I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Homestead / Permaculture - Come share our vision in central VA  RSS feed

 
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Hello!

We are new to Permies.com and have started learning about permaculture.

My husband and I and our 2 year old have purchased almost 30 acres. We are currently renting out for extra income until we can create our vision. It will be paid off in Dec 2015 when we will be able to get more involved financially in our building efforts but in the meantime we have done a few things and are working on more.

We would like to invite others out to our land in exchange for a piece of land to build a house / or park your house, a place to grow your own food, do your own thing... I imagine other spaces where others could do their own thing and somehow we would all come together and share and trade and help each other out... I would like it to all be off the grid and others can have either tiny homes / campers / rvs or wofati, etc (hard to find type houses) - The land is perfect for wofati as it is hilly - I do not want to have to pull permits for building anything. The area is surrounded by mostly farms or recreational land, population is about 50 households in the town. You are allowed to build farm type shelters without permits and anything associated with farm business. The Shenandoah / Blue Ridge mountains can be seen from the land.

So far we have made an outhouse and started a second one. We cleared a path down to the creeks and have started to burn the left over wood that was cleared in our wood stove. After the land was cut over, it was planted with 40k pine trees. There are several creeks with little fish swimming around. Lots of wildlife around, deer, turkey, TONS of rabbits...

Before we bought the land, we had a house on 10 acres where we had chickens, quail, turkeys, guineas, goats, a cow, and dogs. We grew a huge garden that we were able to sell / trade for other items we didn't have. In our dealings we also were given a week old baby calf for free that we nursed and grew to a full adult. We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do. We wanted more land and did not like how our house was built and really wanted to build our own WITHOUT a septic tank, I am so over those! My husband is a carpenter / all around handy man and can pretty much make any kind of structure and drive any vehicle. We updated the house and were able to sell the house a few years later for more money and the profits from that we were able to put down on some land and finance the rest.

Here is a link to the craigslist ad that has some pics: http://richmond.craigslist.org/wan/4921632701.html

The amish live down the road they have their own schoolhouse, horses, and have about 500 acres. You can see them travel down the road in their horse/buggy. Somehow they have found a way to make things work together, I picture something like that as well on a smaller level. Somewhere that my child can grow up and have others around him that have children as well and a place he can get his own eggs for breakfast, or fish in a pond that he helped build. Plant veggies and trees, etc... A place he can be homeschooled / unschooled with other children and other adults that have knowledge to share.

I didn't really think out what i was going to write as i am hoping that if people write they can help create that vision with me...

I've heard Paul's audios about intentional communities and how 90% fail when too many people have too much say. The communities tend to work better when the community has some type of leadership with structure vs disorganized chaos. I have a vision, a plan and hope I can lead others to this vision and in the end everyone can be happy Call me crazy but, I think something like this could work if everyone really wants it and is willing to work hard to create it. If you build it, they will come....
 
master steward
Posts: 4160
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Howdy Alex, welcome to permies. The pics in the craigslist add look pretty nice. I hope you find some good folks to help you along !
 
alex powers
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Thanks! we are very excited... In order to help us build on the land we bought a school bus that we can work on at home. Then, we can park it at the land and work on things there using the bus as shelter. We are working on turning it into an off the grid RV with the basics. This will allow us to work on things when were not at the land that is an hour away from us.

The seats were already taken out when we bought it. We are little by little saving materials to build it out. We bought a solar charger that has been doing a great job of keeping it charged if we don't start it everyday. We unplugged it for a week and the bus started fine by itself... we are currently moving so it has come in handy! We are also going to build a little side room that we pull up to with the bus so we can have a little more head room. We're going to get one of those metal roof carport thingys and turn it into a room. We've been looking at well points so we can have water as well. We lived on the land for awhile in a pull behind camper for 6 months and used to haul in water that was fun... RVs suck though they eventually leak and are made really crappy, plus all the toxic chemicals they are made with - its comforting when you see labels everywhere on the wall saying "toxic fumes may be present, open the window if you smell stuff or get dizzy" sigh.....
 
Posts: 2
Location: Rhode Island
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hey whats going on?
i just wanted you to know I'm jellous this is AWESOME!
but i was wondering if you have water rights to that creek?
or if you need it to dam it up and make ponds
 
alex powers
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Brad,

Thanks for checking it out we love it there! yes we have all the water, mineral, timber etc rights to the property.

We were planning on making ponds, the area is perfect for it. there are already little minnows in the creeks which i read indicates that the water is good. they are like nature's little water testers.
We have drank the water with out filtering etc and we didn't die which is good...

 
Posts: 2
Location: Earth
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My boyfriend Adam and I have just sent you a Purple Mooseage.
 
