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It is Good to Be Here

Posts: 78
Location: Greenville, SC
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Hello everyone! After a brief glance at the forums, this looks like a wonderful online forum in which to grow roots. 

I am 32 years old, newly married with a 7-year-old stepson with Autism.  I grew up in a rural area but my parents never encouraged me to learn how to garden, split wood, or any of the normal country activities so I spent all my time indoors with books and video games.  Over the past several years I've developed lots of interest in local/natural food, intentional community, and sustainable agriculture.  My wife and I look ahead to the summer of 2012 when we can sell our suburban postage-stamp-size-lot house and relocate to the country. 

I feel the call toward farming, but I don't have much experience other than the small Square Foot Garden we keep.  Over the past six months I've read several books by Joel Salatin, Wendell Berry, Gene Logsdon, and others regarding the farming life; this is something I want to experience.  I'm hoping to take a week's vacation and WWOOF it sometime in the spring/summer, contribute to the large community garden in our area, and offer to help out any farmers at the farmer's market we shop at.  I'm hoping that by the time we sell our house next year that I might be skilled enough to start farming on borrowed land.  With my family situation I don't think a traditional apprenticeship would work, but I would love to be proven wrong.

We should clear around $25,000 when we sell the house so we're hoping to get a yurt, a couple of solar panels, and get started on someone else's land for a year or two.  At that point hopefully we will have decided if this is the life for us, have a tiny profit, and maybe have received a small inheritance so that we can buy some land.  My wife is by training a graphic designer and is building a small wedding invitation business right now; it's a portable business and can operate anywhere with an internet connection and a nearby craft store for supplies.

My wife and I both feel the pull to immigrate to the Maritimes in Canada.  We both prefer Northern climates to Southern ones (she's originally from Pennsylvania; I'm a South Carolina native but I abhor hot summer days and love cold weather) and we love the forest-hill-coast landscape of Atlantic Canada. It'll still be within a day's drive of her family in PA.  We're already in contact with the immigration office, and we have enough points on their point system to qualify for permanent residence.  From our research we really love the area around Moncton, New Brunswick.  I'd really love to find 50-100 acres of clearcut (ie cheap) land to restore via rotational grazing and permaculture principles.  Ideally we could pasture about a 1/3 of this land and let the remaining be responsibly harvested forest.  I see this type of land being sold in Canada via sites such as Dignam Land, but we found a site that sells land solely in Kent County NB that seems really straightforward (www.homesteadsforsale.com) and if we had the money we'd probably go for this property right now: http://homesteadsforsale.com/alexander.htm

Eventually I'd love to get a few like-minded folks in the same county so that we share capital expenses, social events, homeschooling, etc.

Anyway, I'm here to learn and hopefully get some advice from those of you who are further ahead on the path than I am right now. 

Aside from agricultural pursuits I currently work full-time as an accounting clerk, I like to write both fiction and nonfiction and wrote a short (55k word) novel last year, and I love European board games such as Settlers of Catan, Agricola, and Carcassonne.  In my youth I was an orchestral trombonist, I love any type of Indian or Thai food, and love to recycle junk into useful items.  I'm planning on buying an old truck to restore in a few months as I'll eventually need a farm truck, I can't afford a new one, and it'll be good to learn how to restore a vehicle.  I smoke a pipe and like to go backpacking when possible.  In addition to Salatin and Wendell Berry I am also much influenced by the distributivist writings of Belloc and Chesterton, Aleksandr Solsenitsyn, C.S. Lewis, and Neil Postman.   I am Eastern Orthodox by faith and Distributist with Libertarian leanings politically. 

Thanks for providing such a wonderful forum.  It is good to be here!
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Welcome... Welcome David & family!

I too have a special needs son, and share most, if not all of your interests.  You'll find this place and the people very helpful and inspiring.

It was so nice to read your introduction with all the detail and information.  It will be wonderful having you around sharing your journey and perspective.


David Galloway
Posts: 78
Location: Greenville, SC
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Thanks for the warm welcome Jami!

I look forward to becoming a participant here.  There is so much to learn and little time to do so!
No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
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