thread for awhile now. Tyler, you know I'm a huge fan! You always keep things relatable and make me think. Thanks!
On this particular topic, I've thought this through before. The conclusion I always come to is..... I'm screwed.
There is no recognition of permaculture zones in place on my property, nor fung shei in my home to make things flow easier as I age. The sad effects of the aging process (and unfortunate medical diagnosis) have already grabbed, stomped on and snuffed the oomph out of my energetic youth and once tireless drive . I am beyond the stage of being physically and mentally able to create my self-sufficient/easier maintenance living space to retire to into my sunset years. My daily work demands far out weight my stamina at this point in my life, giving age and health concerns, yet I still try to accomplish what I can. Let this be a life lesson for those who still have their abilities/facilities, prepare for what may be your future. You may THINK that you have as many years as you want to prepare, but at my age, I thought I did too. I'll keep pushing every day, but I don't know what tomorrow holds.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Karen, thank you so much. I empathize with what you say.  I figure I'm screwed too and my best hope is to die relatively young.  I don't know how to get people to come here and grow stuff.  There's nothing here especially to attract folks.  I'm the opposite of a people person.  The land isn't especially beautiful or productive, etc.  So, no way to make an attractive "sales pitch."  The thing I most want to do is somehow help other people avoid the mistakes I've made, and get them to apply permaculture design to their land from the beginning, which I did not know how to do.  It is much more difficult to implement it later on, and may seem impossible if one doesn't have physical strength or financial reserves.


 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
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We should start another thread called " If I Knew Then What I Know Now". There's so much I would change in the paths that lead me to here. I agree with you that it is harder to make changes later on. Start in a permaculture direction and the path is much smoother and allows for smaller changes with greater impact along the way.
We are not trying to be the doom and gloom club here, just the realists who want the younger generation to open their eyes now.
I'm reminded of the Serenity prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

The wisdom comes from the teachings of the methodology and principles of permaculture practices for a sustainable "whole-life" system. I wish I hadn't been late to the game on this one.
 
gardener
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I have been doing this for awhile now. I'm 53. We currently have a little too much fruit for ourselves. I will be grafting for storage fruit and sharing. We have a network in our suburban community where we trade vegies/fruit/prepared food.  I have been growing medicine for awhile. Lots of shiitakes on the deck now, ready for harvest. Many herbs are super easy to grow and if you can figure out how to do tinctures (not hard), you've got good medicine. You can also just use herbs as tea or food.  We look forward to eventually being able to bike more places and take them on public transit, more time for sailing, hang gliding, kayaking, clamming, crabbing, etc.  There are many good remedies for arthritis: Check people's pharmacy for gin raisins and purple pectin. I used to have arthritis but since using them, I don't any longer. I play 3 hours of baseball, not softball with 25 year olds every Saturday.  It works. I lead the league in stolen bases and bunt base hits.  Try it. I also skateboard and unicycle. Grow medicine and engage with community-excellent advice people.
John S
PDX OR
 
Posts: 156
Location: Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
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Wow, good topic!  I'm 56, have a rather "delicate" constitution do to allergies and EDS, and I'm poor as can be.  I'm in a small apt., with no land.  I do have a plot in a community garden. Last 2 years,  I've been experimenting with making my plot all perennials.  It's pretty small: about 40 sq. ft.  So far, I have a blueberry, 2 grapes, sage, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, 4 asparagus, a prickly pear, scarlet runners and alpine strawberries.  I'm thinking of taking out the strawberries (I've already divided a bunch and put them in common areas).  I have to say I've found them dissapointing.  

I bought seeds for woad, strawberry spinach, good King Henry, St. Johnswort, and soapwort.   I'm looking into more medicinal herbs.  I just put in some garlic between the asparagus.

It's not much.  I'm also thinking about seeding the embankment across the street with medicinals.  It's hard, though, because we have 5-7 months of no rain at all here, and the rain we get comes in the winter.   I find it a difficult climate to do anything in if you have no access to irrigation.

My biggest fear is that I'll soon be too infirm to do much of anything; get nipped in the bud, so to speak, before I can even get started.  It's frustrating and makes me depressed.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I wish I were more able to grow medicinal plants.  I've had some good years, but now at a lull.  It's difficult to keep things alive through droughts here and I lost many things in our big drought the other year/s.  The resilience of permaculture systems has so far eluded me.  I don't yet have that sense of stability and security one is supposed to have.  The ideas of permaculture are helping, but practically I'm not there yet.  I took a big step today when we gave the sheep away to a fellow permie.  I wasn't able to take care of them properly anymore and was getting very stressed out about it.  I'm trying to simplify and downsize.
 
