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Potential for a Permie Community  RSS feed

 
Michael Newby
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Bear with me, I've found that I like to use these forums as a place to think out loud and get feedback from people with (at least some) like-minded ideas.

Here in this little slice of heaven around Mount Shasta there's a Property Owners Association that I feel is just ripe for becoming a permaculture community/outpost/proving grounds. It's a place called Mount Shasta Vista which consists of around 1600 2.5+- acre lots in the south Siskiyou County area. Like any place there are pros and cons to the area but I truly believe that many of the cons can be overcome with permaculture principles and that the pros are so numerous, especially to permaculture minded people, that the area has great potential. I could go on and on about all the pros and cons, but that's a different discussion - for this I've already determined that it's a good place to try, I'm just working out what I think would be a good way to go about implementing the succession from loose Property Owners Association to permie community.

One of the biggest things it has going for it is that a basic infrastructure is in place already (roads, lot subdivisions, basic governance covered) but there is so little current involvement that it would only take a hand full of involved like-minded individuals/families to be able to affect real change within the established Property Owners Association, basically using that to establish the overreaching community guidelines. This article shows not only the lack of current involvement but does a good job outlining some of the very real need for involvement from the community.

The best I could determine, there are currently around 100-150 actual residents of which it looks like only around 10-15% are actually active or want anything to do with running the POA. The current board members write about it being a stretch to expect to be able to find 15 people who could rotate through the 5 board positions. Like I mentioned before, it wouldn't take very many active people to be able to get at least a few of the board positions and begin steering things with a permaculture mindset.

As far as the actual path to getting the area saturated with permies, I think that there would be two things that would work. The most obvious one is to have permaculture mined people with enough money buy and build a residence in the subdivision - probably the quickest method but not really the easiest unless you're fortunate enough to have a lot of disposable income, which I find many permies to be lacking. The second approach is the one that I would say is pretty non-standard and the one I'm still trying to really think my way through and flesh out.

With the current price of many of the properties (around $6k-9K) it seems to me that a viable option would be to hold a PDC onsite that resulted in not only a PDC but a stake in the property itself! You'd end up with a group of people with a predisposition for permaculture with a vested interest in the property (and POA). The culmination of the course could be a collaborative permaculture design of the property as well as the community building exercise of determining how the group of people in the class will go about managing the group interest in the property for the long term. From there the possibilities are limited only by the group's resources and imagination - they could decide to just try to sell the property to recoup everyone's class cost; they could decide to come back and implement the design they came up with; hold another class teaching others while implementing the design; make a permaculture retreat etc. etc.

The first few pioneers would have it the hardest, having the smallest support network and the steepest learning curve, but it would get easier as time went on and the knowledge base and local support network grew. Once you had a couple of successfully designed and implemented properties you'd know some of the patterns and techniques the area responds to best, making it easier for others to make the decision to give it a try.

So am I crazy to think that something like that could work? I just see so much potential in the area that I regularly find myself trying to figure out ways I could help others to see the potential as well.



 
Miles Flansburg
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I like it Michael, In theory all it takes is a few folks willing to serve on the board and any and all rules can be changed or improved as needed.

Do you already know a lot of the neighbors?

How many are "homesteaders", permie freindly?

Are there already rules in place that allow alternative buildings and livestock?
 
Ken Peavey
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I hear you.
I'm always thinking something up. Sometimes its harebrained, sometimes a workable plan comes out of it, as seen in The Power of 200 Organized People.

I can see much potential in what you are talking about: A town full of Permies. This notion has been explored. Be sure to check the HUSP thread. TONS of good ideas in there.

Explore the idea some more. Add to it. Revisit the idea from time to time. More ideas will jump out. Share your ideas so others can build upon them. As ideas come in from different people with all their experience contributing little tidbits the notion moves from a dream to a realistic plan, to "Why didnt we do this years ago"?

The obstacles are many: Time, money, people, distance, just to name a few. An elephant is eaten one bite at a time. Consider a particular aspect of that idea in your head. How would you solve it, change it, make it work better, make it happen in a way that is fair and just, right and ethical, affordable, brings people to a common theme but maintains privacy. Think of it as a giant jigsaw puzzle but we have to design the pieces to fit together and don't have the finished picture to guide us. As more pieces of the puzzle come into being, a clearer picture of the objective will develop.



