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How I went from rat race to homestead with no savings or money.  RSS feed

 
Travis Schulert
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Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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This is the third installment in my self introduction to this community. I have been around a little while but have not been sharing my own experience thus far. Paul has mentioned in many podcasts the importance of sharing our experiences. So now I put my life on the internet... Woah daddy...

See my micro homestead here

And my Tiny Home here

This short story is how I went from a dream and zero resources, to living the dream with the resources needed to survive crisis.

In 2010 I had a closet garden during the winter months, several small scale aquaponics tanks in my kitchen and bedroom, and a small 5'x20' garden bed in my very tiny yard in a trailer park. I had as many containers as possible on my deck, but was still starved of the real marrow in life, which for me was to be able to experiment on a larger scale and provide people with real nutritious food.

One day in 2013 I was watching Joel Salatin speak at a Mother Earth News Fair on Youtube. In his talk he told a story about a woman who was able to start a CSA with produce grown on many small plots in peoples back yards all over her city. He then went on to say that the hardest thing to build in life is momentum, but once you build up speed in life, your inertia is equally as hard to stop as it was to start. So get off your butts, and stop thinking about doing it, and just do it! Once you build inertia you cant be stopped!

I did exactly that. I got off my ass, started doing my homework, and at the end of the summer in 2013 I was posting on craigslist and hanging fliers up all over town. Saying that I would come garden your yard for you, you supply the water and space, I do all the work and pay you in produce. Anyone who looked like they had a good yard I put a flier on their door. I had several potential clients who I had been in talks with when I got the phone call that changed my life..

This old retired electrician/gentleman farmer had 15 acres of relatively un-touched land. It was an historic farm at one point, was never used for modern ag. He told me that for some free produce I could use a roughly 2 acre valley surrounded by trees, unseen from any neighbors. And that I could do basically whatever I wanted. He has 2 farm tractors with a few implements, I have really only used the mower and the plow.

I paid him $400 at the end of the summer as a thank you for allowing me the opportunity

As the summer went on, I started making plans for a tiny home build. After discussing with the land lord, he gave me permission to build my house and live on his property, for a little more than $200 a month. He has since left me alone to my mad science and lunatic farming. I rarely see him and feel like I have my own little piece of land.

This has allowed an amazing opportunity to save money and learn to live an alternate lifestyle before sinking our lives into our dream property in Northern Michigan.

I was never really a go getter, and the idea of passing out fliers and ads on craigslist made me feel like a low life vagrant trying to eek my way through life, I felt like telling everyone that I had a good job and I wasnt just doing this for money. And now that thought process just seems silly. It is amazing what your mind will tell you to try to save you from a stressful situation or possible rejection. I am truly amazed by my new found ability to talk to people, and to share my passion, all because I pushed myself out of my shell.

"There is nothing to fear, but fear itself" - FDR. How true is that statement? I was hindered and scared because I didnt want to be put into a stressful situation.

I ask anyone reading this with a flame somewhere inside them, to build up your momentum. Push yourself out of whatever wall you have built around yourself, tear down the wall! build your momentum, and your inertia will be unwavering.

Few people in this world are truly trapped.

Thank you.

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Roberto pokachinni
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You rock, Travis Buddy. I give you pie.
 
Dougan Nash
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Location: Eastern Shore, Maryland
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I found this post really inspiring. I rent my mom's house, and my wife and I are in debt with student loans. We barely break even every month let alone have more to get out debt with. I was going to go easy with the garden this year (just had a baby), but screw that. I'm turning it all into a productive jungle! I don't care if I lose sleep, I need to get my momentum going. Great post, man.

Just curious, you went from gardening in containers to huge plots in just a couple years, did you have a lot of experience prior to this? I also saw some transplants, did you have a green house or buy the plants? Are you planting any perrenials?
 
Travis Schulert
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Hey Dougan, thank you.

I built a greenhouse for around 90 dollars. Used salvage wood and bought the pvc and plastic. I will make another post this weekend and put a link into this thread about how i did this cheap greenhouse.

2014 was my first year starting any real amount of seeds. I had only a few years of minor gardening experience, but i researched the hell out of it as much as i could. John jeavons book how to grow more was a huge help. Though i have since broken away from his exact methods and found a style all my own.

