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Any advice on the pursuit of generally debt free land acquisition and stewardship?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 16
Location: Upper Midwest USA
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I JUST joined Permies. Been interested in permaculture for a good while, but haven't joined this forum as I absolutely do not understand how forums work.... and am hopeless with digital interface stuff, but now have a question I thought folks who frequent this forum may have good input on, so I've joined. Lets see if it works. Just curious if anyone can offer any advice regarding my circumstance.

My wife and I are in our late 20's. I have been gradually working toward a more ascetic and resilient way of life for the past five years, with my wife now happily following that lead for about the past two of them (about as long as we've been married). We began our married life together in a relatively large Midwestern city, in the cheapest apartment that remained central enough to our respective jobs considering my inclination to bicycle commuting. We wanted to begin organic gardening, and raising subsistence quantities of livestock, primarily ducks and goats (eventually), so shopped around for property we could do this on, while keeping our city jobs for a time at least. We purchased a 2 acre property with updated farmhouse on the outskirts of the metro with a small orchard, some nearby organic farmers to learn from, and have been raising ducks primarily for eggs with great success for the past 9 months (goats we have decided might be better raised somewhere else if we want to pursue the venture well). Our first try at a seriously big garden went well enough considering the lawn conversion, and while we have plenty to learn with regards to cultivated food production, animal husbandry, hunting and foraging, food storage, preparation, and the rest, we're learning slowly and surely from a variety of great sources. We got rid of one of our two automobiles too after one was lost to a bad car accident, and now carpool to those same jobs more interior to the metro, part way, while I bicycle the rest of the way and everywhere else. Being an avid cyclist and former bicycle mechanic has been very helpful to this end. We have been building a repertoire of a broad spectrum of many simple living skills and techniques while assembling and using essential tools as well. All of this I could not be happier about, and we have thoroughly enjoyed putting our priorities where they matter most, in quality in the simple essentials of living.

Where I could use a little help is with financial strategy guidance. I only recently came to understand (although it has always been a gut understanding) just how definitively money is merely an abstract claim on actual resources, that is in some ways uniquely vulnerable to predation or destruction or what I'll call covert thievery. I therefor feel hesitant in accumulating too much abstract wealth, yet also at least think I recognize the advantages of living with as little debt as possible as well, and with regards to property ownership I am drawn to the notion of "saving" money to a relatively large extent, with the aim of then purchasing larger assets like home and property in cash, and this is what my wife and I are currently pursuing.

The home and property we currently own (well the bank still owns most of it) is proving thus far to be a great stepping stone for us, but is priced accordingly to it's proximity to the big city that we are rapidly reducing our direct dependance on, and ultimately is proving to be more house and less land than we feel is appropriate for us and our intentions, even if and when we do add a few numbers to the family. Also, even with historically low interest rates locked in, interest is still quite an unwelcome character. We currently have middle income city jobs, and having been living quite frugally for years, while also gaining some financial settlements after being struck by someone running a red light and fracturing my wife's pelvis and severely concussing her (all the more reason we're looking forward to escaping the city) we are quickly approaching the ability to purchase mostly or fully in cash, more land with a modes bit of home on it (might build depending on the property we find available), in a more affordable area, and dive more or less head first into our dream of simpler more responsible living. Without a mortgage, and with minimal utility costs and property taxes, we are looking forward to putting more of our time towards pursuits that we think are worth our lives, and that better respects our shared natural environment as a great bonus, all while connecting more with the foundations of life and land.

My somewhat persistent fear however, is that a good deal of the money that my wife and I are saving for the purchasing a property in cash, COULD in theory be destroyed by more external economic factors before we make the transition/transaction. Maybe it's an unreasonable fear? Our timeline for this transition is late 2015 to Early 2016, and with money piling up in the bank, I cant help but worry that the whole strategy could be trashed by some exploding economic bubble between now and then or something. I know everything involves risk, and also have no delusions about the generally good fortune we have thus far in attaining our goals. But not all of it is good fortune, some of it is prudence and strategy gleaned from taking the time to set appropriate trajectories, which is what this inquiry is all about.

Supposing others with greater or differing understandings of finances and economy or even our dreams of simple living, could see some holes in our strategy, or had advice for how to more reliably and securely reach our drams, I would want to hear them out! Thanks to anyone who feels inclined to weigh in! I hope this is how forums work, not really sure!
 
