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winter wanderings/new home?  RSS feed

 
                    
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a series of precursors too odd to tell have struck me in the last 12 months, but Ill paraphrase-

5 deaths of close friends, and family
4 months of bizarrely hard rain
3 chain smokers
2 injuries
and
1 case of mistaken identity

have led me to reconsider what "home" means to me on a very deep level. for 6 years Ive loved and worked to clean and heal a piece of land that was scarred by misuse, abuse,  a country junk yard- ive built a small food forest, groomed a stand of alder, removed 30+ truckloads of junk and salvage, built a small cabin...

and after the above litany I realize that the magic is gone. the place is clean. I own it. and Im ready to walk away. Maybe Ill come back with friends I find on the way, or maybe Ill lodge in somewhere and stay a few years before I return, or maybe... maybe this is it.

i dont suspect there is any way to know if a place is 'home' until one sets their feet on the soil and talks to the people- the humans, trees, animals, spirits- so I wont let on with a long bunch of "who am I, what Im looking for'.  the short bunch of it is that Im looking for family, friends and good honest work with a community that somehow is living out those ethics permies seem to be drawn to. I dont have that where I am. the place is  likely on the west coast, where there's at least a modicum of rain- 14" or more. between the south puget sound and east bay California. as far east as Rockies. and a solid community of food growing animal raising barn dancing hottub/sweatlodge/sauna/hotsprings loving down to earth no frills people that would rather read books written a hundred years ago to one another or make their own wall hangings than watch the idiot box or go to burning man.

Ill be up and down the coast mostly. There's a lot of more public sites Ill find my way to, or back to, but there are also alot of holes in the wall, more private spaces that might be looking for an addition to the crew, nestled in a  fine community of like minds. applegate, oregon coast range, sonoma... I cant say. the soil will.

they say pictures speak louder than words. here's pics of things Ive built small to large. follow through the slideshow to the site and read up on the projects if you care to: http://abundancepermaculture.com/galleries.html

we might know one another when we see each others faces. Ive been around. I build, tinker and enjoy forest gardens. Im pretty damn good with critters too, and, at least theoretically, with humans. Im still working on that one. Takes a lifetime I expect.

if your site is  open to a visit from a  guest with aims to be a potential land partner- Im looking to co-invest- drop me a line. No hurries, no worries. just a get to know ya.

drop questions here if you have 'em. ill be happy to post my replies for all to read.

Ill be whistling with the winter wrens. drop me a line if you are open to a fly by.

 
Perry Way
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Deston Lee wrote:
the place is clean. I own it. and Im ready to walk away. Maybe Ill come back with friends I find on the way, or maybe Ill lodge in somewhere and stay a few years before I return, or maybe... maybe this is it.


Help me understand.  If you own the land free and clear, and it's good land now, why ever would you want to walk away from it?  I know you said the magic is gone but some things wax and wane.
 
                    
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the closest like minded souls are 30 miles distant. All my close neighbors are very resistant to the kind of life iM interested - one has hired a bulldozer to cross the property 3 times in 3 years, wiping out my cherry orchard -his intent was to build an unpermitted road-  the county does nothing to stop this Last time he came through, in september, I called  law enforcement,who hauled the driver off on multiple felony charges. the neighbor promptly hired another driver.

there is no sense of community here, nor is one wanted by the folks living here. they are largely post retirement age, not interested in gardens or woodlot care- thier idea of country living is about shooting guns on weekends and watching tv the rest of time. or working on big diesel equipment and getting drunk. a modicum of guns and diesel is useful, and an occaisional buzz is ok- i have a beer or two once or twice a month. but not every day. i don't litter the roads with it and dont want my community to.

im  hungry for community and a sense of place with people that share the same passions I have-like I said, my closest 'permie' neighbor is farmer tel, also on the threads- Ive got some looking around to do, and might settle in down on his watershed. a flutter up and over for the wren. but right now Im keeping my dreams big. Itd be nice to find a place that really felt like home- not just a warm dry shell to live in, but a place that resonates with connection, shared visions, and shared work. Im just starting to get my back back after a year of being down- a full disk herniation and no medical care- and while the years alone up here have been very - well, personally productive- I know I need people now. Ive been a loner a long time. and I realize now that its time to come back to community. and i dont expect it to come to me, so its the migratory flight and potential resettlement.
 