You shouldnt lose any sleep though buddy, thats not good. If you have say 2 hours after work to bust ass double digging or planting you will be tired and have no problem passing out at 830pm. But remember thats a good thing. Relaxation and free time are really important too. Because if you work too hard for too long you could burn yourself out and quit, and then you teach the next gen that natural farming doesnt work. The best option is to use your time wisely, and work hard and fast for a few hours a day, and put in 1 longer day each week.

Congratulations on the child! We are planning to have children after we have saved a grubstake and bought a house. Dont let the debt scare you.

We made almost 10k up front from our csa, that will def get debt paid off quicker.

The best of luck to you. Im here to help in any way i can.

Please excuse grammar im on a phone.
 
Travis Schulert
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Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Thanks Roberto for the pie.

Dougan, i have some perennial herbs like yarrow, most are annuals which i know are more work in the long run and many permies are against it. But what other style of gardening can you invest time and money 1 week and have a sellable crop 40 days later? Many of us because of debt, time and money are not able to wait 2+ years for our first return on investment. So annuals to the rescue for me. And last season as i had time and money started buying a lot more perennials.
 
Charli Wilson
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Really inspirational. And the photos of your garden, it looks very impressive!

Charli
 
Kathleen Crittenden
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Location: Viroqua, United States
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Travis,

I'd really like to hear more about you have implemented Korean natural farming. My husband and I took training in it in the Philippines, but have had difficulty translating what we learned to a cold-weather climate. We knew it could be done (Korea has cold winters) but have had trouble finding practitioners in cold-climate U.S.
 
A Walton
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Awesome. You rock.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Thank you Travis (and others) for inspiring and encouraging. We are 'older', my husband has many health problems, I have to stay in and around the house because often he needs care and attention. So I 'unjobbed' 2 years ago. Now we have less money, but plenty of time to 'homestead'! We are so lucky our rented ground-floor apartment has a front- and a back yard. Step by step I am turning these into 'miniature permaculture food-forest'.
Our climate is somewhat like yours (less snow, more rain). My first seedlings are already growing in the window sill (no greenhouse needed), most of them from seeds 'out of the kitchen' (out of tomatoes and peppers I used, or some of the beans while we ate the rest of them).
There's so much possible with very little money!
 
Travis Schulert
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Hey, Inge, thanks for sharing. Thats Awesome! So happy you are producing good food.

One thing i would worry about is that most vegetables you buy from store or market you really cant trust the seeds to produce anywhere true to type. Most commercial varieties are f1 hybrids and will not have very healthy or consistent offspring. Your space could be much more productive using real solid genetics, then you can save the seed from most of that.

I have however had some good random squash crosses in my compost piles. That not only looked good but tasted good. But my main crop i primarily use varieties that i have kept the genetics true. I have made some new varieties of lettuce and spinach bc thwy are easy to cross and very stable. With tomatoes and peppers you can get plants that dont even produce fruit and that becomes wasted space more or less. Your plan works fine if you have lots of acreage, but is unproductive with small spaces.
 
Travis Schulert
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Kathleen Crittenden wrote:Travis,

I'd really like to hear more about you have implemented Korean natural farming. My husband and I took training in it in the Philippines, but have had difficulty translating what we learned to a cold-weather climate. We knew it could be done (Korea has cold winters) but have had trouble finding practitioners in cold-climate U.S.


I make a lot of L.A.B lactic acid bacteria. And I use it for everything around the farm. I make various fermented plant extracts from medicinal wild herbs growing around the farm, like yarrow, nettle, motherwart, plantain lily, sheep sorrel and theres some others. I make liquid fish fertilizer from the carcasses of all the fish I catch (mostly ice fishing in winter, no time to fish in summer because of farm). I am trying out a few new techniques this season, adding some new stuff to the arsenal. I really like how with Korean natural farming you harvest fertility off site in super convenient forms. I love adding all the ferments and liquid amendments to my compost teas. In an hour I can make like 20 gallons of fermented plant extracts that can be very high in NPK depending on the weeds you ferment. And they are all sharing their medicinal qualities with your garden.

 
Travis Schulert
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My cheap greenhouse
Our Compost toilet

Some were asking for these.
 
Jonathan Krohn
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Travis Schulert wrote:
I built a greenhouse for around 90 dollars. Used salvage wood and bought the pvc and plastic. I will make another post this weekend and put a link into this thread about how i did this cheap greenhouse.

...

We made almost 10k up front from our csa, that will def get debt paid off quicker.