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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Welcome to Permies.com. From what you describe, you're in the right place.

Speak your mind, get feedback. That's pretty much how it works around here.
So far it sounds like you are off to a fine start.

There is a slight risk of financial calamity which would wipe out the value of your savings, but the chain of events which would leave you in a desperate situation are highly unlikely. There is always inflation, but from the sounds of things, you have a buffer against that. Inflation is most volatile in the food and energy sectors. Since you are able to produce some of your food and have the bike/carpool in place, you are in a good position. You are also internalizing skills which will always be valuable. You'll find these forums to be a goldmine for finding and learning more skills which will further your pursuit of ascetic resilience.




 
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
36
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There's a lot of terrible things that could happen to you today, tomorrow, or anytime between now and 2016. Both money-related and non-money-related. Some of them are worth avoiding.

What exactly would you do to somehow avoid the bad effects of a financial collapse or hyperinflation? Leave the country? Is it going to be better elsewhere? (Unlikely. Hyperinflation in the US would cause a mess around the world. We all saw how connected the globe is in 2008.)
Spend it all now? I think the odds are high that you'd regret that. Like the folks who moved into bunkers for Y2K.

I say, keep on making good decisions. You're on a great track.



Last thing, you might like Fernando Aguirre, or FerFAL, of "Survival In Argentina." He's written a lot of first-hand stuff on the economic collapse in Argentina. One point he brings up often is that the worse things got there, the MORE important cash became. Not gold, not barter goods. Fiat money.
For what that's worth.
 
Posts: 27
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As a result of the 2007-08 financial fiasco that wreaked havoc on the world economy, many Americans still have similar fears to yours. And considering that the massive banking institutions central to the collapse continue their financial shenanigans, and the agencies chartered to oversee them continue to look the other way, we should be both cautious and concerned. But being fearful to the point of paralysis doesn't get anyone anywhere. Life goes on. Though the Fed and the Treasury are far from blameless in allowing the nonsense that led up to the collapse to occur, the fact remains that they did step in and prevent the outcome from being much worse. We may not be happy about the bailouts, but in hindsight, without them taking action as they did, the result likely would have been worse than the Great Depression. The bottom line is that a precedent has been set and given similar circumstances, it is likely that steps will be taken to prevent total collapse. Saving your money in FDIC insured deposits is probably the safest way to hang on to your cash, and I believe the chance of an event occurring prior to early 2016 that would wipe out the value of those savings is minimal.
 
Posts: 3
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What is your goal exactly? Do you want more land debt free? You can always exchange you equity for more rural property that may be free and clear. Tax sales of real estate are also a good place to look.
 
Posts: 54
Location: Acworth, New Hampshire
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Hi Nathan,

Your concerns are shared by many. For myself, I had the fear that maybe someday I would be unable to afford my payments and my land would be foreclosed. I also am pretty much against most of what the financial systems embody....I think a lot of us here hold similar beliefs.

I have thought of land ownership differently in the past few years. My current philosophy is that no one truly owns land. We are only here for our lifetime. When we leave this earth, the land will still be there. For these reasons, it seems strange to me that there is an industry which profits from the buying and selling of something that is not owned in the first place. I guess that could be said of many natural resource industries.

Also we (most of us ) must pay taxes on the land.

I read about, and eventually joined a community land trust. The idea behind our model is that nobody owns the land. It is held in trust. Members lease our small home sites within the 120 acre land trust for a modest monthly fee. The lease is a 99 year renewable lease. We can pass our leasehold to our children or other person so that the fruits of our labor may continue into future generations. We individually own all of our homes and structures and are free to sell them at any point. The 120 acres are shared and stewarded democratically by our members.

This model has allowed my family a small home and garden with access to great farm and forest space with zero debt. I am very grateful for its' existence.

I know that this information may come late to you, but it is a wonderful resource to be considered.

For more info-

CLT network
wikipedia

and here is a link to a permies post where our land trust is soliciting members. I hope it will be shared with interested (and interesting!) permies.

shameless self promotion of our land trust

Be well.
 
Dustin Johnston
Posts: 3
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Matt, that is great advice and reminds of the farm trust we wanted to create in lieu of the city/corporate developers from developing openspace in Carlsbad. A trust in a way is like a CO-OP. Its a great way to build a community. Thanks again for sharing this. Id love to spread this possibility with folks I know who have land. Any way you can get us a copy of the trust and its legal structure so it can be repeated. Id consider doing this on my Barstow opportunity I presented to permies yesterday.