Rufus Laggren
pollinator
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> gave sheep away

Yes, it's good to sometimes decide and take action to remove and move on from something that isn't working well. Clears space to be able to see what-all else is going on..

>  downsize

Seems to me "downsizing" can be good on occasion. Anyway it's a part of life...

> supposed to have...

Tyler!!!   Well, at least that sh...d word didn't materialize. Looked like a close call there. Don't know What we would have Done! Well, anyway I hope nature is doing _something_ right in your neck of the woods, cuz you definitely did something right starting this thread that everybody has something to say about.

Take care.

Rufus

 
Posts: 121
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I'm personally interested in aging in place here on the land, and have no intention of selling and moving at any time.  My husband and I are middle-aged, reasonably active but with some health problems that might get worse with age - mostly achey pains.  I'm trying to think ahead to when we're older and even creakier, and want to try to work toward a design which will accommodate limited mobility.  What permaculture design ideas should I keep in mind and begin to implement which would be most helpful to aging in place?  Rather than ask for specific design advice about our place at the beginning of this topic, I'd like to keep the ideas general and widely applicable at first.  Maybe later in the thread I can ask for specific advice about my own design?



First advice. Take up stretching exercises every day. And practice balance. A lot of aches and pains will go away and you will remain fairly mobile much later in life if you do.
 
pollinator
Posts: 971
Location: Longbranch, WA
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supposed to have.  The ideas of permaculture are helping, but practically I'm not there yet.


I dont think we are ever "there" it is always a journey.  It is tempting to think that other permaculture designs have some feature that we are supposed to have that also. That is not true each design is unique to the individuals and the land. Some may say my fields ar supposed to have animals to harvest the grass. What works for my circumstances: the grass harvests the sun and rain and feeds the soil. I harvest the biomass directly and apply it as mulch to my crops.
If someone takes on my extra 5 acres the field is available for their livestock.  
 
Posts: 9
Location: Beckenham, Kent, England, UK
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I'm 55 and have ME/CFS, so this has been on my mind for a while. Top of my thinking is to plant in a way that won't suffer if I'm bed-bound for a few weeks, will still produce for when I'm back out there, and will self-sustain. So lots of trees and shrubs, water-retaining soil, self-seeding polycultures. green manures. In theory, no matter how chaotic the garden looks for a while, there will still be plenty to eat.
 
Posts: 288
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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On thing that I wish I had done was to start all of my bee keeping with 8 frame mediums. Hindsight from Michael Bush's the Practical Beekeeper
 
Posts: 58
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My husband died 6 years ago at 61 right before retiring I am now 69 and manage the homestead .Because I have gardened here for 40 years and planted every tree and vine-I keep fit doing it I have tried offering food and housing for a person or couple wanting to learn or at least eat organically who are capable of taking care of the place if I need to go somewhere for short stays They would have to have a few skills. So far I have not found anyone stable or trustworthy or even interested enough to take this on Buying the place is not an option. My kids have moved to cities and are pursuing college with the hope of earning more income.I think many young people are not interested in this path unless they see big money in it.
 My husband did all the building- I took care of the gardens and animals. I raise meat rabbits chickens for meat and eggs and have a team of draft horses I bred and raised that are mostly used for manure. I am having the old standards orchard trees cut down for firewood and planted semi dwarf trees. I grow lots of medicinal herbs and make and sell the medicine seeds and plants as well as seed for many heirlooms. I grow a lot of things on permanant trellis's that I cover with compost and mulch and inter plant.I don't like espalier.  I use a troybuilt tiller to plant and work in cover crops  and carts and wheelbarrows to do the work. I don't own a tractor but do have a couple of lawnmowers .   I have things planted where there is always a new thing coming in or ripening seed. I also have a passive solar greenhouse that I use year round with almost 20--- 60 gallon barrels full of rainwater .There are about 50 fruit and nut trees here and lots of berries  . Floods are more of an issue in our area but this 100 plus farm house stays high and dry. cleaning stables hauling in wood and moving compost gives me regular cardio workouts and bending and ducking under fences helps too as well as a winter stretching excercice I do . I would love to share my homestead with someone but they would need to be able to do much of what I do. It does not matter the age. When I can no longer do this, I will sell out . My kids say they will care for me but I am not sure I would want that...
 
