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What do they REALLY want?  RSS feed

 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I was told this was the place to Rant. So I'm ranting (sort of).

Some older/wiser/more experienced folks may be able to help me understand the situation:

I have, and have seen many posts of land owners offering opportunities, but have seen little evidence of takers. So please help me understand what is OFF about all this.

What is it that people who say they want to live off-grid, Permie-style, self-sufficient, (blah, blah) but can't afford land, REALLY want?
I've made several attempts to offer land, use of land, community, semi, to off-grid, self-sufficiency, Permaculture lifestyle, very low cost sharing (internet, liability insurance, taxes), no buy ins,...and still no takers.
Granted, there have been some whom came and took a look, but could they SEE what had been accomplished thus far; clearing land, wells, house, barn, outbuildings, livestock, etc., Years of sweat equity investment.

Decades ago I chucked the city and moved onto the land, sacrificed a lot of Creature Comforts, went without, worked hard, and raised a family. I have no regrets, with the exception of not having more kids to help with chores (LOL). It was scary, but not as scary as staying in the city. I have no debt, no mortgage. I have produce daily that I couldn't afford when I lived in the city.

One question that came up regularly was how much $$$ was I making off the place. It's a homestead, not a commercial venture, and is something I never wavered from. But I don't need a lot of $$$. Live better on less, right?
I get the sense they want housed, fed, and paid, much like on Organic Farm Business. They tell me they are looking for community, yet still want housed, fed, and paid!? Heck, they can do the market garden thing, they have use of the property, and with plenty of farmers markets around.

I think I've severely misunderstood the wishes of some of these folks. I find them fickle, undecided, inconsistent, less than open, and in the end always looking for the "better deal". So it still comes back to the Almighty Dollar, yes?? So what is it they REALLY want? Is it ALL just talk, and no guts? If so, then I'll just quit posting about Community.

Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

K

 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1125
Location: northern northern california
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i think this could be an interesting discussion...

i'm a little pressed for time right now so i will just give some quick ideas, maybe i will come back later and give you a good rant back =)

i think the most important thing i am looking for in some kind of land sharing agreement is autonomy, and freedom to feel like i can do my own thing. so some independance and i like my private space. even better if theres long term potential, and best if theres a chance for part ownership, or at least an understanding that facilitates the person feeling like they have their "own land".

and obviously security, feeling like the works being done are not going to be wasted effort...cause everything gets crazy, or is unstable in some way, where you may be kicked out.

i also enjoy working on big projects and collaborating, so its not like i am always wanting to work alone, but i do consider myself a self starter, so maybe thats rare, idk. well probably i am a weird bird, that seems likely, so maybe i dont really know what many people are looking for.

it certainly depends on where the person is in life, if they are younger, or more experienced. i've personally been burnt pretty badly in some work trades gone horribly wrong, and felt really exploited in several different farm related type, no pay/little pay, jobs. so i am definitely feeling out what possibility are there...if i feel like i would be under someones thumb as they say...or feel like theres a chance for good reciprocal interactions.

but i can relate more to what you say, sacrificing creature comforts, learning to live simply, making do. i have learned to learned to live on extremely small amounts of income, to continue doing what i love to do - make art and grow things. so everything i dont buy, is like the further my stash of money can go, to "buy" me more free time =). so i can then work at tinkering in the gardens, making art, etc =) its weird to have so little and feel so blessed in a weird way.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Thanks for the reply Leila

This property is in a Trust, so long term understandings are favored. We (Mother/daughter) are looking for a "Steward" for the property, someone we can trust for the long haul, to properly care for the land in the event of my passing, that then goes to my daughter, and no one should do it alone.

To have some "Ownership" entails taking on legal responsibilities, something I don't think many are aware of, or what these responsibilities are. To not want to take them on (the good, the bad, and the ugly) does not entitle someone to co-ownership. The situation can easily fall into the owner being legally responsible for other's actions/in-actions, putting much at risk from a liability/financial perspective. There are Municipal by-laws that must be respected, neighbors, local laws, taxes, etc.,. these are all things that ownership entails.