 
Michael Newby
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I know a few of the people out there but not really that many. The area is pretty remote by most standards and it is one of the cheapest areas to buy land in all of N. California so it does attract a certain type, mostly live-and-let-live types that don't really care what you're doing as long as it doesn't involve telling them what to do, which I have to say I pretty much agree with - if you do something with value and merit others will choose to emulate you while detractors won't be able to force you to stop. There are a few unruly sorts living in the area, but you can find those sorts anywhere. There are quite a few homesteader types, people making do with little and getting by on less, but I don't think that there's much going on permie-wise with the big picture in mind. You'll find livestock ranging from poultry on up to cows or horses as well as mostly traditional gardens with maybe some form of composting or other soil building going on but a lot of it is really the disconnected mainstream way of doing things without much thought as to how everything can fit and work together.

One of the biggest cons of the area is that it's in CA with all the associated bureaucracy, including building codes. There is a glimmer of hope in the form of Class K housing, a measure CA adopted with much less rules and standards for a small owner-builder to comply with to build a "to code" building, but unfortunately it was left up to each county to adopt the measure or not and Siskiyou County doesn't seem interested in it (but with a population of around 45,000, once again it wouldn't take very many active people to apply enough political pressure to reasonably expect the measure to be adopted in the future). In fact out of 58 counties in the state I know of only 3 (Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity) have adopted the measure. There are currently a number of buildings that are most definitely not to code and enforcement is currently non-existent unless someone complains, but there's the very real possibility of enforcement sometime down the line.
 
Ken Peavey
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There is no One-Size-Fits-All plan. Every situation will demand unique strategies to come together. What you have described so far involves hundreds of small properties which would be privately owned. $6k-9k is not a bad price for 2.5 acres, but it sounds like these lots are undeveloped. Building to code will require systems and construction. Water/septic/grid power/foundation/heat/structure plus a mailbox to receive the utility bills. That $6k got big in a hurry.

I've been racking my little head looking for ways to reduce the investment and not give Code Enforcement a reason for existing. One idea is to use the land as a campground. One or more of those properties could be purchased collectively (corporation or LLC) with the intention of using it as a recreational area. If the cost of the property was split a few ways, the investment per person can be cut down to affordable levels. Tents and campers for the most part, but it's a form of housing that does not require permits, systems or construction costs. The downside is these are not permanent, don't offer the convenience of a real home, and harsh weather can rain on the parade. Still, it's a start.

A campground can serve as the genesis for the project. People have a place to stay, even if it is somewhat primitive. There's an entire forum on here about Tiny Houses. Seems to me there are folks out there who would be more than happy to accept rough conditions. Each member, couple, or family would be on their own for housing. They can drop in on weekends, stay for the summer, or make a go of it year round. This first step could involve many of the aspects of an intentional community (Permaculture Camping?). By sharing the land the single most valuable resource, the people, is in place. As a campground, the company would be able to charge a camping fee. Since the campers are the owners and the customers this corporate structure gives them the ability to raise funds and put them to use to serve their own needs. It may be a very small company at this stage but the fundamentals can be put in place: documentation, legal paperwork, and the organizational methods which are required. Somebody has to take on the mantle of responsibility, someone has to account for the funds, everyone wants a voice.

This campground company, I'll call it the CC, has some bills. Property tax comes to mind right off. Liability insurance might be something to consider, especially if camping is open to the general public (an income source). It sure would be handy for the campers to have access to potable water. Profits from that camping fee can be put to excellent use drilling a well, powering it, and installing a holding tank. This may be necessary to get the permit or license to open a campground in the first place. Perhaps the property has a well or spring which can be used for showers, toilets, laundry, or even drinking. There are permaculture practices which can capture water. See the rainwater catchment forum for possible solutions.

Some folks will like the place and perhaps decide to buy one of those nearby properties. These folks can move to their own land a few hundred yards away and stay connected to the larger group. There could be some square pegs that find it is not for them. That CC corporate structure would allow them to sell their shares, recovering some or all of their investment. Optionally, they can hold on to it and hope the CC makes a little profit each year so they have a residual income.

A pooper will probably be required by some level of gubmint. I'm sure there are formulas to determine how many seats according to how many heads. There are portable outhouses available which can satisfy the code enforcement guys. Keep them clean and tidy by setting up a humanure or composting toilet projects. If the campground is effective in drawing the general public, consideration of a septic system and real bathrooms may be in order.