Posts: 228
Location: New Hampshire
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I am always looking for ways to make my life easier.  I also have EDS and it tends to slow me down sometimes to a grinding halt till surgery can patch me back together.

Light weight tools that are the right size for me, save me time, and reduce pain are a must.
I have all sorts of kitchen gadgets that save my painful joint hours of labor when I am preserving large batches of garden produce.  
I prefer light weight handles on my garden tools.
I will go out of my way to buy higher quality tools that fit my smaller hands to reduce pain and stress.

Design things to be able to be done with physical limitations in mind.  You may be able to easily handle lifting 50 pounds, reach the center of a 5 foot bed without stepping on it, run after a loose animal but what if you get injured and some other family member has to do your job?  We are currently rebuilding our raised beds to be narrower so I don't have to stretch to reach across them.  Since they are raised beds I can sit on a folding step stool to work on the beds.  This saves my very painful joints and I can garden longer and children can work in the garden without stepping on the beds.

Have anything that needs regular attention centrally located and set up to easily manage in a minimum of trips. This way the morning and evening routine is shorter and easier to manage. Our Chicken coop is close to the house, compost, and rain catchment. This way I only need to clear one path of snow to take care of the animals, collect eggs, and drop off kitchen scraps.  In the summer I can easily open or close the values on the rain catchment for irrigation while I am there doing other chores. We keep the bird baths for the bees near the chicken water so they can easily have the water changed when taking care of the chickens.  You also pass the trash cans on the way so you can drop off the trash on your way to take care of the birds.  

Try and design for things to work passively.  Our site is on the side of a hill and needed to have seasonal snow melt diverted away from the house.  We built swales to move water away from the driveway and water fruit trees.  I am becoming a huge fan of deep mulch since we can get free wood chips from our town recycling center.

I like things that can be broken down into light weight manageable chunks.  While something can be done faster by a stronger person I need to be able to do it by myself while being slightly broken.  Modular designs make that easier.

Put anything you use regularly in a convenient location. I don't want to trek across the yard to hang laundry, collect eggs or grab some herbs for tonight's dinner.  

When looking at a long term residence think about what it would be like to be there when you are 80.  We bought a ranch house in a rural area 15 minutes outside a small city.  We may not retire in this house but we won't have to leave it to retire.  We may have my in laws move in when they are older and this house would be very easy to adapt to anyone with severe physical limitations.  

Community is huge.  I am lucky to have an amazing network of friends and family in the area.  I have friends that get together to build gardens and some of us get together to do gardening chores together.  It gives us a chance to chat and get stuff done.  I go out of my way to teach, mentor and share my knowledge and the dividends are huge.  Since I am prone to need surgery these friends have been amazing in helping me out when I needed it because I have gone out of my way to share and be a good neighbor to them.  













 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 971
Location: Longbranch, WA
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This couple ask me to post this video where they discuss their plans for aging in place.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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My post from the other day was on the down-ish side. I have re-grouped today. The other day we had almost 12 inches of rain in the week. The flood waters took out my dam and I rebuilt it (twice) last week. This week, we have a hurricane to face. Things are not forecasted to be so bad but on top of what rain we've had already, I have to prepare. I still have to be so grateful that we are not in a direct path of this storm. My work to prepare and possibly the afterwards clean-up will be miniscule compared to others.
 
steward
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Back when we lived in Wisconsin, we used these raised bed kits from Lee Valley to build an awesome kitchen garden.  They consist of metal pieces to help you use concrete pavers to make raised beds.  My husband installed 2 x 6 boards horizontally on the tops of the 2' x 2' pavers, which meant I could easily sit on the edge for close in gardening.  We had the paths wide enough that a wheelchair could travel in between, and made the beds long and thin, so they could be reached from one side.  There were 4 of them, all L-shaped and 12' long on the outside edges, 9' long on the inside and 3' wide. If you have the means to make this sort of raised bed, I highly recommend them.  We had them set up in a square, with four more smaller raised beds made from black locust planks, also L-shaped, inside and then a strawberry tower in the very middle.

Now that we've moved to Portland, I'm making hugelkultur beds, but accessing them from a wheechair would be impossible, due to the slope.  I guess my current plan is frequent yoga, glucosamine/chondroitin and I'm seriously considering the gin soaked raisins idea (I've heard that mentioned on the People's Pharmacy - thanks John!).