I enjoy my solitude/privacy, and offered all the raw materials if wanted to build a Cottage, something I cannot do alone, but offered to help with, their investment: elbow grease. Certainly an agreement would have to be established to guaranty their housing efforts. Or they could save up and buy a shipping container, and take a summer to convert it. This is something they could literally take with them or sell if things didn't work out, that would be assuming personal ownership. If I should assume the lone financial responsibility for their private housing then a rent of some kind is in order.

Another thing that would come up was that "they" didn't want to be tied to the place, and wanted up to a couple of weeks away at a time. What if they had livestock? Gardens? Would I cover for them? So basically, they can't have it all, there is necessarily a give and take.

I have, in the past, been burned as you say, taken advantage of financially and/or otherwise, in having to "cover" for someone, with little, if anything, in return. But I keep hoping there are good, honest, humble people out there.

K
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6672
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I'm only interested in short-term rental in the near future. Work trades have not worked for me. My people used my place as a home base for vacations.

They didn't accomplish anything on the to do list that I gave them,  but they did accumulate mountains of stuff, that was left behind. Now, I have broken windows and garbage to contend with.

 I found out that while they were living for free at my place, they were going off to work at another farm.
.......
 Future tenants must have a job that provides for all of their needs. In my experience,  people who have no money seldom have anything else that I require. Anyone so financially inept that their only choice is working for a tyrant like me, is not welcome.

 It's important to not accept peoples sob stories. If they have run out of options, let the shit hit the fan somewhere else.

 Brokenness, is usually just the tip of the iceberg. There are likely to be many more personal problems which led to the condition.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi Dale

You're right on queue, (my little ray of sunshine)!

K
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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I find that work trades set up a dynamic that tends to leave both sides feeling sour.

The landowner usually ends up feeling that the tenants are entitled spongers with issues who don't really want to work or commit.

The tenants usually end up feeling exploited and dictated to and resentful and like they are second class citizens or serfs.

I have come to believe that only a relatively small part of this is attributable to either side being less than perfect in terms of character, motivation, or personality.

It's mostly the dynamic itself, a flaw inherent in the system. Paul has talked about something similar in his "obligation is poison" discussions.

The tenants, just by virtue of being obligated, feel scrutinized and harassed whether they are or not, and the more they feel that way, the more resentful they become and the less they work, and the more justified they feel in not working because the landlord is a jerk (even if this is only something they have built up in their own mind out of anxiety or guilt). Landlord starts out wary, finds that tenants are not living up to obligations or they don't have the same ideas/expectations, tries to give them some space but eventually gets fed up and tries to talk to them. They feel even more put upon because they are trying to get around to it, it's just that X, Y, and Z came up, or they begin to feel that every request/demand is a personal attack or deliberate provocation even if it was supposed to be part of the agreement. This is ironically even more true if the landlord tried to give them space to get their ducks in order before making demands, because they sort of come to see that as the natural state of affairs and when the owner gets more involved it is resented as patronizing or tyrannical (even if all s/he's trying to do is get them to live up to the original agreement). Landlord resents having to be the bad guy. Then they finally do some work but it's sub-par. Landlord is already on edge, and it's his place that will suffer if shoddy work is allowed to persist, so he intervenes. Why can't they just do it right the first time? Of course being nit-picked (from their perspective) makes the tenants even more angry and they start to feel the urge to stick it to him by not working even more, not taking care of things, not being conscientious in general. Landlord comes to despise them and wants to get rid of them. They feel ill-used. Etcetera.

Now what I wrote above may seem to portray the tenants in a bad light and the landlord as more justified, but that's not really my point (although, I will admit that my perspective is more that of the landlord, and we have had bad luck with work-for-stay folks). I have seen cases where the shoe was on the other foot, and the tenants were reacting to bad behavior on the part of the owner.