Best,

Dustin
 
Posts: 46
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First, do no harm. You've accomplished an extraordinary amount already --congrats!-- and if you have two acres that's more than enough to provide self-sufficiency for you and your family. My advice is to continue to pay off the debt on the property and do not move. Simultaneously, continue to build out the permaculture infrastructure to further gain independence. You now enjoy the best of both worlds, a semi-rural lifestyle while you're earning big-city salaries. Don't change that! You can survive and thrive on two acres, so spend your time maximizing the value of your land. Once you're debt-free and have invested to fund your retirement, then you can worry about what to do with any cash surplus. It's a good problem to have.
 
Matthew Connors
Posts: 54
Location: Acworth, New Hampshire
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Dustin Johnston wrote: Any way you can get us a copy of the trust and its legal structure so it can be repeated. Id consider doing this on my Barstow opportunity I presented to permies yesterday.

Best,

Dustin




More info, and attached clt documents for your perusal.

clt info

Filename: CPCLT-Lease-Agr-Residential.pdf
Description: residential lease agreement
File size: 612 Kbytes
Filename: CPCLT-Commonly-Asked-Questions.pdf
Description: FAQ...a bit outdated with the #'s
File size: 83 Kbytes
 
Posts: 1619
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
83
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I think you should look into Dave Ramsey for your financial concerns. Money and time are massive limiters in farming. While working provides me with the money to buy the trees I want, it limits my time. It's a give and take. We are also looking at expanding our holdings. To do that we have been saving and will continue saving for about 3 years until we can pay cash for it. Having no debt changes your life.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1619
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I wanted to say be careful about the trust concept. I am involved in a federal criminal case right now where trusts were used to shield property from taxes. So be very careful about HOW it is set up as the government does not mess around. Some of the people involved weren't real aware what was being done. So just BE CAREFUL AND ASK A LAWYER BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING!!!

To be honest I think your fears are completely unfounded. The only reason your money in a bank would disappear is basically if society and the government were to disappear. If that were to happen you could just go whack someone and take their property because it will be a complete free-for-all anyway. Save your money up, in an insured bank, and be calm yo.
 
steward
Posts: 4093
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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You don't have to own land to be a farmer. Doesn't matter who the owner of the land is, if you are it's steward.

When I first started farming I rented land. I later came to realize that was not a good financial decision. In my community, and I expect in much of the world, land is a burden to it's owners. They have to care for it, and maintain the fences, and guard against erosion, and maintain fire-breaks, and put down noxious weeds, and mow, and remove hazards, and hunt the wild bores, and pacify the neighbors, and etc, etc, etc.

In my experience land is basically free for the use of anyone that wants to take care of a neglected property, and can convince the purported owner that you would be a good steward of the land. I am constantly turning down offers to be the steward over new pieces of land. I've already got as many stewardships as I can effectively manage. People with a neglected fruit tree in their yards are typically delighted if someone offers to pick the fruit, "so that it won't go to waste." Perhaps offer to prune the tree each spring in exchange for the fruit.

Additionally, around here there is a lot of "commons" land. Thing like streets, and parks, and BLM land, and nature reserves, and etc... There is a lot of food growing on them: things like asparagus, herbs, plums, apples, apricots, nuts, etc. Those lands are often easy targets for guerrilla gardening: slip some Egyptian onions into a planter bed, sow asparagus along ditchbanks, plant a food bearing tree, graft a real pear onto a barren decorative tree, seed-bombing, etc. Guerrilla gardening is a low risk activity that enhances food security for generations.

 
Matthew Connors
Posts: 54
Location: Acworth, New Hampshire
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Danielle Venegas wrote:I wanted to say be careful about the trust concept. I am involved in a federal criminal case right now where trusts were used to shield property from taxes. So be very careful about HOW it is set up as the government does not mess around. Some of the people involved weren't real aware what was being done. So just BE CAREFUL AND ASK A LAWYER BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING!!!

To be honest I think your fears are completely unfounded. The only reason your money in a bank would disappear is basically if society and the government were to disappear. If that were to happen you could just go whack someone and take their property because it will be a complete free-for-all anyway. Save your money up, in an insured bank, and be calm yo.