People, organization, water, sewer, the next feature to look at is the food.
This is where the community can really make things happen to boost efficiency, reduce costs, enhance lifestyles, share fellowship, and draw in more people. The CC is set up as a campground. Making the leap to setting up a food service operation can be done under the corporate umbrella. A food service truck is an easy way to go. It will need potable water, energy and staff, but will not require those evil building codes. If the thing never drives anywhere, you can skip the auto insurance, registration, and fuel costs. Store ingredients in the truck or in a separate vehicle. Although it is not a permie solution, disposable dishes can solve the issue of sanitation. Putting meals in place removes the need for each camper to have their own kitchen setup. The cost of meals and ingredients can be shared. With a larger volume, better prices should be possible since goods are not being purchased in single serving volumes. A propane refrigerator sure would be handy. There are vast options that can be explored with the food operation.

Sourcing the food will be a project unto itself. With the land available, I can see people throwing seedballs everywhere. Here's a small patch of turnip, some radish over there, some squash creeping through the rocks. Pick up one of those parcels next door, it becomes the farm. Chickens, vegetables, herbs, potatoes, beans, fruit and nuts...all of it just a couple hundred feet away or right over the fence line. A bunch of Permies with a common goal all in one spot? These people will get silly with all the things that can be done. Even the weekend campers can make a vital contribution. With just the food wagon, the people would be chipping in for meals. Bring in the fresh produce and either the price can drop or the group would have a surplus to invest in more projects. Perhaps a combination is desired. The farm would be a separate entity from the CC. This would make it possible for folks to get involved without having to join in the CC. They could go straight to their own plot, set up their own homestead, and participate in those projects which please them. It may be all they want is fresh produce. This campground and farm does not operate in a vacuum. That existing community may be highly interested in buying some of that farm fresh produce. Generate the surplus, market it locally, and the people have the next key element: an income source.

With the housing situation in place in the form of the CC, rudimentary but functional utility systems, the land and resources to make things happen, the income source becomes the critical path to pursue. The people involved have the basics of living, but there is much more to life than living in a tent. I'm not going to get into the debate of everything should be free vs corporate profits. I'm simply saying at least a few bucks each week is needed by each person involved to carry their share of the load. Everyone needs clothing, food that can't be grown on site, the occasional aspirin for that aching back, and a chance to stash something away for a rainy day. I think a primary goal would be for many of these folks would be buying their own little property nearby before they get snatched up for a ski resort or condominiums.

The stepping stones are out there. Starting small it will take time to grow a population capable of developing a place such as described into a viable community. With each additional person comes a little more investment, a little more effort, another vote which can change local ordinances in favor of the enterprise.

This would be a journey like no other.
 
Michael Newby
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I totally agree that temporary/tiny homes will be the easiest way to live on the land initially. There is something about not being in a temporary structure on the property for more than 180 days in a calendar year, but that could be overcome by having two properties that are lived on in shifts, maybe moving your house along with moving a group of mob grazed intensively managed animals.

Initially I could imagine something much like you mention with a group of people owning a lot and working it together. I feel like a good way to start would be to find 8-10 interested parties who would purchase the lot together and then have a PDC on site. By the end of the class you should be able to have both an initial design for the whole property and have had time to work out an overall community structure that they agree upon for the lot. The initial investment is small enough that should somebody find that they just cannot work with the others in the class it shouldn't be a big deal for them to leave with a PDC in hand - I've seen many that offer only a PDC for $1000+. This would also help to eliminate the need for a one-size-fits-all solution since each group/class would be coming up with the solution they agree best fits their situation and needs. Arrangements could range from full commune style to some kind of permaculture time-share - the more systems people explore the more chances we have to learn what works (and what doesn't). The more working properties there are to point to the more likely it is that others will be willing to join the community, whether by purchasing their own property out-right or finding a group to purchase the property together. Once that happens you could reach your 200 organized people pretty quickly.

One thing that I think would be very helpful is to find a way to recruit or develop skilled labor for the community. Initially I would focus on recruiting those who already had skills that would lead to building infrastructure: access to heavy equipment operators and their equipment would really help, as well as other skilled contractor types with the specialized tools and abilities. Having these types involved also makes it easier to develop outside revenue streams that can help fund projects, especially some of your larger community level projects. This would also eliminate the initial need to purchase a lot of the tools until they needed to be replaced. The more you have the community infrastructure in place, the more luxury you have to work on getting other skills developed in the group.
 