But I think the deeper point is that such an arrangement, even with the best of intentions on both sides, sets up a power imbalance, and that power imbalance poisons the relationship. When one side feels like they are subject to judgment/evaluation/control by the other side, it is very rare for them to be able to maintain convivial relations, much less real community. Resentment naturally bubbles up, even if the more powerful party is decent and reasonable, and neither side can really feel comfortable. There is a fear of being found wanting, a fear of being displaced if they don't measure up or simply at the owner's whim and indignation at this perceived injustice, perhaps a longing to have one's own land and home where one has dominion, a desire for security, sometimes the unfortunate but common human tendency to want things to be easy and to feel that people in apparently better financial circumstances experience unlimited ease and that they are spitefully refusing to let others enjoy the same.

I think what they REALLY want in most cases is an experience equivalent to owning their own land and controlling their own time, but they can't afford it (and often don't realize how much risk and work of how many unpleasant and tedious sorts goes into it), so they seek it on another's land but can never really be full partners and the experience doesn't match up with their expectations, and so everything goes downhill.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Bravo Jennifer!

The last paragraph of your post sounds about right!
Thus, to speak of intentional community, is to "Stick One's Foot In It" (SOFIT).

My Grandmother used to have people on her place during the Depression, all seemed to work well most of the time.
My Mother had people at our place, all seemed to work well most of the time.
I belong to the experience of a different, and now distant Era; that of cooperation, respect, and trust.

Sometime during the 1990's all went wrong, people changed, a Right of Entitlement I believe it's called, ergo; SOFIT!

So very, very sad.

K
 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 200
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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My first thought would be... ownership.

I love my lifestyle, but I wouldn't put forth nearly the effort if I didn't own my land. Renting, even long term, does not appeal to me. Perhaps if I was young and was wanting to learn skills a bit, yes, but I'm looking at a lifetime - I'm raising a family, and I am not going to risk putting a bajillion hours building a permaculture paradise for someone else to own it. I think that's the biggest problem with the idea of tenants/stewardship. Now, if there was some kind of work-to-own deal, that might be a good deal for someone. Most people that I've seen would much rather own a crappier piece of land than rent a perfect one.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1125
Location: northern northern california
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yeah the whole basis of renting, working on someone else's land without pay, contributing to someones land, without security, its all basically built on a kind of exploitation framework.

i also have no interest in renting, but we all have to find the best situation we can for what we have to work with. but if we are talking about it in theory, and not pointing fingers, the whole thing about renting has always seemed to be very exploitative and not natural. what other animal claims to "own" something, that they are not in fact using?? what other animal has any kind of similar idea or practice as taking from their fellow animal, all their livelihood, all their gathered nuts, or whatever else equates to money in the animal world...just to be able to use "another's" land... a spot of dirt to scratch around in?

it is all quite unfair to the renter. this is not the only reason, but people are so disconnected, disconnected from each other and from the land, arent able to ground and connect. and a lot of it is the current weird way of "private property", all the inequity and unfairness of the current systems. if it wasnt so dam near impossible for the host/owner to buy the land and afford it, this would also make the interaction different.

i agree with what jennifer said about there being a flaw inherent to the system. and for the most part those are common ways that it goes, both parties are unhappy. but there are different people, i have met a few people who have the maturity and integrity to make these situation work out. to me it really seems to come down to some simple things, if both were to just always act in integrity, there would be less problems. if the system, which those two people are acting from within, werent so messed up and unequal, it would be much easier for the people, their interaction would be improved.

but both parties are coming from that system, integrity and following through on one's word, doing a good job just to see something done well, sharing equally with others and being fair minded, none of these things are encouraged by the system.
if you do them, you are probably an odd duck. people are instead taught to be cut throat, greedy, lie, flake, have no integrity and somehow thats ok, or just the way it is, or justifiable or whatever else. but its really that theres very few people who are living with high integrity, sadly.