Just want y'all to know that we are not involved, and we pay all of our taxes Our lease fees go partially to taxes.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Meade County, South Dakota
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Nathan, your fears are NOT unfounded! The way things are shaping up, 2008 is going to look good in comparison to what is coming soon! It would be worth your time to watch these 2 Youtube videos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3WUn33vTBo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLP5CZLLaG8. Also, http://www.coinflation.com/ has a lot of economic news article links on the main page, that are often quite informative. I think that you have been on a good track, with what you have been doing. Here are some suggestions that I would have for a strategy shift for the near future:
1. "A bird in the hand, is better than 2 in the bush." Every dollar you have in your hand, is worth 2 dollars in the bank. Bank robbers rob banks because "that is where the money is," and with increasing cyber attacks, your bank could be robbed by somebody 12,000 miles away! It is also worth noting that bank policies have changed a lot in the past few years. If you think that the banks consider your money as your money, just try withdrawing all your money at once, as cash, and see how the bank reacts. If you get your money out (eventually), don't let anybody know that you have much cash on hand, and you will probably be left alone. Be creative on where you keep your money, and any chance burglar will probably pass right over your money. Don't hide it in common places like your mattress or dresser drawer. Do something like getting a small safe, putting it in a store room, then carefully cutting the bottom out of a cardboard box and sliding it over the safe. You could even take a marker and write "Christmas Lights" or something like that on the box. You will be able to function with the cash on hand, even if your bank collapses. If your bank does not collapse, what will you have lost?
2. If you are concerned about a currency collapse robbing you of your savings, a solution would be to not hold your savings in currency. Use your savings to buy small, tangible assets (such as precious metals) that you can hold in your own possession, that are easily sold or traded for larger assets, such as land. Try to pick some thing(s) that will hold their value not only if the currency collapses, but will also hold their value if the currency does not collapse. Personally, I think that silver has HUGE upside potential, but you do have to be careful, silver is very volatile, and it is all but proven that some large banks are actively manipulating the price downward. The thing is, if those banks should collapse, who would keep the prices down? Back in 2007, when the stock market crashed, the price of precious metals plummeted too, I bought some silver at just over $12 an ounce. About 3 years later, I sold that silver for $35 an ounce! I hardly had any money, so I had only bought a few ounces, but it was a significant profit, for me. Right now, silver is back down to about $18 an ounce, and going back up. It was $15 an ounce just a few months ago.
In the case of a major economic down turn or collapse, those that have prepared for it ahead of time, can often times buy things up for pennies on the dollar! Those that have not prepared may be forced to sell for pennies on the dollar.
3. If something happens to the economy, it will likely affect the real estate market, which could make it difficult for you to sell your current place for a decent price. But it could make for a good buy on the place that you want. If you could time it so that you sell your place before the economic disruption, and buy your new place after, you could get quite an advantage! What might be really good, is if you could sell your place now, to somebody that would be willing to rent/lease it back to you for 1 or 2 years. That would get you money now, without you having to find your perfect place until you are ready.
4. Many times it is actually cheaper to build a new house, than it is to buy an older one. So if you buy land that does not have a house on it, and build the house yourself, you could save a lot of money, AND have a house built exactly the way you want it! I hear that "Spec" houses are listed for twice what they cost to build. If you hire the individual contractors yourself, you can save 50% right of the bat! If you do most of the work yourself, you save even more.
 
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
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"Precious metals" versus "fiat money"...In real practical terms, what is the difference? neither one will feed your family, you need to exchange them with someone that has food and wants what you have. And in a bona fide collapse, why would anyone want either?

In a permaculture perspective, how do precious metals fit in to the idea of "care for the earth"? In my opinion, not very well. The entire proces of mining and refining metal ores is a tremendously energy intensive and environmentally destructive process. I cannot see holding ownership of boullion as something that is environmentally responsible. There are some products that are tremendously useful and can be very beneficial where use of refined metals is justified, again, in my opinion.

For the short term, and two to five years is short term, your cash money is almost certainly going to be safe in insured bank accounts. I might recommend dividing among a few different banks (not just different names, actually unrelated institutions) and make sure your balances are below the insurance cut off.