Hi Travis, thanks for the various posts! I just read your greenhouse post. Thanks much for the reports from the field! My family has been discussing some sort of hoophouse or caterpillar tunnel (Jean-Martin Fortier's term) recently, so it's great to hear what others are trying.

If you don't mind some prying from someone who is hoping to make a living farming in the next few years, was the 10k your first year gross income or net profit? I've been reading a lot about farming as a business and will be interning with a farm this summer, so I'm curious what your initial financial results have been, if you don't mind sharing.

Thanks!
 
Travis Schulert
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Jonathan Krohn wrote:
Travis Schulert wrote:
I built a greenhouse for around 90 dollars. Used salvage wood and bought the pvc and plastic. I will make another post this weekend and put a link into this thread about how i did this cheap greenhouse.

...

We made almost 10k up front from our csa, that will def get debt paid off quicker.


Hi Travis, thanks for the various posts! I just read your greenhouse post. Thanks much for the reports from the field! My family has been discussing some sort of hoophouse or caterpillar tunnel (Jean-Martin Fortier's term) recently, so it's great to hear what others are trying.

If you don't mind some prying from someone who is hoping to make a living farming in the next few years, was the 10k your first year gross income or net profit? I've been reading a lot about farming as a business and will be interning with a farm this summer, so I'm curious what your initial financial results have been, if you don't mind sharing.

Thanks!


Hey, John, thanks for posting.

The 10k was a gross, but most of it was used to build the homestead and tiny home, and a smaller percentage for some labor. That was a part time job for 2 people.

Last season we just did farmers markets (first year ever selling at markets) and only for about half the season, but we did not gross quite as much but also did very little real work in the garden, that was more of a hobby amount of work. And we made 5k or so, I was not really keeping track. After our first year we decided to spend a year just taking it easy with the garden and seeing how that goes.

Now this upcoming season we are going to push really hard, on all cylinders, and see how after 2 years of building soil and experimenting, just how much food and money we can grow on 3700 sq ft. We have made huge improvements to the soil in 2 seasons. Really amazing to see the transformation from sand to a much darker loamy soil.

I am already sheet mulching all the pathways and most of the beds in the garden and its only Feb. Either way I want all the pathways weed free and soft to walk on. Furthermore if I cut down on some of the weeds by sheet mulching some of my beds I know i will really amp up production of market. Also I am planning on using several new tactics to add to my table without actually doing any work or planting or using up bed space.

Lambs quarter, nettle, motherwort, mugwort, plantain lilly and several species of edible flowers and berries grow wild in the pasture and woods around my house. I plan on marketing the shit out of them. They are very beneficial medicinally, and several you can eat like spinach (especially lambs quarters).

I am going to wild harvest as much as possible from this point on.

Stay tuned because this season we are going to really give it our all and show what you can do in a small space.
 
leila hamaya
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this is really great, thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing your story!

i have similar stories, somewhat, of finding ways to inch along with no start up money and just a lot of determination, with a lot of gardening knowledge and sweat to exchange for housing. besides living in several communities, this has been my main way of making my way in the world. i also make crafts and art, so thats a small income, too.

unfortunately not all of my stories have happy endings, and it's a bumpy road i've gone through, but i am in a good place these days....currently also living and working on another person's land, that they are not able to care for, in exchange for a humble tiny place and the space to grow a lot of food.
and importantly to do my own thing. i feel really grateful for the people to give me this space for this time, and for just being all around awesome people, so i love to work hard on this land and have settled in pretty good. for as little as i have for myself, i feel quite blessed! to have so much freedom, some good folks to work with, and to be able to live my dream, however imperfectly or whatever....

anywho good luck with everything, and keep the awesome posts coming!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Hi Travis.

I really appreciate your do-it-yourself, and on-the-cheap, approach to your projects as well as your focus on building momentum.

I'll share a brief of my story:

A few years ago, I made the decision to get some land of my own in a valley that I quite like. I was working in Vancouver at the time, which is about an 8 hour drive away, so I decided that in order to look for the land and to connect with the people in the community that might allow me to find the land better, I decided to go up there every summer and get on the land and interact with people. I took time of work (fortunately my job was forgiving of this), and proceeded to grow veggies on other peoples land and selling them at the farmers market in Jasper Alberta (the closest large farmers market), and some bulk crops to Jasper and to locals in the smaller local villages and hamlets.

In order to save money for the land, I lived in my camper van on the streets of Vancouver, usually parking in front of a friend's place, near one of the group homes I was working at, or near a large recreation complex (for showers and relaxation).