Ken Peavey
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I think this is what you are talking about, from the Mount Shasta Vista Property Owners Association website under Camping on Your Parcel

Siskiyou County Municipal Code, Title 3 Chapter 17 sections 1 & 2 (quoting):

Sec. 3-17.01. Camping outside designated campgrounds.
Camping outside of designated campgrounds either in a recreational vehicle or other shelter or means is allowed for a cumulative period not to exceed thirty (30) days in one calendar year.
(§ II, Ord. 06-06, eff. May 11, 2006)


Research would be needed to find the process for becoming a designated campground.

I don't have much tolerance for Homeowners or Property Owners Associations. Anything I would want to do is usually forbidden. There is land out there. It would take some hunting to find a suitable property or group of properties. Bringing together the people for at least brainstorming would be the first step. Bring forth ideas, find common goals.

 
Miles Flansburg
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What do the covenents say about sheds? I knew a doctor in Wyoming who had several sheds on his land. Just looked like sheds from the outside, inside he had beds, baths, even a washer and dryer. So some things can be done quietly.
 
C. Hunter
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My worry - at least as a tenant- about things being done quietly, would be that suddenly I'd be out of a place to live. And the Mount Shasta area's beautiful, but California in general is just so regulated that I'd worry about things being able to fly under the radar long term. Would all the farm products just go back into the farm? I can't imagine how it'd be self sustaining if nothing goes outside for sales.

I really like the campground model, and that's one I'm looking at for my own future community, which I want to use permaculture principles but also develop more along an artists' community model. It'd have the advantage of letting you really utilize a property too- if you planned things well, tinyhouses could be moved in summer or winter to better use solar or other resources, too.
 
Ken Peavey
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The campground is not so much a model as it is a description.
A few miles from me lies The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. It's an 800+ acres music park and campground. The big draw is live music with top names which I've never heard of because I don't follow the country music scene. Much of the park is used for campsites. Over 600 improved sites for campers and RVs have water, blackwater hookup, electric, wifi and cable TV if you wish. Primitive campsites are anyplace there is room to pitch your tent. My sister in law is the marketing director for the park so I've been able to get a more in depth look at the place.

Along with campsites the place has bathrooms with showers, a general store, a full service restaurant, several stages for live performance, fire and rescue along with an ambulance, a central water supply and a water treatment plant. The park has roads and trails. Transportation inside the park has vehicles limited to some roads, golf carts with a better ability to maneuver, and horse trails that will take you deep into the woods. The plant life is indigenous but I've seen several spots where some attempts at landscaping have included rosemary, herbs and berries. I swear I've seen lettuce while walking down a path.

Commercial interests include a craft fair going on most weekends. At the larger events this grows to include a great diversity of food vendors, plus proprietary clothing sales specific to the bands. The crafters include everything from woodwork to artistry to sculpture to blown glass to pottery to leather saddles for your horses. Some of the quality that can be found is astounding.

From the point of view of someone looking to bootstrap a community, this place shows the path. Tents and campers are the start. Add water/sewer and bathrooms. Establish commerce with food/beverage and a general store. Improve the place with individual cabins. Expand to offer individual enterprise opportunity. This place also has attraction which draw in the general public. On a side note, one of the passive attractions includes one of the largest bathouses in Florida. It's a home to something like 40,000 bats. They use it for mosquito control. Very Permie of them.

They don't have to hide anything they do from the county, everything is above board. They are a recreational park. There is a justifiable need for all those systems and structures. During the biggest events of the year the park will have a population of campers in the tens of thousands. What we are discussing in this permaculture community thread is a population of tens of dozens. There are precedents out there which suggest this sort of community is not only possible to put together, but probably much easier than expected. All that we need is the right place and a core of capable folks to get things off the ground.

A campground solves the housing issue. Everyone is on their own for housing, the group builds the infrastrcuture. What I like about the Mount Shasta model is the fact that many adjacent small properties are available at a pretty good price. As the means develops, anyone can acquire their own property separate from the group and still remain connected. Those without the means still have the opportunity to get involved at the campground level. Adding a farm next door develops the ability to become more self sufficient.

