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Nova Scotia North Shore- Potential intentional community/ Ecovillage  RSS feed

 
Ross Raven
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A recent contact recommended that I should be posting on this site. His thoughts were that several people here are looking for what we were offering. A chance at off grid living but not having to do it all on your own...While not going bug nuts, cabin fever, shacky wacky, with the only decent conversation you've had this month being with your chickens. But I am getting ahead of myself as I often do...

Some people get into permaculture because its a lifestyle choice. We are the other type. We are doing this because, collectively, we have moved into a piece of history Ive come to call, The Age of Consequence. That period when business as usual comes to a rather bumpy stop.

So, our property is intended to be a life boat. We have already formed a Mutual Assistance Group of four families that have agreed to look out for each other...but that wasn't my original plan. My original plan was that other people would live on the land together. Ive made several attempts at living off grid before and failed miserably as most of these attempts do. I've come to believe that self sufficiency is a bit of an ideological fallacy. Community self sufficiency is far more difficult but far more realistic.

We have a rather cool piece of dirt. 110 acres. One third cleared. Fully paid for. I'd be lying though my teeth if I called this place a farm. It's a house on farm land. Good farm land. Good water.

Now, in saying that we are looking for intentional community, I am NOT saying I want a bunch of people moving into our house. Been there. Done that. Wont ever do it again. What we do have is the opportunity for someone to build their own house or if they chose, bring in a trailer or tiny home. We do have a trailer on property for temporary use or even woofers. I figure there must be a lot of people out there that just want their chance at a piece of dirt. We want to facilitate that and are open to different options, from selling off a slice with access to the greater property, to renting a pad, rent to own, etcetera. Sorry. This isn't free land for hippies. That said, We may be willing to sponsor one family or individual in a trade situation. We need someone here if only so that we can leave occasionally, and know that someone is feeding the animals and keeping the house from freezing up. We would very much like to add some pigs and milking sheep but we just wont do it unless other people are here. The travelling bug is buzzing in my ear but I just cant listen to it...until other people are here.

This is me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnk0V4pMTI4

I think that is enough for now. A chance for people on this site to get used to me. Ive done talks at the Tatamagouche Free school on Long Term food storage and bridging the gap between Transition Town, Permies and Preppers.
I was also a regular poster on the Nova Scotia Preppers network...Though I think its time for me to move on from there. I was also surprised to find that I know some people on this site, Including one of the members of my Mutual Assistance Group. Looking forward to meeting a few more.
 
dan collins
Posts: 73
Location: Nova Scotia
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Hi Ross, cool youtube vid. You have alot going on theere, good job! Looks like you found my looking for Nova Scotians post, where are you located?
 
dakota Varen
Posts: 18
Location: Bc most of the time
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Hello Ross,

Beautiful piece of land you have there! Im also from nova scotia, and my partner and i have been looking for an opportunity like this on and off for a year or two now. We are currently living in Quebec for the winter but are planning to visit family every now and again in the up coming months. Where in nova scotia is your property?


Hope all is well!
 
Ross Raven
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dakota Varen wrote:Hello Ross,

Beautiful piece of land you have there! Im also from nova scotia, and my partner and i have been looking for an opportunity like this on and off for a year or two now. We are currently living in Quebec for the winter but are planning to visit family every now and again in the up coming months. Where in nova scotia is your property?


Hope all is well!


Hi all, Ill answer both here. As I do have prepper tendencies, I do like to keep my exact location vague until I get to know people a bit. I think its safe to say between Tatamagouche and Pictou. We are inland a bit to act as a buffer from all the things the ocean would want to throw at us. Im also a BC transplant

I should also point out that one of our group members is trying to do something similar in the Annapolis Valley. Same group. Two different locations. We are each others plan B. We can also put people in touch with them if that is their preferred location.
 
bill berry
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very interesting, i like what your doing there. we've purchased 100 acres, and plan to homestead there with our 6 kids.
I;m in the valley, and run a machine shop, if your valley location ever needs anything metal working wise, feel free to contact me, i like to work on trade

welcome to the site, and good luck with your endevors, i wish my land was as farm friendly as yours
 