Do not invest in the stock market if you are not prepared to face short term losses. Over the short term, the market is always capable of erasing your investment. Over the long term, a diversified portfolio has a history of growth. Even so, investing in the stock market is a form of gambling, and one where the guys with big stacks of chips have an advantage.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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My advise? With a two acre farm house to work with? I would say put your investment into your home and living space and in those things which give words like 'home' and 'living' their meanings. Then, don't walk away from your home unless it's entirely on your terms. The rest is just details and learning experiences
Welcome to permies
 
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Hey Nathan, as another user mentioned before, you should definitely look into Dave Ramsey's books if you're looking for great financial advise. I also recommend a book by Gary Keesee called "Fixing the Money Thing." These authors get into great detail about the benefits of living debt free and paying cash for things. Some of the advise may be common sense, but these books are very motivational and have greatly influenced my interpretation of living frugally, avoiding loans, and any other type of debt.

My wife and I are also in our late 20's and have 2 kids (3 and 6); we are also homeowners who are looking to make the transition from urban living to sustainable farm living and a debt free life. Like everything else in life, there are some risks to this transition. Since we have little to no savings to fund this long sought dream, we will be using the proceeds of the sale of our home. Thankfully, the market here is good enough that the sale should yield a significant profit.

Now the next step: Since we do want a buffer in order to afford some losses and other unexpected costs, we have decided not to purchase land. Instead, we searched for opportunities where farmers or retired farmers are seeking to have someone farm their land, exchanging rent for farm labor, land maintenance, food, etc…,while still allowing us to have our own enterprise. This cost effective approach, will also provide us with invaluable advise and training, that will minimize our learning curve. We also feel like it is a low-risk approach.

In our case, we were fortunate enough to find a nice couple who own 100+ acres of land who wish to see someone work the land and establish their own enterprise there. The farm is already equipped with a large greenhouse and infrastructure needed to operate a small to medium sized poultry operation, as well as hogs, and other small/medium sized livestock. This opportunity came about after months of online searching, and while visiting family in North Carolina, we drove out to meet the couple and discuss the opportunity. While the couple still have city jobs, they still live on the land and grow their own food there.

Living arrangements: The farm has a small studio-like guest cabin, but it would not be big enough for a family of 4. Therefore, we have studied our options and found that the best living arrangement would be to purchase a 2 bedroom prefab cabin (15x40) and have it dropped off next to the small cabin already in place. Again, another low-risk approach, if we decide to purchase our own land someday, the cabin can easy be picked up and moved (it is a portable asset!) Another big plus is that the lot already has water, electricity, and swage hook-up on site.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what other crazy folks are doing out there and encourages you to find the best path for your family (I will also be blogging about my journey, for those who are interested). Lastly, I will add that anyone taking a similar approach of farming on someone's land, to establish a contract outlining all the terms and conditions. This way you can avoid any future conflicts or misenterpeted expectations that may hinder your relationship with the land owner.
 
Posts: 310
Location: Onalaska, Lewis County, WA
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Hi, Nathan - I found this thread and thought I'd add my two cents worth. I hope the direction you've decided to take between then and now is working out for you.

I'm 51, and had an unexpected health crisis 3.5 years ago. Up till then, I'd been vibrant, active, strong and healthy. My goal had always been to move out of the city (where I've lived my whole life) and into the country, and my house and land would be my retirement. Now that my health is finally on the upswing, I'm selling my city house (which is what I'm using to buy my new land for CASH), and getting the hell out.

I share your distrust of both financial institutions and the upcoming financial outlook. The best deals on land that I've found have been on cash-only sales of improved but distressed properties that already have water, sewer, driveway and electric installed. Raw land looks cheap, but when you start adding in all the extras to develop the place (which government will require until everything collapses), it simply makes sense to get a place that already has this kind of infrastructure installed. Old mobile homes that have been used to replace even older farmhouses seem the best bet, because these homestead properties usually have barns and garages/workshops that are original, and useable (or even able to be restored and used as new living structures!). The nasty old mobiles make these parcels unable to be financed by banks, so owners cannot charge top dollar for their Cash Only/As Is properties. This way, you either rehabilitate the mobile to be your dwelling for a year or two while you construct your new place - or have a new house "dropped on the land" if it's prefab. Ideally, you're training your kids to be your helpers on all the homestead projects, so they'll be learning along with you all those hard skills that will make you all more marketable when the downshift comes.