Perry Way
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Deston Lee wrote:
the closest like minded souls are 30 miles distant. All my close neighbors are very resistant to the kind of life iM interested - one has hired a bulldozer to cross the property 3 times in 3 years, wiping out my cherry orchard -his intent was to build an unpermitted road-  the county does nothing to stop this Last time he came through, in september, I called  law enforcement,who hauled the driver off on multiple felony charges. the neighbor promptly hired another driver.

there is no sense of community here, nor is one wanted by the folks living here. they are largely post retirement age, not interested in gardens or woodlot care- thier idea of country living is about shooting guns on weekends and watching tv the rest of time. or working on big diesel equipment and getting drunk. a modicum of guns and diesel is useful, and an occaisional buzz is ok- i have a beer or two once or twice a month. but not every day. i don't litter the roads with it and dont want my community to.

im  hungry for community and a sense of place with people that share the same passions I have-like I said, my closest 'permie' neighbor is farmer tel, also on the threads- Ive got some looking around to do, and might settle in down on his watershed. a flutter up and over for the wren. but right now Im keeping my dreams big. Itd be nice to find a place that really felt like home- not just a warm dry shell to live in, but a place that resonates with connection, shared visions, and shared work. Im just starting to get my back back after a year of being down- a full disk herniation and no medical care- and while the years alone up here have been very - well, personally productive- I know I need people now. Ive been a loner a long time. and I realize now that its time to come back to community. and i dont expect it to come to me, so its the migratory flight and potential resettlement.


Wow.  That's some story about that bulldozer.  If that were me in your shoes I might be in jail because of what I might do after.  Hmm...  Well, I'm just beginning on an affordable property that will take me quite some time to get turned into anything of substance.  I realize the hill up ahead, and well, I just don't have the kind of money required to buy a nicer property with cash and no loans.  My number one thing is economics.  In California nearby where I live (San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast) land is so expensive I'd need a working wife with a high paying job to contribute and we'd both be sacked to the gills with debt just to make it happen, and that's also considering a prime plus 1 at the most in the interest rate. And you don't get that kind of interest rate when you're 5 or 6 years post bankruptcy.  I'm just a single guy, I'm paying taxes for me and everyone else's kids, and I'm expected to come up with money like that? No way, it's just not going to happen.  Not unless I turn into a shark and go earn the money again.  And that's just not going to happen. I'm past that. What I can do is what I can do.  And so I bought 2.5 acres an hour from where I live. It's in the middle of nowhere, if I told you the name of the community you wouldn't find it on any online map by the name because it's a community that had big plans but never got realized.  There are no supermarkets, no corner drug stores, no gas stations, no convenient stores, in fact there are no stores at all.  It is many miles from any gasoline stations. You have to haul everything in.  The soil is compacted clay, it's the alkaline clay with sodium carbonate (soda) scattered on the surface here and there because it's an ancient sea bed.  The ground water is brackish, and I can't expect any good vegetable crops unless I solve a lot of things myself, DIY, under the radar and off the grid.  But this is my only option now, to head in this direction.  So when I read your bit about making the land good land again, good soil I think has to be part of that, and here I am just getting started and I might decide to put a good fence up on that property if I owned yours (Good fences make good neighbors) and I might have to defend it and would too by golly, if that property were mine.  I'm still a loner and probably always will be but I do understand what you mean about community.  I would be a part of a community, an integral unshakable part of one if I could find other people on this planet that are worthy of the extreme sort of respect that I give to people who deserve it.

Well as I alluded to before, things wax and wane.  You might find after finding that community that you really wanted to go off and live that pastoral life again, and then you might have a new love affair with your land again.
 
                    
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He drove the bulldozer through the fence. twice... I got pics of it all, but the county is not doing anything about it except telling me its a civil matter and encouraging me to take him to court. I haven't got money for that.

eyes are open. im not selling the place, just heading out. ill always keep it as a camp. the FF is coming along, I can pull interns in and have a fellow half trained on maintenance. hes become a competant builder,. and knows how to tend soil, trees, etc. part to fair. just a kid, really, 21 to my 40.

hes a local, and drifts in and out. not a community, but a friend. Im looking for that barn dance and fiddle and homemade kimchee and...smiles. yeah, Been a loner up here for 7 years. Done.
 
                          
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Location: Northern California
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Hi, Deston, I'm really sorry to hear about your rough year. I hope you find what you're looking for. I can certainly relate to a need for more community—I've begun to find that, myself, and I'm really hopeful about it all coming together for me. I'm sure something will work out for you, too.