i am trying to figure out if this line of questions is sincere, or if people just want to get out how they have been frustrated with situation, or what? if the question is sincere, i suppose i have more to say, or i could, because i think about these things a lot. if the point of this is to just to bitch about people, and claim poor people must deserve it somehow, or have created their poverty through lack of character or whatever else....well i am not sure what i can add. except i strongly disagree with that perspective and someone may want to check their privilege and all of the illusions it affords them.

if kate's original questions are sincere, then i think its worth looking at what could be done to draw in the kinds of people she is seeking, rather than the non committed people she is currently attracting. not say she, or anyone, is doing this, but i have seen...that a lot of the ads and looking for postings are really a bit unrealistic, and heavily slanted towards the landowner. having had enough of weird dynamics and unhealthy interactions, i am maybe a bit too suspicious of peoples intentions. so when i read a posting that requires what i feel is excessive amounts of unpaid labor, and they want someone who's on an expert level, or whatever, and no personal flaws allowed!!!
and for like...a place to pitch a tent and no showers/utitlites/cabin etc...i would never consider anything like those kinds of offers.

i guess what i am getting at is if you want someone who's good and worth it, people seeking workers/caretakers may want to consider offering sweeter deals with more perks. otherwise you will be getting inexperienced younger people who may be ok with the idea of living in a tent/etc. a place to build a cabin sounds really great, so i am not saying you are doing this, but if someone doesnt feel they could stay long term, or have some security in the situation...well not many people are going to be willing to do this, unless they have some kind of long term stable situation first, getting to know the scene.

so if you feel that its innappropriate for people to act like they expect you to house and feed them, but you are expecting unpaid labor and lots of it...well you can hopefully see what i am getting at. unfortunately i have been in this boat, where obnoxious land owners get to expect more and more and more, taking for granted so much of what you have done, and give less and less, no utilies, no showers, no toilet, no cabin, or a bad one, no pay...yeah thats basically getting into slavery there. a person who has some skills and knowledge, is not going to stay in a scene like that, only the most desperate, or other types, who are also seeking to take advantage...might keep trying to work a bad situation like that...


if you are not looking for unpaid labor, if you just want to share with someone and have someone around to be a prescence or whatever, well thats different. if you require no labor than maybe you should just try to rent space, without any work obligation.

 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5858
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We offered a work/trade arrangement here for a brief period...and had a bit of interest http://permies.com/t/19002/ozarks/trade-room-board-weaving-woodworking. In the end we decided to sell the whole forty so didn't really give the 'trade' opportunity much of a chance.

I think our location was the big stumbling block for many who did show an interest. A lot of folks don't always know what they want (or don't want) until they run up against it....I think that is just human nature.

I think it might be unfair to lump all the worst case scenarios together and say that that is the norm. It is so hard for everyone to understand everything in the same way in any day to day interaction when you know them well, let alone when you are strangers and have never spent time on the same piece of land.
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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Leila, your post gets at some things I have spent a lot of time thinking about. I want to share some of the process I went through that ultimately led to me not offering work for stay anymore.

I will admit that I feel really, really protective of our land. It has been in the family since the state was settled, hundreds of years, and I feel a really deep emotional attachment to it and have almost a belligerent attitude about people interfering with it. I am even more defensive about it because it is being affected by herbicide/pesticide use nearby, over-hunting by some neighbors, things like that. It is also an undivided estate, meaning that other family members and I hold it in common, and they are less permaculturally or ecologically minded than I am, so there are power struggles over how to manage the land. I already feel like I don't have enough control over it, so the idea of relinquishing some of that control in an irreversible way (which is the only way that would give tenants some security) to someone who wants to contribute to the land in exchange for living space and/or food from the land, etc. gives me the willies. This is my emotional baggage, but I think it's safe to say that most homesteaders and similar people who are offering this sort of arrangement feel pretty invested in and possessive of their land.

