Ok, so I'm at a crossroads, and let me tell ya, brothers and sisters, it looks pretty good in all directions. All points clear and ready for some combination of pluck, luck, and, "oh, fuck." I'm ready to spend my final winter in the north woods, and head on down the line. This poses no small amount of obstacles, naturally, but I'm used to that.
First hurdle: Garlic
I've got not much money to show for my meager attempt at lettuce farming this year, but learning not to bite off more than I can chew, and figuring out exactly how much my jaw is actually capable of holding is well worth the money I didn't make. I do, however, have around 25-30lb of uncertified organicseed garlic that needs to get planted. German porcelain stiffneck aka "Cockburn's stiff neck". Big cloves. Perfect for processing. I also have some rocamerole and an Irish red variety, but they didn't get very big... Probably another 15-20lb of that, but I'd almost rather eat it. ANYWAY, I'm staunchly attached to the idea that where the garlic goes, I go. My basic concept is that I talk to all interested parties, suss out the nutjobs in favor of the Real loonies, find a place that I want to spend the next few years/forever, come out next month, plant a bunch of garlic, come back to Door County for a winter of metal and carpentry work, get a lil scratch in my pocket, and make the big haul next spring. Ambitious? Maybe. Only time will tell. But it seems to be a very chewable plan, at least to me.
So, here's me:
Benjamin L. Johansen, human male, 27, 5'8", 175lb, red hair, pagan/daoist, eyes of a greenish hue. Gardening since age 7 (veggies, fruit, cut flowers, greenhouse, row crops) familiarity with most animals, deep love of the woods and hills, couple years of philosophy/religion/journalism college, community college certificate in greenhouse production, experience in personnel management, chainsaw operation/maintenance, forestry, self-employed as a carpenter/mason/farmer for 3 years now, developing knowledge of permaculture, natural bulding, chemical processes, blacksmithy, plant medicine, as we speak. My current goal is to find a place to put down roots and begin experimentation with the production of hydrosols using herbs that i have grown myself (fyi- hydrosols are PERPETUALLY in high demand, and not terribly complicated to produce.) I would be just tickled and pickled to find a place where I could work in exchange for space for me, my garlic, my truck, tools, and a small lab. I'd like to live somewhere with lots of trees, like-minded people, clean water, and plenty of space to breathe.
Waddya think? I'm open to suggestions, offers, questions, comments, flattery, bribes, etc. Have a good'n.
Ben, we may have what your looking for. Twenty minutes east of Des Moines Iowa. 78 acres, 60-ish in woods, newly planted orchard, small swine herd, finishing up the chicken tractor. Married couple that are; a pagan priestess, and a philosophically cantankerous artist. Open to creative possibilities. You can see some of what we have going on at the facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/groups/ICCIA/ We also PM'ed you our contact information.
Well, long story short, I found a few good reasons to stay where I am. Not least of which being that a very kind couple came out of left field and offered me a life worth putting my back into; the opportunity to help manage 40+ acres of old pasture land, ripe for permaculture tinkering. I am truly fortunate- I am often unsure as to whether my loyalty towards a place or person or thing comes from a place of sentimental delusion or sentimental reality, so being able to stay here for another season will give me the opportunity to figure out exactly where this mad, mad, county exists on that scale. Planting the garlic next week, then acorns and walnuts until the ground freezes stiff. Thanks for checking up on me, Theklaaa. Mwah!
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
Still happy where you are? We are looking for someone like yourself, and your interest in hydrosols goes well with our ideas.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mary Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 6:34 PM
Subject: Fwd: Looking for 4 people for Ashfield, MA Permaculture Homesteading and collaborative Regenerative Business Opportunity
I saw your post on the permies.com forum. I'm looking for some beginning permaculture farmers who seek mentoring and the opportunity to try out their own business in a supported homestead environment. I'm co-founder of Terra Genesis International, and teach permaculture at Greenfield Community College in western Massachusetts. Please pass this along to anyone who you think would be interested. Thanks,
> Permaculture homesteading and business mentoring opportunity -Searching for 4 special talented caring people.
> Please share this with friends who might be interested. We are searching for 4 individuals with an interest in collaborative homesteading or developing their own earth based regenerative business. The opportunity comes with the option of some consistent professional mentoring. Home/Landowner is offering a farming/permaculture business mentoring situation on a 6 acre homestead in Ashfield. Cost for the on-site residential option is $450/month but you keep all that you earn from your business to help offset this cost.
> Applications are due Nov 15th. Send brief letter of interest stating why you are interested along with your resume to email@example.com. There are 4 residential positions available, and participants will live together in a communal household and manage the 6 acres while working on developing their own permaculture/farm business with assistance from the landowner and the other participants. Non-residential participation is also possible.
The optional coaching can include business plan development, Holistic Management'TM, advanced topics in permaculture, marketing and hosting an onsite Permaculture Design Certificate course, as well as PDC teaching experience.
We are searching especially for someone with a passion for regenerative livestock rearing and beekeeping, someone who has experience and interest in culinary arts/value added products and medicinal plants, someone with gifts in marketing, farm based tourism and education. Also open to other innovative creative entrepreneurs with other interests.
People from diverse backgrounds and traditionally under represented groups highly welcomed.
> See photos and past experience on www.permacultureglobal.org -search for wrcinashfield and on Facebook at Watershed Resource Consultants.