Ross Raven
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bill berry wrote:very interesting, i like what your doing there. we've purchased 100 acres, and plan to homestead there with our 6 kids.
I;m in the valley, and run a machine shop, if your valley location ever needs anything metal working wise, feel free to contact me, i like to work on trade

welcome to the site, and good luck with your endevors, i wish my land was as farm friendly as yours


A metal shop is a very handy thing to have...especially when things are breaking...and the supply chain is interrupted. I'll pass on your note. Thanks
 
Ross Raven
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I clearly owe you folks a bit more information about myself and my wife. Searching for intentional community is sort of like internet dating. It takes a lot of online chatting to see if you like each other or not. After that, a coffee date is in order. Then you go from there. Ive met a few people online that after several chats...I walked away going, Yikes. Sure glad I didn't tell them where I lived.

Speaking of which, two people from my team, randomly decided to visit us today. Its a two hour drive for one of them. Its taken a few years for us to bond. It has become extended family, But family by choice. Intentional family committed by purpose . I liked watching how those two people have male bonded now that I wasn't required to smooth things. They add a Nurse and Doctor combo from one side and a General Contractor, Tracker and all round bush guy from the other. I bring this up to point out some of the skill sources we can draw. Another is our other family that has built, on their own, a far larger straw bale house than I thought was actually possible. Three stories with all the alternative energy options. Now, of course, none of us is living together other than in an emergency. Im just pointing out that we have already had some experience in this social bonding arrangement. The lessons learned translate to this venture...and you would be inheriting these folks as well.

My wife is a sociology professor that has finally given up on the University world. I am a grown up Ex Street kid. A little rough around the edges. I point this out because, as rough as my start has been, It has left me well trained in this lifestyle. The salvage and repurpose non economy. The ability to do without many of the things that are just an expected given by most in our society. If the world gives you bruised, unripe apples, make sour dehydrated apple chunks.

A few of my influences are...
Dmitry Orlov , Howard Kunstler, Chris Martenson. I never seem to have anything to disagree with when reading John Michael Greer
My main expertise is on the subject of how societies break down and what that actually looks like, from recent examples like Argentina, The USSR, Jamaica, Greece, Bosnia and Cuba.

That's enough for now as I am a two finger typer. Ill ad more as I go along.
 
Ross Raven
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'Let’s go ahead and say it in so many words: there doesn’t have to be a replacement for fossil fuels.'

Speaking of John Michael Greer, I snuck this quote from his latest post. http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.ca/2015/01/march-of-squirrels.html
Its the first time I have heard another person but me actually say that out loud. The reason Im putting this random post up is to help you get a feel for the type of people we are here and the reason we have this property. Its not because living out here in nature is a romantic spiritual notion that breeds life affirming fulfilment. Its really quite dull, followed by long periods of huddling by the wood stove because its too friggin cold, followed again by brutish sweaty work cutting the same fire wood. And a lot of other unfulfilling sweaty work that will neither turn a profit not bring nirvana. Neither is it carbon friendly because of all the extra driving time and supplies necessary to keep the lifestyle going. It takes a certain type of person to live with that. JM Greer points out some of the reasons why we still chose to do this project in spite of it not usually being all that fun. Don't get me wrong. I love the view and long periods without hearing another internal combustion engine and working on projects like my rocket stove, cargo bikes and greenhouses, but the reason for all this self sacrifice is to be well positioned when consistent oil, or more importantly, a functioning economy to be able to purchase that oil ceases to be functioning, consistent or oily. I've always expected we would end up with unemployed refugees when mass job losses meant mass home losses and mass safety net cutbacks. It aint much but we should never find ourselves homeless and are pretty sure we can produce enough food to keep from having the Special Period that Cuba experienced. I may have a chainsaw but I also have 4 large bow saws. I may have a car and motorcycle but I also have six bicycles. The main thing we need is other people to share the experience. A wolf is only a wolf because it is part of a pack. A lone wolf is barely a wolf at all and wont usually do so well.

