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A young-experienced-passionate-permie's search for community and (design?) projects in VT or...  RSS feed

 
Claire Arrowsmith
Posts: 25
Location: Liberty, NY
bike forest garden fungi
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Hello everyone

My name is Claire, and I don't care -- just kidding, I really do care, that's why I'm posting here!

I am 25 and looking for a new home, community and place to practice what I already know while learning much more by helping to build a permaculture oasis somewhere in the northeast -- I have heard great things about Vermont (Montpelier, anyone?) and have yet to really explore the area.

Like probably all of you I dream to live and work on land that I've designed to meet all of my needs and those of my community and planet; closing the loop at every opportunity with plants and animals serving many functions: food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, farmaceuticals, fun and, of course, fungi -- yes, I did complete Dave Jacke's 9-day Forest Garden Design Intensive in Helena, MT this fall and would love the opportunity to practice what I've learned (*more on skills and experience a little further down).

I grew up a dual citizen in Toronto, ON, and escaped the city to attend St. Lawrence University in (way) upstate NY, not far from my family's summer cabin in the Adirondacks (my second home, though unfortunately unsuitable to farm). Canton is where I first--finally!--got my hands in the soil, and though I did earn my bachelor's in neuroscience in 2013, I've been wwoofing ever since. The North Country is still my home and I feel it is time to set down roots somewhere in the general vicinity.

The really impatient, somewhat prepper part of me (small but loud) just wants my own piece of land to turn into permie paradise and live happily ever after, but I know better than that. I don't have the money to buy land (thankfully no debt!) though I have enough savings to live comfortably for a while, as I have been, working for room and board. If I continue living frugally and maybe making a little more, I'd consider buying land myself or with the right people in the future. So then the more rational part of me thinks if I spend enough time in the 'right' area(s), establish myself in a community, then sooner or later an old farmer and I will find each other and combine our resources to continue the legacy. Either way it seems like I'm still on the same path: live cheaply, work for rent growing food and gaining skills. Just looking for the right place to do it

...Because after two years spent running around with my partner, seeing the country, backpacking and wwoofing on both coasts, I am looking for a community of like-minded individuals who I can call family, for a while at least.

Skills & Experience:
2011: helped start an annual veggie garden from scratch in Canton, NY
2013: Apprenticeship on an annual veggie CSA farm, Canton, NY; pigs and chickens for meat, quail eggs. Some perennial fruit experience (planting, maintenance, cider pressing).
2014: shorter stays on several farms/homesteads in Appalachia (GA, NC, PA), NY and northern CA. Winter 2014-2015 caretaking at the Solar Living Institute, Hopland, CA: learned solar PV installation, helped maintain the permaculture garden and intern village
2015: Internship at Fern Hill Nursery & Botanical Sanctuary, Cottage Grove, OR; helped prepare for Farmer’s market, garden work, workshops and open houses; performed all daily chores involving chickens, ducks, and irrigation for gardens and greenhouse. Also completed a 5-day mycoremediation course with Fungi for the People (Eugene, OR) in June.
*For a more specific list of the farming, homesteading and interpersonal skills and further interests I've developed over the past 4 years, please send me a message as I was unable to attach the file
- please note that I do not have a PDC, nor certifications in yoga or nonviolent communication, though I am always practicing and expanding my understanding of these skills.
Also, being Canadian, I am fluent in French (though quickly losing it - used to know some Spanish too), if that's a game-changer for anyone

What I'm Looking for:
Not necessarily trying to find the spot to spend the rest of my life--though if that happens, heck yes! Just looking for a good place to set down some roots for the time being.
I have many skills and interests and though I would like the opportunity to practice edible forest design & implementation (& maintenance..?), I think community is most important at this point -- e.g. maybe someone here is already well into their design implementation and could host me for a time in exchange for my help, teach me a thing or two, and knows someone in the area who can't accommodate me but would like to establish a design. Whatever works!
I have never built my own house but I am willing to learn how, in case that's a prerequisite to living in the right place.
I don't have a car and don't particularly want one of my own, though I am a competent driver. For this reason living outside of a town really suits me as I'll probably bring my bicycle wherever I end up.

...another idea is to set out on a bike tour of the northeast in the spring and see what I can find...

You may have already gotten an idea of the activities I enjoy apart from permaculture - I do like to stay active in my community and surroundings, engaging my mind-body-spirit through a variety of activities on a regular basis.

That's all I can think of for now! Please shoot me a message with your questions, comments, concerns, curiosities... If you or someone you know is interested in establishing an ecological design for your property but unable to pay a professional, maybe I'm what you need! A professional work trader, that's me. Even if you just want to share some wise advice, I'm ok with that too

Gratitude, blessings & may all your permie dreams become reality,
Claire
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
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Hi Claire ! I am sure that my wife Martha and I must have met you at one of the Birds**** Garlic workshops, or the 2014 Cider pressings . St. Lawrence Counties loss

Is Permaculture's gain ! If preparation is the key to having ''Good luck'' you are ready for a lucky future - For the Good of the graft ! Big AL


Late note : Even if you do not speak fluant rocket mass heater you are RMH aware ! A.L.
 
Claire Arrowsmith
Posts: 25
Location: Liberty, NY
bike forest garden fungi
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Thanks Al!

Would love to find the right opportunity in Canton... still looking
 
Adam Geriak
Posts: 13
Location: Cape Cod, zone 7a
forest garden toxin-ectomy woodworking
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Hi Claire, I think my fiance and I are in a similar point in our lives as you. We are currently living on the cape. We are in the process of discovering community over here.

Good luck in your pursuit.
 
Gabriel Grace
Posts: 19
Location: Randolph, Vermont
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Hey Claire!,
My Name is Gabriel Grace and it seems like you and I are very similar places in our life, just that I might be one step ahead of you. I recently moved to Vermont looking to find a farm that was not able to keep up their land and I could fill that role for them, while in the process make the farm my home. Well I have found that farm in Randolph, Vermont. About two months ago, I started living and working at Highfields Farm with the owners Chris and Julie. The farm is beautiful,huge, and you could pretty much grow and produce anything you want! I'd would love to have another enthusiastic person on board to help turn this place around.
Purple moosage me if you want to talk about any details or a visit.
Yay for permies and people putting themselves out there!
Gabe
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