I'd encourage you to stay somewhat near to train connections to larger cities - my arbitrary choice was within 10 miles of our central interstate corridor - to be able to sell at markets as your food production comes on line. After you find your place, then just pretend you're subsistence farmers and have one person be committed to at least working part-time off the land for cash money till there is no more cash money to be had. Even farmers 3,000 years ago in China still had one family member (at least) working 'in town' for the equivalent of cash. See the book Farmers Of Forty Centuries by F.H. King for more info and a fun read on this subject.

Lastly, two acres can certainly be enough. Five is probably better. Anything over 10 may be more than you need. And make sure you have a stream or water of some kind. Good luck!
 
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Nathan, Farm the 2 acres and check out the local farmer's markets. My wife and I are a decade older, raising 4 children and makeing similar decisions. The problem, as with many folks, is the the money economy gets in the way. The way to solve that is to look at money a different way (quite honestly the pieces of paper and metal we carry around in our wallets and pockets are of arbitrary value) Why not invest some of it into meaninful things that might produce an income (vegetables sell well at many farmer's markets. I sell leaf lettuce at a local market from 50 square foot beds at a rate of just over $100 per bed.) Blackberries are another big winner at my local markets and through the markets I have met a couple of farm to fork resteraunt owners who are interested in my product. You don't have to go big, in fact I recomend you don't, just take extra produce to a local market to see how you like it, and pay attention to what customers are looking for, and what they are carrying away from other booths, you'll quickly learn what you need to grow the following year. This is my first year and here is what I have learned so far:

- Sell something no one else has (in my case Leaf lettuce and radishes)
- Sell something at a time when no one else has it (the local menonites were selling sweet corn the second week of June! and they were selling tomatoes)
- People at my market routinely ask for the following : (Peaches, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, eggplant, and melons)
- Don't rule out cottage kitchen industry, my neighbor at the market makes a killing on her chocolate zucchini bread, peach cobblers, and other sweets.)

Be sure to look into the laws surrounding your local markets and cottage kitchen industry before starting. And don't get discouraged. I made $74 at my first market!



 
Posts: 59
Location: The Hague; Morocco asap
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:You don't have to own land to be a farmer. Doesn't matter who the owner of the land is, if you are it's steward.


Wonderful post by Joseph here. I posted something similar to someone new to permaculture asking for advice myself. I suggest you read that post, too.

I have researched the financial matter in depth. Did you know there are entire communities putting their wealth into buying detergent? Seriously. It's a big thing in Brazil or something. Turns out that if you have the space to store it, detergents never lose their value. Everybody's always interested in keeping clean, eh.
There are other things one might consider investing money in. I think honey is a great one. Good 100% honey will virtually keep forever but unlike detergent, it is quite compact, it is edible, and it's good for many things. (Stephan Buhner assures us people living off of mead and other hive products live up to 150 years old.) Man, if i had $ 10,000 to spare, i would have stashes of honey in any number of places.
How about a nice big stash of cement? If you don't use it yourself, you can always sell it.

Having said that, there are bad choices to make in this arena. Things that go bad after a few decades or things that would be without value in an economy-gone-bad. I wouldn't be investing in technology. I wouldn't be investing in ANYTHING that counts on the powers that be to honor their promises or even remain in power. Both your imagination and in depth research are valid instruments in assessing how safe you are (not). And too many so-called conspiracy THEORIES have ultimately turned out to be conspiracy FACT. Trust no one; it's not just a line. And if things go bad it's better to be able to say to others "I told you so" than to have to say "What do we do now?!" Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. That's what nature does. Why do you think some seeds can lie dormant for centuries. Ya never know.
 
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We are the only people we have ever met that have land and are debt free. Other people just don't understand this concept. All the other farmers around us are deep indebt. Even our small organic friends. I cant begin to describe the relief we feel...though sometimes we feel trapped here. What I wouldn't give for a good dance party and some "Cool" people to be around again. LOL
We are here because 2008 was just the warm up. You can only print fake money for so long. The next failures will not be bailed out. Most countries have move to bail ins for the next round. A financial collapse...is the least of our worries.

OK. Some advice to your situation. Move your savings to a Credit Union. One that doesn't gamble on the stock market. They will never need to be Bailed In with your money. Next advice, this is a good time in history to have a percentage of your savings in cash. I conker. A commodities collapse is happening as we speak.