That's all for now. If I keep doing this long enough, eventually I will hear from a few odd folks like myself that will say, "Ya, sounds about right. How do I sigh up?"
 
dan collins
Posts: 73
Location: Nova Scotia
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Cargo bikes... great idea. I have been thinking of building a 1 or 2 wheel trailer for my bike. With the hwy I live on being a nightmare for cyclists, width of transport as to not hang a trailer wheel or the ability to drop off onto washed away shoulders at a moments noice, a cargo bike would work best.
 
Ross Raven
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dan collins wrote:Cargo bikes... great idea. I have been thinking of building a 1 or 2 wheel trailer for my bike. With the hwy I live on being a nightmare for cyclists, width of transport as to not hang a trailer wheel or the ability to drop off onto washed away shoulders at a moments noice, a cargo bike would work best.


Thanks. That's what made me a public presence. I only introduced a computer to my life less than a decade ago. I was surprised to find a lot of people identifying with preparedness and self sufficiency. Then I noticed what they were pushing and went, 'Yikes". Having had life fall apart before, I had a pretty good idea of what it really took to survive...and one the most important things that was totally being ignored was a bike that can carry stuff. Total, no brainner. No income means, no vehicle, no gas and no insurance....yet, you still have to get around and haul stuff. So, 100,000 youtube views later, people are looking to me as a survival expert for pointing out the obvious. Next thing I knew, people were camouflaging their bicycles and putting gun racks on them as a prepper trend. Oi Vey. Not quite what I intended.

Well, at least other 'Experts" quote me now on a number of subjects, if not directly, then by other people that are indirectly quoting me. I still find it sort of creepy. Just goes to show how the 100th monkey thing works.
 
Joe Oblenis
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Hey Ross,
Good to see you posting on Permies now, I think that this a better place to help build the communtiy you are in search of as opposed to the other forums where we have chatted before.
I am looking forward to meeting you and the group this summer when I make my way back to Nova Scotia from here in northwestern Ontario. It was nice to see the post about the fellow with the metal working shop down in the Valley, that is a good thing to have access to as well.

Cheers.. Joe
 
vera wong
Posts: 5
Location: Canada
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hello,

My husband & I are looking for the opportunity to live off the grid. We would like to acquire a piece of land near the water to build a small house and do some farming.
We are newbies and city folks but we are doing a lot of research and learning online, etc. How many people do you have currently living on your property?
Do you have families with children? ideally, how large would you like your community to be?

Hoping to hear from you.

Viv
 
Ross Raven
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Hi Vera. We lost internet recently so can only reply when at the library. Thanks for taking an interest. First thing. We are about 10 km from the ocean. Next, This community is just in the "Potential" category at this point. Just me and the wife. One other will be coming about early summer. A possible woofer as well. We have no children.

This brings up a pervious discussion I had recently by the person coming in the spring. He asked me, how many people do you plan on for it to be a functioning community.
I replied, As many as I can until it doesn't make sence to bring in anymore. I don't exactly have a master plan. The plan will get worked out by the first few people based on what they are hoping for. At the moment, I am trying to get just one person. No one wants to be the first person to arrive at a party. If I can get just one person, it will be much easier to get two. Once I can get two, The rest should be much easier.

We have recently been chatting with a few others through ads on Ecoproperties and Kikijji. The first land sale will be the most difficult because of 10,000 that has to be paid for surveying before severing. ouch.

If you would like to ask more questions of us or like to tell us alittle about yourselves, feel free to use the Purple Moosages (Private message) function, and we can talk more from there.
 
Sean Dougherty
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Hello! If you're looking for the first person to come to the party I would very much like to be that person. My name is Sean, I'm 26 years old and ready to work. I've actually been trying to get up to your area from the states for quite some time. You can reference my post here on permies at Helping hand to learn more about me or feel free to email me at Sean.Dougherty17@Yahoo.com or call or text any time at 6196022357. Hope to hear from you!
 
Ross Raven
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Sean Dougherty wrote:Hello! If you're looking for the first person to come to the party I would very much like to be that person. My name is Sean, I'm 26 years old and ready to work. I've actually been trying to get up to your area from the states for quite some time. You can reference my post here on permies at Helping hand to learn more about me or feel free to email me at Sean.Dougherty17@Yahoo.com or call or text any time at 6196022357. Hope to hear from you!