Getting involved can be done by purchasing a share of the LLC. I am of the understanding that some states may have limits to the number of people who may hold shares in an LLC. This can be circumvented with the formation of another completey separate and distinct LLC right next door. This brings in the potential to have several such groups at different levels of The Wheaton Eco Scale. This group of a dozen people does their thing on their property, that group of 5 people raises goats and makes goat soap on the other side of the hill. There is a tribe of 24 folks who do a lot of singing and drumming on their property as well as tend to their apple orchard. Yet another group free ranges chickens for meat, eggs, and feathers. A group of vegans does their thing down by the stream. There is a solitary guy near the cliff who raises rabbits and writes. Over by the big tree is a gal who grows medicinal herbs and cuts hair. Perhaps one of these groups does not have housing in place. That campground offers all the comforts of home. Some of these groups produce a surplus for market. That campground has a marketplace to sell their goods.

This little community has a number of small farms, each adding to the greater community. The campground becomes the downtown nexus for all the people and all the groups to gather, share, buy and sell. The properties are held and controlled by individuals and groups. The campground is owned by people from all or some of the groups, and everyone is welcome. Singles, couples, and families can be involved. There is a sense of community right alongside the desire for complete privacy.

This is a village.
 
Michael Newby
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While they do allow sheds (anything up to 120 square foot) and there's currently a couple people living that way. I really think that the way I would do it if I were going to try to live out there would be to either build a tiny house on wheels that could be moved, or live in my canvas tent. I actually think the canvas tent would be a great way to go. I've stayed in one for a few weeks at a time in some pretty nasty weather and with the wood stove raging it's pretty darn comfy. The biggest thing to consider in the Shasta Vista area with a tent (or a tall tiny house on wheels for that matter) would be the wind. I'd build a nice wooden platform with a timberframe skeleton for the tent to be on, preferably with an in-ground rocket stove running the length of the tent. Have the platform extend about 4 feet on three sides and 12 feet at the entrance then put another tarp atop the whole thing that would reach all the way to the ground on the sides and overhang the ends by a few feet. You could keep the sides rolled up in good weather so that you could have the windows open for the view if you like, but if it's really blowing or wet you could roll the sides down and be pretty weather proof. You could even add wool blankets between the frame and the walls for insulation if you manage to raise a few sheep on the land. To expand you could place another tent facing the first and share the deck/entryway. I know from experience that this setup can very comfortably accommodate a family of 2 adults and 4 children for an almost indefinite time and 8 adults for a decent amount of time as long as the weather isn't horrid the whole time.

Other than that I would pressure the local politicians to adopt the Class K housing with a 1 or 2 acre lot size being the criteria for being "Limited Density Rural Residential" land. There's a pretty good write up here on how Class K housing works in Mendocino county which really gives me hope that there's at least a chance that I'll be able to build how I'd like to.

Although the area is pretty remote, it is a very short (~15 miles I think) drive to I-5 which is the main transport system of the west coast stretching from Mexico to Canada. Within 100 miles there's 2 100,000+ person population centers with numerous more small communities that are become very interested in buying/supporting very local products. Redding, CA was the second sunniest city in the US second only to Yuma, AZ. If you can get the water and soil (permie strong points) most things grow great here.
 
Dj Wells
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My mind is cogitating all the time about somehow building intentional sustainable communities. This shows some real detailed and "do-able" planning. Still, the covenants in the deeds, and CA regs would need to be addressed. I like the way people are putting ideas out there. It's the first step in actually getting something done.
 
C. Hunter
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This has some really good and detailed ideas in it!

I may be using the wrong word by saying 'campground model' except that I think legally, it might be a good framework to go with. Create a permie nonprofit that owns the land for conservation/recreation purposes and has campsites that are long-term-leased to members. At least legally, I think that would work, structurally. You still get into all the problems with covenants and stuff, and honestly, I don't have a good way around those. And unfortunately, I think at the size you are talking about, they'd be a necessity- I think your idea sounds really interesting!

I think one of the difficulties of getting people to live in such tiny spaces (because I suspect that while there's people who WOULD live in 120 square feet, that's a REALLY small space) long term would be addressed by doing the 'they've got wheels, they're campers' thing. And that does open up rather more size (especially if the group amenities include 'we'll move your camper to one of the other properties with our tractor for free to keep it legal', rotating campers between two (or three or four) separately owned parcels if there's a days-per-year limit. That means people can have slightly bigger homes if they're not constrained to the 'must be towable by our own car/SUV/truck' issue. (OTOH, do you open it up to actual campers/mobile homes? If not, how not? They're a big part of campground venues like Spirit of Shawnee, from the folks I know who vend at those.)

Anyway, I had another idea that I wanted to communicate when I started writing this post but it's plumb escaped me now.
 
