We left our suburban home a year ago to continue farming and seeking community in a beautiful rural setting that was in harmony with our personal vibes. This past spring, we wanted to get to know the farmers markets and people of the area, so we 'winged it' in the garden, instead of busting ass to run a 20 family CSA downstate. We have some great results to report, and then describe what we are seeking, and what we can offer.
Firstly, with no amendments, and only going on location of our 100x100 fenced garden to the well, we made raised beds and sowed seed. We had excellent results and know that by building our soil each year, results are enough to give confidence in our ability to provide a small tribe plenty of produce, and to sell at 4 farmers markets in the immediate area. We have met 2 permie couples who are homesteading nearby and see ways we could work together. We were offered a really cool good traffic place to set up and sell produce for free next year. We live near an amish General store that sells organic bulk food, grains etc for ridiculously low prices, so eating is cheap! We live 15 minutes to the most secluded and gorgeous great lakes beach in lower michigan where you can be undisturbed and not see people all day. Quite special. We have lenient zoning ordinances that allow for music festivals, resorts, cottage industry, creating a lodge or club, a campground, roadside vegetable stands. We have a good friend who owns a vegetable distribution company, and wants us to grow for him, commercially. And of course, hopefully hemp (already!). An acupuncturist in the area is very interested in what we could do to grow and make formulas for his practice, and he knows other frustrated tcm practitioners who need a reliable local resource to purchase from. There are appletrees everywhere in this county, neglected and abundant! So we are thinking a holistically cultivated orchard will do very well.
With that in mind, the less than great things... Wind, lots of it. 2016 and 2017 budgets set on hoarders of plant buying. Evergreens, forest trees, orchard berries grapes herbs, mushrooms. We would like to put in a 1300x100 forest, designed naturally for a walking/ski trail, with a few off grid cabins intersperced, we call it 'permie row'. And we need the wind protection from the open, turbulent northwest winds that come down off the mountain, or actually the forested ridge in the back of our property.
Lack of woods on the property, a thin 600 foot strip along the road to the east of wet forest, pine, poplar, red osier, etc. In the back, about the same size is a dry pine strip of evergreens. Lots of kindling, hugel material, and restoration to do there. No above ground water on property, but plan to start choosing sites for ponds and getting on it. We still run on natural gas and coal electricity at the house, but feel that our resources should be focused at a sustainable food and pleasure system, an edible nirvana and storage system, seed saving, herbs for wellness, and a sustainable woodlot for the near future. That way, we can plan for necessities, like solar or Wind to pump our shallow well, a woodstove for each building and ...
What we are looking for, is someone, a singly, couple, triad, family to join us in a co homestead. Growing food and all the other knowledge, skill and enthusiasm required for the lifeway of homesteading. Lets make this place something really awesome together! We need to get jumping on this project but we need your input too! Your ideas and observations, and goals. There is a good start happening here. Who knows how to make this happen when we haven't discussed your circumstances?