I'm just starting to look for a place now. I've acquired a business partner with a little bit (a very little bit) of startup capital, and we're looking for a long-term lease or partnership deal somewhere within reach of San Francisco. Our plan is to build a community funded by a cooperative permaculture-based market farm and CSA and an educational center with workshops and youth programming. We've been gaining speed and picking up more partners with great skills, but what we haven't found yet is the right land. We're just getting started, but our ambitious goal is to be on a site in the spring. A lease seems like a good option for us for now, because we may realize we need more capacity or different facilities once we get going and see how things are shaking out. We've also realized we not only want to build community on the land, but we need to be within reach of population centers for this to work out.

I'd love to brainstorm with you about how we might be able to help each other. If nothing else, I'd be happy to keep an eye out for you for leads on places that could meet your needs.
 
                    
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I'd love to be in on this conversation. I am in a position which is curiously tentative, and will let you know how things go for me. perhaps a face to face meeting in the spring when things are clearer for my finances will allow us to know what potential we share.

best

Deston
 
                          
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Location: Northern California
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That would be great, Deston. I'll look forward to hearing how your plans take shape, and I'll keep the board updated about ours.
 
                    
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Hello Deston,

Good life story...we're a bit N. of Puget Sound. I guess when you are far enough out in the country neighbors tend to be more respectful. It's usually because you need each other...or might if it's Jan. , -20C and you put your truck in the ditch!

I've had the good fortune to travel around a bit. Never been to a more friendly, down home, help your neighbor sort of place than the Robson Valley. It's where we call home.

Our "community" is still forming, and we have some good times here. However, there are also usually dances of some sort often with live music, potlucks, etc. on a regular basis in the wider community with real people. The kind that will look you in the eye when they talk to you. Or ask you to stay for super when you drop by for an afternoon visit. If this sounds interesting let us know. Enjoy your travels!

www.kakwaecovillage.com
 
                    
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thats so far north! I can hardly stand the 7 hour winter day here! perhaps a north camp for summer travels, if I find I dont settle down thank you!


Headed up to Vashon Island this weekend- were planning a cob oven and greywater project at a co-housing on the island- no final words yet on IF they get built, but momentum is gaining for the project. which includes a clam bake a salmon bake and so on, which is huge for me- I like to cook lots of things in lots of quantity. I like to cook for crowds, but am picky about WHAT I cook and how it gets served. IM a bit concerned about the salmon bake, actually, I dont cook bought fish, and with the exception of a PDC i did last year, I pretty much only cook gift fish or wild harvested fish from folks I know. We have to ask for the gift sometimes, and in the right way... those salmon at the PDC were likely going to be ruined by cooking them in an oven - so i asked  the kitchen guy to gift them to me- i roasted them over coals, on splits, with the stories I was given, and the shared talk of the community gathered there, just as I was offered in my learnings.

thats a huge part of my community sense- being able to offer this kind of food is sacrament feeling. it creates intergeneration bonding,, when shared enough times. (big gripe with the PDC format- ephemeral community... such limited opportunity for follow thru on the seeds planted... intergenerational is almost impossible)

Ive roasted wild and home raised hogs, wild and home raised turkey, gift salmon, venison, goat, lamb... I can do just about anything in about 6 ways, from open fire to buried in a pit. and its all about bringing the people- the ones who gave the tradition, ancestors, the ones who enjoy the tradition, and the ones who carry it forward- bringing the spirits together. Im not talking about pagan beliefs- I share stories and ask others to, and sometimes we have to go to difficult places to find something that is valuable. we know our food systems are in a bad way, and we know the ecosphere we live in is in a bad way. we have to dive into that, not merely in a technical, scientific manner (though I encourage people to shit in the woods after eating salmon based on science, its al about C14 cycles .. I feel this kind of thing is a valuable initiation for our youth. I was initiated by My uncles Kaleo and Mano from the big Island, and by my Uncle Curtis, from Chehalis. Im honored to share these braided paths.

I dont get to do this sort of thing much up in my wet sock of a valley.

I have my property, and my axe, I get along... Vashon has a thriving local foods scene, and the soils- hammered by industrial process with Pb, Cd, As, and Hg, and they need cleansing. Thats also part of why im being brought in, to help with the studies on mycoremediation. and they have a community center with Barn dancing, yoga, tai chi...- things I want, crave. Not very rural by my standards. and a bit upscale- islanders are monied. Im not. but very warm, inviting. I'll have many flutterings there, over the coming months, I think.  time to get to 'know'...