Ken Peavey
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A 10'x12' shed would be 120 sqft. It's small, but can be livable. A campsite with common amenities improves conditions and reduces the cost of each housing unit.
Common bathroom facilities removes the need for a bathroom in each cabin, as well as the need for plumbing, hot water, power for the hot water. A common kitchen and dining facility removes the need for appliances, cabinets, storage of food and equipment and the rest of the plumbing. In most houses, if you take away the kitchen and bathroom, every other room is a box. To get the most out of the limited space, raise the bed, use the space underneath for closet, dresser, desk or couch. If ideas and examples are needed for getting the most out of a tiny space, look to college dormitories.

I don't think operating the enterprise as a non-profit is the way to go. I'm a strong believer in the incentive aspect of operating a business and I see nothing wrong with receiving a tangible reward for getting a permie town started. Finding investors will be a whole lot easier than begging for funds. The campground a few miles down the road may perceive a threat to their business and come after the non-profit with a lawsuit claiming unfair competition-there goes the whole show. Forming a company, corporation or LLC is a whole lot easier. This potential company is probably not going to make the Fortune 500 list, but if it can pay the property taxes, the bills, hire a small staff and stay in business, that would be good enough. If it makes a profit, it goes to the investors. Those investors are the people living there paying the camping fee. Think of it as returning an overcharge.

I've been thinking of ways to make it possible for people to make the leap from where they are to where this permie town will be. The chief obstacle is money to buy the land, eat and pay the bills. People need clothing, transportation/insurance/fuel, health and personal care items, vice, and if they want their own piece of land some amount to set aside. In short, they need jobs or an income source. The CC offers a place to stay for cheap. Adding a kitchen offers the chance to share the grocery bill. Cooperation can keep the cost of living pretty low. My estimates show about $100/week being close to the minimum amount needed for supporting oneself with common facilities. Add another $100/week and folks can get ahead, save, and there is hope for the future. Minimal living standards are not for everyone and without hope, the campsite becomes a storage site for people without a future.

Permie Town needs a population and that population needs a job. With the campground and facilities in place, a part time job can offer enough income for someone to make the leap, even if its only on weekends. There may be some local jobs available, but in the rural setting, there may not be enough jobs to offer. We'll have to create the opportunity. A few posts back I spoke of picking up the next property over to start a farm. The farm project can be set up as a separate company from the CC. Actually, 2 companies: the land company and the farm company.

The land company buys the land, owns it, pays taxes. Since it needs to raise the money and we'll take it from any source we can find, we look to outside investors and offer a return on their investment. The land company rents the land to the farm company. The rent covers property taxes an provides a return on investment. Let's look at the numbers. Michael Newby showed us a price of $9k to buy the land, figure another $1000 for closing costs and deed registration for $10k total. I'll use an extremely high value of 5% annually for property taxes, $500/year. There would be some costs to setting up a corporation Figure $1000 for the documentation, plus another $500/year for administrative expenses. I come up with $11k to establish the company and buy the land, and $1000/year in expenses. If the investors are willing to accept a 5% return on their investment, $550/year. The rent is $550+1000 =$1550 for the year. To motivate people to invest in the land company, forming the farm company first puts a prospective tenant in place ready to go. This reduces the risk to the investors. Paying the rent up front offers an immediate return. If the land company offers 200 shares, each share would be priced at $55. Each year you'd get a check for $2.75 for a share. Not a huge sum, but you don't have to do anything.

The farm company is a different animal altogether. The objective is to get as many people involved and produce lots and lots of healthy food. Much of this can be done with very little money. A shovel can go a long way. Compost is free. Seeds are easy to come by. Plenty of materials can be scavenged, begged and donated. We set this up as a sharecropping operation or a cooperative. To cover the rent, each sharecroppers chips in. They put in their time, effort and expertise. Crops and products are produced and sold. The money is divided amongst the sharecroppers according to the time invested. A big sack of cash does you no good, you have to put in the effort. If you've got the money, you can be the landlord. For the prospective farmers, if only 20 got involved, they'd have to chip in about $100 for a year. 20 people working a 2 acre piece of land, even just on weekends, can put together a considerable volume of product. The first customer of the farm company would be the CC. The CC is already buying food to feed the campers. Rather than buy supplies from outside vendors in the next county, redirect that spending to the people that are supporting the campground. The campers have an income source. The CC has a supplier. The farm company has a customer. The land company gets the rent paid. The biggest profits go into the pockets of the people doing the work.

There is no free ride here. Everyone has to carry their own load.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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