Community can be difficult, but is often the best solution.  I have a lot of friends in their 60's and up who live in the Columbia Ecovillage, and they are in need of younger people to help them with all the garden maintenance.  However, housing in Portland is super expensive, and that includes the condos at the Ecovillage.  I'm wondering if they could locate a "permaculture groundskeeper" who can live in a tiny house on their property and help with heavy tasks in exchange for a place to park their tiny house.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 228
Location: New Hampshire
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Julia,  If the hugel beds are going to be tall try and design them so you can work standing up without having to stretch to reach them. Can you terrace them so you have a straight wall to get closer to the planting surface.  A retaining wall along the perimeter may allow you to get close enough to the bed to work sitting down.  If you can design the beds for you bad days it will make your gardening a pure joy on the good days.

When we built our hugel beds I wanted them around 2' tall so dug trenches 2 feet down.   After 2 years there has been quite a bit of settling and we made the beds too wide for me to reach the center of so my husband has been splitting the beds lengthwise and doubling the number of beds. He has found very little wood after 2 years. These hugel beds are my annual garden beds.  The narrower beds are now 3' wide and about a foot tall with the pathways heavily mulched with wood chips. I am glad I didn't plant perennials in them because they not only dropped in height so much in the first 2 years but they are full of garden rodents.  We have voles, moles, ground squirrels, rabbits, and wood chucks living in the in them.  

Our plan going forward is to use large amounts of wood chips.  This growing season we had our first drought since moving to this house.  We received half the rain we normally get and it took it's toll on the garden. We are on a very deep well with a low flow rate and we do not have enough water catchment yet to easily water the garden in a drought year and our soil is very sandy and drains too well.   Since we can pick up free wood chips from our town transfer station my husband is putting them everywhere. As they break down they will be added to the beds.  My husband prefers shoveling to mowing or weeding so wood chip mulch is a really good option for us.
 
pollinator
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Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Hugelkultur-beds with concrete paving tiles at the side, a place to sit while working in the garden and good use of 'waste' materials. Most of the wood that will be covered in soil is from that tree next to it.
This is the second 'Hugel' I am making, the first is one year in use now. The high side with the concrete tiles is the northern side, so the sloping side gets much sunlight, which is nice in my climate. If you have a hot and sunny climate, you could do it the other way round.


(edited because the photo didn't show)
 
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David Miller wrote:On thing that I wish I had done was to start all of my bee keeping with 8 frame mediums. Hindsight from Michael Bush's the Practical Beekeeper



ooo i think beekeeping is an awesome lifestyle to age with you. im trying to get to a countryside where i can keep bees.
bees don't do well in urban.
 
Julia Winter
steward
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I recommend a top bar hive - you never have to lift anything heavier than one bar (with an inverted caternary arch of wax and honey or brood) at a time!

I have a top bar hive in the city and I know of many successful urban beekeepers.  There are bee hives on rooftops in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  Cities often have better year round bloom available for the bees than some rural areas, particularly if much of the land is planted in monocrops.

My best advice for prolonged function is yoga.  I think Tai Chi may accomplish similar goals.
 
Dennis Clover
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Hans Quistorff wrote:

Giselle Burningham wrote:We used plastic wood and concrete footings! It  sounds terrible, but looks exactly the same!  And lasts for ever..
we  too thought of the same issues.  Safety comes first!


Plastic boards are 95% recycled plastic; probably the largest volume of recycled plastic, so if we want  the plastic recycled someone has to buy the boards.



is plastic wood slippery? you mentioned it looks the same.. i think that would be great. most of us go for wood because it looks so beautiful.
im just thinking whether it is slippery.
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 103
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
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The latest plastic woods are not slippery.. we have just had a friend put her leg through a wooden deck.. as I'm in a wheelchair.. I can't afford that risk!
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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There is so much to this subject and it varies s much from person to person.  My wife and I have twenty acres of woodlands in Michigan that we will be developing into a homestead and small scale diversified farm. This is my retirement plan. I'm starting this process later in life, I'll be 61 before we actually move onto the land in a month or so.

And as I think about what we will do and how we will do it, I find permaculture to be tremendously informative, inspiring and practically useful.  Applying permaculture means including the idea of designing systems that work with people, as well as everything else. So, I'm going to be busting ass pretty hard for the next few years to create an integrated system that will support us on an ongoing basis for decades into the future.