I like big country. at the same time, i need people... a man between poles... winter wren wandering on, looking, seeing hearing listening, enjoying it, and feeling it out. winter wren wanderings!
37190_461951973253_542063253_5453312_4953981_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 37190_461951973253_542063253_5453312_4953981_n.jpg]
 
tel jetson
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don't rule out dragging some of the folks you encounter back up your own hill.  all that place is missing is humans.  your co-conspirator up there is a handsome chap: encourage him to bring home a nice gal or guy from Portland.  from there, it should be much easier to lure more folks.  I know your experience with interns up there wasn't stellar, so don't arrange it like that.

might help to throw up some rough housing.  you've got enough saplings around to split for waddle walls and plenty of material for clay plaster.

we could also push to rebuild the old Finn Hall out here.  that was a community center par excellence until it burned down.  dances twice weekly, community meetings, weddings, library...  the site is a historical monument at the moment, so the land is still undeveloped.

naturally, I'm going to push the options that don't involve you leaving the general vicinity.
 
                    
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My interns were great. they simply all left when the work was done and the fun started. sure there was the guy who never didn anything but complain about not gardening. but the rest were great. i just hung out with Kaycee last week.  except for the one who kept breaking things. i asked him to leave. im restless.its the neighbors, the big bulldozer scab that keeps sliding down my throat.

we got rough housing. hell we added a 280ft extension since the alst time youve been here. what, first week of september?

Im figuring on dropping a bunch of 12" 1-16" doug fir and milling them up, building a timber frame green house. @ 400sf. that and cob under the cabin are liekly next years major movers, get that rocket stove built in underneeath with a hottub. Ineed a bath. I dont think Ive had one since august.

or maybe Ill move south a watershed, any flat land available out the lewis? for a song and a shine?

Thanks tel.

 
tel jetson
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Deston Lee wrote:
or maybe Ill move south a watershed, any flat land available out the lewis? for a song and a shine?


probably not on the Lewis, but maybe up a hill a ways.
 
                    
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Vashon Today, Ashland next week. Headed out to visit My friends John C and Larry. Johns been egging me to go road tripping with him and I kept putting him off and canceling. Turns out hes been very ill and almost died. Now I feel selfish for turning him dow. miraculously hes sprung back from 3 days unconscious and is bouncing off the walls. I cant go tripping as he is in hospoce nad needs medical care, but ill spend a day withhim picking his brain, so to speak, on solar plenums and green house design, if you can get past the busy, his website is loaded with notions:

mind you, his website takes up about 1/2 of the internet virtual worlds. http://www.sunnyjohn.com

dont get lost in here :/index.htmlhttp://www.sunnyjohn.com/toiletpapers2.htm
 
                    
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vashon is SKOOKUM. there live music events, three in 36 hours! two rounds of dancing to hands which sweat while playing guitars, harps, drums? yes? really!!! wonderful. you spurred my bike, i did but ride. vashon, I wish you were rural. I love that you're cultural. im sad that your infection of lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic dictate my distance. I will give energy to help you heal the soils we have tested, tasted, soils lain to waste. Have hope, island of my hearts leaping dreams! these remediation studies will shine a light!

it was a good trip, and I joined planing a en event sequence which includes a soil remediation project. i assist with details to the science and study goals. It were super! (me talkin' this way, you'd never 'spect i was considered!)

the intentional communities of vashon seem to be focused- in my experience- on how to use art to educate about better practices. I kind a'like that. and they kinda like my colloquial. Ill be vashon abiding and bound for a time. a good camp on the wrens wandering. 
 
                    
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on to ashland via pdx. Ive got the #4 memorial service in since October this weekend in pdx, its been a rough month couple of months for the extended family, but if you dont mind the pun, things seem to have died down.

then on to Ashland. Ive got a dear friend convalescing there, a real uncle to the permie scene, and a bang up designer. Im going to go download his brain on solar plenums and green house construction. It will be difficult; hes had a stroke, removal of a cancerous tumor in his brain, and is on pain meds, etc. So hes going to be in the ether- even by his own standards.

http://www.sunnyjohn.com/

solar plenums, moldering pit toilets, passive greenhouses, what? its all there.

This downloading elders stuff is important.

intentional community. how do we d/l our elders? how do we become available for the next genration of living meat space spirit beings to access and d/l our knowledge? intergenerational commitments.

how will we build forests of food production that last centuries if we dont develop personal relationships that weather storms of  human folly?  these are things Im very interested in as I look about for this thing called home, which is not a single building that a person lives in, or a 'nuclear' family (does that mean the family is all blown up?), but an community of intergenerational exchanges that focus deeply on its relationship to the ecology of its place. home is something like that.

any folks in Ashland who may like to have the flitting visit of winter wren making its rounds? Ill be visiting a few friends there and hope to make some more.. I do have a place to stay, just looking for gardens to sing of a bit, and to share a cuppa with new friends.
 
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