Thanks for the enthusiasm Sean. I'll have Mrs C5 send you a private message.
This winter has really been kicking the butt of everyone we know. The average snow depth is about 4 ft with wind drifts up to 12 ft. This has slowed down meeting a number of the people that have contacted us. We cant really show off the property because no one can see whats underneath. The flooding that will come next is going to be epic. Im really looking forward to seeing the swath of destruction that mother nature is going to be doing to human infrastructure. Im chomping at the bit to getting onto building the next round of greenhouses. Solid ones that wont be destroyed by snow or blown away by hurricanes. But first I need to be able to see the ground. LOL. A friend lost two of his greenhouses this winter. Im sure glad I got this little one done last year.
finished-greenhouse.JPG
[Thumbnail for finished-greenhouse.JPG]
 
Ross Raven
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Hi, everyone. I just wanted to say, Yes. We are still here. We have talked to many people and we are still looking for the first person to show up to the party. The pros of being the first member is that you get to help decide what the policies and direction are...instead of being the tenth person once those same directions have been set.

By the way. We got our first practice pig. We have trained him on a harness so we can move him to areas that need to be tilled. The dogs are jealous of his attention. We named him Mr Wu. Bonus points go to those who catch the cultural reference and why its funny in a dark humour sort of way.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Sorry 4 not reading the hole post but is there any work around there?
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Are you able to mow large patches for hay\ silege? Would you consider growing tonesmof sunchokes for feeding animals in winter? Do you or can you have a building 4 storing lots of feeds?
 
Ross Raven
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Jeff Hodgins wrote:Are you able to mow large patches for hay\ silege? Would you consider growing tonesmof sunchokes for feeding animals in winter? Do you or can you have a building 4 storing lots of feeds?
Yes. We have plenty of hay field that goes to waist. We have cut it for several years just to restore it to hay and wrestle it back from golden rod. Now its proper hay...that we only use as mulch. Sadly we don't have suitable outbuildings for hay storage unless you wish to build one or bring in a shipping container. We have been wanting to experiment with haystacks. We do already have patches of sunchoke that are taking over.

As for work, Nova Scotia's economy has always been bad. There is still plenty of work in the trades, at least in the non snow covered months
 
Ross Raven
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Just a second heads up. Things have changed a bit since originally posting. As we proceeded, we found out that surveying costs were prohibitive. So were the costs of starting a community land trust. We still may sell off the back 25 acers to the right person but at this point the only real way forward is for people to buy into the propery and have them put on our lease. This means we have to choose people very carefully because it would be nearly impossible for a person to get out of the deal. Luckily its still cheap enough even if a person decides to bail and eat the loss. 15 thousand buy in. The next issue, we have extremely cheap land tax. 250$ a year. If we put permanent houses on it, that will skyrocket. The way around that is if people put on houses that are technically mobile homes. Something like a miny home or a shipping container home or travel trailer with ever expanding out buildings. That's how people get around all that here. Here is the advantage of the buy in arrangement. It keeps the community in perpetuity. The community doesn't disappear just because we die...as long as someone else is on the lease. Anyone that wants to put in a basement or permanent house will have to cover the extra taxes. Im a big fan of being sneaky, though and finding the ways around codes.

So far, we have had lots of interest...but no one that has made the big jump. We just need to find those few adventurous people that Really, Really, Really want to live this way, like we do. We cant be the only ones?
 
Ross Raven
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Speaking of hay... I wrote this a while ago on low tec, peak oil, haying.... Hopefully it doesn't scare people of. We really are pretty laid back. http://internationalpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5178
 
Jeff Hodgins
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I wonder if they need drywall tapers
 
Rachel Dee
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We're moving in - come read what I've written about it :

Another perspective

This is also a way of bumping up the post.
 
Eliza McNannay
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solar trees woodworking
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Excited to see things (and people) moving!

Glad to follow along on your adventures as we look for a similar situation on our little slice of heaven.

It will be great to "listen in" as you all work through the initial stages of cohabitation.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, this will be a help to many others along the way!
 
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