We have the advantage of starting entirely from scratch, and the disadvantage of starting entirely from scratch On one hand it's an insanely ambitious plan, on the other we get to live the life we want - seems worth it to us.
 
Posts: 83
Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
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Hi
Here on my property with me pregnant at thirty I think all the time about how I could manage the place on my own  and what infrasture to put in now for when Im older. I hunted down a few tips you might  also find usefull (or save me time greif if you already have tried it and it failed). One idea was to use brittish style hedge laying as a wild boar proof outer fencing. I was looking to avoid mixing cement, carrying huge fence posts up the hill and avoiding expensive materials that I would have to replace. It looks like hard-ish labour but a lot of the people actually doing the tutorials were seemingly 70 plus years old. Another idea was to grow some smaller structures like willow tunnels over walkways to avoid snow shoveling and small willow type domes instead of small sheds and outdoor buildings because the maintainence seems a bit lighter, weaving from the inside or using lopers versus climbing on a roof\ladder to put on new shingles. I also wanted to put in terracing using a living fence which I can back fill over a few years instead of hand labour to save my back both now and on any repairs\ adjustments that might need doing later. I also share the use of the property though it is no commune. so when someone wants to make a small event like a yearly art show, small concert, a cafe cart\ street vendor, community building events, my partner wants space in the barn to make a small carpentry workshop for his business etc... I like to make this space available to more people so that there are possibilities of a helping hand or a bit of rent to help soften any hard blows like storm damage\injury\ large maintainence projects that would effect everyone with a lot less interference in my day to day life than housemates.  
 
Julia Winter
steward
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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I love the idea of willow tunnels, I don't know if you can get them dense enough to stop snow, but it brings to mind the living bridges I've seen in India, maintained by use and pruning.

You are doing the right thing, planning for decades out.  I hope you get to stay on your land and reap the benefits of the work you are doing now!
 
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An interesting and very timely for us, topic/thread. This is something we have discussed many times, with no clear cut answers...

We (both in our 60's) are nearing retirement. We have a place which we have been living in for 20+ years. Over that time we have "upgraded" the infrastructure some (passive solar house, greenhouses, orchard, garden beds, chicken run/coop and more). On the plus side, most of those improvements are working well within the limits of this locale (8000' elevation in the Rockies, foothill location). On the minus side we have the reality that this is a snowy/windy location and that will likely become a burden as we grow older; and almost none of our land is flat (garden is terraced), again this will be more of an issue as we age; as well as the house and barn which are all multi-story.

So good in some ways and not ideal in other ways to growing old here. But much effort has gone into making this place what it is now (and admittedly I am not excited about starting all over again at my current age, but if it's going to be,  better now than in a few more years).

I suspect that we are not alone in facing these and similar decisions about aging. I am curious to hear about how others who faced similar questions resolved them. Anyone?
 
Taryn Hesse
Posts: 83
Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
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HI
I had he same thought about the willow tunnels taking a long time to grow in. I understand that they grow closed eventually 10? 20? years. Between now and then a tarp cover over an A shaped tunnel should keep snow out over winter with out it breaking. Or a grape arbour too. I have a historically proected house and there are a million rules about structures fences etc.. as well as expensive and time consuming permits (6 months waiting!). So Im really keen to plant structures as there are no rules on plantings and hedges Ha! I am documenting all of the things I do and can post pictures if it works out.
 