I wont try to influence your real-estate choices. That's a personal choice
 
Nathan Pieper
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Location: Upper Midwest USA
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Wow, so moths later I made it back here, and have read the various advice. Guess I can sort of forum after all. Thanks for the input everyone! A new friend of mine in my current area is all about land trusts, and doesn't really dig the whole land ownership thing. Doesn't really add up to me. Truth is I in no way consider purchasing a plot of land to be owning any portion of earth on earth's terms, rather I consider it an arrangement among men, that give's me rights (again, among men) to steward it at my and my family's and my welcomed guests discression, with any luck also preventing some other yahoo from coming in an mucking it all up. I can't scarcely imagine anything more worthwhile than taking responsibility for a piece of land and trying to do right by it for present and future generations. That's a kind of ownership I am certainly willing to take and I expect permaculture to be a great help in that respect. I am aware 2 acres is enough space... problem is contemporary legislation sure doesn't see it that way, and I'm not about to fight uphill political battles the rest of my life here, and we're already breaking a bunch-o-laws, and would much rather live down the street from some amish than a bunch of McMansion dwellers who'll be knocking on or kicking in my door should their lack of prudence catch up with them in my lifetime. The urban sprawl is also a pretty serious threat to my particular location, with meetings already held among neighbors who would like to collectively sell to a condo developer or something. Be pretty easy for a lot of the work I put in on this piece of land to be thrown right under the wheels of the perpetual growth machine at others' discretion, so we intend to continue the urban exodus. Scale matters, and it out of control. I've no qualms with simply evading that.

Money wise, I've just been crossing my fingers thus far that things remain stable at the bank. After reading comments, seems like moving some money to a credit union or less "gambling" bank, or using a few banks with holdings under insurance caps might be the way I go. Wife says, "I'll buy bunch of honey" haha, but I'm not sure about the acquisition/remarketing component at this volume. I do feel like that could be a pretty cool way to hold value down the road though, especially when I'm dealing in less of it. For now that's what I'm after though, is turning this liquidity into primary wealth, aka land ownership. Looking at land, I sure appreciate the input on where you get the most bang for buck. Stuff with old trailer homes that banks can't hold for sale seems wise, might look for more of those. We're hitting the property search hard right now, there are so many factors to consider there, and we're spending a heck of a lot of energy trying to find the ideal spot, but it is a huge decision. Next, I'm on to the building forums to see if anyone has recommendations for helpful building resources in my area. Thanks again for all the input everyone!
 
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Location, Location, Location. If you're metro mid sized city, move a little further out but not too far. If you look at prices, you'll see that it's pretty much a 50-60 mile zone around the city that costs and outside of that drops dramatically. Commuting distance basically. Meanwhile, a lot goes on that's not in the city but is close to it so if you live at 60 mile mark, you can do business with those who live at the 40 mile mark that make the big bucks because they commute to the city to do so. Now, you're selling to them but have half the cost of living. Go out to the 120 mile mark and no one's got any money to spend. You have to drive 50 miles to buy anything yourself aside from what walmart carries. We bought a couple of years ago and now wish we were a little closer. We're 25 miles from little towns. 40 miles from slightly larger towns and 60 miles from the outer edges of city money. Nothing but minimum wage jobs around here with 95% of them being part time. No one's going to buy our eggs, chickens, garden produce.
 
Nathan Pieper
Posts: 16
Location: Upper Midwest USA
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Purchased a great little 11 acre piece of land. Some abstract wealth now successfully turned into the real deal. Feels great. Now to do right by it, and help it, and my family friends and neighbors thrive to the best of my ability. Thanks again for the diverse input!
 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Congratulations!
 
Laura Sweany
Posts: 310
Location: Onalaska, Lewis County, WA
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Wonderful! So glad you've made your dream a reality.

Want to tell us more about where you actually landed, and how your plan is unfolding?
 
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I am an older, disabled farmer.... looking for someone to take over and buy us out... all i want is a steady income the rest of my days. perhaps your owner is in the same boat...a frank discussion is best. upon my death, the payments just continue to the estate. In this manner the land can pay for itself. i've proved annual income from farming vegetables exceeding 22k/acre as a small farm operation.. adding airbnb doubled our income....its hard to find a youngster with enough desire to commit... three have looked but no one signed... we're worth a conservative half mil... and i want 2000.00/month, no interest until paid.
 
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Lumberjack ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
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