In the second year I was doing this in addition to working part time on other people's gardens, including an old gent who used to have a CSA. At the end of the season we got together to plant a large garlic crop as well as to re-embark on the CSA. We had success in this project, and at the end of that season, I found my land in the summer of 2011.

I went back to work in Vancouver each winter, and after I found the land I went back to full time employment. If I had simply continued to work and save money, I might be further ahead in the savings department, but I would not have been able to make the connections that not only found me my land, but built my reputation as a horticultural type of guy in the region. Since then, I have moved into the valley, and found new employment; my garlic is in demand, but I work as a laborer on the railway which takes a lot of my energy and so I unfortunately sell out of my small crop by mid winter. I could have sold the crop a lot sooner, but I was selling in small regular amounts to a health food store. The thought that my garlic is in demand made me commit to quadrupling my crop planting last fall. Though I am not yet living full time on the land, or working exclusively on it yet, I do put the majority of my expendable energy towards the project. Although my momentum is spread out in a few directions, I have paid off half of my 40 acre property in 3 and a half years! It certainly hasn't been perfect, or what some other people might feel is ideal, but it has worked, and it is an example of what can be done.

My aging parents (who are into growing and preserving and helping sell food) are moving to rent the house next to my land, and I will be moving onto the land full time this year! A bunch of energy will be put into infrastructure instead of growing food to sell, but that's life, and everything will take it's own time and course. I just wanted to share my own success a bit, so that people get the idea (from a different project and person's perspective) that these things are possible-but you have to find what you want to focus on, and pour as much energy into that focus as possible. Momentum, Momentum, Momentum!
 
Travis Schulert
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Leila, thank you.

I had a very screwed up childhood and especially my teenage years. Drug abuse, overdose, shitty friends, and very poor living environment. I am here to tell you none of that matters when you change your mindset. And there is no magic pill and no liquor in the land that can heal you, except for you.

I am glad youre in a good space. It took me a long time to find mine.
Dont stop working hard, and always do that work for you, not just to grow someone elses land for them.
 
Travis Schulert
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Roberto, awesome story dude.

I like that you have taken your time and moved one step at a time. I believe that there is such thing as trying to accomplish too much in too short a time. And in doing so your wheels turn backwards.

Gain momentum gradually, that is the best way to succeed imho.

Keep the stories coming everyone. Lets help to inspire more.
 
leila hamaya
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In order to save money for the land, I lived in my camper van on the streets of Vancouver, usually parking in front of a friend's place, near one of the group homes I was working at, or near a large recreation complex (for showers and relaxation).



love how this is legal in vancouver. it's not in the US, but if no one finds you then =P
i've spent a bunch of time in vancouver, sleeping in my van for a lot of my visits, and selling my art doing street vending, which is also legal in vancouver. as well as had a bunch of shops there, in seattle and down through oregon and cal who would buy my craftwork. its an interesting life on the west coast loop. it got old eventually though to travel so much and van dwelling, good for a time...but then eventually you need to settle in....

also it was pretty hard in its way, but when i was all about it i made myself love it. i am naturally an introvert, actually even something of a homebody, often even when i was travelling i would just be a homebody somehow in my van home. and find it difficult at times to do it, but you just gotta keep at it. i was much happier doing this than having a reg min wage slave job, thats for sure! i'm allergic to wage slavery and paperwork!!! ah no ok...thats a joke mostly.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Hi Travis,

I believe that there is such thing as trying to accomplish too much in too short a time.
Definitely. This is something that I struggle with because I want the whole project complete NOW! but I have to tether that beast, or I go insane. The most important thing for me is eliminating the debt. I'd love to do other things with my cash, and develop so much more, but... gotta focus.