Posts: 4
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Hi

the link on Craigslist is not working
can you repost??

We've been trying the same thing south of Lynchburg for years
a couple years actually had some success and about 10 people living at our 84 acre farm
but all eventually drifted away
this is really hard
so few people will commit to anything
let alone no air conditioning and woodstove heat and slow dial-up internet!!!
would love to know where you are??
and if you've found any better formula to starting and maintaining community on a farm

My latest opinion, for what it is worth after YEARS of this
is to go for RVers...maybe retired or semi-retired
or the latest craze that has really gained traction
and that is
the TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT
those 108-280 square foot tiny houses built on 20 foot trailers
circumvents all building codes cuz they are moveable
and I see successful small communities starting up with 5-10 people banding together on a property and making it work
something the intentional community is just not doing with any level of success
harsh assessment but true if you truly look at the ic.org database of communities
MOST are wishful thinking
Most are in the idea stage
most have disbanded
its just really hard, like herding cats
have had a few really good people in the past but even they end up drifting off

1/ gold-mining
2/ pregnancy
3/ partner died of alcohol poisoning
and the list goes on

I was involved with another farm that had CLYDESDALES and llamas and maremma dogs and goats
and because of those attractions
we were able to gain more HelpXers and Wwoofers
but this is hard

please tell me any secrets you may have that actually work!!!
and Good luck
we are trying again

mike
 
alex powers
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The link in the original post is no longer valid so going to post the pics in this message
we are in cullen, va -- i can't write too much now at work but will write more later!
1.jpg
[Thumbnail for 1.jpg]
4.jpg
[Thumbnail for 4.jpg]
3.jpg
[Thumbnail for 3.jpg]
 
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Hello,

Sent you a PM with some details about us.

Thanks!
 
Posts: 15
Location: Pacific NorthWest Coast Range. Temperate Rain Forest. Climate zone>9A.
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Hi Alex,

Your project sounds interesting and appealing. I currently live on a cooperative farm in VA. My skill set runs to construction and repair, tractoring, gardening and raising various farm animals (been using pig for clearing raw land!).

Please contact me at snowcrash@planetmail.com so that we can talk about how we/I might move your project forward.

Thanks!
 
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I have a 200 acre farm near Danville, Virginia. I have had trouble getting anyone interested in working with us on an agricultural basis. I even have a 2-bedroom home that would be rent-free to someone who could help with some chores. I just don't know how to do it and not get burned, as the last people who lived at the house were just awful. A beautiful property, a nice house, I was willing at the time to finance any venture (though not so much now--more like let's costshare, profitshare.) It did not turn out well. I have a couple of people who are partners/friends/work together at the farm, and are very loyal. But we need new ideas, marketing, etc. because it's more than I can do alone, or with the weekend help of friends. Let's find out if there really is anybody out there. And i also have a great RV hookup, but who has an RV? Who wants to really be part of something, and not just think about how great it would be?
 
Posts: 39
Location: Maryland + DC + Virginia
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alex powers wrote:Hello!

My husband and I and our 2 year old have purchased almost 30 acres. We are currently renting out for extra income until we can create our vision. It will be paid off in Dec 2015 when we will be able to get more involved financially in our building efforts but in the meantime we have done a few things and are working on more.

We would like to invite others out to our land in exchange for a piece of land to build a house / or park your house, a place to grow your own food, do your own thing... I imagine other spaces where others could do their own thing and somehow we would all come together and share and trade and help each other out... I would like it to all be off the grid and others can have either tiny homes / campers / rvs or wofati, etc (hard to find type houses)


What would the monthly rent be? Are you offering co-ownership, like a sort of rent to own?

I'd be interested in setting up a canvas house tent, which would be very low impact.



- The land is perfect for wofati as it is hilly - I do not want to have to pull permits for building anything. The area is surrounded by mostly farms or recreational land, population is about 50 households in the town. You are allowed to build farm type shelters without permits and anything associated with farm business. The Shenandoah / Blue Ridge mountains can be seen from the land.


What part of Virginia (VA) are you in?

So far we have made an outhouse and started a second one. We cleared a path down to the creeks and have started to burn the left over wood that was cleared in our wood stove. After the land was cut over, it was planted with 40k pine trees. There are several creeks with little fish swimming around. Lots of wildlife around, deer, turkey, TONS of rabbits...


Do you have water rights?

Before we bought the land, we had a house on 10 acres where we had chickens, quail, turkeys, guineas, goats, a cow, and dogs. We grew a huge garden that we were able to sell / trade for other items we didn't have. In our dealings we also were given a week old baby calf for free that we nursed and grew to a full adult. We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do...We updated the house and were able to sell the house a few years later for more money and the profits from that we were able to put down on some land and finance the rest.