There are huge problems with land ownership and private property as they stand--just to name a few, I own the land I do because my ancestors engaged in genocide against Native Americans and enslaved Africans and African Americans to work the land and make money off it, and continued to exploit free blacks and poor whites after that, not to mention undocumented immigrants (common practice here). I aim to avoid that sort of exploitation, but there's no doubt that I benefit from unfairness in the system. That being said, I don't see the private property system going away anytime soon, and I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for people who squander what wealth and opportunity does come their way, which I see a whole lot of.

Anyway, it is really hard to manage our land by myself and meet my family responsibilities without using chemical/mechanical methods that are not in line with permaculture. If I could afford additional infrastructure, I could do this better, but we we are "land rich, money poor," as they say. Almost all the profit from the ranch goes into paying taxes and insurance and maintaining the ranch and paying our expenses, which are minimal--I live on around $6,000 a year.

So my original thought was, there are people out there who want to produce some of their own food, live a simpler life, etc. and they could get a chance to do that here, and I could get some help maintaining the place, and it'd be win/win. And considering what they'd be paying for rent to live in an apartment where they couldn't do any of that, working for ~10 hours a week on the place would be a good deal for them, especially considering they'd be getting food and access to tools and equipment in the bargain, and maybe gaining some useful experience and skills.

In my mind, it was a better option than a normal rental arrangement, especially for people who were cash poor like me, but were also land poor. But what I discovered is that for most people, the mental comparison they ended up making was not between a normal rental arrangement and what I was offering, but between the idea of having their own place and what I was offering. They felt exactly as you said, that they were contributing their labor to improve my land without any security or ownership in return; they felt like serfs. And unlike a normal landlord, who only shows up to fix the plumbing or collect the rent, I was always there. I had thought that would be a good thing--likeminded people living in proximity and sharing resources--but my constant presence ended up being an emotional burden on them, no matter how much I tried not to make it one.

Another big problem was that most of the people who stayed tended to assume I was made of money because I had my own big place and didn't have to work a job outside of ranching. So if I didn't want to spend money on something that would make their lives easier or that they felt they were entitled to, or didn't want to hire someone to do a job they didn't want to help with because they were too busy or thought it was too hard or gross, they thought it was because I was being a stingy hardass. Maybe so. But like I said, I live on about $6,000 per year, and that's why I can live without an off-ranch job. Most of my tenants were making salaries at least five or six times that; most of them thought that living on $30,000 a year meant they were borderline poor, and it didn't seem to register with them that I went without a lot of the things they took for granted.

Some of it was just different expectations. I use a bucket toilet and eat mostly what I grow or gather, even if that means squash and eggs every day for the whole summer, and if something breaks in my house I fix it myself, and I was expecting a similar level of self-sufficiency and tolerance for (at least initially) low standards of living from people who wanted to be involved in homesteading and that sort of thing. They thought lack of indoor plumbing and doing without repairs they couldn't make themselves was living in squalor. I thought that not asking anyone to put up with anything I didn't already put up with myself was a good standard, but their standards were more oriented around the usual landlord-tenant relationship where the landlord is supposed to fix problems and maintain a "decent standard of living" (decent according to whom is another matter). I didn't mind them working at their own pace most of the time, but expected help when something came up that couldn't wait (cow bogged down, fence broken, that kind of thing). They expected to control their own schedules and that they wouldn't have to cancel plans they'd already made, no matter what came up. Even when I tried to work this sort of thing out in advance, I found that what people said they were okay with and what they actually turned out to be okay with were two different things, when things moved from the hypothetical realm into the actual realm.

And it seemed like they wanted more and more from me and felt more and more entitled to it, while offering less and less in return. I absolutely know the same thing happens from the other side, like you mentioned, Leila--owners taking people more and more for granted while becoming more and more reluctant to offer them any amenities or recompense. This is another one that I think comes from the power differential--differences in power and status tend to make people feel justified in getting what they can out of the other party, without suffering moral compunction, because they view the other person as fundamentally unlike them and not entitled to the kind of consideration they'd give to someone on their same level. So even apparently decent people can do appalling things to people they don't see as their equals (either up or down the social ladder, although those on the upper rungs have more power to do damage, usually), and not suffer a qualm. So now I try to avoid getting embroiled in situations that end up with one person beholden to another or under another's thumb, because I think it's lowering for both parties.