Hi Leila,

love how this is legal in vancouver. it's not in the US, but if no one finds you then =P
It's not actually legal in Vancouver anymore, and as a result I moved around a lot, or stayed in one place unless someone gave me a complaint-this only happened twice. Both times, I unknowingly parked in sensitive places; one near an elderly ladies house, and one near an in home childcare place. In both cases I was asked to leave rudely (by the old lady's son, and by a guy dropping his toddler off), but after a discussion they were made to understand why I was there, and I was made to understand why they didn't want me there. I did leave, but I made my peace first. For the last year that I was there, I parked in the alley driveway (which is completely legal) of a friend in a super ritzy area; it was hilarious to wake up and get out of my van and get my bike from my buddy's shed, and see these Porches, Jaguars, BMW's and the lot coming out of heated garages; the neighborhood in general was not impressed by my presence (from what I heard), but I was not concerned to impress them, and none of them ever talked to me about it. I learned to use my van mostly as a bedroom and sometimes kitchen. The forest and beaches were my living room in good weather, and the rec centers and libraries were the living room in bad weather.
 
leila hamaya
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:

Hi Leila,

love how this is legal in vancouver. it's not in the US, but if no one finds you then =P
It's not actually legal in Vancouver anymore, and as a result I moved around a lot, or stayed in one place unless someone gave me a complaint-this only happened twice. Both times, I unknowingly parked in sensitive places; one near an elderly ladies house, and one near an in home childcare place. In both cases I was asked to leave rudely (by the old lady's son, and by a guy dropping his toddler off), but after a discussion they were made to understand why I was there, and I was made to understand why they didn't want me there. I did leave, but I made my peace first. For the last year that I was there, I parked in the alley driveway (which is completely legal) of a friend in a super ritzy area; it was hilarious to wake up and get out of my van and get my bike from my buddy's shed, and see these Porches, Jaguars, BMW's and the lot coming out of heated garages; the neighborhood in general was not impressed by my presence (from what I heard), but I was not concerned to impress them, and none of them ever talked to me about it. I learned to use my van mostly as a bedroom and sometimes kitchen. The forest and beaches were my living room in good weather, and the rec centers and libraries were the living room in bad weather.


thats too bad that they changed that. i tend to think of bc as having minimal laws like that, it did when last i was there, which was quite some time ago. its been another lifetime ago since i lived that way, since settling down in california and growing lots of food ....about 10 years ago. something really changed in the world, in at least the corners of the world i was spending my time in, right around that time, right around the time they renovated and almost militarized the peace arch! and living in these weirder alternative ways was suddenly very hard, and people made a lot of laws about similar things. there was also a lot of laws made about vending and trying to sell things in random ways such that i did, and it became more difficult to get booth spaces and do tables at festivals and in the sunday and saturday markets.

i am pretty stealthy and was quite stealthy then too. i never liked parking anywhere in neighborhoods, unless i was visiting someone nearby. but i had a whole network of weird little niches i would travel from up and down the coast, from marinas (very nice van camping!) to random dirt roads in public ish, out of the way places...there was the eagle sanctuary, and the a few places in washington i used to go back and forth between. and down here, near where i live now, this has always been one of my favorite places...this part of cal is so remote you can go just about anywhere, down any little dirt road and camp out where theres no private land, just forests and rivers. and IF anyone stops, its only to make sure you are ok and havent run out of gas, popped a tire or are stranded. its legal to van camp here for 3 weeks in any spot within the national forest, then you can camp elsewhere for another 3 weeks and keep on..
but i had a whole line of weird squats. well i had apartments, and communes and different work trades here and there, but i would go on the long roundabout way to sell my craft work, and this was a weird, but somehow viable way then.

ah apologies, i seem to be babling.

well sharing stories, is ok, i think.
 
Travis Schulert
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The Gov doesn't seem to like people who have figured out how to get by in the world without debt and a "paycheck" type job. Hence all the laws recently passed to stop these people. If you are not a good sheep the world has no use for you... At least that's the impression I got from the tiny home life.

Check out my next door neighbors house below, and tell me how on earth we are going to get along? He is just finishing construction and moving in soon, and I'm next door in my tiny house living like (what I presume he thinks to be) a vagrant. Little does he know I have a good job and am doing this out of choice rather than obligation. It is just to save money and make a smart investment for my future.
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Travis Schulert wrote:Hey, Inge, thanks for sharing. Thats Awesome! So happy you are producing good food.

One thing i would worry about is that most vegetables you buy from store or market you really cant trust the seeds to produce anywhere true to type. Most commercial varieties are f1 hybrids and will not have very healthy or consistent offspring. Your space could be much more productive using real solid genetics, then you can save the seed from most of that.

I have however had some good random squash crosses in my compost piles. That not only looked good but tasted good. But my main crop i primarily use varieties that i have kept the genetics true. I have made some new varieties of lettuce and spinach bc thwy are easy to cross and very stable. With tomatoes and peppers you can get plants that dont even produce fruit and that becomes wasted space more or less. Your plan works fine if you have lots of acreage, but is unproductive with small spaces.