Do you still have this same livestock?

Here is a link to the craigslist ad that has some pics: http://richmond.craigslist.org/wan/4921632701.html


Any more updated recent pics since this post expired? Facebook group?

... A place he can be homeschooled / unschooled with other children and other adults that have knowledge to share.


I have a 3 month old son who I'd like to unschool as well.


I've heard Paul's audios about intentional communities and how 90% fail when too many people have too much say. The communities tend to work better when the community has some type of leadership with structure vs disorganized chaos. I have a vision, a plan and hope I can lead others to this vision and in the end everyone can be happy Call me crazy but, I think something like this could work if everyone really wants it and is willing to work hard to create it. If you build it, they will come....


I think there are definitely pros and cons to having input from everyone, but the bad seeds are in my opinion the ones who cause more cons.

Egalitarian systems seem to gain a lot of traction i.e. as with Acorn, Twin Oaks, etc.
 
Posts: 10
Location: Everywhere USA
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Are you still looking for people to come to your land?  My husband and I converted a school bus with solar, composting toilet, etc. and are looking for a place to work and learn for a bit. 
 
Posts: 1
Location: Virginia
chicken tiny house woodworking
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I am in Richmond and would love to come out for a visit to talk with you and see the property.
Any updates for the group?
 
alex powers
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Hi LoriLeigh and Robert,

Thanks for writing, I have not checked this account in awhile... As far as an update I had to quit my job sooner than I thought which slowed everything down. We just started picking things up again and are working on finishing our bus to then convert it to be off the grid. I would love to meet up with both of ya'll and exchange ideas etc and checkout your bus so we can get ideas also!

PM me if you want to chat more and see about possibly meeting up!
 
Posts: 27
Location: Toutle WA (an hour north of portland)
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Hello there Alex!!

First of all i’m really hoping that you are still checking these messages because my partner and I are extremely interested in what you have described. First i would like to tell you just a little about us. We have been on the hunt for a like-minded community for years (both before we met and together). We are currently living in Washington state and have a posting on the ic.org site which i will try to remember to link at the bottom. We have had a few visitors but nothing too hopeful for future land-mates. We are loving the lives we live but are feeling a definite lack in the social area. We are craving community and going searching next month to find it. Before we got together, I was living in North Carolina in the blue ridge mountains. Jared lived out here in the NW, so we gave it a go out here but with the agreement that we would search for community in both areas together to see where called to us most. We are taking an extended road trip starting in just 3 weeks to the east and hitting up many friends, family and hopefully some promising communities or people looking to start community. We are in a healthy financial situation and can currently contribute to buying some land or buying a parcel or whatever it turns out as. We both have spent many years gardening/farming, had chickens, milked goats etc. Jared has fantastic carpentry experience and I have done some natural building internships. We are really interested in living kindly/simply/directly with the earth, which to us means using less factory made things and more forest made things. Our IDEAL lifestyle involves living in a earthen structure made entirely from things of the land surrounding us. We are accumulating and practicing the knowledge of wild foods so that we can eat what nature provides and spend less time growing and preserving “non-wild” foods. Currently most of my days are spent preserving the foods we have been growing all year. We live off grid, with a single solar panel, but still have some internet, computers and cell phones around. We have a 13 year old “alert” dog who keeps the gardens free from deer and the chickens free from predators, and 2 newly acquired kittens in order to keep the mouse population in check.

We are looking for someplace to care for, and that will care for us in return. We are looking to share space with other loving folks in hopes that we can be there for each others social needs. To love and support each other, to help out on the tough projects, to learn from each others interests, and to have dinner and a good conversation with a few times a week. We are pretty laid back and I am feeling that we would have a good connection. Hoping to hear back and possibly meet up with you all to discuss living situations and possibly homesteading together. Looking forward to it! p.s. i tried to pm you without success. Not sure whats going on but pm me if you can.

http://www.ic.org/directory/life-practice-natural-farming-and-living-directly-closely-with-the-earth/

Love and light,

jaime
 
alex powers
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Hi Everyone!

We are working on getting our camper and tiny school bus in order... I am trying to get people together around November 26-30 dates can be a little flexible, there is a couple coming in from Washington state interested in homesteading / intentional communities so it would be a perfect time for all those interested in the intentional community to meet up!!!

Send us a message if you are interested!

thanks,
Alex
 
Posts: 95
Location: Central TN
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We're doing something very similar to this in an area of TN that has no building restrictions period. We plan on using CEB technology and using our own labor and building a million dollar home for a few thousand dollars and our time. Then permaculture farming our homestead.
 
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