The fact of the matter is, I have to work hard to live on this land. I have to work a lot just to afford to keep it, and a lot more to keep it productive, and I live without a lot of things that many people consider "necessities" in exchange for the freedom of not working for someone else. So yes, if other people are going to live here and benefit from the natural bounty of the land and all the previous work I and my family have put into it, I expect them to work as well; if that's "unpaid labor" then I guess that is what I was looking for. I don't think that's unfair. That being said, I don't think it's right to keep people in virtual serfdom. With rent and most of their food paid for by ten hours' work a week--less than I have to work to keep the place functioning and pay my "rent" (taxes and insurance and maintenance costs)--that should still allow a person or couple to work full-time jobs off the ranch and save for their own place. That's five hours per day on Saturday and Sunday, or a couple hours several evenings per week. Less time than most people probably spend watching TV.

I still think that's fair, and that I was offering people a good opportunity. But I found that it made them unhappy, and it made me unhappy, and it had a tendency to slowly turn everyone into our worst selves. Even likable people that I think would have been good, hard workers on their own places were mediocre workers or downright hindrances working on my place. And they weren't saving up or getting ahead, despite ample opportunity to do so; they just seemed to get stuck in a rut, even the ones who wanted their own places someday. It seemed like the arrangement was just draining all their motivation and positive, creative impulses so that they weren't moving any closer to their goals, and it was draining my energy so that it ended up being a net loss for me in terms of managing the place. So that's why I stopped offering work-for-stay.

I'm actually really curious to hear about positive long-term work-for-stay arrangements (not just seasonal type stuff). I hate to say it but I've never heard a story of a positive experience of this kind from anyone actually involved (I have heard lots of stories about how it worked so well for one's father/aunt/granddad but I tend to take those "better days" stories with a grain of salt). It was a bit of a blow to me that things worked out so badly so consistently when I tried these arrangements, because usually I get along with people really easily (even if I do say so myself) and am less negative and judgmental than I probably sound in this post. And these were all people I liked and thought I would jibe with. I have done a postmortem on things I think went wrong but I would really value having some case studies of what went right in successful long-term work-for-stay arrangements.

God, this post is so long. Sorry.




 
paul beckett
Posts: 1
Location: Suffolk. UK
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Hi
Just a point regarding the potential of using a shipping container and converting it. The shipping world is in crisis and large container ships are being mothballed or scrapped early due to a downturn in commodities. This will inevitably mean a glut of containers and therefore downward pressure on values. I confidently predict big savings in a few months from now.
Hope that helps
Hope I did it right as its my first post
Paul
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi Paul

Great News! Thanks for the info.
I'll be watching the prices for shipping containers.
If they do go down, all the better!!!

K

 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1125
Location: northern northern california
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well at least if your post is so long, theres a lot of meat to it. theres a lot to think about it in what you write.

i am currently in a long term work for stay situation, where i am happy with the arrangement, as the landowners are happy with the arrangement. =)

but what a bumpy road it has taken to get here! and who knows what the future holds, but this is the best fit i have found, in many failed community attempts, co op housing, land sharing, a real remote actual "commune", work trades and probably every kind of alternative type arrangements are out there - i have tried it.

and mostly it failed, and sucked! actually thats not right...actually i have had lot s of awesome days, but the few days that suck, really suck so much worse than the good is good. i had given up on trying to find a community project, and then after doing things more work trade/rental, also gave up on that.

and actually there are several things i would change about my current situation, at first before i moved here, i wasnt sure this was what i was looking for exactly, it didnt totally mesh up with my idea of what i wanted. so let me not suggest it is perfect, and in particular i would like to be able to build my own cabin, that is not possible in my current situation. so i still keep an eye on whats out there, so that if something really good came up i might be inclined to move.