Hi Travis. It took me some days to make my mind clear about this. Of course you are right. It is better to buy good quality seeds then to use the seeds 'out of the kitchen'. But the good seeds are only sold in 'professional' quantities. For your CSA that's OK, you grow large quantities. But for our small suburban garden, for only the two of us, that's way too much!
I buy packages of seeds for hobby-gardeners, but only the vegetables we eat often. I found out last year the tomato-seeds from such a package were not as good as the tomatoes from seeds out of tomatoes we ate. That's why I try this now with some more vegetables.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Travis Schulert wrote:The Gov doesn't seem to like people who have figured out how to get by in the world without debt and a "paycheck" type job. Hence all the laws recently passed to stop these people. If you are not a good sheep the world has no use for you... At least that's the impression I got from the tiny home life.

Check out my next door neighbors house below, and tell me how on earth we are going to get along? He is just finishing construction and moving in soon, and I'm next door in my tiny house living like (what I presume he thinks to be) a vagrant. Little does he know I have a good job and am doing this out of choice rather than obligation. It is just to save money and make a smart investment for my future.

Honestly I REALLY like the aesthetic of something resembling that, sort of a manor on the hill or castle or whatnot. The challenge is constructing it in an energy efficient way and getting enough people living in it [on a landbase large enough to feed them] to make it worthwhile.

But yeah, McMansion people often hold issues with tiny-home people for reasons I personally fail to comprehend. [I know their reasons, they just don't align with my logic.]
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Check out my next door neighbors house below, and tell me how on earth we are going to get along? He is just finishing construction and moving in soon, and I'm next door in my tiny house living like (what I presume he thinks to be) a vagrant.
When the season is really rocking for your garden, invite him over for a bbq or a supper. I'm not sure if you are assuming his thoughts based on his choice to go big on the house, or if you have some other reason for thinking his thoughts for him.

An example of how my brain works when seeing this big house neighbor dude being transposed beside your humble by choice amazing space is this: the fact that you sh$t in a bucket in a box, and carry it to a garden plot and he flushes his in water better than most people in the world have access to and this must be treated again to enter the earthly water system, does not make him a bad person, just ignorant of the relative truth, and a worthy convert . Show him, humbly and with grace, that you have pride in your life, and live it based on ethics, on real environmental standards, and on true economics. If that doesn't work, then ignore him, while you profit from the good life.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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The Gov doesn't seem to like people who have figured out how to get by in the world without debt and a "paycheck" type job.
Sometimes even if you do have a job. This is very clear if you try to cross the U.S. border and they ask you for your bank statements, or proof that you have job. I can't remember how much money they expected me to have for each day that I expected to be in the U.S.,but it was ridiculous. I hadn't spent that much money in any four days in my life. Like some young guy is such a huge threat to their economy! It's crazy. One time I was nearly refused and had so many hurdles that the next time I went I had a bank statement, with proof of my paychecks coming in, and they looked at their screens and looked at this and said, "Thank you for providing this, this time." which said to me that their was some kind of flag on my profile from the last time. If every yuppie going over to by cheap Nikes was asked for all this crap, and getting such a hassle when they crossed the border, the line ups would back all the way from Downtown Vancouver to the Peace Arch! One time I drove to the border in my camper van in hopes of picking up a lady who was flying in from St Louis to meet me. We were going to go snowshoeing and tent camping by some hot springs in the Olympic Peninsula. The plan was completely foiled as the border goons could not only not comprehend winter camping, they could not wrap their narrow minds around the idea that I had not pre-booked a hotel for this person to stay in upon arrival. Meanwhile the van was being strip searched and bulk dumped onto tables, which I had to re-pack. I was turned away for no good reason, and drove back into Canada (and had to deal with Canada border customs because it's a limbo border land area where I was turned back), and once I jumped through all the Canada side's hoops, I drove to White Rock to call her (thankfully still in St Louis) to tell her that she would have to take a bus from Seattle to Vancouver. It was a crazy way to make a first impression. I hate senseless bureaucracy.
 