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Location: near Athens, GA
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Please allow me to wander a bit tangentially...  In my too often less than humble opinion, "aging" is a very relative term.  My great grandparents lived to be  around 100 (some more, some a bit less) when the statistical maximum age was about 40 years younger!  When my great grandfather was in his 80s, he remarried to a woman about half his age and had another son.  My ancestors were "simple" farmers.... by which, I merely mean that they lived an agrarian life, tied closely to the land  They were actually, quite accomplished in business, politics, etc.  This is not new - the ancient Taoists of China said "To live to 120 is to die young"   My grandparents died in their 80s, in the era of "better living through science" and regular doctor visits.  Their parents rarely, if ever went to doctors, and out lived them by 20 years.  There are ways to live a healthy, vigorous, profound and long life, in which "old age" has little impact.... but, it means essentially rejecting most everything considered "normal" by the ideologies of both the modern left and right.  Time will tell, but I am more fit and virile at 40 than I was at 20....... permaculture/polyculture food and lifestyle ... foraging.... hunting/trapping/fishing.... qigong, tai chi chuan and several other martial arts, weight lifting, herbal medicine and traditional, even conservative, morality has made me a very strong and healthy man.  I generally date women up to, and less than,  half my age, and I am finally ready to settle down, marry and have children (as many as possible), having fought my battles and faced my demons... at the age of 40, I am much more ready and capable than ever before... I am by no means in decline.  Perhaps everything will suddenly fall apart and degenerate in the next 20 years... but, I hope to follow in my great grandfathers' footsteps, who were formidable and respected men in their 90s and 100s.  I well recall one of them, at the age of 99.... his cane only serving as a weapon and a gun on his hip... his wife half his age and his young son.... possessing the respect of everyone in the community.... his title was "Mr." and everyone knew his name.... he owned nearly the entire town, having bought and developed it from wilderness.  So, may I respectfully suggest that with each decade, we may seek to start a new chapter, full of hope for what we may accomplish rather than what capabilities we leave behind.  I may, very well, lack such enthusiasm in another decade.... but may my energy be spent in a blaze of passion, absolutely consuming the lusts and energy of life, rather than a melancholy and slow dissipation of potential unrealized.  Whatever comes... just go for it.. just freaking go for it like to day is your last and best day... none of us, regardless our age, are guaranteed a tomorrow.... but, we should plan for tomorrow with the systems we design today so that each day may be better than the one before!
 
Wj Carroll
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Location: near Athens, GA
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About Li, Qing·Yun IWI
Li, Qing-Yun was born in 1678 A.D. (Qing Kang Xi 17th Year, 5t-*JW:+-t::lf-) in Qi Jiang Xian, Sichuan province ( 1!!1 Iii •�� ). Later he immigrated to Kai Xian, Chen's family field (Chen Jia Chang, r�tH•t.Pt't:� ). He died in 1928 A.D. at the age of 250 years. When he was 71 years old (I 749 A.D., Qing Qian Long 14th year, 5HtJ1t+t!!11f- ), he joined the army of provincial Commander-in-ChiefYue, Zhong-Qi ( **�). Most of his wives died early, so during the course of his life he married fourteen times. Li was a herbalist, and skilled in Qigong and spent much of his life in the mountain ranges. In 1927 General Yang Sen ( �4) invited Li to his residence in Wan Xian, Sichuan province ( 1!9 111•,M. ), where a picture was taken of him. Li died the next year when he returned from this trip. After he died, General Yang investigated Li's background to determine the truth of his story, and later wrote a report about him entitled: A Factual Account of the 250 Year-Old Good-Luck Man (Er Bai Wu Shi Sui Ren Rui Shi]i, -=-ali.+jtA.J.t•i�). which was published by the Chinese and Foreign Literature Storehouse (Zhong Wai Wen Ku, '1'9-��Jf), Taipei, Taiwan. All of the information available indicates that the story is true. Li, Qing-Yun's legacy to us is the fact that it is possible for a human being to live more than 200 years if he or she knows how. Because of this we deeply believe that, if we humbly study and research, the day will come when everyone will live at least 200 years.

- Dr. Yang Jwing -Ming
 
Wj Carroll
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[img]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Ching-Yuen#/media/File:Li_chingYuen.jpeg[/img
 
gardener
Posts: 1068
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Interesting thread. Quite a few things I hadn't considered. Which is why I read it in first place ... to learn something new. I'm in the relevant age group & starting to make these types of preparations. Only a few items to add that weren't already mentioned.

Intending to gradually decrease honey bee hive boxes to the smallest size. Half the weight to lift when full. Also considering trying some horizontal hives for next year.

What was that other thing again? Oh yea, perennials & self seeders are also wise. My twist on that this year is an attempt to grow Seminole pumpkins up dead trees. Harvest a few & let the others fall & reseed the area. Same technique as the Florida Indians used. Have several trees picked out. Some at lower elevations, some up in the mountains. In about a month when it warms a little more be looking for a new thread showing progress of the hillbilly Sasquatch pumpkins. If I remember to post it.

If memory serves (they say that's first to go) the pic is first pumpkin to ripen last year. They get much bigger & can also be boiled whole when very small. What are we doing? Why are we here?

Seminole-pumpkin.jpg
[Thumbnail for Seminole-pumpkin.jpg]
 
I carry this gun in case a vending machine doesn't give me my fritos. This gun and this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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