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tragically cheap California land in the hills  RSS feed

 
Ash Lee
Posts: 2
chicken forest garden fungi
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Is anyone interested in more reasonably priced California land?
I became a widow a month after turning thirty last fall and have always had a passion for nature and animals. i have known of permaculture for quite a few years but was not permitted to fully pursue my interest. I would like to purchase land in Auburn, CA that is being offered to me for a lower than market price of 175, as i have maintained it for over six years and put a large down payment towards it. there are over 300 trees now with room to spare on around three to four acres. the trees are mainly early mandarins, cherry, fig, fruiting mulberry, wild plum, apricot, peach, pear, English walnut, oaks, with flowers and herbs planted throughout and a 150 yr old redwood, but most of it which i had planted. I have chickens ive raised from the egg and rabbits as well as gorgeous views and a 2 bed 1 bath 900 sq foot house. The owner has decided to sell and sell fast. I want to take the property and turn it into something even more beautiful that people can benefit from, more than the fruit it produces, and use it to better the community - teaching the principals of permaculture. If anyone can help in any way, advice, assistance, encouragement, id greatly appreciate it as i have little time to make this happen and dont qualify for any loans or programs when i have the opportunity to turn it into the forest garden ive dreamt of.

Ash
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Jason Padvorac
Posts: 103
Location: Northeast of Seattle, zone 8: temperate with rainy winters and dry summers.
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss. And good on you for keeping positive things in your sights. The land sounds like a wonderful place -- I hope you can stay with it!

I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of thing. Here a couple brainstorm-style ideas to get things going:

- Some kind of crowdfunding campaign. That'd probably take a while to put together and run, though, and might be tricky to raise that much money unless you've already got a solid network you could tap for support.
- You could try to get the owner to pitch the property as a potential eco-investment with willing maintainer. Run some math about estimated carbon you would directly be sequestering, how much fossil fuel use you could prevent by raising sustainable food on those acres, and give it to the owner to show to potential buyers. You could even, if the owner was okay with it, do some publicity, put up flyers, put up adds on craigslist, etc. to specifically target communities that might have buyers interested in this angle.
- You could try to pitch the idea of doing a crop-share-lease with the future owner (or the current owner). That's an arrangement where a lease is payed based on the revenue made by selling crops. Whip up a quick business plan, read through http://www.themarketgardener.com/ and listen to some http://www.farmertofarmerpodcast.com/ for some good solid business advice. If you're industrious and entrepreneurial, you may be able to make enough money to give economic incentive for someone to keep you maintaining it. Given your time constraint, of course, you probably don't have time to get a business off the ground, but you could probably dash together a quick plan for one. People here would likely be willing to glance over it and give you some feedback.
- If you don't get to keep staying there, document what you did. In fact, even if you do get to stay there, document what you did / are doing. This may help you in finding help getting a new place, whether it's raising funding or setting up a crop share lease at a new place.

That's what I've got. Be industrious, keep asking for help (like you've done here!), and I expect you'll have land to tend. Best of luck with that being a smooth, quick process that lets you stay where you are now!
 
Michael Bushman
Posts: 144
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Ash,

Auburn is an easy trip from Sacramento and we have a meetup group at
http://www.meetup.com/Sacramento-Valley-Permaculture-Guild/

Auburn is not the friendlies of building environments and is pretty expensive but being close to them does provide some opportunities.

Potential sources of income to work with the owner, AirBnB some teepees, you laugh but people pay a premium for some of those kinds of things, dont' laugh, I rent out a glorified ToughShed in Sacramento for $75 a night on our sacramento urban farm but its more like Glamping than camping and it even has an outhouse so its not something that would be impossible for you to do.

Doing kickstarter to buy land is not often successful not that the right person couldn't pull it off. Find out what the owner wants and needs to work with you as you already have a relationship. Offer to pay over market or over interest to get the owner to carry the financing or at least carry a 2nd so that you CAN get financing.

Talk to some of the higher end restaurants about producing specialty or high end crops, organic locally grown baby zucchini and other such stuff can bring a premium if it is marketed well. My brother has a hipster pizza place, we don't bother growing tomatoes for sauce of anything, that is too industrial but we grow cherry tomatoes and other stuff for toppings, we make a big deal about growing it ourselves. Talks some restaurants into signing deal for something then bring those to the owner.

 
nataly marchuk
Posts: 10
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Hi Ash,
I am in process of forming eco-village and Auburn was one of the places that I was looking at. Unfortunately I agree with Michael about this area being not very eco-building friendly (from as far as I heard), but the community overall is quite progressive and there is hope. If your are still interested in partners, please email me and we could somehow discuss things. Looking forward to your reply,
Nataly
nata_marchuk@yahoo.com
 
Freddie Vedder
Posts: 4
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Hello Ash. Have you checked out farm sanctuaries. A few have opened with resounding success. Kids who grow up on farms hardly ever get sick according to recent research. You could have a mini-farm with school trips for kids. Do you need a carpenter/handy man to lend a hand? I know the area well as I have lived up the road in Grass Valley. I still have a son who lives there and wouldn't mind spending some time there before I move to Nicaragua to start an eco farm myself. E-mail me and leave a tel. # if any of this sounds like a fit. thanks, Freddie fvedder9@gmail.com
 
Peter Oakland
Posts: 15
Location: Humboldt, California
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Hope you are well Ash. How did things work out?  I am looking for something like this but just found your thread. Email me if you care to share more.
poakland at gmail

 
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