Travis Schulert
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Roberto, I totally understand. I have done several fishing trips in Canada (I am from MI, so basically we are Canadian to the rest of the U.S LOL) and when going there to clearly spend money it was fine, no problem being passed through customs. These trips we always cross in the Upper Peninsula. BUT! If I try to go to Windsor through Detroit I am searched, interrogated, and threatened with imprisonment and enemas in the form of a doctor "shoving his fist up our asses". So needless to say I am not crossing any borders anymore unless I have to. It happens to everyone, just depends on whether you fit in with the crowds that are also crossing at the same time as you. In the U.P we do not get hassled wearing flannel and having a bunch of fishing gear, but look like that going into Windsor and you're gonna have a bad time haha.

Try flying next time, its way easier these days wink wink!

 
Jonathan Krohn
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Hi Travis, thanks for the further story about your last couple years there, financials, and your plans for this year. I hope you do well with the markets this year! I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Jonathan
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Try flying next time, its way easier these days wink wink!
I could tell you about the time I was strip searched at the L.A. airport on my way back from Guatemala... but I digress. Didn't mean to take this off topic. I find the least hassled way to cross borders is on a greyhound. Except the time that I first crossed the border in my adult years with my buddy and our bikes and all our gear in boxes on the greyhound, heading to mexico for a tour. What a hassle! I thought they were going to cut our bike frames looking for drugs! Anyway... enough digression. Your thread topic is too important, for this trivial walk down memory lane.
 
Travis Schulert
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Lol no worries Rob, we will just have to make a thread about all the cop trouble some of us have had over the years. That should be a good one.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Travis Schulert wrote:Lol no worries Rob, we will just have to make a thread about all the cop trouble some of us have had over the years. That should be a good one.


Yes, please! These stories have been really interesting, enlightening and entertaining! I always try to look as boring, "safe" and normal over the years--that and being a woman--means these sorts of things don't happen to me as often. But, then, I also dare not go to certain areas at certain times of the day because being a harmless looking woman has it's downsides, too!
 
Travis Schulert
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Nicole you literally made me lol.

I will start a new thread tomorrow with a story or two of my own. And you all can make me laugh some more.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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perhaps this part of the thread should be put on the Meaningless Drivel forum.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I always try to look as boring, "safe" and normal over the years
I sort of tried that route a few times, but it didn't seem to help me. On the bike trip search I looked pretty normal, but as a couple of young guys who admit to quitting their jobs and leaving their apartments behind them for an extended tour in Mexico... it was just too tasty a fish for them to pass up I guess. They did shine flashlights down our seat tubes... I was thinking that they were going to get hacksaws out.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Travis, did you start the topic on 'cop trouble'? Do you have a link to it please
 
Travis Schulert
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Here you go!

Cop Trouble
 
donovan duncan
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Boy do I wish I could find more people like you Travis!

I had 60 acres in Alabama, and am working hard on creating a permaculture paradise.

In the last 1 year (since I bought the land), I've turned it from a mostly grass/wood lot completely untouched landscape to housing over 300 chickens, 10 pigs, 300 fruit trees, 500 berry plants, and some very large gardens. Almost all of it has been done the permaculture way.

My struggles right now are:

A. getting reasonable help - even with offering people to live on the land, make a light wage, and supply them with materials, most people don't seem to want to work hard, are not "in it for the long haul", and very few people seem passionate about what we're trying to do.

B. Making a buck - I'm still starting out, and the expenses are high, because I'm choosing to sacrifice money for time, meaning sometimes I just spend the money for something I could build myself if I had more time/help, but in the not too distant future those two should flip-flop. The issue starts to become needing more help with selling/deliveries. Right now we sell nearly everything we make, but it actually takes a lot of time.

Here's a drone flight from last summer, we've added a lot more even since then!



Rock on Travis, and again - I hope I meet someone like you who'd want to live and work on the land with me!
 
Marianne Hay
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I am currently renting a house and the owner has decided she doesn't "appreciate" my gardening methods so has asked me to leave. I am looking for a new situation and your story has encouraged and inspired me! I very much appreciate that you took the time to share it. Thank you!
 
Mike Cantrell
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Travis Schultz wrote:Check out my next door neighbors house below, and tell me how on earth we are going to get along?



You don't have to be FRIENDS, just FRIENDLY.

I've got a neighbor just like that. I took him some gifts, he brought me some gifts.

He doesn't hassle me about the tall grass or the busted tractor out front, and I don't hassle him about the bright lights or noise. We wave when we see each other.

Absolutely everybody responds to gifts. It comes from a part of your pre-civilized brain. I can't recommend it strongly enough.

Not friends, just friendly.
 
Tyler Ludens
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pushing this up the heap
 
No more fooling around. Read this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
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