 
Jill Older
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Hey Kate
We met a few weeks back when I came for a short visit with Max. I have since mentioned what you are looking for to several people that I know that are in search of some land.

All have said pretty much the same thing. They want/need part ownership (I told them it was not possible) and they want contracts stating the rights, rules and what is expected of all parties involved.

I was wondering if you considered the WWOOF program? That way at least you can get a bit of help. http://www.wwoof.net/how-it-works/
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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i definitely think if people would offer part ownership, or something that smells like part ownership ....if there was a way to word a contract /agreement correctly...they would get a lot more response, those would be the best kinds of deals out there. if at the very least, the person gets their own corner of the land, an area thats clearly theirs, in maybe every other way except in deed....and where they can follow their own vision and do their thing without interference, a place they can even make and learn from their own mistakes...this is also appealing.

but now i have considered this a couple of times with people over the years, talking about making some kind of contract to the effect of a long term lease, or lifetime lease, because i would like to build a cabin and be able to live in it for a long time...but that has always fallen apart for me, and the people turned out to be pretty wacky and not really...mature enough to be able to share in that equal way. so once i got to know them, i realized it was a horrible idea to pour all that energy into building a cabin on their land.

yeah i would definitely want a place where at least, i feel like i can say, i want to share in an equal way, and thats not like...too much to ask...or how dare i...or something. where the person gets it, and is able to meet me on a more level playing field, in spite of whatever money differences there are.

all of these hierarchical nad off balance ways of inter relating, and the power trips... i think thats the poison, like the obligation is poison thing paul was talking about. i have come to similar ideas, through a very different route. or maybe its more like... that people get along better when boundaries are clear, people have "own" space, it is clearly recognized and respected, their so called "tenancy" isnt at anothers whim. all these landlord/serf relationships, and boss/employee style weird relationships...well i dont really want a boss or a landlord, and i dont want to be anyones boss or landlord.

the less people are dependent on each other the better, the easier it is to get along, if people can keep own space and good boundaries. or maybe i mean more the less people are obligated to be dependent on each other ...of course obviously we are all connected and all in some way dependent on one another...but its kinda contrary...it seems like the more space they give each other, and the better they are about keep good respectful boundaries, the easier it is to come together and do bigger and better things together...instead of stupid drama and BS...and that unspoken obligations are the worst...or unspoken expectations. if anything is to be an obligation, it should be totally clearly spoken and agreed, able to be clearly communicated in a simple sentence....

but i still think that the integrity of the person matters if they can work this out, for the long term. if both parties are doing what they say, and truly willing to do what they agree.
starting with if you say you want to share your land, then you do really want to follow through with sharing your land. its ok to decide you dont want to share your land, but then obviously dont be trying to find someone to live there! but to start off with you want to share your land, but then act in subtle and not subtle ways that communicate that you dont want to share your land...where the action might say you just want a worker. and for sure, the reverse situation...if a person says they want to share, and are willing to work...but then their actions say they just want to goof off, be selfishly wrapped up in themselves, and dont really want to work...well
 
Ross Raven
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I hope you folks don't mind but I am going to repost this on my own ad looking for people. Though it may seem counterintuitive, I prefer people to go into things with eyes wide open and try to have most of the idealism knocked right out even before we begin. It also lets them know that I share in their concerns and an actively trying to make them safe and secure. I want the people here to eventually be extended family.

You see, If I stumble out the door with a beer in hand and puke in the bushes....The idealist will be horrified. The person that realises that's normal humanity with all its awkwardness...will just laugh at me and make sure I find a bed. There lies the secret to success. The horrified idealist will always be let down and move on. The laughing realist will be glad he shared in the common experience.
 
And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and 3/4 % guaranteed) - Seuss. tiny ad:
11 Podcast Review of Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel
https://permies.com/wiki/24823/digital-market/digital-market/Podcast-Review-Botany-Day-Thomas
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