Hey there! My name is Jeremy Butler. I’m 29 years old. I am currently living in Northern Virginia on 1.5 acres and working as a software engineer.
Up until about a year ago, I was kind of just drifting through life. I never had a real solid view of what I wanted to get out of life. Going through school, I chose a major mostly because I “had to” and just kind of stuck with it so I could be done with school.
About a year ago, I happened to stumble upon the idea of Earthships by the guys out in Taos, New Mexico. I was particularly impressed by the all passive solar climate control of those buildings. It began to open my eyes to the idea of living to nature’s standards instead of forcing nature to live to mine. It also showed me that if I am smart about it, nature can provide me with almost everything I need. This discovery planted a seed in me that has continued to grow.
Eventually, I ended up discovering permaculture. It has opened my eyes to a whole new way of living. Currently, I believe that the concepts taught by permaculture are what will provide economic freedom and sustainability for me and my future generations.I am tired of being a slave to other men. I would much rather be a companion with nature.
Currently the most important steps I can think of to achieve this would be:
1. Save as much money as possible
2. Gain theoretical knowledge
----b. Podcasts ----c. YouTube
----d. Books 3. Gain practical knowledge where I am
----a. Start a hugelkultur bed
----b. Start a pond ----c. Plant some of everything. Focus on edibles.
4. Gain practical knowledge in a community
----a. Wheaton Labs or similar
5. Purchase land ----a. Near Missoula, MT
6. Apply knowledge on my own land.
My motivations are mostly religious. I am Christian. I want to do what Jesus wants me to do, and I believe that this is what He wants me to do right now.
Anyways, I’m grateful for all of the wise people on this forum and I hope to become good friends with many of you on my journey!
Hi fellow Virginian. Welcome to Permies! I love that you are making such a detailed plan. It shows determination and focus. That's what it takes to achieve your goals. It's great that you are starting in the permacultural direction early on. There's lots of information available on the Permies and Richsoil sites (videos, podcasts, articles on many permaculture topics). There's an awesome bunch of peeps at Wheaton Labs doing amazing things. Bet you'd fit right in, but to move there? How could you bear to leave our beautiful Virginia landscape? There's no mountains like our mountains. Kidding (sort of). I wish you lots of luck and hope you regularly post on the Permies site so we can share in your journey.
With forty shades of green, it's hard to be blue.
Garg 'nuair dhùisgear! Virtutis Gloria Merces
Location: Ant Village
posted 2 years ago
Thanks guys! Yeah, I am planning on getting some YouTube videos up to document the things that I am working on. And Karen, I do love the Appalachian mountains, but I feel like the Montana/Idaho area is more of a hotbed for permaculture. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I think I live between the two posters on this thread so far. I am interested in sharing knowledge and finding like-minded locals who might be interested in sharing skills and resources if appropriate. I joined this site a couple of years ago when we were building our RMH (rocket mass heater) and haven't had much time to keep up. I want to rebuild it now that I have had time to try it, incorporating more mass and easier cooking. I also have a solar project ready to go and more resources and knowledge to share. My husband has become somewhat disabled now and is not as enthusiastic as he was 20 years ago. Anyone in Virginia interested in starting a local community of shared enthusiasm?
Location: Ant Village
posted 2 years ago
I think that would be great Carrie! Where do you live? I'm about 30 minutes south of Fredericksburg.
posted 2 years ago
I am 30 minutes west of Fredericksburg on the Culpeper/Madison border. I am hoping to get my solar system up this month or next if I can schedule some workers. If you are interested in seeing the start to finish, you are welcome to visit.
I am near Richmond, but there is minimal rural permaculture down here, there is some urban activity and I think a PDC at VCU (?) recently. I believe there is a scene in Ashland with more homesteading but to be honest I haven't seen any of them on here. One of them is a B&B, which is awesome!
I am just starting, really new to this like you, and I have probably read thousands of articles on here. You have lots of options, since you have not mentioned any family attachments. I will throw a recruiting pitch- Virginia is AWESOME for permaculture. The soil is depleted, but you can resurrect it, and the climate here is fantastic. Land >45min outside the major cities (or 2hrs outside the belly of the beast) is really cheap for how productive it can be. I have seen properties with year-round streams for 3k/acre! You will need to be in the hills if you want hydro, but solar here is viable. The west is always faster to change, which can be good or bad. I have learned a great deal from people who don't consider themselves permaculturists, just because there are still people here who know how things used to be done. I would say that the west is more experimental, the east is more pragmatic. It takes both, and I have enjoyed the cross-pollination.
I think your statement about not being a slave to anyone is pertinent. You have a solid plan- save, save and save. Much if what you need to learn is free on the internet. I have come to the conclusion that at this time I can still make progress and keep my traditional job, and in ten years I will be prepared both financially and technically to make more dramatic steps. If you have the freedom to jump from Level 1 to Level 4 in a year, that is great! Read some of the cautionary tale on here, though, because the common element is that people underestimate how long it will be before you stop eating your seed corn.
There isn't much to see at my place, I was just outside with a laser level working out the contours and planning the main earthworks. In a year or two it will be more interesting, I have only converted 1/2 acre at this point.
Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails
My name is Daniel and my wife Jennifer and I just moved up to the area. We are currently in culpeper but will soon be starting our perm. Homestead about 15 miles west of here in Boston VA. We would love to meet some like minded folks in the area! Drop us a line whenever you can!
In True Nature Designs
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars. Tiny ad: